SCRIPTURE: “To Adam He said, Because you listen to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, You must not eat of it, cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.” (Gen. 3:17 NIV)
God disciplined Adam for his sin by cursing the ground. Because of this some people think that work is a curse but it is not. Most of us acknowledge that work can be burdensome. Think of the stresses, pressures, occupational hazards, workplace politics, endless routine, frustrations, disappointments, setbacks, injustice, deception and inordinate competition at the workplace. God, through the Bible, calls work and the fruits of our labour His gifts to us as we read in (Ecclesiastics 3:13 & 5:18-19). So work is not evil. God made some strong pronouncements related to work. Now let us consider some very important points that underscore the fact that even though God made those pronouncements, He did not in anyway make work a curse. 1. GOD HIMSELF IS A WORKER: God does not contradict Himself. He Himself was, and will ever be working, so it means that work is not evil. After all, God is so holy and so righteous that He cannot do evil. 2. GOD CREATED US IN HIS IMAGE AND MADE US HIS CO-WORKERS: In (Genesis 1:28) God commanded Adam and Eve to subdue the earth and have dominion over all creation. It is God who gives us the ability and authority to manage creation, therefore work cannot be a curse – it cannot be evil. 3. ESTABLISHED WORK BEFORE THE FALL: As our second point indicates, God gave us authority to work before Adam and Eve disobeyed Him. When God created them, He put them in the garden and asked them to tend and keep it – (Genesis 2:15).
SCRIPTURE TEXT: “Freely you have received, freely give.” —Matthew 10:8
God is the ultimate Giver. He is abundantly generous and exceedingly bountiful. He gives and gives again. His blessings can’t be counted, His abundance can’t be measured, His generosity can’t be contained. He has given you the blessings of earth and the blessings of Heaven.
Because you have received so much, you have so much that you can give. You can give a smile, because God has smiled upon you; you can give a hug, because God has embraced you; you can give acceptance, because God has accepted you; you can give hope, because God has given you eternal hope; you can give compassion, because God has given you comfort; you can give kindness, because God has given you love.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, I pray for a generous and a giving heart. Amen
SCRIPTURE TEXT: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” – Acts 1:8
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are nowhere more relevant to our lives than in the area of witness. The Holy Spirit not only gives us the power to speak, but through His gifts of wisdom and discernment He shows us when and how to speak in any particular situation. We all live under the shadow of the great commission to go and make disciples of all nations, but we are not left to ourselves in this task. Jesus promised His first disciples that He would always be with them and He is always with us, giving us power and guidance through the Spirit whom He has sent, to enable us every day in our witness for Him.
The Holy Spirit leads men and women into areas of effective witness. He is always taking the initiative in opening the right doors where He has prepared the ground for the reception of the gospel – e.g. Acts 8:26-39. Life takes on a new dimension altogether when we are prepared every day to follow the leading of the Spirit on every occasion. The Holy Spirit will prepare the hearts and lives of those with whom we come into contact, so that they can receive the witness we give them to the power of Jesus.
Our whole life is an opportunity and if we will open ourselves to the possibilities of the Holy Spirit, we will be surprised at how many opportunities we will be given to share what our faith in Jesus means to us. This does not mean that we will always need to be straining to barge into people’s lives: it means that we need to follow the Lord as He opens the door by His Spirit.
Witness means many things. At one time it will mean making a clear statement about what we believe and why we believe it; on other occasions it will mean that we are the outlet for God in that situation, demonstrating His love and power through our attitudes and concern for other people. In any event, it is not a witness to ourselves, but to the loving power of the Lord Jesus Christ
PRAYER: Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you in every situation.
SCRIPTURE TEXT: “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever– the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”– John 14:15-18
The Holy Spirit continues to bring love and life to us. The harvest that began on the day of Pentecost, more than 2,000 years ago, continues today, and will continue until the end of the Church age. The Holy Spirit is the agent of Pentecost and the revelation of the love of God. God so loved us that He would not leave us as orphans but sent the Holy Spirit to be always present with us – John 14:18.
He is a Person and not a force or a thing as some believe. The Scriptures confirm this by the personal ways in which The Holy Spirit responds and the personal things He does. The Bible also makes it clear that the Holy Spirit is one with God the Father and God the Son – John 14:16. Since God is Love the Holy Spirit is also Love. This is seen in the attributes that are given to Him and which are without exception, the attributes of God. He is Eternal, Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient.
The Holy Spirit is love and out of love gives us spiritual life so that we can relate to God. God is Spirit and the only way to relate to Him is in spirit and in truth. The proof that we belong to God is seen in our love towards one another, for God is love.
The purpose of the presence of the Holy Spirit is to confirm God’s love and His acceptance of Christ’s perfect sacrifice. The presence of the Holy Spirit reveals and glorifies Jesus Christ and to fill us with His love. The Holy Spirit enables us to understand the revelations of Jesus’ perfect sacrifice. He reveals that Jesus’ sacrifice has made the blessings of God available to all of us. The Holy Spirit not only reveals and glorifies Jesus Christ but empowers us to love and to serve Him.
Prayer Point: “Pray that the Holy Spirit should empower you to live for Christ and serve Him.”
What is the connection between suffering and purity for the Christian? These are not terms we usually consider together, but Peter says those who suffer physically cease from sin and no longer live for human lusts. Instead, they live for the will of God. That is not to say we’ll reach a level of sinless perfection but, rather, the power of sin in our lives will be broken.
According to today’s passage, we are engaged in a battle, and Peter says to arm ourselves with the same attitude Christ had in His suffering. Just as He willingly submitted to the Father’s will and went to the cross, so we must accept that suffering is likewise part of God’s will for our life. It’s one of the ways He purifies us and breaks any attachment to our previous sinful desires.
As believers, we are called to live differently from the world around us. This doesn’t mean we’re to be deliberately antagonistic, but our lifestyle should be an example of purity. Others may find this offensive because it exposes their sin, and then they may respond by maligning us in an attempt to make themselves feel better.
Although we want the world to be attracted to Christ by our transformed lives, in reality we may make others uncomfortable or perhaps even antagonistic. This is why so many Christians around the world are being persecuted and even killed for their faith. But every time the church has faced persecution, it has also been purified and made stronger. God never intends for suffering to defeat us. Rather, His purpose is for it to make us holy and effective witnesses for Christ.
Bible in One Year: John 1-3
SOURCE: Culled from In Touch Ministries
Mixed Oratorio – from Creation, Joseph and His Brethren, Elijah and Messiah.
Date: 28th October, 2018
Venue: Accra International Conference Centre
Ticket Outlets: JoyFm, Silverbird Accra Mall, Koala Osu, Airport Shell, Community 8 and 11 Shell, Dansoman Shell, Baatsona Total, Salt and Light Ministries Office Abelemkpe
or call 0276389747, 0246826335.
God’s promises are very precious. Not only do they remind us of His personal interest in our lives, but they also provide hope and encouragement during difficult times.
Before claiming a promise, we must check ourselves in three areas: faith, obedience, and patience. First, we must trust Jesus as our personal Savior and live on the basis of our belief in Him. Obeying God is also necessary. If we willfully continue to disobey the Lord, then He is not obligated to fulfill His promise (1 Peter 3:12). Finally, patience is required. God operates on His timetable to accomplish His purposes according to His perfect plan. Waiting on Him is necessary.
At times it will seem as if a divine promise is not being fulfilled. When that is the case, take a second look at the biblical passage to be sure it applies to you. Then verify that you have met the necessary conditions, and examine whether there is a genuine need. If you are still convinced the promise applies, then you can look a little deeper at your request. Will the Lord be honored when this promise is fulfilled? Can He answer this prayer without harming others or hindering His will in their lives? Will this help you grow spiritually? These additional questions will assist you in claiming a promise of God.
The Holy Spirit is our instructor, who will teach us about the Lord’s promises. He wants to build our faith through Scripture, provide the strength necessary to obey, and develop in us the fruit of patience. These qualities are necessary and will help us as we look to God to fulfill His promises.
Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” – Matthew 22:37–40 (NIV).