JESUS IS OUR FRIEND

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “Today salvation has come to this house… for the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” — Luke 19:9-10

One of the most shocking and incredible aspects of Jesus is that He is our Friend. It’s astonishing that our omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient God who made everything in the universe and beyond with His own hands, who rules history and kingdoms, holds the power over every proton, neutron, and electron in every galaxy we have yet to discover… also wants to be… friends.
 
Jesus is a Friend to not just the brightest and best, the most powerful and accomplished, the prettiest and wealthiest. He is a ready Friend to anyone. Anyone! He was at ease and fully Himself among the elite (The Pharisee Nicodemus in John 3) and the most hated people in the whole culture (tax collectors in Luke 19:1-10). He was the life of the party (John 2:1-11) and the perfect Friend One-on-One (Peter in John 21:15-19).
 
Jesus shows again and again that when He came to earth, He was relatable–just like us normal people. He chose to be average. Seemingly unremarkable. Approachable. Fun and funny. Kind. He chose Capernaum as His home base, an average town like yours and mine. He made friends with Pete, Andy, Phil, Tom, Matt, Bart, and all the riff-raff. Ordinary folk. Fishermen and townsfolk. Peter’s my favorite. Bold and emotional, blundering, and passionate. He’s the guy who will step out on the water and yet inwardly roll his eyes at obeying Jesus who knows “nothing” about fishing because Peter was the pro. The fish aren’t out in the daytime. They’re not out in the deep, they’re in the shallows.
 
Jesus shows His abundance. And His friendship. He didn’t chastise Peter. He loved Him.
 
Doesn’t that give you hope? If Jesus chose to be friends with John the Wild, and Peter the Passionate, and sly Levi, and Andy the cynic, and James and John the hotheads, then you and I are welcome friends to our King, too.
 
If you’re anyone… you’re in!

PRAYER: “Jesus, we love You. Thank You for being our Friend. It’s hard to grasp Your greatness along with how personable You choose to be. You know every detail of every single thing, and yet You care about us, and love us, and are involved in our lives. How can we thank You for being such a Friend! We love You, Lord.” Amen.

STAY BLESSED

PERSECUTION

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “Moreover let us also be full of joy now!  Let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.  And endurance fortitude develops maturity of character that is approved faith and tried integrity.  And character of this sort produces the habit of joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.”—Romans 5:3-4 (Amplified).
Persecution is part of the Christian faith as Jesus Himself tells us in John 15:18-20 and yet suffering for our faith in Jesus Christ is something most believers would do anything to avoid. In fact, most believers will rather take the route of least resistance especially in these days when false teachers and prophets are saying that when you come to Christ all your problems will be solved.  What the Bible rather teaches is that when we believe in Christ Jesus as Savior and Lord and begin to live godly and righteous lives we will be persecuted.  Persecution comes because the forces of darkness hate the way of light because light exposes the deeds of evil.
 
Thousands are said to have died during the Mau Mau uprising during the reign terror of General Idi Amin. Millions also suffered during the Soviet era.  Even now many people in the Middle East, China, Indonesia and other parts of the Far East as well as here on the African continent continue to suffer imprisonment, torturing and of basic human rights such as good education and jobs because they have converted to Christianity.
 
What should Christians do when they are faced with persecution?  Should they flee or resist or tone down their outward signs of faith?  The answer is a resounding NO because suffering is an expected part of a life of sincere faith (2 Tim 3:12).


PRAYER: Dear God, Help me to remain strong during persecution, and let me keep my faith unto the end. Amen

STAY BLESSED

PRINCIPLE OF WAITING

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, PATIENCE, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and SELF-CONTROL. There is no law against this things!—Galatians 5:22-23
Waiting can and is a very painful, annoying, and frustrating experience. But if we want to grow in the Lord we must apply the principle of waiting. As Christians, this is one of the principles and a principal virtue we must espouse.

Four things to practice in order to apply yourself to this principle:
To wait on God means to put your whole trust and confidence in Him in the midst of great adversaries, pain, and trouble. We should not put our faith in men, positions, connections, and status. We should not run ahead of God. We must not try to help ourselves like Abraham and Sarah did when God promised them a child. Instead, we should wait for God to come through for us. Let allow God to take control of our situations.
Remain calm and still for the plans of God to come to pass in our lives. Job remained calm in all his struggles and God rewarded him abundantly.
Allow God to speak to us before we make a move. Before we embark on any life endeavor; be it a job, business, marriage, etc. Let allow God to speak to us while we wait. Isaiah 40:31 teaches us that those who wait upon the Lord will have their strength renewed.        May the Lord grant us the patience to wait upon Him.

PRAYER: Dear God, give me the grace and strength to wait upon You in every situation I find myself. Amen

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: INSPIRED BY REV. FATHER C.N.N ASHONG

POWER OVER SATAN AND DEMONS

No one can enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can rob his house – Mark 3:27
The one who does what is sinful is of the devil because the devil has been sinning from the
beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. – 1 John3:8


INTRODUCTION
We at Salt and Light Ministries extend our condolence to the family of the 90-year-old woman, Akua Denteh who was accused of witchcraft and lynched at Kafaba in the East Gonja Municipality of the Savannah Region. The act was barbaric and totally ungodly.
Jesus came to destroy the works of Satan, to establish God’s kingdom and to free us, all of
humankind, from Satan’s power. One of the main themes in Mark’s Gospel is Jesus’constant
aim to defeat Satan and his demonic powers. In Mark 3:27, Jesus puts into action the principle behind this spiritual conflict with Satan and his powers in His use of phrases like “tying up the strong man” (Satan) and “robbing his house” (setting free those who are slaves to Satan or “possessed” by demonic powers and reclaiming their lives for God’s kingdom). Jesus overcomes the enemy by driving out the demons or evil spirits. “Driving out” or “casting out” means that Jesus is exercising His authority to force demonic powers to give up control of people whose lives and bodies have been in Satan’s control. Jesus did this to illustrate that evil spirits have no right to use human bodies as their abode.
SATAN AND DEMONS. Satan was once a great angel created perfect and good. He was
appointed to serve directly around God’s throne in heaven. Yet before the world began, he
became filled with pride and rebelled against God. As a result, he became God’s primary enemy and an enemy to all humanity as well. “Son of man, take up a lament concerning the king of Tyre and say to him: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “‘You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: carnelian, chrysolite and emerald, topaz, onyx and jasper, lapis lazuli, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared. You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. – Ezekiel 28:12-15.
We must, however, keep in mind that Satan is not equal with God; he is a created being and his power must yield to the superior power of God. God is Omnipresent (Everywhere at the same time), Omnipotent (All-powerful) and Omniscient (All-knowing). But Satan has none of these characteristics; therefore, most of his activity is assigned to demons. In his rebellion against God, Satan misled a multitude of lesser angels who, after their “fall” from heaven, could likely be identified as demons or evil spirits. Satan and many of these lesser angels were exiled to the earth and the atmosphere around it. This is where they do their evil work, as God allows. Because of this constant presence of evil and its influence, all of humankind must choose whether to follow God or to follow evil.

DEMONS.

As a result of humanity’s sin and rebellion against God, the New Testament describes the world as estranged (alienated, separated) from God and seized by Satan, who now exercises a great deal of authority on the earth.

Demons are spirit beings that have personality and intelligence. As members of Satan’s
kingdom, they are part of a highly organized empire of evil that has authority over “the
kingdom of the air”. As agents for carrying out Satan’s purposes, demons are enemies of God and humans. Demon spirits are totally evil, filled with hate and under Satan’s authority. In order to overcome the schemes and temptations of Satan and his demonic forces, Christians must wage continual spiritual warfare against them.

The many accounts in the Bible, make it clear that it is common for demons to dwell in the
bodies of some people who do not have a personal relationship with God. The evil spirits make slaves of the individuals they “possess.” They use the possessed individuals’ voice to speak and can influence them toward evil, immorality, and destruction.

Demons can cause physical diseases and illness in the human body. This does not mean,
however, that all sickness and disease are the results of evil spirits.

Demons are the real power behind the “gods” and “idols” of false religions. This means that
worshipping false gods is basically the same as worshipping demons.

Those involved in spiritism (the attempt to communicate with the dead) and sorcery (the
supposed use of magic) are dealing with evil spirits. Such activity can easily lead to a person coming under demonic control.

Evil spirits will be especially active in the end times, leading people to take part in the occult
(witchcraft and satanism), sexual immorality, violence, cruelty, and mass deception. They will attack and attempt to discredit God’s Word, steering people away from correct teaching and truth. The fullest display of demonic activity will be through the antichrist and his followers
JESUS AND DEMONS
1) The New Testament frequently describes individuals who are suffering from Satan’s
oppression and influence due to evil spirits that take up residence in their bodies and gain
control of their lives. Throughout the Gospels (the narrative accounts of the “good news” and the true story of Jesus Christ), Jesus shows His power and authority to free people from this spiritual slavery. The Gospel of Mark describes many times in which Jesus comes in contact with and stands against demons with the power of God: “ That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed.    The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.” Mark 1:32-34.
“Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out,  24  “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. – Mark 1:23-26.

In His miracles, Jesus often attacks the power of Satan and demonic forces. Jesus states clearly that one of His purposes in coming to earth was to destroy the works of Satan and to set free those the devil holds as slaves.

One way Jesus binds and destroys Satan’s power is by driving out demons (by His authority

forcing them to leave the person’s body and give up control of the individual’s life). But he paid the penalty for our sin. This victory shattered the power of Satan’s kingdom and restored the power of God’s kingdom in people’s lives. Jesus’ work and personal sacrifice made Satan’s defeat certainly and gained God’s victory over him.

Hell, the place of eternal punishment, torment, and separation from God, has been prepared by God for the devil and his demons. “Then He will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Matthew 25:41

BELIEVERS AND DEMONS

  1. God’s Word teaches that because God’s Holy Spirit lives within each true follower of Christ, a Christian cannot be demon-possessed. God’s Spirit and demons can never live in the same body. Demons may, however, influence the thoughts, emotions, and actions of Christians who fail to follow and respond to the leading of the Spirit.
  2. Jesus promised His followers that they would have authority over the power of Satan and
    demons. As we confront them, we must rely on Jesus and use His authority to break the power that demonic forces want to force upon us and others. This means we must wage intense spiritual warfare through the power of the Holy Spirit. The power of God is the only source that frees us from the power and influence of the devil’s darkness and brings us into God’s spiritual light with a victory.
  3. According to the parable in Mark 3:27 – “In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house
    without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house.”, spiritual conflict
    against Satan and his demonic forces involves three stages of spiritual battle:
    a) Declare war against Satan according to God’s purpose.
    b) Enter Satan’s territory (any area of life where he has a “stronghold” or has strongly forced
    his evil control), then attack and overpower him through prayer and God’s Word. By doing this, God will destroy the devil’s weapons of deception and temptation.
    c) Take what the devil possesses. This means helping to liberate those who have been enslaved by Satan’s power and helping to restore them to God so that they may receive forgiveness and new life through faith in Christ.
  4. As we boldly embrace the authority and power of God, we should take the following steps in our spiritual battle:

Spectator – Saturday 8 th August, 2020
a) Recognize that we are not in a conflict against flesh and blood (human persons, powers and
purposes). Rather, we are fighting against spiritual forces and powers of evil.
b) Reman deeply committed to God’s truth and to living by the standards of His Word.
c) Have faith that Satan’s power can be broken in any specific area where he might have
control. We must also realize that God has given Christ’s followers powerful spiritual weapons
for the destruction of Satan’s strongholds.
d) Boldly proclaim the message of Christ and His kingdom (His highest power, authority,
purposes and way of life) through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
e) Challenge Satan and his power directly by relying completely on Jesus and taking authority in
his name, using God’s Word, praying in the Spirit, fasting and driving out demons.
f) Praying particularly that the Holy Spirit would work in the consciences of people who are
spiritually lost (who have not accepted forgiveness from Christ and do not have a personal
relationship with God). Only the Holy Spirit can truly convince them of their sin, the truth of
God’s Word and the fact that they will be judged by God’s standards.
g) Desire, pray for and expect the Holy Spirit to be active in your life, your ministry and your
church through His spiritual gifts (special abilities and empowerment He gives for the purpose
of building Christ’s church and encouraging those who are a part of it). Among these gifts are
healing, prophecy, tongues, miracles, signs and wonders.
CONCLUSION
It cannot be emphasized enough that we must be in a right relationship with God and fully
equipped to do spiritual battle by spending time in prayer and God’s Word. We must have a
deep understanding of God and His Word, and we must be actively growing in all spiritual areas
of our Christian life. Doing this is important because we are no match for Satan’s powers on our
own. Christ’s followers must pray constantly and remain spiritually alert, relying on God’s
strength and resources to recognize and conquer Satan’s evil schemes and to maintain a strong
faith. They must also rely on God so that when they do come face to face with demonic powers,
they will be able to fearlessly exercise Jesus’ authority over them.
This article is culled from the FIRE BIBLE: Global Study Edition.

Stay blessed!

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

CHRIST’S AMBASSADOR

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ” —2 Corinthians 5:20
As Christ’s Ambassador you have a very special place and assignment in this world. Being Christ’s ambassador means that you have not appointed yourself for service, but you have been personally appointed and sent by the King Himself.

An ambassador is someone who represents one Kingdom within the realm of another kingdom. You represent the Kingdom of God to the kingdoms of this world. As His ambassador, you stand under the complete covering and authority of the King and His Kingdom wherever He sends you.

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: HIS FOOTSTEPS, MY PATHWAY

6 WAYS TO FIND PEACE IN A DIFFICULT SITUATION

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have
trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. – John 16:33


INTRODUCTION
Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved the hymn “It Is Well With My Soul.” There was
something about those lyrics that brought a sense of peace whenever I sang them: “When
peace like a river, attendeth my way… It is well, it is well, with my soul.” Horatio G. Spafford, the man who penned that hymn, experienced profound tragedy with the death of his son to sickness, the loss of most of his real estate investments in the Great Chicago Fire, and then later the news that all four of his daughters had perished at sea in a shipwreck.
How did Horatio find peace in the face of so much tragedy? He was rooted in his faith and he understood peace in his soul. I only began to understand this in the midst of my own tragedy in 2002 when my marriage fell apart. Though I was devastated because it was my second marriage and I really wanted to make it work, God continued to give me surprising peace in the midst of my storm. Peace is certainly not a formula or a 5-step process, but here are some specific ways we found peace in our situation:

  1. START BY DEFINING PEACE.
    We often think of the word peace as the absence of fighting and chaos. Jesus gave peace as a gift to us in the midst of turbulent situations. His definition of peace was different from world peace. He cared most deeply about peace in our hearts.
    Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world
    gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful.” – 14:27
    In this chapter, Jesus was talking about the gift of the Holy Spirit. He explained that He would be going away to heaven, but he was leaving the Holy Spirit to personally guide and give us peace.
  2. SEPARATE LIES FROM THE TRUTH.
    When we are facing trials, we often let our minds wander to the worst-case scenario. We
    entertain our fears and let them rule our hearts. The Psalmist warns us:
    “Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” – Psalm 34:14
    We actually have to pivot from the lies of the enemy and bask in God’s truth. We have to
    intentionally seek peace by separating lies from the truth. For example, when my marriage fell apart, I was fraught with fear. I feared being alone. Yet, all throughout scripture, God promises to be with me and never leave me alone. I had to cling to that truth and turn away from my fears.  
  1. SURRENDER CONTROL TO THE ONE WHO CONTROLS IT ALL.
    Oftentimes we do not feel peace because we are trying too hard to control a situation. The
    reality is we are never in control. The peace only comes when we are able to surrender control to God and trust Him for the outcome.
    This verse reminds me that God’s peace surpasses understanding and control of all the details: And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:7 (CSB)
  2. MEDITATE ON SCRIPTURE TO ENCOURAGE YOUR HEART.
    One practical way I learned to find peace is by writing out and reciting scripture. Develop a
    scripture notebook and in each season, write out verses that encourage and bring you hope. When we focus our minds on the truth in scripture, we do not have space for stress and worry.
  3. LISTEN TO WORSHIP MUSIC.
    Music is another way to fix our minds on God’s truth and to calm our fears. I love the story in 1Samuel 16 when David played the lyre for Saul who was being attacked by a harmful spirit.
    The music calmed and refreshed him. Music helps us fix our minds on the truth and calms our souls like Saul. It’s difficult to worry and worship at the same time. 
  4. DISCOVER HIS GLORY THROUGH CREATION.
    God frequently brings us peace through nature. The petals of a perennial freesia pushing
    through hard earth, ocean waves crashing, a pine tree pointing toward the heavens – all of
    these remind us that God is in control and He is in the business of bringing beauty from ashes. Beloved, remember we are not alone. We all face unexpected trials. God promises to offer peace and comfort if we continually seek Him.
    END NOTE:
    Write out the following scripture and pray for peace in your present situation:
    “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be
    with all of you.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:16

Stay Blessed!

LIVING IN THE LIGHT

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “For Thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness—Psalm 18:28
When God lights up your life, He lights up your spirit with His glory. When you were outside of Christ you lived in spiritual darkness – God was a Person you did not know, He had a voice that you did not hear, and  He worked in ways you could not see.

Your spirit is like a candle in need of the flame of God’s love. When God places His light within you everything changes – the voice of God becomes discernable, the ways of God become understandable, the presence of God becomes enjoyable, the will of God becomes delightful.

The beauty of being in the light and living in the light of God is that you can live in unhindered communion with Him.

PRAYER: Dear God, empower me with Your Holy Spirit to live in the light of Your word. Amen

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: HIS FOOTSTEPS, MY PATHWAY

MIGHTY WEAPONS OF FAITH

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me” —John 14:1

The presence of a troubled heart is due to the absence of a believing heart. Faith is like a strong gate that keeps all unwanted visitors out of the fortress of our hearts, while keeping safely within, all the welcomed promises of God’s Kingdom.

Jesus never wants the visitor named “troubled”to gain any entrance into your life. “Troubled”wants to stir you up inside, like agitated water in a pool. “Troubled” wants to attack your emotions and keep you disturbed. “Troubled”  uses weapons of fear, doubt, and perplexity. “Troubled” will try and harass you, annoy you, and defeat you.

But faith has mightier weapons! Faith’s victory is in the stillness, the calm, the quiet, the rest, and the peace of Jesus Christ.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me not to worry. But let my faith in You grow stronger in times of trouble. Amen 

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: HIS FOOTSTEPS, MY PATHWAY

AN IMPORTANT PRAYER

man praying
SCRIPTURE TEXT: “(I am praying) that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him” —Ephesians 1:17


There are many things that you can pray about in a day. One of the most important prayers that should be on our lips is your desire to know God more and more. This is a prayer that God longs to answer. How does God answer that prayer?

Ephesians 1:17 tells us that God’s answer does not come to us as information to our brain, but as revelation to our spirit. It is in your spirit that you come to know God in a personal and intimate way. Your natural mind can gather many facts and volumes of information about God, and yet not truly know Him at all.

In order for you to know God, He must reveal Himself to you.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, reveal Yourself to me so I can know You more and more. Amen 

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: HIS FOOTSTEPS, MY PATHWAY

AUTHOR OF ORIGINALITY

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “Behold I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” —Isaiah 43:19
God is never outdated. He is never irrelevant. He is not the God of  “old ideas.” God is eternally fresh, always relevant, and continues to give newness of life. God is the Author of originality and creativity.

God is the God of new beginnings. He does new things and is writing a new story in the life of each one who trusts Him in faith and obedience. God has something new for you each day.

He may lead you down a new pathway, walk you through a new door of opportunity, open up a new insight into His Word, reveal a new aspect of His Kingdom, bless you with a new relationship, or send a new river of joy into a dry, desert place in your life.

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: HIS FOOTSTEPS, MY PATHWAY

PATIENT ENDURANCE

Man Enduring Patience.
SCRIPTURE TEXT: “For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.” —Hebrews 10:36

The will of God in your life is not just for the moment, but it is also for the long haul. There are some things that you will see God do instantly, there are other things that God will do progressively, and there are still other things that God will do eventually, in His time and in His way.

The important thing is not to set a timetable on God, or expect Him to do things the way you want them to be done. In trusting His will, you must also trust His wisdom and His timing.

God’s waiting times are not meant to frustrate you, but to weave within your character, the qualities of patient endurance.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me to be patient and wait for Your appointed time. Amen

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: HIS FOOTSTEPS, MY PATHWAY