The concepts of the “Men of Old” contained in the bible is reference guide to building a healthy community and family.
Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden had an interesting rule for his teams. Whenever a player scored, he was to acknowledge the person on the team who had assisted. When he was coaching high school, one of his players asked, “Coach, won’t that take up too much time?” Wooden replied, “I’m not asking you to run over there and give him a big hug. A nod will do.”
To achieve victory on the basketball court, Wooden saw the importance of teaching his players that they were a team—not “just a bunch of independent operators.” Each person contributed to the success of everyone else.
If you have accepted Christ as a personal Savior, you are to forget yourself, and try to help others. Talk of the love of Christ, tell of His goodness. Do every duty that presents itself. Carry the burden of souls upon your heart, and by every means in your power seek to save the lost. As you receive the Spirit of Christ-the Spirit of unselfish love and labor for others-you will grow and bring forth fruit. The graces of the Spirit will ripen in your character. Your faith will increase, your convictions deepen, your love be made perfect. More and more you will reflect the likeness of Christ in all that is pure, noble, and lovely.
His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness. —2 Peter 1:3
A college football coach in the Bronx (New York) built his team around good character qualities. Instead of displaying their names on the back of their jerseys, the Maritime College players displayed words likefamily, respect, accountability,and character. Before each game, coach Clayton Kendrick-Holmes reminded his team to play by those principles on the field.
The apostle Peter had his own list of Christian qualities (2 Peter 1:5-7) that he encouraged believers to add to their life of faith:
Virtue. Fulfilling God’s design for a life with moral excellence.
Knowledge. Studying God’s Word to gain wisdom to combat falsehood.
Self-control. Revering God so much that we choose godly behavior.
Perseverance. Having a hopeful attitude even in difficulties because we’re confident in God’s character.
Godliness. Honoring the Lord in every relationship in life.
Brotherly kindness. Displaying a warmhearted affection for fellow believers.
Love. Sacrificing for the good of others.
Let’s develop these qualities in increasing measure and integrate them into every part of our life.
Just as the body grows in strength With exercise each day, Our spirit grows in godliness By living life God’s way. —D. De Haan
1 The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”
3 But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.
4 Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. 5 All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship.
New International Version (NIV)
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
God did some fall housecleaning this week. He sent a mighty wind through our neighborhood that made the trees tremble and shake loose their deed branches. When it finished, I had a mess to clean up.
In my own life, God sometimes works in a similar way. He will send or allow stormy circumstances that shake loose the “lifeless branches” I’ve been refusing to release. Sometimes it’s something that once was good, like an area of ministry, but is no longer bearing fruit. More often it’s something that’s not good, like a bad habit I’ve slid into or a stubborn attitude that prevents new growth.
The old Testament prophet Jonah discovered what can happen when one refuses to get rid of a stubborn attitude. His hatred for the Ninevites was stronger than his love for God, so God sent a great storm that landed Jonah in a giant fish. God preserved the reluctant prophet in that unlikely place and gave him a second chance to obey.
The lifeless limbs in my yard caused me to think of attitudes that God expects me to dispose of. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians list some of them: bitterness, anger, and evil speech. When God shakes things up, we need to get rid of what shakes loose.
Lord, In the name of Jesus, give me a listening heart and help me to cooperate with you when you point out changes that need to be made in my life. I want to honor you and please you.
Christ’s cleansing power can remove the most stubborn stain of sin…..
Paul in chapter 12 laid the foundation – that we are all part of a system and that to do God’s work we need to let the Holy Spirit work through us collectively in whatever way or with whatever gifts He chooses. There are no Lone Ranger and there are no Superstars. Each part of the body and each gift is just as important – even if it is not as “flashy” as others.
Paul ends chapter 12 by saying: And now I will show you the most excellent way.
No matter how gifted you are – no matter how successful in ministry – no matter how close to God – there is one overarching principal that should guide everything we do. Otherwise anything you do for the Lord is a waste of time.
That, of course is love. 1st Corinthians 13 is one of the most famous passages of Scripture. It’s quoted as weddings routinely. So much so that it begins to sound like the trite phrases of a Hallmark card. “What the world needs now is love sweet love” as if just saying the word “love” is all that’s needed.
This chapter is far more than that – it is far more challenging than you may have imagined.
The Need for Love
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
No matter how much I know – or how much great wisdom I speak, no matter if I utter incredible mysteries that wow the masses – I might as well be just honking my horn in bumper to bumper traffic unless I do it with love.
No matter what I can do – healing, miracles – without love it is meaningless.
This one really kills me – no matter how much I give of myself – I can be the humblest most giving person on earth – even give up my life for my faith – but if I am not flowing in God’s love I might as well not do it.
What kind of love is this? Every time the word “love” appears in this chapter it is the word “agape.” This is different from the other forms of the word “love” in Greek. Phileo is the idea of brotherly love or friendship. The city of Philadelphia gets its name from this word. Eros is the idea of sexual love – we get the word erotic from this word. Agape as a word didn’t really appear until the New Testament. It is selfless love – the love of God towards Jesus and towards us. It’s not a love of word but a love of action without regard to self interest.
It is the character of God. 1 John 4:8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
Everything you strive for, who you want to be, what you want to do, how you want people to think of you, what you want to accomplish – everything should go through this filter – “am I doing this with agape love?”
And before we go on – remember that it is from the Holy Spirit that we get the power to live this kind of life. Don’t think you can find it in worldly philosophy or philanthropy or religious piety. Only a person who says “Jesus is Lord” can exhibit this kind of love.
So now let’s look at the character of this love.
The Character of Love
Paul defines for us what agape means. He does it in terms of what it is and what it is not. There are 8 things it does, 8 things it does not do.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.
The 8 things love is: Patient, Kind, Rejoices in truth, Protects, Trusts, Hopes, Perseveres, Never fails.
The 8 things love is not: Envy, Boasting, Pride, Rudeness, Self seeking, Anger, holding grudges, delighting in evil.
You could form these around four basic concepts:
How you deal with others (patient, kind, protects, vs. rude, angry, grudges)
How you deal with life (patient, hopes, trusts, perseveres, never fails)
Your relationship to yourself (never fails, patient, kind, vs. envy, pride, self seeking, boasting)
Your relationship to God (hopes, perseveres, rejoices in truth, vs. pride, self seeking, delight in evil)
Let’s look at these one at a time:
This comes from two Greek words: “long” and “tempered”. Vine’s expository dictionary says patience is “self restraint in the face of provocation … the opposite of anger.”
Do you have a short fuse? Do you get easily frustrated when things don’t go your way or don’t happen fast enough? Do you retaliate easily and quickly against those that hurt you? That’s the opposite of patient.
Patience means you wait out trouble and you don’t strike out against adversity. I like how Peter describes it in his letter:
1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
You wait under God’s hand – you don’t from trouble or run from God. Certainly God is patient with us, isn’t He? That’s love.
The Greek word for “kind” means “to show oneself useful.” Taking patience one step further – not only are you long tempered against trouble, but you actually reach out with a benefit to someone else. It comes from a root word that means “employed.”
It reminds me of something Paul emphasizes over and over in this letter:
1 Corinthians 10:33 For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.
Most of the time we think “what’s in it for me.” But kindness thinks, what can I do to benefit you? That’s love.
Paul next strings 8 negatives together. Often we learn by contrast – we see what love is by carving away what it is not – and when we find ourselves acting in these ways we know we are not acting in love.
It comes from the word “to boil.” It’s kind of the bolstered idea of “what’s in it for me,” in the sense of “it’s all about me.” When we become so self focused that anything anyone else has that we don’t have makes our blood boil and is the opposite of wanting to benefit another. Envy is when we only want to benefit ourselves at the expense of others.
Boasting is really a corollary of envy – “if you’ve got it flaunt it – even if you don’t have it, pretend like you do.” The Greek word has the connotation of “play the braggart.” Often times boasting is playing a part – something we are not but want to be or think we are.
This is the same word Paul uses in chapter 8 – “knowledge puffs up.” It means to inflate – like a bag of hot air – no substance but a lot of fluff. It’s increasing your sense of self importance well beyond your hat size.
The word here is “unshapely.” You could say “not pretty to look at.” Do people have a hard time being around you because you do things that are unpredictable or embarrassing or unbecoming? That’s rudeness.
This could be rendered “worship yourself.”
Not Easily Angered
It means to “exasperate.” The Greek word can translate “to sharpen alongside.” This is really the opposite of patience.
Keeps no record of wrongs
The suggestion from the original here is thinking poorly of someone else – or really pondering and dwelling on someone else as evil. The old story goes that Santa Claus keeps a list of whose naughty and whose nice. Sometimes we keep those lists too. How quick are you to forgive?
Does not delight in evil
It means to be happy when an injustice or wrong occurs. In a sense this is the ultimate form of “anti-love.” We want, we get, we hurt others to get it – and we’re happy that we stomped over them to get what we really deserve in the first place.
The thing that all these negatives have in common is that they all focus on us – what we want, who we are, who bad everyone is in comparison to us, what bad things people are always trying to do us – me me me! This is the opposite of love.
Rejoices in the truth
This is interesting because the word “rejoice” is a compound word – part of it is the same word used in “delight in evil.” When put together with the other word it means “to sympathize with gladness.” When you delight in evil you are holding yourself apart from the other person – glad they are suffering and you aren’t. Rejoicing in the truth means you are drawing close to someone as they come to know the truth of God and about sin, come to know the love of God, or have something good happen to them.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres
This is really neat – these four words form a related pattern. “protects” means to “roof over,” “trusts” means to “put your faith in” something, “hopes” means “to confide in” and “preserves” means “to stay under.” These are all things God does for us – and things we should do for others – throwing a protective blanket, physically, emotionally – over someone else; being willing to put our faith in someone else – be real, confide in them – know that God will work good in their lives – then stick it out with them to see the love of God change their lives.
You see all this business of love isn’t some magical, rose-colored-glasses kind of “feeling.” It’s actually very specific: love and trust God no matter what, seek the best for and the best in those around you – then help benefit their lives as they draw closer to God. That’s love!
So this begs the question – why does Paul put this in here – smack dab in the middle of a section on spiritual gifts? It has application far beyond a discussion of spiritual gifts but it speaks directly to an attitude that believers can have, especially when they start talking about how God has gifted them – that they speak God’s words and bring about miracles.
Hey, if you reached out your hand and someone was healed it might happen to you too – you start to feel pretty special about yourself. Instantly the focus moves off of the real purpose of the gifts – to see others benefited and drawn close to God, even if it means you get hurt or get less in the process.
We as humans are basically selfish. Paul is telling us that God is basically unselfish and will bring about good in others lives even if it hurts Him in the process – and we should be like Him!
So to further illustrate this – Paul says “look – all this neat stuff you are experiencing is going to go away, but the need to love unselfishly will never go away.
The Supremacy of Love
But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
We seek to know the deep mysteries of God and think by our knowledge we are better. We seek to do mighty miracles, thinking that we must be more favored. But in reality – when you really being to mature as a Christian, what you find is that love is the ultimate expression of who God is – selfless, other-focused, always giving, love.
Paul says – when you start to see who God really is, what maturity really is about, you see that it isn’t about you after all – its about what God does through for others.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
These three ideas were favorites of Paul – the “essentials” to life. Faith in Jesus as God and Savior, hope of the good things He is doing in our lives and is going to do – but love is the greatest – it is the driving force for everything.
Remember? God so “loved” the world that …
• Love doesn’t happen overnight
After reading this you might be thinking – “man, how can I ever live up to this stuff – I might as well give up.”
Remember what Paul says – “when I became a man I put away childish things.” Growing up in love is a process as we mature. It takes time and experience – don’t beat yourself up, just know that this is the direction your should be heading if you have a vibrant relationship with the Lord.
• Love is an action – but it’s not fireworks display
Let’s not make the mistake that the Corinthians and, for that matter, the Pharisees, made. Showing love means an attitude and actions – but love is more often a very quiet, unobtrusive affair. We don’t need to broadcast the depth of our love and the amount of our selflessness to the whole world.
Don’t expect fireworks to go off as you show and grow in love. But do expect lives to begin to grow and heal and change – that’s the pay off.
• Needing & Asking for things isn’t bad
Acting in love doesn’t mean you take a vow of poverty. James said “you have not because you ask not.” Jesus said (Matthew 7:7)
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
The problem isn’t with the asking – it’s with the motivation.
James goes on to say: (James 4:3) When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
We err when we seek to fulfill our desires from the wrong source – or we ask God for things for the wrong reasons.
So search your heart – then ask – then wait for God to respond to what you really need.
Two good old boys bought a couple of horses during the summer. But when winter came, they found it cost too much to board them. So they turned the horses loose in a pasture where there was plenty to eat.
One said to the other: “How will we tell yours from mine when we pick them up?”
“Oh that’s easy,” replied the second. “We’ll cut the mane off my horse and the tail off yours.”
By spring tho’, the mane and tail had grown back to normal length.
“Now what are we going to do?” asked the first.
“Why don’t you just take the black horse?” said the second man, “and I’ll take the white one.”
Now that’s silly. Nobody would overlook anything THAT obvious. But there are Christians that do it all the time. And, one of the most unfortunate topics some Christians tend to overlook is the importance and value of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Jesus taught that He was going to send us a powerful force – His Holy Spirit.
We were promised this Spirit if we repented and were baptized in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins(Acts 2:38).
According to Ephesians 1:13-14 the Holy Spirit is the mark of our salvation.
And Rom 8:9 tells us that without that Holy Spirit within us, we wouldn’t belong to Jesus.
If the Holy Spirit is that critical to our lives – why would we overlook it?
I. One of the reasons is that some Christians just take the Spirit for granted. These Christians are a little like the woman who told her friend that she had gotten in her car one day, started it up and saw the “Check engine” light blinking on and off on the dash. She told her friend, that she looked under the hood, but she didn’t know what the problem was – the engine was still there.
In Galatians, Paul tells us that you can’t take your connection with God’s Spirit for granted. Paul gave a warning to the Galatians: “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.” (Galatians 5:16-17)
In other words, it is critical for us to know if walking with the Spirit and if He is within us, filling us with His strength to help us contend against the power of the sinful nature. This is a serious matter. How do we know if we have the fullness of the Holy Spirit within us?
It would be SO much easier if we had a simple way to gauge the Spirit’s presence. Kind of like a gas gauge in our cars. A gauge that would helps us to know how much of God’s Spirit we had within us.
Now, in the Early Church, people had all kinds of “showy gifts” – like prophecy, speaking in tongues, healings and so on – that would have helped in assuring them that the Spirit was there. That’s why Charismatic churches have such wide appeal to so many today. With all their emphasis on “prayer languages” and “ecstatic” experiences of the Holy Spirit – they (at least) think they have the Holy Spirit. It serves as a “gauge.” It meets a very critical psychological need. And it can be a very deceptive and very appealing experience.
Just as an example of how appealing this type of experience can be – back in 1995, Newsweek (Feb. 20, 1995) reported something called the “Toronto Blessing,” so named because it started out in a charismatic congregation called the Vineyard Christian Church in Toronto, Canada. As Newsweek reported it: “It began when a dozen pilgrims from Oregon got up to introduce themselves and then began to fall to the floor, laughing uncontrollably. An hour later, the huge new church looked like a field hospital. Dozens of men and women of all ages were lying on the floor: some were jerking spasmodically; others closed their eyes in silent ecstasy. A middle aged woman kicked off her pumps and began whooping and trilling in a delicate dance. Scores of others proclaimed deliverance from emotional and physical pains. ’I’ve been living in my spirit,’ said a woman from Long Island, N.Y., still giggling after 20 minutes on the floor.
“In all, more than 100,000 people have experienced the ’Toronto Blessing,’ which believers interpret as an experience of the Holy Spirit much like the ’speaking in tongues’ mentioned in the New Testament…. ’It’s a gusher of the Holy Spirit,’ says pastor John Arnott of the Toronto Vineyard, who now travels around the world spreading the hilarity of the Lord.”
Newsweek finished its report by noting that some worshippers had developed a “beastly” twist on this phenomena: some in their congregations were now “roaring” like animals.
Now why would they do this? Why would they behave like this? NOT BECAUSE OF GOD. No this isn’t of God. They who did this did it BECAUSE (in an emotionally charged atmosphere like the one in Toronto) there was a powerful motivation to be able to “show off” what they thought was the Spirit’s presence.
For various reasons I reject the Charismatic teachings on tongues & prayer languages. BUT in the early church it would have been easy for every Christian to have such outward manifestations. ALL you would have needed (in those days)was for an Apostle to come and lay hands on you and you could have had any of the miraculous gifts listed in Scripture.
You can find Apostles laying hands on believers several times in Book of Acts, resulting in miraculous outpourings of God’s Spirit.
In Romans 1, Paul wrote saying that he wished to come to them so that he might impart spiritual gift (1:11).
In 2Tim 1:6 Paul wrote to Timothy saying: “I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.”
So Paul, or any of the other early Apostles, could have laid hands on any Christian and that believer would have a legitimate sign of the Holy Spirit’s presence.
II. But now, wait a minute! If that’s true (that any Christian of that day could have had miraculous gifts as a result of an Apostle’s hands) then, some of Galatians should have had those kinds of gifts as well. Paul founded the Galatian congregations, and no doubt would have laid hands on them, just as he did on others in the other churches he began. There would have been “obvious” gifts in the churches of Galatia, just like there were in Corinth.
BUT Paul doesn’t tell the Galatians that they can tell whether or not they have the Spirit by their ability to speak in tongues or to prophecy, or anything else like that. Oh no.
Reread Galatians 5:22-26. It says: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.
Paul didn’t want early Christians to measure their spirituality by how well they could “show the Spirit off.” Paul wanted the Galatians to measure their spirituality based on how well they treated each other.
Bear in mind, the letter to the Galatians was not a theological dissertation for a Bible Seminary to study. This was a real letter written to a real church, struggling with some real problems. AND the church in Galatia had a serious problem (a problem even churches today have) Look again at vs. 15 “If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”
I see gang-banging in churches all over today that I get to preach at and even my own church- for which I am very sadden. I’ve seen churches embroiled in just that type of self destructiveness. But Paul is telling them (AND any church that will listen)- you can tell if you are a Spirit led church. You can tell if you are a group of Christians under the Spirit’s control. You can tell if YOU are filled with God’s Spirit by what kind of fruit you bear.
Jesus said: “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. Matthew 12:33
In other words, you can tell whether or not you are really in touch with the Spirit by your fruit. In order to contrast good fruit to bad, Paul explains what the “sinful nature” is like: The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-23).
What Paul is saying is that there is a contrast behind how we’d naturally like to do things vs. how God’s Spirit would have us do things.
For example: in the Galatian churches there were apparently a lot of people mad at each other. They were biting each other, devouring each other. They were bearing fruit God was going to condemn – acting according to flesh.
I ran into that once. The church I was serving was boiling with anger – some of it towards me and some of it towards other members. Now I’m not going to go into great detail on the specifics, but suffice it to say I was convinced that the congregation was on the edge of splitting wide open. I believe God led me to preach this specific passage (Galatians 5) to them. After spanking them from the pulpit for some very bad behavior, I proceeded to read Galatian 5:19-26. Then I said “I know there are people in this congregation that don’t like me very much. Some people are on ’my side’ and some are not. I want you to know I don’t really care about that right now. I don’t care if you like me or not. BUT I do care about the condition of your hearts and HOW you behave as children of God in this situation.
“I want to ask you to evaluate how you have behaved in this matter, in light of this passage of Scripture. Have you behaved with love towards each other? Have you sought to create an atmosphere of joy in this congregation? Have you worked to create peace? Have you been patient with one another? Have you been kind towards one another? Good? Gentle? (and so I went through each of the 9 fruit of the Spirit).
“Or, have you been behaving in accordance with the works of the flesh? (laying special stress on “hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions – Gal. 5:20). I want you to notice that Paul considered it necessary to repeat a warning that he’d apparently given these Christians at an earlier time: ’”I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God’ (Galatians 5:21b).
“Now, I don’t care whose side your on. I don’t care if you like me or if you don’t. BUT, if you continue to behave according the acts of the flesh – you’re going to hell. And I don’t want you to end up there. You need to repent.”
Then I gave the invitation. Three women came forward to repent – and they were some of the ones who liked me. But the evil in that situation had spread so far that it contaminated these 3 very gentle women and caused them to be entrapped in the hatred that was consuming others. And they knew it.
The best gauge – that the Spirit is in control of your life – is discovered when you’re upset, angry, and frustrated… when you have to deal with people that cause your blood to boil. IF, in those situations, you can react with an attitude of love, a desire to create an atmosphere of joy, a longing to promote a peaceful solution, an attitude of patience, etc. THEN, you are controlled by the Spirit. If not – you’re in trouble.
“Prayer is the breath of the new creature.” – Richard Baxter
“When we go to God in prayer, the devil knows we go to fetch strength against him, and therefore he opposeth us all he can.” – Richard Sibbs
”1. Pray till you pray; 2. Pray till you are conscious of being heard; 3. Pray till you recieve an answer.” – Moody Stuart
“The Lord filled me with desire, and made me feel that I must be as much with Him alone as with souls in public.” – A.A. Bonar
“I should count the days, not by what I have of new instances of usefullness, but by the times I have been enabled to pray in faith, and to take hold upon God.” – Andrew A. Bonar
“Oh, that I had prayed a hundred-fold more.” Andrew A. Bonar
“We have found no means so much blessed to keep religion alive as fasting and prayer.” – Edward Payson
This is a topic of the most importance to me, because just for me Jesus died and rose on the third day and finish His work at Calvary. His death brought me a “Fresh Anointing”. How many of you reading this post can say you had enough “Oil” in your vessel to endure the challenges of life? How many of you can say you don’t need Jesus and what He represents to a fallen world? Is your testimony Jesus Christ and His blood? Today I am in need of a Fresh Oil anointing to face today’s trials and difficulties. I hope this is a word for you as it is for my wife and I.
Our text is in Psalms 92:10. I shall be anointed with fresh oil.
David is speaking about a fresh anointing; a renewal.
David had been anointed as king of Israel from his youth. In I Samuel 16:13 Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him, and the Bible says the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward.
What I am trying to say is that the Spirit had not departed David, but at times he needed a refreshing; a renewal.
We live in a time when many in the church have been anointed at one time they have received the Holy Ghost, but like David, Satan has come and the cares of this world have come and stormed their kingdom so to speak.
David’s own family had tried to take away from him what God had given him.
Friend, their is an anointing thief out there. Satan wants to stop the anointing of God in your life, because he knows that it is the anointing that destroys the yolk. But the Psalmist wrote in our text, I shall be anointed with fresh oil. That means he had already been anointed.
Everybody say, I shall be anointed with fresh oil.
I like what the prophet Micah wrote in chapter 7 verse 8. Rejoice not against me O my enemy: When I fall I shall arise; When I sit in darkness the Lord shall be a light unto me.
That old devil may have pulled you down, but you don’t have to let him keep you down.
I am writing to tell you today that there is refreshing and renewal in the Lord. In fact you can be renewed day by day. (II Corinthians 4:16)
I often think of Job. I like the last chapter. It says that when Job submitted himself to God and when he prayed for his friends, God restored. Job received twice as much as he had before.
God will not only refresh and restore, he will increase.
Turn to Acts chapter 2 verse 4.
Now turn to Acts chapter 4 verse 31.
You see Peter and John had met the lame man at the gate and Peter took him by the hand and God healed him. Then they began to preach the power of the name of Jesus, and the priests and leaders of the temple began to threaten them. When they let them go, they went and joined the other disciples and told them. They knew they needed more courage, so they prayed. A fresh anointing came and with it an increase. They received boldness and verse 33 says power and grace.
How do we get this fresh anointing? Well let’s look at the early church.
They gathered together in one accord in prayer.
Friend there is nothing like an old fashioned altar service with people coming down and bending their knees together in prayer and everyone seeking a fresh anointing.
There is power in united prayer. We need unity in our churches more than ever.
We see churches where this little group sits over here and this little group sits over there. This one won’t pray for that one. One won’t come up for prayer as long as the other is up there. Nobody is going to receive anything like that.
Ecclesiastes 10:1 says, Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savor.
You can’t carry around a bunch of dead things or things of death, things like bitterness, unforgiveness, and strife, and receive a fresh anointing. You have to lay those things down.
Job’s renewal came when he prayed for his friends. (Job 42:10)
Get self out of the way.
Isaiah 40:31 says, but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.
Stay at it!
Jesus told the disciples to tarry in Jerusalem to wait for the promise.
We are so used to fast food, drive up band windows and fast paced life styles that we don’t know how to tarry anymore.
The lady in Luke 15 who lost a coin, the Bible says, she did seek diligently until she found it.
Jesus asked his disciples one day, Would you tarry with me one hour?
Jacob wouldn’t let go until he got the blessing.
Repent. (Take out the trash)
Acts 3:19. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
No matter how great a move of God comes, if you have unrepented sin in your life, you are not going to be refreshed.
The Lord said in Ezekiel 34:26, There shall be showers of blessing.
Now if you think you don’t need refreshed or restored, or you aren’t sure, here is a 1 minute test.
The Fruits of the Spirit are: Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.
Are any of these missing from your kingdom?
God is calling. He is sending a fresh anointing. Do you want it?
Fresh anointing and increase.