WHAT IT MEANS TO BE LIKE JESUS?

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. – Ephesians 5:2
We saw this on YouTube about somebody’s understanding on how to be like Jesus. We found it
fascinating and are happy to share it with you. Please enjoy it and share it with others.
Who is a Christian?
Eighteen hundred years ago in the second century a man called Diognetus, he wanted to know
what a Christian was, and he asked to have it explained to him and this was written to him to
explain to him what a Christian is.
“The distinction between Christian and other men does not lie in country or language or
customs.
a) They follow local customs in clothing, food and in the rest of life. And yet the exhibit the
wonderfully paradoxical nature of their own citizen.
b) They live in their own countries, but as if they were resident’s aliens.
c) They share all things as citizens and yet endure all things as if they were underclass.
Every foreign country is their homeland, and every homeland a foreign country.
d) They marry like everyone else and have children, but they do not abort their young.
e) They keep a common table but not a common bed. They live in the world but not in a
worldly way.
f) They enjoy a full life on earth, but their citizenship is in heaven.
g) They obey the appointed laws, but they surpass the laws in their own lifestyle, they love
everyone and are universally derided.
h) They are unknown and roundly criticize.
i) They are put to death and gain life.
j) They are poor but make many rich.
k) They lack all things and yet have all things in abundance.
l) They are dishonored and are glorified in their dishonor.
m) They are abused and they call down blessings in return.
n) When they are beaten up, they rejoice as men who are given a new life.
In short, what the soul is in the body, that the Christians are in the world. The soul lives in the
body but is not confined by the body and the Christian live in the world but are not confine by
the world. God has appointed them to this great calling, and it’s will be wrong for them to
decline it.”

In addition to this here are 8 portraits of what Christlikeness looks like.
To be like Jesus means to:

  1. Accept our roots (Matthew 1:1-17)
    The circumstances surrounding Jesus’ birth might have raised questions in the minds of some.
    But Jesus never denied His ancestry or allowed others to shame Him. We also need to
    understand and accept our roots in terms of culture, race, gender and reputation. Moreover,
    like Jesus we want to avoid demeaning anyone else’s heritage.
  2. Engage the world’s Pain and Struggle (1:18-2:23)
    Jesus’s entry into human life was fraught with awkward tensions and human dilemmas: a
    miraculous birth, an earthly father who was considering a quiet divorce, an outraged king
    resorting to infanticide and a return to a homeland that remained hostile and dangerous. We
    too, are all born into some troubles and circumstances but we need to face up to the world and
    remain very much in it, despite all its troubles.
  3. Commit Ourselves to other Believers. (Matthew 3:1-17)
    John the Baptist was not an average individual. He lived in the wilderness – the ‘other side of
    the tracks’ for that day. He wore strange clothing and ate strange food. He was pugnacious,
    even offensive at times. Yet he helped launch Jesus’ career. In return, Jesus had nothing but
    praise for him. If we want to be like Jesus, we must not pick and choose our brothers and sisters
    in God’s family. We need to embrace other believers and demonstrate our unity in Christ, no
    matter how awkward or inconvenient.
  4. Admit our Vulnerability to Temptation. (Matthew 4:1-11)
    Matthew’s inclusion of the temptation is remarkable. It shows that the sinless Lord of the
    universe was tempted, just as we are. ‘For we do not have a high priest who is unable to
    empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as
    we are—yet He did not sin.    Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so
    that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need’. – Hebrews 4:15-16.
    If we want to be like Jesus, we must accept that temptation is real – need to be open about our
    struggles. In doing so we honour God, recognize the power of sin, and encourage others to do
    likewise.

  1. Proclaim the Message of Christ. (Matthew 4:12-25)
    Jesus’s life was not an open book, readable by all. To be sure, He lived a perfect, model life. But
    even that could not stand alone as an undeniable witness. His actions needed interpretation. So
    He supplemented His good deeds with good news. In the same way, we need to verbally
    declare our faith if we want to be like Christ. Certainly we need to back up our words with a
    Christlike lifestyle. But what we tell others gives meaning to our quiet walk and good deeds.
  2. Commit to Changed Thinking and Behaviour (Matthew 5:1-7:27)
    In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explained the values of the kingdom. He showed that
    following Him will involve radical change for most of us. It may mean undoing the way we’ve
    always done things and rethinking traditional sources of wisdom from our parents and culture.
    To become like Jesus involves a tough-minded review of our values and a thorough change in
    our behaviour.
  3. Serve Others. (Matthew 8:1-9:38)
    The Sermon on the Mount was immediately followed by ‘deeds in the valley’. Christlike values
    lead to servant actions – and it was obedient action that Jesus cared about, not just
    sermonizing. Jesus modeled how to do the will of God by actively serving more than 25
    different people. These included such undesirables as lepers, an officer of the Roman
    occupation troops, the sick, the demon-possessed, cave dwellers, tax collectors, and a diseased,
    outcast woman. If we want to be like Jesus, we need to befriend those who are weak, under
    oppression, or without Christ. Like Him, we need to become ‘a friend of sinners’. He offered
    much more than religious information – He served them.
  4. Affirm Other Leaders. (Matthew 10:1-42)
    Jesus invested Himself in the development of other people, particularly the Twelve. He gave
    them responsibility and authority. He accepted the risk that they might fail. Of course, He gave
    them adequate preparation before sending them out, and on their return He affirmed them on
    their successful completion of the mission. Jesus calls us to help others grow. If we want to be
    like Him, we will share the joys and risks of working together with our brothers and sisters.
    To Ponder
    Please remember that there should be a distinction between you and others who are not
    Christians. ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the
    new is here!’ -2 Corinthians 5:17.

Stay blessed!


For further inquiries please contact us on Tel Nos. 0243588467 or 0268130615
Email: saltnlightministries@gmail.com
Website: saltandlightministriesgh.org

NAMES OF GOD


The Lord God Almighty, the Lord is his name! – Hosea 12:5


INTRODUCTION
How do you feel if someone calls you by name? Well, your attention goes to where the sound
came from isn’t it? Salt and Light Ministries will take you to an intriguing voyage to explore the
various names of God and its usefulness in our Christian journey. Your name is the main thing
people ask for when they meet you. It is the most important means by which someone can
identify and refer to you. Names have great symbolic import in Scripture. a person’s name
connects to their identity and individuality It’s important that we know the names of God
because it reveals His character as Father, Creator, Merciful, Avenger just to mention but a few.

WHY CHRISTIANS MUST KNOW THE NAMES OF GOD
It is important to use a person’s name when interacting with them. It is, after all, their most
significant connection to their identity. When you address someone using their name, you
acknowledge their importance, which is the easiest way to get their attention. Hosea 12:5 helps
us to acknowledge specifically the name of the LORD as His memorial name.
The text illustrates that the name of the LORD is more than simply the means by which you
remember Him. His name carries His renown, His reputation. It also bears His very being. You
cannot separate the LORD from His name. And in His name, you are taught His character, what
makes the LORD to be the LORD, what sets Him apart from everyone else, what makes Him to
be God unlike any gods, what makes Him holy—distinct, different, unique, separate from all
others. His name and character are intrinsically bind together and that is why Hosea says He has
to be worshipped.

GOD’S NAME AS A MEMORIAL
God also tells Moses that His name, Yahweh, is His memorial. Specifically, God says, “This is My
name forever and this is My memorial from generation to generation” (Exodus 3:15, author’s
translation). What does it mean for God’s name, Yahweh, to be His memorial? Many
translations render this verse so that His name is how He is to be remembered. That is certainly
part of what it means for “Yahweh” to be His memorial. A few other texts help reveal more.
Isaiah 26:8 ties God’s name and His memorial together as the desire of His people. Psalm
135:13 poetically places the name of the LORD and His memorial together even for generations
to come.


GOD REVEALS HIS PERSONAL NAME
God reveals His personal name. His name is Yahweh. You will find variant spellings of that name
as it is brought from Hebrew into English. Since biblical Hebrew was written without vowels,
some choose to bring God’s personal name from Hebrew into English by transliterating the four
consonants of His name as YHWH. Moses knew the fear of God. In Exodus 3, God appears to
Moses, speaking to him from the burning bush. Moses rightly hides his face out of fear (Exodus
3:6). God then tells Moses why He is appearing to him: He has heard His people’s cry and He
will deliver them from slavery in Egypt. Moses will be His chosen instrument to accomplish their
deliverance. This is no light task. Egypt was then a political and military powerhouse.
Moses objects, first asking, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of
Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11). God’s response is simple: “I will be with you” (Exodus 3:12).
Moses further objects that when he tells the people of Israel that the God of their fathers has
sent him, they will ask, “What is His name?” So, God reveals His name to Moses.
God responds, “I AM WHO I AM. . . . Thus, you will say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM’ has sent me
to you” (Exodus 3:14, author’s translation). In the very next verse, God further instructs Moses,
saying, “Yahweh, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God
of Jacob, has sent me to you” (Exodus 3:15, author’s translation).
 Yahweh Is the Self-Existent, Eternal God. God has no need of us. That simple fact can be a little
offensive to our human nature: that part of us that wants to be significant; to be needed.
But it’s true God does not need us. He doesn’t need anyone. He is completely whole within
himself, and he is eternal, he has always existed, and he always will. He is the beginning and the
end, the Alpha and the Omega. He is the only one in existence who can be described this way.
The rest of us need quite a lot of medicine to keep existing to a point before succumbing to
death! The most powerful human on earth is still at the mercy of His health and fortune. God
stands alone in needing nothing, in being wholly self-sufficient.

YAHWEH IS A RELATIONAL GOD
Yahweh is only used in the Bible when the author is talking about God’s personal relationship
with his people. A great example of this is Psalm 19. The author talks in the first 6 verses
about Elohim (another name for God) and his relationship with the material world. Then, in
verse 7, he shifts and starts to write about Yahweh and his relationship with those who know
him and who are in covenant with him. The fact that God introduces himself to us as “Yahweh”
tells us that his first priority in relating to us is making sure we know that He is the intensely
personal God, seeking to have a relationship with His people. This is a God who is so love-


motivated to know us and to be in relationship with us that He came to earth as a human and
took the punishment we deserved. This is indeed a relational God. 
PRAYER POINT
Yahweh is the name that is most closely linked to God’s redeeming acts in the history of His
chosen people. We know God because of what He has done. When you pray to Yahweh,
remember that He is the same God who draws near to save you from the tyranny of sin just as
He saved His people from tyrannical slavery in Egypt.

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

SERVICE TO GOD

SERVICE TO GOD

And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to
walk in His all ways, to love Him, to serve the Lord you God with all your heart and with all
your soul. – Deuteronomy 10:12.
God demands our spiritual service as our worship of Him as we see in the following scriptures:
 Psalm 2: 11 – Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling.
 Eph. 6:7 – Serve whole heartedly as if you were serving the Lord and not men.
 Heb. 12:28 – Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be
thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.
From these Bible passages it is obvious that the major service God demands of us is our fear of
Him; our obedience of Him; our love for Him and our joy in doing His will. The Lord is so good
that when He commands us to do anything He Himself also empowers us to do it. See how
Jesus Himself doing His Father’s will, came to serve men as we read in Matt. 20:28: just as the
son of man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.
We see in John 13:4-5 how He washed the feet of the disciples during the last supper.
In Phil. 2:7 that reminds us that Jesus made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a
servant, being made in human likeness.
How do we then serve God the way He wants us to do?
Luke 9:23 says, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily,
and follow me.”

  1. First of all we must deny ourselves and submit totally to the Lordship of Jesus in our lives
    who alone is the way to God.
  2. We must be obedient to God by being sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Until
    we have made Jesus our own personal Saviour the Holy Spirit remains outside our hearts.
  3. We do what is the will of God.
    Having said all this some may be wondering whether service to God merely is the love of Him.
    As James says faith without works is dead. Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and
    daily food. If anyone says to him Go, I wish you well, keep warm and well fed but does
    nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? – James 2:15-16.
    We are therefore, enjoined to do good to each other. We are to help the poor and needy; feed
    the hungry; clothe those who have none, look after the sick, visit prisoners, be hospitable to
    strangers and; and look after those who do God’s work to mention but a few. As Jesus Himself
    says in Matt. 25:35-36: For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and
    you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and
    you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me I was in prison and you came to visit me.
    Good works glorify God: In the same way, let your light shines before men, that they may see
    your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

2

Good works do the following:
 They enrich life;
 They become a pattern for imitation;
 They tend to summon others to their own tasks;
 They demonstrate the reality of our faith in God through Christ Jesus.
When we serve men dutifully it:

  • enables life
  • exemplifies neighborliness
  • it is Christlike
  • it demonstrates love
  • it lightens life’s burdens.
    The Bible has special commands concerning doing good and we find some of them in: Ps. 34:14;
    Ps. 37:3 Jm. 4:14; Lk. 6:35; Heb. 13:16.
    Therefore even as we wait to serve God we must remember the balance. It is not enough to
    do good deeds – and we will not secure our salvation merely by doing good. (Salvation is by
    faith alone – Eph. 2:5b & 8-9). Neither is it good to have faith and have no good works, for the
    great command of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is that when we have the good news, we
    must be up and going. We must go and make disciple s of all nations as we read in Matt. 28
    18:19: All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make
    disciples of all nations.
    What then are the ingredients of a delightful service to God?
     Love of God.
     Obedience to His commands.
     Total reliance on Him for direction.
     Service to men.
     Serving without complaining.
     Immediate service.
     Undivided service.
     Winning souls for His kingdom.
    To do all this we must allow Jesus Christ to come into our lives and transform us for service.
    We must be born again – John 3:3-5. Every heart must confess Him as Lord and Master to
    obtain fullness of life so that we can serve Him with all our hearts, with all our souls and with all
    our strength. We must beware of the sentimental admiration for Jesus, which withholds the
    reins of our lives from Jesus’ hands. The Lord Jesus is the enemy of every love, every
    relationship and every aim that does not aid the eternal sanctification of the soul. Everything is
    an obstacle to true obedience until the Lord absolutely remakes us from the inside by planting
    the disposition of His holiness within us. We must therefore, yearn to be holy so that we can
    serve Him better.

3

Our self-centeredness, which is the driving force for much of our service must be eradicated.
We do not do His work if we want to win the acclaim of men – Jesus warns us that if we do so,
we will get the reward of men and not the Father – Matt. 6:11. Oswald Chambers also says
that “The real enemies of Christ are not the poor fallen people on the streets but those who
profess holiness and yet never let Him eradicate the self-centered disposition in them.
We serve Him best when we surrender totally to Him and allow Him to use us. Then all our
wants will indeed be His care as He promises us in Deut. 28:1-14.

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.

WHAT IT MEANS TO BE LIKE JESUS?

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. – Ephesians 5:2
We saw this on YouTube about somebody’s understanding on how to be like Jesus. We found it
fascinating and are happy to share it with you. Please enjoy it and share it with others.
Who is a Christian?
Eighteen hundred years ago in the second century a man called Diognetus, he wanted to know
what a Christian was, and he asked to have it explained to him and this was written to him to
explain to him what a Christian is.
“The distinction between Christian and other men does not lie in country or language or
customs.
a) They follow local customs in clothing, food and in the rest of life. And yet the exhibit the
wonderfully paradoxical nature of their own citizen.
b) They live in their own countries, but as if they were resident’s aliens.
c) They share all things as citizens and yet endure all things as if they were underclass.
Every foreign country is their homeland, and every homeland a foreign country.
d) They marry like everyone else and have children, but they do not abort their young.
e) They keep a common table but not a common bed. They live in the world but not in a
worldly way.
f) They enjoy a full life on earth, but their citizenship is in heaven.
g) They obey the appointed laws, but they surpass the laws in their own lifestyle, they love
everyone and are universally derided.
h) They are unknown and roundly criticize.
i) They are put to death and gain life.
j) They are poor but make many rich.
k) They lack all things and yet have all things in abundance.
l) They are dishonored and are glorified in their dishonor.
m) They are abused and they call down blessings in return.
n) When they are beaten up, they rejoice as men who are given a new life.
In short, what the soul is in the body, that the Christians are in the world. The soul lives in the
body but is not confined by the body and the Christian live in the world but are not confine by
the world. God has appointed them to this great calling, and it’s will be wrong for them to
decline it.”

In addition to this here are 8 portraits of what Christlikeness looks like.
To be like Jesus means to:

  1. Accept our roots (Matthew 1:1-17)
    The circumstances surrounding Jesus’ birth might have raised questions in the minds of some.
    But Jesus never denied His ancestry or allowed others to shame Him. We also need to
    understand and accept our roots in terms of culture, race, gender and reputation. Moreover,
    like Jesus we want to avoid demeaning anyone else’s heritage.
  2. Engage the world’s Pain and Struggle (1:18-2:23)
    Jesus’s entry into human life was fraught with awkward tensions and human dilemmas: a
    miraculous birth, an earthly father who was considering a quiet divorce, an outraged king
    resorting to infanticide and a return to a homeland that remained hostile and dangerous. We
    too, are all born into some troubles and circumstances but we need to face up to the world and
    remain very much in it, despite all its troubles.
  3. Commit Ourselves to other Believers. (Matthew 3:1-17)
    John the Baptist was not an average individual. He lived in the wilderness – the ‘other side of
    the tracks’ for that day. He wore strange clothing and ate strange food. He was pugnacious,
    even offensive at times. Yet he helped launch Jesus’ career. In return, Jesus had nothing but
    praise for him. If we want to be like Jesus, we must not pick and choose our brothers and sisters
    in God’s family. We need to embrace other believers and demonstrate our unity in Christ, no
    matter how awkward or inconvenient.
  4. Admit our Vulnerability to Temptation. (Matthew 4:1-11)
    Matthew’s inclusion of the temptation is remarkable. It shows that the sinless Lord of the
    universe was tempted, just as we are. ‘For we do not have a high priest who is unable to
    empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as
    we are—yet He did not sin.    Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so
    that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need’. – Hebrews 4:15-16.
    If we want to be like Jesus, we must accept that temptation is real – need to be open about our
    struggles. In doing so we honour God, recognize the power of sin, and encourage others to do
    likewise.

  1. Proclaim the Message of Christ. (Matthew 4:12-25)
    Jesus’s life was not an open book, readable by all. To be sure, He lived a perfect, model life. But
    even that could not stand alone as an undeniable witness. His actions needed interpretation. So
    He supplemented His good deeds with good news. In the same way, we need to verbally
    declare our faith if we want to be like Christ. Certainly we need to back up our words with a
    Christlike lifestyle. But what we tell others gives meaning to our quiet walk and good deeds.
  2. Commit to Changed Thinking and Behaviour (Matthew 5:1-7:27)
    In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explained the values of the kingdom. He showed that
    following Him will involve radical change for most of us. It may mean undoing the way we’ve
    always done things and rethinking traditional sources of wisdom from our parents and culture.
    To become like Jesus involves a tough-minded review of our values and a thorough change in
    our behaviour.
  3. Serve Others. (Matthew 8:1-9:38)
    The Sermon on the Mount was immediately followed by ‘deeds in the valley’. Christlike values
    lead to servant actions – and it was obedient action that Jesus cared about, not just
    sermonizing. Jesus modeled how to do the will of God by actively serving more than 25
    different people. These included such undesirables as lepers, an officer of the Roman
    occupation troops, the sick, the demon-possessed, cave dwellers, tax collectors, and a diseased,
    outcast woman. If we want to be like Jesus, we need to befriend those who are weak, under
    oppression, or without Christ. Like Him, we need to become ‘a friend of sinners’. He offered
    much more than religious information – He served them.
  4. Affirm Other Leaders. (Matthew 10:1-42)
    Jesus invested Himself in the development of other people, particularly the Twelve. He gave
    them responsibility and authority. He accepted the risk that they might fail. Of course, He gave
    them adequate preparation before sending them out, and on their return He affirmed them on
    their successful completion of the mission. Jesus calls us to help others grow. If we want to be
    like Him, we will share the joys and risks of working together with our brothers and sisters.
    To Ponder
    Please remember that there should be a distinction between you and others who are not
    Christians. ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the
    new is here!’ -2 Corinthians 5:17.

Stay blessed!


For further inquiries please contact us on Tel Nos. 0243588467 or 0268130615
Email: saltnlightministries@gmail.com
Website: saltandlightministriesgh.org

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 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.

God’s Grace Is A Gift

When we embrace the grace that comes only from Jesus, it changes the game! In that surrender, we stop trying to earn God’s love and instead respond to His grace with a life of worship. It’s then that we see His grace cover our entire lives.

I love the lyrics in the bridge of our song Grace Upon Grace. It says:
Grace in the driest desert
Grace when I’m feeling worn
Grace when I don’t believe it
Grace found at every turn
Grace in the deepest valley
Grace when the night is long
Grace found in every season
Grace has the final word
Grace breaks the power of darkness
Grace mends the wounded soul
Grace moving every mountain
Grace fills the deepest void
Grace overtakes my battles
Grace resurrects these bones
Grace lifts me from the ashes
Grace is my victory song
Every single one of us can connect to at least one or two of those lines. No matter what we’re facing, what we’re walking in, what is difficult or hard around us, God’s grace covers it! It’s simply up to us to surrender to Him and receive His grace!
Challenge
Today, grab a journal, listen to our song Grace Upon Grace, and reflect on the words. Think about the times God’s grace has shown up in your life. Write them down and thank God for the unmerited favor He has shown you.

—Life.Church Worship Pastor Adam Washburn
Worship with the song Grace Upon Grace.

STAY BLESSED.
Rev. Dr. Joyce R. Aryee
(Executive Director, Salt and Light Ministries)Salt and Light Ministries
P.O.Box AN 15007, Accra North
Contact: 0302 772013,026 8130 615/0243588467
Email: saltnlightministries@gmail.com
Website: saltandlightministriesgh.org

Magnificent Prayers by Nick Harrison

SCRIPTURE: “You have made known to me the path of life;
You will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (Psalm 16:11 NIV)


Why is it that prayer in the name of Christ brings such fullness of joy?
In part, because we get what we ask. But that is not the only reason, nor the greatest. 
It makes God real. When we ask something definite of God , and He gives it , how real God becomes! He is right there! It is blessed to have a God who is real, and not merely an idea.
There is no greater joy on earth or in heaven, than communion with God, and prayer in the name of Jesus brings us into communion with Him.
The Psalmist was surely not speaking only of future blessedness, but also of present blessedness when he said “in Thy presence is fullness of joy.” O the unutterable joy of those moments when in our prayers we really press into the presence of God! 


Magnificent Prayers by Nick Harrison

Beloved in Christ,
For the next 2 weeks, we will use the Devotional entitled Magnificent Prayers by Nick Harrison to remind us about the relevance of prayer in our daily lives.

 May the Holy Spirit minister deeply into our hearts, the message He has for us for today.

Enjoy!  

INTRODUCTION!


Prayer is truly, wonderfully, amazingly magnificent.
Prayer is an invitation to us from God Himself, asking us to please communicate with Him. Through prayer, we ask for and receive good things from our heavenly Father. Through prayer, we are invited to ask of Him of  whom an angel told Mary, 
“Nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37). Miracles, yes -but certainly prayer itself is the greatest miracle.
The best antidote to spiritual depression is prayer. When we enter into communion with God, despair and hopelessness must go. 
Never fear the darkness. Overcome it through the power of prayer.
Has it occurred to us that the answer for which we continue to pray may already be on its way! God has heard it and attended to it. Don’t be discouraged by the delay
God is faithful, keep watching expectantly.