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Make the Word a Growing Part of Your Life

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Make the Word a Growing Part of Your Life

What’s growing in you? Is clear thinking, spiritual passion, a sense of focus and purpose growing in your heart? Or is confusion, dissatisfaction, despair, hopelessness and anger growing in your heart?

As we work God’s Word into the soil of our heart our life will be growing in the right direction.

1 Thessalonians 4:1 says, “Live in order to please God. We ask you and urge you to do this more and more.” (NIV)

How to make the Word a growing part of your life:

  1. Get a translation you like. The Bible was written originally in Hebrew (Old Testament) and Greek (New Testament). Unless you can read Greek and Hebrew you will not be reading it in the original language! The King James Version of the bible is written in 1607 Old English.
  2. Get a good study Bible. Many app’s on our smart phones and devices are free! I like PocketSword but it only works on Apple devices. Another one that is very popular is You-Version.
  3. Get in a small group. When you study the Word with other believers, it will inspire you to go DEEPER. Acts 2 tells us they met daily; they prayed together. They studied the Word together; they fellowship regularly, and they had a vibrant faith that saw unbelievers come to Christ on a regular basis.

Perhaps one reason we are not influencing the culture around us is because we are not being influenced by the Word of God and strengthened by the fellowship of other believers.

If the Word is a growing part of your life, it will be what grows your life!

You can listen to the audio message here.

 

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Ways to Know God’s Will: #7 – Do Not Try To Make God’s Will Come To Pass

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Ways to Know God’s Will: #7 – Do Not Try To Make God’s Will Come To Pass

Abraham and Sarah fell into this trap. God promised them son, and when it didn’t happen, Sarah offered her handmaiden to Abraham. He had a child with her, but it was not God’s plan—not the child God promised.

The plain fact is, God doesn’t need our help. We must let His will come to pass, not try to make His will come to pass. When we try to make it happen it brings disillusionment. We think, “God really messed this up!”

Don’t try to make God’s will come to pass. His promise will come at the appointed time.

God is not a formulaic God. Don’t force it. Don’t help it along. Don’t overreach.  When God is in it, there is peace that surrounds the process.

1 Corinthians 14:33 says, “God is NOT the author of confusion, but of peace!” If there is chronic confusion, you have to ask if you are leading or being led!

We are his servants, sent to His will. We must follow Him.

Listen to this entire message online here. 

Ways to Know God’s Will: #6 – Do Not Be Pressed for an Immediate Decision

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Ways to Know God’s Will: #6 – Do Not Be Pressed for an Immediate Decision

My Bible College Professor in my first class gave me some great advice. He said, “When you get into the ministry and are faced with a decision, if it is presented as quick, you have to do it now, then always put it off for a little while. Don’t get in a big hurry. That’s not God. That’s the devil!”

Do not be pressed for an immediate decision in seeking God’s will.

The decisions I’ve regretted the most were the ones I rushed. God’s way is usually “in the fullness of time.” I’d rather be preparing to do God’s will, than to get ahead of Him and try to do it in my own limited understanding.

Listen to this entire message online here.

Partakers of the Divine Nature of God

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Partakers of the Divine Nature of God

The more knowledge we have of our God, the greater God’s peace and grace will be multiplied in our lives.

Discipleship touches every part of your life.

2 Peter 1:3 says:

And because of God’s gracious gift to me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you should. Instead, be modest in your thinking, and judge yourself according to the amount of faith that God has given you.[1] 

Once again Peter points out the incredible value of discipleship. Through the increase of our knowledge of God; the power of God, the virtue of God, and the glory of God are revealed.

2 Peter 1:4 says, We have many parts in the one body, and all these parts have different functions.[2] When the Bible talks about the “promises,” it is referring to God’s Word. Through the Word of God, we partake of the divine nature of God.

Peter lays out seven essential ingredients of discipleship, in 2 Peter 1:5-7, and every one of them are vitally important!

For this very reason do your best to:

  1. add goodness to your faith;
  2. to your goodness add knowledge;
  3. to your knowledge add self-control;
  4. to your self-control add endurance;
  5. to your endurance add godliness;
  6. to your godliness add Christian affection;
  7. and to your Christian affection add love.[3]

Faith is what saved us and delivered us out of darkness into light. But every one of us have to add to our faith. We’ll explore each of these over the next few blog posts.

 

[1] GW

[2] GW

[3] 2 Peter 1:5-7 GWT

Step 3 of Discipleship—the Follower

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Step 3 of Discipleship—the Follower

A learner is focused on KNOWING thru study of the Word/prayer, a pupil is focused on BECOMING thru relationships, but a follower is focused on DOING.

A follower is the highest level of discipleship. A follower is never content to simply hear the truth. They take the truth that they hear and observe the truth lived out in the life of their mentors, and then begin to apply it to their everyday life.

Jesus was very clear about the third level of discipleship.

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and yet don’t do what I tell you? Anyone who comes to me and listens to my words and obeys them — I will show you what he is like. He is like a man who, in building his house, dug deep and laid the foundation on rock. The river overflowed and hit that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But anyone who hears my words and does not obey them is like a man who built his house without laying a foundation; when the flood hit that house it fell at once — and what a terrible crash that was!”[1]

In the book, In Search of Excellence, they list eight characteristics of excellent companies. The first is something they call “a bias for action.” These companies have a tendency to act rather than to remain passive. They frequently use phrases like, “Do it; Fix it; Try it,” and they often teach that “chaotic action is actually preferable to orderly inaction.”

A follower of Jesus Christ is a doer. Period. They seek to integrate what they have learned into their everyday lives.

One day Jesus’ family came looking for Him. And Jesus explained what it meant to really belong to the Family of God. Jesus’ mother and brothers came to him, but were unable to join him because of the crowd. Someone said to Jesus, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside and want to see you.” Jesus said to them all, “My mother and brothers are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”[2]

I pray for you to adopt a FOLLOW mentality. It’s not just about a learner, or even just a pupil, but a follower of Jesus who is putting into practice the things you have learned.

Lord, help us not to be hearers of the word but doers of the word!

[1] Luke 6:46-49 GN

[2] Luke 8:19-21 GN

The Peace You Need

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The Peace You Need

Come close to God, and he will come close to you. Clean up your lives, you sinners, and clear your minds, you doubters. Be miserable, mourn, and cry. Turn your laughter into mourning and your joy into gloom. Humble yourselves in the Lord’s presence. Then he will give you a high position (James 4:8-10 GW).

The peace you need is found in prayer.

Scrooge said, “Speak peace to me, Marley.”

Have you ever looked to others, or even to entertainment to lift you up when you’re feeling down? I’ve watched a little Andy Griffith and laughed to feel better.

When we learn to process in prayer with God, we won’t need someone else to lift us up. We can go to our prayer closet and pour out to God all this stuff that rest within us. If you feel rejected, pour out your misery to God.

War is settled in the prayer room.

If you’re really in the storm right now, remember your fight is not with flesh and blood. You can encounter negative attitudes that are warlike. A spirit of war comes behind that.

I pray that God will give you peace as you release whatever you’re dealing with. Take authority over the spirit of division. May you feel powerful instead of powerless. God is with you. May Jesus protect you and give you peace.

 

Overcoming Misplaced Desires

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Overcoming Misplaced Desires

You want what you don’t have, so you commit murder. You’re determined to have things, but you can’t get what you want. You quarrel and fight. You don’t have the things you want, because you don’t pray for them (James 4:2 GW).

Of the top 25 women in America on death row, 22 killed their husbands. We fight because we want what we don’t have. Jesus said murder is in our hearts. When we become determined to have things; we get them, and we just want more.

We often fight about things we haven’t even prayed about them (James 4:3). Do we need that now? Or do you pray for things don’t receive them because you want them for your own pleasure.

Peace comes into our heart when you realize some things aren’t worth fighting for.

When you pray, you place yourself in God’s authority.[1] The Holy Spirit tweaks our attitudes. He helps us to refocus the heart. God loves both parties.

How many times do ideas pop into our heads—fleshly, not spiritual ideas—and we don’t separate the two. We don’t war according to the flesh.. We defeat the enemy as we fight on our knees. It’s when we can pray, “God change me, not them.”

 

[1] James 4:7

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