COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS

“Whoever invokes a blessing in the land will do so by the God of truth.” – Isaiah 65:16

To the optimist, the simple things in life are a constant source of joy – spontaneous laughter, the bright rays of the sun, and the sounds of the birds in the trees.

People who count their blessings are extremely happy. Even in their darkest moments they maintain a spirit of hope and optimism, because they know things will work out well.

The more you count your blessings, the more it will seem as if God pours them out upon your life. Your heart will overflow with gratitude for God’s amazing love. When life becomes a burden and it seems ominously dark around you, recalling your blessings is a sure way to keep a healthy perspective.

Father, how will I ever be able to express my gratitude in words? You bless me with so many things that were I to start listing them one by one, I would need eternity to thank You. Amen.

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from Grace from Each Moment.

THE SEVEN C’S OF SOUL WINNING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Answers with Bayless Conley.
Stay Blessed!

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

AN OPEN DOOR

“See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut” – Revelation 3:8.

Constant grumbling and drudgery makes life seen meaningless. It doesn’t take someone who lives like this long long to wilt intellectually and to develop a negative, cynical attitude towards life.

But Christ wants so much more for us. Scripture, history and personal experience offer ample testimony to the fact that an ordinary, seemingly meaningless life can be transformed by the power of the living Christ and through His Holy Spirit.

This new life of abundance that Christ offers you is yours for the taking. Turn to Christ and He will open the door to a new, meaningful life for you.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, the open door of Your grace leads me into the abundance and joy of life in Your presence. Fill my life with new purpose and meaning today. Amen.

 

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from Grace for Each Moment.

SOMETHING TO LIVE FOR

“Before long, the world will not see Me anymore, but you will see Me. Because I live, you also will live” – John 14:19.

Many people harbor anxiety because the future is unknown to them, and become pessimistic and discouraged. We must constantly remind ourselves that life is extremely precious, so that we don’t fall into the trap of depression.

Even if the future seems bleak, you can be assured that your life and future are in God’s hands. God is in control of everything. There is joy in Christ because He is the Rock on which you can build your life. His grace is sufficient to get you through each day.

Seize this life and live it in the abundance of Jesus Christ your Lord and Saviour.

Prayer: Through all the changing circumstances of life, Lord, in joy as well as sorrow, my heart will sing Your praises and thank You for the abundant life that You have made possible for me. Amen.

STAY BLESSED

SOURCE: Culled from Grace for Each Moment.

GOD’S BLESSING OF BROKENNESS

Exodus 2:11-15

The Lord had a great calling in mind for Moses—to free more than 2,000,000 Israelites from Egyptian bondage. And the future liberator seemed qualified for the task. As Pharaoh’s adopted grandson, he would have had access to royal privilege, power, and education.

But Moses also had a strong independent spirit that could get in the way of his obedience to the Lord. God’s plan required a broken spirit that would follow Him and rest on His divine power.

A big mistake—killing an Egyptian for beating a slave (Ex. 2:11-12)—was Moses’ opportunity to learn this important lesson. Realizing the murder had been witnessed, he fled to the desert to escape Pharaoh’s wrath. It was there that he came to the end of himself.

Like Moses, we’re all born with a tendency toward selfishness and stubbornness and want things done our way. But God gives us opportunities to bring every area of our life to Him in submission.

Though few will be given a task on the scale of Moses’, the Father has a calling in mind for each believer. Whether His plan is that we raise a godly family, reach out to a neighbor, or run a business with integrity and consideration, He wants us to do so in His power. To prepare us for this work, He sometimes uses brokenness. That wouldn’t be our chosen method, but God knows hardship is sometimes necessary to strip us of our selfish ways.

Do you want to achieve what God has planned for you to do? In humility, ask Him to bring any brokenness that He deems necessary.

Bible in One Year: Luke 4-5

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from In Touch Ministries

FOUNDATIONS

‘Why do you call me, “Lord, Lord,” and do not do what I say?’ Luke 6:46 NIV

Jesus told a story of two men who built a house. The wise one built his house on solid rock; the foolish one built his on sand. When a storm hit both houses, only the wise man’s was left standing. Jesus wasn’t comparing wisdom with foolishness, because we can all be wise sometimes and foolish other times. He was comparing the two foundations (you can read about it in Matthew 7:24-27). What are our lives founded on?

When things get bad; when we’re overwhelmed; when we don’t know which way to turn or we’re not sure there are any ways to turn; when we feel like we’ve got no strength left – what is it that gets us through? It’s not our wisdom, how many times we’ve been to church or how good we are as people. It’s what we’re founded on. And that should be God Himself. When we are founded on God, it’s His wisdom, His strength, His protection that gets us through.

We can sometimes struggle in the midst of life’s storms. Tricky relationships, money problems, grief, illness and many other things can hit us out of nowhere and how we respond shows what we’ve founded our lives on. When the storms of life come, the only way to get through them is to do what He says. Because God always honours His Word.

He is faithful and will keep His promises. He is wise and knows how to keep us from going under in the storm. Our obedience aligns us with His Word, His will, and His power to act on your behalf. As we walk in obedience, God will enable us to come through the storm we’re facing, no matter how long and hard it rages.

What Now?

Read Matthew 7:24-27 and ask God to show you whether you’ve founded your life on the sand or the rock. If it’s the sand, ask Him to help you build your life on the rock instead.

STAY BLESSED

SOURCE: Culled from Word for you

TURN TO THE BIBLE

‘I will not break my agreement nor change what I have said.’
Psalm 89:34 NCV

Sometimes we can find ourselves waking up in a cloud of gloom. Nothing in our day goes right, and we can’t seem to feel positive. We don’t want to do the things we have to do, in fact we’d rather just stay under our duvets all day, or just escape the pressures of life by jetting off to another country. But geographical cures don’t work. Escaping doesn’t solve the problem; it just relocates it.

Instead, we need to be turning to a source of strength, hope, and encouragement that never fails – the Bible. God says, ‘I will not break my agreement nor change what I have said.’ What we read in the Bible is truth. It’s God’s promises to us that will never fail. It’s full of verses that we can use to help us focus on God rather than how we’re feeling.

Here are some examples: ‘When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me. (Psalm 86:7 NIV); ‘He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions’ (Psalm 107:20 NKJV). ‘I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living’ (Psalm 27:13 NIV); ‘I will go in the strength of the Lord God’ (Psalm 71:16 NKJV); ‘Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken’ (Psalm 55:22 NIV); ‘Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you’ (1 Peter 5:7 NIV). When we let Scriptures like these fill our minds and our hearts, we can remember our identity in Christ, that we have a God who is there for us every step of the way, and that we have better days to come.

What Now?
Choose a Bible verse from the list in the reading. Memorise it. Write it out. Design it up. Then go back to it every time you’re feeling down.

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from Word For You

OUR HEAVENLY FATHER

They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father.
John 8:27 NKJV

The people in Jesus’ day found it hard to grasp the concept of God as a Father. Lord, king, judge, they understood – but not Father. The Old Testament rarely speaks of God as Father, whereas the New Testament mentions it quite a few times. Until Jesus came and revealed the Father, He remained a mystery. ‘No one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him’ (Matthew 11:27 NIV).

And many of us still don’t understand what God being our Father really means. We struggle to grasp the blessings we have from Him. ‘Father,’ God’s all-inclusive name, incorporates everything we could ever need, while showing how He feels about each one of us. God has every trait of the best father imaginable.

Think about what a loving, all-powerful father would do for his child when they were in need. Our heavenly Father will do all that for us – and even more. He’ll be there for us when we’re in need, and He’s there blessing us in the good times too. When we recognise God as our Father, our fears start to leave and we start to believe that all our needs will be met.

God loves us as much as He loves Jesus. Jesus prayed that we’d know with confidence that our Father ‘loved [us] in the same way [He has] loved me’ (John 17:23 MSG). The Bible tells us that we ‘are members of God’s family’ (Ephesians 2:19 NLT). And that we’re His children. ‘See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!’ (1 John 3:1 NIV).

The question is: Do we believe that?

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from Word For You

NO CONDEMNATION

Romans 8:1-4

Some believers are plagued by feelings of condemnation. Either they think they’ll never live up to God’s expectations for them or they’re nearly drowning in guilt over past sins. These men and women cannot seem to shake the sense that God is displeased with their puny efforts at being Christlike.

The book of Romans confronts this lie head-on: “There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). When the Savior went to the cross on our behalf, He lifted the blame from our shoulders and made us righteous before God. Those feelings of condemnation do not belong to us; they are from Satan. He amplifies our guilt and feelings of inadequacy and then suggests that’s how the Lord feels about His “wayward child.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Our sins are wiped clean, and we are chosen and loved by God.

Condemnation is reserved for those who reject the Lord (John 3:36). Sin is a death sentence (Rom. 6:23). Anyone who chooses to cling to sin instead of seeking divine forgiveness must pay the penalty, which is an eternity separated from God. Two synonyms of condemn are ‘denounce’ and ‘revile.’ Those words certainly describe Jesus’ statement to unbelievers in Matthew 25:41: “Depart from me, accursed ones.”

There is no condemnation for those who receive Jesus Christ as their Savior. The believer’s penalty for sin is paid, and he can stand blameless before God. Trust in the Lord’s love and let go of Satan’s lie. God’s beloved children are covered by His grace and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

 

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from In Touch Ministries

ONE BIG REQUEST

John 15:16

Yesterday we looked at God’s promise in John 14:14. Too often people take the verse to imply, “If you ask anything, I will do it.” They overlook the most essential phrase: “in My name.”

Asking in Christ’s name has two meanings. First, believers are welcome to make requests that align with God’s purpose and plan. To do that, we need to ask Him if our prayers match His will. God has several ways of assuring followers that they are on the correct path. For instance, He may increase right desires or decrease wrong ones. Another possibility is that He will use His Word to redirect a Christian’s steps or confirm that the believer is going the right way. Either way, God will make a path for the man or woman who seeks to do His will.

Second, invoking Christ’s name means that we desire to glorify Him instead of ourselves. James gives this warning: “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:3). To understand that, let’s consider those who are trying to pray their way out of a financial hole as an example. The question is, Does a person want to get out of debt so that he has more for himself or so that he can use the excess in God-honoring ways? Motives are apparent to God, and He will not encourage ones rooted in sin.

In the name Jesus Christ, there is abundant power. However, calling upon Him in prayer is not a magic charm to get what we want. Rather, it is a signal that we are laying down our personal desires and our own way of getting things done. In so doing, we commit to follow God and bring honor to Him.
Bible in One Year: Luke 2-3

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from In Touch Ministries