PURSUIT of FREEDOM Treasure Chest - Semester THREE Has Begun
Top Ten Study Techniques
TOP 10 STUDY TIPS
Study isn't just for the night before an assignment's due or the night before an exam. It's never too early - or too late - to develop good study habits. The sooner you get into a good study groove, the easier everything will be and the more your chances of getting good marks will improve.
Here are our top tips for getting the most out of study. Click each link for more about each tip:
> 1. Pick a place and time
> 2. Study every day
> 3. Plan your time
> 4. Discover your learning style
> 5. Review and revise
> 6. Take breaks
> 7. Ask for help
> 8. Stay motivated
> 9. App it up
> 10. Look after yourself
1. Pick a place and time
Everyone has their own idea about the best place and time to study. Whether it's your bedroom at night or the library after school, find a study space and a regular study time that works for you and stick with it.
Set up your study space - Your study space should be quiet, comfortable and distraction-free. It should make you feel happy and inspired. Decorate it with your favourite pictures or objects. If you want to listen to music or burn incense, pick a space that lets you do that.
Find your best time - Some people work better in the morning. Others work better at night. Work out which time suits you and plan to study then. Don't study much later than your usual bedtime - pushing yourself late at night can make you too tired to study properly.
2. Study every day
If you study a little bit every day you'll be continually reviewing things in your mind. This helps you understand things. It also helps you avoid the stress of last-minute cramming.
Early in the year an hour or two a night might be enough to stay on top of things. Later in the year you might need to study more each day.
If you're finding it hard to find time to study, cut back on some (but not all!) of your other activities. Prioritising study might mean spending less time online, or it might mean cutting back on shifts at work, or giving weekend sport a miss for a while.
3. Plan your time
It helps to have some plans in motion so you can make the most of your study time.
Set alarms - Set alarms to remind you about your study plans. A regular reminder keeps you honest and your plans on track.
Use a wall planner - Stick a calendar or wall planner up so you can see it whenever you're studying. Mark it up with important dates, like exams and assignment due dates. Use it to block out your regular study timetable too.
Make to-do lists - Lists break tasks down into manageable chunks. At the start of the week, make a list of the things that you need to have done by the end of the week. Make a to-do list at the start of each study session too, so that you're clear about what you need to be doing with your time.
Set time limits - Before you start your study session, have a look at your to-do list and give yourself a set time to spend on each task. If you don't get something done in the set time, consider whether it's the best use of your time to keep going with it, or to start working on something else.
4. Discover your learning style
Most of us have a preferred way of learning. Get to know the learning style you're most comfortable with and study in the ways you learn best.
Note that these styles are just a way to think about different studying techniques - they're not hard and fast rules that say you should only study in one way. Try each of these out and see which ways you prefer.
Auditory learners prefer to learn by listening. Try reading your notes aloud and discussing them with other people. You might like to record key points and play them back.
Visual learners prefer to learn by seeing. Try using colours in your notes and draw diagrams to help represent key points. You could try to remember some ideas as images.
Tactile/kinaesthetic learners prefer to learn by doing. Try using techniques like role-playing or building models to revise key points.
5. Review and revise
At least once a week you should go back over the things you've studied in class. Thinking things over can help you to understand the concepts and help you remember when you need them the most.
Quiz yourself - Get a friend or family member to quiz you on key concepts. Offer to help your friends with their work too. Quizzes are great ways to get confident about what you know and find out what you still need to learn.
Make your own study materials - Think up some practice exam questions or create your own flash cards to help you study. This way you learn it all twice: once when you make the study materials and once when you use them to revise.
6. Take breaks
It's important to take breaks while you're studying, especially if you're feeling tired or frustrated. Working too long on a task can actually decrease your performance.
When you take a break, make sure you get away from your desk or study space. A bit of physical activity - even just a walk around the block - can sometimes help you to look at a problem in a different way and could even help you to solve it.
7. Ask for help
If you're stuck on something, or something just doesn't seem to make sense, you can always ask for help. Talk to your teachers or lecturers about the things you don't understand. Talk to your friends and fellow students too.
8. Stay motivated
When you're studying it helps to keep in mind your reasons for doing all this hard work, like a course or career you're working towards. It can help to have something in your study space to remind you of your goals.
You could also decorate your study space with inspirational quotes or photos of people you admire and family members you want to make proud of you.
9. App it up
There are heaps of apps out there for helping students with all aspects of study. Have a chat with your friends and teachers/lecturers to see which apps they recommend.
You should also check out the iTunes Collections page on iPads for Learning (new window), which provides links to Australian Curriculum courses on iTunes U as well as educational apps aimed at high school, middle school and primary school students.
10. Look after yourself
You’ll study better if you take care of yourself. Make sure you eat well and get enough sleep and physical exercise. Don't reward yourself with too many sugary or fatty snacks or push yourself to study late into the night. It’s also a good idea to make sure you drink lots of water when you’re studying.
Memory Verses Why learn memory verses?
Firstly, as a believer, our doctrine determines our behaviour. One can have an opinion without a change in behaviour, so it is essetnial that we have Gods word as a resource to inform, inspire and direct us.
Secondly, we are transformed by the renewing of our mindset. We cannot truly change our actions without a change in our thinking. Faulty thinking produces faulty behaviour. If we want to become Christ like, we need to "know" the truth, not just hear it.
Thirdly, if Gods word is not memorised, then in times of need, we will not be able to recall it. "Doesn't it say somewhere" is no real defence against faulty thinking. If you recall, when Jesus was tempted by the devil, his repsonse was clear.
Never underestimate the power of a verse of scripture in times of need. If it isn't inside, it can't come out. The Holy Spirit enlightens scriptural understand through revelation.
Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Hide the word in your heart through memorising the scripture. it is a weapon for attack and defence, for yourself and others.
Many Christians aren’t even walking in right ALIGNMENT, let alone STANDING against the enemy.
Casualties such as – Mistrust, Rebellion, Gossip, (Missing in action). Disobedience, Cares of World, Prosperity,
We gain access to the authority which comes through relationship with Jesus Christ, We must abide in Him. (Abiding produces FRUIT) John 15.
If our FOCUS is on the wrong KINGDOM, we see the GOLIATH, NOT THE DAVID
The keys to understanding the tactics of our ENEMY is by 4 KEY Factors:
1. ASSOCIATION (WHERE WE SIT STAND WALK)
Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9 And He has made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to bring all things in heaven and on earth together in Christ.…
2. ALIGNMENT (IN CHRIST, UNDER AUTHORITY, HONOURING, GODS PURPOSE) Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. (Resisting powers are to resist God)
3. REVELATION (KNOWLEDGE IN ITSELF IS NOT REVELATION)
Ephesians 1:17 (NASB) 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the [a]knowledge of Him.
1. God will GIVE us a SPIRIT of WISDOM
2. And REVELATION (The Holy Spirit REVEALS truth) But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. John 16:13
3. IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIM…. Not ABOUT him, but IN HIM
John 16:12 I still have much to tell you, but you cannot yet bear to hear it. 13 However, when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak what He hears, and He will declare to you what is to come.14 He will glorify Me by taking from what is Mine and disclosing it to you.
THE ONE ESSENTIAL TO SALVATION IS THE REVELATION OF CHRIST.
Proverbs 18:21 (CSB) Life and death are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Matthew 12:37 (NKJV) 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
The power of our confession is what justifies or vilifies Gods provision.
Revelation 12:1 "And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.
Our warfare is often unseen, but is never the less real. As believers, we speak of what is unchangeable - Gods Word. The changed life, is true testimony to a life in CHRIST.
Restoration then, must begin within us. John 3 outlines our need to be born again (spirit salvation) and entrance to kingdom living via baptism in The Holy Spirit and Water Baptism (by immersion).
This is the foundation of our salvation, but each one of us must seek ongoing salvation as we are transformed. Philip 2:12
Acts chapter three instructs us of Christs retention in heaven until the restoration of "all things". This study shows us Gods plan for restoration naturally and spiritually. (Israel and Church).
There are two KEY aspects to restoration:
The Messianic Kingdom (Israel) Deliverance from Gentile oppression Amos 9:14 and 15
Those Born INTO the Kingdom of God John 3
"Jesus Christ became Incarnate for one purpose, to make a way back to God that man might stand before Him as He was created to do, the friend and lover of God Himself." - Oswald Chambers
"By a Carpenter mankind was made, and only by that Carpenter can mankind be remade." - Desiderius Erasmus
Week one -
As humans we act on what we believe as being appropriate and true, but what is truth?. Some believe truth is subjective; in other words we define our own truth based on what we choose to believe or disbelieve. This philosophy is fundamental to many.
The quality or state of being true.
That which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.
A fact or belief that is accepted as true.
That which is true or in accordance with fact or reality.
We have been influenced for centuries (see Genesis 3:1-4:1) by all manner of perspectives of truth.
Greek philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.,holds that the truth or the falsity is determined entirely by how it relates to "things", by whether it accurately describes those "things."
Truth in the philosophy of language, agrees with the facts or to state what is the case.
In epistemology (the theory of knowledge) truth are standards and rules used to judge accuracy, as in a tool of verification.
The rules of logic have no ability to distinguish truth on their own. They say an individual must determine what standards distinguish truth from falsehood.
Given all these influences, is it not surprising that we can easily have a blurred perspective of what is truth? Well, as Christians, we have the added advantage of:
GODS SON - along with all the ministry gifts, the body, the church, the gifts of the spirit etc. etc.
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. John 16:13
PURSUIT OF FREEDOM will take you on a journey with The Holy Spirit, to disassemble none truths and re-assemble truths. Truths imparted by Him, for Us and those around us.
The fundamental TRUTHS which we BELIEVE are the basis by which we ACT.
The KEYS to the PURSUIT OF FREEDOM ARE FOURFOLD:
WHAT IS THE TRUTH?
WHAT IS THE TRUTH ABOUT GOD?
WHAT IS THE TRUTH ABOUT SIN?
WHAT IS THE TRUTH ABOUT ME? (IN REGARDS TO SIN AND FREEDOM?)
Each week, we will take time to consider The Holy Spirits leading and enabling, for He will lead us out of untruths and into truth.
John14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
Lesson Format Below
As with all studies, the foundations are critical. This lesson is imperative to understanding the grace and mercy of God, without such we will never truly grasp OUR personal responsibility as a child of God.
In the opening statements in Genesis 2:16-17 WE see the word FREELY.
FREEDOM has boundaries - Human nature has an inherent desire to push those boundaries
The story of ADAM is the story of CHOICES made
Every day, we make numerous choices, and some we make are LIFE hanging.
Can you recall some life changing decision you made in the past?
Acts 3:19 (RSVA) Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,
REPENTANCE RESTORES RELATIONSHIP
it is our ongoing responsibility to REVIEW OUR POSITION
Which tree do we feed from most?
ADAM MISTOOK KNOWLEDGE FOR LIFE – TRUST IN SELF (PRIDE) He ABUSED the GRACE AND FAVOUR lavished on him by God which resulted in a HARDENED HEART.
KNOWLEDGE IN ITS DELF IS NOT EVIL –THE MOTIVE, SOURCE AND SPIRIT BEHIND IT IS
Narcissistic BEHAVIOUR places ones self central to the universe. It's all about SELF.
There are some key fruit which grows on the tree of Knowledge of good and evil, and we must be aware of what the results of eating them are:
THIS FRUIT IS IMPURE INDEPENDENT KNOWLEDGE
THIS FRUIT IS DEADLY
THIS FRUIT CONSUMES US – MORE AND MORE
THIS FRUIT CAUSES SEPARATION
THIS FRUIT ROBS US OF INNOCENCE AND BRINGS SHAME (COVER UP)
THIS FRUIT FOCUSES ON SIN NOT CHRIST – LEGALISM NOT LIBERTY
THIS FRUIT IS CRITICAL OF OTHERS, KEEPS THEM OUT THE GARDEN (VICTIMISATION)
A pivotol scripture is found in John 8. where Jesus was dealing with a woman caught in adultery. His response towards those teaching the law was the seen in the fruit on display of two trees. The question was asked. "Who condemns you now"
11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” 12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Week Two - The Tree Of Life
When we normalize a lie, we open the door to greater deception.
When the spies went into the land, they brought back a distorted and untrue perception of the situation. This distortion was intended as a true insight of what lay before them, and all but two believed it.
They saw the land with big problems and their abilities were diminished. How we see ourselves, is the way we project ourselves. Giants or grasshoppers!
When Eve presented the apple to Adam in the garden, she was passing on a distorted and deceptive view of truth. Circumstances do not justify the facts, and yet.
As in the garden of Eden (Gen 3)
As in the pre-cursor to the promised land (Numbers 14:37)
As in the pit with Joseph and in front of Jacob (Genesis 37:32)
The serpent will fabricate evidence to appear real, and it is a lie. In fact the definition of FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real.
Truth is confidently assured in the face of evidence which appears real; for if we believe the evidence before us, we will confess it. Once confessed we will be bound to the confession, and are now living in the lie.
The solution is to stop eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, (repent) and get back into true garden relationship with the tree of life, (salvation).
You see, as Adam was given the freedom of choice based on the facts presented to him, he chose to believe the lie about:
And his future.
When we normalize the lie, the impact is ongoing. We open the door to false evidence appearing real, and live the lie.
We must always keep in mind, that the gifts of the spirit are given, but the fruit of the spirit is produced through obedience to Gods word and our choices in what tree we feed from.
As we have already seen in the study so far, God has a clearly defined order for us to follow. That order guarantees us life not only in this world, but eternal life to come.
In this weeks study we will take a look at this order and search for personal meaning and application within it.
God created us with three distinct parts:
1. A spirit that must be redeemed (born again)
2. A soul that must be restored (renewed mind)
3. A body that must surrender (obedience rather than sacrifice)
In Galatians 4:19, Paul portrays sanctification as a process. How long this process takes Is dependent on:
Our willingness to engage with the Word of God,
Our willingness to accept it as absolute truth in our lives,
Our application of it to all of our circumstances.
SPIRITUAL ORDER 1 Thessalonians 5:23 “Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.”
As a man thinks – ponders – considers – believes in his heart, so is he – (so shall he be) Proverbs 23:7
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight oh my Lord and my redeemer Psalm 19:14
In this weeks study we will focus on the Holy Spirits leading and revelation of why we believe and behave in the way we do. This practical session is paramount to revealing truth and the process to being free from old thought and behaviour patterns. Below is a link to over 100 feelings we may have, and Gods word regarding them. Download it and carry it with you as a weapon against "how you may be feeling".
"As a man thinks in his heart, so is he" Proverbs 3:7
If we think it, we will become it.
If we behave, we become.
As we have become, so are we.
Remember the spies that saw themselves as grasshoppers in the sight of the giants? Well the giants saw the spies as grasshoppers too.
Why? Because the way we perceive ourselves is the way we eventually become.
You may recognise some of these characteristics in yourself:
Defending yourself and your actions
Passing the blame on to others and ignoring personal responsibility
Selfish ambitions overwhelm your decisions. - "How will this effect me?"
Ulterior motive.- Remember, that knowledge in itself is not evil, but the motive behind it.
Self focus and purpose - Even serving God can be out of our selfish desire.
The solution to all these issues is SURRENDER:
SURRENDER to the truth
ACCEPT we have lived in and out of our lies
EXCHANGE the LIE, for the promise of living in the freedom of truth.
Four issues of the Heart
4. Evil Thoughts
Three Steps to Transforming the Heart
1. Invite the Holy Spirit to show me.
2. Invite the Holy Spirit to change me.
3. Invite the Holy Spirit to fill me.
Five Chains of Bondage
1. Life versus Death
2. Truth versus Lies
3. Bitterness versus Forgiveness
4. Rebellion versus Submission
5. Pride versus Humility
Scriptures to RENEW the mind - DOWNLOAD HERE
In recent weeks, I have been teaching on the significance of doors in scripture. They primarily speak of communication and authority. In this weeks study )part 2 of issues of the heart, we consider the process necessary for us to be free from the negative issues in the heart.
There must be three parts to the process needed to make repentance wholly complete and we see those conditions in James:
James 4: 6 But He gives us more grace. This is why it says: “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.…
1. Submit to God
The source of all freedom comes as we give up the fight in our willfulness and partner with God
2. Resist the devil
We cannot do it alone. Resisting means taking the fight to God and taking personal responsibility for the things which we are habitually in bondage to. This could be a habit, a thought, a behaviour, an opinion or a lie which we believe to be true. (See week 1)
3. Close the door
Closing the door to sin and disobedience is a key step in ensuring we don't allow more problems to come in. This means three critical changes are needed:
a) Watch your confession - Words create life or death. Watch them
b) Watch your actions - What we do, will either open or close doors
c) Watch your associations - Who we hang with
I do not believe the devil makes us sin, but I do believe he capitalizes on our behaviour. A though eventually opens or closes a door to sin. Usually after a great win, comes a challenge of great weakness.
This is how Satan works. The devil is not responsible for our own sinful choices, but if we “give place to the devil” (Eph 4:27) by following our own passions, then we shouldn’t be surprised when we see him wreak havoc in our relationships, homes and churches.
After James’s pointed rebuke, he lovingly reminds us that grace is available to those who humble themselves (James 4:6). Therefore, right before he tells them to “resist the devil,” he tells them to “submit yourselves therefore to God.” These commands are two sides of the same coin.
Here are THREE practical steps in resistance:
1. Review your own sinful desires.
Do you have deeply-held desires and cravings that produce relational tension and conflict when they aren’t fulfilled? Realize that the devil has you right where he wants you. Repent of those sinful desires and ask God for the grace to love him more than yourself.
2. Compare God’s Word to your own lifestyle.
Satan is the Father of lies. So often we fall prey to those lies without knowing it (“God just wants me to be happy,” “I deserve better than this,” “Money will solve all my problems,” “I can handle this on my own”). We need a regular dose of God’s Truth in our lives so that we can clearly discern truth from error. Pick up your Bible and see if you’re living it or ignoring it.
3. Don’t be flippant in your FAITH.
If Satan is a master deceiver, then his tactics won’t always be obvious and his attacks won’t always be overt. Don’t think that you can cruise through life, picking and choosing when to follow God, and think that you can escape Satan’s attacks. Put on the Armor of God before
Satan’s attacks; don’t wait until you’re in the thick of battle.
WEEK EIGHT - Forgiveness
Without doubt this study will arouse some deep inner feelings, hurts, disappointments and resentment. Why? Because it goes as far back as the fall of man to Adam in the garden. It is the place where sin entered man and like an unchecked virus, has run rampant through us all.
During this study our fallen nature will seek to justify our position and hold onto the virus, justifying it.
Unforgiveness is like ACID. Over time it eats away at the integrity of the structure of our heart until it weakens and distorts the fabric of our character. It is a disease which needs intervention, and this intervention comes through Salvation in Christ.
Proverbs 18:19 A brother wronged is more unyielding than a fortified city;
disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel. N.I.V.
Making up with a friend you have offended is harder than breaking through a city wall. Contemporary English Version
The walls are there to Keep bad things out and good things in
Scripture warns us that the walls of the heart should be guarded
Our thinking determines our behaviour – As a man thinks…
“And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” Matthew 11:6
Mark 9:42 “And if thy hand scandalize thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life, maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into unquenchable fire”
Willful behaviour that causes offence should be removed at the expense of SELF.
Scandalon – Is a Strip of leather used to hang BAIT from in order to entrap a wild animal. An offence entraps us. “To Scandalize” is to wave the bait.
WEEK SEVEN - SURRENDER
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5—6 NIV
THE FUNDAMENTAL CONFIDENCE we have in our surrender is knowing WHO, AND HOW TO TRUST.
FAITH is not based on OUTCOME or RESULTS.
FAITH believes DESPITE THE RESULTS.
FAITH RUNS CONTRARY to Our human emotions
OUR EMOTIONS SAY – SHOW ME and I will believe
FAITH SAYS – I BELIEVE BEFORE I SEE.
LIVING BY QUANTIFIABLE FACTS ALONE IS NOT FAITH
We have been trained to GATHER RESOURCES for security in LIFE
The latest Corona Virus Pandemic has shown us how selfish we are
I’m FIRST, my needs come before yours, I am in the driving seat, I am in CONTROL
STRONG RELATIONSHIPS ARE BASED UPON TRUST.
The GREATER the relationship, the FEWER the RULES.
The WEAKER the relationship, the GREATER the RULES
This is why when relationships BREAK DOWN – They go to COURT, to define THE RULES.
A relationship based upon TRUST accepts wrong doing, and ERRORS of judgement
The key to BUILDING relationships requires TIME
Some of the STRONGEST teams I have been a part of have HAD MAJOUR conflicts, Disagreements, Misunderstandings, and Conflict.
It is ON THE OTHER SIDE of those CONFLICTS, that TEAM EMERGES.
The Lord's Prayer
MATTHEW 6:13-15 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ 14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive yours.…
What we prioritize, gets our attention:
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33
HOW we define SUCCESS in life, will DETERMINE how we LIVE in daily life
HOW we define TRUST in life, will DETERMINE how we BUILD relationships
Even relationships can come between US and God?
It can be relationships with family, friends, co—workers, pastors, church members, neighbours, and even enemies.
Whether good or bad, they can become more important than our relationship with God.
Dan Musselman has a unique musical gift.
He has a beautiful gift of anointed piano playing which brings us into the the presence of God, where healing of hurts, unforgiveness, and lifting those sorrows which hold us imprisoned; melt!
Go into the closet, put your headphones on; rest in His presence, and allow the Lord to speak.
DISCUSSION GROUP APRIL 9TH 7:30 PM ZOOM
Below is an outline which each one of us should consider towards the discussion group. Keep in mind this relates to your own personal experience.
Bait that is hung out to a entice an insatiable appetite, will rarely consider the consequences of a full stomach. This is why we need to recognise it for what it is. bait to trap us:
Gossip – Is “hearsay” and usually embellished with personal opinion
Untrue – Embellishing information without fact
Emotionally Driven – Hurt attached to opinion which results in Lies
Tree of Knowledge of good and evil - Information that KILLS life
Bitterness – Unforgiveness which is intended to embitter others trapping them
t’s impossible to forgive others their offenses until we receive forgiveness for ours.
FORGIVENESS is a SPIRITUAL WEAPON against the TREE OF knowledge of Good /Evil
FORGIVENESS IS THE KEY TO GETTING BACK INTO THE GARDEN
If we struggle with forgiveness, the chances are we have not fully grasped what God has done for us, and we are trapped!
SEMESTER TWO- LESSON 8 WORDS
Proverbs 15:4 “Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”
Proverbs 16:24 “Kind words are like honey–sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”
Proverbs 18:4 “A person's words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook.”
"Words are free. It's how you use them that defines the cost”.
JAMES 1: 2 for we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a mature man who is also able to control his whole body.3 Now when we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we also guide the whole animal. 4 And consider ships: Though very large and driven by fierce winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So too, though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts great things. Consider how large a forest a small fire ignites. 6 And the tongue is a fire. The tongue, a world of unrighteousness, is placed among the parts of our bodies. It pollutes the whole body, sets the course of life on fire, and is set on fire by hell. 7 Every sea creature, reptile, bird, or animal is tamed and has been tamed by man, 8 but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 We praise our Lord and Father with it, and we curse men who are made in God’s likeness with it. 10 Praising and cursing come out of the same mouth. My brothers, these things should not be this way. 11 Does a spring pour out sweet and bitter water from the same opening? 12 Can a fig tree produce olives, my brothers, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a saltwater spring yield fresh water.
James indicates THREE quantifiable BENEFITS:
The control of our tongue is an indicator of our maturity.
The control of our tongue is an indicator of the One who has mastery over self
The control of our tongue is an indicator of how we deal with our sin.
THREE PRINCIPLES OF MATURITY:
James 1:19—Slow Down!
19 My dearly loved brothers, understand this: Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger,
Psalms 141:3—Ask God to Set a Guard over your mouth!
Lord, set up a guard for my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips.
Matthew 12:36-37—Understand we are ACCOUNTABLE for the IMPACT!
36 I tell you that on the Day of Judgment people will have to account for every careless word they speak. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
The words You and i write or speak to others can leave a huge impact and create a lasting memory--either good or bad--so it's super important to choose them wisely. Words can "make or break" a relationship and your choice of words, and the way you express yourself can accelerate or kill your career.
It is important to recognise that each word we use, should be chosen to fit the situation appropriately. Some times, it's best to not speak at all, but when we do; those words should create life.
Proverbs 25:11-13 (K.J.V.)
11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. 12 As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.
An essential part of the process of maturity, is knowing WHAT brings us to maturity. Once we have settled this process in our will, we then adapt our behaviour and thinking to be consistent with the process.
Maturity is the aim and will of God. Conforming to the pattern and image in which He created us and intention for our life. Gods WORD reveals His will and nature. His Word is the primary resource for this transforming change. A key instrument God has chosen for this transformation is The Body, The Church. 1 Corinthians 12:12-27
Gen. 1:26—2:3; 2:18-24; Ephesians. 5:22-32; Rev. 12; 21:1—22:5
There are four women mentioned in these four passages of the Scriptures. In Genesis 2 the woman is Eve;
in Ephesians 5 she is the church;
in Revelation 12 she is the woman seen in the vision;
in Revelation 21 she is the wife of the Lamb.
Being part of the process, is essential for our collective maturity.
The word of God cannot be used selectively. It is as effective as we apply it.
“that while we were
still sinners, God
to die for
Believing the offence is someone else's responsibility is
Believing we are not harbouring attitudes susceptible to being offended is
Believing "shutting out thoughts / actions" that have offended us is
Believing changing our geography and environment will resolve the offence is
Believing the mantra "live and let live" will resolve the offence is
We do not use scripture to JUSTIFY our position, but to stand on the common ground of RECONCILIATION
Here are THREE KEYS to opening the cage of offence:
1. Pray often for people who have offended you
Isolating people with the "cold shoulder" does not resolve an offence!
2. Bless people who have offended you.
The word bless means to “speak well of.” Are you speaking well of that person?
3. Do well to people who have offended you.
Are you looking to "get even" "to get revenge?" A change in opinion needs a change of behaviour too. Become their "cheer leader", after all we are in this together.
Semester 2- Lesson 9
The living enduring word of God.
Hebrews 4:12, “the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
Psalm 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
The “word of God” here is the written or spoken Word, not the Logos of John 1. The ESV says that the Bible is “living” and active.
The description of the Bible as “living” means that it has a vital power inherent to itself.
The written Word of God accomplishes God’s purposes (Isaiah 55:11);
The preaching of the Holy Scriptures brings about God’s desired effects.
The Bible is unlike other books, whatever emotional or social effects they may produce, in that it brings about , supernatural within a person.
“Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ”
Jesus likened the Word of God to seed in His parable of the sower
Seed, like the Bible, is not dead, but living, and it has the ability to bring forth more life abundantly. Seeds produce a crop (verse 23).
The Bible, as the living Word of God, is not inert or powerless, as seen in the actions attributed to the Word in the rest of Hebrews 4:12:
The Bible “penetrates” deep within us and “judges” our hearts and motivations. It is “active,” not passive. The Bible is resisted or ignored to our own peril (Hebrews 2:1–3).
Other indications that the Word of God is alive:
it sustains man (Matthew 4:4)
Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
it brings faith (Romans 10:17)
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
it has freedom to accomplish God’s will (2 Timothy 2:9)
for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained.
it can be maligned (Titus 2:5),
to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
it gives spiritual birth (1 Peter 1:23)
For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
it abides within believers (1 John 2:14).
I write to you, dear children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
It lights and directs our path (Psalm 119:105)
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path”.
It nourishes our dry soul. (Psalm 119:25).
“My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word!”
It strengthens our weary bones. (Psalm 119:107).
“I am severely afflicted; give me life, O Lord, according to your word!”
It redirects our wayward gaze. (Psalm 119:37).
“Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things, and give me life in your ways”
It soothes our discouraged heart. (Psalm 119:147).
“I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words”
It grants us peace. (Psalm 119:165).
“Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble”
It fills us with hope. (Psalm 119:49).
“Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope”
It feeds our hungry spirit. (Psalm 119:103).
“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
It grants us deep wisdom. (Psalm 119:100).
“I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts”
It reassures us during pain. (Psalm 119:75)
“I know, O Lord, that your rules are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me”
It echoes our glad praises. (Psalm 119:62).
“At midnight I rise to praise you because of your righteous rules”
It keeps us from falling into temptation. (Psalm 119:115).
“Depart from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commandments of my God”
It points out our wrong beliefs and actions. (Psalm 119:29).
“Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law!”
It assures us of our eternal inheritance. (Psalm 119:123).
“My eyes long for your salvation and for the fulfillment of your righteous promise”
It comforts us in our time of trouble. (Psalm 119:50)
“This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life”
The Bible is the living Word of God because it is the message given to us from the “living God” (Hebrews 3:12).
The God who is alive works in this world through His living Word in conjunction with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 6:17).
Jesus spoke of the life-giving property of His words:
“The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life” (John 6:63).
So what hinders it’s inherent LIFE?
Sinful habits, that HAVE become natural to the soul, and rooted deeply in it, are separated and cut off by this sword.
Thoughts, purposes, motives, vileness, philosophies, opinions, the bad principles they are moved by, the sinful ends they act to” (Hebrews 4:11–16).
The living Word is active in the lives of those who receive it.
According to the psalmist, the person who meditates on and delights in the Word will be “like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither” (Psalm 1:2–3).
TODAY scripture is often downplayed in favour of man made philosophies, humanism, science, personal experiences, or a “new” word from God.
The Bible cannot be ignored as if it were dead or obsolete.
The Word of God is still powerful and very much alive.
“We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts”
(2 Peter 1:19).
LESSON TEN - VESSELS OF HONOUR
1 Corinthians 6:15-20 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Or don’t you know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with Him in spirit.… 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a man can commit is outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. 19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body.
How Can Christians Resist Evil? Some Christians fear becoming possessed by demons.
In commissioning his Apostles to spread the Good News, Jesus specifically gave the Apostles (and other disciples) “authority to drive out all demons” (Luke 9:1).
Some Christian denominations believe in present-day demon possession,
Others don’t, as practicing Christians cannot be possessed because the Holy Spirit abides in them and, thus, demons cannot take hold
In this study, we must consider why so much instruction is given on the subject if it were not applicable today.
Putting on the “full armour of God” (Ephesians 6:11-18). consists of:
The Belt of Truth (Ephesians 6:14). Jesus told us that God’s word is Truth and that we are sanctified by it (John 17:17). Since the devil is the “father of lies” (John 8:44) and demons act in his name, we can combat the lies of these corrupt forces by arming ourselves with the knowledge of God’s Truth.
The Breastplate of Righteousness (Ephesians 6:14). When we align our actions with Scriptural instructions, we maintain our righteousness. This moral obedience is powerful, guarding our heart against situations that may hurt us in the long run or lead us to hurt others (Prov 4:23). When we become lax in upholding our righteous behavior, we open the door for sin to creep in.
The Gospel of Peace (Ephesians 6:15). When we’re at peace, we’re free from disturbance and conflict. By practicing forgiveness with one another and placing our worries at the foot of the Cross (Philippians 4:6), we are better able to stand firm against any evil that comes our way.
The Shield of Faith (Ephesians 6:16). When we seek God’s face in our life instead of His hand, we grow in faith and better shield ourselves from the attack of dark forces. The face of God represents His Presence. God assures us that when we continually seek His Presence in our life despite our circumstances, everything we need will be given to us (Matthew 6:31-33).
The Helmet of Salvation (Ephesians 6:17). A helmet is the last thing soldiers put on before stepping out onto the battlefield. The helmet protects the “command center” that is the mind/head. If that “command center” gets injured, all other armor on the soldier’s body becomes useless. Likewise, demonic forces know that our mind is a battlefield susceptible to sinful suggestions, doubt, and deceit. When we focus our thoughts on the salvation Jesus gave his believers through His Crucifixion and Resurrection, we “demolish arguments…against the knowledge of God, and take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor 10:5).
Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17). In ancient battle, a soldier was trained to use a sword both defensively to ward off attacks and offensively to injure the enemy. The “sword” we, as the faithful, must learn how to wield in spiritual battle is the sword of God’s Word (Hebrews 4:12), which is inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16-17). This sword of the Spirit defends us by sharpening our mind against the enemy’s misrepresentation of Scripture.
This sword also works offensively to rebuke and correct the enemy in striking back with our own Scriptural “blows” when attacked (Luke 4:1-13).
The Bible describes Demons, as:
“impure spirits” (Mark 1:27),
“deceiving spirit[s]” (1 Kings 22:23),
“the powers of this dark world” and
“the spiritual forces of evil” (Ephesians 6:12),
and as Satan’s “angels” (Revelation 12:9).
2. Their Role is:
Blinding the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the Gospel 2 Corinthians 4:4) The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Deceiving people by disguising themselves as “servants of righteousness” Pharisees
(2 Corinthians 11:14-15) And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.
Promoting false doctrine (1 Timothy 4:1) The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
Performing signs to deceive humans (Revelation 16:14) “They are demonic spirits that perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty”.
Tormenting believers (2 Corinthians 12:7) or because of these great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.
VESSELS OF HONOUR ELEVEN PART 2
EPHESIANS 4:26-28 “Be angry, yet do not sin.” Do not let the sun set upon your anger, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing good with his own hands, that he may have something to share with the one in need.…
A foothold is a place where advantage is taken. In the rock climbing world, it is a vantage point to hang on to. In a spiritual sense it is a spot on which the devil hangs on to. The believer must be fully aware of the weak spots on which the enemy of our soul will hang on to.
The four key areas which he will seek to get a foothold in are:
The four key areas we need to actively pursue in our life are:
VESSELS OF HONOUR ELEVEN
PREPARE FOR BATTLE
You are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own
possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for He called you out of the darkness into His wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9
Rejected Truth - You refuse its validity in your life
Neglected Truth - You receive but do not obey/live in it
Deflected Truth- You see it as valid for someone else
Accepted Truth- You receive and obey
Only TRUTH that is accepted into our life can change us.
Being useful in the Kingdom is the greatest honour of our lives, but it comes at a price.
Being fitted in the Kingdom requires honing, shaping, and being fashioned.
To be truly part of Gods plan requires conforming to the image of Christ and transforming from the worlds pattern.
Consider: Am I satisfied with where I am with God? In what ways do I want my life to be different?
Hebrews 3:9 where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did.
Honour Produces FAITH
Mark 6:1-6 To his own country –Dishonour causes unbelief
Honour breeds belief
Familiarity breeds CONTEMPT
People don’t honour those in their own family
Honour Produces BLESSINGS
Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honour your father and mother” (which is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life on the earth.”
Exodus 20 - Deuteronomy 5 That is may be WELL with you OBEY /HONOUR
Understanding the principle of OBEDIENCE understand the principle of Honour
Promise that THINGS go well with you and you live LONG.
Romans 13:1-2 –Subject TO…means to align under
Resisting brings JUDGEMENT on OURSELVES
Luke 2:51- 52 Subject to his parents …Grew in wisdom and stature in FAVOUR WITH God AND MAN
IF Jesus is subject to his parents, should we be?
EXODUS 21:15 He who strikes his parents shall be surely put to death
EXODUS 21:17 He who curses his mother or father shall be put to death
PROVERBS 20:20 He who curses his mother or father shall have his lights put out
ROMANS 1:30 Back biters, haters of god violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient of parents.
2 TIMOTHY 3:2 Lovers of SELF, Lovers of Money, Boasters, Proud, Blasphemers, Disobedient to Parents.
Vessels of Honour are vessels which bring honour to their use.
LESSON TWELVE - WORSHIP and SERVICE
Ezekiel 47:9 (N.A.S.B.) “Everything will live where the river goes.”
•The leaves of the trees will not wither, their fruit will not fail, and they will bear fruit every month because of the living waters.
The trees represent healing and the fish represent harvest.
•Wonderful things will happen when we abandon ourselves to God’s will and His presence:
•Souls will be saved, people will be healed and renewed, And we will experience the life that is truly life!
Structure or Wine?
Matthew 9:17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved."
We are people of tradition and form. We like structures which keep us safe and content, however; we must keep in mind that the key issue that provides life is NOT structure, but in this case WINE. Wine is Joy, Celebration, Life and Vitality. The issue is not:
BUILDING STRUCTURES TO CONTAIN LIFE,
BUT ALLOWING LIFE TO LIVE.
In a scriptural sense, we pursue LIFE not structure, and all life flows by being close to the source.
During this term we have looked at the "footholds" which can keep us out of Gods presence and the "doors" which we must go through in order to enter His favour and blessing. The most important aspects to build our relationship with God on are:
WORSHIP as a LIVING SACRIFICE- Romans 12:1-2
WORD as a LAMP and LIGHT to our Path Psalm 119:105
PRAYER as INTIMACY through The Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2:10
SEMESTER THREE - WEEK ONE - REVIEW
This semester is a very important time, as we pull together the key components of the course in preparation for making them work in a practical way. We will commence semester two with a review of the past term, as we look at The GIFTS OF The Spirit AND seeing how they fit in practical acts of service. Remember, we are first spiritual beings with an eternal purpose.
Semester Three - Gifts Assessment
This part of the course is so important to our effectiveness as believers.
Many believers never fully appreciate the power which The Holy Spirit enables in us . THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, primarily enable us to be more in step with His purposes and our relationship with Him.
However, we must understand these gifts are no substitute for HIM. Our relationship with him is essential in producing THE FRUITS of The Spirit.
GIFTS ARE GIVEN - FRUIT IS PRODUCED.
During this term we will look at two surveys which help us to identify The Gifts, and align them to our natural skills and personal development as believers.
Church Growth Database allows us to take the online survey and review the outcome as often as we like. The survey is based on YOUR input, no one else's, so don't be concerned that is is somehow "categorizing" your whole life. After time, you may want to review your input.
The accuracy of the survey is based on your HONEST answer to the questions. Often, we see ourselves in a very different light to the way others perceive us. We must not selected answers which do not truly reflect who we are presently. Ask someone for an unbiased opinion on your lifestyle. The body reflects the body. You may see yourself as something entirely different to how others perceive you. Of course, The Holy Spirit has given OTHERS with the ability to help you find the real you. Ask them!
Video Teaching Links To Church Growth Survey :
PDF DOWNLOAD TO VIDEOS 3-4
PDF DOWNLOAD TO VIDEOS 5-7
These links will open up a new window on YOU TUBE. Internet access is essential to view them
Tonight's 03/09/2020 Zoom Meeting Link
Meeting ID: 934 277 8981
CLICK the link above to take you to the EDEN survey page.
The database is EXCLUSIVE to participants of P.O.F. If you are having difficulty gaining access, remember there are
1. To the Church Growth Website (free to anyone)
2. To the EDEN database within Church Growths Website.
Your Group ID is 902169
Web link is HERE
Make sure if you are registering on 1. you record your password for that separately.
During this semester, there are THREE surveys which we have provided, to contribute to a balanced understanding of our spiritual gifts. Whilst the information is purely designed to initiate prayer, discernment and discussion around the understanding of spiritual gifts, there are several ways to substantiate our findings:
1. The body recognizes the sum total of the parts.
2. The Holy Spirit confirms in us their presence.
3. The Holy Spirit IS the true GIFT GIVER
4. They WORK
5. They are USED to BUILD UP OTHERS
What is the point of been given a gift when there is no intention to use it? It is like having a treasured possession which sits in the box, unopened and yet gifted to us.
We are STEWARDS of Gods grace and in His grace, He has chosen to lavish upon us his favour for the benefit of others.
Above is a PDF document which allows you to consider how your gifts can be utilized and invested into the four key areas of your life:
1. Your personal Life
2. The lives of those close to you
3. Your local Church
4. The wider body of Christ
Draw a line from your prime gifts to each box, then write an explanation as to their use.
For example -You may invest your giving (financial, skills, talents, abilities) into several areas of commitment.
You may invest your serving gift into door hosting, or an
area of need in the body.
You may volunteer in an area of community service, charity, counseling service, home maintenance. However, we should never confuse gifts with Christian responsibilities. Serving the body is a minimal expectation of every believer, regardless of our spiritual gifts.
“God will not give me humility, or patience, or holiness, or love as separate investments of His grace. He has given only one gift to meet our need, His Son Christ Jesus.” ― Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life
Aligning Spiritual Gift(s) with Action!
Every believer in Christ has been given a spiritual gift. God calls us to put those gifts into action! Don’t know your spiritual gift
Once we know what our gift(s) may be, how do you put them into action? As we have discovered during P.O.F. there is a difference between natural and spiritual gifts. Whilst we may have been trained in certain areas and skills, Gods spirit enables, empowers and equips us for His purposes. They are HIS gifts for us to ACHIEVE HIS Kingdom purposes. So how do we put these gifts into practical expressions of service?
Read and Research examples of how people used the various gifts in the Bible.
These stories may prompt you with some ideas as to how God may be calling you to use your similar gift(s). Biographies and Autobiographies inspire us to grow in our call. I recall devouring history books of preachers, missionaries, martyrs and modern day miracle workers which burned in me a passion for the gospel and church. Dreaming about change is the start of believing in change!
Leadership/Vision Caster: Peter replacing Judas (Acts 1:12-26). James leading the Jerusalem church through a time of great crisis (Book of James).
Administration: managing people resources effectively/executor of vision and mobilizer of people. Stephen (Acts 6:1-7)
Teaching: Paul (his epistles)
Knowledge: Paul (also his epistles, Acts 17:22-34)
Wisdom: Priscilla and Aquila (Acts 18:24-28)
Prophecy: Call to warn, admonish, deliver the truth of God’s Word- read any of the prophetic books.
Discernment: Peter (Acts 5:1-11, Acts 8:9-25)
Exhortation/Encouragement: Barnabas (Acts 9:26-28, Acts 11:19-30)
Shepherding/Pastoral: Peter (Acts 9:32) & John (I, II & III John)
Faith: John remaining at the cross with Jesus (John 19:25-27), John believing Jesus’ resurrection (John 20:1-8)
Evangelism: Philip (Acts 8:4-8, 26-40) & various saints (Acts 11:19-21)
Apostleship/Missions: same as above
Service/Helps: Tabitha (Acts 9:36-43)
Mercy: Ananias (Acts 9:10-19)
Giving: Church at Antioch(Acts 11:29-30)
Hospitality: Lydia (Acts 16:13-15) & Simon the Tanner (Acts 9:43).
Of course these examples are far from exhaustive and many other stories may come to mind of other Biblical characters as well! The challenge is to take the time to truly understand the gift you have been given, how God called others to put it into action in the past and to begin to seek Him as to how He may be calling you to exercise it today.
2. Pray for Direction.
Seeking direction in life is critical. The gifts are HIS not ours. They are “on loan” to us via trust. You will notice reading all of the above stories that these men and women were often directly led by the Holy Spirit or took their course of action after seeking the Lord in prayer. While our spiritual gift(s) are primarily used for the building up and benefit of others, they are also most effective when they are exercised in a believer who exercises in prayer regularly! So talk to God about your gift and your calling.
3. Be prepared.
Nearly every follower of God went through a time of preparation before they were called by God to carry out specific tasks. Elijah was sent to Cherith and Zarephath. Jesus went out into the desert. David ran for his life from Saul. Moses herded sheep. The disciples were tucked away in an upper room after three solid years with Jesus. Paul went into Arabia and then back to Damascus. It was very rare for God’s men and women to be called and immediately put into action. Most required a season or even years of preparation.
Exercising our gift(s) doesn’t always seem like a spiritual event. It may just feel like work. It is often a faith-building exercise testing our obedience in the smaller things. My first significant paid teaching opportunity came teaching vocational cooking in an evening class. It didn’t feel spiritual, or sound spiritual, but it taught me how to communicate effectively.
A gift is only a gift when given away. We may have dreams of speaking to thousands, but in my experience, we must learn to kick the ball at our feet, not the one on the next pitch. A need often constitutes a call. Open your heart and eyes to the needs around you. Does the need require someone with your gift(s)?
Then pray about jumping in and building your spiritual muscle.
Be WILLING and obedient
Exercise what you have, NOT what you think you need.
Go through the door which opens, not the one you prefer.
Tomorrow is no substitute for TODAY.
How has God asked you to exercise your spiritual gift in the past and what was that experience like?
4. Seek out fellow sojourners
Birds of a feather flock together. I cannot recommend this key factor for personal and gift growth more highly. We grow because we learn and we learn from others with the same passion. The Holy Spirit is the giver of Gifts and it is HE whom we first seek. However, that same spirit resides in others with gifts also. “Steel sharpens steel” Proverbs 27:17. The body sustains growth and repair as well as on-going maintenance.
If our gift is not in direct proximity to the body, we all suffer. It’s not natural for the lungs to want to go off and start its own ministry, when the body will suffer by its removal.
God’s primary purpose for giving gifts is to BUILD His body, not disjoint it. His ultimate goal is to grow His body to maturity. Ephesians 4:7-16. We do this through His gifts and our obedience to His word and pattern.
In finding His pattern for YOU through His gifts, we now have to use them for the sake of others who are yet to discover His plan.
PART 4 Spiritual Gifts Assessment Discussion Group
Often we confuse spiritual gifts with the responsibilities of being a Christian. Scripture provides us with the patterns of behaviour and belief. The life of a Christian is a life of discipleship. As kingdom people, we should live in a way which is an example to others.
The saying, "so heavenly minded but of no earthly use" is often used to describe a believer that is unable or unwilling to contribute to the day to day issues of the body. The ability to prophesy does not grant us a pass from waiting on tables.
Jesus came as the servant of all, with a supernatural mandate. The gifts which we are given is to benefit and build the kingdom. Their use reflect on God, not us. They raise awareness of Him, not us.
Maturity as a believer is using what God has given us for the extension of His kingdom.
Our spiritual responsibilities understand putting them in service is our focus, but not at the expense of serving the practical needs of the body.
Maturity is ownership in the vision
Maturity is investment in the vision
Maturity is serving the vision
Maturity is taking our responsibilities seriously
If service is beneath us, then leadership is above us.
THE CALLING -THE ANOINTING –THE APPOINTMENT-
It is very important to neither over spiritualize nor under spiritualize service. Service is our spiritual responsibility, gifting is our spiritual expression.
God CHOOSES – The spirit TESTS – We RESPOND
1 Samuel 10:1 Then Samuel took a flask of oil, poured it out on Saul's head, kissed him, and said, "Has not the LORD anointed you ruler over His inheritance?
1 Samuel 16:12-13. He was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. And the LORD said, “Rise and anoint him, for he is the one. ”So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.
1 Samuel 10:9
As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul's heart, and all the signs came to pass that day.
The anointing is by Gods choosing. - He can ADD, SUSTAIN, and TAKE AWAY.
Exodus 30:31,32 the Lord charged Moses not to anoint any flesh with the holy anointing oil.
Galatians 5:26 Paul said, "Let us not become vainglorious, provoking one another, envying one another."
Galatians 6:12 Paul spoke of those who desire to make a good show, an outward show, in the flesh.
Matt. 20:20-27 It is also absolutely fleshly to be ambitious for leadership.
Many individuals are continually LOOKING for a place to OPERATE their gift and yet it doesn’t always materialize. Why?
HEART MOTIVE - LACK OF LOVE -PRIDE – INDEPENDENCE - LACK OF FIT.
RARELY, does the call become the commission PRIOR to being tested.
1 Timothy 3:9 They must hold to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 Additionally, they must first be tested. Then, if they are above reproach, let them serve as deacons. 11 In the same way, the women must be dignified, not slanderers, but temperate and faithful in all things.
FAITHFUL MEANS FULL OF FAITH
Can you see the process of TESTING here is NOT our GIFTS,
but our attitude to SERVICE? Romans 12:1
Deacons “diakoneo” seven were elected to serve in the kitchen - tables (Acts 6:3), and were instructed to serve as deacons (1 Tim. 3:10, diakoneo). Their ministry was intended to aid the apostles by taking care of some of the physical needs of the congregation. Otherwise the apostles would have to "lay down the word of God" in order to serve tables (Acts 6:2).
The FIVE characteristics of a successfully gifted team:
(First three developed from Bill Hybels suggestions)
CHEMISTRY – (SYNERGY) a positive working relationship – team approach
COMPETENCE – (CAPACITY) able to do the job required
CHARACTER – (TEACHABLE) able to correct in all areas of growth
CULTURE – (WILLING TO CHANGE) a desire to seek and adapt to the culture
CALL – (SUPERNATURAL ENABLING) evidence of a submitted anointing
Culture involves things like:
Denominational preference, what people wear, song style, decoration, office hours, work expectations, terminology, the unwritten rules, and the way things have always been done. We love the culture we love.
To some, the wineskin is of more importance than the WINE?
The sanctity of “THE PAST WAYS” – We must stick together in our resistance
In the past I have engaged people I like – we had good chemistry – they had competence and character- they were even friends – but time revealed we didn’t belong on the same team. We saw things differently. Our culture preference was different. Even great and faithful people don't always work well together because of our cultural preferences.
Numbers 11:17 And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, says he to you; but his heart is not with you. – Proverbs 23:7
Pink Floyd – Sang; Just another brick in the wall. Actually we ARE just another brick in the wall. Gods WALL, and of Gods choosing.
"I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one". EZEKIEL 22:30
Throughout our service of God, we will develop into using what gifts we have in service of Him. As believers, we are not looking "for a gig" to attend, but a place of effectiveness. A place where we:
SERVE OTHERS THROUGH THE GIFTS WE HAVE
AND THE SPIRITUAL RESPONSIBILITIES WE SHARE IN BUILDING HIS BODY
All that we have, we surrender in acts of service for the advancement of the kingdom and the salvation of others.
2 Corinthians 1:21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us?
Jesus is our perfect example;
He exemplified all the spiritual gifts through His words
Through His actions.
Since Jesus is now with the Father, The Father distributes the gifts of the Spirit to the members of His Body, so now we glorify God through those gifts.
“Since the Holy Spirit is the one who shows or manifests God’s presence in the world, it is not surprising that Paul can call spiritual gifts ‘manifestations’ of the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 12:7).
When spiritual gifts are active, it is another indication of the presence of God - - The Holy Spirit in the Church.
One of the Spirit’s “primary purposes” is to manifest the presence of God to believers and none believers alike.
To make the presence of God known.
This encourages people’s faith that God is near and that he is working to fulfill his purposes in the church and to bring blessing to his people”
Remind Us of Our Dependence Upon One Another Rather than giving each believer all of the gifts, the Lord chose to give each of His children one motivational gift and an unlimited number of ministry and manifestation gifts.
GIFTS ARE GIVEN TO MANIFEST GOD’S PRESENCE IN THE EARTH
GIFTS ARE GIVEN To Build Unity in the Church
GIFTS ARE GIVEN To Edify the Church—Individually and Corporately
GIFTS ARE GIVEN To Reveal the Living God to Unbelievers
GIFTS ARE GIVEN To Bring Glory to God
WHY ARE GIFTS GIVEN?
Why did God give us spiritual gifts?
Why does anyone give a gift – To show appreciation, respect, to honour, to express love, To aid, support or acknowledge the person.
Gifts EXPRESS LOVE and provide RESOURCE
God has given us spiritual gifts for many purposes. Ultimately, all of these gifts have been provided to equip us to glorify God.
The gifts of the Spirit were given “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect [complete, mature] man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ . . . speaking the truth in love, [that we] may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ” (Ephesians 4:12–13, 15).
The gifts of the Spirit were given “for the perfecting of the saints,
For the work of the ministry,
For the edifying of the body of Christ:
Till we all come in the unity of the faith,
and of the knowledge of the Son of God,
Unto a perfect [complete, mature] man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ . . .
Speaking the truth in love, [that we] may grow up into him in all things,
Which is the head, even Christ” (Ephesians 4:12–13, 15).
GIFTS Manifest God’s Presence in the Body of Christ on Earth
Please respond by filling in the questions
1. What instances can you remember using a spiritual gift?
2. What spiritual gifts do you use on a DAILY basis?
3. Can you recall an instance in your life, when a spiritual Gift glorified God
In his letter to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul exhorts believers to endeavour “to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace”
and he explains that God gave the ministry gifts (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers) “for the perfecting of the saints . . . till we all come in the unity of the faith” Ephesians 4:12–13.
We ALL differ in our gift, personality, maturity and knowledge; therefore it is unrealistic to expect a person who has a gift of mercy, to respond to a situation of desperate need in the same way as a person who is not gifted in the same way. We must all strive to operate in love and grace, but also according to the gifts given.
Course Review - Final Week
Freedom is something all of us value in one way or another. For some it is time, to others it is financial, but all of us appreciate peace and contentment. It is a fundamental human need.
During the past months, we have looked at how God views our freedom and the extreme measures he took to afford us that freedom. Yet true freedom starts within. We can surround ourselves with all the trappings of a life of provision, and yet without the inner peace which comes from a life at rest in Him, all other modes will only at best be temporal.
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. If the Son makes you free, you shall be truly free.” John 8:32-36
Questions to consider
1. What is your heart longing for? Peace? Love? Acceptance?
2. What do you need freedom from? (Fear, bondages,
loneliness, hopelessness addictions, sin, etc.)
3. What is the key to maintaining lasting freedom?
4. How could seeing yourself through the loving eyes of God
bring you encouragement in your journey toward freedom?
5. How can you willingly and sincerely seek, and draw near to the Lord?
Proverbs 2:1-9 -
My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; Yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, If you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path.
The key to freedom is PRAYER and PRIORITY
Dear Lord, I am willing to sincerely seek You with all of my heart. I want to pursue You, and Your ways of truth. I want to experience true freedom. Set me free from the chains that bind me, the thoughts which blind me and the actions that control me.
Thank You for hearing and answering this prayer.
In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Are You Free Notes Download Here
Hears what the group assessment looks like
1. Honestly describe what real, inner freedom means to you.
2. Express to the Lord your desire for his freedom in specific areas of your life.
3. Set aside some time to be alone with God. Ask Him if there are areas of sin in your life where you need to repent.
4. Enjoy your new measure of freedom in Christ!
True freedom comes from God through the light of God’s Word.
2 Corinthians 3:17 Psalm 119:130
Light is precious, and leads to freedom! John 8:12
True freedom comes from knowing the truth about Jesus. The great news is, we can experience true freedom on the inside, even if we’re confined on the outside. There is hope! John 8:26,32,36 Acts 16:24-40
With God all things are possible! Luke 1:37 Matthew 9:26 Mark 10:27 Jeremiah 32:17,27
We need to turn to God for help! We can expect Him to answer us when we pray. Jeremiah 29:13 Hebrews 4:16
It’s a heart issue. The condition of our heart before the Lord is very important. The Lord searches the heart. The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. Jeremiah 17:10
The Psalmist prayed, “Search me, O Lord, and know my heart, test me, and know my anxious thoughts, and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (or the way of eternal life) Psalm 139:23
It is sin and deception that enslaves us. The truth sets us free!
Freedom isn’t for doing wrong. Instead, it is the empowerment and ability to do the things that please the Lord. Romans 8:2 Romans 1:16 1 Corinthians 15:57
Only Jesus can truly set us free, and satisfy our hearts’ cry for freedom. We are created with a special place in our heart that only God can fill. There is an empty void inside that cannot be satisfied with anything else. Galatians 5:1 Acts 4:12
A whole-hearted search for God leads to freedom.
I will say to the prisoners, “Come out in freedom,” and to those in darkness, “Come into the light.” Isaiah 49:9 (NLT)
You Did It!
It's the final Pursuit of Freedom tonight!
Well done to all those who invested their time into Gods word this year. To each one of you who sat out on the journey of discovery in 2020, despite shut down, lock down, online, offline, staying home and going out...WELL-DONE!!!
If there is one thing which impresses God, it is "FAITHFULNESS".
Being full of faith, is more than addressing mountains, or parting sea's; it is doing little things mightily.
To be average, all we need to do is exactly what others do. To be above average, we have to keep going when others have stopped. It's not works alone. It's faithfulness, and God honours that.
1 Cor 4:2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.
This year has been an opportunity to honestly evaluate what we do and why we do it. Pursuit of freedom was exactly that! A pursuit of freedom from activities which are not life giving, and as we enter 2021, we need to enter it equipped and toned for the journey.
It has been a privilege to share the journey with you, and our hope is that we invest the truths learned into a faithful lifestyle.
Well-Done to you all. Ps Tony
2. TEACHING /SHEPHERD
Vision Phase 3-4
These courses will be held in a small group setting, specifically designed for aligning gifts with capacity and anointing. They are not open to none Eden personnel, due to the practicums required within our church.
Click the picture for the brochure.
Appointments will be held in February 2021.
In 2021 we will be utilizing all our teaching resources by equipping and entrusting them to those invested into our vision. We are called to equip people in service of the kingdom, and 2021 will be an opportunity for those with a desire to invest their gifts.
Two key courses will be equip (releasing teaching / training gifts), and pastoral care (for those with a desire to restore hope into people through the grace and mercy gifts).