Saturday, November 28, 2015

BIBLE STUDY: WALKING IN THE SPIRIT: WEEK # 7

(Galatians 5:16-23)
Date:   11/27/15
Prayer:
Father God Almighty, we come before Your throne of grace asking for a spirit of love. We acknowledge You as the God of love. Your Word teach us that You so loved the world that You gave Your only begotten Son, and that Your Son love us so much that He gave His life. We are so grateful, and thankful. You are so worthy! You are so worthy to be praised, to be honored, and to be lifted up on high. Help us today to be love as You are love. Help us to walk in love to bring You glory and praise. Whatever is hindering us from walking in love, we ask You by Your Holy Spirit to move it, help us to put it off in Jesus' name. Bless us to walk in the Spirit, love in the Spirit, war in the Spirit, work in the Spirit, witness in the Spirit, watch in the Spirit, and worship You in the Spirit. Help us, Lord to share Your Word with whosoever we meet in Jesus' name. AMEN.

Study 7            Loving in the Spirit:
Let's Walk:
Scripture Reading:                 (Ephesians 5:2) (I Corinthians 13:13)

I Corinthians 13
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity." This is such a powerful scripture!
I           Loving God:
"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength" (Deuteronomy 6:5). This is known as the Shema, taken from the first word "hear" in Hebrew. Modern Jews consider the recital of the Shema both evening and morning to be one of their most sacred duties. It was cited by Jesus as the "greatest commandment in the Law" (Matthew 22:36–37).

This command seems to be impossible to obey. That's because, in the natural state of man, it is impossible. There is no greater evidence of the inability of man to obey God's Law than this one commandment. No human being with a fallen nature can possibly love God with all his heart, soul, and strength 24 hours a day. It's humanly impossible. But to disobey any commandment of God is sin. Therefore, even without considering the sins we commit daily, we are all condemned by our inability to fulfill this one commandment. This is the reason Jesus continually reminded the Pharisees of their inability to keep the Law of God. He was trying to get them to see their utter spiritual bankruptcy and their need for a Savior. Without the cleansing of sin that He provides, and the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit who lives in the hearts of the redeemed, loving God to any degree is impossible. 

But, as Christians, we have been cleansed from sin and we do have the Spirit. So how do we begin to love God the way we should? Just as the man in 
Mark 9:24 asked God to help his unbelief, so too we can ask God to help us in areas where we don't love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. It is His power that we need to do the impossible, and we begin by seeking and appropriating that power. 

In most cases, our love and affection for God grows more intense as time goes by. Certainly, young Christians newly saved are very much aware of the love of God and their love for Him. But it is through the witness of God's faithfulness during times of struggle and trial that a deep love for God grows and grows. Over time, we witness His compassion, mercy, grace, and love for us, as well as His hatred for sin, His holiness, and His righteousness. We cannot love someone we don't know, so knowing Him should be our first priority. Those who pursue God and His righteousness, who take seriously the command to love Him above all else, are those who are consumed with the things of God. They are eager to study God's Word, eager to pray, eager to obey and honor God in all things, and eager to share Jesus Christ with others. It is through these spiritual disciplines that the love for God grows and matures to the glory of God.
When we walk in the Spirit we are loving in the Spirit.  How can we know we are loving in the Spirit?
II         Loving Jesus:
To love the Lord is to follow Him wherever He leads, to obey Him whatever He asks, and to trust Him whatever the trial. To love Jesus is to reflect the love that God has for us, for "this is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son" (1 John 4:10). To love the Lord is to care for the ones He loves (1 John 4:19; see also John 21:16). To understand what it means to love Jesus, we must first define what is meant by the word love. Since we are discussing Jesus, we will limit our definitions to the two primary Greek words used for "love" in the New Testament. The first is philia. This refers to a brotherly love or to a close association with another person. To demonstrate this type of love would not require any substantial sacrifice on the part of the lover. This love is shown through a cordial attitude and an allotment of time. Anyone from a mild acquaintance to a close colleague can be loved with philia. This type of love will easily fade, however, if the loved one moves away or is not often encountered. Thus, this is not the type of love that would be adequate for the kind of love Jesus wants from His followers.
The other Greek word for "love" is agape. This is love that is considered unconditional. This is the love that Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 13 and is most appropriate for understanding what it means to love Jesus. Paul explains this type of love by what it does and what it does not do. According to 1 Corinthians 13:4–8, agape is patient, kind, rejoicing with truth, bearing all things, believing all things, hoping in all things, and enduring through all things. In contrast, agape does not envy, boast, or rejoice in wrongdoing; it is not arrogant, rude, selfish, irritable, or resentful. Most importantly, agape does not end. It will not fade away like philia. Agape is not based on circumstances and will never end. To love the Lord is to follow Him wherever He leads, to obey Him whatever He asks, and to trust Him whatever the trial. To love Jesus is to reflect the love that God has for us, for "this is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son" (1 John 4:10). To love the Lord is to care for the ones He loves (1 John 4:19; see also John 21:16). Agape is not based on emotion but on the will. Each characteristic of agape is a deliberate choice to act in a certain manner. Thus, when Jesus said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments" (John 14:15), He was teaching that loving Him would be a demonstrable action, not an emotional feeling. If Jesus is to be loved as He commanded, then a conscious choice must be made to act according to the pattern described in 1 Corinthians 13. Jesus was clear that loving Him is a service (John 14:15, 21, 23, 28) and that disobedience is evidence of a lack of love (John 14:24). Therefore, to love Jesus is to willfully act in such a way that our devotion to Him is proved through our actions toward Him and our obedience of Him.
III        Loving the Holy Spirit:
The Holy Spirit Is a Person. The most important passages to support the first truth is John 14–16. At least three things in these chapters confirm that Jesus thinks of the Holy Spirit as a person not a mere force. When we love God, we love Jesus and we love the Holy Spirit. It will make a great deal of difference in your own life if you believe that you are being indwelt and led and purified not by impersonal forces from a distant God, but by a person who in his essence is the love of GodWe love the Holy Spirit just as we love God and Jesus. We love the Holy Spirit when we obey Him.
IV        Loving Others:
We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, Which commandment is the most important of all? Jesus answered, the most important is, 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these; (Deuteronomy 10: 19; Matthew 22:39; John 13:35; 15:12; Romans 12:9; I Thessalonians 3:12; I Peter 1:22; I John 4).
Another way of loving God is to sing praises to His name:
Dance is mentioned on many occasions in Scripture. The first appearance of God's people dancing as an act of worship is found in Exodus 15:20: "Miriam the prophetess, Aaron's sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women followed her, with tambourines and dancing." This joyful dance to the Lord, led by Miriam, followed Israel's crossing of the Red Sea and celebrated Israel's new found freedom from slavery. However, dancing is not always presented in a positive light in the Bible. Soon after Miriam's dance of praise, the Israelites were found dancing before a golden calf in worship. "When Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain" (Exodus 32:19). On this occasion dancing was part of a wicked, idolatrous carousal. Thus, dancing is a mode of expression that can be used for good or for evil. Other instances of dancing in the Bible Include 2 Samuel 6:16, which has David "leaping and dancing before the LORD." Also, the Amalekites danced in celebration after plundering Judah and Philistia (1 Samuel 30:16); theirs was a short-lived dance, however, as David and his men soon defeated them (verses 17-20). 

The Psalms offer a unique look at dance as an act of worship. In Psalm 30:11, the psalmist says, "You turned my wailing into dancing." Psalm 149:3, encourages the use of dancing to worship God: "Let them praise his name with dancing!" Likewise, Psalm 150:4 urges, "Praise him with tambourine and dancing!" just like Miriam. Some have argued that dance is an Old Testament form of expression. Since dance is not mentioned as a method of worship in the New Testament, Christians should not worship in this manner. However, this is an argument from silence and is not based on clear biblical teaching. Most early Christians were Jewish and likely would have incorporated Jewish forms of worship in their praise to the risen Messiah.

Another concern has been the association of dance with sinful activities. The idea is that, if dance is used in worship, it could be seen as approving dance in other situations that do not honor God. However, this is not necessarily the case. The Amalekites' dancing in 1 Samuel did not prevent David from dancing in 2 Samuel. Christians can and should utilize dance as they do any other art form such as music, painting, drama, or filmmaking. As long as dance is worshipful, God-focused, and praiseworthy, it can have a proper place in worship. Worship dance is a far cry from the seductive dance of the daughter of Herodias (Mark 6:17-28).

Finally, it is important to understand that dance in the context of worship is not simply self-expression. It should be done in a way that is helpful to the entire congregation. Paul noted that "everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way" in the church (1 Corinthians 14:40). "Everything" would include the use of dance in worship. Anything during a worship gathering that distracts from a focus on Christ should be left out. Each congregation bears the responsibility to structure its worship service in a way that honors God and encourages those within their group.
Dance is used as an act of worship in Scripture and can continue to be used in that way today. However, churches should take care to avoid dance that leads others to temptation or sin, and the focus must remain on worshiping God rather than drawing attention to self. When practiced in this way, dance is a beautiful art form that can communicate truth, bringing glory to God and edifying others. Walking in the Spirit means loving in the Spirit!  We are indwelled by the love of God when we are indwelled by the Holy Spirit.


Questions:
1).        I Corinthians 13 teaches us on love and what else?
2).        Faith, hope, and charity, which one is the greatest?
3).        Explain Deuteronomy 6:5.
4)         What is the greatest commandment?
5).        How do we begin to love God the way we should?
6).        What do it means to love God?
7).        How can we know we are loving in the Spirit?
8).        What did Jesus do to prove His love for us?
9).        How do the Holy Spirit show His love for us?          
10).      What question was asked concerning love in (I John 4)?
11).      Is dancing forbidden in the Bible?
Explain the dance in the next four scripture.
12).      (Exodus 15:20)
13).      (Exodus 32:19)
14).      (2 Samuel 6:16)
15).      (Mark 6:17-28)
16).      How should Biblical dancing be expressed?
17).      What have you learn from reading (I Thessalonians 1-II Thessalonians 2)?

Exercise:         Week # 7         Walking in the Spirit today:
What did you do to know you were walking in the Spirit today?
Extra: Faithfulness
I choose faithfulness. . .Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word.  My companion will not question my love. And my children will never fear that their father will not come home.
Personal Prayer:
Lord, thank You for loving me.  Thank You for giving me Your Living Word as a blueprint on how to live my life.  Help me to walk in faith.  Help me to exercise my faith and believe the unseen.  Help me to develop the fruit of faith, so that I may be a living witness to everyone I influence and come into contact with.  I want them to KNOW and understand Your ways through the life of faith I live before them.  Give me the strength and courage to do so.  You are a Mighty God.  You are a Loving God. You are Worthy of ALL the glory, honor, and praise.  You are the First and the Last. You are the Beginning and the End. You are the Great I Am.  You are Merciful and Kind. I am honored and humbled by Your love for me.  Thank You, my precious Daddy for loving and caring for me!  Thank You. Bless the Name of my God. Who Reigns FOREVER! Holy is the Lord God Almighty.  Praise You!  In Jesus' Mighty Name, Amen.

Weekly Reading:        Week # 7          (II Thessalonians 3) Monday through Thursday.

Friday, November 27, 2015

BIBLE STUDY: WALKING IN THE SPIRIT: SHARING

Exercise:         Week # 6         Walking in the Spirit today:

 

What did you do to know you were walking in the Spirit today?

 

Well, today was a great testing time. I left work to go for rest, realization, and restoration, which is much needed doing the kind of work I do. I arrived at the motel to rest, but the room was not ready, God gave me the strength to be patience until it was ready, but they moved me to another room, to my surprise, this room's air condition unit was not working. They moved me to another room, the third time; I got settle in, but the refrigeration was not working. God blessed me to walk in the Spirit with understanding in my heart, because things was not right due to a fire at the hotel earlier this week. I didn't know that. I was so tired! I got seattle in my room and God reminded me that this is the way He desired me to walk. We must walk in the Spirit daily. Amen.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

BIBLE STUDY: WALKING IN THE SPIRIT: ANSWERS

Questions:  Week # 6

 

1).        Explain watchfulness in the Spirit.

Watchful in the Spirit can be watching for the return of Christ (Matthew 25:13) or watching against sin and temptation (Matthew 26:41; I Corinthians 10:12, 16:13; Colossians 4:2).

2).        What is the three directions of spiritual watchfulness?

The three directions of spiritual watchfulness is upward to God, inward to our spiritual condition, and outward to our environment.

3).        Keeping guard over your own spirit is what?

Keeping guard over your own spirit is to notice the uprising of every disposition, of the trend of your thoughts, of the choice of your will, of your words,  the tones of your voice, and of your manners.

4).        What do Proverbs 4:23 means?

This scripture is talking about keeping our heart with all diligence, with a holy vigilance looking out for the approaches of Satan in multiplied forms, and keeping on the alert for escaping all evil, because this bring opportunities for a godly life and bring honor to God, as well as health for our life spiritually, naturally, and physically too.

5).        Explain quietness of the Spirit.

Quietness means to be still, to be watchful, to seek God with the whole heart. It means to keep our mind stayed on God through His Holy Spirit.  I like this! It means to be so quiet in the spirit we can hear the footsteps of Jesus coming.

6).        What was Paul saying concerning watchfulness in Philippians 1:9-10?

Paul desire that we would walk in spiritual discernment, that is why he made this statement, "that our knowledge and judgment and mental senses may be flooded with holy love that we may be able to discern the things that are excellent. It is to have a mind soaked in Divine grace."
7).        What is the habit of heavenly watchfulness?

It is watchfulness of spirit that fills its vessel with oil and trims its lamp, and keeps ready for that long expected but swiftly hastening hour, when the cry shall ring through the earth, "Behold the Bridegroom cometh, go ye forth to meet Him!" (Matt. 25:6).

8).        What is a watchmen?

It's a person who hears from God and gives warning from Him so the people can be prepared for future events.

9).        What is a key figure of a watchman?

The key figure is the role of the prophecy's job to deliver messages of warning and instruction.

10).      Who was set as watchmen on the wall?

Focusing on the Old Testament prophets helps us understand the full meaning of the symbolism of a watchman, which was the job of a prophet.

11).      If of a watchman does not do his job, what will happen to him?

He would be judged along with the wicked (Ezekiel 3:20-21).

12).      Who is called to be a spiritual watchman?

A spiritual watchman has to be equipped by God to see what others do not see and he has a unique capacity to see when the enemy is invading.

13).      Where has God placed you in your prayer life?

God has placed me to be a prayer warrior. I am always praying even when I am working or driving my car. When I wake up I wake up praying and praising God. I know it's the life God has given me. I can only do it through the Holy Spirit too.

14).      Can you pray a prayer as a watchman (prayer warrior)?

Yes I can! "Father, in the name of Jesus, I thank You for calling me to be a fellow workman, a prayer warrior for Your people, my love ones, and for strangers as well. I commit to pray and not give up. I will stand in the gap for those you have put in my life today, I desire to see the enemy before he do any harm to Your people. I come boldly to the throne of my gracious Father.  There are times I do not know what I ought to pray for.  Holy Spirit, I submit to Your leadership and thank You for interceding for us with groans that words cannot express. Help me to yield to You more in this area. You search hearts and know the mind of the spirit, because You intercede for all saints in accordance with God's will. I pray for peace, protection, and provision be made for all Your people. I pray this in the name of Jesus our Lord. Amen."
15).      What have you learn from reading (Philippians 2- Colossians 4)?

Philippians was Paul's last letter written from Rome while in prison and living in a hired house. Paul wrote this to the Philippians to encourage them to stay in Christ, to walk in love, unity, and humility. He encouraged them to walk in the spirit of joy knowing God is our provider and protector. In Colossians, Paul talked about the mystery of Christ, which is Christ in us as believers, and it's the hope of glory. He exhorted them to be heavenly minded, and strong in faith and prayers, to walk wisely, and in the Spirit. I love it because I know God's Word is powerful. God's Word is so encouraging when it is read. Colossians has a dress code for our everyday life and walk in the Spirit of God. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

BIBLE STUDY: WALKING IN THE SPIRIT: WEEK # 6 PRAYER

Personal 

Lord, thank You for loving me enough to allow me to be perfected through the molding process of fire.  Thank You for having a perfect plan and purpose for my life even if I do not always understand it.  Help me to see Your hand in everything.  Help me to overcome the trials and pains of this life.  Help me to rely on You and reach out for YOUR strength. Help me to cultivate the fruit of longsuffering.  THANK YOU for making available to me as I wait on You and trust you through my struggles.  I love you, Daddy.  Thank You for loving me.  In Jesus' Mighty Name, amen.

Friday, November 20, 2015

BIBLE STUDY: WALKING IN THE SPIRIT: WEEK # 6

Galatians 5:16-23)


Prayer:

"Father, we hear You say, 'I have made you a watchman unto your people.' Father, help us to identify Your activity in our life. Help us to feel the weight of giving a warning when the enemy seems to be so active. When Your people are under the strain and the stress, they need to know what it is that has come against them. Lord, You may have given us unusual insight or You are about to because You are about to set us on the walls of our family afresh or our church or our city and You are stirring in our heart. Father, help us to know it is You and to remember that You have done that in other days, and that You will not let this generation go by without many watchmen. You will not let this generation go without warnings so that we can adjust our lives. "Father, even now You are putting Your hand on many who will make a decision about their life as spiritual watchmen on the walls of Your people or their homes. May You do a great work in our heart, and don't let us ever be afraid to blow the trumpet. So Father, along with the others, I wait for and watch for and expect Your anointing on my life to fulfill such an assignment. "And You have made me aware of what could happen if they never hear the warning. Enable us in these moments of worship to respond to Your invitation which is so critical for the lives of Your people and our families in the days and months that lie before us. We ask it in the Name of Jesus our Lord."         

Study 6            Watching in the Spirit:

Let's Walk:

Scripture Reading:     (Matthew 26:41)

 

I           Watchfulness:

We must be watchful for the coming of Christ because we know not the time of His coming as said in (Matthew 25:13; Luke 12:37; I Thessalonians 5:5, 6; Revelation 3:11; 16:15).

The Watchful Christian:

Scriptural watchfulness has three directions to it--upward to God, inward to our spiritual condition, and outward to our environment. It is to watch for God as David did when he said he watched for God in prayer more than they that watch for the morning (Psa. 130:6). It is to look with patient, loving attention for fresh revelations of the character of God, of new openings of His Word, of clear intimation of His will.  It is also a devout, intelligent outlook for the fulfillment of prophecy, for occasions of Divine intelligence in the affairs of men. It is to keep the telescope of holy vigilance sweeping the heavens of God's grace and providence like the wise men who were on the lookout for the star of Bethlehem. It has been said, "He that notes a special providence will never lack a special providence to note." It is wonderful how people find what they look for, and holy watchfulness toward God will find Him where foolish indifference sees only blank space.
A watchful Christian will keep guard over his own inner spirit. He will notice the uprising of every disposition, of the trend of his thoughts, and of the choice of his will, and of his words, and the tones of his voice, and of his manners. He will not only watch his actions, but under the swift and beautiful guidance of the Holy Spirit he will perceive the very essence and spirit that flow out in the actions and words. This is what the Lord means when saying, "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life" (Prov. 4:23).
Holy vigilance must also guard our environment and be on the lookout for the approaches of Satan in multiplied forms, and keep on the alert for escaping all evil, and doing all the good we can, to see and seize the golden opportunities that an infinite providence brings to us. This is the range of a Bible sentinel. It may seem like a tiresome task, but if the soul is flooded with divine love it will not only be easy but a chosen occupation of the chastened and sanctified intellect.
The condition for watchfulness is that of great quietness of spirit. Flurry of heart, agitation of spirit, or gloomy, despondent foreboding, or terrified feelings of alarm, or a fatigued spirit of legalism that drags itself in the service of God--all unfit a soul for watchfulness.
Quietness of Spirit:
God's watchers in the darkness of this present age need great stillness of spirit, or they will fail to see the things they are appointed to observe. Many Christians are so filled with bustle and noise and hurry and excitement and fret and criticism and scheming and everlasting talkativeness--they cannot detect the gentle voice of God or the soft cooing of the Heavenly dove or the footsteps of the coming King. Neither can they know what is going on in their own hearts.
(Quoted) . . . . "Once I was praying with a congregation, and I was just about to utter a certain word in prayer. But as I was in a calm state of mind, quick as thought the Holy Spirit flashed into my mind that such a word might sound severe or inappropriate, and He gave me another word. He also prompted me to slightly drop and soften the tone of my voice as I led the prayer. Almost immediately I felt a strong sense of God's presence, and when the "Amen" was said, and the congregation arose, I found scores of people had been melted to tears during the prayer. I learned from this that if we are still in our hearts before God and our minds are thoughtful and calm, it is the most favorable condition for receiving gentle intimations from God, and also the best conditions for being channels of grace to others." WOW!
Watchfulness is to become a heavenly habit of mind. It is not an instantaneous blessing like pardon or cleansing. It is a habitual attitude of the mind which we must choose and cultivate. It is that state of the spiritual understanding referred to by Paul (Philippians 1:9-10) where he prays that the love of God may so abound in us that our knowledge and judgment and mental senses may be flooded with holy love that we may be able to discern the things that are excellent. It is to have a mind soaked in Divine grace.
Watching for Jesus to Come:
This habit of Heavenly watchfulness is the attitude of the soul for meeting Jesus when He comes. It is to a real watchful believer that Christ reveals the things concerning His second coming and millennial reign. It is watchfulness of spirit that fills its vessel with oil and trims its lamp, and keeps ready for that long expected but swiftly hastening hour, when the cry shall ring through the earth, "Behold the Bridegroom cometh, go ye forth to meet Him!" (Matt. 25:6).

II         Watchmen:

(II Samuel 18:25; II Kings 9:18; Psalm 127:1; Jeremiah 31:6)

God said to the prophet Ezekiel, "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me" (Ezekiel 3:17).

Here is one of the most intriguing metaphors used by God in all of prophecy. It is repeated in chapter 33 for emphasis, and sets the stage for the prophet's ministry to the divided houses of Judah and Israel.

Just what was the role of a watchman to an ancient city? How does God use the role of a watchman to warn and teach? What does it mean for the work of God today as this world comes to a prophetic crossroads? It's vital you understand the answer to these questions as events grow increasingly tense in a rapidly changing world order.

A key figure:

In the ancient world of agrarian societies, large watchtowers were placed overlooking the fields. There, in the weeks the crops were ripening toward harvest, men would stand watch, guarding the fields from animals or from thieves who would make off with the crops. With the community's basic food stores at stake, the watchman's role was critical to the townspeople. We also find several references in Scripture to a watcher mounting the city walls in times of stress to survey the scene outside the fortifications. He was situated on a spot from which he could monitor the approaches to the town. If a threat appeared, he would sound a warning and the town would shut its gates and prepare for battle.

You can also imagine the watcher standing vigil at other times, observing the daily life of the city. He could see much of the activity in the streets and markets. He knew the people, their work, their habits and their lifestyles. If his position was near the city gate, he could also observe the business of the city transacted by its officials (see Ruth 4:1-12). No wonder God uses this role to illustrate the job of the prophets He sent to comment on society's behavior, as well as to deliver messages of warning and instruction.

Prophets set as watchmen:

Focusing on the Old Testament prophets helps us understand the full meaning of the symbolism of a watchman. There may be more than you have noticed before. We noted at the outset Ezekiel 3:17, where God told the prophet to warn Israel of its sins and His impending punishment, saying, "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me." Notice it is God's message, not Ezekiel's message or any other prophet's message. It is always God's message delivered through the human instrument. The warning comes from God in language phrased to fit the situation and designed to bring people to repentance. Let's keep this point firmly in mind. Continuing: "When I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die,' and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul" (Ezekiel 3:18-19). The prophet had the duty to deliver the sobering message: Unless the citizens of Israel and Judah acknowledged their sins, turned from them, repented and began again to obey God's law, they would die in their sins. Regardless of how individuals responded to the warning, if they heard the message, the prophet had done his job and was no longer responsible. Only if the prophet did not deliver the admonition would he be judged along with the wicked. (Ezekiel 3:20-21) explain another aspect. If a righteous person turned to sin, he would suffer the penalty, but the prophet would also be held liable for not giving him instruction. If the prophet gave adequate warning, instruction and positive teaching, the righteous could understand the consequences of turning from the right path. This could help motivate him to stay firm to the faith, a choice that would vindicate the prophet's work. You get the sense here that a part of the prophet's message was showing the people how to live and maintain their faith. It was not just a strident message focused only on pointing out their problems. If the goal is to get people to turn back to the Word of God, then the message must also show the benefits of doing so. It must show the positive better way of life God desires His people to live.

III        Spiritual Watchmen:

(Isaiah 62:6; Jeremiah 6:17; Ezekiel 3:17; Hebrews 13:17)

Every believer is called to be a spiritual watchman to some degree in his or her prayer life. It may be a watchman upon the walls of your family, or the walls of your church or your city, or God may entrust you with being a spiritual watchman on the walls of the nation. Some may have a more advanced calling in this aspect of their prayer life.
A spiritual watchman is one who has been uniquely equipped by God to see. In Matthew 13 God says that every believer has been given eyes to see and ears to hear. But a watchman has to be equipped by God to see what others do not see and he has a unique capacity to see when the enemy is invading. The enemy comes disguised, but a spiritual watchman is very alert and blows the trumpet and gives a sound so that family members can be quickly warned and not destroyed. Or he may be given spiritual eyes to see something that is happening in the life of the church. The watchman suddenly realizes that something has come in and there is turmoil and dissension and conflict.
A watchman doesn't just see and observe or hear. A watchman blows the trumpet. The watchman sounds the note: the enemy is approaching! or the enemy has slipped in! In history, the watchman on the walls carried with him the safety of the entire city. The city could sleep at night knowing the watchman was on the wall. If they, with the uniqueness of their sight and hearing, noticed that the enemy was creeping up to the wall, they could blow the trumpet, or the Scripture in Joel says, "lift up the ram's horn" and let the sound go out and give the warning so the people could ready themselves and not be taken unawares
.

 What About Your Role?

When you go to pray, God may lift you up to a level that you've never been before, and He will say to you, "I've set you as a watchman," and He will tell you what the parameters are of your assignment. Are you watching over your grandchildren? Are you watching over your church family? Are you watching over your city or the group of churches that make up your denomination in the city? Where has God placed you in your prayer life? This conference theme is "Praying for a Change." I believe one of those moments when God initiates a change is when He calls you and me to be a watchman on the walls of His people somewhere. Do not take that lightly.  The enemy will come, but God wants someone to blow the trumpet. Have you said, "I'm too old," or "Nobody will listen to me"? They may not listen to you, but they may listen to the trumpet sound. When you blow the warning, then they may listen. My prayer is that you will never again be a watchman on the walls of God's family and see the enemy come and fail to blow the trumpet or sound the alarm. You must sound the alarm or they will never know that they ought to take warning or that there is an enemy. God may give you an insight that they do not have. The Bible simply says that God places watchmen on the walls of His people. Would you let God assign you? Would you open your heart to God to be a spiritual watchman to hear and see what others may not, and will you say to God, "Whatever You show me that is putting Your people in any danger, Lord, give me the spiritual boldness and courage to put the trumpet to my lips and blow the warning so that nobody will be where the enemy is destroying and not realize what is going on and that we need to pay attention.  (Quoted) . . . " My dad was a deacon all my life. He was a businessman and a very committed Christian. He probably influenced me as much as anyone. In the front of my Bible I have a picture of my dad in his typical hat and suit holding my hand as a little 11-year-old boy, walking down the street. That is a symbol to me of how God gave me a precious father who held my hand through the growing times and put in my heart what God would be saying to me. He was a spiritual watchman for my life and he warned me and shared with me. Part of what I am today is because he was faithful to warn.  Again and again I make my way to an altar. God raises new things in my life and He wants to meet me for these things as well.  I pray, "God, You've laid on my heart some things I've not thought about but I have now, and I want You to know that here's my life. Do with me whatever You choose and, Lord, I'm willing to let You do it in the midst of Your people because You are deeply concerned about every level of what's happening to my people and every aspect of their life. If you call me to be a watchman for the children or the youth or the college students or the senior adults in my church or my city or even to a larger fellowship of Your people, Lord, I want You to know I will be that watchman and I will blow that trumpet as You enable me in this Your assignment to my life." The life and destiny of God's people may well rest in your faithfulness to be a spiritual watchman, especially when you pray. Let's pray together and personally respond to God.
Questions:

 

1).        Explain watchfulness in the Spirit.

2).        What is the three directions of spiritual watchfulness?        

3).        Keeping guard over your own spirit is what?

4).        What do Proverbs 4:23 means?

5).        Explain quietness of the Spirit.

6).        What was Paul saying concerning watchfulness in Philippians 1:9-10?

7).        What is the habit of heavenly watchfulness?

8).        What is a watchmen?

9).        What is a key figure of a watchman?

10).      Who was set as watchmen on the wall?

11).      If a watchman does not do his job, what will happen to him?

12).      Who is called to be a spiritual watchman?

13).      Where has God placed you in your prayer life?

14).      Can you pray a prayer as a watchman (prayer warrior)?

15).      What have you learn from reading Philippians 2- Colossians 2?

 

Exercise:         Week # 6         Walking in the Spirit today:

What did you do to know you were walking in the Spirit today?

Extra: Patience (Longsuffering)

I choose patience . . . I will overlook the inconveniences of the world. Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I'll invite him to do so. Rather than complain that the wait is too long, I will thank God for a moment to pray. Instead of clinching my fist at new assignment, I will face them with joy and courage.

 Personal Prayer:

Lord, thank You for loving me enough to allow me to be perfected through the molding process of fire.  Thank You for having a perfect plan and purpose for my life even if I do not always understand it.  Help me to see Your hand in everything.  Help me to overcome the trials and pains of this life.  Help me to rely on You and reach out for YOUR strength. Help me to cultivate the fruit of longsuffering.  THANK YOU for making available to me as I wait on You and trust you through my struggles.  I love you, Daddy.  Thank You for loving me.  In Jesus' Mighty Name, amen.

 

Weekly Reading:        Week # 6         (I Thessalonians 1-II Thessalonians 2) Monday through Sunday

Thursday, November 19, 2015

READING ASSIGNMENT: WEEK # 5

Weekly Reading:        Week # 5         (Philippians 2- Colossians 2) Monday through Sunday

I am still finishing up on the reading assignment.

BIBLE STUDY: WALKING IN THE SPIRIT: WEEK # 5 SHARING

Bearing fruit in witnessing and bearing fruit in spiritual growth

 

We bear fruits when we witness to others and they become believers. We can also bear fruits in our lives as we learn and grow from spiritual knowledge. When my life produces fruit from walking in the Spirit, I am a witness to others.

 

As fruit is unique to each tree, our fruit is unique to us. God knows what He has entrusted to each of us and what He expects us to do with it (Luke 12:48). Our responsibility before God is to be "faithful with little" so that He can trust us with much (Matthew 25:21). This is a fruit life in bearing others for the Kingdom.

 

The Christian life is a battle in the sinful flesh against the new nature given by Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). As fallen human beings, we are still trapped in a body that desires sinful things (Romans 7:14-25). As Christians, we have the Holy Spirit producing His fruit in us and we have the Holy Spirit's power available to conquer the acts of the sinful nature (2 Corinthians 5:17Philippians 4:13).

BIBLE STUDY: WALKING IN THE SPIRIT: EXERCISE

Week # 5         Walking in the Spirit today:
What did you do to know you were walking in the Spirit today?

I must say this, I am always taking inventory of my life and relationship with the Holy Spirit. I have made it a habit to talk with the Holy Spirit, so I can feel secure in my relationship with Him. When I move without His permission, then I sense a warning that I have move without asking Him for guidance. He will let me know, it may not happen right then, but He will. My brother called me about four days ago, and I had all intension to call him back, but thing got so rough on the job, I forgot. This morning the Holy Spirit quicken my spirit to call him. I apologized and he said he understood because of my job. I was so grateful! I thank God for His Holy Spirit within me.

BIBLE STUDY: WALKING IN THE SPIRIT: WEEK # 5

Answers to Questions:


1).        What is effective witnessing in the Spirit?

To be an effective witness for Christ, one must have firsthand knowledge of Him. John the Apostle speaks of this in John 1:1-3; when he says, "That . . . which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at, and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of Life." Today, we who have experienced new life in Christ give an account of His love and forgiveness, both verbally and in the way we live our lives. This is witnessing. To be effective in our witness, we should have a transformed life, a zeal from that transformed life to share with others.

2).        How does the Holy Spirit bears witness to us?

He bears His testimony to us in our renewed minds. He is a Witness for the Lord Jesus by all that is revealed in the Word of God concerning Him. 

3).        How does the Holy Spirit quicken us to witness?

He capacitates the soul to receive a spiritual knowledge of Christ. He shines upon the Scriptures of Truth and into the renewed mind.

4).        Give a Scripture concerning a witnessing spirit, explain it.

I love the story of Saul's conversion and name changed to Paul; through Ananias' witness of the things that God wanted to do in Paul's life, and the experienced he would have later. (Acts 9:1-22) Great witness! Ananias trusted God regardless of what he heard about Saul the persecutor.

5).        Explain the Holy Spirit's office of witness in us

The Holy Spirit takes possession of every quicken soul, dwelling in them as the Spirit of life, of grace, of holiness, of consolation, of glory. He makes us alive in the Lord, so we can witness to the glory of God.

6).        What have we been delivered from?

We have been delivered from dead works. God desires that our lives be good works to the saving of other' soul, which is our witness and walk in the Spirit.

7).        What is happening when the preacher is preaching from the overflow?

"You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses . . ." (Acts 1:8). That overflow comes from the power of the Holy Spirit.

8).        In order to be a successful witness for Christ, we must be a______.

In order to be a successful witness for Christ, we must be a believer and filled with the Holy Spirit and power.

9).        When you walk in the Fruit of the Spirit, are you witnessing to others?

Yes, because we carry about us the sweet fragrance of Christ through love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control

10).      What is the "Pearl of Great Price"?

Eternal life, the incorruptible inheritance, and the love of God through Christ constitute the pearl which, once found, makes further searching unnecessary. Christ fulfills our greatest needs, satisfies our longings, makes us whole and clean before God, calms and quiets our hearts, and gives us hope for the future.

11).      Have you found the "Pearl of Great Price"?

Yes! Thank You, Lord.

12).      What is the heart of the missionary faithful witness?

The missionary heart is part of the fruit of the Spirit of God.

13).      Do you tremble before God because of the millions who have never heard the name of Jesus, Explain.

Yes, and I long to see others saved and living for the Lord, so they can be faithful witnesses for our Lord. I experience a longing to see others coming to the Lord. My heart rejoices in this!

14).      Do you have the fire of God in your soul?

I have the Holy Ghost, therefore I have the fire of God in my soul.

 15).      We are His chosen ____ and He has a chosen ___ for us to labor as witnesses.

We are His chosen vessel and He has a chosen place for us to labor as witnesses. My job is just that!!

16).      Have the Holy Spirit prompt you to become a missionary witness to this lost world?

Yes. We can be missionary witnesses for the Lord right here in our neighborhood, our family, on our jobs, in the grocery stores, at the gas pump, and wheresoever God led us just as Ananias, (Acts 9:1-22).

 17).      What have you learn from reading Ephesians 1-Philippians 1?

When I get the desire and hunger to read God's Word, these books are my heart. Paul had a gift for sure! Paul wrote the book of Ephesians while in Rome, and it was his second missionary journey after conversion. (Ephesians 4:13) is the focus of this book, which concern "unity." Paul desired unity, togetherness, and oneness in the Jews and Gentiles believers. Philippians was a spiritual love letter to the church he had set up there; it contains outbursts of warm affection and gratitude. Paul was under great persecution while in prison, but wrote with a joyful attitude and trust in God to encourage these believers. Paul knew God's strength and experienced His supplying all needs. Philippians 4:13, 19 are good Scriptures in time of needed courage and strength.

Bible Study: The Prayer Jesus Taught His Disciples Week # 1

Matthew 6:5-16 Beginning Prayer:   Father, we enter Your gates with thanksgiving in our hearts, and with...