YCCM PART 4 DETAILS

Chapter 24

COMMUNICATION

THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT

 

 

Philippians 2:1-5

 

If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any tenderness and mercies,

2 fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord and of one mind.

3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem the other better than himself.

4 Look not every man to his own things, but every man also to the things of others.

5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus,


Philippians 2:14-15


14 Do all things without murmuring and disputing,

15 that ye may be blameless and unoffending, the sons of God, without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world,

 

 

My Beloved Brothers and Sisters,

 

May this message reach your heart and bring you the peace and fruit of true fellowship with one another through God's Holy Spirit.

We are living in an era where the church lacks accountability to Christ.  Neither are we all like-minded, nor are we all striving to become like-minded.  Although, we find many non-denominational churches and various denominations uniting for worship services from time-to-time, the overall consensus is that it is alright to be divided for now.  We put our faith in God cleaning up our act later on.

 

Yet, in Revelation, we find distinct warnings to the churches for having strayed from following Christ; reward for those who endure and punishment for those who do not. Yet, the mind-of- man continues to believe that he and others like him are an exception to the rule.

 

We act as if we have forgotten our first love, Christ.  If this were not true, Satan would not have been so successful in causing division within the church and spreading false doctrine.

 

Pride has taken a front seat in the pews and in the pulpit.  Jesus did not focus on trying to persuade the Pharisee and Sadducee to obey God and stop misleading the people.  He knew that they were blinded by their pride and did not have ears to hear.

He simply told the people not to do as they did, but to obey the laws of God.

 

Surely, we are living in like times, where we cannot approach leaders of most churches and tell them that they are not following Christ for Christ is not divided.  Surely some question, is there a right or wrong way to follow Christ?  Just as everyone has their own interpretation of worship and fellowship, people take a different approach to following Christ.

 

Does God allow this as long as the end result is a connection with Him?  Yet, how does this affect our relationship with God, which is most important?  Do we learn to worship in Spirit and in Truth?  Who is trusting God? Who is right but God?

 

Somewhere along the line, there was a breakdown in communication.  There were no more messengers like Timothy to send to remind the church to be like-minded in Christ.  Division within the church replaced fruitfulness and increase, as defined by the Word of God.

 

Has Satan succeeded in hardening hearts and transforming the church from a living organism into a building of stone?

 

Communication is important to us, as we are Christ's Ambassadors.  Communication is key in diplomacy.  A diplomat acts as an ambassador representing their country.

 

When studying communication, counseling and diplomacy, one learns to listen for the things that are not spoken; the unspoken details.  The things that are not mentioned can be more important and weigh heavier in decision making and analysis than the things a person has said.

 

However, we can't all be analyzers. As communicators, we must be willing and able to ask the hard questions and to answer the hard questions.  We cannot avoid or bury the unwanted or hard questions and still say that we stand for truth. We are not standing.  We are sitting in an easy chair trying to keep the peace to comfort ourselves; trying to protect our feelings and preventing our growth in Christ. We cannot confuse sowing peace with protecting self-interests and self-preservation or the inability to act due to our fear of confrontation.  

 

Peace is achieved through unity, which comes from taking on the mind of Christ, becoming One and walking in the Light.  Peace is achieved through obedience and following the will and way of God.

 

Jesus came bringing true peace--peace that comes from within when one knows and abides in the Truth; peace that comes from being loved by Christ and loving others as He loves us.  Truth brings forth peace as the Word is written upon the hearts of men to love one another and trust in God and His Word.

 

God communicates with us through His Holy Spirit.  When we think of the Holy Spirit, we cannot separate it from God and His Word.  In the beginning, was the Word and the Word was God.  The Holy Spirit, also, is God.  You cannot separate one from the other, nor can we as One with the Triune God, separate ourselves from Him when we communicate with others.  Again, if we are One with God, we cannot separate ourselves from Him when we communicate with our brothers and sisters.

 

Therefore, when we speak, we should speak with the mind of Christ; Speaking always in love and Truth, with the power of the Holy Spirit and meekness.

 

 

When we become born again, our old thinking must be done away with; for it will not sustain the new, just as one cannot pour new wine into an old wineskin, lest the skin perish.  With a renewed mind, we walk differently and talk differently.  There should be a change in the way we treat others and communicate with others because we are One, abiding in God's Holy Spirit.  There is only one Holy Spirit.

 

 

Matthew 9:17


Neither do men put new wine into old wineskins, else the wineskins burst and the wine runneth out and the skins perish. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved." 

 

 

When God is doing something new, He sets it apart to shed old tradition, rituals, practices and religious doctrine.  He asks us to lean not to our own understanding and to wait on Him for instructions.  We must understand that, if we continue to do only that which we know, we will not grow—we will not grow in the knowledge of God and Christ.

 

If we, as leaders and ambassadors, knowingly allow our brothers and sisters to continue in their old thinking and ways, without trying to lead them into the newness of Christ-like thinking, we will be held accountable, for we are our brother's keeper.  We stand in the way of their growth.  They cannot grow if they have not been informed.

 

Romans 10: 14


“How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they  believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” 

 

 

Jesus' teachings conflicted with what the Jews had been taught and practiced since childhood and for centuries.  When we are comfortable with something, we are reluctant and resistant to change.  However, if Jesus had not opened the eyes of many, would they have found Truth?

 

Many believed Jesus, but later rejected God's Word, because they simply could not let go of their old thinking, which was attached to the world, as they knew it.  Regardless of the outcome, we must speak Truth and leave it to God's Holy Spirit to enlighten, convict and transform, so that others may live in the fullness of God's Glory.

 

That which is left undone or uncorrected, in our past, may become a stumbling block in our present and future.

 

God needs Watchman who are alert at their post; Soldiers, with love and compassion, who are not afraid to fight—not only for themselves, but for their brethren; and Ambassadors who will truly Stand up for Jesus Christ to bring true peace!

 

 

QUESTIONS

 

When something or someone is new to us, we have questions.  God expects us to ask questions; for it is the nature of man. God wants us to ask the hard questions.  His Holy Spirit within us can comfort us, guide us, give us assurance, correction and understanding.  Because there is one Holy Spirit, we can rely on this same spirit to guide us in communicating with our neighbor.  We cannot be afraid to ask the hard questions, nor correct one another in love; for the Word is given to us:

 

2nd Timothy 3: 16, 17

 

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

17 that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly equipped for all good works.

 

Somewhere along the line, the church stopped asking the hard questions.  We laid down the cross, because it was too much of a burden for us to carry, while we were tending to our own affairs.  We were so concerned with our own agenda, survival and infrastructure that we did not put the true gospel first.  Therefore, it was lost in our archives, waiting to be discovered once again, perhaps like Hilkiah, the high priest, discovered the Book of the Law, in the House of the Lord, in the days of King Josiah (2nd Kings 22).

 

Churches are filled with unsaved, unhealthy and unholy people with no accountability, because people are afraid to ask questions that might be difficult, uncomfortable, embarrassing and confrontational.  Then, again, why bother to truly look inside someone when you are not prepared to deal with their issues and bondage, or you're simply not going to take time to deal with it, because your own agenda is more important?

 

In the past, the five-fold ministry (apostles, prophets, evangelists, preachers, teachers) which is responsible for equipping the saints, was eliminated from the structure of most churches.  Everyone had their own interpretation of whether or not it still existed and/or how it should be used within the church.

 

God blesses and increases that which will be fruitful.  God will not approve or add to anything that will not be fruitful.  The reason all five-fold ministries are not present within most churches is because it will not be fruitful.  God will only approve a relationship or union that will be fruitful.

 

Today, we see so much of the counterfeit; false apostles, prophets, evangelists, preachers, teachers who revel in self-glorification, exploiting God's people for their own benefit. The question is, “Is the church ready for the five-fold ministry?”  Can it commit to the True Gospel?

 

You cannot have commitment without accountability.  Churches have been more concerned with the outer person than the inner person.  That is why people aren't growing in Christ.  There is more concern with what people can do to help the church instead of what the church can do to help them improve their lives and walk with God in holiness and righteousness.

 

Members are allowed to slander and abuse others because of their loyalty and contributions to the church.  Many churches are operating like businesses, clubs, fraternities and secret societies who use covert tactics to admit, exclude and advance members.

 

Membership, monetary gain and building construction has become more important than discipleship and using God's gifts to strengthen the Body and help those in need.  This is not leading people to follow Christ and abide in God's Holy Spirit; nor is it communication and fellowship.

 

1st Corinthians 12: 12-14

 

12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.

13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we are Jews or Gentiles, whether we are bond or free, and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

14 For the body is not one member, but many.

 

 

We must first get to know the heart of others; for without a change of heart, all else is in vain.  There can be no growth—no commitment to the Gospel, the Body of Christ, or the institutional church.  The church becomes a den of vipers and wolves in sheep's clothing.  We must not be afraid to get involved with people's lives; for if one member of the Body is afflicted, the others suffer, also.

 

1st Corinthians 12: 26, 27

 

26And whenever one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or when one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

27Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

 

Jesus, Our Chief Shepherd, was not afraid to ask the hard questions and He was not afraid to tell and hear the truth; for there is no fear in God.  His questions were intended to open up the heart, the ears, and the mind, to stir the spirit to receive Truth and prepare for transformation.  He did not ask out of suspicion, accusation, pride or malice.  His questions were not self-serving.  He was not seeking to harm, slander or spread gossip.  He spoke and questioned in love.  He spoke openly with the power of God, yet in the spirit of meekness.  He spoke from an open heart.

 

Paul spoke to the church of Corinth concerning their correction:

 

1st Corinthians 4:14-17

 

14 I write these things not to shame you, but to warn you as my beloved sons.

15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet ye have not many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the Gospel.

16 Therefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.

17 For this cause I have sent unto you Timothy,who is my beloved son and faithful in the Lord, who shall put you in remembrance of my ways which are in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church.

 

 

BE OPENED!

 

One cannot expect others to be committed to a cause they are not committed to themselves.  Only an open heart can accept the heart of Christ.  If we are to lead others to Christ, we must be open.  As Jesus said,"Ephphatha," that is, "Be opened." (Mark 7:34)

 

The heart of a shepherd must be open, his ears ready to truly listen to others and his hand ready to correct.  He cannot be afraid to ask the hard questions that examine the heart; for if he truly loves his sheep, he is interested in them and what is needed to help them live abundantly and become like Christ.  He speaks to them in love always.  Therefore, he has no contempt, fear or malice.  He is not in competition with them.  He believes in them knowing that their only limitation is their lack of belief in themselves and faith in God; for God can do all things for them and through them; for we cannot limit the power of God, or say who and how He will bless, or predict how he will operate.

 

Our Father has an intimate relationship with us—not in the carnal sense, but through His divine spiritual presence, which permeates our lives to love and care for us.  He knows our thoughts, feelings and every detail of our lives.

 

Without intimacy, there is a lack of understanding and ability to effectively communicate to the heart, which is the circuit for accountability and commitment. 

 

Churchgoers often base commitment on who shows up for Bible Study and Sunday morning service.  Those who show up on Sunday service and Bible Study are not always the faithful.  Many are status seekers, power seekers, attention seekers, Satan's agitators and cohorts to sow discord and keep others from coming.

 

If the shepherd doesn't have an intimate relationship with his flock, then these people rule the church.  There will never be unity and no one is going to commit to something that is not beneficial to them or fruitful, neither will God add increase.  The faithful are those who keep their eyes on Jesus and obey God, walking in His Light, submitting to His Will and Way.

 

1st John 1:4 -7

 

4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

5 This then is the message which we have heard from Him and declare unto you: that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.

6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.

7 But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.

 

 

The sheep look to the shepherd to guide them in God's Will and Way, therefore fellowship and communication are very important.  If the shepherd has walls and barriers up in front of him, the sheep cannot see where to go.

 

When we have barriers and pride up as a wall, we cannot receive from God, thus we err. If the shepherd takes his eyes off of Jesus or has not overcome weaknesses and temptations, then the sheep might also be led astray.

 

They watch him closely—how he treats and responds to others and they may follow his example.  He cannot  mistreat others, nor be partial to one or show favoritism over another, lest he inflict hurt, pain, sow contempt, jealousy and division.

 

His eyes must be open as well as his ears and heart to assess the well-being of his flock.  He must never forget that the sheep belong to the Master and he is held accountable for all of their well-being.

 

One sheep is as valuable to the Master as another and equally as loved.  The shepherd cannot care for the sheep based on his feelings or opinions of them.  He must be endowed with God's wisdom through His Holy Spirit.

 

God is Truth and knowledge of the Truth requires humility.  The humbleness of Christ conquered the world.  God resists the proud and blesses the humble.  Humbleness is not to be mistaken with vulnerability and gullibility.  Being humble does not make you vulnerable or gullible to the lies, deceit and mistreatment of others. People are afraid of being vulnerable and gullible, so they don't allow others to get too close to them or allow them to know too much about them.

 

If you are afraid of people being in your life and what you deem as your business, you in turn are afraid to truly be intimate with others.  You constantly question the motives of others and rely on hear-say.  These feelings are based on pride and not trusting God.  This is worldly thinking that has not been made perfect in love.  We cannot operate like the world lest we become like the world.

 

Humbleness does not make you vulnerable.  It opens your heart to receive the Truth--to receive God.

 

How can we communicate when we have set up so many walls and barriers for one another?  As members of the Body of Christ, we must put away our pride, insecurities, pain, doubt, titles and personal agenda and give honor and glory to Him alone who is worthy.

 

A title is not who you are.  It is how God uses you; for you are nothing without God.  The Lord can use you in any capacity he chooses if you are willing.  He can endow you with one or many gifts.  We cannot limit the power of God.

 

How can we communicate when we give honor to titles, wealth, and status and not God?  A title cannot make you holy or righteous.

 

There is an overwhelming number of believers in the church today standing behind a title.  No one is worthy of a title but God.  Jesus did not send titles.  He sent gifts to be used as the Holy Spirit, God, saw fit to use them.  These gifts are not for us to covet and use to elevate ourselves and appease man; nor to laud over our brother and demand his respect and submission; not to put ourselves on pedestals and lift ourselves up, but to lift up Christ and edify the Body of Christ.

 

When we look for a title to lift us up and open doors for us, where are we placing God?  Who are we trying to appease and impress?  Who are we lifting up? Where are we placing our faith?

 

It is said that a gift makes room for itself, then, we should let the gift speak, led by the power of God's Holy Spirit.

 

One day, this flesh will be no more.  We will be alone.  It will be us and God.  Can our title then open up the gates of Heaven for us? 

 

Are we being like Paul and placing ourselves in bondage and our neck in the hangman's noose because of our sense of entitlement?  Are we going where we want to go and not where God wants us to go?

 

We can be in the right place for help—a church or hospital, but still no one can help us but God.  God opens doors in our lives.  It is He, alone, we should look to to open and shut doors in our lives.

 

We study to show ourselves approved.  If it be His will, we may go on to higher education and earn a degree or certificate, through the help of God, to enhance—add to--that which God has already given to us.  And, with the title that man bestows upon us must come humility which God requires of us—in that we are nothing without Him.

 

Oh son of man you have turned your ears away from hearing and turned your heart to the world.

 

Lord, teach us to truly listen to our brother's heart; to share in his suffering and help supply his needs.  Teach us to communicate because of the love we have for one another.  Help us to live in righteousness.  Make us Holy and wholly Thine.

 

 

THE HEART OF MAN

(HOLINESS)

 

God communicates with us very directly and decisively.  He is not timid, wish-washy, apologetic or unclear as to his motives and his intentions.  He is God and He is Holy.  He lives in a Kingdom that is Holy.

 

But, how do we on Earth remain holy when we must live with or within that which is unholy?  Holiness is within the heart—a heart washed in the blood of Jesus and perfected in the love of God.  The mind will follow the heart and bring the body into agreement.

 

Yes we are to refrain from sins of the flesh and the world, but that alone does not make one holy. To be holy you must also allow God's perfect love to cast out fear and pride so that you are not afraid to love and communicate, be it man or woman, rich man or poor man, saint or sinner. You are not afraid to speak truth to them because you know that God loves them as much as He loves you. Speaking truth shows that you truly love them.

 

A heart filled with fear, pride, self-preservation, hidden agendas, suspicion, accusations is not a loving heart, neither is it holy, neither can it communicate and reach the hearts of others.

 

We must do unto others as we would have done to us. I may feel that you are not good enough for me. Therefore,  I set up limitations and boundaries in our relationship. Yet, I claim to live a life of holiness.  I may have fooled myself, but I cannot fool God.

 

The Bible tells us to speak always in love. If my heart is hardened against you in judgment because you do not meet my expectations, then my speech will be tainted. Perhaps I don't like how you look or dress. In my heart, I covet these feelings. Then, regardless of my words, my speech is tainted with unholiness and unrighteousness. How can I say that I love my brother? How can I be holy?

 

Is there no wonder that relationships and marriages fail when they are not built on holiness, but instead, selfish-desire and selfish-expectations?

 

Without holiness, communication within the relationship becomes tainted with darkness.  Man and woman enter into holy matrimony through the sanctitude of God.  However, for the marriage to be holy, the man and woman must first be holy and only God can make one holy.

 

My brothers and sisters,  God is asking a far greater thing from us than a handshake with holiness. He is telling us that we must be joined with Him as One to be Holy.  Nothing and no one can make and keep us holy--Only God- -for He is holiness. 

 

God is asking a far greater thing than just to project an illusion of a holy life.  He is telling us that to be holy your heart must be transformed into holiness, able to see past the flesh. A born-again heart sees a different kind of love and beauty that surpasses all others. A born-again heart communicates freely with the world and people around it--in love, because it is compelled by holiness.

 

The spirit of discernment is blocked when we allow ill-feelings and judgments to effect how we treat and speak to our neighbor. When we try to discern their motives to justify our feelings of insecurity and allegations to prove ourselves right and to maintain our own agendas, where is the holiness in this?  Where is the righteousness?  Where is the love? Who is right but the Lord?

 

Yes,  God is asking far more of us in being holy. He is asking for holiness that not only looks like holiness but feels like holiness; taste like holiness; sounds like holiness; and smells like holiness—a sweet aroma to the Lord.

 

My brothers and sisters, before we can truly love one another as Christ loves us, we must rid ourselves of the stone in our hand we would throw at our brother or sister and first look at the sin in our own hearts.

 

While we covertly plan to catch others doing wrong, we are caught acting wrongly ourselves.  People who act in this way have something to hide, themselves.  Love reaches out openly to those who are on the wrong path.  Believers must stop using the tactics and evasiveness (untruthfulness) of the world, which only leads to confusion, hurt and chaos.  Let us speak in love, boldly and openly.

 

Can you help someone who doesn't know they need help?  Yes, it is different from trying to help someone who doesn't want help. You help by opening the doors of communication.

 

This is what God's Holy Spirit does with us. God helps us by focusing on our thoughts and what is in our heart.  He is always listening, whereby, He comes to know us.  We cannot come to know others if we do not listen to them.  Communication is a two-way street.  An effective and caring communicator knows that being a good listener is just as important as talking and does not monopolize a conversation.  A Christ-like mind learns to focus on others with sincerity because it is led by the loving heart of Christ.

 

As Christ's followers,  we should imitate our Father. God knows that behind every action is a thought that leads to our hearts. He made us and He knows how we function. That is why He pursues our hearts.  If men were given power to judge and condemn others by their actions, there would probably not be a man alive. If we are to edify and exhort one another, we must show true love and interest in one another.

 

When we are filled with the love of God, we are compelled by His love to pursue the hearts of others in order to help them change their actions. Intimidation, suspicion, insinuations and even unspoken accusations are not the holy works of God nor do they show His love. These are cowardly acts of the enemy. Do not let the enemy confuse you and convince you that you will hurt instead of help.  Trust God.  Trust His Holy Spirit.  Follow through on your actions.  Help and guide people through their feelings.

 

If we are to move toward showing our brother true holiness and God's love, we must learn to communicate with him as God communicates with us. We must speak in truth and love pursuing his heart to show that we are truly concerned for THEIR well-being and not just our own. Our intentions must be to strengthen and edify, to bestow love upon our brother with peace and understanding. 

 

We must be Holy; holiness that elevates us above self, pride and vanity; holiness that opens our hearts to God's will and not our own; holiness that supersedes all our wants and desires, protocols and traditions; holiness that sets us on the realm of Christ, who sacrificed all.

 

When we set out to expose, tear down and eliminate our brother, in doing so, we have eliminated ourselves from holiness, righteousness and the Kingdom of God. Too often we hide behind the facade of not wanting to hurt others feelings when it is our own feelings and ill-will we are hiding.

 

Believers today have taken on the communication skills of the world and enemy, weaving and dodging, conniving and plotting. The tongue of holiness speaks from a holy and loving heart. Its words follow a straight path to reach the hearts of others.

 

Men who fear the conniving and plots of others connive and create plots of their own thereby setting a trap for themselves. Holiness fears no evil for it is set high above the reach of the hand of darkness and knows that the darkness cannot touch it. Therefore, God's plan for your life cannot be thwarted.

 

When man fears, man fears things that will interfere with his plans and desires. He often builds up a wall that keeps out the blessings of God. His heart is open only to his desires and cannot receive the will of God.

 

Acts 6:8-15

 

8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.

9 Then there arose certain from the synagogue which is called the Synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and those of Cilicia and of Asia, and they disputed with Stephen.

10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke.

11 Then they suborned men who said, "We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God."

12 And they stirred up the people and the elders and the scribes, and came upon him and caught him, and brought him to the council.

13 And they set up false witnesses who said, "This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place and the law;

14 for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered to us."

15 And all who sat on the council, looking steadfastly on him, saw his face as though it  were the face of an angel.

 

 

We have heard men make vain, long speeches, filled with pride and vanity to defend their feelings, positions and opinions,  leaving out the most important word--and that is love--love born of the Spirit. For love is not puffed up nor does it have reason to defend its value and worth.  It has no opinion or preference of its own.

 

Is it no wonder that we do not reach the hearts of men when our own words speak the prejudice and hardness of our hearts?

 

The sheep hear the voice of the shepherd.  A voice of love.  It is not our place to judge the hearts of men, nor to condemn them, but to meet others with unconditional love that we may communicate that love that pierces through darkness to reach the hearts of others with words that bring forth reconciliation, true repentance and restoration through He who has created the thread and fabric of life--the maker of all things new. So will His love restore and renew that which is broken; that which has been neglected, abused and misused.

 

When born of love, communication is not an art or skill or strategy: It is beyond language; It is like a baby's smile that penetrates and softens the heart; It is pure and undefiled; It is like music that opens up the imagination, calms the soul, stirs and heals the heart.

 

As we communicate, we must remember that it is not about trying to prove that we are right or better.  We are not trying to change people through selfish desires. We are not criticizing, judging or condemning.  We are planting a seed for the Holy Spirit to grow.

 

Trust the Holy Spirit to help you communicate with  people.  God will tell you when it is right to speak and what you should say.

 

As we wear the armour of God, we walk boldly.  We are prepared to do His will and bear His fruit. We are shielded from darkness, but filled with the Light that we may help cast out darkness in others.

 

We must also speak boldly.  We must listen and ask our Father, what would you have me to do?  What would you have me say to someone today that I may open up their heart that they might receive You and Your blessings? 

 

Abba Father, we pray that every mouth will be opened to speak boldly, in the name of Jesus, to profess Him as Your only begotten son,  King of Kings, and Lord of Lords; to proclaim the Good News; lifting up the name of Jesus to draw all men unto Thee; to communicate openly in love with our neighbor in fellowship; and to strengthen the Body of Christ.  We give You All Glory, Honor and Praise! Amen.

 

By the Grace and Mercy of God,

your servant,

Mishael

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SELF REFLECTION: A Look in the Mirror

 

Once again, when we look at Jesus' parables, He is challenging us to examine where our heart lies. Closely examining your heart, answer the questions below.

 

DISCUSS your answers with a mature Believer who can guide you in your spiritual relationship with Jesus and our Father, and/or have group discussions to learn from those who have different experiences and perspectives.

 

QUESTIONS: Write down your questions and discuss them with a mature Believer or submit them to this blog.

 

 

  1. In today's fast-paced world, we have learned to do things quickly, sometimes without giving it much thought. This behavior carries over into our method of communicating with people. We don't take the time to allow God's Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us in our conversations and end up saying things we can't take back. How often do you ask the Holy Spirit to help you communicate in your relationships? 
  2. When someone tries to lead you into an argument, do you acknowledge the presence of God before you speak or do you speak out of self to retaliate and strike back? 
  3. Do you feel you are entitled to speak your mind and defend yourself? 
  4. Where does your pride lead you when you speak out of self? Where does it lead the conversation? 
  5. Do you continue to communicate like this because you enjoy hurting people or has it become a habit that you just can't seem to break?
  6. Are there just a few people who you just can't seem to get along with and have a peaceful conversation? Who is at fault? What is in your heart when you are around these people? 
  7. Have you been made perfect in love through Jesus? 
  8. A few of the side-effects of our fast-paced society are stress, anxiety, depression and egocentricism--people focused on themselves because of the pressures and influences around them. Do you suffer from any of these conditions? Do you believe that abiding in Jesus can help alleviate your struggle or heal you?
  9. The answers to our communication problems involve a BREAKING of our will--surrendering all to let Jesus lead us and a humbling of ourselves to allow God to use us in a positive and effective way.  If you truly want to change and break the cycle, will you open up your heart to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit? Will you slow down and take time to communicate from a heart filled with God's love?
  10. Are you afraid to ask the hard questions when communicating with others, for fear of embarrassment, hurt, pride, shame, guilt, etc.? Why or why not? 
  11. Do you speak out of love for the other person and a desire that they be saved and accountable to God?
  12. Do you just avoid talking about certain things in your relationships just to keep the peace? Is it true peace? Who gives us true peace? 
  13. Have you allowed a title, degree, status or position in life or within the church to come between you and others, causing communication problems? 
  14. Are you afraid to be open with others or has hardness of heart made you treat some people as threats or enemies? 
  15. Do you feel that you have communication problems or that your relationships could be improved by better communication? Why or why not? 
  16. Are your relationships with others based on love, holiness and righteousness? Does this show in your conversations? Why or why not?
  17. Do you have this same rapport with men, women, Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Asians, other nationalities and races, addicts, prostitutes, ex-convicts, rich people, poor people, homosexuals, young people, old people and those who belong to religions? 
  18. Why do you think the adversary has been so successful in dividing and segregating our churches and keeping them divided?
  19. Are the things that divide us commanded by God?
  20. If  there was a break down in communication long ago and we stopped following the mind of Christ, knowing this, why do people continue being divided?
  21. Does being divided prove our love for one another? Does it prove our love for God by obeying Him to love our neighbor as ourselves? Does this help to show hypocrisy in division and in man-made religions? 
  22. Do you belong to a segregated or denominational church? Why or why not? Should we try to please God or man?
  23. Is the Five-fold ministry active and healthy at your church (Ephesians 4)? Why or why not? Should we try to please God or man?
  24. Wearing the Armour of God is not to aid you in attacking flesh out of anger, malice and vindictiveness. If this is your intent or the result of your conversation, then you are not wearing the Armour of God, but, acting out of self.  Were you wearing the Armour of God in your last argument or heated discussion? What should you have done? 
  25. When you converse with someone who has differing opinions that you feel or know do not line up to the Word of God, are you more interested in proving yourself right or planting a seed for God's Holy Spirit to grow within the person? Who are you wanting to please? 
  26. Any conversation or discussion where there are unresolved problems and difficult decisions should begin and end with prayer, relying on the guidance of the Holy Spirit throughout the conversation. Begin to implement this into your relationships. If the other person(s) will pray with you, know that God is in the midst.  You are joining together to fight the darkness that would cause strife and division. If they won't join you, do not let it hinder or discourage you. Continue to pray for them.
  27. A common mistake we all make in our relationships, conversations, arguments and discussions, is judging or belittling people; making others feel inadequate, guilty, ashamed and wrong. This takes the blame off of us for any wrong doing in the relationship or conversation, but we are being used by darkness to destroy the relationship. How can this be avoided? 
  28. Do you want the heart and mind of Christ? Will you surrender to God's Will and Way today? If you have not been born again, will you give your life to God right now and invite His Spirit in? Who do you want to please? 

 

 

 

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REFERENCED SCRIPTURE 

 

Philippians 2:1-18

 

If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any tenderness and mercies,

2 fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord and of one mind.

3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem the other better than himself.

4 Look not every man to his own things, but every man also to the things of others.

5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus,

6 who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God,

7 but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.

8 And being found in the fashion of a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death--even the death of the cross.

9 Therefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name,

10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in Heaven and things on earth and things under the earth,

11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

12 Therefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

13 For it is God who worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure.

14 Do all things without murmuring and disputing,

15 that ye may be blameless and unoffending, the sons of God, without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world,

16 holding forth the Word of Life, that I may rejoice in the Day of Christ that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.

17 Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am joyful and rejoice with you all.

18 For the same cause also be ye joyful, and rejoice with me.


1st Corinthians 12: 4-14

 

4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God who worketh all in all.

7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit thereby:

8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

9 to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

10 to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues.

11 But all of these that one and the selfsame Spirit worketh, apportioning to every man individually as He will.

12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.

13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we are Jews or Gentiles, whether we are bond or free, and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

14 For the body is not one member, but many.

 

1st Corinthians 12: 4-14

 

4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God who worketh all in all.

7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit thereby:

8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

9 to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

10 to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues.

11 But all of these that one and the selfsame Spirit worketh, apportioning to every man individually as He will.

12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.

13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we are Jews or Gentiles, whether we are bond or free, and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

14 For the body is not one member, but many.

 

Ephesians 4:11-18

 

11 And He gave some to be apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,

12 for the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the body of Christ,

13 until we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

14 that we henceforth be no longer children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men and their cunning and craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

15 but speaking the truth in love, may grow up

into Him in all things, who is the Head, even Christ,

16 from whom the whole body, fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,

18 having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them because of the blindness of their heart.

 

 

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