Learning to Go deeper in our walk with God

Learning what it means to be spiritual.

The book of Ephesians 1.4-5 tell us that God chose us from before the foundation of the world for one purpose….

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him . In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.”

His choice of us was for the purpose of:  Sonship.

 

From the passage of 1 John 2

1 John 2:12-17 – I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you for His name’s sake. [13] I am writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I have written to you, older children, because you know the Father. [14] I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.

There are four levels of growth identified in this scripture.

Toddlers
Children
Young Men
Fathers

Walking with God means learning His Spirit’s Control in my life.

Galatians 5:16-24 – But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. [17] For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. [18] But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. [19] Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, [20] idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, [21] envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. [22] But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, [23] gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. [24] Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Learning the Value of Love: 1 Cor 13.1-12

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 – If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. [2] If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. [3] And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. [4] Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, [5] does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, [6] does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; [7] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. [8] Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. [9] For we know in part and we prophesy in part; [10] but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. [11] When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. [12] For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. [13] But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Figuring out who I am starts with:

“Who are thou Lord?”

“What would you have me to do?”

Why a deeper walk with God?

Four Motivations:

There are actually four reasons or motivations as to why people will or will not do something.

Fear:  “The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord”.

There is a certain impending expectation of accountability with God.  Without any doubt a student of Scripture and world history will come to the conclusion that we are on a collision course at the intersection of the Return of Christ.

Each of us will give an account.  The first piece of this is a sense of fear or respect.  We believe we will meet the Lord Jesus Christ who is the judge of the Living and the Dead.  Many ask the question, what will I say to Him on that day.  But the real question is not that.  The real question is:

What will Jesus Christ, Lord and King, say to You?

Mark 8:34-38 – And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. [35] “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. [36] “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? [37] “For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? [38] “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

Reward:  Living our Lives to receive God’s reward.

Connected with this concept of giving an account is also the positive side, that of rewards given for service rendered.  These come in terms of Crowns (five of them) and honors.

1 Cor 3.10-15

Character:  The source of our actions comes from a heart for God.

Character is who we are when no one is looking.  It is a deep sense of what I am supposed to do and what I am not.

Romans 5:1-5 – Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, [2] through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. [3] And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; [4] and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; [5] and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Character for the Apostle Peter looked like this:

2 Peter 1:5-10 – Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, [6] and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, [7] and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. [8] For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. [9] For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. [10] Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;

Intimacy with God:   Deeply Learning about Trusting Him.

 

Max Lucado:

When our deepest desires are not the things God gives, nor is it getting God’s Favor to build our empire…when our deepest desire is God Himself we have crossed a threshold.  How I wish I could help people see this.

All of life as we become believers changes but we get into a different way of thinking.  We move into pleasing God for His blessing.  Pleasing God or Trusting God.

 

Starting Point:  CRU

Bill Bright many years ago developed from the Bible Ten Basic Principles that every Christian should know.  He called these the “Transferable Concepts”.

Read the studies here:

CRU Transferrable Concepts

Four major priorities for a Christ Follower

Acts 2:42 – They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

 

I.  Getting into God’s Word

GOD FIRST

Learning to study God’s Word is important, here are some helpful guidelines to use as you read.  Always read with a pencil or pen and think of these questions.

1. What does it say ?

2. What does it mean ?

3. What does it say TO ME ?

4. What did it mean TO ME ?

Investigate, Interpretation, Application, and then Accountability

What does it say is really the beginning point. Read it several times, Take some notes… what does it say. Is there an outline in John 1-3 ? Try to take the Bible and see the paragraphs by the bold verse numbers and then name each paragraph on a piece of paper. Are there central characters… ( hint: Jesus is one, John is even more prominent and why ? Some Disciples are introduced… Father makes an appearance, and so does Holy Spirit. Nicodemus is another who is he ? )

What does it mean? Use a dictionary to look into words you don’t know. Go to a ” Vines Dictionary ” online and look up other words like ” The Word “, or ” Lamb of God ” or ” Nicodemus ” or ets. Then check a commentary or two.

Studylight.org is good

Biblegateway.org is good

What does it say TO ME… Pray, Jesus, what are you saying to me here. Is there a praise I can give or a sin I can confess or an exhortation to heed, or a command to obey for me. Let the LOGOS become a RHEMA for you. I’ll explain next week.

Lastly What does it mean TO ME… what did I do with God’s word to me ? Did it mean anything or did I just let it go in one ear and out the other, like a man who looks at a mirror and then walks away.

God calls us to not only read the Bible, but to meditate on His Word.

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

“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.” Psalm 1:1-2

Here is a process you can use to help you meditate and reflect on scripture from the Holy Bible when you read it.
Think of the passage and ask yourself the questions in the acrostic, PEACE STEPS.
Here is a process you can use to help you meditate and reflect on scripture from the Holy Bible when you read it.
Think of the passage and ask yourself the questions in the acrostic, PEACE STEPS.

Is there a …

Promise to claim?
Example to follow?
Attitude to change?
Command to obey?
Error to avoid?

Sin to confess?
Truth to proclaim?
Exaltation of God or Evangelism tip to follow?
Prayer to pray?
Something to thank God for?

Logo and rhema word difference

Answer:  There are two primary Greek words that describe Scripture which are translated “word” in the New Testament.

The first, logos, refers principally to the total inspired Word of God and to Jesus, who is the living Word.  Logos is found in John 1:1;Luke 8:11;Philippians 2:16;Hebrews 4:12; and other verses.

The second Greek word translated “word” is rhema, which refers to the spoken word.   Rhema literally means an utterance (individually, collectively or specifically). Examples are found in Luke 1:383:25:5; and Acts 11:16.

Young Man

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore,having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, 19 and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains ; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Be strong – the Young Man of 1 John 2.14-17 victory over the evil one.

The Fruit of the Spirit
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.   If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”

  • The fruit is not coming from me but from the  Spirit.
  • The fruit is singular.
  • The list is not exhaustive.
  • The list is a warning horn.

Rev 12.11  “they did not loves lives even to death”

II.  Learning to Pray

Praying will follow a simple four step outline:

1.  Adoration

2. Confession

3. Thanksgiving

4. Specific Requests.

 

Here is a more developed plan I have used for many years.

Prayer Track

 

 

My Personal Prayer

 

Key ONE: It’s Not About Me.
It’s not about me.  Lord it is about You.
It’s not about me looking good, it’s about making You look good.
It’s not about my kingdom, but seeking first Your Kingdom.
SO… the question is not
What will this do for me, but Lord
What will this do for You ?

It’s not “how will this make me look” but now,
How will this make You look

Because my life task is to glorify You and enjoy You forever
which means my destination is to
Make You look good
and all that’s left is Enjoy the Trip !

Humility is not thinking less of myself or more of myself
It is thinking of myself less and
thinking of You more.

 

Key TWO: Lord Change Me !
In every life event and life relationship my prayer must become:
Change me Lord.   Mold me.  Shape me.
I’m not asking You to bless what I’m doing
but rather make me to be and do
what You are going to bless.

Father you have shown me that those men You have used greatly You have wounded deeply.
Do to me what You need to do, so that You can do through me what You want to do,
and make me be what You want me to be.
If it’s a small job you have me to do, give me the grace to do it and be satisfied.
If it is a larger task You have in mind, give me the ability to do it and be humble.

 

Key THREE: Not my will but Thy Will.

 

 

 

Key FOUR: Ask Seek Knock !! Lord I believe!

 

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