Archive for the ‘instruction’ Category

But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus – Ephesians 4:20-21 NKJV

Are you growing in Christ?

Would you say that you have deepened your relationship with Him as you increased your knowledge and understanding of Him?

Paul shares with believers that we can find the truth in Jesus.  He affirms that we can grow by learning through hearing and being taught “by Him.”

If we want to grow in Him, brothers and sisters, we need to learn from Him.  Our task is not simple as followers of Christ.  We are pressed, pressured and persecuted for our beliefs.  In order to withstand the devilish and wicked schemes of our day, let us continue growing our faith by following the lead of the teachings and sayings of the Master, the Rabbi and the Holy One of God- Jesus Christ.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: “Their sound has gone out to all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world.”
-Romans 10:17-18 NKJV

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“You shall have no other gods before Me.- Exodus 20:3 NKJV

GOD wants more out of us.

I know what you are probably saying or thinking but He does.  He wants more and He deserves more.

Who are we to eek out a meager or mediocre existence when we are divinely directed to have dominion over the things if the earth and to serve as stewards over His majestic masterpiece as His “dear children?”

He wants us delivered by Him.

He wants us dedicated to Him.

He wants us developed in Him.

We are not all that we can or could be, or even what we should be. God not only wants to have us, but He also wants to help us and handle us as His own.

He has once we have accepted His offer of salvation through Jesus Christ. That is the Savior’s work.

He helps us as He works in us and on us, so that He can work through us. That is the Spirit’s work.

He handles us by setting us straight and sharing His purpose and intentions with us. In other words, He makes His will known to us. That is the Scriptures’ work.

He does all of this for us with the expectation of getting more out of us. Therefore, we must confront our own complacency. We must shun our sullen slumps and dives into depression. We must relinquish routine and regulated religious acts done in a spirit of the status quo. We must answer to God for not going beyond the norm and not exceeding the epitome of earthly expectations.

Shame on us when appreciate the acceptance offered by human accolades and applause while heaven rendered silent because we have not preached Christ or His gospel. God have mercy on us when have neglected our first calling, quenching the Spirit and its unction for us to speak peace, love, mercy, grace and forgiveness into the lives of others and share the abundance of what the Lord truly offers us all and expects of every believer in His name.

Let us do better by ever going more to be better as we follow His perfect and humble example foe us.

Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
1 Corinthians 11:1 ESV

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And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
Jesus was the ultimate master of the teachable moment.  We see that a lot in the Gospel of Mark.  Through encounter after encounter, we are given bits and pieces of what the Lord came to accomplish through his earthly ministry.  Yet, we also see how he handles the short-sighted thoughts of man.  He deals with the limited faith and other aspects of mankind throughout His ministry.
Have you do something to “offend one of these little ones?” I mean, let’s be honest.  You know that you can cover a wide range when it comes to how you might “offend” others.  Watch your ways with others with your feet (where you go) and with your eyes (what you see).  Watch it! You may lead someone else down the wrong path with you.
FYI: Our Sunday S.I.C.L. class will resume in Room 210.  See you there!

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1The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
2Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:
3To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
4And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. Acts 1:1-4

Acts reveals the resurrected Lord spending time with His disciples.  He spent time with them, sharing vital truths with them regarding the kingdom of God.  The Word says that it was forty days that they spent together.
Imagine spending a 40-day intensive with Professor Jesus Christ.  Just think about it.  Picture yourself spending 40 days, listening at the feet of Jesus in an intimate setting.  Typically, we pay hundreds of dollars to hear gurus speak on all sorts of topics that may help us with evangelism or Vacation Bible School.  These guys were in the presence of Jesus after He had risen from the grave.
You can study under Jesus, too.  Spend some time getting together Him.  Read His Word.  Meditate on the Scriptures.  get into them and get into discussion and dialogue with others about them.
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life:
and they are they which testify of me.
– John 5:39

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21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
   if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
22 In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,
   and the LORD will reward you.
– Proverbs 25:21-20 (ESV)

27 “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.
– Luke 6:27-28 (NKJV)

As a Christian, you have some options.  You do as the Lord says or not. 

That sounds crazy.  I know it does. 

It doesn’t make any sense, though. I know that it doesn’t make one bit of sense.

However, that is how some brothers and sisters choose to live out their daily lives.  They wear the label of a Christian, but they live without Christ as Lord in their lives.  There are some who are glad and overjoyed to be saved, but surely don’t want to miss out on anything that the world has to offer and reject His sanctification.  They want restoration without repentance.  They want salvation without the Savior.  Don’t even bring up sin, “backslider” or any term related to sinfulness.

We have some real choices to make.  They are some tough choices, too.

Jesus didn’t make it sound any easier, either.

And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?– Luke 6:46 (KJV)

In other words, the Lord simply wants to know what’s up with that.  He wants to know why do we say this and we don’t do what He says.  Why call Him “Lord,” if you do not mean it or intend to even act like it? Why? What’s up with that?

Either we live righteous by doing as He says or we live by doing what we think, feel and imagine to be “right” to us based on a variety of things in and on our agendas.

22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
-Matthew 7:22-23 (KJV)

We have some choices to make.  Let’s do all that we can to make the choices that lead to paths towards His righteousness and nothing less.

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All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness– 2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV)

We are called to inspire the others around us, especially those within the church.  We do so when we teach, preach and train those within the church to live by the Word of God and do God’s will through good works.  We are endowed with such gifts to inspire others to do what God calls them to do.

We give inspiration in some major ways:

  • Education
  • Edification
  • Exhortation

The people under your spiritual leadership should learn the way of the Lord through the Word of the Lord.  You are called to teach them, to equip them for the work, and to strengthen them in their faith as they learn to do good works.  That comes with the calling.  It is the responsibility of the leader to ensure that those within their own flock are equipped for the work of the ministry

That is exactly what Paul was sharing with both Timothy and Titus.  We call them the pastoral epistles today.  They reveal how Paul was trying to teach these two newly appointed pastors on their jobs.  He wanted them to be certain to teach the people as they should be taught.

As spiritual leaders, we need to be sure to ensure that people are: educated, equipped and empowered by the Word of God.

Have you made sure that your people have been educated?

Have you take even precaution to ensure that your people have been equipped properly with the right training?

Have you exhausted your resources of time and energy to make certain that every member under your leadership has been empowered to do what needs to be done within your ministry?

These are the types of questions that we need to ask of ourselves in order to strengthen the body of Christ in the Word of the Lord.  Use some of Life Path’s training materials to help with equipping your ministry.  Also, check out some of the inspirational poetry offered on our storefront as a means of kicking off your ministry meeting or a focal point for a Bible lesson in Sunday school.  Use all of what is available to you to inspire those who serve under your leadership.

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Training of the Twelve by A.B. BruceWe find, accordingly, that prayer was a subject on which Jesus often spoke in the hearing of His disciples. – A.B. Bruce, The Training of the Twelve 

Jesus taught His disciples in prayerHe demonstrated how to pray in what we have come to commonly call “The Lord’s Prayer” or “The Model Prayer.” In the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord discussed prayer aspects such as when and how to prayHe offered warnings to not pray like hypocrites, seeking to be seen or heard praying before others.
The Beatitudes and The Lords Prayer: Matthew 5:1-12 Matthew 6:9-15 Sermon SeriesThe Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth: The Jefferson BibleAs A.B. Bruce shares in his classic Christian book, The Training of the Twelve, prayer was a subject that Jesus shared with His disciples often.  In light of this, the Christian believer must earnestly seek out the Lord’s instructions on and model of prayer.  You may not pray the very words of Jesus, reciting and repeating them over and over, but you should certainly spend some time meditating on these verses rather than just simply memorizing them.  The red letters of the New Testament offer the believer both edification and enlightenment in prayer as our chief resource in communicating with God the Father.

How to PrayFind your way into a new realm of prayer.  Discover more about prayer and how to pray in order to become more committed to praying.  Go to the Lord’s Word and seek His guidance on prayer.

Becoming a Man of Prayer: A Seven-Week Strategy Based on the Instructions of JesusGuidepostsMen of Integrity

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Some time later God tested AbrahamThen God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” – Genesis 22:1-2 (NIV)
Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings
Even the best get tested.  The faithful are still tried and taken through things.  The trusting must go through trials and tribulations.
Check the Christian blogosphere and the answers will range from your garden variety samplings of strengthening, suring up, and building up to a few unorthodox views that take a stab at suggesting such tests and trials are to prove faithfulness.  The latter examples do not seem so unorthodox until you see that the divide that occurs with these views is that it is proving the believer’s faithfulness to God on one side and showing that God is faithful, keeping all of His promises just as He has said.

Father Abraham was tested by God “some time later” according to the New International Version.  We find that this man who had awaited his son of promise did not tarry long. The third verse of this same chapter tells us that Abraham went to take care of the matter the very next day.  in fact, the King James Version says it was “early in the morning.” He did not await an opportune time to spring it on his wife like over dinner or just prior to an evening walk.  Abraham got up and got busy doing as God had said the very next day.

Before some super-sanctified prayer warrior or Christian soldier gets their Bible pages all ruffled up because Abraham did not act immediately, let’s settle one matter first.  Think of the last three things that you honestly heard or sensed God telling you to do that were not “normal” behavior for you.  Now, with those in mind, think of how much debate and doubt swam around in your mind.  Look back at the self talk that may have come about due to what God was saying to you by His Spirit.  After some careful consideration, don’t even bother.  It may not do you any good if you cannot see the human fallibility in all of us.

Ponder how much God desires a deeper and closer relationship with you.  Identify at least two things that you could sacrifice for a closer walk with Him.  Please do not including your children, wife or in-laws on the list.  Some tests just come with the territory.  Start tearing away from those “sacrifices.” Do it first thing tomorrow morning.  Purge yourself of them.  Leave them at God’s altar and do not return for them no matter how much you want them back.  If you can recall, I used the word sacrifice.  It’s the same type of sacrifice that is symbolized when John the Baptizer called Jesus the Lamb of God.  Identify what your sacrifice will be today.

Zondervan NIV Study Bible, Indexed

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      “There’s no better book with which to defend the Bible than the Bible itself.

– D.L. Moody

Let the Bible be your guidebook when it comes to evangelism.  We don’t need gaudy gimmicks or slick slogans.  We need the Bible, the inerrant Word of God, as our guide.  We need to evangelize by the Book.

We spend too much time, money, energy, and other resources purchasing the latest evangelism programs that promise to swell our sanctuaries and fill the ranks of our flocks.  Programs should not serve as the core of our evangelism efforts.  Such programs serve a purpose, but they should never be our sole source for evangelizing the lost towards salvation. 

We are to evangelize according to the Bible, not according to the directions or instructions in the box.  We need to acquire biblical knowledge and apply biblical knowledge.  We need to get our people into the Word, so that they can get to taking the Word out into the world.

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If God puts you there, He is amply sufficient.- Oswald Chambers

If the Lord sends you, He will most certainly supply you. That’s how God is. It’s how He works. He did it with Moses as He sent him to go before Pharaoh. He did it with Abram as He sent him from Ur of the Chaldeans to a land that He would show him. He did it with Jeremiah will He assured him that he knew him from the womb and had ordained him for a particular purpose.

He will give you exactly what you need to do exactly what He sent you to do. He will supply you for what He sent you to do. He supplies you to do what He calls you to do. His supply is sufficient. He does not always supply us with a surplus. His sufficiency is enough for us.

Go with God. Watch Him work on you. He’ll start to work with you. He will begin to work through you.

And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.- 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NASB)

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