Sacred Charge/ 8 disciplines for preparing your heart. This is the third in a 3 part series I taught on Wednesday nights at my church. The first two I already posted ''How Then Shall We Live'', and ''The Bridal Paradigm'' I believe it is the deepest most heartfelt desire of all true believers to live sinless lives, to be pure, to walk worthy of the high calling of Christ. Furthermore I believe that it is Christ's desire for us. Jesus says, if His word remains in us and we remain in Him we can ask for anything we want and it will be given us. I say we ask for God to give us our deepest most heart felt desire, to walk worthy of Christ. The first week we learned of God's grace, that it is not our covering for sin, but it is our empowerment to overcome sin. God's grace is not simply God's unmerited favor, but it is also God working in us and or through us to accomplish things (such as a sinless lifestyle) that we could never accomplish on our own. Last week we learned of God's love for us. We learned that Jesus has betrothed Himself to us and is returning soon to marry us. When we understand this truth it will move us to action. When we no longer look at ourselves as sinners saved by Grace, but rather as the Bride of Jesus Christ we will change forever we will rise up and walk in all the fullness of God through Christ Jesus. Re-energized by this revelation we will walk in all the promises given to the Bride of Christ in scripture, fulfilling all righteous, becoming the spotless, equally yoked Bride spoke of in Ephesians 5:25-27. Tonight we will learn 8 discipline that will make our hearts fertile ground for revelation. Revelation not limited to, but including the Bridal Paradigm spoke of last week. Here are 3 reasons we need the revelation of the Bridal Paradigm (The understanding that Jesus sees us as His charished Bride. That He loves above, and beyond anything our imagination can conceive) #1 We learn to love God through the revelation of His love for us. #2 When we love God our spirit comes alive and frees us from the bondage of sin, so that we need no longer live therein. #3 Out of the overflow of our love for God we will love others in the way Christ does, we will not help ourselves, but to have compassion on them ministering to their need. The #1 commandment is to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and out of this love for God we will not only be able to live sinlessly, but we will automatically fulfill the 2nd commandment of loving our neighbor as yourself. Satan wants to darken our understanding so that we never come to the fullness of this revelation. Knowing this we must pursue the Lord (pray, fast, study the word, sit silently before God to hear what He has to say to our hearts). To be filled with the knowledge of who Christ is, and who we are in Him, we must labor for it (just like we labor for our diploma, or a degree, or on our jobs. We must put forth a constant effort in seeking after Christ to know who He is) 8 disciplines we can commit to that will prepare our hearts to receive revelation from the Lord. #1 Pray daily- We must spend intimate time in prayer each day before the Lord, sharing our heart to Him and receiving from Him His heart for us and others. (Prayer is just like a conversation. A two way street, we must not just list our problems, and demands, but we must sit and listen for God to speak to us.)(God is not a genie in a bottle we can just rub on anytime we need a merical, He is a loving compassionate being that wants to have a two way relationship with us) Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,... 1st Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing. #2 Read our Bibles daily- I would suggest at least an hour of prayer and study each day 1 hour minimum (one way to accomplish this is make a prayer list, and secondly pray reading). Also if you want to receive a true revelation of Christ, I would suggest reading the ''Revelation of Jesus'' once a week for 3 years ''especially in the times we live in now near the end'' Revelation 1:3) Expand on the King, Judge, Bridegroom princible.( Also if you want to get a true revelation of Christ as our Bridegroom read Song of Soloman once a week as well) Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Psalm 1 1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. #3 Fast weekly- Once a week. Even if it's just one meal of one day, fast at least once a week (I would suggest a whole 24 hr span from like 6 pm Tuesday to 6 pm Wednesday, that way you can eat dinner both nights if you must but still give God a full day) But if not, give Him at least one meal a week and take that time to really press in to His word or pray for Him to reveal His heart to you.(watch your heart though, do not do it out of religious obligation, but out of love for Christ, out of a pursuit to know who He is) Matthew 9:15b...but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast. #4 Do justly- be zealous for good works that exalt Jesus (let your prayer and study time fuel your works of justice, not detract from them.) When we do work of justice Jesus is exalted in our lives, we as the moon reflects the sun will begin to reflect Christ to the world. Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. #5 Give generously- (above your tithe, and even your offering to the church.) If you see and need meet it. When we meet the needs of others God will make sure that all our needs are met. However that is not why we give, we give out of love and compassion for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. #6 Live holy/righteously- 1st Peter 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (we can only live holy if we ''experience the Lord'' and His Spirit guides our way) we are called to be holy, righteous, a pecular priesthood. Gos has called us into a live of holiness, commanding us to forsake wordly lust, and better yet He has empowered us by His grace through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to do so. 1st Peter 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 1st John 3: 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. 1st John 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. #7 Lead diligently/ Take initiative/ Be an example- (Take charge do what need to be done, if you see a need do not wait to be asked meet it ''this time not necessarily financial'' Meet the need, do want ever you see needs doing). This could include giving or doing works of justice. However we could give or do works of justice because we are asked. Do lead we must take the initiative being the example doing these thing with out being asked. James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. James 2 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. #8 Speak bodly- (Be a faithful witness for Christ, speak forth the truth in love and boldness). to be a true minister for Christ we must speak blodly. We cannot shrink away in fear of reject, but speak what we know to be true, knowing that God love us and takes pleasure in us. Ephesians 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: Acts 4:29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, When we obey Christ in these ways, we open our hearts for Him to show Himself to us, and He will. When we realize who He is, and who we are in Him, and how much He truly cherishes us, then we will begin to love him in ways we did not know were possible, and then we will not sin. Just like a loving husband would not dare to flirt with the idea of sleeping with another woman, we would not dare disappoint our beloved Christ (not because of fear of rejection, but because of our great love). Moreover we will begin to love others in a way we did not know possible for we will see them as Christ does, we will have a compassionate heart full of love and tender mercy. By taking these 8 steps we create an atmosphere which God can use to show us His Son. We tenderize our hearts making them good, and fertile ground to receive the word of the Lord, we WILL begin to produce good fruit. It all starts when we make a commitment to ourselves, and more importantly to God that we will pursue Him with our whole heart, with total abandonment, laboring for the knowledge of our Bridegroom King. With fertile hearts this revelation will take strong root in our spirit, we will become alive like never before we will love God with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength, we will love others as ourselves, we will keep ourselves from the corruption of this world, we will become complete in Christ, one with Him as a man is with his wife. John 17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Colossians 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: We are betrothed to the all mighty God creator of Heaven and Earth WOW!!!!!! The wedding is drawing near We will be His Bride and rule with Him for all eternity. WHEN WE REALIZE WHO CHRIST IS, AND WHO WE ARE IN HIM, IT WILL GIVE US THE POWER TO BE WHO WE HAVE BEEN CALLED TO BE, AND AMONG OTHER THINGS WE HAVE BEEN CALLED TO BE PURE, RIGHTEOUS, HOLY, AND PERFECT. THE SPOTLESS, EQUALLY YOKED BRIDE OF THE KING. When tying these three lessons together I realize that they stand on there own. That they can be taught separately and not as an series. However when you grasp the revelation of all three in combination with one another we realize that if we do step one Pray, study our word, fast, do works of justice, give generously, determine to live lives of righteousness, and holiness, taking the initiative to lead, being an example, working diligently for the Kingdom of God, speaking the truth in love with boldness. Then God will do His part step 2. As we seek the Lord He will show Himself to us, and when we begin to get a true revelation of who Christ really is and who we really are through and in Him then step 3 is the natural outcome. Righteous, perfected lives through the grace God has given is to accomplish what we could not have accomplished on our own. I taught the lesson backwards on purpose. First I showed you where God wants us, then I taught the revelation He is going to use to get us there, and then we learned today what to do to prepare our heart to receive this revelation. Now my question is who in this church will commit with me to take these 8 steps, that will inevitably lead to us living sinless, perfected lives. Like I stated at the start of the class I believe it is all of our desire to walk worthy of Christ, and I believe this commitment is step one to that goal.