< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Thoughts from Returning to Holiness

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Thoughts from Returning to Holiness

The following is from the book: “Returning to Holiness” by Dr. Gregory R. Frizzell

James 4:3 says, “You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts.”

Improper motive! Very likely it is the cause of many unanswered prayers. Do we just give God our wish list? Or do we seek Him out of our genuine love for Him? Our thoughts should be seeking His glory, not selfish desires. We should seek His approval, not other people’s. We should pray for God’s will even knowing it may not fit into our plans.

Ask God to grant you a deep purity of purpose for His Kingdom. And unconditional love and service to Himself.

Willful, habitual sin is equal to “trampling underfoot the precious blood of Jesus” Hebrews 10:29

Never receive the Lord’s Supper thoughtlessly. It is a moment of supreme holiness and personal examination. Confession, repentance and remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice.

The pursuit of holiness is a spiritual mindset.

Ephesians 4:2 says, “With all lowliness and kindness, with long suffering, forbearing one another in love.”

A spirit-filled believer has a kind, loving spirit. We should not be loud, pushy, critical or angry. We should be gentle and quiet.

Matthew 5:44 says, “But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you.”

We should have a forgiving attitude. Not let relationship barriers build up in our homes. We shouldn’t brood over how people have disappointed us. Or withhold kindness because someone doesn’t “deserve” it. Love unconditionally.

In times of disappointment it is our greatest opportunity to let Jesus live through us. In such times, we will experience our greatest growth or worst failure.

1 Corinthians 10:10 says, “Let us not murmur and complain.”

It is impossible to be a complainer and walk in the power of God’s Spirit. We shouldn’t gripe and complain, but give thanks at all times. Don’t look for the bad in things. If we praise God, He will give us supernatural joy despite our difficult circumstances.

Ephesians 4:31 “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice.”

Don’t be cranky, irritable, raise your voice, quick to fight or impatient. Don’t gossip or speak unkindly. Walk in the principle of love. Be a peacemaker. Positive attitude!

Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But, if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

Many a prayer gets no higher than the ceiling because you hold an inner resentment and bitterness against another person. We are to forgive from the heart. Make a definite decision to harbor no bitterness against anyone. Forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling. Yet if you choose to forgive, God will change your feelings.

If you honestly confess your feelings God will give you the powerful grace to change. God will bless even small steps toward fulfilling your spiritual responsibilities.

Spirit filled believers give cheerfully, generously and sacrificially.

Are you prepared to stand for God’s truth no matter the cost? Do you rationalize and make excuses for rejecting biblical standards? Tithing? If you’re involved in something about which you have a nagging lack of peace, you are in sin. If you ignore God’s still small voice, you cannot walk in the fullness of His Spirit. When you resist God’s spirit, you enthrone your flesh, and begin to operate in your own human strength, rather than Christ’s supernatural power. Embrace the cross and die to yourself. When you do, you will discover a freedom and a victory you never dreamed possible.

The word of God is not just something to be considered, but to be immediately obeyed. Don’t put off obedience.

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