JESUS IS OUR FRIEND

SCRIPTURE TEXT: “Today salvation has come to this house… for the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” — Luke 19:9-10

One of the most shocking and incredible aspects of Jesus is that He is our Friend. It’s astonishing that our omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient God who made everything in the universe and beyond with His own hands, who rules history and kingdoms, holds the power over every proton, neutron, and electron in every galaxy we have yet to discover… also wants to be… friends.
 
Jesus is a Friend to not just the brightest and best, the most powerful and accomplished, the prettiest and wealthiest. He is a ready Friend to anyone. Anyone! He was at ease and fully Himself among the elite (The Pharisee Nicodemus in John 3) and the most hated people in the whole culture (tax collectors in Luke 19:1-10). He was the life of the party (John 2:1-11) and the perfect Friend One-on-One (Peter in John 21:15-19).
 
Jesus shows again and again that when He came to earth, He was relatable–just like us normal people. He chose to be average. Seemingly unremarkable. Approachable. Fun and funny. Kind. He chose Capernaum as His home base, an average town like yours and mine. He made friends with Pete, Andy, Phil, Tom, Matt, Bart, and all the riff-raff. Ordinary folk. Fishermen and townsfolk. Peter’s my favorite. Bold and emotional, blundering, and passionate. He’s the guy who will step out on the water and yet inwardly roll his eyes at obeying Jesus who knows “nothing” about fishing because Peter was the pro. The fish aren’t out in the daytime. They’re not out in the deep, they’re in the shallows.
 
Jesus shows His abundance. And His friendship. He didn’t chastise Peter. He loved Him.
 
Doesn’t that give you hope? If Jesus chose to be friends with John the Wild, and Peter the Passionate, and sly Levi, and Andy the cynic, and James and John the hotheads, then you and I are welcome friends to our King, too.
 
If you’re anyone… you’re in!

PRAYER: “Jesus, we love You. Thank You for being our Friend. It’s hard to grasp Your greatness along with how personable You choose to be. You know every detail of every single thing, and yet You care about us, and love us, and are involved in our lives. How can we thank You for being such a Friend! We love You, Lord.” Amen.

STAY BLESSED

See your workplace as your mission field

SCRIPTURE: ” And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colo. 3:17 NIV)

Careers are both spiritual and supernatural. Jesus has the power and strategy to help you turn your career into calling. As believers, sometimes we feel frustrated, and in dilemma when we seek the will of God for which career or profession to pursue, but God is silent. Have you ever felt this frustration and uncertainty? Are you waiting for an angelic visitation, writing on the wall, or loud voice? Let us look at some five insights to help us answer this dilemma:

  1. There is no division between a spiritual career and a calling. Your personal career could and should become a calling from heaven.
  2. God has uniquely qualified you to do something and enjoy it. What do you love to do? Can you make a living doing it?
  3. Careers and callings from God should be the same. Jesus prayed one prayer to the Father. “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Christians should see their careers as their methods of bringing heaven on earth.
  4. Christians are called to bring excellence and effort into the workplace. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” (Colo. 3:23 NIV)
  5. God has designed you to love a career and do well at it. He will let you choose a career so you can shine like a bright light and flourish.
    As a believer, let see our workplace as a mission field. The workplace may not seem spiritual, but requires a focused person led by the Holy Spirit to succeed at it.

Source: Culled from Jesus. net.

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

Work – World Codes!

SCRIPTURE: He who tends a fig-tree will eat its fruit, and he who looks after his master will be honoured. (Proverbs 27:18 NIV)

Let us look at some ethical issues to gird us in the way we work, based on Col. 3:22-4:1. Paul’s letters have much to say to believers as we live out our faith in the work world. Paul usually speaks to both leaders and workers about the tough character and choices required to honour Christ in a difficult workplace environment. For example:

Guidelines for Workers and Those Under Authority
Tasks
Don’t try to get out of your current situation too quickly – 1 Cor. 7:17-24
View stress and trouble in perspective – 2 Cor. 4:7-18

Supervisors
Develop respect for authority – Rom. 13:1-8
Do your work wholeheartedly and respectfully – Eph.6:5-8; 1 Thess. 5:12-15
Give your employers obedient, hard work – Col. 3:22-25; 1 Thess. 4:11-12
Honour bosses, whether they are believers or not – 1 Tim. 6:1-2

Co-workers
Develop a reasonable self-estimate – Rom. 12:3
Acknowledge differences and accept the contributions of others – 1 Cor. 12:1-8
Help others, but do your job – Gal. 6:1-5
Learn to speak appropriately and sensitively – Col. 4:6
Understand others and treat them respectfully – 1 Tim. 5:1-3
Develop a reputation for good relationships – Titus 3:1-2

Responsibility
Give your whole self to God – Rom. 12:1
Develop the art of discernment in order to live responsibly – Eph. 5:15-18
Do your work as if working for God – 1 Cor. 3:13; Col.3:17
Don’t let your responsibilities weigh you down with worry – Phil. 4:6
Take responsibility for yourself – 1 Thess. 4:11-12; 2 Thess. 3:8-9
Develop a godly “work style” – Titus 2:9-10
Finances
Live frugally and do not steal – including pilfering – Eph. 4:28
Care for your family – 1 Tim. 5:8

This article was inspired by notes and articles on Work in the Bible – NKJV by Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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

Work – World Codes!

Beloved in the Lord,
This week, we are going to talk about Work. Today’s focus is on, Work – World Codes!


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

SCRIPTURE: “He who tends a fig tree will eat its fruit, and he who looks after his master will be honoured”.
(Proverbs 27:18 NIV)

Let us look at some ethical issues to gird us in the way we work, based on Col. 3:22-4:1.  Paul’s letters have much to say to believers as we live out our faith in the work world.  Paul usually speaks to both leaders and workers about the tough character and choices required to honour Christ in a difficult workplace environment.  For example:
 
Guidelines for Managers and Others in Authority        
Finance
Workers deserve payment for their work – 1 Cor. 9:7-14
You are accountable for fair employee compensation – Col. 4:1
Handle wealth very delicately – 1 Tim. 6:9-10; 17-18 

Workplace Relationship
Bring your walk with Christ into each business relationship – 2 Cor. 7:1Value people highly – Gal. 5:14; Eph. 4:31-32Treat and motivate employees with respect rather than threats – Col. 6:5-9Have a reasonable view of yourself – Rom. 12:3 

Communication
Accusations must be verified – Matt.18:15-35; 2 Cor. 13:1; 1 Tim. 5:19Communication should always be gracious and truthful – Col. 4:6 

Responsibility
Fulfil your commitments – Rom. 13:6-8Remember your accountability – 1 Cor. 3:9-15Care for the poor and the weak – Rom. 12:13; Gal. 2:10Learn how to handle times of bounty and leanness – Phil. 4:12Remember, God’s Son gets the ultimate credit – Col. 1:17-18Be sure to care for your own family – 1 Tim. 5:8- TitusDiscern needs and meets them – Titus 3:14 

Management             
View time not in terms of time management, but also in light of the long-term implications of your decisions – 2 Cor.4:16-18; 2 Peter 3:8-13.Help each employee discern the best thing to do – 1 Thess. 5:14-15Be willing to change your opinions – 2 Cor.5:16-17;
Philemon 10-14.  

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

WHO IS THE BOSS?

Beloved in the Lord,
This week, we are going to talk about Work. Today’s focus is on, WHO IS THE BOSS?


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

SCRIPTURE: “Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.” (Colossians 3:22).

Christ gives you work to do. Work is a gift from God. He has created you in His own image to be a worker, giving you skills and abilities to accomplish His purposes. He has also sovereignly placed you in your occupation to do His work there. Even if your job is as lowly as a Roman slave’s, it still has value and dignity to Christ.  Christ is your Boss, but He uses human supervisors.

People, in authority over you are actually human representatives of Christ. They may not act very Christlike. But in working for them, you are ultimately working for Christ. Do you follow instructions? Do you shirk your job when they are not around? Are you more interested in impressing them to gain approval and advancement than getting the job done? How would your work ethic change if you saw Christ as your supervision?
Christ asks you to put your heart into your work. If you serve Christ in your job, you have more than else to work with integrity and enthusiasm.

The job itself may be unchallenging or unpleasant. But Christ asks you to do it with dignity, to the best of your ability, as though working for Christ Himself.  Christ will reward you for good, faithful work, and will review your work someday. You can expect praise and reward for working in a Christlike manner.

 
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

WORK IS NOT A CURSE!

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).

 
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

The Spirituality of Everyday Work.

SCRIPTURE: “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your affections on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  Set our minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Col. 3:1-2 NIV)

Our work is actually an extension of Christ’s rule in the world and so God expects us to do our work the same way He does His.  We have to be: Diligent.

We need to be excellent at the work we do.
We need to persevere and bring the best out of our work.

Our work needs to be good, indeed very good. The issue here is spirituality, the capacity to know, experience, and respond to God.  The question we may ask is whether it is indeed possible to bring spirituality into “secular” work.  A few things are worth considering:
 
1.   If Christ is Lord over all of life, then He must be Lord overwork, too.
Whether sacred or secular work, we must bring out our best. The life that Christ offers (the “things above”) and its alternative – spiritual death apart from Him (the “things on earth”).
 Spirituality also has to do with the lordship of Christ.  Christ is Lord over all of creation – Col. 1:15-18.  Therefore, He is Lord overwork.  Whatever we do for work, we should do it “in the name of the Lord Jesus – Col.3:17, that is, with a concern for His approval and in a manner t
 2.   The Spirit empowers us to live and work with Christlikeness
Spirituality has to do with character and conduct, regardless of where we work.  Christ gives the Holy Spirit to help us live in a way that pleases Him. 



 
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

The Church In Laodicea

SCRIPTURE: “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit  says to the churches.” 
(Rev. 3:19-22 NIV)

God would discipline this lukewarm church unless it turned from its indifference toward Him. God’s purpose in discipline is not to punish but to bring people back to Him. Are you lukewarm in your devotion to God? God may discipline you to help you out of your uncaring attitude, but He uses only loving discipline. The Laodicean church was complacent and rich. They felt self-satisfied but didn’t have Christ’s presence among them. Christ knocked at the door of their hearts, but they were so busy enjoying worldly pleasures that they didn’t notice that He was trying to enter. Jesus knocks at the door of our hearts because He wants to save us and have fellowship with us.

 
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

The Church In Laodicea

SCRIPTURE: “You say, I’m am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing. But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire so that you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so that you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes so that you can see. 
 (Rev. 3:17-18 NIV)


Some believers assume that numerous material possessions are a sign of God’s spiritual blessing. Laodicea was a wealthy city, and the church was also wealthy. But what the Laodiceans could see and buy had become more valuable to them than what is unseen and eternal. Wealth, luxury, and ease can make people feel confident, satisfied, and placed. But no matter how much you possess or how much you make, you have nothing if you do not have a vital relationship with Christ. He told the Laodiceans to buy gold from Him (real spiritual treasures), white clothes (His righteousness) and Christ told them to buy salve for their eyes, so they could see the truth.

 
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

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires” – Hebrews 4 : 12 (NLT)

The Church In Laodicea

SCRIPTURE: “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true, witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!  So, because you are lukewarm neither hot nor cool-I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”  (Rev. 3:11-13 NIV)

The church in Laodicea had become lukewarm and thus distasteful and repugnant. The believers did not take a stand for anything; indifference had led to idleness. By neglecting to do anything for Christ, the church had become hardened and self-satisfied, and it was destroying itself. There is nothing more disgusting than a half-hearted, nominal Christian who is self-sufficient. Do not settle for following God halfway. Let Christ fire up your faith and get you into the action.

 
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

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires” – Hebrews 4 : 12 (NLT)

The Church In Philadelphia

SCRIPTURE: “I‘m coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”  
(Rev. 3:11-13 NIV)


Christians have differing gifts, abilities, experiences, and maturity. God doesn’t expect us all to be and act the same, but He does expect us to “hold on” to what we have, persevere in using our resources for Him. The Philadelphians are commended for their effort to obey and encouraged to hold tightly to whatever strength they have.  You may be a new believer and feel that your faith and spiritual strength are little. Use what you have to live for Christ, and God will commend you. The new Jerusalem is the future dwelling of the people of God. We will have new citizenship in God’s future Kingdom, and everything will be new, pure, and secure.

 
STAY BLESSED.
Rev. Dr. Joyce R. Aryee
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