Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Five Steps to develop a RIGHT Spirit

Good morning! This is the day that that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. My heart is full of praise and thanksgiving today. I have been trying to develop a discipline of naming one thing each day to thank God for that I have taken for granted. When you slow down enough to do that, you will be amazed at the blessings of God that you very seldom thank God for. He blesses us more than we can ever name or mention. God is SO GOOD!

I have been studying the life of King David in my personal devotion. He was a godly man, with a heart after God. However, he was very much human as well. He failed miserably when he had an adulterous affair with Bathsheba. And then, as if that weren't enough, he arranged for her husband to be killed in battle, thus adding murder to his dirty laundry list. What happened to this great, anointed man of God? How could he go from leading a nation back to God, writing numerous Psalms of praise to God, to being an adulterer and murderer? I believe the answer is found in Psalm 51:10:

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Somehow, this man who loved God with all of his heart, who God said, "has a heart after me" about developed a WRONG SPIRIT. It can happen to any of us, if we don't guard against it.

Proverbs 4:23
Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.

We must "keep and guard" our heart so it won't develop into a WRONG SPIRIT. We have all heard things such as: "He is just MEAN-SPIRITED" or "she has such a SWEET SPIRIT" or "I believe he has a WRONG SPIRIT." My question for each of us today is, "What kind of spirit are you known for?" Do you have a tendency to get offended rather easily? Do you see the best or worst in people? Are you known for being judgmental, or harsh? Do you have a problem saying things that you really shouldn't? If so, you probably have developed a WRONG SPIRIT and need to have your RIGHT SPIRIT renewed!

Today, I want to give you FIVE STEPS TO DEVELOP A RIGHT SPIRIT. We will use an acrostic of the word RIGHT:

Refuse to be offended (Hebrews 12:14)

Hebrews 12:14 (AMP) Strive to live in peace with everybody and pursue that consecration and holiness without which no one will [ever] see the Lord.

(BBE) Let your desire be for peace with all men, and to be made holy, without which no man may see the Lord;

(CEV) Try to live at peace with everyone! Live a clean life. If you don't, you will never see the Lord.

(ISV) Pursue peace with everyone, as well as holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.

(MSG) Work at getting along with each other and with God. Otherwise you'll never get so much as a glimpse of God.

Notice the words mentioned in these verses: strive, desire, try, pursue, and work at. Each of these words are showing the importance of REFUSING to become offended. Just about every day of your life you can become offended if you want to. You have to STRIVE and WORK at not being offended. I know of people that quit church because they have become offended. My friends, that is an attack of the enemy of your soul. Sure, you may have a RIGHT and a REASON to be offended, but YOU must choose to be above and beyond that. It is time for God's people to grow up and MATURE in the Lord. I say this with as much love as I can. Walk in the Spirit, and you will REFUSE TO BE OFFENDED. Jesus refused to be offended by those who abused Him. He is our great EXAMPLE. How do you refuse offense? By memorizing and speaking out the Word of God that I have just listed for you. Live it!

Inspect your HEART daily (Psalm 139:23-24)
Psalm 139:23-24
Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I'm about; (24) See for yourself whether I've done anything wrong-- then guide me on the road to eternal life.

Psalm 139:23-24 Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! (24) And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Ask God, as David did in the above verses, to search your heart daily. When the Holy Spirit points out something that is wrong in your heart and spirit, don't make excuses for it, CONFESS IT and REPENT of it. Then move on!

God's Attitude towards people (Phil. 2:1-11)

Philippians 2:1-11 If you've gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care-- (2) then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. (3) Don't push your way to the front; don't sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. (4) Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. (5) Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. (6) He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. (7) Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! (8) Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death--and the worst kind of death at that: a crucifixion. (9) Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, (10) so that all created beings in heaven and on earth--even those long ago dead and buried--will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, (11) and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.

Don't expect people to serve you, you make up your mind to serve them. BELIEVE THE BEST in people, even if you don't personally like them. Ask God to help you here, "Lord I want to see _________ the way that you see him/her"

Hide God's Word in your HEART (Psalm 119:11)

Psalm 119:11 (AMP) Your word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against You.

(CEV) I treasure your word above all else; it keeps me from sinning against you.

(ESV) I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

(KJVR) Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

(MSG) I've banked your promises in the vault of my heart so I won't sin myself bankrupt.

When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, three different times He said, "It is written…" He quoted the Word of God that he had HID (by memorization) in His HEART. If Jesus saw the need to overcome temptation and the devil through memorizing and quoting God's Word, I believe I need to make that a priority in my life as well. To help us do that, I will be putting a memory verse every day at the end of my blog for each of us to remember together!

Tongue SPIRIT controlled (James 1:19)

James 1:19 (AMP) Understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry.

(GNB) Remember this, my dear friends! Everyone must be quick to listen, but slow to speak and slow to become angry.

(KJVR) Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

(MSG) Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear.

One of the most sobering verses in the Bible:

James 1:26 (AMP) If anyone thinks himself to be religious (piously observant of the external duties of his faith) and does not bridle his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person's religious service is worthless (futile, barren).

(CEV) If you think you are being religious, but can't control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and everything you do is useless.

(KJVR) If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.

(MSG) Anyone who sets himself up as "religious" by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air.

According to James 1:26, if I don't allow God to help me TAME my tongue, then my RELIGION is useless, worthless and empty. I don't want to stand before God in this condition, so I better ask God to help me SHUT MY MOUTH at times. I believe that we could all use some help in this area. Help me Jesus!

I love you guys, and pray that we develop a RIGHT SPIRIT to replace a WRONG SPIRIT that I may have developed in my: marriage, work, family, friends, or church. With God's help, He can RENEW a right spirit within me! Blessings!

Pastor Rusty

Today's verse to "hide in my heart":

Psalm 51:10-12 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with
thy free spirit.