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Summary: “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Fa

Theme: Thanksgiving to God

Text: Pr. 9:1-6; Eph. 5:15-20; John 6:51-58

Man has two great spiritual needs. One is for the forgiveness of sin that reconciles us to God and the other is for the ability to lead a victorious life that glorifies God. Whether we admit it or not, each one of us longs for both and our inner being actually cries out for them. We may, however, not realise that our restlessness, confusion and fear can only be dealt with when these two important needs are met. God met our need for forgiveness by sending His only begotten Son into the world to die for our sins on Calvary. God’s forgiveness is available to everyone who truly admits his or her sin and turns to God in repentance believing in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. God also met our need to live a victorious life by giving us His Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. It could never have been God’s intention for us to come to Christ in faith and then continue to live a life of defeat and discouragement. Rather His will is to “fulfil every desire and the work of faith with power; in order that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in us” 2 Thess. 1:11-12. God made us and He knows what we need to make a success of life. God went to great lengths to meet our needs and restore His divine plan and purpose for our lives. What Christ did for us should fill our hearts with thanksgiving to God.

We need to be always thankful that Christ through His sacrifice has revealed to us the wisdom of God. His sacrifice has led to the forgiveness of sin and the gift of the Holy Spirit who enables the believer to understand God’s revelations and live according to His revealed will, not in an unwise way but in a wise way. Living in an unwise way is to take what appears to be the easy way out. It is focusing on what can be seen and relying on our own wisdom. The wise way, on the other hand, is to focus on God and rely on His wisdom. The wise ones make the most of the opportunities they encounter, as God’s wisdom will always lead them to do His will in His strength at the right time and in the right way. The most important thing in life is to know and do the will of God in obedience to the Holy Spirit. It is the only wise way to use our time and opportunities. In fact, the Christian life or walk demands a reliance on the Holy Spirit for each step we take. As believers it is our duty to find out what the will of God is and respond to it. Even our prayers should be according to His will so that what God has willed takes place.

The wisest thing in life is to know and do the will of God. It is very unwise not to know the will of God. It is like crossing a busy street without paying any attention to the traffic lights that have been placed there to ensure our safety. The right way to cross the street is to stop at the pedestrian crossing, wait for the light to turn green and listen to the signal before crossing the street. Observing these basic steps, stop, look and listen is for our own good and could save our life. Believers should be following these same steps as they walk in the world. They need to constantly stop, take a thorough look at their lives and listen to what God is saying. Failing to do this is very unwise especially when we have the Holy Spirit to help us. Every believer needs to know that the moment he or she accepts Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, the Holy Spirit comes to life in him or her. Although the Spirit, as the Spirit of grace, indwells every believer He is far too gracious to impose Himself on the believer or force Himself into any area of his personality where He is not welcome. The Holy Spirit will control and direct the believer only to the extent to which he or she voluntarily yields and accepts His control and direction. This can best be understood as Paul explains by contrasting the experience of being filled with the Spirit to that of being filled with alcohol. A person filled with alcohol enjoys a temporary feeling of well being as the alcohol destroys his mind and will and makes him incapable of controlling his actions. So much harm has been come to families and friends as a result of alcohol and today we are being told that Ghana has the highest number of deaths resulting from traffic accidents and the main cause is due to alcohol. In contrast being filled with the Spirit produces the life of Christ in and through the believer. He now has greater self-control, lasting joy and his whole being filled with new life. We all need to be forgiven of our sins and be filled with the Spirit. It is the only way we will be able to set aside time daily to study and meditate on God’s word and listen to what He is saying. A believer who does not do this is not living wisely and cannot sustain a Spirit-filled life.

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