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.

GODLY INSTRUCTION

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

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 God offers everyone knowledge to guide how one should live, but if spurned, the offer may be withdrawn.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

BE ENTHUSIASTIC

‘I will sacrifice a thank offering to You and call on the name of the Lord. – Psalm 116:17

To really appreciate life, you need to keep your enthusiasm constantly alive. The gift of life must never be taken for granted or it becomes common and boring and you loose your sense of anticipation and vision for the future. Take time to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of life.

What are you taking for granted? Your daily existence can so easily degenerate into mindless drudgery. If you practice the art of appreciation, however, you can change your life into a beautiful and exciting adventure.

Father, I appreciate all the beauty and wonder that fills my life day by day. Through praise, You keep my heart sensitive to the needs of others. Amen.

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from Grace from Each Moment.

THE SPIRIT OF CALEB

‘My servant Caleb has a different spirit.’  – Numbers 14:24 NIV

Ever read the story of Caleb in the Bible? If he was alive today there’s a good chance he’d qualify for ‘Person of the Year’, someone who has done the most to influence circumstances for the better. Here’s his story in his own words: ‘I was forty years old when Moses…sent me…to explore the land…I brought him back a report according to my convictions, but my fellow Israelites who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt in fear. I, however, followed…God wholeheartedly…that day Moses swore to me, “The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance”…So here I am today, eighty-five years old…as strong…as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me…Then Joshua blessed Caleb… and gave him Hebron as his inheritance…because he followed the Lord…wholeheartedly’ (Joshua 14:7-14 NIV).

We can learn a lot of valuable lessons from Caleb. He had ‘a different spirit’ from those around him.
He was a positive, optimistic kind of person.
He believed that with God’s help every giant that stands in our way can be conquered, even when others say they can’t.
He had a vision that he stuck to, even when he grew older and had to face tough circumstances.
He was willing to wait and work for it even though it took 45 years to fulfil. He remained totally committed to God.
So let’s ask God to give us the spirit of Caleb.
What Now?

Spend some time reading about Caleb (take a look at Numbers 13-14 and Joshua 14). Then ask God to give you the spirit of

STAY BLESSED

SOURCE: Culled from United Christian Broadcasters.

SHARE YOUR FAITH

“Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.” – Acts 8:35 NIV

In Acts 8 we read the story of a high-profile leader who became a Christian. This man held a position similar to the Chancellor of the Exchequer in Britain. And he was led to Christ by a low-profile person called Philip, a church deacon (have a read of Acts 8:26-40). Let’s look at how it happened and see what we can learn:
1) Philip was ready. When this man needed someone to explain the gospel to him, Philip was ready to do it. Are we ready, and willing? Are we prepared to share our faith with the people we meet? The Bible says: ‘Always be ready to answer everyone who asks you to explain about the hope you have’ (1 Peter 3:15 NCV).

2) Philip was wise. He didn’t just barge in and start preaching or put this man on the spot. Philip was led by God’s spirit. ‘The Spirit said to Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it”’ (Acts 8:29 NCV). He recognised the right moment. He spoke to the man about the passage that he was reading before he jumped in and shared the gospel. Sometimes we need to build up a relationship with the person before we can tell them about Jesus.

3) Philip was clear. Instead of a vague dialogue about religion, he spoke directly about Jesus. That’s what people need – a relationship with Jesus. They need to know He’s alive, and that He loves them. He’s powerful enough to run the universe, yet personal enough to forgive their sins, break their habits, and resolve their doubts. Our job is to extend the invitation, and let Jesus do the rest.
What Now?

Spend some time writing down some key points you would want to tell others about who Jesus is and why they need Him in their lives. Then pray for an opportunity to share what you’ve written with someone.

REACH YOUR GOALS

“Walk in His ways, and keep His decrees and commands, His laws and requirements, so that you may prosper in all you do.” – 1 Kings 2:3.

Few people can honestly say that success means nothing to them.

For those who have a passionate desire to succeed, failure can be a bitter pill to swallow. Many people lose confidence and even give up because they fear that they will never obtain success.

It is important to accept the fact that it is impossible to be successful through your own abilities. You need Jesus Christ’s guidance and support to help you make the right decisions.

If the living Christ is your partner in life, then you can rest assured that everything you do will bring a deep and lasting sense of fulfilment.

Holy Spirit, please help me to stay on course and to achieve success in all that You have called me to do. Amen.

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from Grace from Each Moment.

LIVE FULLY

“We pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.” – Colossians 1:10.

People often seem to be bored or dissatisfied with life. Every moment of Jesus’ life on earth was filled with purpose and meaning, and in everything, He did the will of the Father and brought glory and honour to His name.

God expects you to follow in Jesus’ footsteps – right here and now. Enter into His holy presence often and allow Him to fill your life with new purpose, new goals and new joy.

Let your attitude be the same as Jesus’. Fulfil His will and obey Him in all things and your life will yield a rich harvest that will glorify God.

Perfect Example and Redeemer, through You I can rejoice in the blessed knowledge that I can experience true; life in all its richness and fullness. Amen.

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from Grace from Each Moment.

JESUS WANTS TO BEAR YOUR BURDEN WITH YOU

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” – Matthew 11:28-30 RSV.

I don’t know what burden you’re carrying. I don’t know what’s weighing you down. But I do know the answer to your trouble.

Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30 RSV).

For many years I never understood that Scripture, because I didn’t know what a yoke was. When Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you,” it sounded to me like he was going to give me something else to deal with. My burden is heavy enough already, Lord! I don’t need to take your problems on me!

Then I learned that a yoke is actually a board with two arches in it that you put over two cattle so they can pull a cart.

The value of a yoke is that it halves the load. Without a yoke, one cow’s got to pull that entire load by itself. But if you yoke up the cow with another cow, then the two animals pull the load together, and the load is half as heavy.

When Jesus says to take his yoke upon you, he’s not saying he’s going to give you his problems. Jesus doesn’t have any problems! He’s saying he’s going to share your problems. He’s going to share your load. He’s going to take your stress on himself and bear it with you.

Wow!

He uses three notable verbs in this Scripture: come, learn, and take. Jesus says, “Come to me. Team up with me. Then, learn how I do it. Take on a lighter load. This is going to reduce your stress. This is going to make it easier for you to navigate.”

When you’re yoked with Christ, you move together with him. You move in the same direction and at the same speed. And you move in the right direction and at the right speed.

Talk About It

Why is it sometimes difficult to accept help from someone who wants to share your burdens and make it easier on you?
Do you have people in your life who are willing to do that for you? How are you offering yourself to others to help reduce their stress?
Jesus already knows all about your stress. Are you ready to take on his yoke? If not, what is holding you back?

 

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from Daily Hope with Rick Warren.

NURTURING THE YOUNG GENERATION, THE BIBLE WAY – PART 1

PREFACE
Every year The Bible Society of Ghana chooses a theme for the celebration of Bible week. During this week all churches focus on the theme and on the chosen scriptures to confirm that the Bible is indeed useful for “teaching… The week is also set aside to confirm the value of the Bible for everyday living. Last year’s theme was “The Bible and Our Civic Responsibility.”
This year’s theme is “Nurturing the Young Generation, The Bible Way”. It is our pleasure to bring you all the scriptures chosen to draw our attention to what the Bible says about how we can nurture the young generation using God’s Word and His principles for living Please let’s enjoy this article and allow it to impact our daily living.

INTRODUCTION
‘It’s great to be young’ is a well-known adage that carries both positive and negative connotations. Positively, it affirms the vibrancy, excitement and adventure which young people experience in their heydays. But it also points to the inexperience that quite often characterizes the youthful phase of life. Whichever way we look at, one thing remains clear: the young generation needs to be guided and nurtured into maturity so that as responsible citizens, they can build on the foundations laid by the older generation. This calls for careful mentoring in order to help them realize their full potentials. The onus, therefore, lies on the adult community to instil positive values in their young ones, serving as their role models in both attitude and conduct. But the young generation must also respond in humility and obedience, allowing themselves to be shaped as well as transformed into a great nation- builders. The Bible places a high premium on the Young Generation. It offers numerous guidelines regarding how they should be nurtured. It lays particular emphasis on the role parents ought to play in helping to shape tomorrow’s leaders. It also affirms that God can choose young people to carry out important responsibilities in the family, community, nation and the wider world.

1. Bringing the young generation into being through procreation has been an integral part of God’s purpose since the beginning of human existence.
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God, He created them; male and female He created them.
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful an increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. – Genesis 1:26-28a
The young are a priceless legacy to every community and they are precious in God’s sight.

Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court. – Psalm 127:3-5.

People were bringing little children for Jesus to place His hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, He was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone, who will not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And He took the children in His arms, placed His hands on them and blessed them. – Mark 10:13-16.

2. Every child is born into a particular family or community. Genealogies, Families and Communities are thus important identity markers for the young generation.

“This, then, is the family line of Perez:
Perez was the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz,
Boaz the father of Obed,
Obed the father of Jesse,
and Jesse the father of David.” – Ruth 4:18-22 (See also Matthew 1:1-17)

3. Community involvement in child outdooring is a vital socialization process or i=rite of passage for our young ones.
When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. Her neighbours and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.
On the eighth day, they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.”
Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hands was with him. – Luke 1:57 -60 & 66.

4. Careful child weaning is an important nurturing ministry that should not be taken for granted.
Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”
The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast. – Genesis 21:1-8.

When her husband Elkanah went up with all his family to offer the annual sacrifice to the Lord and to fulfil his vow, Hannah did not go. She said to her husband, “After the boy is weaned, I will take him and present him before the Lord, and he will live there always.” “Do what seems best to you,” her husband Elkanah told her. “Stay here until you have weaned him; only may the Lord make good his[b] word.” So the woman stayed at home and nursed her son until she had weaned him. – 1 Samuel 1:21-23.

5. Parents/ Guardians and the older generation ought to provide a conducive environment for children to develop holistically.
When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong; He was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on Him. Then He went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But His mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man. – Luke 2:29-40& 51-52.

1 Corinthians 13:11 This includes nurturing them in the Christian faith

“I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy.I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” – 2 Timothy 1:3-5. ( See also Proverbs 22:6).

Our young ones need to be nurtured and encouraged to constantly reconnect in a godly manner with their roots, culture or place of upbringing.

“He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day, he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you today.” – Acts 22:3.

6. The family connections of Jesus, as visiting young prophet-teacher-evangelist, was well known in His Nazareth community.
Jesus left there and went to His hometown, accompanied by His disciples. When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard Him were amazed.
“Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given Him? What are these remarkable miracles He is performing? Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offence at Him. – Mark 6:1-3

To be continued!

Stay Blessed!

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

Email:  saltnlightministries@gmail.com

Website:  saltandlightgh.org 

APPRECIATE LIFE

“I will sacrifice a thank offering to You and call on the name of the Lord.” – Psalm 116:17

Do you appreciate the love and support of your family? Can you still marvel at the rising of the sun? Can you still laugh about a funny situation, or do you find it hard to believe that humour is one of God’s gift to you?
Don’t let your enthusiasm for life wane! Enjoying and appreciating the beauty of life must be an integral part of your life.
If you put God at the centre of your life and thoughts, you will discover that, by appreciating your life, you continually move closer to Him, the Source of all real life.

Father, I appreciate all the beauty and joy that fills my life and that You have so freely bestowed on me. Amen.

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from Grace for Each Moment.