Thank you for visiting the Salty and Bright blog. The mission of Salty and Bright is to share the love of Jesus Christ, spread the Word of God and to encourage Christians living in this present world.
"You are the salt of the earth... You are the light of the world..." Matthew 5:13-14
Hello Everyone, I pray that your New Year is going well so far. We have now reached day eight of the Acts 20 Bible Study. Let's get started. "NO HESITATION" SCRIPTURE
New International Version (NIV)
25 “Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdomwill ever see me again.26 Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of any of you.27 For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.
Paul is about to depart Miletus. He knows he will not see them again. He lets them know that he is innocent of the blood of all men, meaning that if someone had not accepted Jesus Christ it was not his fault and this is why, because he did not hesitate to proclaim the whole will, or counsel, of God.
Can we say that we have not hesitated in proclaiming the whole will of God? What is it that makes some of us hesitate to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Is it fear or lack of knowing what to say?
How can we stop hesitating when it comes to sharing the gift of Jesus Christ?
First, we must pray and ask God to give us holy boldness by His Spirit, so we can spread the gospel without fear.
Second, we need to study how Jesus and the disciples witnessed to unbelievers. Keep in mind St. John 3:17, Jesus said that He came not to condemn the world but to save it. Therefore we must remember that it is not our job to condemn anyone! It is our job to witness to them out of love and kindness.
There are also great books on how to effectively witness in this present age. However great those how to books are, the Bible is still the best one to follow.
Third, remember there is power in numbers. Consider joining your churches witnessing team. Jesus sent the disciples out in twos. When you go out to witness in groups you can encourage each other. However you still need to be comfortable witnessing on your own.
Dear God our Father, thank You for redeeming and saving us through the death, burial and resurrection of Your son Jesus Christ. Help us not to hesitate to share the the Good News. Give us Holy Boldness and courage in Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
I thank God for each one of you. You all have made my year grand. It has been so exciting to have readers in Malaysia, Russia, Germany, Brazil, the U.S.A.and several other countries around the World. My prayer is that each of you have been blessed and challenged by what you have read.
I love the start of a new year!!! The entire past year is literally behind me. God has put somethings on my heart to do THIS year. No more procrastination and mere talk, He is looking for ACTION! There are people who are thirsting after Jesus Christ and I have to go beyond my comfort zone to reach them.
What is it that God has put on your heart to do this year? The start of a new year is the perfect time to begin a new task. The hard part is sticking with it when things become hard and it seems to be moving slow as molasses in the winter time. (That is an old saying.)
Here are some tips that I pray will help you with your goal setting for the new year:
1. Pray, Pray and Pray again.
2. Write the goals/ visions/ ideas that God gives you.
3. Write a mission statement for yourself.
4. Ask God to renew your mind and give you revelation and creativity.
5. Get organized.
6. Get your accountability partners on board. Ones who will REALLY help you.
7. If you need money to fulfill the goal, plan a budget and pray for God to open the favor and financial doors.
8. Work towards your goal everyday, even if it is for only 15 minutes. You will be surprised by what you can still get accomplished. (Thank you Reward for that advise.)
If you have additional tips for successful goal setting and achievement please leave a comment.
May God our Father bless you and I this year, exceedingly, abundantly and above all we could ask or think. In Jesus' name. Amen.
P.S. Sorry this did not go out on the first, I was exhausted and sick. Still ate New Years dinner though. :)
praying for the makeover we discussed on day 6. Watch for to change you
from the inside out.
begin day 7.
"Finish the Race and Complete the Task"
International Version (NIV)
22 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen
to me there.23 I only know
that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are
facing me.24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim
is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given
me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
There is so
much to pull out of these three verses. We will go over a few points but
I encourage you to study on your own and meditate on the word.
says that he was compelled by the spirit to go to Jerusalem. Back in Acts 20:2, 3 and 19,
Paul says that he was being plotted against by the Jews and he was trying to
avoid them, so you know it had to be the Holy Spirit that was compelling him to
go to Jerusalem because he was not going to go. Let's take a moment to
look at Paul's obedience to God. The very place Paul was trying to avoid going
to God said go! Do we obey God when he wants us to do something we have
purposely avoided or feared doing? Paul's obedience when he doesn't know
what will happen to him is amazing to me. For those of us who are
planners at heart, we struggle with not being able to know what is to happen
next. (We have to rest in Jeremiah 29:11)
then talks about how the Holy Spirit warns him of what is to come. (Acts
20:23) The Holy Spirit will warn you as well. How you ask? All I
can say is that He will and you will defiantly know it is Him. You must
stay plugged into God through prayer and fasting to keep the lines of
communication open between you and God.
Knowing full well the dangers before him, Paul said his life is worth
nothing as long as he, "may finish the race and complete the task..."
(Acts 20:24) WOW!!! Are we that committed to God and the task
that He has given us to do? Regardless of the dangers, ridicules and
misunderstandings we have a job to do. The task Paul had, we still have
to this very day, we are to "testify of the gospel of God's grace."
If you are not
sure of how to describe grace to someone here is an acronym by the late Pastor
When we testify
of God's grace we are testifying of the gifts of redemption, salvation and
eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We know that
all Believers in Jesus Christ have the purpose of sharing the gospel of God's
grace. Also each one of us has an individual task that God created us
for. Ask God to reveal yours to you.
opportunities to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with someone each day. Let
them know that if they repent of their sins God will forgive them. Then
they confess that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead. Then
they can ask Jesus to come into their hearts to be their Lord and Savior and
they will be saved. Hallelujah!
Dear God our
Father, thank You for Your Son Jesus Christ. Thank You for sending Him to
save us through His death, burial and resurrection. God help us to live
for You and witness to others about Your grace. Help us to be sensitive
to the leading of the Holy Spirit. God, help us to "finish the race and
complete the task." (Acts 20:24) In Jesus' Name. Amen. Thank You God.
Happy Day After Christmas Everyone! It is time for day six of our Acts 20 Study! "HOW ARE YOU LIVING" SCRIPTURE Acts 20:17-21
New International Version (NIV)
17 From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church.18 When they arrived, he said to them: “You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia.19 I served the Lord with great humility and with tears and in the midst of severe testing by the plots of my Jewish opponents. 20 You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house.21 I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus. OBSERVATION In this passage of scripture we see that Paul sends for the elders of the church in Ephesus. Paul said, "You know how I lived the whole time I was with you..." (Acts 20:18) Paul talks about how he served the Lord with great humility and tears even when he was being severely tested by the Jews who were plotting against him. He also talks about how he did not hesitate to preach anything that would be helpful to them. Paul declared to everyone that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus. Let's breakdown this observation so we can get more out of it. 1. Paul mentions that everyone knows how he lived. How are you living? I once heard this said, I just can't remember who said it, "Who you are at home is who you really are." WOW! Are you living one way at home and another way in public? Are you messy at home and neat in public? Are you mean at home and kind in public? If you are living one way at home and another way in public, ask God to help you to be a person of good character and to posses the fruit of the spirit wherever you are. (Galatians 5:22) Ask Him to create in you a clean heart and to renew in you a right spirit (Psalm 51:10) in order for you to live right whether in private or in public. 2. Paul served the Lord with great humility and tears even while he was being tested and plotted against. Like Paul we have to continue to serve the Lord even with tears in our eyes, when our faith is being tested and when people try to set traps for us. (Notice I said try. That's all they can do is try because no weapon formed against you shall prosper. (Isaiah 54:17) 3. Paul said that he did not hesitate to preach anything that would be helpful to them. When you have something helpful (not gossip) to share with someone please don't keep that to yourself. Share the information. If the person receives the information, praise God. If the person does not receive the information shake the dust off your feet, meaning let it go, you did what you could. 4. Paul declared to everyone that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus. We have to do the same thing. We must declare that people repent of their sins and proclaim faith in Jesus Christ. This is the Great Commission. We are commissioned to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. APPLICATION Okay I know this is a lot to apply but the application starts out very simply. We are going to get an extreme makeover. Yes A Makeover!!! We are going to pray to God our Father asking Him for one. PRAYER Dear God our Father. We thank you for all that you are teaching from your Holy Word. We thank you for bringing to our attention all of the areas were we need to be made over. Father, make us over from the inside out. Help us to possess the fruit of the Spirit at home and in public. Help us to serve you faithfully regardless of our circumstances and what others try to do to us. Help us to not hesitate to share helpful information. Help us to obey the Great Commission, spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. All this we pray in Jesus name, Amen.
There is no better time to accept Jesus Christ as your LORD and Savior then today. Just pray this prayer.
Dear God, I am a sinner. I please forgive me of all my sins. Lord, Jesus please come into my heart and save me. Jesus I believe you are the Son of God. I believe that God raised you from the dead and that You are alive and in Heaven. Thank you Jesus for saving me. In Jesus name I pray. Amen
If you just prayed that prayer your name is now written in the Book of Life in Heaven. Stay close to God through prayer, reading the Bible and joining a Bible believing church.
Hello Readers, Did you think about people in your life that you need to run to and put your arms around? I hope you did. It's Time For Day Five! SCRIPTURE
New International Version (NIV)
Paul’s Farewell to the Ephesian Elders
13 We went on ahead to the ship and sailed for Assos, where we were going to take Paul aboard. He had made this arrangement because he was going there on foot.14 When he met us at Assos, we took him aboard and went on to Mitylene.15 The next day we set sail from there and arrived off Chios. The day after that we crossed over to Samos, and on the following day arrived at Miletus.16 Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus to avoid spending time in the province of Asia, for he was in a hurry to reach Jerusalem, if possible, by the day of Pentecost. OBSERVATION Paul had made travel arrangements to be in Jerusalem by the day of Pentecost. However on his way he would have to stop in 5 different cities and skip over Ephesus all together in order to make it to his final destination in time for Pentecost. We all make plans but only God knows how they will be achieved.
Proverbs 16:9 says, "In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."
What plans do you have in mind? What goals do you already have for the new year? We all have goals that we desire to achieve and we may even have the entire journey mapped out, but God has the ultimate say so about the steps that we take. That is why we have to remember Proverbs 16:3, "Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans." You make the plans, commit (give) them to God (allowing His will to have control) and He will establish it (make it happen). Do you get that? When we give our plans over to God's will, He can then give us our will!!!
The ONLY way for your plans to come true is to give them away to God. You can't hold onto them! God needs to know that you put Him first before ALL of the things you have planned. In Jeremiah 29:11, God tells us that He knows the plans for our lives but many people forget to read the next couple of verse where God says,"Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me... You will seek Me..." Jeremiah 29:12,13 In order to know God's plans for us we have to call upon God, pray to God and seek God. Then we will know the plans He has for us and then we will be astoundingly surprised by how He includes our plan in His plan. He created you so the things that you want are spiritually rooted in what He created you for. WOW!!! APPLICATION Are you ready to apply what was just observed? This is the application process that I would like to suggest to you: 1. Write down your plans. Be detailed and use only positive words. 2. Pray to God and tell Him that you are giving over all of those plans to Him for His will to be done. 3. Seek God for Him to direct you each day. 4. Write down what God shows you about His plan for your life and compare it to your plans that you gave to Him. 5. Then give God crazy praise because of how He merged His plan for you with your plan. WHEN WE YIELD TO GOD'S WILL, HE CAN THEN MERGE OUR LANES TOGETHER! PRAYER Dear God our Father, thank you for giving us thoughts and ideas about our futures. Thank you for giving us the privilege to give them over to You. Help us not to be afraid to let Your will be done in our lives. Help us to yield to Your will and way. Guide us everyday and help us to stay on the right path. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Now that we have gotten the sleep out of our eyes, let's get started on day four of this study!
New International Version (NIV)
10 Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!”11 Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left.12 The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted. OBSERVATION The young man Eutychus had died falling out of a window. (Acts 20 study day 3) Paul, the one Eutychus fell asleep listening to, went down to the young man's body threw himself on the young man, put his arms around him and Paul said, "He's alive". Who are you running to and putting your arms around? Are you bringing people back to life? Sometimes the very people you are trying to encourage pay you little or no attention. They fall asleep while you are speaking to them but those very people may end up needing you to help them and bring them back to life when they fall on hard times. Don't be angry with them and ignore their need. Run to them, put your arms around them, show them loving kindness and you will bring them back to life. APPLICATION Think about the people you come in contact with, family members, friends, co-workers, bosses, church member etc. Who is really going through something right now and could us your arms around them? How do you bring someone back to life? First by praying for them. Jesus Christ intercedes for us by praying to God for us daily. Hallelujah! We should follow that example and pray for people daily. Secondly, we need to share God's word with them. You may have a Bible verse that you run to when you are down and need an encouraging word, share it with that person. It may bless them. Lastly, be there for them. You can send them a daily encouraging text or tweet when you can't see them face to face. Be consistent in showing them that you care. One word of caution. Don't make their problem your problem. Yes, we weep with those who weep however we cannot become infected with their issue because you will end up hindering them instead of helping them. PRAYER Dear God our Father, thank you for giving us eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Thank you Jesus for daily praying for us. Help us to be wise in how we help those who are going through hard times. For those who don't know you Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, touch their hearts and give them a mind to want to be saved. In Jesus name I pray. Amen