Tag Archives: Obedience

Love Begins With God

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DRAWING WATER FROM THE WELL

1 John 4:19 NKJV

“We love Him because He first loved us.”

Love must begin somewhere and it began with God. God loves you because He chooses to love you. It is a decision He has made. None of us deserve God’s love, still He chooses to love us. Because of God’s love for us, we can love Him. Love can be described as a feeling of great affection that causes us to give to and do things for another person. God showed His love for us in a wonderful way. He gave the most precious gift that He could give – His own Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus died to take away our punishment for sin forever. Believing and acting upon this truth about Jesus allows us to become part of God‘s family. When we believe on Jesus, He changes our hearts. God pours His love into our hearts and that love overflows to others. It is through the power of His love that we can love Him and others.

 

I. Love Of God

Jeremiah 31:3 NKJV

“The Lord has appeared of old to me , saying:

‘Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;

Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you…’ ”

God’s love for us goes on and on. It has no end and it will never stop. His love is everlasting and it will continue throughout eternity. There is nothing that we can do or say that would make God love us more or less. He loves us with an unconditional love. God is like a loving parent who speaks with fatherly affection to his children, even when they are disobedient. God loves us just like we are but He loves us too much to leave us the way that we are. His desire is that everyone will be saved. However, the choice is ours and ours alone to make. Since God’s love for us is everlasting, if we turn away from Him He longs for us to return. We must always remember that God loves the sinner, but He hates their sin. His desire for the person that has backslidden to repent and to return to Him.

 

Jeremiah 3:14 NKJV

“Return, O backsliding children,’ says the Lord; ‘for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.’ ”

II. Love For God

Matthew 22:37 NKJV

“Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”

One day the Pharisees gathered around Jesus to ask Him some questions. They had hoped to catch Jesus in a lie or untruth in some way. They did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God and they wanted to prove it to all the people. One of the Pharisees, a lawyer, asked Jesus what was the greatest commandment. He was testing Jesus to see how much He really knew about the Law of Moses. Jesus answered him by quoting the greatest Jewish confession of faith called the Shema. It means that we are to love the Lord with our whole being – our heart, our soul, and our mind.

 

Deuteronomy 6:4-5 NKJV

“Hear, O Israel: ‘The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”

Require means to have need for, need, want, command, order, or demand. God requires for each one of us to love Him.

 

Deuteronomy 10:12 NKJV

“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”

Loving God is not something that we have to “work at”. God Himself will work in our hearts so that we will love Him. He will cause us to be totally devoted to Him. The more we get to know God the more we love Him. Also, the more we know God, the more we will want to know Him.

 

Deuteronomy 30:6 NKJV

“And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the hearts of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.”

III. Love For Others

John 13:34 NKJV

“A new commandment I give you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

We are to choose to love others – not because of who they are or how they act. Rather, we are to choose to love them because of God’s love for us. People naturally love themselves. Since we love ourselves we are concerned about our welfare and we want the best for ourselves. According to the commandment in Lev 19:18 we are to love others the same way that we love ourselves. We should also be concerned about their welfare and we should also want the best for them.

 

Matthew 22:39 NKJV

“And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

When we love others the way that God wants us to others will know that we are disciples of Christ. God’s love for us is unconditional and our love for others should also be unconditional.

John 13:34-35 NKJV

“A new commandment I give you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Leviticus 19:18 NKJV

“You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudges against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”

Our love for others will flow out of our love for God. They go hand in hand. If we don’t love others we really don’t love God. God has commanded us to love others.

 

1 John 4:20-21 NKJV

“If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.’ ”

1 John 5:1-2 NKJV

“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandment.”

IV. Our Obedience Shows Our Love

John 14:15 NKJV

“If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

Our obedience to God shows our love for God. If we truly love God we will obey Him and His commandments. When we love God we will personally know God. When a person does not obey God it shows a lack of personal knowledge of God therefore, it also shows a lack of love for and to God.

 

1 John 5:3 NKJV

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”

God’s love demands obedience. However, God’s commandments are not hard to bear, heavy, or oppressive. In reality God’s commandments bring freedom, liberty, and privileges to the believer. As we obey God’s commandments we reflect the image of God.

Dear Father,

Thank-you for first loving me and for giving me the most precious gift that You could give. Thank-you for changing my heart and filling me with Your love. May I love You with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my mind. May I know You more and more. By the power of the Holy Spirit, fill me with a love for others. Cause me to desire to obey You and Your commandments.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

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Lord, Let Us Grow In…

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Lord, Let Us Grow In…

 keep your eyes on god - Copy   

James 1:22-25  NKJV    

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”

Romans 2:13  NKJV   

  “for not the hears of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers  of the law will be justified”

          We are not to study the Word of God just for the sake of acquiring more knowledge. We are to “grow up” and be doers of the Word not just hearers. Growing (mature) in our faith is not an option. God does not want us to stay “babies” forever.

1 Peter 2:1-3  NKJV   

“Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”

          Every aspect of our lives should experience growth.

 

1. Assurance

Our assurance in God must grow. Assurance is to make sure or certain, security, certainty, or confidence. When we are confident we will have a firm belief (trust) and faith. No matter what happens to us or comes our way, we can place our confidence in God.

2 Timothy 1:12  NKJV  

   “For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.”

     We can be confident of God’s promises. God will do what He has promised He will. There should never be any question in our minds concerning what God has promised.

Hebrews 10:22-23 NKJV   

“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”

     We can be confident of heaven. When a Christian takes their last breath they can be assured that they will be in the presence of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:6-8  NKJV  

   “So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”

     We can be confident that Jesus will work in us and in our lives. We can be confident that God will finish what He has started in us and in our family. God will never leave anything half done. He is a God of completion.

Philippians 1:6  NKJV 

    “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”

         We can be confident that God hears us. When we pray according to God’s will He will always hear us. Not only will He hear us, but He will answer us.

1 John 5:14-15  NKJV    

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”

2. Authority

Our authority must grow. We have been given the keys to the kingdom of heaven. We are to act in the authority of Jesus Christ. Authority is the right to control, command, influence, or make decisions. It is also the power to enforce obedience or jurisdiction.

Matthew 16:19  NKJV  

   “And I give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

3. Availability

Our availability to God must grow. Availability is being ready and willing to do (to accomplish) a task or to help others. When we are available to God we can be used by God for whatever He desires and wherever He desires.

Colossians 3:23  NKJV   

  “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men”

Isaiah 6:8  NKJV   

  “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying ‘Whom shall I send,

And who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.’ ”

4. Humility

We must grow in humility. Humility is seeing ourselves as God see us and knowing our weaknesses. It is also understanding and appreciating the true worth of others. Humility will cause us to see others through the eyes of God.  When we are humble we are not proud. We are modest and respectful.

Psalm 147:6  NKJV 

   “The Lord lifts up the humble;

He casts the wicked down to the ground.”

Proverbs 16:19  NKJV  

  “Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly,

Than to divide the spoils with the proud.”

James 4:7-10  NKJV  

  “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”

5. Commitment

A commitment is making a promise and carrying it out faithfully. It is also placing yourself under the control of someone or something else. We must grow in our commitment to God and to what He has called us to. When we make a commitment we are actually making a pledge (promise). When we make a commitment (pledge) to God we must keep it.

Psalm 37:5  NKJV   

“Commit your way to the Lord,

Trust also in Him,

And He shall bring it to pass”

          We are also to commit ourselves to God. We are to place our entire life under His control. As Christians we should “roll” our every care and concern onto Him.

 

6. Compassion

Compassion is feeling for another’s sorrow or hardship that leads to help. We must grow in our compassion. God expects for us to grow in His compassion for others.

Micah 6:8  NKJV   

“He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you

But to do justly,

To love mercy,

And to walk humbly with your God?”

Zechariah 7:9-10  NKJV   

  “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Execute true justice,

Show mercy and compassion

Everyone to his brother. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless,

The alien or the poor.

Let none of you plan evil in his heart

Against his brother.’ ”

     A loving concern and a commitment to help should be our guide. We are to show kindness and do our best to help everyone, even those who have brought the trouble (problem) on themselves. In our eyes  (in the flesh) they seem to not deserve help but we must always look at every situation through the eyes of God. God is a very compassionate God.  We must choose to be compassionate. We must make a conscious decision to put on mercy and kindness.

Colossians 3:12  NKJV    

“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering”

     When you have true compassion for someone it will lead you to help them, not just to feel sorrow for them. There is a difference between sympathy and compassion. Compassion will lead you to “bear their burden”.

Galatians 6:2  NKJV  

  “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

7. Confidence

Confidence is a firm (strong) belief or trust (faith) and boldness. We must grow in our trust (faith) and boldness.

Philippians 4:13  NKJV

“I can do all things through Christ who strengths me.”

     The only way a Christian can endure the criticism or hardships that they may face is to be confident in the Word of God and Jesus Christ. We must be unshakable in our faith and entrust every aspect of our lives to God. When we do we can be confident that He will take care of us.

2 Timothy 1:12  NKJV   

  “For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.”

8. Consistency

Consistency is continuing to do right, even when it is difficult. It is also keeping the same principles, agreement or harmony.

Romans 11:22  NKJV   

“Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.”

      We are to continue in the ways of God and not to turn back to our old sinful way of life.

Colossians 1:21-23  NKJV   

“And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight – if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul became a minister.”

      We must be in harmony with God – we are to be in agreement with Him and have the same principles. We must do right even when it is difficult or seems impossible.

 

9. Generosity

Generosity is giving of myself and what I have with a willing and joyful heart. God promises blessings to those who are generous. Wealth is given so that it can be shared. We are not to be greedy or selfish with what God gives us.

Proverbs 11:25  NKJV  

  “The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself.”

2 Corinthians 9:6-8  NKJV 

   “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.”

      Giving is like planting seeds. The more you give (sow) they greater your harvest (blessings). God will see to it that the person who is generous will not go without. They will always have what they need. When people observe the needs of others and act upon what they see, they will be blessed.

Proverbs 22:9  NKJV   

“He who has a generous eye will be blessed,

For he gives of his bread to the poor.”

10. Holiness

Holy is specially belonging to or devoted to God; set apart for God’s service; coming from God; set apart for religious use or observance; sacred; declared sacred by religious use and authority; like a saint; spiritually perfect, very good; pure in heart; devout; worthy of reverence.

1 Peter 1:16  NKJV   

“because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’ ”

      We are to be dedicated to God and separated from sin – we are to live holy lives. Our lives should reflect Jesus in everything we do and say. Our bodies are to be used to serve God. Each one of us are to present our bodies to God as a living sacrifice unto God.

Romans 12:1  NKJV  

  “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”

11. Integrity

Integrity is honesty or sincerity; uprightness; wholeness; completeness; perfect condition; soundness.

Titus 2:6-8  NKJV  

“Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works, in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.”

      Our actions and our words must both line up with the Word of God. We are to be honest, sincere and upright. There are always people watching our lives even when we don’t realize it. They learn more from what we do (or don’t do) than what we say.

Psalm 25:21  NKJV   

“Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,

For I wait for You.”

12. Loyalty

Loyal is being true and faithful to love, to a promise, to a duty, or other obligation. It is also being faithful to those in authority over you. Ruth is a good example of loyalty.

Ruth 1:16-17  NKJV   

“But Ruth said: ‘Entreat me not to leave you,

Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people,

And your God, my God.

Where you die, I will die,

And there will I be buried.

The Lord do so to me, and more also,

If anything but death parts you and me.’ ”

      Ruth was determined to remain loyal to Naomi no matter what. God blessed Ruth for her loyalty. Ruth found favor in the sight of man because of her love and sense of duty toward Naomi. Later, God provided a new husband (Boaz) for Ruth.

Ruth 2:10-12  NKJV   

“So she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said to him, ‘Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?’ And Boaz answered and said to her, ‘It has been fully reported to me, all that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and have come to a people whom you did not know before. The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God OF Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.’’

      Another example of loyalty was Elisha. He would not abandon Elijah. Elisha made a promise that he would not leave Elijah’s side. Elisha was determined to keep his promise no matter what might happen.

2 Kings 2:2-6  NKJV   

“Then Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me to Bethel.’ But Elisha said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you! So they went down to Bethel. Now the sons of the prophets who were at Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, ‘Do you know that the Lord will take away your master from over you today?’ And he said, ‘Yes, I know; keep silent!’ Then Elijah said to him, ‘Elisha, stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to Jericho.’ But he said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave You! So they came to Jericho. Now the sons of the prophets who were at Jericho came to Elisha and said to him, ‘Do you know that the Lord will take away your master from over you today. So he answered, ‘Yes, I know; keep silent!’ Then Elijah said to him, ‘Stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to the Jordan.’ But he said, ‘As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you! So the two of them went on.”

      Elisha received a double potion of the anointing that was upon Elijah as a direct result of his loyalty to Elijah. Elisha was at Elijah’s side when God took Elijah to heaven.

2 Kings 2:9-11  NKJV  

  “And so it was when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?’ Elisha said, ‘Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.’ So he said, ‘You have asked a hard thing, Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.’ Then it  happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.”

13. Maturity

Mature is full development; ripeness; a being completed or ready. A person that is mature shows the characteristics of such.

Hebrews 5:12-14  NKJV   

“For by this you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”

      The above passage refers to maturing. It does not say that the people lack information, however it does say that they lack experience in practicing the information they do have. Because they do not practice what they know they must start over. They are like a baby that never grows up. Maturity is an ongoing process and it only comes from practice.

James 1:22  NKJV  

  “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”

      When a person obeys the Word and not just hears the Word they will mature in righteousness. They will be able to handle the “meat” of the Word and not just the milk. A person that is mature (that is continuing to mature daily) will be able to discern good from evil.

 

14. Obedience

Obedience is doing what I am asked to do immediately, and willingly; following instructions.

Romans 13:1-2  NKJV 

   “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.”

     God expects us to obey Him and those that He places in authority over us. He ordained that there should be governing authorities over everyone. Every person (the saved and the unsaved) is to be subject to various authorities. Even evil authorities are allowed to be in their positions by God for a specific purpose. Every person in authority will give an account for their actions and how they handled the authority that God gave them.

Hebrews 13:17  NKJV   

  “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account.”

     We must be people of integrity and be obedient even when no one is looking. God sees us in all that we do or don’t do. He knows if we are truly submitting to authority or not – God knows the very intent of our hearts.

Ephesians 6:5-8 NKJV    

“Bondservents, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservents of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.”

      Obedience is the key to blessings. God blesses those who obey.

Jeremiah 11:4  NKJV  

  “…Obey My voice, and do according to all that I command you; so shall you be My people, and I will be your God”

Deuteronomy 28:1-2 NKJV 

   “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God.”

           If we do many good things for God but fail to obey Him it will get us no where. Obedience is better than sacrifice.

1 Samuel 15:22-23  NKJV   

  “So Samuel said; ‘Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,

As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,

And to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,

And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,

He also has rejected you from being king.’ ”

          Obedience is a prerequisite for true worship to God. Disobedience is like idolatry because you put your will before God’s will. God expects us to obey Him in all that we do.

Acts 5:29  NKJV   

“But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: ‘We ought to obey God rather than men.’ ”

           When an authority commands what God has forbidden, or forbids what God has commanded, a Christian must obey God, the author of all authority.

 

15. Prayer

Prayer is communicating with God. There are many types of prayer and many different ways to pray. One way is not any better than another – the important thing is that you communicate with God. Talking with God, intercession and worship all have there place in a Christian’s prayer life and it is very hard to separate each one. They all go hand in hand.

Communication is an exchange of thoughts and ideas. It is impossible to have a personal and intimate relationship with God unless you have regular communication with Him.

1 Thessalonians 5:17  NKJV  

  “pray without ceasing”

Romans 12:12  NKJV  

  “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer”

16. Purity

     Purity is being clean inside and seeking to keep myself away from wrongdoing. Purity of heart brings blessings.

Matthew 5:8 NKJV   

“Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.”

      Christians are to be an example of purity. An example is a person or thing to be imitated; model; pattern. We are to be a pattern or model of purity for the world to see and imitate. Not only are we to be an example to the world, we must be an example of purity to other Christians. Each of us must take heed to the ministry that God has called us to and be an example of Christ like purity. We must set ourselves away from all wrongdoing (words and actions).

1 Timothy 4:12 NKJV   

“Let no one despise you your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”

      We should desire and practice purity. Purity must be developed early in our Christian walk if we are to be an effective witness for Christ. We are not to allow the world to spoil our purity or to set the standards for our purity. God has never changed His mind about purity – it is very important to Him.

James 1:27  NKJV   

“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”

      God does not desire for us to be contaminated with the things (and people) of the world.

Titus 1:15-16  NKJV 

   “To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.

      As Christians we are to keep ourselves pure. When we have disobedience to or open disrespect for God’s laws it is blasphemy. Our actions and words should bring glory to God, build up His kingdom and strengthen the body of Christ. When we (individually or as a church) fall into impurity (ungodliness, wrongdoing or sin) the Word of God is maligned. It is wrong (evil) and it causes injury to the kingdom of God and the body of Christ.

1 Timothy 5:22   

“Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keeping yourself pure.”

      False teachers are impure. The above verse warns the body of Christ not to act in haste to restore a leader who has fallen into impurity. We are to correct in love and to restore them to fellowship as soon as possible. However, restoration to leadership should not be made without time and biblical evaluation. The leadership of the church is very important, therefore it is the body of Christ’s responsibility to carefully evaluate anyone and everyone being considered for leadership.

1 John 3:3  NKJV 

   “And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”

      Jesus is morally pure. If we desire to be like Him we too must strive to be pure also.

 

17. Purpose

We must set our mind on and give attention to guarding our hearts, being honest in what we say and steadfast (diligent) in our walk with and for Christ.

Proverbs 4:22-27  NKJV

“My son, give attention to my words;

Incline your ear to my sayings.

Do not let them depart from your eyes;

Keep them in the midst of your heart;

For they are life to those who find them,

And health to all their flesh.

Keep your heart with all diligence,

For out of it spring the issues of life.

Put away from you a deceitful mouth,

And put perverse lips far from you.

Let your eyes look straight ahead,

And your eyelids look right before you.

Ponder the path of your feet,

And let all your ways be established.

Do not turn to the right or the left;

Remove your foot from evil.”

A)  We must purpose to guard our hearts.

We are what we think in our hearts. Everything that we see, hear and read takes root in our hearts.

Matthew 15:17-19 NKJV    

“Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.”

     Our actions are determined by what we allow to settle in our hearts, therefore we must be careful about what we allow into them.

Psalm 101:3-4  NKJV   

“I will set nothing wicked before my eyes;

I hate the work of those who fall away;

It shall not cling to me.

A perverse heart shall depart from me;

I will not know wickedness.”

B.  We must purpose to be honest in what we say.

When we are truthful in what we say we are worthy of trust.

Ephesians 4:25  NKJV 

   “Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,’ for we are members of one another.”

     We have been instructed by God to be honest – to speak the truth. A lying tongue is one of the things that God abhors.

Proverbs 6:17  NKJV   

“These six things the Lord hates,

Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look,

A lying tongue,

Hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans,

Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies,

And one who sows discord among brethren.”

C)  We must purpose to be steadfast (diligent) in our walk with and for Christ.

We must be firm, consistent, and determined to follow Christ no matter what comes our way.

Hebrews 12:13  NKJV   

“and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.” 

1 Corinthians 15:58  NKJK   

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

Colossians 1:21-23  NKJV  

   “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight – if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I Paul, became a minister.”

18. Reliability

We must grow in our reliability. As a Christian we must be trustworthy and dependable.

1 Corinthians 4:2  NKJV    

“Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.”

      People that are trustworthy can be depended on and trusted. You can place your confidence in them because they are honest, faithful, and reliable. They will do what they say they will. People will judge our reliability based on past experiences.

Matthew 5:37  NKJV    

“But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’, and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”

19. Repentance

There are people that profess with their mouth that they are saved, but their actions do not up with what they are saying. It is essential that we bear fruits of repentance if we desire to make heaven our home. Repentance is a daily  not a one time experience. When we truly repent and are saved we will see sin the way that God does. We will have a change of heart and direction. Repentance is a turning from sin to God; changing my mind concerning sin, God, and myself.

Luke 3:8-9  NKJV    

“Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

     If we do not bear good fruit (fruit of repentance) we will eventually be cast into eternal darkness (the lake of fire) and away from the presence of God. It is not God’s desire that any perish but that all come to repentance.

John 3:16-18  NKJV    

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever  believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

2 Peter 3:9  NKJV  

   “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count  slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

      God desire that all people would turn to Him for forgiveness, however each of us was born with a free will and it’s up to each of us to decided for ourselves if we will receive forgiveness or not. One day those who refuse God’s offer of salvation will be judged. Those who accept God’s offer of salvation will be rewarded.

 

20. Restoration

We serve a God of restoration. Restoration is a restoring or establishing again. It is a bringing back to a former condition.

Joel 2:25-27  NKJV 

   “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,

The crawling locust,

The consuming locust,

And the chewing locust,

My great army which I sent among you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied; And praise the name of the Lord your God,

Who has dealt wondrously with you; And My people shall never be put to shame.

Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel; I am the Lord your God

And there is no other.

My people shall never be put to shame.”

       Restoration follows true repentance. God can restore people to usefulness in spite of their past disobediences, however this does not mean that the consequences of the sin are removed.

When we sin and then ask God to forgive us He will forgive us the penalty of our sin, but we will still reap the  consequences of the sin in our life. Our sin does not just effect us, it effects others.

We are called to restore the saved and the unsaved to a right relationship with God. We are to be a restorer.

Galatians 6:1  NKJV   

“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.”

     During the time of Jesus the “older brother” had many responsibilities. One of which was to restore a sibling into a right relationship with their parent. In the parable of the prodigal son the older brother did not fulfill his responsibilities. Not before his brother left home and not after his brother came back home.

 

21. Revelation

Revelation is making know something that has been hidden. We can gain revelation many different ways. Spiritual revelation is God’s disclosure of Himself and His will to us. God reveals Himself and His truths to us through creation, Jesus (His Son), the Holy Spirit, the Bible (the written Word of God), and prophecy.

Ephesians 1:15-18  NKJV  

  “Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints”

      Every person alive needs to grow in their revelation of God and His perfect will for their lives. Many times we settle for God’s permissive will  instead of God’s perfect will.

A)  Creation

All of creation (heavens and earth) reveals God’s majesty, power and glory. Each part of God’s creation shows His careful and skillful craftsmanship.

Psalm 19:1-6  NKJV 

   “The heaven declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech,

And night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech or language

Where there voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth,

And their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun,

Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,

And rejoices like a strong man to run its race. Its rising is from one end of heaven,

And its circuit to the other end; And there is nothing hidden from its heat.”

      Creation shows that God made everything. Nature itself points to God as the Creator. All of God’s works (creation) testify to attributes (eternal power and Godhead). God’s divine nature can be clearly seen in His awesome works (creation).

Romans 1:20  NKJV

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly  seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse”

      Creation itself is evidence (proof) that there is a God. No one will be able to stand before God and say that they never heard about Him because nature itself reveals that He is and that He is the creator of everything. There are people throughout the world that instead of turning to God, the Creator of all things, and worshipping Him, they worship the things that He created. They worship the creation not the Creator.

B)  Jesus

God reveals Himself through His one and only Son, Jesus Christ. It is through seeing Jesus (God the Son) that we see God (God the Father). Jesus came to this earth to declare (make know / explain) God and His plan of salvation for all mankind.

John 1:18  NKJV   

  “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.”

Hebrews 1:1-2  NKJV   

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds”

         Jesus is the revelation of God – He came to reveal God to us. If we know Jesus we know God.

John 14:7-11  NKJV  

  “ ‘If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.’ Philip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.’ Jesus answered to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father, so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.’ ”

C ) The Holy Spirit

God reveals Himself to us through the Holy Spirit (God the Spirit / the Spirit of God / Holy Ghost). The Holy Spirit will teach us about God and His ways. The Holy Spirit will be our guide, teacher, comforter, leader.

John 16:13 NKJV  

  “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

      The Holy Spirit is the only one that can draw a person to God through Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit convicts us and draws us to a place of repentance. He reveals the truth about ourselves to us as well as God’s feelings and desires toward us.

D) The Bible

God reveals Himself to us through the Bible, the written Word of God. God’s Word is truth – it never changes. Throughout time man’s opinions, attitudes, morals and standards have changed, however God’s never have. What was sin when He gave His Word is still sin today.

John 17:17  NKJV  

  “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.”

2 Timothy 3:15-16  NKJV  

  “and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”

E)  Prophecy

God uses prophecy to bring revelation of Himself and of His desires to man. Prophecy is the spoken or written word from God to console or correct, or to foretell (predict).

 

1 Thessalonians 5:20  NKJV 

   “Do not despise prophecies.”

      We are instructed in God’s Word not to look down on or feel contempt for prophesies. Nor are we to scorn (despise or reject) prophesies.

1 Thessalonians 5:20  New Living Translation  

  “Do not scoff at prophesies.”

      We are to embrace revelations of God and His desires for us given to us through prophesies. We must never make fun of them or mock them.

 

22. Reverence

Reverence is a feeling of great love and respect for God and His Word.

Psalm 89:7  NKJV  

  “God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints,

And to be held in reverence by all those around Him.”

       God is a holy God and the only way to approach Him is in the fear of the Lord (reverence, respect).

 

Proverbs 9:10  NKJV  

  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,

And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

Hebrews 12:28  NKJV   

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.”

23. Self-Denial

Self-denial is sacrificing one’s own desires and interest or going without things one wants.

 

Luke 9:23  NKJV   

“Then He said to them all, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.’ ”

         If a person desires to follow after Jesus Christ they must sacrifice their own desires and interests for His desires and His interests.

 

24. Sensitivity

Sensitivity is being quick to feel other’s hurts, notice their needs, or appreciate their worth. When we are sensitive we will receive impressions easily. We will be more aware of those around us. In order to do what God expects of us we must be sensitive to the needs ( burdens) of others.

Galatians 6:2  NKJV  

  “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

25. Servanthood

A servant is someone who is devoted to a service (work for God or for another person). They willingly offer their time and energy to help someone else. God desire for each Christian to do good works. The works do not save us, however they are a “fruit” in the life of a believer.

Galatians 6:9-10  NKJV  

  “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

26. Submission

Submission is yielding to the power, control, or authority of another. It is also obedience and humbleness.

Ephesians 5:20-21  NKJV  

  “giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.”

      God has ordained that there should be people in authority that govern over different areas in our lives. Every person (the believer and the nonbeliever) is subject to some type of authority. Obeying those that God has placed over us (leaders) is a type of submission to God. Leaders will give an account for how they carried out their duties as a leader.

1 Peter 2:13-14  NKJV 

   “Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good.”

Hebrews 13:17  NKJV  

  “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”

27. Teachability

Each of us must be able to be taught – we must be teachable. We never grow too old to learn. Learning is a life long experience. If we get to the point where we think that we don’t need to learn anymore we become unteachable and there is something wrong with us.

Psalm 25:4-5   NKJV 

   “Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me,

For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.”

      We could learn something new about God every moment of our life and we still would not know everything about Him and His ways.

 

28. Tenderness

Tenderness is being kind, affectionate and loving. A person who is tender will be considerate of others. When our hearts are tender toward God we will be sensitive to Him and to His heart and His desires.

2 Kings 22:19  NKJV 

   “ ‘…because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants, that they would become a desolation and a curse, and you tore your clothes and wept before Me, I also have heard you,’ says the Lord.”

      When we are tender toward God (and others) He can accomplish much through us. If we want to stand in the gap for others we must grow in tenderness.

 

29. Trust

Trust is a firm belief in the honesty, truthfulness, justice, or power of a person or thing. We must grow in our trust in God and in His Word.

Psalm 125:1  NKJV   

“Those who trust in the Lord

Are like Mount Zion,

Which cannot be moved, but abides forever.”

      When we place our trust in God we will not be shaken or moved by anything. The world around us may seem to be falling apart, but we can rest assured that it will not harm us. God is our protection and our strength. He is our refuge and our fortress.  As Christians we must grow and develop a firm belief in God’s honesty, truthfulness, justice, and power. We must also grow in our trust in God’s Word.

 

30. Truth

Truth is that which is true, exact, honest, sincere or loyal. When we are truthful we will tell things as they really are. Our words will conform to truth.

Proverbs 12:17  NKJV   

‘He who speaks truth declares righteousness,

But a false witness, deceit.”

      Truth matters to God. He desires for each of us to speak truth. In the sight of God when we speak truth we are doing right, behaving justly, showing virtue, and acting in a proper (just, right) manner. When we do not speak the truth we are filled with deceit (dishonesty) and we are a liar.

 

31. Unity

Unity is being united, oneness (agreement), singleness, or harmony.

1 Corinthians 1:10  NKJV 

   “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

      True unity in the body of Christ (the church) is not a facade (outward appearance), but a genuine (without pretense) harmony that recognizes we are one body in Christ, and that Jesus Christ Himself is the head.

Psalm 133:1-3  NKJV   

  “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is

For brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head,

Running down on the beard,

The beard of Aaron,

Running down on the edge of his garments.

It is like the dew of Hermon,

Descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there the Lord commanded the blessing- Life forevermore.”

      God desire for there to be true unity in His body, not hypocrisy. God takes pleasure in the body of Christ being united. When there is unity in the body there will be an anointing of the Holy Spirit. God will also bless the people and the church, both in this life and the one to come.