THE BIRTH OF JESUS CHRIST

The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel” – which means “God with us”. – Matthew 1:23

INTRODUCTION

This week we want to share with you from the scriptures, Luke’s account of the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.

THE BIRTH OF JESUS FORETOLD

 In the sixth month of, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favour with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; His kingdom will never end.”

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be calledthe Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.”

 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.Luke 1:26-38

THE BIRTH OF JESUS

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place whileQuirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, He was named Jesus, the name the angel had given Him before he was conceived. – Luke 2:1-20.

JESUS PRESENTED IN THE TEMPLE

When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”

Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took Him in his arms and praised God, saying:

“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace.

For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”

The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.  Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

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.Luke 2:21-40

BRIGHTEST AND BEST OF THE SONS OF THE MORNING – MHB 122

1 Brightest and best of the sons of the morning,

dawn on our darkness, and lend us thine aid;

star of the east, the horizon adorning,

guide where our infant Redeemer is laid.

4 Vainly we offer each ample oblation,

Vainly with gifts would his favour secure:

Richer by far is the heart’s adoration,

Dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.

Stay Blessed!

SALT AND LIGHT

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?
It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people
light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to
everyone in the house.    In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see
your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:13-16.

INTRODUCTION

Everybody is familiar with salt and light. They are found in virtually every household in the world. Jesus Himself, as a boy in the Nazareth home, must have watched His mother Mary use salt in the kitchen and light the lamps when the sun went down. He knew their practical usefulness.

WHAT JESUS EXPECTS OF US AS SALT AND LIGHT

1. Christians are fundamentally different from non-Christians, or ought to be.

Both images set the two communities apart. The world is dark, Jesus implied, but you are to be its light. The world is dark, Jesus implied, but we are to be its light.

The world is decaying, but we are to be its salt, and hinder its decay. In English idiom we might say they are as different as ‘chalk from cheese’ or ‘oil from water’; Jesus said they are as different as light from darkness, and salt from decay. This is a major theme of the whole Bible. God is calling out from the world a people for Himself, and the vocation of this people is to be ‘holy’ or ‘different’. ‘Be holy,’ He says to them again and again, ‘because I am holy.’

2. Christians must permeate non-Christian society.

Although Christians are (or should be) morally and spiritual distinct from non-Christians, they are not to be socially segregated. On the contrary, their light is to shine into the darkness, and their salt to soak into the decaying meat. The lamp does no good if it is put under a bed or a bowl, and the salt does no good if it stays in the salt cellar.

Similarly, Christians are not to remain aloof from society, where they cannot affect it, but become immersed in its life. They are to let their light shine, so that their good deeds are seen.

3. Christians must influence non-Christians society.

Before the days of refrigeration, salt was the best-known preservative. Either it was rubbed into fish and meat, or they were left to soak in it. In this way the decaying process was retarded, though not of course entirely arrested. Light is even more obviously effective; when the light is switched on, the darkness is actually dispelled. Just so, Jesus seems to have meant, Christians can hinder social decay and dispel the darkness of evil.

William Temple wrote of the ‘pervasive sweetening of life and of all human relationships by those who carry with them something of the mind of Christ’.

Our Christian habit is to bewail the world’s deteriorating standards with an air of rather self-righteous dismay. We criticize its violence, dishonesty, immorality, disregard for human life, and materialistic greed. ‘The world is going down to the drain’, we say with a shrug. But whose fault is it? Who is to blame?

Let me put it like this. If the house is dark when nightfall comes, there is no sense in blaming the house, for that is what happens when the sun goes down. The question to ask is ‘Where is the light?’ If the meat goes bad and we cannot eat it, there is no sense in blaming the meat, for that is what happens when the bacteria are left alone to breed. The question to ask is ‘Where is the salt?’ In the same vein, if society deteriorates and standards decline, till it becomes like a dark night or stinking fish, there is no sense in blaming society, for that is what happens when fallen men and women are left to themselves, and human selfishness goes unchecked. The question to ask is ‘Where is the church?’ Why are the salt and light of Jesus Christ not permeating and changing society?’ It is sheer hypocrisy on our part to raise our eyebrows, shrug our shoulders or wring our hands. The Lord Jesus told us to be the world’s salt and light. If therefore darkness and rottenness abound, it is our fault and we must accept the blame.

4. Christians must retain their Christian distinctiveness.

If salt does not retain its saltiness, it is good for nothing. If light does not retain its brightness, it becomes ineffective. So we who claim to be Christ’s followers have to fulfill two conditions if we are to do any good for Him. On the one hand we have to permeate non-Christian society, and immerse ourselves in the life of the world. On the other, while doing so, we have to avoid becoming assimilated to the world. We must retain our Christian convictions, values, standards and lifestyle.

If asked what the ‘saltiness’ and ‘brightness’ of Christian holiness are, the rest of the Sermon on the Mount gives us the answer. Jesus tells us not to be like others around us: “Do not be like them’ – Matthew 6:8a. Instead, He calls us to a greater righteousness (of the heart), a wider love (even of enemies), a deeper devotion (of children coming to their Father) and a nobler ambition (seeking first God’s rule and righteousness). It is only as we choose and follow His way, that our salt will retain its saltiness, our light will shine, we shall be His effective witness and servants, and exert a wholesome influence on society.

Stay Blessed!

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EXCELLING IN THE GRACE OF GIVING

But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness
and in the love we have kindled in you — see that you also excel in this grace of giving. – 2
Corinthians 8:7.


INTRODUCTION
We are children of God the Father through rebirth. It is by grace through faith in our Lord Jesus
Christ who died that we may have life and have it more abundantly – Ephesians 2:8&9 & John
10:10b .

We get this faith through the promptings of the Holy Spirit who convicts of sin and
makes us know about the righteousness which is ours in Christ in God. So our spiritual rebirth is
by the activity of the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We live because of our Triune God and He gives us all of Himself– it is a giving of the whole of


the Godhead and it is total. The urge to give in the service of God is therefore God-given
because we have the DNA of God who is the ultimate giver. Praise God for the word of God
which gives us not only examples but also an insight into Biblical giving. Our motives are
important. Our actual gift is also important. God will accept every offering which is given in true


faith and dedication to righteousness as Abel did in Genesis 4.
If our offering lacks sincere obedient faith and our motives are evil, God will reject our offering
as He did that of Cain. God takes pleasure in our offerings and thanksgivings only when we are
striving to live a righteous life according to His will.
Jesus Christ’s willingness to give is an example that all believers are to follow. Our priority in life
is not our own comfort – it is service, and we are to serve Christ by serving others. His grace
toward us should be reflected in our grace towards others – grace not only in forgiveness but in
the material blessings we have been given and should share.
Our attitude about giving has spiritual significance. Paul says it is evidence of our love – our
concern for others. We all need to excel in the grace of giving. How do we do this?
Let us look at some 11 principles:
Principle 1: Outward circumstances and difficulties should not hinder generosity in giving. The
Macedonians gave from poverty, not abundance. They willingly gave because they wanted to,


not because they had to. Their giving far exceeded their financial ability.


Principle 2: All financial giving should be proceeded by self-giving. We give ourselves first!!
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a
living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. – Romans 12:1


Principle 3: As Christians, we need to be taught the principle of grace-giving and to abound in
grace giving. Luke 6:38, clearly says “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed


down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure
you use, it will be measured to you.”


Principle 4: Our goal in giving should be fulfilled and brought to completion. What we start out
to do must be completed.

Principle 5: Generous giving is a tangible way to give evidence of the sincerity of our love. We
put our money where our mouth is! If we love Jesus let’s give towards His work.


Principle 6: There is a connection between “the grace of God” and “the grace of giving” as we
read in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that
whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Our giving should be therefore
rooted in His giving, He gave it all.


Principle 7: Grace giving moves God to supply and meet all needs. The needs are resupplied
that work may continue. If we pledge to God to increase our giving each year, He will always
supply for our every need so that we lack nothing. We will be left with more to give next time.

Principle 8: The willingness to give is more important than the amount given. The widow gave
her mite and we can be sure that the Lord honoured her giving and supplied her needs
immediately.


Principle 9: Generous spirit led giving will have a godly influence on others’ giving.


Principle 10: The attitude in which your money is given is of utmost importance to God. Think


of Cain and Abel. God did not disapprove of Cain’s offering because it was from crops. His
hearts attitude was wrong!! Abel gave with the right heart, the right motives and with righteous
living.

Principle 11: Generous giving is the appropriate response to God’s unspeakable gift! God has
given His all and so much. God is looking for generous givers. Are you one of them?
To Ponder: Let us pray MHB 923


WE GIVE THEE BUT THINE OWN
1 We give thee but thine own,
Whate’er the gift may be;
All that we have is thine alone,
A trust, O Lord, from thee.
2 May we thy bounties thus
As stewards true receive,
And gladly, as thou blessest us,
To thee our first-fruits give.

Stay Blessed!

Chronicle – Friday 6 th November, 2020
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.

OBEDIENCE IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICE – PART 2

Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. – 1 Samuel 15:22

MEANING OF OBEDIENCE

Last week we explained that obedience is the act of submitting (obeying) to the commands (laws) of God, the highest authority, creator, and Father of mankind. If we have faith in God and believe Christianity is the truth, obedience is the practice of living by faith, obeying the teachings of the Bible.

A sacrifice is a ritual transaction between a person and God that physically demonstrates a relationship between them. But if the person’s heart is not truly repentant or if he does not truly love God, the sacrifice is a hollow ritual.

1. WHY DO WE OBEY GOD?

We do not obey God because of fear, guilt, or a sense of duty. We obey God because of His love to us, because He loved us and saved us. Obedience to God is not a feeling, not knowledge, but rather, it is a choice and a decision.

SCRIPTURES ON OBEDIENCE

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. – James 1:22-25

It is important to listen to what God’s Word says, but it is much more important to obey it and to do what it says. We can measure the effectiveness of our Bible study time by the effect it has on our behaviour and attitudes.

As Christians, we are saved by God’s grace, and salvation frees from sin’s control. As believers, we are free to live as God created us to live. Of course, this does not mean that we are free to do as we please.  “Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.” – 1 Peter 2:16. We are now free to obey God.

Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around Him was so large that He got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. He taught them many things by parables, and in His teaching said: “Listen! A farmer went out to sow His seed. As He was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”

Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” – Mark 4:1-9

The hearing Jesus wants from us is not the kind we use when we listen to background music or when someone starts to recount a long story we have already heard. To truly “hear” Jesus’ words is to believe them, to use them immediately in decisions and attitudes, and to base life on them – our recreation and work, family plans and money matters, praying and singing. To hear Jesus’ words is to make Jesus your true Lord.

Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? The farmer sows the word. Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.” – Mark 4:13-20.

Jesus is talking about receiving His word and obeying it. We are like the seed that fell on fertile soil because it is reproductive.

If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” – John 14:15

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. – 1 Peter 1:14

2. BENEFITS OF OBEDIENCE

As human beings we always think of what is in for us when we do something for others. Of course, we should never think of a quid pro quo with God! Nevertheless, God shows His faithfulness by rewarding us for our faithfulness. These are rewards for obedience:

  1. We become a friend of God. “You are my friends if you do what I command.” – John 15:14.
  2. We become holy as God. “And if we are careful to obey all this law before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.” – Deuteronomy 6:25
  3. We receive earthly blessings. “If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land” – Isaiah 1:19
  4. We have the assurance of salvation. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” – Ephesians 6:13
  5. We receive answers to our prayers. “and receive from Him anything we ask, because we keep His commands and do what pleases Him.” – 1 John 3:22
  1. We are assured of the blessings, example Abraham. “If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God” – Deuteronomy 28:1-2
  2. We avoid punishment. “Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.” – Romans 13:2

CONCLUSION

The reality of this new covenant was portrayed in Jesus’ supreme example of obedience to the heavenly Father, when He gave Himself as the ultimate sacrifice for atonement of sin.

Jesus’ emphasis on being born again underscores the need of atonement for effecting forgiveness of sins. Jesus talks to Nicodemus about being born again or “from above” as the requirement for entering the kingdom of God (John 3:3-6). The way of death would be thus changed to the way of life.

Jesus prayed that His disciples would be sanctified, be made inwardly holy, and thereby be enabled to live a holy life outwardly (John 17:6-19). Provision for this inner holiness and cleansing requisite for true obedience was effected by His atoning sacrifice on the cross.

The Holy Spirit is provided to all who believe in Jesus. The Spirit’s abiding presence enables all God’s people to carry out God’s will and to live obediently before Him.

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.

KINGDOM VALUES – PART 1

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him, and He began to teach them. He said: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. – Matthew 5:1-12

INTRODUCTION

Jesus presented an upside-down kingdom. The very things valued by the Greco-Roman world (and us too) – wealth and fame – were devalued in Christ’s kingdom. Blessed is usually understood to mean “happy”, but more precisely the word suggests the idea of “being congratulated” because God’s favour is granted to the individual. The blessedness described in the Beatitudes is not a quality characteristic of human beings but a trait of God Himself. Only God imparts this blessedness – not on demand or as the result of your fulfilling prescribed conditions. Blessedness is a characteristic exclusively available to believers. Since this blessedness comes from within, it is neither caused nor affected by outside circumstances. Social and spiritual aspects of life are woven through each Beatitude.

As believers we are characterized by our humility and confidence in God. Through the Beatitudes Christ explained His personhood and His ministry, which were marked by humility and sacrifice. The world despised anyone who was considered weak, but Jesus taught that anyone who recognizes his own spiritual poverty and helplessness is ready for spiritual growth.

1. THE POOR

The poor in spirit could refer to those who are both spiritually impoverished and socially and economically oppressed. Nowhere in Scripture is poverty or absence of possessions declared to be the path to spiritual blessing. The emphasis was upon emptying ourselves to make room for God. One who is poor cannot satisfy his/her own need; they are driven by their poverty to dependence on God. When self-sufficiency and pride are stripped away, we are ready to be responsive to God, His Word and the gracious ministries He sends to meet our needs.

As with most godly character traits, the pattern is found in the life of Jesus. He came into the world in a humble setting – a stable manger in an insignificant village. There is no way into the kingdom of God other than with the poverty of spirit that comes from emptying ourselves in pride, self-reliance, and self-sufficiency and in contrast filling ourselves with God, His strength and God-sufficiency. The emphasis is on God’s power instead of our resourcefulness.

The New Testament uses the phrase kingdom of heaven in three ways. Here all can be included in the meaning:

  1. The kingdom of God within the heart of a believer. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” – Matthew 6:33
  2. The body that includes all believers on earth. “He said to them, “When you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. – Luke 11:2.
  3. The kingdom prepared for believers after death. “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will beloosed in heaven.” – Matthew 16:19.

In each case God ushers in the kingdom, and Jesus reigns over it. Only the poor in spirit, claiming no personal merit, can enter because grace, and not works, opens the door.

2a. THOSE WHO MOURN

The meaning cannot be confined to sorrow over sin. Again the reader finds a paradox since most people do not recognize sorrow as a blessing. Followers of Christian Science even deny the existence of physical illness and suffering. Yet sorrow and death will always be present. Still this Beatitude does not suggest that physical suffering or loss of a loved one or any other tragedy of life would bring blessing merely as a payment for grief. Spiritual mourning indicates a sensitive consciousness of sin and an accompanying sorrow because of that sin. “Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.” – James 4:9. Those who mourn recognize who they are; they see purpose in sorrow and suffering; they allow that sorrow to give glory to God. Tragedies become stepping stones to the heart of God and His comfort. Grief prompted by the sin itself, rather than only by the consequences of the sin that might have affected you adversely, produced sanctified sorrow.

2b. THEY WILL BE COMFORTED

The Holy Spirit enables us to cry out for help because He not only brings conviction but also awakens within our sorrow over sin. As the believer mourns over sin, the Holy Spirit who abides within does His work to give comfort and joy and enables him/her to persevere, even in the midst of sorrow and suffering. The Greek verb is in the passive voice and the future tense, implying not only assurance for the present but also security for the future. The cycle of comfort will be continuous because the Holy Spirit dwells now and forever in the believer’s heart. The blessedness should not be construed as coming from the path of sorrow itself but from the comfort accompanying the believer in the journey.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Source: Culled from The Study Bible for Women

To Be Continued!!

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.

THE POWER OF PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING

“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him,
and bless His name.” – Psalm 100:4 (NKJV)


INTRODUCTION
Praise and thanksgiving are vital steps toward entering the presence of God. Thanksgiving gets
us through the gates, and praise brings us into the courtroom of the King of Kings. Without
taking these steps, we remain outside of the courts of God.
Unfortunately, many Christian pray that way. We stand outside of the gates crying out for God
to help us or to heal us. Sometimes we ask others to pray for us, but we never go inside
ourselves. We don’t enter into His presence, because we fail to apply these two simple
principles from the Word of God. We don’t enter into His gates with thanksgiving and enter
into His courts with praise.
Ten lepers also stood at a distance, crying out for Jesus to heal them, and He did – but only one
returned to give thanks. All ten were healed physically, but only one entered His presence of
God and was also healed spiritually. Thanksgiving is an amazing thing; it grants us access into
the very presence of God! Praise and thanksgiving take effort, just like returning to thank
Jesus…

  1. PRAISE IS VOCAL; it is uttered. It is the act of proclaiming the greatness of God, extolling
    Him for who He is. Hebrews 13:15 says, “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the
    sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” We
    are to continually offer up the sacrifice of praise (whether we feel like it or not), the fruit
    of our lips. And oh, by the way, you cannot praise God with your mouth shut. You might
    think you can but you can’t. Praise has to be proclaimed – and when it is, when we
    praise God with all that is within us – our spirit is elevated into His presence. Praising
    God is never a waste of time. In fact, it’s one of the most important things we can do.

  1. THANKSGIVING IS LIKEWISE VOCAL. We praise God for who He is, and we thank Him for
    what He has done. Thanksgiving is the act of expressing gratitude for all that He has
    done. When we go to God without a heart of thanksgiving, we treat Him like a vending
    machine. If you have children, you know the difference between a demanding child and
    a grateful one.
    Paul tells us in Philippians 4:6, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and
    supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” Paul tells us this,
    because we can become anxious. Instead, God wants us to bring our concerns to Him in prayer and never be so focused on our needs that we neglect the giving of thanks. Prayer and supplication needs to flow from the lips of a thankful heart. When we come to God with a heart of thanksgiving, the gates of heaven swing wide open.
    God’s Word is real; it’s true, and it’s forever settled in the heaven. Praise and thanksgiving
    usher us into His presence. He is just waiting for us to believe it and actually do it.

CONCLUSION
God alone is worthy of being worshipped. What is your attitude toward worship? Do we willingly and joyfully come into God’s presence, or are we just going through the motions, reluctantly going to church? This psalm tells us to remember God’s goodness and dependability, and then to worship with thanksgiving and praise!

WORSHIP, AND THANKS, AND BLESSING – MHB 412
1 Worship, and thanks, and blessing,
And strength ascribe to Jesus!
Jesus alone defends His own,
When earth and hell oppress us.
Jesus with joy we witness
Almighty to deliver;
Our seals set to, that God is true,
And reigns a King for ever.
2 Omnipotent Redeemer,
Our ransomed souls adore Thee;
Our Saviour Thou, we find it now,
And give Thee all the glory.
We sing Thine arm unshortened,
Brought through our sore temptation;
With heart and voice in Thee rejoice,
The God of our salvation.
3 Thine arm hath safely brought us
A way no more expected,
Than when Thy sheep passed through the deep,
By crystal walls protected.
Thy glory was our rear-ward,
Thy hand our lives did cover,
And we, even we, have passed the sea,
And marched triumphant over.
4 The world’s and Satan’s malice
Thou, Jesus, hast confounded;
And, by Thy grace, with songs of praise
Our happy souls resounded.
Accepting our deliverance,
We triumph in Thy favour,
And for the love which now we prove,
Shall praise Thy name for ever.

Stay Blessed!
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