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Teachings

Pressing in to Know the Lord

One of the most important goals of a Christian is getting to know our Heavenly Father through the Lord Jesus Christ. When we learn about His Character and His Attributes and use them as a source and model for our own lives, we can live as successful Christians.

The Lord is reachable to all that call upon Him and have a desire to get to know Him. He is the one true Living God that has made provisions for His creation to fellowship with Him through Jesus Christ. Our Heavenly Father is the Creator of the universe and the Creator of mankind. Our Father wants to be so involved with His creation that He sent His Only Son Jesus Christ to make sure that He would not be separated from us. That is how much He loves us.

Everything we need is in Him. He does not look at our failures, weaknesses or our insecurities. He sees us through the eyes of Jesus, created in His image and likeness. Yes, He is interested in our lives while we are here on earth, but His ultimate intent is that we spend eternity with Him. Everyone is going to live forever, whether heaven or hell, but through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our eternity in heaven has been sealed.

Almighty God gives us the opportunity to become acquainted with Him through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. According to Isaiah 43:7 we were created for His glory. He desires a relationship with us.

The greatest times you will ever have are times spent fellowshipping with God. As we fellowship with Him, He will reveal Himself to us. It is a privilege to enter communion with the Almighty and All Powerful. We need to take advantage of that privilege. It is Our Father's desire that we do so.

As we become acquainted with Him, we take on His Character. To become acquainted with someone we must spend time with them. We listen to them, talk to them and begin to understand them. God has made that available to us through Jesus Christ. As we spend time with Our Father our focus will shift from self-centered to Christ centered. As we grow spiritually, the love in our heart grows. Once you start getting to know the Father, you will be more concerned about others than about yourself.

The fruit of our relationship with God will become apparent in our thoughts, words and deeds. Everything about us will draw attention to us and cause others to say, "I want what that person has", or "that person is different." Our lives should be able to minister. Our lifestyle should be one of excellence, showing off the Christ that lives within us. Ephesians 5:1 literally tells us to be imitators of God. In order to imitate God, we must talk and act like God.

Our lives should be able to establish the truth of what we minister. We cannot minister what we don't know or what we don't have. We cannot share the love of Jesus effectively if our relationship with the Father is lacking. Ministering the life of God flowing from us, will change a person's life.

We get to know God the Father by learning His Character. We get to know Him by spending time with Him. When a child spends time with his mother or father, he picks up some of the same characteristics of his parents. Soon the child will take on some of the same likes or dislikes of those parents. As we become intimate with our God and Father, we will experience His Character. That experience will challenge us to live a life reflecting His excellence.

We need to fellowship with God, receive His love and draw from His strength. The desire of God's heart is to bless us. But how can He bless us if we don't know Him? Make it a priority to fellowship with Him as soon as you wake up in the morning. Set your alarm a little earlier so you won't be rushed. Then you can spend quality time with Him. Put away all distractions and focus on your time with your Creator. Be determined that nothing is going to stop you. Dedicate your day to Him and seek His wisdom for it. As you continue to include Him in all that you do, from morning to night, you will see your character refined. You will be propelled to a life of excellence.

Pressing in to Know the Lord Through Praise

One of the ways to please our Heavenly Father is through fellowship with Him. One of the ways to get into God's presence is through praise.

(1 Thessalonians 5:16) "Rejoice always."

(Psalm 32:11) "Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous ones, and shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart."

(Psalm 33:1) "Sing for joy in the Lord, O you righteous ones; praise is becoming to the upright."

(Psalm 98:4) "Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. Break forth and sing for joy and sing praises."

Start your day with rejoicing. Praise Him. Sing. Shout. Praise Him for His loving kindness, mercy and faithfulness. As we praise Him, we proclaim His worth to us.

"Praise" translated in Latin means "value". How much we value God is how much we praise Him.

God ordained praise to stop Satan in His tracks.

(Psalm 8:1-2) "O Lord our Lord how majestic is Thy name in all the earth. Who has set Thy glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babes, Thou hast established strength because of Thine adversaries, to make the enemy and the revengeful cease."

Praise stills the enemy from working against you. Your praise brings God on the spot. It will manifest His presence and bind the enemy. In the Old Testament, whenever there was trouble, the priests would offer sacrifices to God and He would deliver them from the enemy. Because we are now New Testament saints, Jesus already offered the ultimate blood sacrifice, so no sacrifice can be offered. According to Hebrews 13:15, as priests today, we offer up a sacrifice of praise.

God is always worthy of our praise. If this is something you are not familiar with, start reading the Psalms aloud. The Psalms declare God's great and mighty works and praise Him for all that He is. As long as you desire to praise Him, and your heart is open, God will perfect your praise.

God is omnipresent so His presence is everywhere. Because of the blood of Jesus and our salvation, we can access and manifest God's presence by praising Him. He inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3).

What you praise God as, He will manifest Himself as. If you praise Him as the Healer, He will manifest healing. If you praise Him as your Provider, He will manifest provision. Praise Him as your Savior, He will manifest salvation. When you are worried or discouraged, Praise Him!

(1 Thessalonians 5:18) "In all things rejoice for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus."

God desires to manifest His presence in our daily life and have intimate fellowship with us. He allows us the privilege of initiating it. God is not looking for praise to lord it over us. He does not need our praise, but praising Him allows Him to be our very present help in times of trouble.

Pressing In To Know the Lord Through His Word

We get to know our Father through His Word. His Word is our contact with Him. It is the integrity of God Himself. It proves to us that He loves us as much as He loves Jesus. The Word is God speaking to us. God and His Word are one. Jesus is the Word; He is the Living Word. Read it, meditate it. Live it. Let it dominate you.

We must let the Word find a place in us so it can correct, teach and admonish us. Let it abide in us, as we are instructed in John 15:7. When the Word abides in us, we can speak it and watch it manifest. Just as Jesus represents the Father, we can now represent Jesus who is the Living Word. The Word is God's wisdom and as we act on it, trust it, and live it, it will encourage us, empower us, train us, and equip us.

(Acts 20:32) "And now I commend you to God and to the Word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified."

Every time we read the Word of God, we find something new to increase us.

God told Joshua:

(Joshua 1:8) "This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your ways prosperous, and then you will have success."

The victories Joshua and the people of Israel had over the enemies came from God and the relationship Joshua had with Him and Israel's obedience to God's Word. He was instructed to meditate on the Word. As Joshua walked in obedience to that instruction, he was able to make the wise decisions he needed to be successful.

Keep God's Word in the center of your heart. From your heart flows His Word that brings life to whoever hears it. It is life and healing to our flesh.

(Psalm 107:20) "He sent His Word and healed them."

(Proverbs 4:20-23) "Son give attention to my words, incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight, keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their whole body. Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life."

Give God's Word first place. Get it into your heart and set yourself in agreement with it regarding all circumstances or situations.

(Proverbs 18:21) "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit."

When there is an absence of Word, there is an absence of faith. Satan's words, or words of unbelief will produce fear in our heart. However, God's Word produces faith in our heart and fellowship with Him will manifest it.

Change your words to God's words. Many Christians are defeated in life because of the way they are believing and saying the wrong things. Fear filled words will defeat us while words of faith will deliver us. We must train ourselves to speak God's words.

If we examine Jesus' life we see He always spoke what God said. He also used the Word against Satan to defeat him. It is the Word of God that will renew our mind and only the renewed mind will have us speak God's Word. The unrenewed mind will be in doubt and fear. Our minds are renewed not only by studying the Word, but acting upon it.

(James 1:23) "But prove yourselves doers of the Word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves, for if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror."

(Romans 12:2) "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."

Clothe yourself in the Word because it is taking in the very life of God. Whatever is in our heart will come out in words. Whatever is in our thought life, will come out in words. What comes from the mouth comes from the heart. And what comes from the heart comes from the mind. So, fill your mind with the right things, with God's things.

You will know people and their position with God by what comes forth from their mouth. Matthew 12:36 tells us that God will call every person to account for every idle word they spoke.

How many times have you spoken failure into your life or defeat into your children's lives? Regardless of the situation or circumstance and despite what you see or do not see, choose to speak God's words. Words of faith.

I choose to speak and think God's Word. God's Word says I am healed and delivered. His Word tells me that I am more than a conqueror, able to do all things. The Word sets me free, liberates me. It tells me that I am delivered from the evils of this present world. It tells me that no evil will befall me and that I am far from oppression. It tells me that I am an overcomer. And it tells you that too.

(Isaiah 55:11) "So shall My Word be which goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it."

God never changes and neither does the Word.

(Hebrews 13:8) "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever."

He sent His Word to heal us, deliver us, save us. He sent us Jesus.

(Matthew 24:35) "Heaven and earth shall pass away but My words shall not pass away."

God sees us through the eyes of Jesus and what Jesus accomplished at the Cross. His love is unconditional. His Word is consistent. You will never find Him saying one thing and then something contrary to it. You can believe His Word because the Word is Who He is. Get to know Him through His Word; get to know yourself through His Word.

It is time we see ourselves as God sees us. We will never know what God thinks of us and how He sees us until we read and study the Word.

God sees the end result. If we allow His Word to penetrate our hearts and minds, we will see that same end result, which is victory in Jesus.

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The Fruits of the Spirit

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."

(Galatians 5:22-23) The fruit of the Spirit is the result of unbroken fellowship with Jesus Christ. Our constant communion with Him in our Christian walk is what produces this fruit. As we continue to spend more time with Jesus, the fruit will grow.

(John 15:4-5) "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing."

The fruit of the Spirit is evidence of a life controlled by the Holy Spirit. We can live a life so controlled by the Holy Spirit that we will not yield to the desires of the flesh. We must dominate the old selfish nature because that nature is the enemy of Christ and brings us into bondage.

(Matthew 7:16-20) "You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit; but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits."

We will recognize people not by their works nor by their gifts, but by their fruit. What type of fruit a person has reveals how Spirit led they are.

Are you dominated by your flesh or by the Holy Spirit? Let the life of Jesus Christ, ministered to us by the Holy Spirit, flow through us so we can bear good fruit.

The Fruits of the Spirit
Love - Joy - Peace - Patience - Kindness - Goodness - Faithfulness - Gentleness - Self-Control


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LOVE

(1 Corinthians 13:13) "But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

True love, agape love, is the one true indication of being born again by the Spirit of God. Walking in communion with God enables us to love as He loves. This is the ultimate test for the believer. Agape love is the foundation for all Christian action. It is an act of our will. It can never fail. It is different from human love because human love reacts to emotions or feelings. Human love fails.

We cannot love as God loves unless we have received His Son, Jesus Christ. When we receive Jesus we receive that agape Love because God is Love.

(2 Timothy 1:7) "For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline."

(1 John 4:7-8) "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love."

The only source for this Love is God and through the Holy Spirit, He has poured out His love within our hearts.

(Romans 5:5) "…because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."

Love is unselfishness and reveals itself by serving others.

(Galatians 5:13) "For you were called to freedom, brethren, only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another."

(1 John 4:10-11) "In this is love, not that we love God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."

Love brought God to this earth as a man. Love came to us so we can go to Him. Love is power and will cast out ALL fears.

(1 John 4:18-19) "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us."

Love activates faith and as we put our faith in trusting God, we can overcome any situation or any fear that we are facing.

(Galatians 5:6) "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love."

Love forgives, Love heals and Love encourages. Love bears one another's burdens. Love sets time aside for others. Love will do whatever it takes to bless someone. Love gives. Love prays for enemies. Love unifies.

(Colossians 3:14) "And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity."

Love ministers the Life of Jesus to a broken lost world.

The Fruits of the Spirit
Love - Joy - Peace - Patience - Kindness - Goodness - Faithfulness - Gentleness - Self-Control


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Joy

Joy is a powerful spiritual force that is a result of our praise and worship to God our Father. It is not a feeling. It is not an emotion. Joy is a response of our spirit.

Often times, happiness is mistaken for joy. Happiness is a response of the soul. It is an emotion controlled by situations or circumstances. For example, if you get a promotion or a salary increase, that will make a person happy. But if you lose your job or experience a financial crisis, you are no longer happy. In this absence of joy, worry and despair will grip and paralyze your soul. So we see happiness is derived from external situations. However, joy is not manifested through situations. It is manifest through the knowledge of our salvation in Jesus Christ.

A spirit-filled, spirit-led child of God, who is in unbroken fellowship through praise and worship with Jesus Christ, has joy.

No devil in hell, no negative situation, no negative circumstances can stop joy from being released in a believer.

(Psalm 16:11)Thou will make known to me the path of life; In Thy presence is fullness of joy; In Thy right Hand there are pleasures forever.

The devil will do anything to prevent the Christian from praising God. His goal is to keep us focused on the temporal circumstances instead of the victory won for us. It is his way of trying to keep us chained and defeated. He knows that as a result of that intimate time with the Lord, we are strengthened and can overcome any obstacle in our life.

(2 Corinthians 4:17-18)For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

(Nehemiah 8:10) …Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

We already have joy in full measure and it is released when praises to God go forth.
In true praise and worship, our spirit is moved in such a way that brings us into the presence of God. It is here our joy is made manifest. Because the joy of the Lord is our strength, the manifestation of joy is a sign to us that God’s strength and might have gone forth to defeat the adversary and correct the circumstance.

We can sing, dance, clap, shout and lift our hands because God deserves that at all times. Our praise to Him is not limited only to the times we are in church, but we can praise Him from wherever we are.

(Psalm 146:1-2)Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul. I will praise the Lord while I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.”

(Psalm 147:1)Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant and praise is becoming.”

In the midst of calamity or tragedy, mourning can be replaced with joy. The world may try to dictate when to mourn or when to be sorrowful, but in the presence of the Lord we will find all the joy we need to overcome.

(Isaiah 35:10)And the ransomed of the Lord will return, and come with joyful shouting to Zion, with everlasting joy upon their heads. They will find gladness and joy and sorrow and sighing will flee away.”

When the joy of the Lord is upon us, we can bring encouragement to the discouraged. We can bring hope to the hopeless and strength in times of heaviness. It is good to know that we don’t have to be defeated by these things because joy will never fail us.

The devil has designed despair, heaviness, hopelessness, sorrow, mourning, depression and sadness as a means to rob us of spiritual strength. They are the enemies of joy.

Let us take our spiritual weapon of joy and rejoice in the face of these enemies!

(Philippians 4:4)Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!

The Fruits of the Spirit
Love - Joy - Peace - Patience - Kindness - Goodness - Faithfulness - Gentleness - Self-Control


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Peace

Peace is freedom from strife, disturbances or agitation. It is a state of tranquility, stillness serenity and harmony. It is a mind at rest.

As children of Jehovah Shalom – the God of Peace – it is our heritage to have peace. Peace is our blessing. Each of the 170 times that the word “shalom” is used in the Bible, it is translated simply as “peace”. When we know God as Jehovah Shalom, we have an abundance of peace.

Our peace comes from our mind fixed on the things of God. God created us with the choice to fill our minds with whatever we choose. Filling our minds with worldly things will cause us to lose the peace of God.

(Romans 8:6) For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace…

(Psalm 119:165)Those who love Thy law have great peace and nothing causes them to stumble.”

(Isaiah 26:3)The steadfast of mind Thou wilt keep in perfect peace.”

We must make our minds dwell on the Word of God. In these last days, the world is filled with so much more tragedy, devastation and chaos than ever before. It is the mind fixed on God that will give us the peace we need to rise above the events taking place in the world today.

The peace of God will overcome fear and anxiety. We keep this peace by taking everything to Him in prayer. When we put our complete trust in Him, He Himself will keep us in perfect peace.

(Philippians 4:6-7)Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

(John 14:27) Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

This peace that Jesus shares with us is His Peace. It is attainable only through Him.
It is the same peace that stilled the storm.

(2 Thessalonians 3:16)Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all.”

(John 16:33)These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage, I have overcome the world.”

Peace is love’s security. When we have the peace of Christ ruling in our hearts, we are secure in knowing that God is working on our behalf and perfecting all that concerns us.

(Colossians 3:15)And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.

Some of the enemies of peace are worry, cares, anxiety, nervousness, restlessness, stress and fear. The adversary will use any of these to steal your peace. The root of these emotions is a failure to trust God. It is an attack against the mind designed to keep you bound and your eyes off of Him. It is also an attack against the body because our emotional health influences our physical health. Every emotion produces a physical reaction in our body. Deadly emotions can turn into deadly behavior. It all starts in the mind and manifests in the body with various diseases and illnesses such as strokes, heart disease and mental illness..

(Proverbs 12:25)Anxiety in the heart of a man weighs is down, but a good word makes it glad.”

(Philippians 4:8-9)Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you.”

The mind is where the battle rages. It is also where the victory can be won.

(Colossians 3:2)Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”

Although the world may have their methods to produce peace, it is only temporary. It can be very costly and it can lead to the destruction of one’s spirit, soul and body. God’s way, through Jesus the Prince of Peace, is everlasting.

(Isaiah 9:6)For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”

Take your heritage of peace from Jehovah Shalom.

The Fruits of the Spirit
Love - Joy - Peace - Patience - Kindness - Goodness - Faithfulness - Gentleness - Self-Control


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Patience

To come...please be patient. :)

The Fruits of the Spirit
Love - Joy - Peace - Patience - Kindness - Goodness - Faithfulness - Gentleness - Self-Control


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Kindness

Kindness is a fruit of the recreated spirit. It is the fruit of the Spirit that shows one's sweet spirit and their gracious acts.

Kindness is a characteristic that makes someone thoughtful to the needs of others. It is sensitive to their needs and does anything to help meet it. It rises above personal interests.

It is kindness demonstrated that makes evident the relationship someone has with God. An intimate relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ improves our natural character. God is love therefore, we manifest love as a fruit of the Spirit as we walk in the spirit.

How much time we spend with God is how much love we have in our heart. How much love we have in our heart is how much kindness we show to others

(Colossians 3:12) "And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;"

Kindness is love's conduct.

Kindness overwhelms the miserable and the ungrateful. It prays for enemies.

(Luke 6:35) "But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men."

Kindness was God's remedy for sin.

God came to us as Kindness to seal our eternity with Him. By His Kindness, He sent us His only Son, Jesus Christ, to be bruised for us. It was Kindness that rose from the dead so we may be reconciled with our Creator.

(Titus 3:4) "But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."

(Romans 2:4) "Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?"

It was Kindness that seated Jesus at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. It was Kindness that has made Jesus our Savior, our Lord, our Intercessor, our High Priest and our Advocate.

In the Book of Psalms, the central theme is that of praise to God for His lovingkindness.

(Psalm 136:1) "Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting."

(Psalm 145:8) "The LORD is gracious and merciful; Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness."

(Psalm 145:17) "The LORD is righteous in all His ways, And kind in all His deeds."

Godly kindness is evidence of the recreated spirit. It is evidence of the Nature of the Father within us. The Word of God tells us that we will not stumble as long as we walk in the Spirit and practice its fruit.

(2 Pet 1:7-11) "and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.
For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.
Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.
"

It is the kindness we show that sets us apart from the world and ministers the life of Jesus Christ to others. How glorious it would be if not one word needed to be spoken, but our kindness in action and deeds could save the ungodly!

The Fruits of the Spirit
Love - Joy - Peace - Patience - Kindness - Goodness - Faithfulness - Gentleness - Self-Control


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Goodness

Goodness is love’s character. It is an uprightness of soul evident in those who walk upright with the Lord. It is a fruit of one’s spirit that walks closely with the Spirit of God.

(Psalm 31:19)How great is Thy goodness, Which Thou hast stored up for those who fear Thee, Which Thou hast wrought for those who take refuge in Thee, Before the sons of men!

(Romans 3:10-12)as it is written, ‘THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.’”

The real test of being good or righteous is measured by the life and example of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The world is full of many people who think they are good. They come to this conclusion by comparing themselves to others. But, our salvation is not based on how good we are nor is it based on our good works. Good works will not save a person from the flames of hell. If our works were acceptable, God would not have had to send Jesus. Jesus is the only One who can save us from hell.

(Ephesians 2:8-10)FOR BY GRACE YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED THROUGH FAITH; AND THAT NOT OF YOURSELVES, IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD; NOT AS A RESULT OF WORKS, THAT NO ONE SHOULD BOAST.
FOR WE ARE HIS WORKMANSHIP, CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS FOR GOOD WORKS, WHICH GOD PREPARED BEFOREHAND, THAT WE SHOULD WALK IN THEM.

(Romans 3:23)For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

The good works of a righteous man bring glory to God. The works of an unsaved person do not tell of God’s glory. They do it for a hope to make peace with God and gain salvation. These works are detestable in His sight. It denies His plan in His Son Jesus, Who came to die for us.

Goodness came to this earth as a man so we can spend eternity with Him.

(ISAIAH 64:6)FOR ALL OF US HAVE BECOME LIKE ONE WHO IS UNCLEAN, AND ALL OUR RIGHTEOUS DEEDS ARE LIKE A FILTHY GARMENT; AND ALL OF US WITHER LIKE A LEAF, AND OUR INIQUITIES, LIKE THE WIND, TAKE US AWAY.”

(1 Peter 2:12)Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may on account of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.”

(Matthew 5:16) "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."

(Colossians 1:10)so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;”

(Titus 3:8)This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God may be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men.”

Honesty is one of goodness’ manifestations. An honest person has a sincerity about them in everything they do and say. Their actions, words, and deeds toward others are for the sole reason to be a blessing. Their honesty is proof of what Jesus Christ has done in their life.

The carnal man cannot produce that which is good. It may seem good the world, but in God’s eyes it is sheer vanity.

(Romans 2:7)to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;
but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation
.”

(Acts 11:22)And the news about them reached the ears of the church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas off to Antioch. Then when he had come and witnessed the grace of God, he rejoiced and began to encourage them all with resolute heart to remain true to the Lord; for he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And considerable numbers were brought to the Lord.”

Barnabas was a righteous, good man and as a result, he was instrumental in leading many to the Lord. Luke speaks of him as a “good man”. He went on expeditions with Paul and became an apostle bringing revival wherever he went. It was his godly character that brought glory to God.

Goodness speaks of the glory of God in that old things have passed away and all are become new. It tells the world of what Jesus has done in our lives by the new birth. We have taken on God’s nature. As we continue to grow with Him, goodness will reflect that new nature and lead others to the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Fruits of the Spirit
Love - Joy - Peace - Patience - Kindness - Goodness - Faithfulness - Gentleness - Self-Control


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Faithfulness

Faithfulness is God's confidence or Love's confidence because God is Love. It grows in us as we walk closely with Him.

God's faithfulness is revealed in His Word and through our experiences of Him in our life.

(Psalm 33:4) "For the word of the LORD is upright; And all His work is done in faithfulness."

Throughout the Old Testament God has proven Himself faithful to His people despite them being faithless and not trusting in Him.

God promised Abram an heir that would come from his own body. He promised Him Isaac. But not seeing the fulfillment of this promise after a long time, Abram and his wife Sarai took matters into their own hands and tried to fulfill God's promise. Their Egyptian maid gave birth to Abram's son, Ishmael.

Walking in the flesh cannot produce spiritual results. That which is flesh is flesh, and that which is spirit is spirit.

(Genesis 21:1) "Then the LORD took note of Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had promised."

Despite Abram and Sarai not trusting in God's promise, Sarai did bring forth the promised child.

(Deuteronomy 4:31) "For the LORD your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them."

The Israelites held captive in Egypt needed reassurance that their covenant keeping God would be faithful to His promises. God needed someone loyal and obedient to Him to deliver them out from the bondage in Egypt. Psalm 103:7 "He made known His ways unto Moses, His acts unto the children of Israel". Because Moses was faithful to know God and His ways, God was able to use him to deliver the people. Again, God was faithful to His people despite them not trusting Him.

God's faithfulness is never to be questioned or doubted. He is always faithful.

(Psalm 36:5) "Thy lovingkindness, O LORD, extends to the heavens, Thy faithfulness reaches to the skies."

(Psalm 100:5) "For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting, And His faithfulness to all generations."

We are the ones that must be loyal, dedicated, consecrated, and devoted to Him. We must be faithful. We must give God something to work with – our faithfulness. Our faithfulness is what makes God count on us. Faithfulness proves we can be depended upon and trusted.

Jesus taught His disciples on faithfulness.

(Matthew 25:14-15) "For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves, and entrusted his possessions to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey."

(Matthew 25:19-29) "Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them.
"And the one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, 'Master, you entrusted five talents to me; see, I have gained five more talents.'

"His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things, enter into the joy of your master.'

"The one also who had received the two talents came up and said, 'Master, you entrusted to me two talents; see, I have gained two more talents.'

"His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.'

"And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, 'Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed.

'And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground; see, you have what is yours.'

"But his master answered and said to him, 'You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I scattered no seed. 'Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. 'Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.'
"For to everyone who has shall more be given, and he shall have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away."

The servant that received and hid the one talent did not know the value and the power his master gave him to bless and increase his own life with. We see in the parable that the talents are reproducing. That talent in itself had unlimited creative power. That servant did not trust his master. The servants who knew and trusted their master received the blessings. They were faithful because they trusted him.

That trust brought increase. Increase was evidence of their response. If we are being faithful, we will see increase in our life. It is God's universal principle. Faithfulness, Increase, Fullness.

It is the faithful person that is blessed. A faithful person trusts the one he is faithful to. We are to be faithful to our God. Our faithfulness grows as we learn to trust Him, and the only way to trust Him is by knowing Him.

Go forward and increase! Begin to use your talents. Everyone God created He has given a talent. It is not how many talents you have that matters, it is your faithfulness to use what you have. One acorn produced a whole forest of trees.

(Proverbs 28:20) "A faithful man will abound with blessings, But he who makes haste to be rich will not go unpunished."

God rewards the faithful.

We need to be as the wise and faithful servant and use what God has given us for His glory. Only the faithful servant entered the joy of his lord. As we are faithful, we will enter the joy of our Lord.

As we prove ourselves faithful over little, God will make us ruler over much.

(2 Timothy 2:13) "If we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself."

(Matthew 10:33) "But whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven."

God is faithful to His Word. He is faithful to bring forth His promises as we respond to His faithfulness.

We also need to be faithful to our own word. Our "yes" must be "yes" and our "no" must be "no". We must be the kind of people that others can rely upon, trust, and have confidence in. Our loyalty shows our faithfulness.

If we use God as our example of faithfulness, we will never fail or be disappointed, or disappoint anyone.

(Revelation 2:10) "'Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.'"

The Book of Revelation proves to be an encouragement for the faithful. The harvest of our faithfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ is fulfilled as we receive the crown of life.

The Fruits of the Spirit
Love - Joy - Peace - Patience - Kindness - Goodness - Faithfulness - Gentleness - Self-Control


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Gentleness

Gentleness is love's humility.

Gentleness denies self. It does not provoke and does not seek revenge.

Gentleness is the ability to minister God's power to edify and build up instead of break down. The ability to correct and teach instead of hinder or demoralize.

(2 Timothy 2:24-25) "And the Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth,"

(John 8:7) "But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, 'He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.'"

(John 8:10-11) "And straightening up, Jesus said to her, "Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?" And she said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go your way. From now on sin no more."

Through His gentleness, Jesus offered the woman healing and forgiveness. He was gentle to receive her and restore her, but also commanded her to go and sin no more. He received the person but rejected the lifestyle. Gentleness brought her in to live a holy lifestyle instead of her former immoral lifestyle. Jesus did not condemn her. Yet, He was stern with His opponents in telling them whoever is without sin, to cast a stone.

(Galatians 6:1) "Brethren, even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted."

Gentleness is not weakness. It never compromises. It is bold, courageous and stern when necessary.

(2 Corinthians 10:1) "Now I, Paul, myself urge you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ-- I who am meek when face to face with you, but bold toward you when absent!"

Paul addressed the Corinthians in a humble manner, yet we know that he was severe when he needed to be. Gentleness will not tolerate sin but lead sinners to repentance. It restores the backslider.

(Matthew 11:29) "Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and YOU SHALL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS."

The Word instructs us to learn from Jesus and His gentleness. It is there we will find rest for our souls. Taking the yoke means living a life equal to. It is to follow an assignment. Like a young ox is yoked to an older ox to learn how to plow the fields, so will we with the yoke of gentleness be enabled to harvest the field of our life.

We are to take Jesus' yoke of gentleness. Like the yoke controls the oxen, gentleness controls our soul.

(Ephesians 4:2) "with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love,"

Gentleness bridles anger and does not retaliate when opposed.

(Proverbs 15:1) "A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger."

What we say in the spirit of gentleness is better received than words spoken harshly. It will put an end to a potentially quarrelsome situation.

(Colossians 3:12) "And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;"

God uses gentleness to minister His unlimited power. He created the universe with one word. If He didn't continue in gentleness and got angry, with one word he could extinguish the universe. It is His gentleness that gives us existence.

(Psalm 18:35) "Thou hast also given me the shield of Thy salvation, And Thy right hand upholds me; And Thy gentleness makes me great."

When we move in the spirit of gentleness, we will be great.

The Fruits of the Spirit
Love - Joy - Peace - Patience - Kindness - Goodness - Faithfulness - Gentleness - Self-Control


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Self-Control

Self-control is love's victory.

It is called love's victory because as the temptation comes to react carnally to a situation, self control allows love to overcome that temptation.

Self control keeps us focused and straight on the narrow path to victory.

It is a place of peace because we are controlled by God's power. It is a mark of maturity and shows discipline.

(1 Corinthians 9:23-25) "And I do all things for the sake of the gospel, that I may become a fellow partaker of it. Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.
And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
"

The apostle Paul compares himself to the racers in the Isthmian games. There were rules and regulations that needed to be kept in order to participate. Training was for ten months. Self control was necessary to combat the desires of the flesh because of the hardships endured during practice. The winners were crowned with withering leaves. But the Christian has an incorruptible inheritance, an incorruptible crown – a crown of glory. How much more should we fight off the desires of the flesh to gain our heavenly crown.

(Titus 1:7-8) "For the overseer must be above reproach as God's steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled,"

One of the qualifications Paul gave Titus for ordaining overseers was self-control.

Self control is strength over appetites and affections. It disciplines the flesh, that carnal nature, that always wants. The carnal self has unsatiable appetites that only self control through the Holy Spirit can tame. It crucifies selfish attitudes.

(Philippians 3:14) "I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

Operating in self-control through the power of the Holy Spirit allows us to discipline ourselves to keep sight of the goals set before us.

Self control gives us freedom from anger. Paul warns that people who practice outbursts of anger do not inherit the kingdom of God. It takes self control to dominate the flesh and put it into subjection to the Word of God. It keeps us from responding too quickly to situations. It keeps us out of the position of regretting what we said hastily and reacting the wrong way.

Self control keeps destructive habits in check. We need it to control our thoughts, our actions and our words.

People are quick to be offended. Self control overlooks that offense and tames our tongue. It restrains us from retaliating and complaining.

(Proverbs 16:32) "He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city."

God tells us that he who controls his anger is mightier than one who overtakes an entire city.

(Proverbs 25:28) "Like a city that is broken into and without walls Is a man who has no control over his spirit."

We are vulnerable if we do not rule our spirit. God likens it to a city without walls. A city without walls opens itself up to the enemy. We are to be the masters of our spirit so it does not become a battlefield of mixed emotions and give Satan an advantage over us.

We cannot measure the amount of fruit we have. It increases as we spend time with God. The true test is when someone is constantly pecking and picking, poking and shaking, rattling and squeezing, then the fruit is exposed and we'll know how much we have.

There's always room for more!

The Fruits of the Spirit
Love - Joy - Peace - Patience - Kindness - Goodness - Faithfulness - Gentleness - Self-Control


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Hearing God's Voice

In the Old Testament God called and anointed many to be His prophets. These chosen mouthpieces delivered Almighty God’s message with boldness. They were fearless and willing to lay their lives down. Some of those ready and willing to say what God instructed them was Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Jonah and John the Baptist. They risked stoning, beatings, being imprisoned and even death. Many people rejected the Word of the Lord because it meant they had to turn from their sin, but God continued to use His prophets to make His will and mind be known.

Through His vessels, God called people to repentance. He also gave warnings, specific battle instructions and pronounced judgment through them. When kings were ready to go into battle, they would seek out the prophets for God's direction and wisdom against their enemies.

God spoke through dreams and visions. He also spoke directly to men and gave them specific instruction and divine direction. Remember that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever and He still desires to give us specific instruction and divine direction.

He spoke to Abraham.

(Genesis 12:7) “And the LORD appeared to Abram and said, ‘To your descendants I will give this land.’ So he built an altar there to the LORD who had appeared to him.”

He also spoke to Job.

(Job 38:1-2)Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, ‘Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?’”

And to Samuel.

(1 Sam 3:10-11) "Then the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ And Samuel said, ‘Speak, for Thy servant is listening.’ And the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle.’”

GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT STILL SPEAKS TO
HIS PEOPLE TODAY!
AND HE IS READY TO SPEAK TO YOU.

(John 16:13-14) "’But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you.’"

Today, prophets are used by God to reveal part of the plan and purpose that He has ordained for us. As the Scripture tells us, we are complete in Christ. God will use New Testament prophets to speak Christ’s plan and purpose for our lives to encourage, console, comfort, and edify. However, it must be spoken in the midst of the assembly. There it can be judged to see if it is God’s will by the witness of the Holy Spirit in submission to the written Word of God. Then, we have the right to act upon it. We also as His children have the right to hear His voice for ourselves. He intends His children to hear His voice and not depend only His servants. That is why Jesus came – to reconcile men to the Father.

Adam and Eve enjoyed their intimate fellowship with God until the day they sinned. God always wanted to fellowship with His creation and He did continue it even after man’s fall. Noah, Abraham and many mighty men and women had a close relationship with God. As a result, they were able to hear His voice.

Having a close relationship with God will put us in a position to hear Him. He speaks clear and with purpose. Knowing Him intimately will allow us to discern His voice.

We were created to have fellowship with God. He is always willing to make Himself known to us. He sent us His Son Jesus Christ so that through Him, we can once again commune with Him. He gave us His Holy Spirit that by Him living within us, we have unlimited access to be in His presence and hear His voice. Remember, the spirit world is infinite. There is the Kingdom of God and Light, and there is Satan’s counterfeit kingdom. This counterfeit kingdom is part of the unseen realm. Make sure in seeking the Lord you always start by the Holy Scriptures, the Written Word. Whatever you receive must line up to the New Testament scriptures. This is the way God ordained that we would never be misled or deceived. Walking in the truth of God’s Word will produce the evidence that God has spoken because we will harvest what He said. Praise the Lord!

(1 John 5:7-8) "So there are three witnesses in heaven: the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are One; and there are three witnesses on the earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree [are in unison; their testimony coincides]."

We need to realize that God’s voice is all-powerful, almighty and eternal. He called the heavens into existence; He spoke and the earth brought forth every living creature. His voice is still all-powerful today. It is full of His glory and majesty. We now have the Holy Spirit who was sent to us to speak what God intends for us to hear. We can be 100% sure that as long as we have a close relationship with God, continual communion with Him, we will be able to hear His voice.

(John 10:27) "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me."

Being these are the last days, we are living in such a deceptive time that now more than ever we need to hear from God. We need to be able to discern His voice from our own will. We need to expect to hear from God. He still speaks to His people today and He will speak to you. He is even using this teaching to speak to you. He has spoken and will speak to you through His written Word, dreams, visions or through a still, small voice of the Holy Spirit through our intimate time with Him.

Remember, everything must be judged by the written Word. By using the name of Jesus, put away anything that stops you from hearing God. God wants our undivided attention, not willing to share our mind and heart with anything or anyone else. Put away distractions and put on the mind of Christ. Take authority over your mind and command it to focus in Jesus’ name on the things above. Don’t let anything rob your time with your Heavenly Father. The Creator of the Universe is waiting to speak to you.

(Psalm 46:10) "Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

We need to have our mind and heart set on His will or His purpose. Sometimes God’s commands or His direction conflict with what we think is best. It may be contrary to what we want or what we are waiting for. It may even seem impossible. It usually challenges our faith, but the result of it is peace. It does not come to us to bring confusion. It is never contrary to His written Word. It is never void of power.

It is by God’s Spirit that we hear and know Him. We hear by His Spirit and receive it into our spirit. We must respond to what He spoke to us by acting upon it. We must be obedient! If His Word to us is to wait, we must wait. We cannot go before God’s plan. Knowing that it was God speaking to us, allows us to move towards victory because His Word is guarantee. We can face any circumstance in our life because we are not leaning on our own understanding, but His.

(Proverbs 3:5-6)Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.

Living in constant communion with God has been made possible through the Cross of Jesus Christ and all that He suffered to pay the price for our sin, which separated us from Him. So let’s enjoy the benefits of what Christ accomplished by being intimate with our Heavenly Father through our Lord Jesus Christ. This way we can continue to hear His voice and fulfill His plan for our life.

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Pressing in
to Know the Lord

The Fruits
of the Spirit

Hearing God's Voice

 

 

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