2 The Spirit-Filled Life It is Christ-directed life by which Jesus lives his life in and through us in the power of the Holy Spirit.Initially, a person becomes a Christian through the work of the Holy Spirit (John 3:1-8).From the moment of conversion, or spiritual birth, the Holy Spirit dwells in a person. In this sense, all Christians, at the point of conversion, receive “the baptism of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13).However, though the Spirit is present in all Christians, this does not mean all Christians are filled –empowered, released, guided, and controlled –by the Holy Spirit.
3 The Spirit-Filled Life The filling of the Holy Spirit is an ongoing reality.Paul said in Eph. 5:8, “Be filled with the Spirit.” In the original it means “continually be filled with the Spirit.”Renewal and a release of the Spirit presence and power are needed on a daily basis.
4 Most of the time, the filling of the Holy Spirit is experienced in a quiet way, with deep sense of peace or joy, perhaps bringing clarity of insight or understanding regarding present circumstances or future plans.
5 Other times the filling is manifested in a dramatic power and include, speaking of tongues, falling down, laughing, crying, feeling warm all over, or experiencing a power surge like electricity:
6 The book of Acts records a number of such instances of manifestation of the spirit’s filling include boldness in preaching, greater wisdom and faith, and deeper joy (Acts 4:8, 31; 6:3,5; 11:24; 13:52)
7 With Jesus and disciples (Acts 2:1-4) With Samaritans (Acts 8:14-17)With Gentile “God-fearers” (Acts 10:44-47)Ephesian followers of John the Baptist (Acts 19: 1-7)
8 Blessings of being filled Greater love and intimacy with GodExaltation of Jesus as Son of God and SaviorPower and boldness to witness and preachGreater wisdom and faithDeep joy (Singing and worship)Release of spiritual gifts for ministryVictory over sin and temptationEffectiveness and power in prayerQuiet confidence during oppositionDeeper trust in Scripture as the Word of GodRenewed zeal for evangelismFresh love of Christ and others
9 Steps of being filledConfess your sins and receive God’s cleansing and forgiveness (1 John 1:9).Before we can be filled we must be emptied with the things that grieve the Holy Spirit. (Eph. 4:30)Before we can be home with God we must realize that we are lost and in need of mercy (Luke 15:11-32)
10 Steps of being filledYield every area of your life to the control of the Holy Spirit, under the lordship of Jesus Christ (Rom. 12:2-2)Give up the things we hold so close: known sins, anger, brokenness, rebellion, control, and pride so that God has authority over everything in our lives.Jesus must be the master of our lives. Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters, either he will hate the one and love the other, or will be devoted to the one and espise the other “(Matt. 6:24).
11 Steps of being filledAsk to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18)God’s purpose is to give you himself. “For everyone who asks receives,” Jesus says. It is the will of our Father in heaven to “give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him” (Luke 11:10-13)Ask specifically for His power and the release of his gifts so that you can live more Christlike life and be more effective in building up the body of Christ and reaching out to a lost world with the gospel
12 Steps of being filled Give thanks Thank God by faith for his answer to such prayers because they are in accordance with his will (1 John 5:14-15).We live in dependence upon the love and mercy of God, and our thanksgiving is a constant response to his help and guidance which comes to us at every moment through the power of the Holy Spirit.
13 Steps of being filled Fifth, accept great things to happen Anticipate that the Holy Spirit will work deeply and powerfully, whether in a dramatic in a more quiet ways.
15 At ConversionThe moment we are converted to Christ, we are incorporated to Him. (Rom. 6:4). We receive the seal of adoption (Eph. 1) and we become sons and daughters of God (John 1:12). We pass from death to life and receive the promise of eternal life. This new birth experience is an initial act of the Holy Spirit for our salvation. This has to be continued so that we will be formed and shaped into His likeness. Thus spiritual growth is a necessity for spiritual maturity.
16 Spiritual GrowthThe growing up into Christ likeness is the task of a lifetime. It is our call to become:(a) “mature in Christ” (Col (Col.1: 28).(b) Have the “mind of Jesus.”(Phil 2:5)(c) To have Christ formed in us(Gal. 4:9)Conforming us to the image of the Son of the true God is the deepest work of the Holy Spirit.
17 Spiritual GrowthApostle Paul’s whole life goal was to know –to fully and completely know –the Lord Jesus and to become more like him.Paul wanted the righteousness that came from Christ be experienced by the believers.
18 Spiritual GrowthPeter like Paul saw and believed that we have been given everything we need for growth in godliness through our knowledge –our personal relationship –in Christ. Rooted by faith in God’s love and purpose, Peter exhort us to make effort to add goodness, knowledge, self control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love to our lives. (2 Peter 1:5-8)Practice, imitate, and learn from me, make every effort, Paul and Peter encourage us, for thereby we grow into maturity in Christ (1 Tim. 4:7).
19 Spiritual GrowthThe Holy Spirit works in many ways over which we have little or no control to transform us into the likeness of Jesus –Through people we encounterThrough circumstancesThrough our seeming failuresThrough daily trials and temptations
20 Spiritual GrowthHowever, the Spirit primarily works in our lives by connecting us with his transforming power through the disciplines of the Spirit.By choosing to enter into the disciplines of the Holy Spirit, we are asking for more of God. We more often, more consistently, and more willingly put ourselves in a place, or into situations or contexts, where the Holy Spirit can and will shape us into likeness of Jesus
21 Spiritual Growth The goal: To become more like Jesus The Holy Spirit part: He is the change agent, acting power and purpose to grow us up into ChristOur part: We need to be changed, but we cannot change ourselves. We can however cooperate with the Holy Spirit in changing us by choosing to put ourselves in places and by staying in places where the Holy Spirit can transform us.The means: The spiritual disciplines are the conduits for the Holy Spirit’s power, the God-given means we are to use in our Spiritual filled pursuit of growing into the heart of Jesus.
22 Growing into the heart of God When we are born again of the Spirit and enter relationship with the living God, the Spirit dwells in us. At this point of conversion, we are rooted in the heart of God –in the one in whom all things are possible. It is then that the Spirit begins his powerful work of growing us into likeness of Jesus.
23 Growing into the heart of God The process of sanctification, of growing into Christ, takes place in three broad directions: The Holy Spirit (1) draw us near to God in deep love and intimacy (2) help us surrender to his will and purpose, (3) reach out in compassionate ministry to others through us. This is illustrated in the life of Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10)
25 Discipline of Solitude Drawing Near To GodDiscipline of Solitude
26 Solitude and SilenceSolitude is being alone in a purposeful withdrawal from human interaction. It is a deliberate choice to be alone in order to draw closer to God by the power of the Holy Spirit, thereby freeing ourselves from bondage to people and things.
27 Solitude and SilenceSilence, is the absence of speech with an intent to absorb God’s voice. It is a crucial component of solitude. While not all silence is solitude, silence is always part of solitude.
28 Holy Spirit calls for solitude and silence The Holy Spirit calls us, even “drives” us into solitude and silence, where we are strengthened us in our relationship with GodJesus’ experience (Luke 4:1). Full of Spirit… was led by the Spirit in the wilderness. During forty days of solitude and fasting, Jesus drew strength from his closeness to his father as the Spirit prepared him to resist Satan’s temptation of food, fame, and power.Again and again solitary, desert, and mountain meetings with his Father became occasions for Jesus to be restored, renewed, and refilled with power (Mark 1:35)
29 Solitude and SilenceSolitude and silence are so transforming because they are essential ingredients and helpful preparation for all the other disciplines of the Spirit. It is essential for Bible study, prayer, private worship, and journaling, and is common when fasting. Silence prepares us to hear God’s voice and receive revelation and guidance.
30 Holy Spirit calls for solitude and silence All of us have at critical times, been “driven” into periods of isolations and weakness, where all the skills and abilities we had gained were seemingly useless for the tasks at hand, and we had to turn to God alone for resource, identity, and future direction. While experiencing painful, these periods of solitude and reflection bring our relationship with God alive and prepares us for new seasons in which the Holy Spirit becomes our teacher and partner in prayer and ministry.
31 Solitude prepare us to hear God’s Voice We live in hustle-and-bustle world filled with all kinds of noise, sounds, and voices clamoring for our attention. We complain that we do not hear God speaking to us today. The truth of the matter is rather that God is speaking, but we are not listening. To learn to listen we need to enter into the discipline of the Holy Spirit.God spoke to Elijah not in the noise and drama of strong wind, earthquake, and fire, but in the gentle whisper in the midst of solitude and silence (1 Kings 19:11-13).In silence we learn to control the tongue (James 1:26; 3:5-12). By giving up control of the tongue we learn to rely more on God’s control. Silence prepares us for surrender and knowing our dependence on God. The less we speak, the more we see and hear.
32 In Solitude we grow in intimacy with God God created us for deepest intimacy and fellowship with him. We are his bride, and he as our Bridegroom is eager lover of our souls. He wants nothing more than to pour out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us (Ro. 5:5). The Holy Spirit is God’s kiss to us, in which he fills us with love and life.For such deep and loving communion to happen, we, must make time and space for God through solitude and silence.
33 In Solitude we grow in intimacy with God As we are faithful to the disciplines of solitude and silence, we grow in our hunger and thirst for God and his righteousness. And as we hunger and thirst for him, we are filled and satisfied (Matt. 5:6). Hunger for more of the Holy Spirit marks a person of God.As we give ourselves to God in solitude, we find more and more that we do not want to miss our times alone with God. The more time we spend for God alone, the more we discover that God is with us at all times and in all places.Solitude is a primary means of hungering with our whole heart after God, and the fruit of solitude is growing intimacy with him.
34 In solitude God’s character and purpose revealed David “a man after Gods’ own heart (1 Sam 13:14; Acts 13:22) was shaped and tested in times of solitude. He would break in abandoned praise, blessing the Lord with all his soul, with all that was with him, expressing deep emotions of joy, pain, gladness, and sorrow (Ps. 23).The Apostle Paul, following his conversion, spent three years in the Arabian desert and many more years in isolation while God was preparing for missionary work (Gal. 1:15-18; 2:1-2, 8)
35 Solitude strengthens us Jesus during his solitude was strengthened by the Father and Holy Spirit for His battle for Satan. (Matt. 4)Leaders today often are tempted by the desires to be relevant, popular, and powerful as effective ingredients for the ministry. Solitude and silence will draw us to God’s presence to be strengthened in time of testing.When in solitude we have full assurance that God will draw near to us as we seek to draw near to him. “Come unto me… to quiet place to get some rest.” (Matt. 6:31). In rest, with Jesus, we regain perspective, are reminded who we are in God and are made aware of the battle line. The Holy spirit will empower us through solitude to see the deceptions of the devil so clearly that they will no longer tempt us.
36 Solitude brightens the dark night of the soul St John of the Cross said that occasionally the Lord leads us into time of isolation and solitudes- the dark night of the soul. We may feel dry, in despair, or lost. God may seem absent, his voice silent. But the prophet Isaiah declared:“Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of his Lord and rely on his God (Isa. 50:10).
37 Solitude brightens the dark night of the soul As we seek to draw near to God, we can expect to have times in our lives when we too experience “the ministry of the night” Our best response during these seasons is to wait upon the Lord, trust him and be still, and pray.
39 Created for a Listening Relationship God created us to be in a listening relationship.“I am the good shepherd, I know my sheep and my sheep know me –just as the Father knows me and I know the Father –and I lay down my life for the sheep …My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.” (John 10:14-16, 27).We listen in order to receive guidance. The outcome of close relationship with God is guidance and invitation into partnership with him.He encouraged believers that if they belonged to God, they should expect to hear from God. “He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not hear is that you do not belong to God. (John 8:47)
40 Holy Spirit in Listening and Guidance Hearing from God is the work of the Holy Spirit, who makes God’s will clear to us as we engage in the discipline of listening“The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26).When the Spirit of truth comes, Jesus says, “He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you (John 16:13-14)
41 Man’s part on listening and guidance We must build a desire to yield and obey God’s will and plans. “To obey is better than sacrifice (1 Sam. 15:22).Seek after God with your whole heart, striving to know him intimately. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13Resolve to want to glorify God and bring honor to his great name in all things in your life. “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Cor. 10:31)Be alert and sensitive at all times for the Spirit’s promptings. Seek guidance from God, watch for it, expect it. “The counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you (John 14:26)
42 Take time daily to listen and be in conversation with God Take time daily to listen and be in conversation with God. “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed (Luke 5:16).Wait for confirmation. “Test everything.” (1 Thess. 5:21)Take steps to respond obediently to the guidance you receive, trusting that God will provide confirmation and blessing. “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22)
43 Means of GuidanceGod speaks primarily through His Word, as we read and meditate upon it (2 Tim 3:16-17, John 14:26, Ps. 119:105).Prayer –Conversation with God. Prayer is not just talking to God, but dialogue with God (Ep. 6:8; James 1:5; Matt. 7:7-8; Phil. 4:6-7)Godly counsel. God often speaks to us through the wise counsel of mature Christian believers –pastors, church elders, leaders, spiritual directors and etc. “Plans fails fro lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” (Prov. 15:22).Providential circumstances (Acts 8:1,4-5)
44 Means of GuidanceSanctified common sense. God speaks through our common reason in bringing us to a decision (1 Cor. 10:31)Inner witness and peace. Generally, the Holy Spirit confirms God’s will to us by giving peace in our hearts. “let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts” (Col. 3:15)Words of knowledge and wisdom (1 Cor. 12:8-10Visions and dreams (Dan 2:9), Acts 9:10-16, Acts 10:9-23; 18:9-10).Nature (ps. 1:20, Ps. 19:1-4).Heavenly visitation (Acts 8:26, 29
46 Prayer is our primary pathway of relationship to God Prayer is our primary pathway of relationship to God. It is an outward and visible sign of our inward hunger and thirst to know God more fully. David cries out. “O Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry …I spread out my hands to you, my soul thirst for you, like a parched land.” (ps. 143:1,6)Prayer unites soul to God (Julian Norwich)Prayer is the central avenue to transform us. As we pray, we begin to see things from God’s point of view and are drawn to pray according to his will and purpose.As we engage in prayer and intercession, we give God time and room to draw us near to himself and grow us into the likeness of Jesus.
47 The work of the Spirit in prayer and meditation Pray in the spirit on all occasions, with all kinds of prayers and requests ( Eph. 6:18). The secret of prayer is found in those words “in the Spirit.”True prayer is in and from the Holy Spirit, breathed by the Spirit.Spirit-breathed prayer brings us into the most intimate conversation and communion with God.Through prayer, the Holy Spirit brings richness, vitality, and depth to all other disciplines of the Holy Spirit.In the midst of solitude and silence we are drawn easily into prayer as God’s love is poured “into our hearts by the Holy Spirit speaks to us (Rom. 5:5).Often during prayer, the Spirit speaks to us and guides us, giving us direction as he did for Paul and Barnabas (Acts 13).
48 Five elements of Prayer First, the Holy Spirit helps us in our praise to God. “ O Lord my God, you are very great, you are clothed with splendor and majesty (Ps. 104:1)In times of praise, as our focus turns to God and away from ourselves, we worship him in “truth and spirit” (John 4:23-24).The Holy Spirit touches our spirits through praise and we are drawn into deeper union and communion with God.
49 Second, in thanksgiving, we acknowledge that God is the great Giver and we are the recipients of his boundless grace and mercy. (Phil. 4:6-7, 1 Thess. 5:17-18). Through thanksgiving, the Spirit makes our hearts yielded, contented, and grateful.
50 Third, the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and unbelief and leads us into confession and repentance for our refusal to accept Jesus and his message. (John 16:8-9). The Spirit works through our confession to bring forth a fruitful, holy and Christ-like life.
51 Fourth, as we petition God for our own needs, the Holy Spirit helps us pray and even prays for us himself. The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express” (Ro. 8:26).
52 Finally, the Holy Spirit leads us in intercession from the deep needs of others. We are to pray in the Spirit at all times, making intercession for all the saints (Eph. 6:18). The Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.” (Rom 8:27).
53 Individual Intercession Intercession, simply put, is praying for others –interceding with God on their behalf.A second more accurate, picture of intercession is of waiting before God, developing quietness in the heart, listening for his still small voice, so that God can tap us on the shoulder and get our attention.
55 We listen to God’s voice primarily in the Bible, his inspired Word. Through study and meditation on his word, we are given truth – truth about his character and purpose, our brokenness and separation from him, his initiative in extending mercy and rescuing us through his death, and his gift of a living Spirit to comfort us into all truth.
56 Through study and meditation on scripture we are powerfully strengthened in our practice of the disciplines of solitude and silence. We are drawn into solitude with Jesus as we begin praying the prayers of Scripture.Our ability to hear and discern his voice grows as we hear his voice in Scripture and test our hearing by the truth of the Word.No habit invigorating for Christian living than regularly plunging into Scripture. No discipline provides more power and direction for spiritual growth than study and meditation on God’s Word.
57 Work of the Holy Spirit through God’s Word The Word equips us (2 Tim. 3;16-17)The Word cleanses usThe disciples were cleansed and shaped by the words Jesus gave them (John 15:3).The Psalmist said “How can a young man keep his way pure?” He answers his own question: “By living according to your word,” by hiding your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Ps. 119:9,11)
58 The Word feeds us (1 Peter 2:2; Heb 5:12-13). The Word guides and leads us (Ps. 119:105, I King 17:2-3, 8-9)The Word of God produces and deepens our faith (Rom. 10:17, 1 Peter 1:23, Luke 10:38-42).
59 DEVELOPING EFFECTIVE BIBLE MARKING CLASS for the ELITE
60 The sword was the most important piece of equipment soldier owned.
61 "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12,
62 Elite Ministry Through The Knowledge of God’s Word The Bible is how God chose to express Himself to us, and how to instruct us in His ways.
63 2 Peter 1:1-4Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
64 What is a studyStudy is a specific kind of experience in which through careful observation of objective structures we cause thought processes to move in a certain way.
65 Facts about Discipline of Study Paul tells us that the way we are transformed is through renewal of the mind (Rom. 12:2)The mind is renewed by applying it to those things that will transform it.“Finally brethren, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Phil. 4:8)The discipline of study is the primary vehicle to bring us to think “about these things.”
66 Facts about Discipline of Study The Old Testament instructs that the laws be written on:GatesdoorpostsBound to the wristsFrontlets between the eyesThe purpose of that instruction was to direct the mind repeatedly and regularly in certain modes of thought about God and human relation.
67 Differences of terms used: MeditationStudydevotionalwill relish a worda high priority is placed upon application: what it means for me?analyticalwill explicate ita high priority is placed in interpretation: what it means?
68 Differences of terms used: MeditationStudywe are seeking for spiritual ecstasy.we want to be controlled by the intent of the author.
70 RepetitionIt is a way of regularly channeling the mind in a specific direction, thus ingraining habits of thought.It is important however that understanding should be pursued in repetition to effect in the inner mind.
71 ConcentrationConcentration centers on the mind. It focuses the attention on the thing being studied.The human mind has incredible ability to concentrate. It is constantly receiving thousands of stimuli, every one of which is able to store in the memory banks while focusing on only a few.
72 ComprehensionComprehension leads to insight and discernment. It provides the basis for a true perception of reality.It defines what we are studying.
73 ReflectionReflection defines the significance of what we are studying. To reflect on the events of our time will lead us to the inner reality of those events
75 Get A Plan (Just Do It!)Read books. (Caution: Choose sound books. Do not depend upon them more than the Bible).Daily Bible Reading (Schedule on bulletin board)Chapter-a-day from Proverbs (31 chapters)Psalm-a-day for 5 months (150 psalms)Read the whole Bible (not overwhelming, easy to do in a year).
76 Group Activity [ 5 Groups ] Study Chain – each member of the group will be assigned to find a text and he will share this to develop a topic for reflection on certain issue.ISSUESFamilyHealthPeace of MindBusiness/ workBible/Knowledge about God
78 Meditating on God’s Word Without meditation, the ways of appropriating God’s Word will be futile and unfruitful. Prayer as well can be empty and devoid of the Spirit without meditation.Meditation is pondering over Scripture verses or passages as such as the Written Word of God becomes a living Word of God applied to our hearts by the Spirit.In study of God’s Word, the person is exposed to God’s Word and in meditation the person is absorbing the written Word as a living Word.
79 What is meditation? “Moving with the mind into the heart” –Peter Toon “A particular way of receiving the revealed and dynamic Word of God into the heart from the mind so as to direct the will in the way of God’s guidance”
80 Meditation…Meditation is a deep thinking on the truths and spiritual realities revealed in scripture for the purpose of understanding, application and prayerNote: Meditation goes beyond hearing, studying, and even memorizing. It is immersing into the thoughts of God.
81 Purpose of MeditationMeditation is a key part of study and application of the Word of GodMeditation is a vital component to prayerMeditation is a key way of practicing the presence of GodMeditation gives life and health to body, mind, and heart in a stressful world
82 Biblical and Non-Biblical Meditation Emptying the mindFilling the mind with God’s truthAchieve complete mental passivityRequires constructive mental activityEmploys visualization techniques to create your own realityGod-given imagination in meditation helps us to meditate on things that are true (Phil. 4:8)
83 Eastern and Western Meditation Eastern MeditationWestern MeditationPresupposes impersonal pantheistic cosmic consciousnessPresupposes personal GodAims to escape thoughtBegins with thoughtDesire to find self and cosmic consciousness insideWants to meet God in personal relationshipNo BibleBible central
84 Success and Meditation Joshua 1:8 – “Do not let this book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”Note: True success is promised to those who meditate on God’s Word, who think deeply on Scripture, not just one time each day, but at moments throughout the day and night.
85 Meditation and Promises Psalms 1:1-3Blessed is the manWho does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of the mockers.But his delight is in the law of the Lord,and on his law he meditates day and nightHe is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruits in seasonAnd whose leaf doe not wither.whatever he does prospers.
86 How of meditation Pick an appropriate Bible passage Pay attention to place and postureBegin with brief prayer for God’s presence for God’s guidance and protection from any evil influenceHelp people begin to focus on the present situation in preparation to hear God’s WordRepeatedly read, meditate on, and respond to God’s Word
87 Methods Select an appropriate passage Repeat it in different ways Rewrite it in your own wordsLook for application of the textPray through the textDon’t rush –take time
88 Other suggestionsChoose brief passages from scripture that are meaningful to youSelect specific times for brief interludes of the meditation on the text you have chosen for the dayUse your imagination and begin to visualize the concepts in the text in as many as you canPonder each word and phrase of the text and try to gain as many insights as you can
89 Other suggestionsPersonalize the passage by putting it in the first person and praying it back to God.Offer praise and worship God to God on the basis of your day’s meditationOption: Daily reading of every thirtieth psalm, five minutes before going to bed, Then close your Bible, and be sure to make that your last waking thought. If you wake up during the night, think about the verse. In the morning, read through the five psalms until you find a verse that particularly speaks to you.
90 Discipline of Surrender Yielding to GodDiscipline of Surrender
92 Repentance and confession are the white flags of surrender to declare the death of our pride and the submission of our will to the will of God. It begins with awareness and conviction of sin.Repentance is the bedrock of Christianity (Oswald Chambers)
93 The Hebrew word for repent means “to turn away” or “to return The Hebrew word for repent means “to turn away” or “to return.” In Greek (metanoia), the word carries a sense of changing one’s mind and purpose.Combining the two meanings in Hebrew and Greek, repentance means turning away from what we are thinking and doing, renouncing behaviors harmful to ourselves or others, surrendering those course of action contrary to God’s will and purpose, and returning to a loving and obedient relationship to him.
94 True repentance brings revolution to the spiritual life, leading to the changing of our habits of thought, attitudes, outlook, and behavior.It is a “stretching exercise” of the Spirit that helps us to get our lives out of wrong shape and into the right shape of healthy surrender to God.Through a lifetime of repentance and confession, we are helped by the Spirit to crucify “the sinful nature with its passions and desires,” so that we can live by the Spirit” and “keep in step with the Spirit” (Gal. 5;24-25)
95 Work of the Spirit in Repentance and Confession When we take time to reflect on our condition and to be aware of our sin, the Holy Spirit undertakes a deep convicting, cleansing work within our hearts to lead us into repentance and confession. (John 16:8).True repentance is a gift of God, a result of godly sorrow that brings conviction that we have hurt and grieved God because of our sin (2 Cor. 7:10)
96 The Holy Spirit is the only force that can break our hard hearts and leads us to the repentance that is crucial for salvation and for sanctification. As we enter into the spiritual disciplines of repentance and confession, the spirit enables us to “put to death the misdeeds of the body” (Rom. 8:13). The result is not sinless perfection, but an increasing ability, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to sin less and less as we grow into the heart of God.
97 E.G.White – Steps to Christ p.29 “Repentance includes sorrow for sin, and a turning away from it. We shall not renounce sin unless we see its sinfulness; until we turn away from it in heart, there will be no real change in the life.”Repentance is not to lament of the result of sin but of the act of sin itself.
98 Repentance is initiated by God “It is virtue that goes forth from Christ, that leads to genuine repentance.” p. 32Peter said, “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.” (Acts 5:31).“We can no more repent without the Spirit of God to awaken the conscience than we can be pardoned without Christ.” p. 32
99 How?“But when the heart yields to the influence of the Spirit of God, the conscience will be quickened, and the sinner will discern something of the depth and sacredness of God’s holy law, the foundation of His government in heaven and on earth. The “Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world (John 1:9) illumines the secret chambers of the soul and the hidden things of darkness are made manifest. Convictions takes hold upon the mind and heart. The sinner has a sense of the righteousness of Jehovah, and feels the terror of appearing, in his own guilt and uncleanness, before the Searcher of hearts. He sets the love of God, the beauty of holiness, the joy of purity; he longs to be cleansed and to be restored to communion with Heaven”
100 How it can be averted or delayed “Every act of transgression, every neglect or rejection of the grace of Christ, is reacting upon yourself; it is hardening the heart, depraving the will, benumbing the understanding, and not only making you less inclined to yield but less capable of yielding.”
101 How it can be averted or delayed “Even one wrong trait of character, one sinful desire, persistently cherished, will eventually neutralize all the power of the gospel. Every sinful indulgence strengthens the soul’s aversion to God.”
102 Steps in Repentance Awareness of sin and offense against God. The first step in repentance is perhaps the most difficult because we are so prone to rationalizing our behavior, hiding our sinful actions from others, and becoming comfortable with self-deception (James 1:22,26). Consider the life David when he committed adultery (2 Sam 12:7). It was not until Nathan confronted him and made him aware of his sin that he cried “For I know my transgressions, and my sins is always before me.” (Ps. 51:3)
103 Confession of sin: Asking for cleansing and forgiveness Sorrow and remorse at having dishonored God. Conviction of sin will reduce us to a state of complete sorrow and repentance (ps. 51:4)Confession of sin: Asking for cleansing and forgivenessGodly sorrow leads naturally to confession, desire for forgiveness, and cleansing of conscience.David’s Prayer was “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean, wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness, let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity… (ps. 51:7-12)
104 Resolving not to engage in the sin again If we are truly repentant, the Holy Spirit will create in us a pure heart that hates sin and is set in overcoming it, and a renewed, steadfast, and willing spirit bent on resisting temptation to sin.Part of this process is to know our particular areas of weakness. In doing so, we can learn to avoid situations where temptation is strong and ask others to hold us accountable in those areas.
105 Seeking restitution and reconciliation Part of what it means to act on the resolve not to sin again is to set things as right as we can within our ability and power
106 Confession and Self-Examination Humans are experts in the art of self-deception – “if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). But through regular examination, we can become aware of our true condition. Paul said, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves”Self-examination is at the heart of a growing, vibrant relationship with God. It is a growth-producing to take time each day or each week to review what has been happening.
107 Corporate ConfessionWe are commanded in scripture to “confess your sins to each other and pray for each other.” (James 5;16).When you confess your sins to someone you trust and who knows you well, several things happenAs your sin is exposed to the light, it loses much of its power to control you. It is no longer the dark, looming force that easily crushes you with shame and guiltIn the light, sin is exposed for what it is: a wrong behavior or attitude which can be forgiven, healed, and transformed.Light overcomes darkness. The very act of telling someone what we have done, or failed to do, is the beginning of returning to God, of turning around and walking in the opposite direction.
108 Confession Brings Healing and Forgiveness The power of the Holy Spirit is at work through confession to bring healing to our spirits, minds, emotions, and bodies.When we confess our sins we establish, or reestablish, Christ’s authority and Lordship in that area of our lives.As we repent of any idolatry or other behavior that has weakened our attachment to Christ, we open the door for the Holy Spirit’s healing power to follow forth.
109 Confession as the Prelude to Renewal and Revival If my people are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land (2 Chron. 7:14)Getting right with God opens the floodgates of God’s mercy and release the power of the Spirit for revival.
111 1 John 1:9“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us for all unrighteousness.”
112 The OT and NT concept of forgiveness The OT most often conveys forgiveness by Hebrew words that means “send away” or “cover”The NT generally uses “send away” but it also employs “loose,” “be gracious to,” and “pass over.”Perhaps a good modern English word to employ would be to “release.”
113 Facts about forgiveness Forgiveness does not mean forgettingForgiveness does not mean condoningForgiveness does not mean pardoningForgiveness does not necessarily lead to reconciliation
114 Five different kind of forgiveness God’s forgiveness of personForgiveness by othersForgiveness of persons toward GodMeans that we give up trying to charge God with responsibility and deal with the situation in a more productive wayThose who have wronged usForgiving ourselves
115 How to practice?Repentance, confession, forgiveness all come because God graciously provide for them. They work because God ordained that they heal our lives. God often employs a renewed sense of His great grace and matchless love to motivate us towards repentance.
116 How to practice?First, it should be presented as an experience that Christians are blessed to take part in and then practice in their lives as an ongoing and developing growth experience.One could even create a worksheet or “homework” paper in which a new believer take time to in quietness ask God what repentance means to them in a general attitude and life-orientation way and in specific behavior
117 How to practice?Members giving testimonies of their Christian experienceA special time may be monthly or yearly that the church should set aside for each member to examine their lives.To have confidential small groups where they can discuss their spiritual condition as they struggle with their sins.
119 TextI pray for you that God, out of his glorious riches… may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith …that you being rooted and established in love may have power, together with all saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge –that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” Eph. 3:16-19
120 The way to fullness in the Spirit is through yielding and submission. While repentance and confession are the first steps in surrender, regular and habitual yielding are the sure and steady strides into the fullness of the heart of God. The believer should stand with John the Baptist when he said, “He must become greater; I must become less.” (John 3:30)
121 Surrender means giving oneself over to the possession or power of another; to give up, relinquish, submit, or yield.Surrendering means the husk of our individual independence from God is broken and our personality is liberated to be yielded in dependence on him, to be one with his will and purpose.
122 Reasons why Yielding is Necessary It is necessary because human as we are we have the tendency to maintain control and secure our own futures. We must lose our natural selves to find our true selves. Jesus said,“Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (John 12:24-25)By virtue of sin the old self has to be surrendered to God and should be replaced with new self identity in Christ.
123 Reasons why Yielding is Necessary Surrender to God is good for us. To surrender is what we are made. St. Agustine said, “Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.” Surrender to God brings us the greatest contentment and happiness.Yielding to God brings freedom from introspection and the sins of the self-life, self-praise, self-sufficiency, self-loathing, self-absorption, self abuse, self-indulgence, and others. It brings freedom from the burden of having to control everything and having everything our own way. It means freedom to listen to others, to care for their needs, and to serve them in love.
124 Reasons why Yielding is Necessary Finally, submission to God cultivates the mind of Christ in us. As we connect with the Spirit through yielding and submission we are more open to God, more sensitive to God’s presence, more discerning of God’s will, more humble in the pattern of Jesus. Submission is the concrete expression of our desire to enter into the fullness of God.
125 Holy Spirit in Yielding and Submission In our heart we are to “set apart Christ as Lord” (1 Peter 3:15). It is impossible to surrender in this way without the work of the Holy Spirit. “no one” says Paul, “can say, Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor. 12;3)
126 Holy Spirit in Yielding and Submission In total submission, we should desire to live not according to our sinful nature but according to the Spirit – with our “minds set on what the Spirit desires,” having minds “controlled by the Spirit” which is life and peace (Rom. 8:5-6)Our obligation then is to live according to the Spirit! We are to be led by the Spirit and to “keep in step with the Spirit” (Gal 5;16,25). We are also to bear the fruits of the Spirit –love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
127 Our Model of Submission Jesus is the true model of our submission to the Father’s will. Jesus habitually submitted his will to his Father, leaving control completely in his Father’s hand (John 5:19)Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, gives us a wonderful passage describing the humility, weakness, and obedience of Christ (Phil. 2:6-9). Jesus literally emptied himself putting aside his divine prerogatives, refusing to hang on to the glory he shared with his Father.
128 Areas of Yielding Yielding to God Yielding to scripture “Submit yourselves, then, to God…Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” (James 4:7,10)Yielding to scriptureIf our only act of complete surrender is to the person of God, we yield to him most effectively through submission to his Word. We depend upon the Holy Spirit to interpret the Word of God for us and to give us the insight to apply it to our situations.
129 Areas of Yielding Yielding to one another “Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ (Eph. 5:21) and in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Phil. 2:3-4).We submit to others by being patient, compassionate, willing to go to the extra mile, and encouraging. Small acts of kindness that require limited time and energy –such as writing a note, helping with a task, or visiting a sick friend –begin to build habits of humility and train the heart for the more demanding work of submission.
131 What is it?Fasting is most tangible and practical way of surrendering to God and allowing the Holy spirit more control in our lives. By giving up food- the very sustenance of life –during fast, control over one’s existence is surrendered and offered to the Lord.Fasting is usually understood as the voluntary and intentional denial of a normal and even necessary function, such as eating food.
132 Fasting and the Holy Spirit For Jesus, fasting seemed to be corollary of other activities to which he gave high priority, including spiritual struggle, prayer, and evangelism. He was led into times of fasting by the Spirit (Mark 1:12).To his disciples he said “when you fast (Matt. 6:16) not if you fast. This indicates that fasting is necessary for spiritual life.Jesus exemplified fasting in His earthly ministry as the Spirit leads him (Matt. 4)
133 Purpose of FastingFasting should have always purpose, but we must be careful not to elevate our purpose over God’s purpose. Its ultimate purpose is to aid us in our search for “all fullness of God.” (Eph. 3:9).
134 Purpose of FastingFasting must forever center on God. It must be God-initiated and God-ordained.Let it be done unto the Lord with our eye singly fixed on Him. Let our intention herein be this, and this alone, to glorify our Father which is in heaven
135 Facts About FastingFasting is an approved biblical practice engaged in by many Godly Bible charactersFasting can serve as a visible sign of persistence and spiritual needFasting signals times of high significanceFasting facilitates divine guidance and revelations
136 Reasons to fast Fasting focuses and clarifies the mind Many receives health benefits from fastingFasting creates time that we may use for spiritual purposes
137 Reasons of FastingFasting deepens a sense of one’s dependence upon the strength of God.It is an affirmative act; It is a way of waiting on God; it is an act of surrenderInduce within us an awareness of the spiritual dimension of lifeIt expands our consciousness, permitting us to learn from wider dimensions of life as god knows and wills it for us.Fasting strengthens
138 Functions of Fasting Fasting strengthens prayer Fasting sharpened the edge of Daniel’s intercession and gave passion to his cry for God to listen (Dan. 9:3, 17-19).Fasting enables us to better hear the voice of GodDaniel received a vision from God after fasting (Dan. 10:2-3)
139 Functions of Fasting Functions of Fasting Fasting aids us in self-denial and self-disciplineFasting is a way of attaining self-control over our natural desires. Paul compares Christian life to an athlete who exercise self-control in order to win the race (1 Cor. 9:26-27).Fasting helps us face persecutionKing Jehoshapat, when notified a great army was coming against him, proclaimed a fast for all Judah (2 Chron. 20:3-4)
140 Functions of FastingFasting is a way of humbling ourselves before God.The people of Israel; under judge Samuel, fasted and confessed their sin against the Lord( 1 Sam. 7:6). The Nenevites humbled themselves before God and fasted in response to the word (Jonah 3:5)Fasting strengthens against temptationJesus fasted for forty days and forty nights, and in the spiritual strength that he experienced, he overcame the temptations of the devil (Mat. 4:1-11)
141 Functions of Fasting Fasting helps minister to the needs of others We are not to separate our inner spiritual lives from our outward actions. Fating should lead to care for others (Isa. 58:6-7).Fasting helps us express love and worship to God.Fasting may be an act of pure adoration and worship God. Anna “never left the temple but worshipped day and night, fasting and praying (Luke 2:37).
142 Practice of FastingPartial fast –which is a restriction of diet instead of total abstention of food.Daniel who did not eat choice food, meat, or wine for three weeks (Dan. 10:3).Normal fast –fast from eating food (while drinking liquids.Illustrated in Jesus forty days and forty nights fasting in the desert (Matt. 4.
143 Practice of Fasting Absolute fast – abstention from food and water. The case of Paul shortly after his conversion experience (Acts 9:9).Regular fastsDone during the Day of atonement (Lev. 16:29-31)Corporate fasts as in Joel 2:15; Acts 13:2.
144 Guidelines of FastingGather up all the resources you can find regarding fasting and read them with an open heart and mindPray about the kind of fast God would have you undertake (e.g. partial or complete)Decide to fast and pray for specific breakthrough for yourself and others
145 Guidelines of Fasting Define your purpose for fasting in writing Detail a fasting plan on your calendarPrepare yourself physicallyPrepare yourself emotionallyBe accountable to another personDo it graduallyDevote your time in meditating and prayer
146 Guidelines for fasting Choose to fast for the right reasonConsider various types of fastingComplete fastingPartial fastingUnderstand and know your situationDon’t fear corporate fasting (group oriented)Enter the process graduallyDon’t fast without purpose and the inclusion of other spiritual disciplinesDon’t publicize or flaunt personal fasting
147 Practical TipsBe sure you are not suffering from any medical condition (e.g., diabetes, ulcers) that would cause danger.Remember the primary purpose of fasting is to seek the Lord. God must be the focus through out the dayAsk the Spirit to reveal the kind of fast God wants you to undertake (e.g., partial fast, water only for one or two days, or a longer fast of a week or more)Prepare your heart by meditating on verse related to fasting (e.g., Matt. 4:2-11, 6:16-18, etc.).Eat a light meal before beginning your fast. Eating a big meal will only increase your hunger later.
148 Practical TipsHunger pangs are normal. To ease them, slowly sip water or fruit juice.Use the times you usually eat a meal for conversation with God, intercession, reading Scripture.Consider also “fasting” from regular television viewing, news paper reading, or shopping. This will help you keep your focus clear throughout the dayExpect spiritual attackBreak your fast with a light meal. During the fast your stomach shrunk, so eating a heavy meal can cause discompfort.
149 Fasting form Other Things Fasting can also be seen in broader context as a voluntary denial of an otherwise normal activity for spiritual reasonsIt is most helpful, for most of us, to regularly fast from the all pervasive mass media of our culture –news papers, radio, television, billboards, pulp fiction and magazine
151 Facts about worshipWorship is our deepest act of surrender. It is meant of be intimate, personal, all consumingIn worship, when Spirit touches spirit, God’s life is imparted to us, his imprint is left upon us, and we carry ever more clearly the Spirit-imparted parted of adopted sons and daughtersWe are made to worship the almighty God, meant to be transformed through worship into his likeness
152 Work of the Holy Spirit in Worship The Spirit fills us with power to worshipIn Eph. 5:18-20 Paul describes worship as natural and inevitable overflow from the Spirit’s infilling.The first sign of the Spirit’s infilling is spiritual fellowship. As the Spirit works in us we are able to encourage one another through shared worship.The Holy Spirit also enables us to praise God wholeheartedly. A second sign of the Spirit’s fullness is to “sing and make music” to the Lord.A third sign of the Spirit’s working worship in and through us is when we are able to give thanks in everything.
153 Worship in Spirit and Truth How do we worship in? In spirit!We need the Holy Spirit to make worship genuine and Spirit-filled. When Spirit touches spirit, we come alive in our emotions and inner devotion. Paul said that Christians worship by the Spirit of God (Phil. 3:3). The Spirit gives us a sense of reality and presence of God as he takes the things of Christ and the father and shows them to us (John 16:14-15). By the Spirit, our hearts come alive with passion fro Christ; we are plugged in, there is electricity for worship. The Holy Spirit witnesses with our spirit that we are children of God, prompting us to cry” Abba! Father!”
154 Transforming Power of Worship First, through worship, the Holy Spirit redirects our focus onto God and away from ourselvesSecond, in worship, the Holy Spirit gives us fresh experiences of God’s love and mercy.Third, during worship, the Holy Spirit gives us direction for the future.Fourth, in the midst of powerful praise and worship, the Holy Spirit reveals the presence of the Enemy and exposes his schemes and devisesFinally, through wholehearted worship, the Holy Spirit changes our hearts and leads us into obedient lifestyle.Paul says true worship is offering ourselves completely to God in every aspect of our lives (Rom. 12:1).
157 Fellowship is seeking to share in what God has made known to himself to others, as a means to finding strength, refreshment, and instruction for one’s soul (J.I. Packer).Paul says, “Let us not give up meeting together…but let us encourage one another (Heb. 10:24-25).Paul also emphasized that as a church we are in one body joined and held together (Eph. 4:16).
158 Holy Spirit and Fellowship Genuine fellowship among believers is a result of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.In his closing salutation to the Christians at Corinth, Paul says, “may the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Cor. 13;14).Paul appeals to the Philippians to be one in spirit and purpose, in part because they share in “fellowship with the Spirit” (Phil. 2:1).
159 Power of fellowshipThere is power in Christian fellowship. Christ works through his body. The Holy Spirit apportions gifts to each member of the body as he will, “so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Eph. 4:12-13)
160 Power of fellowshipFirst, there is transforming power in Christian fellowship.The early believers lives were transformed as “they met together every day, eating together in their homes and praising God with glad and sincere hearts. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done” (Acts 2:42-43).
161 Power of fellowshipSecond, there is evangelizing power in Christian fellowshipThe early believers, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, experienced such love, joy, and harmony of lifestyle and purpose that others were drawn to them like magnet “and the Lord added to their number daily those who are being saved” (Acts 2:47)
162 Power of fellowshipThird, there is unifying power in Christian fellowship.The early Christians were in all of one accord, praying together, holding all things in common, of one heart and mind sharing everything (Acts 2).Finally, there is purifying power of Christian fellowshipBeing the kind of people who please God has more to do with being rightly related to one another than with simply doing the right things.
163 ImplicationsEvery area of our life as Christians is affected by our cooperation, our degree of unity in fellowship. “I tell you” says Jesus, “that if two of you …agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my father in heaven” (Matt. 18:19)The word for agree is sumphoneo, means in symphony with or in harmony with. This is not just a mental assent, but complete harmony in living with each other in love and forgiveness. If there is disharmony, bitterness, resentment, or jealousy, the power of fellowship is broken.
164 Healthy Christian Community Healthy Christian community provides support.In order to grow, we need other people who will give us affirmation, encouragement, care, unconditional love, and forgiveness. We might call this “soft love” because it helps hold us together in fellowship.True fellowship begins when we are free to be ourselves, free to take off our masks and be honest with one another. When we are willing to be open with others about our personal problems and needs –risking shock and objection –and when we are willing for others to be equally open to us.
165 Healthy Christian Community Healthy community requires challengeEach of us needs accountability, correction, and good advice from each other in order to grow. We can call this “tough love” because it helps mold us together in fellowship.Challenge from others provides a check on our bad habits and unhealthy actions.In a caring challenging community, our motives and behaviors can be questioned and reexamined. It enables us to break idolatries, throws us back into dependence with God, and creates a context for spiritual growth.
166 Healthy Christian Community The third ingredient of healthy community is a common purpose – a shared vision for mission and outreach.Strong fellowship should be rooted in shared mission, keeps group from becoming ingrown and cliquish.
168 Thoughts on Simplicity Simplicity is practicing a lifestyle free of excess, greed, and covetousness so that we can draw closer to God and reach out to others in compassionate service.As we enter into simplicity, the Holy Spirit empowers us to seek first the kingdom of God, to keep our eyes on Jesus, and to live free of crippling anxiety and lust for money.
169 Reasons for simplicity The Bible gives us clear and unambiguous teaching about the dangers of accumulation“you shall not covet” (Ex. 20:17)“Though your riches increase, do not set you hearts on them” (Prov. 11:28).“Whoever trusts in his riches will fall (Prov. 11:28)“Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15).
170 Reasons for simplicity Jesus commanded that we should not store up treasure for ourselves here on earth because where our treasure is, there will our hearts be (Matt. 6:19-21).
171 Holy Spirit and Simplicity To live simply we need the Holy Spirit. The early believers were able to share all that they have because of the power of the holy Spirit. (Acts 2,4).As we grow in simplicity the Holy Spirit produces fruit in our lives that includes greater love and self-control.
172 Holy Spirit and Simplicity To live by the Spirit through the spiritual gift of mercy also leads one more deeply into simplicity. Those with the spiritual gift of mercy (Rom. 12:8) feel genuine empathy and compassion for individuals who suffer physical, mental, or emotional problems and translate that compassion into deeds of mercy that reflect Christ’s love.
173 Holy Spirit and Simplicity The spiritual gift of hospitality is a beautiful outward expression of simplicity. Those with the spiritual gift of hospitality (1 Peter 4:9) are drawn by the Holy Spirit to open their homes to those in need of food and lodging
174 Holy Spirit and Simplicity Still other individuals are empowered by the Holy Spirit to enter into voluntary poverty (1 Cor. 13:1-3), adopting the lifestyle of those living at the poverty level in a given society in order to love and serve them more effectively.
175 Simplicity and Contentment Simplicity is an invitation into true contentment“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have.”Paul learned the secret of being content no matter what his circumstances. In every situation whether he had little or much, whether he well fed or hungry, he knew he could get through anything in the strength of the lord. (phil. 4:11-13).
176 Simplicity and Contentment Contentment is a great simplifier of lifeIt helps focus body and soul on the proper priorities. It calms the restless desire for more. It satisfies the heart with the present provision of God.It deflates pride, drains the drive of selfish ambition, and relaxes the grip of anxietyIt decreases our dependence upon things and circumstances, and increases a restful dependence upon Christ.
177 Simplicity and Contentment Learn to be content with the value of Christ.One way that we, like Paul, can learn contentment is to recognize the true value of things. To do this we can learn when we are “full” and we “abound” in material things why the abundance of them cannot content us. Unlike our souls, touchable things will not last.But the main way Paul learned contentment was by learning the value of Christ (Phi. 4:13). The essence of contentment is being satisfied with the incomparable and limitless treasures found in Jesus Christ. Contentment is your soul saying, “I have Jesus, and Jesus is enough.”
178 Everyday Simplicity Buy things to meet your basic needs Turn away from things that have a hold on youFocus on enjoying the things available that you do not ownExperiencing life by availing yourself to the things and people around you, rather than focusing on your possession can be very rewarding.
179 Everyday SimplicityLet your thoughts, speech, and actions be simple and straightforwardJesus said, “Simply let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no,’’no; anything beyond this comes from evil one (Matt. 5:37)Look for the Spirit to be at work when you experience interruptionTurn away from anything that seeks to replace God as your first love.
181 Thoughts on ServiceService is the most distinctive quality of Jesus’ lifestyle and ministry. Jesus said,Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant …the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve” (Matt. 20:26-28).Service flows naturally out of a love relationship.For example, it is in our worship that we are given fresh motivation for mission and ministry. Following his vision of God’s holiness, Isaiah said, “Here I am send me.”Service then, is our natural response of “holy obedience” that flows from our passion for God.As we enter into the discipline of service, we gain the mind of Christ and grow in openness to God. We become more sensitive to God’s presence, more discerning of God’s will, and more submissive to the Spirit’s work
182 Gifted by the Holy Spirit for Service All Christian are gifted by the Holy Spirit for various kinds of service“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10).God’s purpose in giving the spiritual gifts is for us to serve.“To each one of us has been given to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, to prepare God’s people for work of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Eph. 4:7, 11-13).
183 Jesus Style of ServiceJesus lived out a life style of servanthood and called his disciples to do the same.“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant” (Matt. 20:26).Jesus demonstrated the spirit of service to his disciples in unforgettable way by washing the disciples feet (John 13:3-17).
184 Jesus Style of ServiceJesus lived a compassionate life and calls us to be people of compassion.Compassion asks to go where it hurts, to enter into places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.
185 Contrasts of Service The Minimum The Maximum Relies on human effort Flows out of a relationship with GodRequires external rewardsRests content on hiddennessImpressed with the “big deals”Makes no distinction of whom he will servePicks and chooses whom to serveIndiscriminate in its ministryHighly concerned with resultsFree of the need to calculate the effectsAffected by moods and whimsMinisters on the basis of needsService is temporaryService is ongoingFractures the communityBuilds the community
186 Motivation for service Our motivation for service is love (2 Cor. 5:14-15).Service based on divine love is not controlled by circumstances or self-righteousness. It is an spontaneous service where the object is to bring the highest good of the individual regardless of the outcome.We serve our coworkers by helping them to succeed, and then be joyful when they are promoted or affirmedLoving service is to put aside of our fears of being neglected and humbly serve those God has raised to position of importance, trusting God to lift us up at the proper timeService is to pray and work for the ministry of others to prosper when it might mean that out ministry is overshadowed.
187 How servant thinks? Kingdom Character Text. Numbers 14:24 “My servant Caleb thinks differently and follows me completely.”Text. Philippians 2:5“ Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself”
188 Servants think of ministry as an opportunity not an obligation. How servant thinks?Kingdom CharacterServants think of ministry as an opportunity not an obligation.
189 Servants base their identity in Christ. How servant thinks?Kingdom CharacterServants base their identity in Christ.
190 Servants think about their work, not what others are doing. How servant thinks?Kingdom CharacterServants think about their work, not what others are doing.
191 Servants think more about others than about themselves. How servant thinks?Kingdom CharacterServants think more about others than about themselves.
192 Servants think like a steward, not owners. How servant thinks?Kingdom CharacterServants think like a steward, not owners.
194 Text: Mark 10:43 “Whoever wants to be great must become servant.” How servant Acts?Kingdom CharacterText: Mark 10:43“Whoever wants to be great must become servant.”
195 Real servants make themselves available to serve. How servant Acts?Kingdom CharacterReal servants make themselves available to serve.St. Francis of Assisi – “I will serve regardless of who they are and what situation they are in.”
197 Thoughts on Witnessing To witness simply means to tell others, through loving actions as well as clear words, about Jesus presenting Jesus Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to people so they might receive him as savior and serve him as Lord in the fellowship of the church.Jesus commands us to be witnesses- to make disciples of all nations, to be witnesses to the ends of the earth (Matt. 28:19-20, Mark 16:15, John 20:21; Acts 1:8)
198 Work of Spirit in Witness The Spirit is the power behind the spiritual discipline of witness. Peter said,And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly (Acts 4:31).In spite of persecution, threats, and beatings, “day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ” (Acts 5:42)
199 Christian witnessing is balanced Witnessing as activityWitnessing as lifestyleA thing that you do “I do witnessingThe kind of person you are “I am a witness”Make very few demands on one’s lifestyleMakes very heavy demands on one’s lifestyle, for it is the medium of the messagePrimarily to strangersPrimarily to friends –won through acts of loving serviceUsually to crowdsPrimarily one-to-oneOften depends on promotions and public recognitionHumble. Loving service needing no deliberate recognitionStructured and sporadic, optionalStructured spontaneous, non optional
200 How to witness in the Spirit Being focused on GodBeing vulnerableSeeing people for who they really areEntering into the lives of those we encounterWelcoming others into our liveBeing hones and direct in our challenge.