THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT – PART II

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. – Matthew 5:16; 6:33.

INTRODUCTION

We publish this week, part two of Christ’s Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7 where Jesus teaches what it really means to follow Him and be a part of God’s kingdom. The sermon as we have already intimated, contains a powerful and practical revelation of the principles and standards by which God expects Christians to live.  Living up to these standards is only possible through faith in Jesus, the Son of God. 

Please enjoy and pass it on to others!

MATTHEW 6:1-34

GIVING TO THE NEEDY

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

PRAYER

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. “This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

FASTING

“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

TREASURES IN HEAVEN

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

DO NOT WORRY

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

JUDGING OTHERS

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

ASK, SEEK, KNOCK

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

To be continued!

Stay blessed!

For further inquiries please contact us on Tel Nos. 0243588467 or 0268130615

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

THE CHURCH’S PROPHETIC VOICE IN “SECULAR” SOCIETY (PART I)

“He has showed you, O man, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” – Micah 6:8 

Introduction

The community of believers in God through Jesus Christ His Son, are empowed by God’s Holy Spirit to speak forth the Word of God’s salvation to secular society.  Even more importantly, we let the whole world see the transforming power of God in our lives by:

  • manifesting the character of Christ who lives in us;
  • being people of real integrity;
  • being hardworking
  • being diligent;
  • respecting authority (not in sycophancy but as an act of obedience to God)
  • making good use of our time.

Politics

What about the church’s prophetic voice in politics.  We are not called to play God.  What I mean is that we are not expected to bring the rule of Jesus Christ in this world before the appointed time of God.  But let me hasten to say that we are called to be the salt penetrating this rotten world.  We have a moral obligation to be involved in our world.  The Church has to point the society to God’s love for justice, for mercy, for ensuring the well-being of the needy, the oppressed, the widows and the orphans – Micah 6:8; Exo. 22:22-23.  The Church must let the leadership of secular society know that God hates corruption and bribery because this distorts justice and leads to the strong and the rich depriving the weak and the poor – Exodus 23:8; Deuteronomy 16:19. Rulers must be told of God’s hatred for the sin of idol worship which He considers spiritual adultery – Jeremiah 2:19-20.  The Church must constantly speak against selfishness, violence, nepotism and greed.  If this is deemed politics, then praise God because in pointing out these things and calling people to repentance, the Church will be obeying God.

Dangers

To maintain its prophetic voice, the church must steer clear of the sin of loving the world and making friends with it. Jesus warns us that the flesh is weak even though the spirit is willing.  The world’s allures are many.  They beckon us daily.  Satan is at his craftiest best seducing us in many ways.  Slowly, but with sure steps, the world is making in-roads in to the Church.  We are beginning to measure our success by the world’s standards, that is, by the number of people in the church and their material well-being, the size and beauty of our church buildings.  We look for the acclaim of men by how publicly we do our acts of charity and so on when we should see it as merely doing our duty.  God’s standard of success is only one – total obedience.  The cross of Christ was failure by the World’s standards but to God it was total success as Philippians 2:5-11 indicates: In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

In the letters to the Churches in Revelation 2 and 3, Jesus was very clear about their weaknesses which were mainly the result of using the world’s standards to judge themselves and thus, ignoring what is most important to God.

Empowered by God

It is God who has called out the Church and separated her to Himself so that she will reveal to the world what God wants to do for the world through Christ.  It is God’s testimony that counts.  When He calls, He equips.  The world needs Christ and God has freely offered Him as His gift to the world.  We must proclaim this message with boldness.  But above all our own lives, transformed by the renewing of our minds, will be the only way we can maintain our prophetic voice for then we will truly know and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect willRomans 12:2b.

Yes, through Jesus, God has saved us and given us His righteousness.  He has also given us the power to live righteous and godly lives.  In Titus 2:11 we read: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.”  That is why Peter also says in 2 Peter 1:4-8 that “Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises so that through them we may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world cased by evil desires.  For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.  For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  The world must know that through Christ we can all live above our basic instincts.  

The Church, that is the collective of all believers, can faithfully, boldly and with great eagerness maintain our prophetic voice in this secular, decadent sin-filled world, lifting Christ up that He may draw all men to Himself, because God has empowered us, so to do.

For God loved the world that He gave His one only Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through Him!  We need to let the world know this!

To be continued!

Remain Blessed!

Please continue to join us on Asempa 94.7 FM – Sundays 5.30 am., Sunny 88.7 FM – Tuesdays 5:30 am; and 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 Hymns and their Stories.

THE SOON AND COMING KING

“For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” – Isaiah 9:6

INGTRODUCTION

In a time of great darkness, God promised to send a light who would shine on everyone living in the shadow of death. He is both ‘Wonderful Counsellor’ and ‘Mighty God’. This message of hope was fulfilled in the birth of Christ and the establishment of His eternal Kingdom. He came to deliver us from slavery of sin.

Great Expectations

Imagine that a message has come about the visit of a great King.  This king who is coming to visit your city is of impeccable pedigree – a line of ancestors known for their great leadership qualities.  This expected King has a reputation for fairness, justice, kindness, wisdom and generosity.  All over town people’s expectations are high.  The people know that the King will not just visit and go along His way without leaving them something that will make their lives better so each person in the village has made their own list of things that they will either directly or indirectly ask from the King.  The issue of not receiving what is asked for is totally out of the question.  The awaited King is not like that.  He not only keeps His word.  He is one who is compassionate and listens to His people and so wherever He goes He leaves a train of fulfilled dreams and hopes.

The Great King

In Isaiah 9:1-7, we read of the famous prophecy at the coronation of either Hezekiah or Josiah as King of Judah “Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress.  In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the  future he will honour Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea, along the Jordan.  The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.  You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder. For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor.  Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.  For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders.  And He will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.  He will reign on David’s throne and over His kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.  The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” 

The prophecy speaks of the close of the chapter of doom, gloom and melancholy. In verses 2 & 3, Isaiah draws a contrast between the darkness of despair and the joyous salvation which will be ushered in by the coming king, who will be the long awaited Saviour.  This passage in Isaiah is quoted extensively at Christmas time because it is the prophecy concerning the coming of the King of kings and Saviour of the world – the Lord Jesus Christ.

Later Isaiah gives us names which are descriptive of the nature, character and power of this coming King.  These names have a very special meaning to us because we know that Jesus has fulfilled every aspect of the prophecy.

Wonderful Counsellor

This coming king – Jesus, is exceptional because He is the Son of God and Son of man.  He gives the right advice because He is intimately acquainted with the counsels of God from eternity.  In fact John, one of His apostles describes Him as ‘one who was with God in the beginning’ – John 1:1-2. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God He was with God in the beginning.”(NIV) This Wonderful Counsellor is the wisdom of God our Father who has made Him our wisdom.  We can rely on Him for wisdom to handle our everyday situations and solve seemingly intractable problems.  He is our wisdom because He enables us to move beyond our selfishness, greed, unholiness and self-will and submit to God’s direction without feeling that our peers would consider us foolish.

Mighty God

The coming King is a Divine Warrior because He has supernatural skill and strength in battle.  Because He is God Himself, Jesus is able to fight and overcome every scheme of the devil concerning the lives of His redeemed.  But even more, His divine skills in battle are transferred to us through the armour He has provided us which include the belt of truth; the breastplate of righteousness the gospel of peace; the shield of faith; the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit as we read in Ephesians 6:13-17. “Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”. – (NIV)  Through God’s might we are able to overcome one of our greatest enemies – the SELF; the I in us which insists on having its own way even if that way is against God and humanity.  The might of God, given us through the coming King, Jesus Christ, gives us power to resist the world’s seductive attractions.

Everlasting Father

This coming King is timeless; He is God our Father or better put Father for ever, meaning that the King will look after His people as a father looks after His children.  Jesus’ own promise to the disciples (and to us) is that no one can snatch us from His hands because we have been given to Him by His Father, God: “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.    I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.  I am the Father are one”- John 10:27-30 (NIV).

Prince of Peace

As a King, He preserves commands and creates peace in His Kingdom.  He Himself is Peace and therefore brings prosperity and well-being to His people.  He does this by governing with justice, righteousness and equity.  In Isaiah 11:1-9 gives further detail about what constitutes the rule of the Prince of Peace as follows:

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from the roots a Branch will bear fruit.  The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him – the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord – and He will delight in the fear of the Lord.  He will not judge by what He sees with his eyes or decide by what He hears with His ears, but with righteousness He will judge the needy, with justice He will give decisions for poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.  Righteousness will be His belt and faithfulness the sash around His waist.  The wolf will be with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together and a little child will lead them.  The cow will feed with the bear, and their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.  The infant will play near the hole of the cobra and the young child put his hand into the vipers nest.  They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” – (NIV)

Getting Ready for the King

During this period until soon after Christmas, let us all be meditating on the message of Christmas.  It is the message of God coming down to our level so that we will be raised to His level.  It is a message of salvation from sin, the breaking of the bonds of slavery to Satan.  It is a message of God lovingly binding broken hearts and healing diseases.  But most of all, it is a message of restoration – God restoring us to the original relationship He created us to have with Him. 

SING, WE THE KING WHO IS COMING TO REIGN – MHB 116 (verse 1& 5)

1 Sing we the King who is coming to reign,
Glory to Jesus, the Lamb that was slain,
Life and salvation his empire shall bring
Joy to the nations when Jesus is King.

Refrain:
Come let us sing: Praise to our King,
Jesus our King, Jesus our King;
This is our song, who to Jesus belong:
Glory to Jesus, to Jesus our King.

5 Kingdom of Christ, for thy coming we pray,
Hasten, O Father, the dawn of the day
When this new song thy creation shall sing,
Satan is vanquished and Jesus is King.

Stay blessed!

For further inquiries please contact us on Tel Nos. 0243588467 or 0268130615

Email:  saltnlightministries@gmail.com

Website: saltandlightministriesgh.org     

THE HOPE OF ADVENT

On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.

At that time there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem. When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers.

They were completely amazed. “How can this be?” they exclaimed. “These people are all from Galilee, and yet we hear them speaking in our own native languages!” – Acts 2:1-8

INTRODUCTION

Advent,” says Pope Francis, “is a journey toward the horizon of hope. Does not disappoint because it is founded on the Word of God”. A hope that does not disappoint, simply because the Lord never disappoints! He is faithful!”

During Advent, we are invited to prepare our hearts for the coming of the Lord – to wait in joyful hope for His return in glory at the end of time and to prepare for the annual celebration of His birth.

REFLECT

The Holy Spirit’s arrival was a fulfilment of Jesus’ promise and also John the Baptist’s words about the Holy Spirit’s baptizing with fire (Luke 3:16 – John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But One who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.), and of the prophet Joel’s words about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Joel 2:28-29 – And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.).

Tongues of fire were the sign of His arrival.

Why tongues of fire? Tongues symbolize speech and the communication of the gospel. Fire symbolizes God’s purifying presence, which burns away the undesirable elements of our lives and sets our hearts aflame to ignite the lives of others. On Mount Sinai, God confirmed the validity of the Old Testament law with fire from heaven (Exodus 19:16-18). At Pentecost, God confirmed the validity of the Holy Spirit’s ministry by sending fire. At Mount Sinai, fire had come down on one place; at Pentecost, fire came down on many believers, symbolizing that God’s presence is now available to all who believe in Him.

RESPOND

God made His presence known to this group of believers in a spectacular way—violent wind, fire, and His Holy Spirit. Would you like God to reveal Himself to you in such recognizable ways? He may do so, but be wary of forcing your expectations on God. In 1 Kings 19:10-13, Elijah also needed a message from God. There was a great wind, then an earthquake, and finally a fire. But God’s message came in a “gentle whisper.” God may use dramatic methods to work in your life—or He may speak in a gentle whisper. Wait patiently and always listen.

A PRAYER FOR HOPE

Heavenly Father,

Advent is a time for remembering and reflecting on the birth of Your Son and our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.  Father, I pray that You will turn our hearts toward You as Christmas approaches.  Let us not get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season this year and miss the chance to celebrate the gifts of hope, peace, joy, love, that You sent to us on that first Christmas day!

Father God, every word in scripture points to the gift of hope that we have because of Christ Jesus.  The Christmas story wasn’t the beginning of that message of hope because the old testament is full of glimpses of Your plan to redeem Your people and restore them into a relationship with You, but we are able to truly begin to see and understand just how great Your love for us is when we read the story of Jesus’ birth in Scripture.

You showed us a glimmer of that hope as You chose to send Your Son into this earth through a family tree that was a little bent and scarred.  We glanced it again as You chose a tribe that was small and a city that was lowly. We are grateful that You didn’t send Your Son to be birthed in a fancy palace among the wealthy and the elite, but our King of kings and Lord of lords was born among common shepherds and livestock in a barn.

The family wasn’t ideal.  The surroundings weren’t grand.  The situation wasn’t without its’ difficulties, however, You came in the midst of all of that.  Emmanuel.  God with us.  God in the messy.  God in the dirty.  God in the difficult and the troubled. 

Your plan to redeem and restore mankind was to dwell among us, fully God and fully man.  You chose to come to earth enrobed in the fragile soft skin of a newborn baby and set aside all of the glory of heaven for one purpose.  You came to be with us.  You came to love us.  You came to die for us, so that we might live.

Help us to see that You are with us.  Nothing is too difficult, too messy, or too dirty for you.  Jesus came to give us the gift of eternal life through the salvation that only you, our Heavenly Father, can give when we believe in Your Son, repent of our sins, and confess Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.

That first Christmas, You gave us the gift of hope wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger.  Thank you, Father, for your immeasurable gift.

We are bold to pray like this because of this precious name of Your Son and our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ. With thanksgiving Amen.

MHB 150 – THOU DIDST LEAVE THY THRONE

1 Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown,

When Thou camest to earth for me;

But in Bethlehem’s home was there found no room

For Thy holy nativity.

O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,

There is room in my heart for Thee.

2 Heaven’s arches rang when the angels sang,

Proclaiming Thy royal degree;

But of lowly birth cams’t Thou come to earth,

And in great humility.

O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,

There is room in my heart for Thee.

Emily Elizabeth Steele Elliot, 1836-1897

Remain Blessed!

Please continue to join us on Asempa 94.7 FM – Sundays 5.30 am., Sunny 88.7 FM – Tuesdays 5:30 am; and 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.

FREE FROM THE LAW

Now, dear brothers and sisters—you who are familiar with the law—don’t you know that the law applies only while a person is living? For example, when a woman marries, the law binds her to her husband as long as he is alive. But if he dies, the laws of marriage no longer apply to her. So while her husband is alive, she would be committing adultery if she married another man. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law and does not commit adultery when she remarries. – Romans 7:1-3.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set youfree from the law of sin and death. – Romans 8:1-2

INTRODUCTION

Paul used marriage as an illustration of being dead to sin and free from the law’s condemning power. Christians can serve God freely by His Spirit. Still, the law makes us aware of our sinfulness and guides us to Christ. Paul concluding by focusing on the power and presence of Jesus Christ in his life in contrast to his own struggle with sin. Through Christ, the Spirit’s power enables us to live in ways that honour God. The Spirit helps us resist sin and provides guidance in making decisions.

Furthermore, the Spirit confirms that we are God’s children. We are adopted into God’s family and can go to God as Father. Because of this, nothing we face can be compared to the glory the awaits us. Our hope in Christ is certain. Though we often feel discouraged, we have a limitless source of hope. Our challenge is to patiently persevere in the face of any present difficulty.

Paul closed Romans 8 by affirming God is at work in all things.

SIN

Sin is more than an act. It is a power that controls us and leads us to death. We learn to sin when we rebel against God’s laws that set limits for our lives. The limits are good and necessary for us. Without them society could not exist.

God’s laws shows the limits people are to accept to be His people. We do not receive the law that way. We rebel against limits. We reverse the laws purpose. Instead of letting law lead us to life with God and away from the danger zone of death, we let law rouse our selfishness and jealousy. We do exactly what the law forbids. We sin in not trusting God to show us the nature of true life. We sin in doing what God forbids. We sin in letting sin control life rather than God. We cannot blame God for giving us the lawyer, nor can we blame the law. God was good to show us the nature of true life.

The law is good in outlining for us the proper limits to life. Sin as a power ruling over our lives turns the good law into an instrument to serve evil purposes by using it to arouse our selfish desires to be god.

We cannot overcome the power of sin. Rather we serve sin, letting it be our Master. Even though we know what is right, we do not have the power in ourselves to do it. Life is a war between our desires to do good and our enslavement to sin, with sin more powerful and winning the war. The outlook brings total despair until we turn to Jesus. He has won the victory over sin. His Spirit gives us power to defeat sin and serve Christ. Life is meant to be lived in the freedom of the Spirit, not in legalism under the law and sin.

HOLY SPIRIT

Obeying God is not a dreaded, impossible duty but a natural result of the Spirit in us. The Spirit is actively at work in all believers to transform us into the kind of person God wants us to be. The Spirit is not given for our enjoyment but to change us so we will be of service to Christ.

The Holy Spirit is not a possession we hold on to but a person we love and obey. We must choose between the way of the flesh or sinful nature and the way of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit assures us that we are in fact God’s children, and that, even though we pass through much suffering, we will eventually share in the glory of Christ. We must choose to follow the Spirit, to live according to the Spirit, to set our minds on what the Spirit desires, to be controlled by the Spirit, to put the old way of life, and to be led by the Spirit.

Obeying the Holy Spirit means a personal loyalty and obedience to Christ that expresses itself by following the leadership of the Spirit in all life’s decisions.

CONCLUSION

Life is dominated either by sin or by God’s Spirit. Christ gave the death sentence to sin, which had given us the death sentence. He gave us a choice. Center life on Him or no sin. Choose life or death. Be at peace with God or at war with Him. Live in the Spirit to please God, or live in sin to please death.

I HEAR THY WELCOME VOICE – MHB 351

1 I hear Thy welcome voice,

That calls me, Lord, to Thee

For cleansing in Thy precious blood

That flowed on Calvary.

Refrain:

I am coming, Lord!

Coming now to Thee!

Wash me, cleanse me in the blood

That flowed on Calvary.

2 Though coming weak and vile,

Thou dost my strength assure;

Thou dost my vileness fully cleanse,

Till spotless all and pure.

3 ‘Tis Jesus calls me on

To perfect faith and love,

To perfect hope, and peace, and trust,

For earth and heaven above.

4 ‘Tis Jesus who confirms

The blessèd work within,

By adding grace to welcomed grace,

Where reigned the power of sin.

5 All hail! atoning blood!
All hail! redeeming grace!
All hail! the gift of Christ our Lord,
Our Strength and Righteousness.

Lewis Hartsough (1828-1919)

Remain Blessed!

Please continue to join us on Asempa 94.7 FM – Sundays 5.30 am., Sunny 88.7 FM – Tuesdays 5:30 am; and 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.

7 PROVEN METHODS TO BE AN EFFECTIVE “SOUL WINNER”

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who is wise wins souls.  – Proverbs 11:30

Introduction

Who is a Soul Winner?

Soul-winning according to the scripture in Matthew 28:19: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. This means that we are to teach the word of God to people around us. It implies sharing our experience of salvation with unbelievers.

A soul winner is a Christian who has the habit of sharing the gospel. Teaching people who are not yet born again.

In Matthew 9:37-38, Jesus said to His disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask Him to send more workers into His fields.”  Jesus looked at the crowds following Him and referred to them as a field ripe for harvest. Many people are ready to give their lives to Christ if someone would show them how. Jesus commands us to pray that people will respond to this need for workers. Often, when we pray for something, God answers our prayers by using us. Be prepared for God to use you to show another person the way to Him.

Jesus told His disciples, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). The implication is that if we are really following, we’ll be fishing -soul-winning. Jesus’ last words were, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19). The Christians in the New Testament went everywhere, preaching the Word (Acts 8:4).

How, then, can you and I be effective witnesses for Him?

1. Ask God to give you an evangelistic burden for others. Ask Him to help you see the world as He sees it, and to lay upon your heart a handful of people for whom you can earnestly pray. Then pray over those names every day. Keep a little prayer list, and pray for an opportunity of reaching these souls for Christ. An old song says, “Lord, lay some soul upon my heart and love that soul through me; / And may I humbly do my part to win that soul to Thee.”

2. Live a consistent Christian life before these people. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. . . . Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16). We must live obedient lives of integrity and authentic faith. We must love when others hate and forgive when others harbor grudges. We must remain trusting when others panic, and be honest when all around us are cooking the books. Not that we’re going to be perfect-only Christ was sinless. But we must have a growing, maturing Christian life that others recognize and respect.

3. Build bridges to others. When the Lord shows you those needing Christ, seek to build a relationship with them. Remember how Jesus went to the home of Zacchaeus were many sinners had gathered? While we must be careful not to place ourselves in an environment where we’ll be pulled down, we must be equally careful to cultivate friendships with those needing Christ. Perhaps Christ has placed you in your particular school or workplace just to reach those whom no one else can reach.

4. Learn the Gospel. Memorize the following verses and practice saying them in a mirror or to another Christian until you’re comfortable sharing them with someone needing Christ: Romans 3:23; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9, 10, 13; 1 John 5:1, 13.

5. Watch for openings to share a word for Christ. Peter said: “Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you” – (1 Peter 3:15).

6. If the right opportunity doesn’t come naturally, create one. Sometimes we wait too long, looking for just the right time to invite someone to church or to share with them the message of the Gospel. There often comes a point when we must prayerfully introduce the subject and do our best to impress someone with their need for Christ.

7. Leave the results with God. We’re responsible for sharing the Gospel, but only God can convert the soul. Having done your best, let Him do the rest. And if you ever feel you’ve botched the job, think of Edward Kimball. He was determined to win his Sunday school class to Christ, including a teenager named Dwight Moody who tended to fall asleep on Sundays. His heart pounding, Kimball entered the store where the young man worked. “I put my hand on his shoulder, and as I leaned over I placed my foot upon a shoebox. I asked him to come to Christ.” It didn’t seem to go well, and Kimball left thinking he had botched the job. Moody, however, left the store that day a new person and eventually became the most prominent evangelist in America during his generation.

Hymn 

We Have Heard a Joyful Sound: Jesus Saves! – MHB 316

1 We have heard the joyful sound:
Jesus saves!
Spread the gladness all around:
Jesus saves!
Bear the news to every land,
Climb the steeps and cross the waves;
Onward! ’tis our Lord’s command:
Jesus saves!

2 Sing above the battle strife:
Jesus saves!
By His death and endless life,
Jesus saves!
Sing it softly through the gloom,
When the heart for mercy craves;
Sing in triumph o’er the tomb:
Jesus saves!

3 Give the winds a mighty voice:
Jesus saves!
Let the nations now rejoice:
Jesus saves!
Shout salvation full and free;
To every strand that ocean laves-

This is our song of victory:
Jesus saves!

Priscilla Jane Owens, 1829 – 1899

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 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 Hymns and their Stories.

MAKING ONE’S CALLING AND ELECTION SURE

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. – 1 Peter 1:3-11

VERSE BY VERSE STUDY

1:3 EVERYTHING WE NEED FOR LIFE AND GODLINESS. The love of our heavenly Father, salvation through Jesus Christ, Christ’s intercession for us in heaven, the indwelling of and baptism in the Holy Spirit, the communion of the saints and God’s inspired Word are sufficient to meet all that believers need for life and godliness.

1. No additional human wisdom, technique or theory is needed to complete the sufficiency of God’s Word that reveals our perfect salvation in Christ. The words of Jesus, the New Testament apostolic faith and God’s grace were adequate in the early days of the church to meet the needs of the lost, and they are just as adequate as today. Absolutely nothing can offer more height, depth, strength and help than what Jesus Himself proclaimed and provided and what the apostles testified to in Biblical revelation. Jesus Christ alone is “the way and the truth and the life(John 14:6).

2. If the gospel we hold is found wanting in these days, it is because our gospel is something less than the gospel of Christ and the apostles.

1:4 PARTICIPATION IN THE DIVINE NATURE. Our participation in God’s very nature is another description of the new birth which we receive God’s life. We share God’s nature in order to conform to God and His holiness.

1:5 ADD TO YOUR FAITH. Peter lists the virtues a Christian must develop in order to be spiritually victorious and fruitful before God. The phrase “make every effort” demonstrates that believers must be actively involved in their Christian growth. Those who become Christians must immediately strive to add to their faith these seven qualities. Note that godly characteristics do not automatically grow without our diligent effort to cultivate them.

1:10 MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE. Our faith and salvation must not be taken for granted. We will continue faithful to the end only if we make very effort by God’s grace to add to our faith the spiritual qualities listed in 2 Peter 1:5-9: “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins”.

1:11 RICH WELCOME INTO THE ETERNAL KINGDOM. Some believers, because of negligence, will barely make it into the kingdom, while others who remain steadfast in holiness will be welcomed richly with honour.

THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT

Contrasted to the acts of the sinful nature is a single-minded lifestyle called “the fruit of the Spirit.” This is produced in God’s children as they allow the Spirit to so direct and influence their lives that they destroy sin’s power, especially the acts of the sinful nature, and walk in fellowship with God. The fruit of the Spirit includes:

1. LOVE – caring for and seeking the highest good of another person without motive of personal gain. “And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” – Romans 5:5. “and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” – Ephesians 5:2.

2. JOY – the feeling of gladness based on the love, grace, blessings, promises and nearness of God that belong to those who believe in Christ. “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,” – 1 Peter 1:8.

3. PEACE – the quietness of heart and mind based on the knowledge that all is well between the believer and his or her heavenly Father. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:7

4. PATIENCE – endurance, long-suffering, being slow to anger or despair. “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” – Ephesians 4:2.

5. KINDNESS – not wanting to hurt anyone or cause them pain. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” – Colossians 3:12

6. GOODNESS – zeal for truth and righteousness and a hatred of evil; it can be expressed in acts of kindness or in rebuking and correcting evil. “Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” He said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.” – Matthew 21:12-13

7. FAITHFULNESS – firm and unswerving loyalty to a person to whom one is united by promise, commitment, trustworthiness and honesty. “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” – 1 Timothy 6:12.

8. GENTLENESS – restrained coupled with strength and courage; it describes a person who can be angry when anger is needed and humbly submissive when submission is needed. “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” – 1 Peter 3:15.

9. SELF-CONTROL – mastering one’s own desires and passions, including faithfulness to one’s marriage vows; also purity. “Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.” – Titus 1:8

Paul’s final comment on the fruit of the Spirit indicates that there are no restrictions to the lifestyle indicated here. Christians can – in fact, must – practice these virtues over and over again; they will never discover a law prohibiting them from living according to these principles.

Culled from The Full Life Study Bible.

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LET US BE CAREFUL HOW WE LIVE

We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power
in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin.   For when we died with Christ we were set free
from the power of sin.   And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with Him. –
Romans 6:6-8 (NLT)


INTRODUCTION
People should be able to see a difference between Christians and non-Christians because of the
way Christians live. We are to live full of light. Paul told the Ephesians to leave behind the old
life of sin, since they were followers of Christ. Living the Christian life is a process. Although we
have a new nature, we don’t automatically think all good thoughts and express all right
attitudes when we become new people in Christ. But if we keep listening to God, we will be
changing all the time. As you look back over last year, do you see a process of change for the
better in your thoughts, attitudes and actions? Although change may be slow, it comes as you
trust God to change you.
Our old way of life before we believed in Christ is completely in the past answered – “Therefore,
if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” – 2 Cor. 5:17
We should put it behind us like old clothes to be thrown away. When we decide to accept
Christ’s gift of salvation, it both a one-time decision, as well as a daily conscious commitment.
We are not to be driven by desire and impulse. We must put on the new nature, head in the
new direction, and have the new way of thinking that the Holy Spirit gives.
We have decided to quote straight from scriptures today to remind us that the Word of God is
indeed living and active and full of transformational power; “Do not conform to the pattern of
this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test
and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2
LIVING AS CHILDREN OF LIGHT
“ With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly
confused.   Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because
they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him.   They have no sense of
shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity. But that
isn’t what you learned about Christ.   Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the
truth that comes from him,   throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which
is corrupted by lust and deception.   Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.
  Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. So stop telling lies.
Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And “don’t sin by
letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives
a foothold to the devil.

Chronicle – Friday 2 nd July, 2021
If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give
generously to others in need.   Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be
good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And
do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, He has identified you
as His own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil
behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God
through Christ has forgiven you.” – Ephesians 4:17 -32
LIVING IN THE LIGHT
“Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.   Live a life
filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice
for us, a pleasing aroma to God. Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among
you. Such sins have no place among God’s people.   Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse
jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.   You can be sure that
no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a
greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.
Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who
disobey him.   Don’t participate in the things these people do.   For once you were full of
darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!   For this light within
you produces only what is good and right and true. Carefully determine what pleases the
Lord.   Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them.   It is
shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. But their evil
intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, for the light makes everything
visible. This is why it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you
light.”


LIVING BY THE SPIRIT’S POWER


So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of
every opportunity in these evil days.   Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord
wants you to do.   Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled
with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and
making music to the Lord in your hearts.   And give thanks for everything to God the Father in
the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – Ephesians 5:1-20.
All Scriptures are from the New Living Translation.

A CHARGE TO KEEP I HAVE – MHB 578
1 A charge to keep I have,
A God to glorify,
A never-dying soul to save,

Chronicle – Friday 2 nd July, 2021

And fit it for the sky.

2 To serve the present age,
My calling to fulfill:
Oh, may it all my powers engage
To do my Master’s will!
3 Arm me with jealous care,
As in Thy sight to live;
And O Thy servant, Lord, prepare
A strict account to give!
4 Help me to watch and pray,
And on Thyself rely,
Assured, if I my trust betray,
I shall forever die.
Charles Wesley, 1707-1788

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.

AN ABUNDANT LIFE IS WAITING FOR US

Then He called the crowd to Him along with His disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. – Mark 8:34


INTRODUCTION
Jesus used the image of carrying a cross to illustrate the ultimate submission required of His followers. He is not against pleasure, nor was He saying that we should seek pain needlessly. Jesus was talking about the heroic effort needed to follow Him moment by moment, to do His will even when the work is difficult and the future looks bleak.
Nowhere in the Bible does God promise His followers an easy life. On the contrary, Jesus told. His followers expect trouble in this world. “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.

TAKING UP OUR CROSS TO FOLLOW JESUS
Each one of the disciples was executed for his faith, with the exception of John, who was exiled to the island of Patmos, and Judas, who died by suicide. These were the men who literally changed the face of the world by their willingness to follow Jesus and kick-start the great movement that would eventually become known as Christianity. And they all died. Badly.


And the suffering didn’t stop there. Paul, who took up the mantle of the first disciples, boasted of his sufferings for the Lord (2 Corinthians 11:16–33).
Consequently, throughout the ages, Christians have often embraced suffering as not only
necessary to live but also a sign of living the life God intended for them to live. And, no doubt, this is sometimes the case, as Jesus said it would be when He declared that whoever wanted to become His disciple would need to “deny themselves and take up their cross” and follow Him.

Countless Christians have interpreted their own trials and tribulations as forms of taking up
their crosses to follow Jesus, enduring whatever life throws their way for the sake of a faith that will be rewarded — perhaps not immediately but certainly eternally.
Peace, then, is not to be found in the circumstances of life but in God’s peace, which “surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7 ESV).


Life is suffering — brutal, unfair, and often very, very cruel and confusing. Yes, Jesus told us to expect suffering in this world, sometimes of the unimaginable variety.
But that is not all Jesus said.


In fact, in the very same verse where He promised that life will be hard, He also reminded us
that He has already overcome this world, a truth He not only articulated with words but also
manifested physically in His resurrection from the dead.


In life, there is suffering and death, but in God, there is healing and life. In John’s gospel, Jesus said this life is the very reason He came to earth. And not just any kind of life but one lived “abundantly”. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” – John 10:10 (ESV).

What does that entail?
Well, probably a lot. God’s call on our lives is never singular. To live as God intends is to
necessarily experience life in all of its diversity. As the book of Ecclesiastes teaches,
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. —
Ecclesiastes 3:1

In other words, yes, the Christian life will necessarily call us to experience hardship and
sacrifice, but it should also involve abundance:
i. Abundant living is not driving a Range Rover. For some, abundant living is not being
plagued by panic attacks. For others, abundant living is not coping with our stress by
abusing alcohol.
ii. Abundant living is wanting to wake up with the sun instead of hiding out in bed.
iii. Thus, abundant living is doing the things that bring us joy and actually feeling that joy.
iv. Abundant living is loving and being loved by God.
v. That’s abundant living, and that’s what I believe all of us deserve because Jesus Christ
said we do.
vi. Abundant living means we also deserve the chance to walk through life not mired
forever in the deeper ditches of depression.


MHB 406 – MY GOD, I AM THINE
1 My God, I am Thine, what a comfort divine,
What a blessing to know that my Jesus is mine!
In the heavenly Lamb thrice happy I am,
And my heart it doth dance at the sound of His name.
2 True pleasures abound in the rapturous sound;
And whoever hath found it hath paradise found:
My Jesus to know, and feel His blood flow,
’Tis life everlasting, ’tis Heaven below.
3 Yet onward I haste to the heavenly feast:
That, that is the fulness; but this is the taste!
And this I shall prove, till with joy I remove
To the heaven of heavens in Jesus’ love.
Charles Wesley, 1707 – 1788


CONCLUSION

The Christian life boils down to this… Suffering, yes. Abundance, absolutely yes. We are loved
by God! He has an abundant life planned for us even when it includes difficulties and hardships.
Depression doesn’t have to be the end game for us.
Hope starts now.
Inspired by Faith Gateway Devotionals.

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

PARENTING: CHRISTIAN MOTHERHOOD

O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Psalm 104:24.

INTRODUCTION

God is so wonderful and as we look around us daily we cannot help being filled with awe.  Creation is filled with stunning variety, revealing our loving God’s rich creativity goodness and wisdom.  It is in this love, goodness and wisdom that God has called us to participate with Him in His creative works through procreation.  A fresh look at the people you see everyday at home and in the work place tells you how uniquely God has made each of them – each with his/her own special beauty, special talents, abilities and gifts.

It is with the thought of God’s awesome wisdom and love that we want to focus on parenting with special emphasis on Motherhood.  Christian motherhood is a Motherhood centred on Jesus Christ and His revelation to us of God.

The Bible speaks of God and the Church as a mother. – Is 66:13As a mother comforts her child so will I comfort you.  Again in Isaiah 66:10-11 “Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice with her in joy, all you who mourn over her- that you may nurse and be satisfied from her consoling breast; that you may drink deeply with delight from her glorious bosom.   Gal 4:26 also says, “But the other woman corresponds to the Jerusalem above; she is free and she is our mother”.

PERSPECTIVE

Motherhood is not just producing children but rather a continuous loving and nurturing relationship.  It involves loving, comforting, protecting, training in values, disciplining, encouraging and building up- Eph6: 4; Col. 3:21.   This is why parenting cannot be successfully accomplished by any human being except that person is enabled by God in Christ through the power of His Holy Spirit.  It is God alone who is the perfect parent and He alone can impart this perfection to us. 

 

CHRISTIAN MOTHERHOOD

Our God is so gracious and loving to women- we are so special to Him that it is in us that He has decided to work His greatest miracle – the making life with a clot of blood- Ps. 139:13-15- skilfully forming it as He did at creation with dust.  Women are greatly blessed and are God’s partners in creating other human beings

God has always used women to bring His great servants into the world – Isaac, Jacob, Joseph – Moses, Deborah Samson, Ruth, David to mention a few in the Old Testament.  But most importantly, salvation has come through a woman – Mary, Mother of Jesus.  Through women have come LIFE, TRUTH, LIGHT and POWER, because of Jesus Christ.

MOTHERHOOD

The most important roles for a mother are to love and care for her family – that is the Christian perspective.  God, through mothers, establishes human beings in the world and through mothers God wants to impart values that bring glory to His name.

DUTIES OF A MOTHER

  1. Love

 Pregnancy from God’s perspective is rooted in love.  God expects pregnancy to come through the union of marriage where two people are made one in love.  Pregnancy then is God’s gift.  Too much is going wrong because a number of pregnancies come about through sinful relationships.  This is why it is important to stress that as far as God is concerned, love should be the key point in pregnancy.  Thus:

  1. A mother’s love starts at the point of pregnancy – her body provides shelter, nourishment and emotions.  An unhappy, dissatisfied pregnant woman deeply affects the foetus and the child comes out with emotional problems.
    1. Love continues after birth as a duty because the child totally depends on the mother for everything. 

Women cannot give what they don’t have and therefore fathers must remember God’s instruction to love their wives – Eph. 5:25&28-29.  This is important during pregnancy and after birth.

It was compassion that made the mother of the child in dispute during King Solomon’s reign decide to give up the child as we read in 2 Kings 3:26.  The one who stole the child had no love and therefore was willing to have him cut into two.

  • Comforting and Caring For Them

 In Ruth 4:16 we read about Naomi who was a caring mother.  How often children run to their mothers when they are bullied or get hurt!! Hannah, the mother of Samuel in 1 Samuel 1:22-27 is one caring woman.  We therefore should be there for them just as God is for us Isa. 66:13- As a mother comforts her child so will I comfort you.

3. Protection

Jochebed, Moses’ mother, is one of the best examples of mothers protecting their children – Exodus 2:1-4.    She caught a glimpse of God’s intentions and realised that Moses was God’s special person so she defied the Pharaoh’s order and protected him – Do we discern God’s plan for our children and therefore protect them?  God has a plan for every body’s life.  As mothers we are to cooperate with God so that our children can grow up fulfilling God’s plan for their lives.

4. Education

Education in parenting denotes teaching the child wisdom, which from God’s perspective means the fear of God and living in obedience of Him.  Proverbs 31:1 tells us that what King Lemuel wrote was what his mother taught Him.  Mothers are the first point of education for their children.  We are to have the inner beauty of women who have been redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus.  This is what enables us to have the quite gentle spirit that t he Apostle Peter speaks about in 1Pet 3:4. The Bible also tells us that we are to bear the fruit of the spirit – Gal. 5:22-23 and gain wisdom from above – James 3:17.  Most of us are often rude – shouting, insulting, disrespectful- giving the child no dignity, cursing and giving them bad examples. By so doing we virtually give our children over to the devil.

We should speak with wisdom and have faithful instructions on our tonguesProverbs 31:26. We should be vessels of honour used by the Holy Spirit so that we can bring up the children the way they should go.  Timothy was well educated by his mother – 2 Timothy 1:5.

  • Watch over children’s affairs

We are to cooperate with God and provide guidance for our children and not walk ahead of God as Rebekah did in Genesis 27:6-10, thus creating grave problems between her children and generations after them.  Rather we should be like Hannah who took care of Samuel.  She nurtured him and weaned him before sending him to the house of God under the care of Eli.  Later she sent him clothes and other things to support his upkeep and demonstrate her love. 

OUR GREAT MODEL

Mary, mother of Jesus is a good model for us.  She exhibited good motherly qualities.  She was:

  • Spiritual – God spoke to her through Gabriel – Luke 1:46
  • Submissive – She totally submitted to the will of God – Luke 1:38. HumbleLuke 2:19,39

·         Loving, Gentle, Caring

  • Woman of Faith – Believed in Jesus her own son as the Messiah

Precious Mothers, let us allow God to have His way in our lives

 

WHAT TO DO

The Bible clearly teaches us that apart form Jesus we can do nothing- John 15:5.   Let us therefore accept Jesus as personal Saviour and Lord so that by the help of His Holy Spirit who indwells us we will: 

  • Grow in faith.
  • Live the word in obedience, bear spiritual fruit and live as practical Christian.
  • Be faithful stewards, using all our talents, gifts treasures and times to God’s glory
  •  Discipline our children in love – Heb 12:7- 10.   
  • Proverbs has much to teach us. For e.g., Prov. 13:24 – those who spare the rod hate their children, but those who love them are diligent to discipline them. The Rod of correction also imparts wisdom– Prov 29:15.
  • Teach our children to put their faith in Jesus Christ, for He alone is Lord – Acts 4:12

HAPPY MOTHERS’ DAY!!!

Stay blessed!

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