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Loving God on a Daily Basis
By Pastor Mattie Alston
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2010 Pastor Mattie Alston
All right reserved.
Chapter OneDo You Need A Fresh Start?
And no one puts new wine into old wineskins, for old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that noth are preserved (Matthew 9:17 Life Application Study Bible).
In Bible times, wine was not kept in glass bottles but in goatskins, sewn around the edges to form watertight bags.
New wine expanded as it fermented, stretching its wineskin. After a wineskin had stretched with aged wine, it would burst if new wine were again poured into it. New wine, therefore, was always put into new wineskins.
Jesus was using this description to explain that he had not come to patch up the old religious system of Judaism with its rules and traditions.
Jesus's purpose was to bring in something new, though it had been prophesied for centuries. This new message, the Good News, said that Jesus Christ, God's Son came to earth to offer to all people forgiveness of their sins and reconciliation with God.
The Good News did not fit into the old, rigid, legalistic system of religion. It needed a fresh start.
The message will always remain new because it must be accepted and applied in every generation.
When we follow Jesus Christ, we must be prepared for new ways to live, new ways to look at people, new ways to serve.
The bad company that may surround us must not deceive us or corrupt good morals. Don't let your relationships with unbelievers lead you away from Christ or cause your faith to waver.
Faith Unfolds Slowly On A Daily Basis
Mark 4:33-34 (King James Version) states, "And with many such parables He spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it. But without a parable He did not speak to them. When they were along, He explained all things to His disciples."
How much do you understand about the faith? Do you wish you knew more? Perhaps others intimidate you with their knowledge and familiarity with Scripture.
If so, Jesus's work with His disciples can lend some helpful perspective. Just as our biological lives unfold slowly on a daily basis, so do our spiritual lives.
God offers us what we can understand as soon as we can handle it, but not before. Most parents would consider explicit lessons on sexuality to be premature for preschoolers.
Likewise, driving lessons for first graders would be inappropriate, and some athletic activities can cause great damage if children engage in them too early in their development.
In the same way, God holds back certain lessons until we're mature enough to handle them.
Anyone who wants to follow me must put aside his own desires and conveniences and carry his cross with him every day and keep close to me! (Luke 9:23 The People's Study Bible.)
But He also promised them that the Spirit would come later and lead them into truths that they could not handle themselves. Please see John 16: 12-16 [(TAB).
Like those first disciples, we as Jesus's modern-day followers are not to know the end from the beginning, but to learn something from Him every day, we must apply it to our lives day by day.
Faith is not a badge to be worn or knowledge to be flaunted, but a little seed to be nurtured. Please see Mark 4:26-32 ((TAB).
Parables are one of the most engaging forms of teaching in Scripture. If you, or someone you know, has struggled with understanding and applying God's truth, you might want to consider reading the parables.
Jesus probably spent most of His life working in His family's carpentry business. No wonder He knew how to present truth in terms that normal people could understand.
Living One Day at a Time
Proverbs 17:9 (LASB) says, "We should be willing to disregard the faults of others. Forgiving faults is necessary to any relationship."
Having Relationships with Others
It is tempting, especially in an argument, to bring up all the mistakes the other person has ever made. Love, however, keeps its mouth shut, difficult though that may be.
Try never to bring anything into an argument that is unrelated to the topic being discussed.
As we grow to be like Christ, we will acquire God's ability to forget the confessed sins of the past.
Because God has forgiven all our sins, we should not withhold forgiveness from others. As we realize how completely Christ has forgiven us, it should produce an attitude of forgiveness toward others.
When we don't forgive others we are setting ourselves above Christ's law of love.
Unlimited Forgiveness to Others
The ultimate example of forgiving one's enemies, however, comes from Jesus. He clearly modeled this principle for us when, while hanging on the cross, he prayed:
"Father, Forgive these people, because they don't know what they are doing" (Luke 23: 34).
Please see Acts 8:4-38 (NAS).
If you feel you fall short in the area of forgiveness, then let's take a walk though the Bible.
Divine ability to forgive comes from the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
1. The Holy Spirit will lead in the form of an impression or a burden. 2. We must obey God's leading. In John 10:27 (KJV), Jesus said, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow me." 3. You might want to start each day with a prayer like the prophet Isaiah. "Lord, I'll go. Send me" (Isaiah 6:8 NAS). 4. We must be cleansed just as Isaiah was, confessing our sins and submitting to God's control. Letting God purify us may be painful, but we must be purified so that we can truly represent God, who is pure and holy.
How Can a Person Know God's Deep Secrets?
1 Corinthians 2:10 (NLT) says, "But it was to us that God revealed these things by His Spirit. For His Spirit searches out everything and shows us God's deep secrets."
God's "deep secrets" refer to God's unfathomable nature and his wonderful plan—Jesus's death and resurrection. They include the promise of salvation, revealed only to those who believe that what God says is true.
Those who believe in Christ's death and resurrection and put their faith in him will know all they need to know to be saved.
Even the wisest people, however, can't grasp this knowledge, unless they accept God's message.
All who reject God's message are foolish, no matter how wise the world thinks they are.
Everyone wants to be wise. Yet Paul taught the Corinthians that true wisdom or discernment requires the believer to be guided by the Holy Spirit.
Because Satan's greatest impact on us occurs when he deceives us, we need the Holy Spirit's help.
Spiritual discernment enables us to draw conclusions based on God's perspective, make wise decisions in difficult circumstances, recognize the activities of God's Spirit, distinguish the correct and incorrect use of Scripture, and identify and expose false teachers.
Ask God to give you his discernment as you serve him. Let that discernment guide you in your daily walk.
ISAIAH 25:3 (NLT) SAYS,
"Therefore, strong nations (and people) will declare Your glory; ruthless nations will fear you."
You see, the Christians of God suffered because ruthless people oppressed them.
But God is concerned for the oppressed and is a refuge for them.
SO, When we are disadvantaged or oppressed, we can turn to a Living God for comfort and help.
JESUS said in the Book of Luke 6:20 (NLT), "God Blesses you who are poor (suffered or oppressed), for the Kingdom of God is yours."
Because, I have been oppressed by people, what I have learned in my life is to delight in my Lord!
I am fascinated by Him! He Fascinates me on a daily basis. He can do the same for you. "We must serve the Lord with Reverence" (Ps. 2:11 NLT). "I will not fear when earthquake comes" (Ps. 46:2 NLT), "Untroubled by fear of harm" (Prov. 1:33 NLT), "All who fear the Lord will hate evil" (Prov. 8:13 NLT). "Woman who fear the Lord" (Prov. 31:30 NLT)
How To Live A Perfect Life According To The Bible?
Matthew 5:48 (NLT) says, "But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect."
We can be perfect if our behavior is appropriate for our maturity level;. pPerfect, yet with much more room to grow.
Our tendency to sin must never deter us from striving to be more like Christ.
Christ calls all of his disciples to excel, to rise about mediocrity, and to mature in every area, becoming like him.
Those who strive to become perfect will one day be perfect, even as Christ is perfect (please read 1 John 3:1-10 NIV).
1. In our (character). In this life we cannot be flawless, but we can aspire to be as much like Christ as possible. 2. In (holiness). Like the Pharisees, we are to separate ourselves from the world's sinful values. Unlike the Pharisees, we are to be devoted to God's desires rather than our own and carry his love and mercy into the world. 3. 3. In (maturity). We can't achieve Christ-like character and holy living all at once, but we must grow toward maturity and wholeness. Just as we expect different behavior from a baby, a child, a teenager, and an adult, so God expects different behavior from us, depending on our stage of spiritual development. 4. In (love). We can seek to love others as completely as God loves us.
Image-Building or Integrity-Building
Image means: mental impression, copy, likeness, and facsimile. Integrity means: honesty, honor, uprightness, and probity.
Psalm 26:1(NLT) says, "Declare me innocent, O Lord, for I have acted with integrity; I have trusted in the Lord without wavering."
Even if we waver, we must keep trying to live an honest and an open life for the Lord. All of us know people who are not the same on the inside as they are on the outside.
All of us know many people who work harder on their image then on their integrity, and that is why many people today "fall" on their faces.
We need integrity and honesty to preserve us along like's way. Integrity says I will walk consistently in it.
Psalm 119: 1 (NLT) says, "Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord."
The Word of God helps us stay pure and grow in faith. In the Hebrew culture, people did not have personal copies of the Scriptures to read as we do, so God's people memorized his Word and passed it along orally. The Bible is the only sure guide for living a pure life.
How Do We Stay Pure in a Contaminating Environment?
You see, we cannot do this on our own but must have counsel and strength more dynamic than the tempting influences around us.
Where can we find that strength and wisdom? By reading the Word of God and doing what it says.
Keeping God's Word in our hearts is a deterrent to sin. Did you know that? This alone should inspire you to memorize Scripture.
Memorization alone will not keep you from sin; we must also put God's Word to work in our lives, making it a vital guide for everything we do.
Can the Word of God Rest In Your Heart?
Can you grasp, hear, and comprehend the Word of God clearly? If you can, this is what can happen to you.
The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God's Word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted ( Matthew 13:23, NLT).
The Word will become alive in you, full of operative power, effectively energizing you.
The Book of Hebrews 4:12 (NLT) talks about how the Word of God is alive and powerful.
For the Word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
Listen up! The Word of God is not simply some collection of words from God or a vehicle for communicating an idea.
The Word of God is alive, life changing, and dynamic as it works in us. With the incisiveness of a surgeon's knife, God's Word reveals who we are and what we are not.
It penetrates the core of our moral and spiritual life. It discerns what is within us, both good and evil. The demands of God's Word require decisions. We must not only listen to the Word, but we must also let it shape our lives.
Nothing we do can be hidden from God. He knows about everyone everywhere, and everything about us is wide open to his eyes.
God sees all we do and knows all we think. Even when we are unaware of his presence, He is there.
When we try to hide from him, He sees us. We can have no secrets from God. It is a blessing to know that although God knows us intimately, He still loves us no matter what.
Loving God On A Daily Basis
Integrity (means) uprightness, honor, honest, self-respect, straightforwardness, trustworthiness, confidence, soundness, faithfulness, openness, morality, loyalty, responsibility, good faith, courage, moral strength, conscience, and justice.
Dishonesty, deception, deceit. Your integrity, or lack thereof, always has consequences.
People with integrity have nothing to fear. Their lives are an open book. They've established a system of values against which all of life is judged.
Let me tell you, no matter how spiritual you are, you'll struggle daily with situations that demand that you choose between what you want to do and what you ought to do.
Integrity will help you to make the right choice every time. Good people are guided by his honesty; the evil man is destroyed by his dishonesty (Proverbs 11:3 TLB).
1. Are you the same no matter whom you're with? Yes or No
2. Are you quick to recognize others for their efforts and contributions to your success? Yes or No
3. Do you make decisions that are best for others when another choice would benefit you more? Yes or No
4. Does integrity disappoint others? Yes or No
5. Do you know anyone who is not the same on the inside as they are on the outside? Yes or No
6. Do you know anyone who works harder on their image then on their integrity? Yes or No
7. Are you working on your image or are you working on your integrity? Yes or No
Proof in the Scriptures of how Integrity works:
Integrity of the heart: 1 Kings 9: 4-5 (NLT) says, "As for you, if you will follow me with integrity and godliness, as David your father did, always obeying my commands and keeping my laws and regulations, then I will establish the throne of your dynasty over Israel forever. For I made this promise to your father, David. You will never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel" (1 Kings 9: 2-4, NLT).
Job held fast to his integrity, he had balance, he knew he had integrity. Job 2:3 (NLT) said, "Then the Lord asked Satan, have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth, a man of complete integrity. He fears God and will have nothing to do with evil. And he has maintained his integrity, even though you persuaded me to harm him without cause."
David said in Psalm 25: 21 (NLT), "May integrity and honesty protect me, for I put my hope in you."
David said in Psalm 26:1 (NLT), "Declare me innocent, O Lord, for I have acted with integrity; I have trusted in the Lord without wavering."
The just can walk in integrity (Proverbs 20:7 NLT). The godly walk with integrity; blessed are their children after them.
If we study, we will past the test. If we don't study, we'll fail the test. If you don't save, you won't have money when you need it.
God wants us to prepare ourselves for those days. We can't expect God to come to our rescue when we cause our own problems through lack of planning and action. He provides for us, but also expects us to be responsible. We must live our lives with integrity.
Scriptures on Honesty: Luke 8:15, NAS Romans 12:17, NLT 2 Corinthians 13:7, NLT Philippians 4:8, NAS 1 Peter 2:12, NLT
Integrity means that love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice, but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
When integrity is the referred, then our lips and our hearts will be in agreement. Our beliefs will be mirrored by our conduct.
Excerpted from Loving God on a Daily Basis by Pastor Mattie Alston Copyright © 2010 by Pastor Mattie Alston. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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