Episode 62 Evaluation and criticism
Paul said in one place that we are to examine ourselves, to test ourselves. He was speaking to a church that was struggling with some serious issues, and He was admonishing them to be honest with where they were in the Lord. Are we always willing to face honest evaluation? To evaluate ourselves honestly is not easy. Our first tendency is usually to defend ourselves when criticized in some way. But when we do that, we usually close the door to progress in that area. If we are at rest in our relationship with God, we should never need to fear what comes to us through others. In addition, we need to be able to honestly evaluate ourselves before God, allowing the Holy Spirit to search us as He chooses. This is an essential element of spiritual progress.
• Accusation is usually hard to deal with
o It touches our person
o Our humility is tested (Phil. 2:3)
o Others do not know our hearts, but they see our actions
• Evaluation of our actions may be accurate
o They can be more objective
o They see the actions, not the intent
o We should be thankful that they care enough to speak to us (Eph. 4:15)
• Evaluation of our actions may be wrong
o Standing for truth will bring persecution (John 15:20)
o We must know that we are holding truth in love
o We can rejoice as we share in the sufferings of Christ (Phil. 3:10)
• A mixture of right and wrong
o Need a spirit of humility to not immediately reject
o The Holy Spirit to sift and sort as we wait upon God
• I would like to have your evaluation of this podcast
o What has it meant to you?
o How can I improve?
o What subjects would you like to see addressed?
Episode 61 The Fear of God
There are many scriptures that speak about “the fear of God.” In our time, it seems that is not a very popular subject. We would much rather speak about the love of God. But we dare not ignore any area of truth and concentrate on things we like. Should we fear God? In the Old Testament there is much mention of those who feared God. But there are also many scriptures in the New Testament that speak of the fear of God. How do we reconcile the love of God and the fear of God? Is there a right fear of God? Should a fear of displeasing God be a motivation in our lives?
• There is only one God (Old Testament and New Testament)
• Words (such as love and fear) need to be understood in context
o Love—4 Greek nouns
o Fear—3 Greek nouns
• The love of God (action) comes to God even in fear and trembling
• We come to God because of Jesus Christ and what he has done
• We always come in reverence (Godly fear), not familiarity
• A proper fear of God will inspire:
o A worship that is pleasing to God (John 4:21-24)
o A circumspect walk (Acts 9:31)
o A fear of touching the “unclean thing” (2 Cor. 6:11-7:1)
o A carefulness in our relationships with others (Eph. 4:25-5:21
o Careful attention to this great salvation (Phil. 2:12)
o An acceptable service to God (Hebrews 12)
• How do we get a right kind of fear?
o Revelation of who God is by the Spirit (1 Cor. 2)
o Asking God to reveal Himself to us (John 14)
o A careful reading of scriptural accounts that reveal God in action
o Waiting before God (giving Him undivided attention)
o Meditation on the majesty of God in all things (His divine attributes)
Episode 60 God as He Is
Who is God? Do we know who He is? That may sound like a very elementary question, but I do not believe it is. God is vastly more than we realize. So many times we serve a God of our own creation rather than God as He is. How can we have a greater revelation of the true God of this universe? It is impossible for us to grasp God in our natural mind. The scriptures are very clear that only the Holy Spirit can reveal God to our hearts. Even though we read the scriptures diligently, we are still utterly dependent on God to open the eyes of our hearts to an expanding revelation of who God is. To know God as He is must be the focus of our entire lives. Everything else, our worship, our experience of His grace, and our service depends on a proper revelation by the Spirit of Who He is.
Today I want to share a time of ministry by Gordon Gentry on this subject. It was given in March 1983 in a gathering in West Palm Beach, Florida. I was present at that time and benefited, but I was again encouraged and challenged as I listened to it again. I trust you will also be edified as you listen. The recording can also be found on the web site listed below.
Look for “God as He Is” at this link:
Episode 59 Spiritual Warfare
What is spiritual warfare? This term is often used today, but the meaning behind the term is quite different in many cases. Are we involved in a war? If so, what is the war and what are the weapons of this war? Let us turn to the scriptures for guidance in this matter. It is very easy for us to take bits of scripture here and there and construct our own idea of the conflict based on our own reasoning as relates to our current situation. It is challenging to step back from the immediate conflict and gain God’s view. But I believe this is the right way to come to God’s answer. Then we can view our current situation properly and know how to go forward in God’s grace.
• The war is between God and Satan
o The conflict originated in heaven
o The conflict is a conflict in authority (who will be God)
• The conflict was brought to earth when Satan deceived Adam and Eve
o God gave Adam authority over the earth
o Satan usurped that authority through deception
o Satan is called “the god of this age” (2 Cor. 4:4)
• Christ won the conflict with Satan at Calvary
o Now is Satan cast out (John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11)
o Jesus won by submission to the Father (Phil 2:5-11)
o In the resurrection the triumph was complete (I Cor. 15)
o All authority has now been given to Jesus (Matt. 28:18-20)
o Satan is now a defeated foe, waiting for his final doom
o God leaves him loose for His purpose
• Our victory is “In Christ”
o We enter into union with Him in the Spirit
o We are now seated with Him in heavenly places by faith (Eph. 2:1-10)
o His victory is now our victory as we abide in Him
• Some key elements in our warfare—having done all we stand (Eph. 6:10-20)
o Gospel of peace
o The word of God