- Date: February 22, 2019
- Verse: “For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.” (Jeremiah 4:22)
If we're going to be masters of the kingdom, we must be temperate in everything else. And the problem is we're wise toward evil, as the prophet Jeremiah said. We're masters, many of us, of the world's methods and temperate in the things of the kingdom of God. "Now, don't get carried away! I mean, you know you're going to have to have a job, and you're going to have to take care of yourself. So don't get carried away in how many hours you're spending in prayer and how much you're serving in the kingdom.
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- Date: January 28, 2004
- Verse: "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."(John 13:35)
The greatest opportunity to allow the fruit of the Spirit to manifest in our lives is through the time that we spend relating to one another. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, [when] ye have love one [for] another" (John 13:35).
- Date: January 27, 2004
- Verse: "For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God."(Ephesians 5:5)
Are we seeking how mature and pure we can be? Or are we seeking how little we can do and still be acceptable? As we walk in the spirit and produce fruit, we're pruned to produce more fruit. If our lives are dominated with good fruit, why detract from so much good by identifying with something other than the Body of Christ?
Paul in Ephesians 5 is not saying that by committing one of these acts-- covetousness, uncleanness, whore-mongering, coarse speaking--we will not inherit the kingdom of God. The issue is not the individual act;
- Date: January 26, 2004
- Verse: "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called."(Ephesians 4:1)
"Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called" (Eph. 4:1). Our vocation is to love God and to love our neighbor. Paul says we are to walk worthy of that job, that calling. This vocation is who you are. You're not an electrician, a computer programmer, or a government employee. You're an ambassador of God's love. That's first and foremost. You don't live to yourself; you don't die to yourself. God's love doesn't make us feel all warm, fuzzy and secure. In your vocation you receive God's love in order to readily transfer that love to those in need.
- Date: January 25, 2004
- Verse: "And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." (Galatians 5:24)
The fruit of the Spirit is the proof that God's Spirit is living in us. The fruit of the Spirit cannot manifest without the abiding presence of the Spirit of God. We must abide in the Vine and His words must abide in us. Fruit, as it's being produced, will always be pruned so that we could bring forth more fruit (John 15:2).
Look at your life and ask, "Is this who I am? Is this what's dominating my life?" Just because you accidentally produced one act of the fruit of the Spirit doesn't mean you're walking in the spirit. You are what you are in abundance.
- Date: January 24, 2004
- Verse: "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh." (Galatians 5:16)
Paul is addressing the Spirit-filled life, the Spirit-led life. People often ask, "How can I be free from the flesh?" The answer is to walk in the spirit. That's easy to say, but how do we walk in the spirit? By choice, we crucify self. We choose each moment whom we will serve. Walk in the spirit at all times. Seek the things that are above where Jesus is seated at Father's right hand (Col. 3:1). The reason so many of us are not free from the flesh is because we're still so preoccupied with it.
- Date: January 23, 2004
- Verse: "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."(1 John 4:8)
"He that loveth not knoweth not God..." (1 John 4:8). We could say it this way, "He that is selfish knoweth not God." Does that make it a little more personal? He that's too busy to serve the Body knoweth not God. He whose ambition separates him from his wife and children so he cannot properly oversee his house knoweth not God. She that will not humble herself and submit to her head (her husband) knoweth not God. Children who do not obey their parents knoweth not God.
- Date: January 22, 2004
- Verse: "But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?"(1 John 2:17)
How involved are you in others' lives? Don't say, "Be warmed and filled. I'm praying for you, brother." Do something about it! How willing are you to invest your time and your energy? You get a lot of flack many times when you love people properly, because loves always demands chastisement. Are you willing to love enough to lay down your soul for the friendship? "No greater love has any man than this, that he would lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).
- Date: January 21, 2004
- Verse: "He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him." (1 John 2:10)
He that loves his brother abides in the light. "God is light and in Him is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5). How do we get into the light so that we can see ourselves, see God, and be cleansed by the blood of Jesus? We need to pray, fast and spend time in the Word of God, because that's where God reveals Himself--through His Word. But there is something else that is very important many of us miss. We don't realize how important true agape love is. "He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is no occasion of stumbling in him" (1 John 2:10).
- Date: January 20, 2004
- Verse: "Charity...doth not behave itself unseemly..."(1 Corinthians 13:4,5)
Love never behaves itself unseemly (1 Cor. 13:5). Love never acts contrary to the nature of God; it's always orderly. In today's vernacular we would say that love "has class." As brothers and sisters we sometimes don't show a lot of class in the way we respond to one another's weaknesses and needs. When ministering the love of God to others, we should never make them feel less than ourselves. True love, a "class act," never devalues another person. True love manifests in graciousness and kindness. It's never rude or brutish.
- Date: January 19, 2004
- Verse: "...Charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up." (1 Corinthians 13:4)
Paul was writing to the Corinthians because of their spiritual pride. They were puffed up in their gifts. They were puffed up in their own estimation of their spirituality and their pursuit of God. "Nobody else loves God like I do. Nobody else is as gifted as I am. Look at me--I'm the most spiritual among you. Listen to how much I talk in tongues. Listen to how fluent my oratory is as I bring forth prophetic utterances. Look at my life of faith." It was a continual putting forth of self in the Body of Christ.
- Date: January 18, 2004
- Verse: "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently." (1 Peter 1:22)
Beloved, when we read 1 Corinthians 13, we find out how ugly we are. We are not lovable--but God loves us! While we were yet sinners, He loved us and died for us! The purchase price of His blood is what has put the value on our lives. Then how dare we treat anybody in a condescending and judgmental manner? How dare we think evil of their actions and their motives?! How can we rejoice in iniquity when someone suffers and we say, "They got what they deserved!"? Love doesn't respond that way. Love doesn't rejoice in iniquity. It doesn't think evil. It doesn't behave itself unseemly.
- Date: January 17, 2004
- Verse: "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you." (John 15:12)
As the children of God, we are known by our love. The highest expression of the representation of God (who is love) is in a life that exhibits, through death to self, the preference of others, freely giving of that which we have freely received. We can't call ourselves Christians and not love. To fail to love is to fail to keep the commandments of God. This is the commandment that you received from the beginning: that you would love one another. To break the commandment is to live under the power of sin.
- Date: January 16, 2004
- Verse: "Charity...is kind; charity envieth not..." (1 Corinthians 13:4)
Love is kind. Are you kind? Does kindness and tenderness, dominate your life? Is the first response you have compassion, or do you have the drill sergeant mentality? Love is kind and compassionate. There's no abrasiveness in our lives as Christians. There are times that we contend for the faith, bring reproof and rebuke, but that's done in kindness, beloved. It's not done in self-righteous, haughty, demanding tones. You don't have to become harsh to make a point, because we're kind. Our first response in the Spirit is always one of gentleness and mildness.
- Date: January 12, 2004
- Verse: "But the fruit of the Spirit is...temperance..." (Galatians 5:22,23)
True biblical faith produces the evidence that there is a new creature living within us. We're no longer under the dominion of sin in our members, which are the works of the flesh. What motivates us? After we become new creatures, do we still have the same ambitions? Even if we have the same ambition, we cannot have the same motivation. So we need to realize that old things have passed away; all things have become new (2 Cor. 5:17).
- Date: June 6, 2002
- Verse: "The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd."(Ecclesiastes 12:11)
It's amazing the power of words as goads! These things are inspiring! Words can motivate us! Words take these principles, solidify them, and establish them in our lives in areas that'll inspire us forever! You know, I have little phrases that are written down in the back of my Bible that are so powerful. "To respond is to pursue." Think about that -- the power. These are words, as I've gleaned from teachers over the years, things that I've read, seen, or heard, and things that I've written down in my Bible. Words can motivate us. "We're the sum total of our desires.
- Date: June 5, 2002
- Verse: "The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned."(Isaiah 50:4)
Isaiah speaks of a great ministry. Say, you know, I wonder if this would be a ministry that you'd like to be involved in? Isaiah chapter 50, verse 4, says, "The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned." Let's listen to the new covenant. We ought to be swift to hear and slow to speak (James 1:19). You see, He gives us, the Scripture says here in Isaiah, the ear of the learned. The man doesn't speak until God has spoken.
- Date: June 4, 2002
- Verse: "He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit." (Proverbs 17:27)
One of the great forces that each one of us possesses, and so many times abuse, is the force, or the power, of words that come out of our mouth. The Scripture has a lot to say about the power of speech, the power of words. We realize, from the epistle that James has spoken to us, the necessity of bringing about the oversight of the tongue. It's an unruly member and how great a fire a little spark, the Scripture says, can kindle (James 3:5). The mature among us, James goes on to say, is the one that can control his own tongue (3:2).