Tag: approach

A Key Approach to Lasting Joy

Do you know how to apply what the Bible teaches? Do you know where to find the help to bring joy and happiness into your life and that of those around you? If you do, your life will be filled with radiant and lasting joy.

 

Is true joy and love absent from your life? Do you struggle to face or overcome problems? Most people repeatedly do. It is easy to become discouraged, even depressed when we are bombarded with trials and problems and we fail to conquer them.

 

It is easy to be down when our efforts do not yield results. Could it be that our efforts are misdirected? Could it be our attempts are purely physical? The Bible calls such an approach “the works of the flesh.” While our intentions may be right, this approach lacks the power to really triumph.

 

At times, even true Christians struggle to find real joy. Some can put on a great face at Church services while at home problems are boiling! Some homes are divided: A young persons turns 18 and wants to get out because he has seen hypocrisy within the home; a husband and wife are so divided they contemplate breaking the vows they made to God and to one another; a family has employment or financial problems leading to undue stress between family members. At times, the tension produced by these problems can get so thick you can cut it with a knife.

 

A common cause may be that some people’s religion is a purely intellectual exercise; they are not truly living it. The Christian life is not merely knowing, but doing (James 1:22; Romans 2:13). Someone convinced only of the arguments of God’s truth will not change.

 

Most people are not successful because they don’t know the way. Do you know the way? If not, how can you be prepared to help teach all mankind?

 

If you are in God’s Church, remember that judgment is now on you (1 Peter 4:17). Note that this verse speaks in terms of obeying the gospel. God considers, or analyzes, all our works (Psalms 33:15). Does God see harmony or division? Does He see His people struggling and giving up or does He see them going to Him relying on Him for help?

 

God’s ministers see all sorts of personal and interpersonal problems people face. They can also see the purpose for these trials as God is perfecting and purifying His people. God’s ministers are called to be helpers of your joy (2 Corinthians 1:24). Godly counsel can go a long way in providing vision, staying power, and drive to tackle the issues at hand. To help your joy, true ministers of Jesus Christ have to show, teach, and expound on the laws of God. Keeping those laws is what makes people happy!

 

Do you practice the way to peace in your own family? Are you able to fight against, and overcome the works of the flesh? How skilled are you in educating people in the way of peace in your own home?

 

CAUSE AND SOLUTION FOR DIVISION.

 

It is natural and easy for human beings to rely on the flesh. When we have a problem, we tend to rely on our own abilities to work out physical solutions.

 

Thinking of all those who have lived and died before the first coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, lets point out the ancient Israelites here momentarily. To the ancient Israelites, God gave His Spiritual Law, as well as civil laws, statutes, and judgments. Before the sacrifice of Christ He also gave “a sacrificial law to remind them of sin and He gave a ceremonial law of physical works; rituals and things to do morning, noon, and night as a previous and temporary substitute for the Holy Spirit. The rituals and ceremonies of ancient Israel were there as a temporary substitute. But the ancient Israelites did not rely on God, even in obeying those physical laws. The physical rituals God instituted would have reminded them continually of the need for their Creator. They ended up rebelling.

 

How often do you solely depend on physical efforts of your own, not drawing on the power of God’s Holy Spirit? When you do not rely on God and the power of His Holy Spirit, It is impossible to overcome your problems. This is particularly true for relational problems within a family. Look at what happened in the Laodicean era (the sixth era) of the Church after one of God’s true servants died: Soon after, the people were not using the Holy Spirit, and family division ensued (Malachi 1:2-1:3). “God is telling us that the main problem is FAMILY DIVISION. This is the main problem Malachi is attacking. HIS MESSAGE IS NOT FOR THE WORLD. IT’S FOR GOD’S DIVIDED CHURCH TODAY, WHICH IS RAPIDLY BECOMING MORE DIVIDED.

 

People might see the Spiritual application of this principle in the Church but fail to see that the Kingdom of God must start in our homes! A family is a miniature type of the Kingdom of God and is the building block of that new civilization.

 

Any time a family fails to apply God’s Law by using God’s power, division becomes the result. The government in our homes must be right (Malachi 4:4-4:6). The husband must be the head of his wife, and Christ must be the Head of the husband (1 Corinthians 11:3). If we don’t honor our head, there will be deep Spiritual division.

 

God hates division! If our personal lives are full of strife and division, we are apart of the majority that is rebelling against God!

 

Some members are unwilling to talk with each other at services. Some seem not to understand that this is even a problem! Oftentimes such division exists between members of a physical family. How can that be in a united body of believers?

 

The Church produces a lot of material: the knowledge is available, but not everyone reads it. Some claim they don’t know where to find it. Others may have God’s Word but fail to apply it. This is where God’s ministers can be of special help. A minister who helps you understand and apply God’s law is a true gift from God.

 

God’s true ministers have to lead the brethren in following God. They must show them more and more how to put God’s knowledge into action, step by step. Real love faces problems and difficulties head on. We must not sweep our problems under the rug. We must address the causes.

 

Family division is a result of a lack of Christ in us. God wants deep unity within His Family! He wants His people to be as unified as He and Christ are (John 17:11). Only through using the Holy Spirit can we have the unity and joy we need. We cannot produce Spiritual fruit on our own: We need God’s help (John 15:4-15:5). The closer we are to God, the more Spiritual fruit we will bear. The more we obey God’s commandments, the more of His love we will receive and exhibit (John 15:7-15:12).

 

In Matthew 25, we see the example of foolish virgins who were kept out of the Kingdom of God because they didn’t have enough oil. Oil here is a symbol of God’s Spirit. We must monitor and ask God to replenish the Holy Spirit we receive from Him, and we must do it every day. Romans 8:14 and 16 say that to be children of God, we must use God’s Spirit.

 

WORKS OF THE FLESH.

 

The Apostle Paul was dealing with Jews in Galatia who insisted that people had to be circumcised. He wrote, “For you were called to freedom, brethren: only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh {anything carnally motivated}, but through love be servants of one another” (Galatians 5:13 Revised Standard Version).

 

The Greek word translated opportunity means a base of operation. When our base of operation is purely carnal instead of purely Spiritual, it always leads to sin. True liberty is freedom from sin. We have been called unto freedom from the curses that come from disobedience.

 

“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another (Galatians 5:14-5:15) because hate is a curse and fruit of vanity that fulfills nobody and it divides, conquers, and devours those who hate. When members of a family or congregation are attacking one another even passively, it affects the entire congregation and the whole body of Christ!

 

Any action that is solely a human effort lacks real love. Paul lists the “works of the flesh” in Galatians 5:19-5:21 referring to physical action, as the Greek word ergon implies; work that is produced through human effort: “Adultery, fornication (sexual vice, impurity-adultery committed by a married person, fornication by a single person), uncleanness (lustful living), lasciviousness (unbridled lust, excess),Idolatry (worship of any false god, even wealth, status, etc), witchcraft (magic, sorcery, dabbling in the occult; the Creek word “pharmacaia” can even mean the use of drugs to try to escape reality), hatred (quarreling, picking fights), variance (strife, seeking to debate and argue), emulations (envious and contentious rivalry, jealousy), wrath (a quick temper, anger that boils up, emotional immaturity), strife (electioneering; putting oneself forward: This is the opposite of God. It’s Satan-inspired. God wants unity! We have to handle divisions His way), seditions (dissentions, divisions, disunion, party spirit), heresies (a body of people following their own way), Envyings (spiteful jealousy, ill will), murders, drunkenness (drinking bouts, intoxication), revellings (carousal), and such like (there are more ways the flesh manifests itself!): of the which i tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things SHALL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD.”

 

These works of the flesh are manifest, because this is the way of human nature. This is the way the world is going, the way on which modern society (man’s entire civilization) is built. Can you see you are harming yourself and others if you practice these things?

 

We all struggle against the works of the flesh to one degree or another, because we are physical. These are the actions we naturally default to if we are not using the Spirit of God. Christians are called to OVERCOME these disqualifying works of the flesh.

 

Society is drunk on these works. Sadly, society can rub off on God’s people if they allow it. People struggle and fail to make any significant Spiritual progress. In some cases, we have two, three or four generations caught in a trap. If you are reaping such curses, challenge yourself to let it stop with you!

 

True Christians must not love the world, because that way is incompatible with the love of God (1 John 2:15). The person who is fulfilling the lust of the flesh is not of God (1 John 2:16). “That is, desires of the flesh, to have things to please the different senses. The sense of sight; the sense of touch and feel, sex; the sense of the exhilaration that you get from alcohol and or drugs.” Lust of the flesh, what is it? Even the taste of food; Many foods that taste good are bad for your health, and people wonder why their health is not good. They don’t think about eating food that’s good for their health and will keep their minds clear and their bodies in good shape. They only think of what tastes good to the palate, lust of the flesh. Brethren, I tell you, were just simply loaded with that and we don’t realize it.

 

That is, desires. Just selfish, self-centered desires of your own flesh, of the five senses. The sense of hearing. Now there’s good music and bad music. And Satan has got bad music going and got so many and especially all of the younger generation today on bad music and its having a very bad effect on their mind and spirit.”

 

WALK AFTER THE SPIRIT

 

Commandment keeping is for our own protection. It is a common sense matter of self preservation. We are not to walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Romans 8:1). As we do so, the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us (Romans 8:4). “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:5-8:8).

 

To be carnally minded is DEATH!

 

All humans struggle with the works of the flesh to some degree or another. It is important to deeply understand that “works of the flesh” just refers to any physical action. In other words, people may not want to sin deliberately but this is how they naturally act. If we don’t employ the power of God’s Holy Spirit, THESE ARE THE ACTIONS WE DEFAULT TO.

 

We MUST USE GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT TO OVERCOME OUR PROBLEMS! If we don’t, we will always struggle. Anyone who is not growing spiritually should truly ask themselves whether they are drawing on God’s help as they can and should. So many of the problems people face are being battled only with human will and human effort. If a person has been struggling with something for years, they should question their approach.

 

There is a war on wills and a lack of progress indicates a lack of depth in one’s Spiritual understanding.  The person in a health trial may try diligently juicing and dieting, but is he or she more importantly really looking to God for healing? How about you? Do you put your trust in the works of the flesh (anything you can humanly do)? You should do what lies within your power, but put your faith in God! Let your attack of your problems be of the Spirit. When we are motivated by God’s mind of love, our efforts are driven by God’s Spirit, not just our human will. That mindset will see real results.

 

God promises to strengthen, uphold, and help His people (Isaiah 41:10, 13). Don’t have a mere desire for help from God: (I HOPE GOD will help me with this.” Have faith: I KNOW GOD will help me). “This i say then, Walk in the Spirit, AND YE SHALL NOT FULFIL THE LUST OF THE FLESH. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Galatians 5:16-5:17).

 

These verses are both a command and a promise. Walk in the Spirit, being deeply focused on God’s perfect law of liberty and then you won’t be preoccupied with thoughts and works of the flesh. How awesome is that? You will not fulfill the lust, or longing, of the flesh. Why? Because you are overcoming spiritually and are not defaulting back to letting your human nature guild you. The liberty God’s law offers prods us toward perfection.

 

“It Gets down to doing, but IT STARTS WITH AN ATTITUDE OF MIND THAT INSPIRES THE DOING: and then you act on it.” We have to think, and we have to act accordingly to the thinking. And the mind must direct what we do, our actions. And sin is when that action, that thought, conceives into a WRONG action. I’m trying to get down to the biblical definition of sin and just what is sin. It is a spiritual thing.

 

God explains the standards and wants us to live up to them. We don’t have to guess but we do have to act! Even if we only do what is commanded merely on a letter of the law level (a Chapter covered in my book “The Tree of Life, You’re Journey – My Mind”), God considers US UNPROFITABLE servants, whose fate is outer darkness (Luke 17:10; Matthew 25:30).

 

HARVEST OF THE SPIRIT

 

Know that every day you must fight and battle to spiritually grow. Every day presents opportunities for growth. Seek God’s direction in your life, through the Holy Spirit, every day. Heed that direction and be an individual of righteous action!

 

Moffatt’s version translates Galatians 5:22-5:23, which lists the fruit of the Spirit, as “the harvest of the Spirit” and say, “There is no law against those who practise such things.” A harvest is a crop you collect after the seeds have grown over a period of time. We must be sowing and practicing these seeds and fruits of Godliness now! They will not spring into action without first planting them.

 

The world loves the works of the flesh and is miserable because of them. But “they that are Christ’s have crucified the (self) flesh full of it’s affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:24-525). How can we live and walk in the Spirit?

 

“The human will and the human effort is what you use to follow the Holy Spirit, and then use it! But it is the power of God, The Holy Spirit of God, that does the good deeds.” True freedom, peace, and fulfillment come through harvesting the fruits of God’s Spirit through Jesus Christ living in us.

 

Resist the temptation to employ mere human efforts and solutions. Learn to follow and use the Spirit, and you will walk in the Spirit instead of giving into the lust of the flesh!

 

A Healthy Approach to Stress

TheRockYou can turn a harmful burden into a beneficial asset.

You have a big project overdue at work, the water damage under the bathroom sink is getting worse, then your child gets sick. Problems and worries are part of life. Only the dead have no stress!

The question is, how well do you handle your stress?

“There is a lot of stress in war” People have broken down from that stress. But did you know that real fighters almost never get stressed out?”

Proverbs 24:10 says, “If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.” Are you a real fighter? Or is your strength small?

If you are watching, you know that times are getting more stressful and more dangerous.

We must learn to handle stress skillfully.

Realize: Stress is not bad, of itself. We need it in order to perform our best. Stress is just your body responding to a challenge or threat by increasing your capacity for strength, stamina, and alertness. Your heart rate increases, as adrenalin and other hormones are released into your bloodstream to enable you to meet the challenge with enhanced performance.

To do this, though, your body must move resources from elsewhere. It represses your immune system, your digestion, and other functions. Thus, if you are exposed to ongoing high and frequent stress, these functions eventually weaken, and you become vulnerable to viruses, bacteria, and other environmental toxins. This causes you to break down and age prematurely.

How can you survive and even thrive under stress? One important way is to build good health.

Start managing stress by improving your physical health. A healthy body promotes a healthy mind. A clean diet prepares your immune system for stressful times.

Regular exercise is a constructive way to release tension, and it boosts your body’s resilience. Enough sleep is also crucial for handling stress well. Sleep deprivation can quickly destroy your toughness.

Next, consider your mental and emotional health. Stress is not just what happens to you; it’s how you react to it. And how you react is controlled by your mind and emotions. So handling stress requires mastering your emotions.

Don’t take yourself or situations too seriously. See the humor in life. Don’t imagine things to be worse than they are, blowing them out of proportion. Realize that bad things happen: This will help you handle disappointments gracefully. When a stressful situation arises, see it as an opportunity to learn and to test your strength. Also, know your limits: Don’t try to control what you have no control over.

You can also improve your mental health by reducing stressful stimulation. Avoid hopeless music, high-intensity movies, and derogatory humor. Replace those with peaceful, soothing music, or silence; read a thought-provoking book; meditate.

Finally, examine your Spiritual Health.

Realize that sin causes stress and righteousness eliminates it. A lot of the wrong kinds of stress come from preoccupation with self. Much stress springs from vanity—self-love, self-concern. Self-pity is sin! When you are stressed, you need to put that out and get your mind on Christ and on other people. Take care of your relationships with family.

Maintain a right Spiritual Perspective. Know God is in charge. Remember His miracles, and how He delivers the righteous from trial. In Matthew 11, Christ said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. … My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Soldiers say that you don’t rise to the occasion in combat, you sink to the level of your training. Stay in constant Spiritual Training! Always keep God first, especially in tough times.

The Apostle Paul set a great example here. At the end of his life, he was confined to prison; a very stressful circumstance. But in those bleak conditions, he wrote 2 Timothy, probably his most inspiring epistle!

He wrote that all the people in the Church had left him but, he said, “the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me.”

In the same letter, Paul told Timothy, “You therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” Paul was a mighty Spiritual Warrior.

“Winston Churchill told his troops to learn to have smiles on their faces as bullets flew over their heads. … Churchill knew you need calming leadership, or you will make a lot of mistakes in warfare.”

Then he said, “Paul’s actions here demonstrate what you can do if you stay with God. There isn’t any reason for us to be overly stressed.”

Remember, in good times, build your health physical, mental, emotional, and Spiritual. Then, when you are plunged into times of high stress, don’t neglect these things! Take care of your body. That problem you are facing won’t get easier if you lose your health! Keep your thoughts and emotions healthy by overcoming the pulls of the flesh. Don’t turn a challenge into a calamity. And keep your Spiritual Life strong! The crisis won’t go away if you withdraw from God!

With strong physical, mental, emotional, and Spiritual Health, in times of stress, you’ll be better able to thrive.

Take Charge and let God lead the way.