Tools for Spiritual Growth
THREE STEPS TO DEVELOPING PATIENCE
- Ask for God’s Holy Spirit daily. We need our strength and power replenished daily.
- Meditate on our future. There are a lot of negative things in the world. But there is positive gold to be found if we have the spiritual eyes to see it. We need to see how important our jobs will be.
- Be thankful for everything. Be content with what God has given you and where He has placed you. He corrects us as we need it.
THE FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT
Love. Agape is giving what the person giving perceives is needed. God gives man what He knows man needs, not what man wants.
- Joy. Rejoice in what God has given you.
- Peace. Closeness to God brings peace of mind and spirit.
- Patience. Think of the patience and mercy God has toward us.
- Gentleness. Be thoughtful and kind.
- Goodness. Help others. Think on whatever things are good, lovely, pure.
- Faith. This is a gift from God. We need to ask Him for it.
- Meekness. Be humble, willing to go unrecognized, and willing to repent.
- Temperance. Work on self-control. It would seem that if one could develop this fruit, he could develop the others.
THE WORKS OF THE FLESH
Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, fighting, jealousy, wrath, strife, things that cause division (selfishness, complaining, criticism, self-righteousness), wrong doctrine, envy, murder, drunkenness, wild parties.
SEVEN STEPS TO ONE ACCORD
(Mr. R. Ardis, 12/25/99)
- Love one another. We cannot love God if we do not love one another. Develop the give way of life--now.
- Stay in close contact with our Father. Ask God daily for His Holy Spirit. Prayer, fasting, Bible study, meditation.
- Maintain and grow in vision. Meditate on the vision of God’s plan and His will for us.
- Ask God for correction in judgment and mercy. Pray and fast.
- Love not the world. Meditate on God’s law and His ways. Keep them first in your mind.
- Work at improving physical health for God’s glory. Pray for the health of others.
- Develop a greater willingness to serve God. Be willing to forsake everything to follow Christ.
HOW TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER
- Accept one another. Instruct one another.
- Encourage one another. Submit to one another.
- Honor one another. Serve one another.
- Forgive one another.
SELF-EXAMINATION FOR PASSOVER
2 Cor. 13:5 (Mr. L. Marks, 4/22/00)
- Do I truly understand Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread? Have I studied them in depth? Do I get the significance of the Holy Days? Ex. 12-14
- What lessons is God teaching me at this time?
- Am I really looking forward to these days? 2Chron. 30:1-5,13,21-27 Joy and enthusiasm
- Do I have a foot-washing attitude? (Humility and service) Lk. 22:24-25 = wrong attitude. Lk. 22:26-27 = right attitude. Jn. 13:6-15, Phil. 2:3 Do things to build up others, instead of oneself.
- Do I understand my own nature? Am I asking God for correction? Jer.17:9, Rom. 8:6-7, Rom. 6:1-2,6,9-14.
- Am I an enthusiastic instrument of righteousness? Am I burying the old self? Rom. 6:4,6 2Cor.4:16, Mt.5:48.
- Do I need to rekindle the first love? Am I filled with zeal for God’s work? Eccl. 9:10
- Have I given myself completely to God? Lk.14:26 hate = love less than God. Rom12:1, Ps.51:15-17, Is.66:2 Do I tremble at His Word? Do I know it well enough to do that?
- Am I exhibiting for of the fruits of the Holy Spirit than I used to?
- What am I misunderstanding? Am I praying for understanding?
- Am I thankful through it all?
TOOLS FOR CLOSENESS TO GOD
KEYS TO OVERCOMING SIN
- Recognize my sins and character flaws, anything that offends others. Look at it from God’s point of view. Why does He hate it?
- Confess. What is my attitude? Do I want to overcome? Do I give up? Am I truly repentant? Am I diligent to keep trying to do better?
- Repent. Root it out. Christ pleads with the Churches to overcome (Rev. 2 & 3). Change of mind and attitude; about face in intent; waiting to be made righteous.
- Make overcoming my goal in life—every day, all the time.
THE ARMOR OF GOD
- Truth The Word of God
- Righteousness Prayer
- Preparation of the gospel of peace Watchfulness
- Faith Perseverance
- Salvation Supplication for the saints
- Supplication for the ministers to boldly make known the mystery of the gospel
THE SEVEN LAWS OF SUCCESS
(Mr. H. Armstrong)
- Right goal
- Good health
- Close contact with God
SEVEN LAWS OF RADIANT HEALTH
Meredith, Hoeh, Armstrong, Snyder: Principles of Good Heath
Pr. 3:7-8; 12:18,25; 13:12; 14:30; 15:17,20; 17:22. 1Pet. 2:1-10. 1Cor. 6:19-2
- Proper food, water, fasting
- Fresh air and sunshine
- Exercise; avoid bodily injury
- Rest, recreation, sleep.
- Normal regular elimination
- Cleanliness, good grooming, oral hygiene
- Positive mindset, peaceful disposition, cheerfulness. Avoid stress, worry, anger. Count blessings.
SEVEN CONDITIONS FOR ANSWERED PRAYER
- Seek God’s will. Study His Word in order to know His will.
- Believe God. Trust Him.
- Be persistent.
- Be fervent in prayer.
- Be obedient.
- Have fear and humility, awe and respect, for God.
- Ask in Christ’s name.
PREPARATION TO BE A PRIEST/KING
- Develop virtues—wisdom, understanding, temperance, patience, charity.
- Glorify God in your body. Be friendly. Give.
- Develop the personality of a king.
- Develop the character of a king.
- Develop a family life.
- Grow in service and leadership, with a foot-washing attitude. Be willing to wait on others.
- Seek God’s power and learn to exercise that power.
ERRORS IN REASONING ABOUT CAUSE AND EFFECT
- Wealth, power, and fame are exceptions to the rule of cause and effect.
- Time alters the cause and effect rule.
- We will reap what we predict based on what we think we sow; i.e., ignorance alters the cause and effect rule.
- A little doesn’t hurt anyone; i.e., evil in small amounts isn’t harmful.
- We can nullify the effect of evil by doing good.
- We are just victims of circumstance.
SEVEN LEVELS OF SPIRITUAL REFLEX ACTION
(Mr. R. Ardis, 2/19/00)
- We sin, not thinking or caring about it.
- We sin and rationalize it.
- We sin and realize we have a problem.
- We sin and try to stop, but can’t.
- We sin, try to stop, really don’t want this problem, and cry to God for help.
- The sin comes to mind (temptation), but we don’t do it. We thank God.
- We don’t even allow that sin to come into our minds anymore. 2Cor.10:5 Maybe we’ve learned a positive behavior that has replaced the sin. E.g., praying for someone that we used to think evil of.
EIGHT KEYS TO BECOMING A PROFESSIONAL
(Mr. J. Ardis, 3/25/00)
- Practice, practice, practice
- Shake off errors, go forward
- Never give up
- Live and breathe the calling
WHAT GOD, OUR FATHER, WANTS FROM US, HIS CHILDREN
(6/17/00 Mr. J. Ardis)
- Closeness to Him. 1Jn. 3:22
- Obedience. Lev. 26
- Growth in His Ways. Gal.5:22
- Growth toward being loving parents in the world tomorrow
GOALS OF THE CHURCH OF GOD’S FAITHFUL
(7/15/00 Mr. R. Ardis)
- Abide in Christ. Rev.12:17.
- Do what is pleasing to God. Eph.4:115; 1Jn.4.
- Keep His commandments.
- Measure ourselves by the example of Christ, the Word of God. Get ready for the Kingdom, to be worthy. Mt.6:33
- Be of one accord. Love one another.
- Be meek and humble, yielded to God.
- Have the faith and trust of Jesus. Fear no man. Phil.2:5.
- Be a light. Be ready to provide for the needs of those who come to us.
- Pray for inspiration to realize God’s plan. Remember that the Spirit of Judgment is given to the physical leader of God’s Church, and that strength will be given to each of us. Is.28:5-6. Realize that God’s enemies will oppose Him and us. Be physically, mentally, and spiritually prepared.
- Expect miracles. Mt. 10. Wait and watch.
SEVEN WAYS TO PREVENT SIN
- Do not have a peaceful coexistence with sin.
- Take spiritual inventory.
- Don’t do it alone. Be on knees in prayer, pleading help and for God’s Holy Spirit.
- Recognize and guard against my weaknesses.
- Prepare for temptations and attacks by Satan. Plan a right reaction.
- Avoid occasions of sin.
- Don’t give up. Fast, study, meditate. Keep trying.
HOW TO RESIST SATAN
(8/5/00 Mr. L. Marks)
- Know the enemy. Mt.13:24,36-43; Eph.6:12; Mt.13:18-21; 24:9-10; 16:22-24; 2Pet.2:7-9; 1Chron.21:1; 1Pet.1:8
- Satan lies and gets people to lie, some without realizing it.
- He plants circumstances and people around us to make it difficult to be good.
- He seeks whom he can to devour. He wants to destroy our vision, to keep us from getting ready.
- He is the prince of the power of the air, covertly spreading evil attitudes.
- Keep life lines open at all times.
- Study the Word of God. Know God’s promises and love His law. Jn.17:14-17; Ps.119:165
- Ask for God’s Holy Spirit. Repentance, renewal, humility. Lk.18:1; Acts2:38; 1Pet.5:4-6
- Keep close contact with the brethren. Heb.10:23-25; Eph.6:11-19
- Be an overcomer.
- Strive for 6’s and 7’s (Spiritual Reflex Action) Mt.5:48; 2Tim.1:6-7; 1Cor.1:26
- Perseverance. Rev.2:7,11,17,26; Rev.3:5,12,21
- Meditate about the world tomorrow. Rev. 21:7 We were born to be rulers.
- Ask for power in Jesus’ name. Lk.10:17; Js.4:7
DEVICES OF SATAN
- Discouragement Temptations
- Laziness, lethargy Emotions
- Carelessness Roots of bitterness
TO STOP SATAN
- Prayer and Bible study.
- Look forward to Holy Days.
- Build character in trials. Be thankful for them.
- Come to all services.
- Listen to tapes as often as possible.
- Remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
- Remember, "If God is for us, who can be against us."
- "Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you."
- Live by every word that comes from the mouth of God.
SEVEN RULES FOR MAKING RIGHT DECISIONS
- Ask God for wisdom.
- Use Biblical examples.
- Get all the facts, the pros and cons.
- Seek wise counsel.
- Make a decision.
- Have faith in your decision. Expect it to be right and good.
- Work diligently at it.
ANN LANDERS: HOW TO GET ALONG WITH OTHERS
(8/19/00 Mr. R. Ardis)
- Always say less than you think.
- Cultivate a low persuasive voice.
- Make promises sparingly and keep them.
- Kind and encouraging words.
- Criticize gently, not harshly.
- Be interested in others.
- Rejoice with others.
- Mourn with others.
- Be cheerful; don’t always talk about your sufferings.
- Discuss; don’t argue. Keep an open mind.
- Refuse to talk about another’s vices.
- Be careful of another’s feelings
- Pay no attention to disparaging remarks.
- Don’t be eager to get credit due to you.
HUMILITY = LEAVING OUT THE "I"
(Mr. L. Marks)
H - Humble enough to obey and follow Christ’s example.
U - Understand others, being careful and wise in communication; effective listening.
M - Meekness, mortifying and subduing the self, mildness of temper.
Mercy, compassion, feeling for others. Modesty.
L - Love, giving self in favor of others. Long-suffering, patience.
T - Tact—don’t be a steam roller. Watch the tongue.
Y - "You"—try to see the other person’s view. Make concessions, yield.
TEN DAILY QUESTIONS
(Mr. R. Ardis)
- Did I awake with a spiritual, happy attitude?
- Did I keep my mind clean, my thoughts on things above?
- Bible study and prayer 3 times every day? Did I grow in grace and knowledge of Christ?
- Did I turn to God for wisdom, guidance?
- Did I exercise self-discipline, denying impulses, doing God’s will?
- Was my speech kind, cheerful, and soft?
- Was I patient, charitable, tolerant, loving?
- Was I diligent in my duties? Do my best?
- Did I make the most of my time?
- Were all my actions geared toward God’s work and toward helping others?
FIVE WEEKLY QUESTIONS
- How was your week?
- How was your Bible study and prayer life?
- Did you fast?
- What did you meditate on?
- Did you grow closer to God? Stay the same? Drift away?
CHARACTERISTICS OF GOD THAT WE NEED TO ACQUIRE
Love, Graciousness, Wisdom, Holiness, Power, Counsel, Life
Ways we thank people:
- Words – "Thank you."
- Show interest in what is given.
- A gift.
- Good deeds in return.
- Comments that show appreciation and feelings.
- Tell others about what was done for me.
- Ask for more.
Ways to thank God:
- Words in prayer.
- Notes – a list of things to be thankful for.
- Look at creation and appreciate it.
- Think about His power and what He does with it.
- Think about His physical gifts to us—talents, family, etc.
- Think about His spiritual gifts to us.
- Holy Day offerings.
- Good deeds.
- Tell others what God has done for us.
- Ask for more, especially for more of His Holy Spirit.
- Realize that God’s gifts are infinite and perfect.
- Be in a thankful, prayerful attitude all day long.
REASONS TO BE THANKFUL FOR SUFFERING
(Mr. H. Webb)
- Suffering chastens. Without this we are not God’s children. It makes us partakers of His holiness and yields righteousness.
- Deepens dependence on God. God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness.
- We receive God’s comfort. Then we can comfort others.
- Increases maturity. E.g., we can only learn patience by having something to endure.
- It brings the Spirit of God upon you.
- It gives us the opportunity to trust God even though we may not understand His purpose.
- It brings eternal victory. We know that He has not forsaken us.
DEVELOP STRENGTH FOR THE SPIRITUAL BATTLE
- Ask God for more of His Holy Spirit.
- Ask God for physical strength.
- Watch for and recognize spiritual attacks. Ask God to reveal them.
- Ask God to show what to do to counteract them.
- Ask God to help us examine our spiritual armor for weakness and to cover the exposed areas.
- Ask for Godly endurance.
KEYS FOR BUILDING FAITH
- Remember that God always answers our prayers—in His time, His way, in the way that is really best for us. Be willing to take "no" for an answer.
- Pray for faith and trust in God.
- Be a profitable servant (like a valuable employee).
- Listen carefully to the Word of God
- Use the name of Jesus Christ. Pray in His name, by His authority.
- Never take faith for granted.
THE 4 GREAT MANDATES
(Mr. Tkach Sr.)
- Come out of the world. 2Cor.9:6-7 Giving as a way of life.
- Simplify your life. Set priorities. Jn.10:10; Mt.6:33
- Prepare to teach. Mt.5:6
- Emphasize family, physical and spiritual. Mk.10:29-30.
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
The First and Greatest.
Jn.22:37-38; Ex. 20; Mt. 6:24-33
Gen. 22 Abraham put God first and received the blessing.
Gen. 26:5; Deut. 6:1-25;
Mt.22:37-38; Rev. 12:17; 1Jn.4:20.
What have I put before God?
Taking God’s Name
6/10/00 Mr. J. Neill 1Cor.15:52; 1Jn.3:2; Rev.22:4. Ex.20, Dt.5,7.
To take: Acts 11:26 followers of Christ, taking a new name in marriage.
In vain: All for nothing, fruitlessly. 2Chron, Eccl.3:1-11
Not held guiltless. 2Pet. 2:1,18-21
Keeping the Sabbath Holy
8/26/00 Mr. J. Ardis Ex.20:8-11; Ex.31:12-17; Num.15:32; Mt.12:1-13
Friday sundown – Can I relax because I’ve already gotten everything ready
(cleaning, dinner, etc.)? Make Friday evening special—dinner, special dishes.
Be with the family and do something to make the Sabbath special.
Rest and relax; make the Sabbath a joy.
Look forward to the Sabbath.
Balance prayer, Bible study, and communication with family.
Walk in nature. Enjoy God’s creation.
Communicate with those who are alone on the Sabbath.
Assemble with brethren. Proper service and attire.
ARE YOU READY?
For total commitment to becoming a member of God’s family? The answers you give to these questions will make it self-evident whether or not you are ready for Christ’s appearing.
(6/26/04 Mr. L. Marks)
- Are you ready to serve, to practice good works, and to be an example?
- Prov.16:2-3, Mt.5:16, Eph.2;10, 1Cor.9:19-22
- Am I flexible enough to be inconvenienced, to be taken advantage of, to give the advantage to someone else, to yield my rights? Am I a tool of righteousness, an ambassador of the Kingdom of Heaven? Lk.6:27-29, Mt.5:39-48, Rom.6:13,16-19
- Am I willing and ready to share my calling by making myself available to anyone who has questions? Do I have the knowledge and understanding to give the answers with sincerity, meekness, and fear of the Lord? 1Pet.3:15, Rom.1:14-15
- Am I ready to obey the commandments and keep the Word? Without any side-stepping? Jn.14:14,21-24, 1Tim.6:11-14, Ps.119:16-17,105,114-115
- Do I keep my heart and mind in Christ, so that I can do my part to promote unity and edify the body of Christ? Phil.4:7, Mk.14:38, Eph.4:11-13
- Am I ready to watch and pray, therefore keeping the faith? Lk.21:36; 22:31-32, 1Cor.16:13, 2Tim.4:7-8
- Am I ready to be persecuted, to die for and to meet Jesus Christ? Acts21:13, 1Cor.1:26, Lk.21:36; 22:32-33
- Am I ready to make these supreme physical and spiritual sacrifices? Mt.24:44; 25:10,13 Rom.12:1-21, Ps.86:5, Is.38:20 If I fail, do I repent, know God has forgiven me, and keep trying? Am I ready for the reward? Rev.19:4
GIVE GLORY TO GOD OUR FATHER IN ALL THINGS
1COR.10:31 Father’s Day Message (6/19/04, Mr. R. Ardis)
Jesus gave glory to His Father in everything He did. Jn.4:34; 5:19,30; 8:28-29; 17:4.
How can we do it?
- Ask God daily in fervent prayer for His Holy Spirit and fill your mind with the mind of Jesus Christ.
- Ask God to make you always aware of who you are: an ambassador of Jesus Christ, a representative of the Kingdom of God, a spiritual Rechabite. Jer.35:2-16, 1Cor.6:30
- Realize fully that we can do nothing unless Christ is in us. Eph.4:14. To have Christ in us, we must pray, study, fast, and meditate.
- Practice sincere Godly love. Rom.12:9-10
- Abhor evil. Resist Satan.
- Cleave to the good. Submit to God.
- Let your light shine through good works. Mt.5:16. Be happy, positive, kind, cooperative, wise, thoughtful, neat, modest. 1Pet.2:12
- Be in one accord in truth and faith. Be thankful for the truth and be able to teach the truth. Rom.15:4
- Pray for power to finish God’s work. Mt.15:30-31, Mt.10:7-8,19-20
- Be happy in suffering and reproach. 1Pet.4:12-14,17-19
- Be willing to lay down your life for the glory of God. Jn.21:18-19
- Condition your mind to think of giving glory to God in all activities of daily living: for example, your job, teaching your children, shopping. Analyze all your actions and motives. Confess to God your weaknesses and sins, and ask for true repentance. 1Pet.4:11
- Make a prayer list and use it often.
- Write a list of weaknesses and present it to the Father for help.
- Learn from my mistakes.
- Remember that we have the greatest truth of all time.
- Live the faith every day, all day.