Friday, March 10, 2017

Talk Tuesday-Lenten Reflections: Where Did The Seed Fall For You?

In Luke Chapter 8, JESUS tells this parable:

5 'A sower went out to sow his seed. Now as he sowed, some fell on the edge of the path and was trampled on; and the birds of the air ate it up. 6 Some seed fell on rock, and when it came up it withered away, having no moisture. 7 Some seed fell in the middle of thorns and the thorns grew with it and choked it. 8 And some seed fell into good soil and grew and produced its crop a hundredfold.' Saying this he cried, 'Anyone who has ears for listening should listen!' Luke 8:5-8 (NJB)

When His disciples ask him about the meaning of this, He prefaces His explanation with the following revelation; “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you...” Luke 8:10 (NIV). This 'secret of the kingdom of God' has been passed down to us! So what is it?

 “This, then, is what the parable means: the seed is the word of God,” Luke 8:11 (NJB). The Gospel-the seed- is the message of SALVATION, THE GOOD NEWS that through the blood of JESUS CHRIST shed on the cross, the price of our sin is paid, the penalty of sin which is death is fulfilled, our lives are ransomed (bought back from death and hell), we are redeemed, our sins are atoned for, we are made right with GOD (justified), and we are cleansed from the stain of sin (purified by His blood). That means that instead of the hopelessness fate of sinners, we have a future hope of eternal life in the presence of GOD forever! Death is not the END! It is the BEGINNING of an eternity of joy and peace!What a relief!

“12 Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved,” Luke 8:12 (NIV). This can happen in so many different ways, at so many different stages in life-from elementary school, to university, to the work place, peer pressure, and social interaction at all levels. The end result is DOUBT and UNBELIEF.

“13 Those on the rock are people who, when they first hear it, welcome the word with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of trial they give up,” Luke 8:13 (NJB). This one is tricky because trials come for us all-there is no life without troubles. Who likes pain anyway? No one. This is where the challenge of walking by faith and not by sight becomes an unavoidable reality. When we go through difficult times, the first question we ask is, “Why me?” If we are not careful, discouragement, bitterness and disillusionment set in, then we simply GIVE UP.

“14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature,” Luke 8:14 (NIV). It is so easy to be completely focused on these things to the exclusion of all else. Our faith can become shrivelled up when we do not make time to attend to it. It becomes STUNTED.

“15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop,” Luke 8:15 (NIV). Patience, faith, obedience and trust are key elements to producing a good crop! When we trust GOD, meditate on the promises in the Bible, let His HOLY SPIRIT guide us, and keep our eyes on JESUS CHRIST, we will be able to stand firm in our faith, watch it GROW and spread out to affect the lives of those around us.

So I ask you, where did the seed fall for you? “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved,” Acts 16:31 (NKJV).

*Online Bible tools:, &* Versions of the Bible: NJB (New Jerusalem Bible), NIV (New International Version), NKJV (New King James Version). 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Wishing You A Blessed New Year!

Dear BGOers,

We want to wish you a Blessed New Year. 2017 is a time to be sober, vigilant, obedient and focused on the will of GOD for your lives. During the latter part of last year, the LORD took us personally on a journey with the Holy Spirit, reminding us of the power He has given us from on high. We cannot be victorious without  GOD THE FATHER, GOD THE SON AND GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT. The LORD has great plans for the lives of Believers throughout the world. Step out in faith and obedience this year. Pray in the Spirit, walk in the Spirit, use the gifts of the Spirit, receive the Baptism of the Spirit. 

We leave you with these Scripture verses the Holy Spirit laid on our hearts to share with you:

1 John 3:1 (New Jerusalem Bible)
1 You must see what great love the Father has lavished on us by letting us be called God's children -- which is what we are! 

1 John 3:23-24 (New Jerusalem Bible)
23 His commandment is this, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and that we should love one another as he commanded us. 24 Whoever keeps his commandments remains in God, and God in him. And this is the proof that he remains in us: the Spirit that he has given us.

1 John 2:28 (New Jerusalem Bible)
28 Therefore remain in him now, children, so that when he appears we may be fearless, and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.

Jude 1: 20-21 (New International Version)
20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

Acts 2:38-39 (New King James Version)
38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Unwrap The Gift

Christmas is more than just a holiday. It is evidence of GOD's immense love. JESUS came to bring us the GIFT OF SALVATION. He was born to die- to save us from sin and set us free from the unseen chains of darkness that so cunningly bind us.

"He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: '18 The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.' 20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, 'Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.'” Luke 4:16-21, NIV (Isaiah 61:1-2).

JESUS came to set us free from sin and death. He came to offer us a gift that we could never repay. All he requires of us is the faith to believe and receive. He promises to transform us, make us new, and restore our relationship with the Father. He came into this world to bring us peace and hope. He died on the cross to bring us forgiveness and life. He is returning with the GIFT OF SALVATION.

24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. Hebrews 9:24-28, NIV

SALVATION is the greatest gift you will ever be offered. It will set you free, change your life, bring you peace and give you hope. Just unwrap the gift and you will find JESUS waiting for you with open arms. He will love you, not judge you. He will accept you and fill your heart with a love you have never known. 

“1 Thus, condemnation will never come to those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because the law of the Spirit which gives life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 What the Law could not do because of the weakness of human nature, God did, sending his own Son in the same human nature as any sinner to be a sacrifice for sin, and condemning sin in that human nature,” Romans 8:1-3, NJB.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Talk Tuesday-The Holy Spirit Series: Life In The Spirit Pt. 3, The Gifts of The Spirit

Welcome back to our series on the Holy Spirit. In our 7th instalment (on September 6th, 2016) we wrote about The Day of Pentecost when JESUS promised to clothe his followers with 'power from on high' (Luke 24:49). He told them, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit,” Acts 1: 4-5, NIV. By Acts chapter 2, they received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

What does this 'power from on high'-this baptism of the Holy Spirit-look like in our lives of service to GOD? The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the church in Corinth, begins teaching us about the source and purpose of spiritual gifts. “4 There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit; 5 there are many different ways of serving, but it is always the same Lord.6 There are many different forms of activity, but in everybody it is the same God who is at work in them all. 7 The particular manifestation of the Spirit granted to each one is to be used for the general good.” 1 Corinthians 12:4-7, NJB. He then lists the 9 Gifts of the Holy Spirit:

8 To one is given from the Spirit the gift of utterance expressing wisdom; to another the gift of utterance expressing knowledge, in accordance with the same Spirit; 9 to another, faith, from the same Spirit; and to another, the gifts of healing, through this one Spirit; 10 to another, the working of miracles; to another, prophecy; to another, the power of distinguishing spirits; to one, the gift of different tongues and to another, the interpretation of tongues. 11 But at work in all these is one and the same Spirit, distributing them at will to each individual. 1 Corinthians 12:8-11, NJB

While there are many different gifts, they are bound by unity in the Body of Christ. “12 For as with the human body which is a unity although it has many parts -- all the parts of the body, though many, still making up one single body -- so it is with Christ. 13 We were baptised into one body in a single Spirit, Jews as well as Greeks, slaves as well as free men, and we were all given the same Spirit to drink,” 1 Corinthians 12:12-13, NJB

What a wonderful GOD we serve! The experiential aspect of knowing GOD through the Life in The Spirit is so incredible! Yes, we are a bit excited about it!! We have so many wonderful personal accounts of how the Holy Spirit has done incredible things for us, in us and through us. We want to encourage you today to live the abundant life that JESUS offers us. Come to the Father through the Son and experience the Life in the Spirit! You will not be disappointed.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Talk Tuesday-The HOLY SPIRIT Series: Life In The Spirit, Pt. II

What does it mean to live a Life in The Spirit? The Apostle Paul explains it this way, “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires,” Romans 8:5, NIV. Life in the Spirit is the antithesis of Life in the Flesh.

How we live is a choice that we each must make. “12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,” Romans 8:12-13, NIV.
What are the misdeeds of the body? “19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like,” Galatians 5:19-21, NKJV.

It is a struggle to live by the Spirit in a world dominated by carnal desires. We are inundated with messages about satisfying our flesh. Our senses are constantly being seduced to taste and touch by what we see, hear and smell. Our minds are influenced by the culture of instant gratification, the pursuit of self indulgence. It truly seems like an uphill, impossible battle.

Here are two important, crucial survival tips to living a Life in The Spirit, “1 I urge you, then, brothers, remembering the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, dedicated and acceptable to God; that is the kind of worship for you, as sensible people. 2 Do not model your behaviour on the contemporary world, but let the renewing of your minds transform you, so that you may discern for yourselves what is the will of God -- what is good and acceptable and mature,” Romans 12:1-2, NJB.

Reading the Bible allows us to refocus our thoughts on the Life in The Spirit. It renews and refreshes our thoughts, replacing worldly values with GOD's values. It has to be a deliberate, constant practice. It will give us strength, and help us to choose to live and walk in the Spirit. “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit,” Galatians 5:22-25, NKJV.

Message us and let us know some practical ways that you use to help you 'walk in the Spirit'. We would love to hear from you! Also, this is a way for us to encourage one another in the Lord! May GOD continue to richly bless you!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Talk Tuesday-The HOLY SPIRIT Series: Life In The Spirit, Pt. I

Peter and John were going to the Temple at the hour of prayer, when they healed a man who was lame from birth. The rulers, elders, scribes, high priest and family of the high priest demanded to know by what power they healed this man.

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, 10 let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. 11 This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ 12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:8-12 NKJV

They were astonished by the eloquence and fearlessness of Peter and John, who they considered to be uneducated laymen. The men of the Sanhedrin convened and commanded them not to speak or teach in the name of JESUS anymore. “19 But Peter and John replied, 'Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges! 20 As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard,'” Acts 4:19-20, NIV.

Then, in the midst of persecution, they prayed for boldness and GOD responded with the power of the HOLY SPIRIT. “31 As they prayed, the house where they were assembled rocked. From this time they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to proclaim the word of God fearlessly,” Acts 4:31, NJB.

When we come to the wonderful saving knowledge of JESUS CHRIST, we accept by faith what He accomplished on the cross, repent, get baptized and are filled with the HOLY SPIRIT. It becomes almost impossible to keep it to ourselves! We find meaning and purpose that surpass the limitations of this physical world. GOD enables us to do great exploits for His Kingdom, in the name of JESUS, by the power of the HOLY SPIRIT. We are no longer driven by our carnal desires. Join us next week as we continue to explore what it means to live a 'Life In The Spirit'. We leave you with the following verses until then:

1 Thus, condemnation will never come to those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because the law of the Spirit which gives life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 What the Law could not do because of the weakness of human nature, God did, sending his own Son in the same human nature as any sinner to be a sacrifice for sin, and condemning sin in that human nature. 4 This was so that the Law's requirements might be fully satisfied in us as we direct our lives not by our natural inclinations but by the Spirit.
Romans 8:1-4, NJB

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Talk Tuesday-The HOLY SPIRIT Series: The HOLY SPIRIT in Salvation, Saul's Journey

Let me tell you a story about a young Jewish man named Saul. He was born in Tarsus of Cilicia, of the tribe of Benjamin, and studied under the tutelage of Rabbi Gamaliel, a Pharisee and leader of the Sanhedrin (Jewish Supreme Law Council in Ancient Israel). Saul considered himself 'zealous' toward GOD, righteous and religious. He persecuted the early church, the followers of JESUS CHRIST, with unrelenting intensity. “But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison,” Acts 8:3, NIV. He had the backing of the High Priest and the Council of Elders.

Then, he encountered JESUS. “3 It happened that while he was travelling to Damascus and approaching the city, suddenly a light from heaven shone all round him. 4 He fell to the ground, and then he heard a voice saying, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?' 5 'Who are you, Lord?' he asked, and the answer came, 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 6 Get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you are to do,'” Acts 9:3-6, NJB.

Saul lost his physical eyesight for three days. He neither ate nor drank during that time, but prayed and waited. The LORD sent a man named Ananias, a Christian, to pray for him. “17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, 'Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.' 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength,” Acts 9:17-19, NIV.

Now here is the amazing part. “After he had spent only a few days with the disciples in Damascus, 20 he began preaching in the synagogues, 'Jesus is the Son of God,'” Acts 9:19-20, NJB. How did that happen?

Conversion happens when we respond to, and accept, JESUS' invitation for salvation.“12 But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believed in his name 13 who were born not from human stock or human desire or human will but from God himself,” John 1:12-13, NJB. The power of the HOLY SPIRIT then begins to work within us from the inside out, bringing a spiritual rebirth. This regeneration is transformative. We go from being carnally minded to spiritually minded. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Cor 5:17, NIV. The process of sanctification takes place throughout the duration of the life of the believer, as we take up our cross and follow JESUS, by the power of the HOLY SPIRIT. This is the story of Saul, who became known as The Apostle Paul.

GOD can use anyone! You are never too broken, too sinful or too worthless in the sight of GOD. If you choose to turn to Him today, accept by faith JESUS' work on the cross, repent and be baptized, you too, will be filled by the power of the HOLY SPIRIT and will experience a new life!

For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:3-7, NKJV

Join us next week as we look at what it means to live in the Spirit.