Sermon Titbits

Another work of empowerment by the Holy Spirit is recorded in Acts 13:6-13. Here we see how the Holy Spirit can empower us to fight the forces of darkness. Paul and Barnabas had just been commissioned as Missionaries (v 4) and they went about preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the Synagogues of the Jews (v 5). Immediately they set out to do the work of God, they had an encounter in Paphos with a man called Bar-jesus who was a sorcerer or false prophet. Bar-Jesus also known as Elymas the sorcerer had established himself as a person of influence in the Island of Paphos and he was a confidant or an adviser of the proconsul (governor) of the Island.  
Lesson 1: There are principalities and powers that govern and influence the decisions in every territory. The Bible says in Ephesians 6:12 that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers. We need to be conscious of our environment and pay attention to the spiritual climate of the place. Many of us are on the Eastern Shore for the first time or have been here for a while for studying or living. Regardless of what brought us here, we must be conscious of our spiritual environment. There are principalities and powers that govern this territory and we cannot afford to be careless. Be watchful about the associations you keep, be watchful of the places you go. Be sober and be vigilant (I Peter 5:8).  

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As we continue to discuss the Holy Spirit, it is expedient for us to understand the reason why the Holy Spirit came into the world. Some of the reasons are as follows

1. The Constant Presence of the Holy Spirit:

2. Empowerment: Another purpose of the Holy Spirit in our lives is to empower us to do the supernatural and the extraordinary. The Holy Spirit empowers for service
We had discussed the example of Saul and David.
In Num. 11:25, the Holy spirit of God came upon seventy elders of Israel and they prophesied.
In Num. 24:2 the Holy Spirit came upon Balaam and he blessed the children of Israel instead of cursing them.

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As we continue to discuss the Holy Spirit, it is expedient for us to understand the reason why the Holy Spirit came into the world. The Bible says in John 14:16 - 17, that "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (John 14:16, 17 KJV).   
1. The Constant Presence of the Holy Spirit: From scripture above, the primary purpose of the Holy Spirit in our lives is to abide with us for ever. The best thing that can happen to anyone is to have the abiding presence of God the Holy Spirit in their life. Not only so, but to have Him continually forever. This is a heritage of all God's children living in this dispensation. Before the Holy Spirit came into the world to live with us as it is today, He used to dwell temporarily with people for specific assignments. 

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This series will focus on the Holy Spirit. The more we know about the Holy Spirit, the better our Christian experience will be.

A. Who is the Holy Spirit                              
1. The Holy Spirit is a person: In Genesis 1:26, the Bible says "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:26 KJV)  
The verse of scripture tells us that there are more than one person in the conversation. These are God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. These are one God but different personalities. In the Old Testament, God revealed Himself as God the Father. 

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According to Pastor Mensah Otabil, one of the certainties of life is that we must make choices. Some are deliberate and some are unconscious. An average man makes about 100,000 choices every day. A choice is an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with 2 or more possibilities. There has to be options and preferences in order to make choices. When there are no options, life is simple. Making a choice is always difficult. However, God created us to make choices and He expects us to choose right (Luke 22:41-43, Deut. 30:19-20). Moses instructed the people to choose life instead of death, blessing instead of cursing. In Luke 22:41-43, Jesus had to make a choice to die on the cross. In these passages, we learn that we are created with a free will. We have a conscience and have the ability to make right choices and God does not want to force us into doing His will. There are three big choices we have to make in life and if we do our lives we go right. 
1. Choose what to feed on. What we allow into our system will form our personality. In Gen. 2:115-17, God gave Adam the free will to choose what to eat. 

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God is able to make all grace abound towards us. He has played His part by making grace available to us and in abundance. He expects us to receive His grace in order for us to reign in this life. 2 Peter 3:18 states “But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to Him be glory both now and forever, Amen”. Peter is saying we should give increase to grace. It is our responsibility to grow in God’s grace. In 2 Peter 1:2, Peter greets the church saying grace and peace be multiplied unto you.  We all have the grace of God working for us, yet it is safe to say that some Christians are functioning in higher levels of grace than others.  Grace is more than ‘unmerited favor’. Grace refers to a divine influence on our inward man (spirit man), manifested outwardly for all to see. God deposits or impresses His divine influence in us through His word and by the Holy Spirit.

When the divine influence is at work in our lives, it produces the following:

Acceptability: Something about an individual that attracts them to others.

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Posted in: Sis. Zino Okpozo
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The beginning God created all things both living and non-living. He created man in His own image. He created man for companionship. He created man man to be fruitful and to dominate the earth but man fell because of sin. In spite of man's sin God made another way to restore the relationship. That is why Jesus came. God came to us because of who He is, not because of who we are. He revealed Himself to us as the God of flesh in diverse ways.          
1. He is love. Jer. 31:3 says "The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee"                 

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As we continue our discussion on how we can be our brother's keeper, we want to learn a few lessons that can improve our effort for outreach.       
In this story Jesus Himself demonstrated to us some of the things we need to pay attention to as we seek to shine His light to a world in darkness. Jesus was leaving Judea for Galilee because of the Pharisees (John 4:1-3)                  
Lesson 1. Avoid Controversy: The Pharisees were always attacking the Ministry of Jesus. When Jesus knew the Pharisees could start another problem for Him and His disciples He decided leave Judea for Galilee. We need to be sensitive enough to know when to move away from a controversy. Even the parents of Jesus had to move Him to Egypt to avoid execution by Herod. 

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Introduction: In order to position yourself for the flow of the River of living waters, there are at least six prerequisites you must meet.     
1. Righteousness and Right Living: In Isa. 64;6 the Bible says  "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away”. In the eyes of God we are all unrighteous but thank God for Jesus who became sin for us so that we can be made the righteousness of God according to II Cor. 5:21 "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him". Living a righteous life will allow the river to flow from our belly.
2. Growth and maturity: Jesus grew in favor and in stature before God and before men (Luke. 2:52). He grew spiritually. We must desire the sincere milk of the word of God which will allow us to grow spiritually (I Peter 2:3). In Gal. 4:1-3, the Bible says an heir is not different from a servant unless he becomes mature. Growth and maturity make us to enjoy our Heavenly father's wealth.

 

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Father's Day is the day that is dedicated to honoring Fathers for their role in the family. It is unfortunate that in today's world, fathers are not celebrated and honored the way they should. The reasons are many but our prayer is that the Lord will restore fathers back to their rightful position in the family and in the community. To celebrate and encourage our fathers, we will use the acronym F-A-T-H-E-R.
F Faith: Faith can be otherwise defined as belief or trust. A father must be a man of strong faith. Abraham was described as the father of faith and a friend of God because of his exceptional trust in God. God called Abraham the father of many nations and he believed God even though he was childless. In Romans 4:18-20 the Bible says "Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; In a world where there are no moral absolutes, a Christian father must put his faith in God and God alone.              

 

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