God Desires For His Disciples To Grow Spiritually

“Study to show yourself approved…”

How does one measure spiritual growth?  But to put it more succinctly, how does God measure spiritual growth?  My personal response is based on the Holy Scriptures:

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.”  Ephesians 4:7 KJV

You might be tempted to measure spiritual growth with the same yardstick as one would measure personal growth, but you would be ‘dead’ wrong.  I put the word dead in bold letters and single quotes because the duration of our personal lives end in death; but the duration of our spiritual lives live on for eternity!

Let’s explore this week’s conversation with God a little deeper…

Earlier this week I received a troubling phone call from a senior friend exclaiming that the Holy Spirit had been troubling her all morning placing me on her mind.  The caller was perplexed and sought through prayer what it was she was to say to me.  My friend said the mental inclination was that she was instructed to give me three scriptures to read and meditate over:  namely, Matthew 18:18, 19 and 20.

          18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you lose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19  “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.  20  For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”

Now, this form of communication might seem strange to you, but since I, too, experience this kind of interaction with spiritual encounters, I listened to my friend’s telephone message with great enthusiasm.

So, after our conversation ended, I immediately began to read and search the scriptures to see under what situation/condition these biblical verses were dispensed by Jesus.  This messianic teaching was given to church members who attempted to restore fallen members back into the congregation.  If, after making several unsuccessful attempts to reunite the fallen members to the fold, and they do not listen, then you are to treat them as though they were a pagan or a tax collector.

Prayerfully, I conversed with the Holy Spirit and inquired what does this scripture message have to do with me. I received this answer:  You will recall that a couple of weeks ago you asked for godly intervention on resolving a disagreement you were having with a family member.  You are to apply these scriptures to your situation and therein you will find the godly answer. 

The main question according to Matt. 18:15 is whether the ‘sister or brother’ is a member of the Household of Faith and has accepted the sonship of Christ Jesus.  Seemingly, this information is important when counseling the individual in question.  If the individual has accepted Christ as their personal Savior, I am to attempt to agree in conversation with them the teachings of the Lord.  If, however, the individual in question is not a Believer, extend an invitation to them to consider following Christ just as you would a tax collector or pagan.  God alone will judge both performances and lovingly act in both persons best interest…yours and your (temporary) foe.

Blessed Reassurance…

This was my first case wherein I received a PERSONAL response from God and had my prayer answered direct from on High.  Words cannot express how blessed I felt to have receive that heavenly telephone call from my friend.  She admitted to me that she did not know under what circumstances she was led to contact me…all she knew was that she could not rest until she had delivered the message.  Hallelujah to her obedience and faithfulness. In other words, God wanted me to continue to grow in finding ways to resolve spiritual matters. Why? Because it is extremely necessary for each and every child of God to grow daily in our spiritual walk, and to increase our faith and to become stronger witnesses in his service.

My prayer for you and me…  

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your intervention in this matter. Please direct my steps in turning back to You for direction. I praise You for the prosperity that You have planned for me, for the heavenly future that You have prepared for me and your children. My continued prayer will be that all those persons who still reside out of the ark of safety will hear the Gospel, repent and accept Your invitation to take up the blood-stained banner of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen and Amen

Scripture Lesson: “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”  Colossians 2:6-7

Click http://www.tgifmasterminds.wordpress.com every Friday for a new post from The Master’s servant manager…Me!

God Dictated A Letter To My Son On Father’s Day

Happy, Happy Father’s Day to my son, my son!

Dear Jason,

          Actually, you gave your mom the best Father’s Day gift the last time you both spoke on the phone the other evening.  You shared that early one morning after you awoke you turned over in bed and ‘Something’ led you to pick up the Bible and it opened to the story of young David fleeing from his oppressor, King Saul.

          You continued to share with her that when King Saul went into a cave to relieve himself, David tip-toed up behind Saul and cut off a portion of his garment.  Later that day in the re-telling of the story, you said David called to King Saul and told him of the opportunity he had to actually kill Saul.  David also showed the king his evidence of the cut-off piece of the king’s garment.  King Saul was shocked and agreed that David’s actions towards him were more honorable than the king’s actions toward David.

          What you did not realize, my son, is that as you ingested this bible story and as you retold it to me with such enthusiasm, you were living out a scripture written in James 1:25. “The man (Jason) who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues  to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.”  {Emphases placed on the bold and underlined words.}

          Oh, how you blessed your mother with the sharing of God’s holy word.  And you admitted that the story meant a lot to you, too.  May you forever keep up your pursuit for godly wisdom, by looking into God’s word, practicing it and not forgetting it!  In all thy getting, get an understanding!!! (Prov. 4)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

My humble prayer for all fathers everywhere…

Dear Heavenly Father and Deliverer of us all: First, and foremost, we thank you for your leadership and guidance through this trying world. We sincerely also thank you for the legacy of the written Word and the spirit-filled examples therein. We implore your forgiveness for our inherent ingratitude and for not always returning to you to give thanks. We graciously receive the understanding provided by your Holy Spirit as we seek to apply the life-lessons intended for our benefit that are related in the chapters of the bible.

Yes, King Saul was so jealous and bitter towards young David that he sought to kill him, BUT, you had other plans for David’s life. And you and you alone gave David the victory. I sincerely pray that whatever plans you have for other fathers in the world who are seeking after you and looking intently into the perfect law, that you will lead, guide and protect them until traveling days are done. That you will always find them doing the work of the Kingdom and not forgetting from where their help comes from.

I pray these words in the matchless Name of Jesus Christ, Amen!

Scripture Lesson: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Click http://www.tgifmasterminds.wordpress.com every Friday for a new post from The Master’s servant manager…Me!

God Said: “Wait I Say On The Lord.”

bench-waiting-for-someone
Having to wait doesn’t mean your needs will never be met; it just means your answer is delayed.

It’s easy for someone to say to you, “Stop complaining”!  Or “Why are you always in a state of discontent”?  And Heaven forbid your sour disposition carries over into the way you perceive God working through your life.

Some people would label that a funky mood…

Well, sometimes, but not often, I find myself in a funky mood.  And I hate myself for it.  I’m too stubborn to break free, make that call and apologize.  The circumstances are eating me up.  My negative thoughts keep telling me it was not your fault.  So why should you be the one who takes the blame and makes the first steps to right a wrong. 

My prayers on the subject have become self-centered and I imagine displeasing to God.  I’m whining and feeling alone.  Since my angst is against a family member, and I am the elder, I feel disrespected and innocent.  Which way should I turn?  Where shall I go for solace? 

I know what the Lord requires of me.  He would want me to stop being dissatisfied with my present circumstances.  I know He would rather I make peace with my situation and call on Him to provide the timing and consoling words to make amends.

So, here is what happened. I had a conversation with the Holy Spirit, and He reminded me of the request Jesus made to his disciples to remain in Jerusalem and to wait on the gift His father had promised them.  Had they not waited, they would have missed receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit which was poured out on the assembly.

Since my talk with the Holy Spirit, my prayers have been strengthened and less self-centered.  My cry is to the Lord on High is now this; Holy Father, I am sorry for my actions thus far and the way I have handled this situation between me and a close family member.  I confess that I have been deliberately slow in making restitution and righting a wrong that has caused so much pain.  I beseech thee, Lord, to give me the strength and tenacity to offer forgiveness and to extend an olive branch in this instance.  Please go before me and prepare the way.  In the precious Name of Jesus. Amen

Yes, sometimes it takes a village of saints to send up prayers on behalf of another brother or sister.  So I am also asking your prayers on my behalf, in this situation.  God is good all the time and I know he will answer us in his own time.

Grayscale Photography of People Raising Hands
Sometimes it is hard to admit our faults…

Scripture Lesson: On one occasion, while He was eating with them, He gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift My Father promised, which you have heard Me speak about.” Acts 1:4

Click http://www.tgifmasterminds.wordpress.com every Friday for a new post from The Master’s servant manager…Me!

God Has Made Us Fearfully and Wonderfully, Hallelujah!

Which facial expression depicts your mood today? Are you familiar with Who, what, when, where and why you were created? Is your Maker pleased with your performance? Should you be enrolled in a Meditation Group or a Physical Therapy Class?

I learned something today.  And it almost equates to rocket science.  That is because, people do not usually connect Meditation exercises and good health practices as subjects that go hand in hand!  More than likely, that expression is quoted as, “It’s NOT rocket science!”

Got a minute?  We need to talk…big time!

I have mentioned to you in earlier blogs that I recently started a Mindfulness Meditation Group at the apartment complex where I live.  Needless to say, it is off to a great start!  Well, today, I had my first doctor prescribed physical therapy session and was thoroughly examined by the therapist by performing leg and arm exercises to see where my lack of strength lies and what areas of my torso needed to be revitalized. My therapist needed to design a complete 3 month therapy program for me.

To my surprise, the therapist had me to tighten and hold in my stomach muscles while performing all the leg movements/exercises, as I held on to two side bars with my hands for balancing. The therapist advised me to continue breathing as I performed these tasks.  Boy of boy, was I struggling to remain balanced and to complete the exercises in the prescribed time frame. What an exhaustive work out.

I was ashamed of my poor performance (which lasted for one hour), because during my meditation classes, I instruct the attendees to practice proper breathing methods for 20 minutes (stomach extended when inhaling and stomach deflated when exhaling), while during that time, rotate their wrist, ankles, toes, neck, and jaws.  The only difference in moving body parts in physical therapy exercises and meditation is that you are standing for one and sitting or reclining for the other.

Now here is where the two exercises meet the road.  Experts in both fields of study (meditation and physical therapy) clinically agree that in order to maintain good health, a person should at least dedicate 30 to 60 minutes a day to the breathing activities mentioned above. When they do this their blood pressure numbers can be lowered, anxieties can be erased, and a happier disposition can be experienced by all.  Researchers also claim that these improvements come about because stretching and proper breathing helps reduce stiffness in the arteries, which is ascribed to improving both blood flow and blood pressure. In addition, exercising sends fresh air to the brain to help ones thought process produce more positive functions and less negative dispositions.

WWJD? (What Would Jesus Do?)

Now, King David wrote:  “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you, for I am fearfully(*) and wonderfully(**) made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”  Psalm 139:13-14

Note: (*)  “Fearfully, when translated from the Hebrew means with great reverence, heart-felt interest, and with respect.

Note (**)  “Wonderfully, when translated from the Hebrew means unique and set apart.

God was way ahead of the game all along. Those health experts were playing catch-up! The Holy Spirit suggest that you study your bible to show yourself approved. Apply the Lord’s teachings and excel in all your duties and performances rightly applying His word and truths.

So, both my new meditation assignment, and my doctor’s latest prescription for me go hand in hand.  Oh, how the Lord does order my steps.  He is in charge of all of my business. And He also designs a clear path for me to follow.  My prayer for each of you is simply this:  Dear Heavenly Father, the New Year is almost halfway over and we wish to stop right here and give thanks to You for the unending promises that You have planned for all of us to be prosper during this year.  Many of us have not as yet realized our hopes and dreams and we are becoming anxious because five months have already come and gone.  But never the less, we are trusting in You and know that Your word is true and that You want to give us a future and a hope.  Please hear our cries and help us to listen to Your voice and to obey Your will.  In the Matchless Name of Jesus I pray.  Amen!

Scripture Lesson:  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”  Jeremiah 29:11-12

Click http://www.tgifmasterminds.wordpress.com every Friday for a new post from The Master’s servant manager…Me!