In this final session, Jesus begins by teaching on the issue of the judgment of others. He warns that in terms of how the Disciples judge others, they themselves will be judged by the same measure. In comparatively harsh words, He explains why they are not in a position to judge others. Rather they should concentrate judgment of themselves.
Changing subjects, Jesus goes on to tell His disciples they should be discerning with whom they share these teachings. Unholy people will mock their words, damming them, and finally, use those words to attack the disciples personally.
Jesus now tells them that there are three things they should always do: Ask, if they are in need; they should seek if they are in doubt, and should they wish to enter Him and follow his example, they only have to knock. He assures them, in asking, they will receive what they ask for, in seeking they will find what they are looking for. Lastly, if they knock to enter Him, he will open the door.
He now compares their giving to that of His Father and states his Father’s giving to be the stronger, this is the way that their giving should be.
Wrapping this point up, Jesus states that they should always do unto others as they would have others do to them. He explains that this is the fulfillment of their law.
Now Jesus talks about the way forward, saying, the entrance to the Kingdom of God on earth is only accessible through a narrow gate. This leads to an equally narrow walk. Because the gate is narrow, few find it. Because the way is so narrow, it is a difficult walk. They will observe though, that the world at large enters their lives via a wide gate, easy to find and easy to walk.
He warns His disciples concerning those that would approach them with differing doctrines. He says that whilst they would appear as mild as lambs on the outside, they will be as ferocious as wolves on the inside. The way they should judge this ilk is to look at the fruit they bear in their lives. They well know that grapes don’t grow on thorn bushes and figs are not found on thistles. Neither do good trees bear bad fruit or bad trees bear good fruit. Those that do not bear good fruit are uprooted and destroyed. In short, don’t entertain these, they will ultimately destroy themselves.
Jesus continues; saying that because there will be those that call Him “…Lord, Lord…” does not necessarily mean they will enter into the Kingdom. Only those who do His Father’s will. Even when these protest that they performed miracles in His name, He will say, “I don’t know you, away from me you thugs!”
Jesus concludes by saying that any person who hears His words and acts on them would be compared to a wise person, who builds their house on firm foundations. When violent storms ravaged the earth, the house stood firm. Those, however, who hear His words and do not act on them are like the foolish person, who built their house on sandy foundations. When the storms raged the house collapsed in a huge heap.
The crowds below observed that Jesus did not teach like the teachers of their day, but as a person who had authority.
My prayer is that this series enlivened the Spirit within you and me, resulting in us thanking God for etching these Kingdom principles into our hearts.
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Last week, we had a closer look at some of the gifts that the Holy Spirit brings with Him as He resides in us.
Let’s quickly recap what we discussed:
1. A Gift from God – The Holy Spirit is a gift (singular) from God and He brings along with Him gifts of the Spirit (plural)
2. The Holy Spirit Comes to Live in Us – When the Holy Spirit resides in us, we display the Fruit of the Spirit and receive gifts.
3. God’s Nature – The Holy Spirit is the nature of God abiding in us.
4. God’s Tool Box – The Fruit of the Spirit is only part of the equipment we need; the gifts of the Spirit make up the balance.
5. God the Source – The spirit of God (NOT MAN), is the source of the gifts – the gifts glorify God (NOT MAN).
6. Nine Personal Gifts – The language gifts, Knowing or Revelation Gifts and Doing or Power Gifts, make up the group of personal Gifts.
7. Heavenly Language – Tongues is a heavenly language by the power of Holy Spirit, spoken to God – not Man.
8. Interpretation – Paul commands us to pray for interpretation of the heavenly language, so that all may be edified.
9. Prophecy – Words brought by the power of the Holy Spirit from God to man is called prophecy.
10. Given Freely by God – The gifts are given freely by God to all those who desire them.
In session 3, we said that there were nine gifts, which could be split into three groups of three; the first three we discussed were the ‘Language gifts’. These consisted of:
1) Diverse tongues,
2) Interpretation and
The next group of gifts we are going to look at are the gifts of ‘knowing or revelation’.
WORD OF WISDOM (HOW TO)
Word of wisdom is a gift which involves the imparting of divine inspiration to see, understand and respond to life situations from Gods viewpoint. In other words, receiving divine understanding and insight, which enables one to deal with a specific situation or circumstance.
A good example of this gift is found in Matt. 22, where the scripture says,“…But Jesus, perceiving their malice, said, “Why are you testing me?…” By divine revelation, Jesus knew that they sought to trap him, but this divine revelation showed him how to answer them in a way that would not allow them to trap him. It was also a sign of the spirit abiding in him.
WORD OF KNOWLEDGE (ABOUT)
The Word of knowledge is a supernatural revelation of some detail of the knowledge of God. It is God imparted information of facts and details which are humanly impossible to know. It is receiving a portion of the mind of God, about a given life situation, at any one given moment.
The gift would be used to reveal a vital piece of information that could help deal with certain life situations. It could also be used as a testimony of the indwelling Sprit in the life of the one having it, to cause others to turn to the truth (as in the case of Jesus at the Well).
DISCERNING OF SPIRITS
Being able to perceive the spiritual source behind a word, motive, attitude, mood or action of an individual or group, is the gift of discernment. Spiritual sources are either: Heavenly, Human or Demonic.
Finally, we look at the last group of gifts of ‘Doing or Power’.
The supernatural ability to minister physical healing to those who are sick, is a gift of healing. By virtue of the expression ‘gifts of healing’ (plural) in 1 Cor. 12:9, the implication could cover all areas of healing, namely: spiritual, emotional, mental and psychological.
It must be born in mind that this gift is firstly to glorify the name of God as we can see in the scriptures of John, and then for the benefit of the one that has been healed.
The ability to believe God for the impossible in a situation beyond the normal, is a gift of Faith. It is the faith to accomplish specific tasks, face potentially overwhelming circumstances, or to persevere in the face of dangerous situations. We should read Acts 27 sometime this coming week, to see Paul working in the gift of faith.
To try and give us better understanding of what we have been sharing over the last two weeks, let’s have a look at this diagram:
– The fruit of the Spirit can be seen all together (as one unit) in the green section – showing that all parts of the fruit of the Spirit are within us at the same time.
– The Holy Spirit brings ‘gifts’ (plural) with Him.
– The 9 personal gifts as we have been discussing this week and last week, can be seen in three groups.
– Language gifts – made up of Diverse tongues, Interpretation and Prophecy.
– Knowing or Revelation gifts – made up of word of wisdom, word of knowledge and discerning of spirits
– Doing or Power gifts – made up of Healings, Miracles and Faith.
Let’s recap then on what gifts we’ve heard about this week:
Word of Wisdom (How to act or speak) – receiving divine understanding and insight, which enables us to deal with a specific situation or circumstance, is a word of Wisdom.
Word of Knowledge (Know about a situation) – God imparted information of facts and details which are humanly impossible to know in any circumstance we may face, is a word of Knowledge.
Discerning of Spirits – Being able to perceive the spiritual source behind a spoken word, motive, attitude, mood or action of an individual or group, is the gift of discernment. Spiritual sources are either: Heavenly, Human or Demonic.
Healings – The supernatural ability to minister physical healing to those who are sick, is a gift of healing.
Working of Miracles – God working through individuals to perform the impossible or an act contrary to the physical laws of nature, is the working of miracles.
Faith – The ability to believe God for the impossible in a situation beyond the normal, is a gift of Faith
To close the session, once again, take a few minutes to go around your group, practicing the gifts that we’ve learned about over the last two weeks, as was done before in the previous sessions.
VERY IMOPORTANTLY though – The purpose of this exercise is to help us overcome the ‘fear of man’ (or shyness) – by practicing together. PLEASE – IT IS NOT AN EXERCISE TO FORCE GOD TO ACT BY OUR OWN STRENGTH. Rather simply, the more we practice in front of others, the more confident we will become.
As you pray now – remember:
With the language gifts, we must Firstly, Believe and
Secondly, open our mouths and move our tongues – otherwise absolutely nothing is going to happen!
Thirdly, we must get rid of any unforgiveness or anger in us by praying quietly for the Lord’s help. (remember we said forgiveness is a decision not a feeling!).
Also, please be sensitive to those who are not comfortable praying out aloud. Don’t force them to pray, but rather allow them to be still and let the Spirit of the Lord, wash over them during this time.
The Lord be with you as you discover new things – In Him!
Thanks so much for spending this time with me – next week in session 5, we’ll look at some more gifts the Holy Spirit brings to us which we’ve grouped as ‘the gifts of Function’. Until then, Bless you all.
“…time with the Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is published bi-monthly.
If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.
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The following is a report of a field trip completed by two disciples of the Lord. The purpose of the trip was mostly a teaching experience to see how the Lord can bless those who are willing to give of themselves completely to His will.
It should be carefully noted here that we would be foolish to try and test God.
A trip of this nature should never be undertaken without careful and prayerful consideration. Everything which we do must be born out of the seed of prayer. God will speak to those who are willing to listen and will teach those who are willing to be manageable in His hands. Often, our hearts desires and strong wills, prevent us from hearing the gentle voice of the Spirit.
On the 22 April 2017 all South Africans were invited to meet on a farm near Bloemfontein in the Free State. The purpose of this meeting was to worship the Lord and pray for our country, South Africa.
It was amazing to be part of such a gathering. As far as our eyes could see there were people of all cultures assembled for one purpose…to petition the Lord our God and intercede for the country. Each one of the one million people that attended worshipped the Lord in the warm Free State sun. There was a call for repentance and many gave their lives to the Lord for the first time. It was important to ask for forgiveness before asking God to hear the prayers of His people.
The Lord encouraged His children to become ‘prayers’. Once leaving the gathering, we should all become intercessors for the areas in which we live. We left the meeting excited at the prospect of being used by the Lord in our area to intercede for our country.
Chapter Twelve: Living a Life in the Kingdom of God – Continued
“As a man Thinketh in his heart, so is he”. Prov. 23:7 KJV
In the previous chapter, we discussed the fact that, management of the thoughts in our mind is what will determine what we become in this life and where we will be in the eternal world when our present earthly body dies.
Once we cross the bridge from being unbelievers to followers of God, it becomes obvious to us that in order to grow in our relationship with Him, we need to change the way we previously used to think.