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Monthly Archives: January 2014

1/27/14 – “DEVELOPING YOUR SPIRIT MAN”

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1 Cor. 3:1 HOWEVER, BRETHREN, I could not talk to you as to spiritual [men], but as to nonspiritual [men of the flesh, in whom the carnal nature predominates], as to mere infants [in the new life] in Christ [unable to talk yet!]

One of the most important truths to walking out what God desires for us is an area that is not talked about often enough, but is in fact a must for believers if they want to mature and no longer be ruled by their old fleshly nature. Man is a three part being. Man is a spirit who posses a soul and lives in a body. We are not a soul nor are we a body, we are a spirit being. Most of the time when we refer to ourselves in the first person we are referring to our soul or our body. Once born again our spirit man becomes brand new, recreated in the very image and likeness of God. If you want to mature as a believer you must learn to develop who you really are, your spirit man.

Man has learned how to develop the body through exercise and diet. Man has learned how to develop the soul through study and education, but the one area we have had little understanding in is how to develop our spirit man. Paul addressing the Corinthian church reveals that they were still fleshly, carnal, nonspiritual Christians. They were still being dominated by their carnal nature. Because of this he could not speak to them as to spiritual men and women of God, which simply refers to being dominated by their spirit man within. The more we develop our spirit man, the less carnal and immature we will be. One who is spiritual is also tuned in to the Spirit of God within them, following God’s leading for their life.

Just as it takes discipline to develop the body and the mind, there are also spiritual disciplines necessary to develop our spirit man. This week I want to share with you some of the key elements that scripture reveals of how we can develop our spirit and become spirit ruled instead of carnally ruled. Just being born again does not obviously deliver you from being carnally ruled for if it did this would not have been an issue for the Corinthians. So let’s dig in to the things that we can do to develop our spirit and become spirit ruled Christians.

1. BECOME SPIRIT CONSCIOUS.
Eph. 4:23 Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes.

The first key to developing your spirit man is to become spirit conscious. We must renew our minds through the Word of God to do so. You will see throughout the New Testament that most of the references where the writers refer to themselves in the first person they are referring to their spirit, not the soul or the body. When someone says they are depressed, they are referring to their soul. When they say they are sick, they are referring to their body not their spirit man. To renew your mind to become more spirit conscious you need to find scriptures that reveal the real you, your spirit man within. As you do you will begin to see a whole new picture of who you really are.

One such scripture can be found in 2 Corinthians 5:17 where the Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul declares that anyone who is in Christ is a new creation, old things have passed away and all things have become new. The words for new creation actually refer to something that did not previously exist. When you become born again, in that instant you put your faith in Christ, there is a supernatural event that takes place within. God replaces your old spirit man with a brand new spirit.

This brand new spirit that comes into existence when one is saved is one spirit with the Lord. A born again spirit is one that has been recreated in the very image and likeness of God. The spirit man you used to be is no longer there. You become completely brand new on the inside. God’s very DNA now resides in your spirit man. You are instantly changed and now have all of the fruit of this new born again spirit within you. Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are now residing in your new spirit man. If we develop our spirit man and become spirit ruled, these fruits will begin to manifest through our lives.

Another powerful verse to renew your minds to become more spirit conscious is found in Galatians 2:20. This scripture reveals that one who is born again has been crucified with Christ. This again is referring to our spirit man. Paul goes on to state in this scripture it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives is us, and the life we now live in the body we live by faith in the Son of God who loves us and gave His life for us. The old man is gone and the new man has come, made in the image of Christ Himself.

2. PRAY MUCH IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
1 Cor. 14:14 For if I pray in tongues, my spirit is praying, …

Here in 1 Corinthians 14 we clearly see that when we pray in tongues it is our spirit man that is doing the praying. It is not coming from your soul, which is your mind, will, and emotions. It is your spirit man that is doing the praying as the Holy Spirit gives your spirit the utterance. Having the ability to pray in tongues is a result of being baptized in the Holy Spirit. This is clearly seen through the book of Acts as a separate experience from being born again. One becomes baptized in the Holy Spirit when they simply yield themselves fully unto the Holy Spirit and allow Him to come upon them.

It is easy to see why the devil has worked so hard to convince Christians to have nothing to do with begin baptized in the Holy Spirit. It is a powerful part of our walk with God in which we become empowered to be a witness for Jesus Christ. One of the evidences that someone has received this in their life as revealed in scripture is praying in tongues. There are many benefits to praying in this supernatural language. One such benefit is that we are allowing our spirit man to do the praying and this helps us to become more dominated and aware of our spirit. When you pray in the spirit scripture reveals you are building yourself up as it edifies you personally. The you that is built up is your spirit man.

Praying in the spirit is the easiest way as a believer to instantly allow your spirit man to become the dominant part of your three part being. You are also praying in the perfect will of God when you pray in tongues. There has been a lot of misunderstanding about tongues in the church. When you carefully study 1 Corinthians 14 you will find that Paul states we should not speak to one another in tongues in church, but he does not say we should not pray in tongues. As a matter of fact he states we should pray in our understanding (natural language), and pray in the spirit as well. When you speak to someone in tongues, not praying to God in tongues, Paul states it should only be done if there is an interpretation given of what was being said in tongues to that person or persons. When we pray in the spirit we are speaking to God, not to man.

It is easy to understand why the devil has worked so hard to get Christians and even Christian leaders to have nothing to do with being baptized in the Holy Spirit. It is a major part of what builds our spirit man, and remember; the more we develop our spirit the less carnal we will be. Satan loves for Christians to be carnally ruled because they are powerless against him and easily taken advantage of. If you want to develop your spirit man and you have not been baptized in the Holy Spirit, just yield to the Spirit of God and ask the Lord to baptize you in His presence; and you can begin to pray in this new and powerful heavenly language.

3. WALK IN LOVE
Eph. 5:1 Imitate God, since you are the children he loves.
Eph. 5:2 Live in love as Christ also loved us. He gave his life for us as an offering and sacrifice, a soothing aroma to God.

God is a spirit and certainly therefore not carnally ruled because He is not carnal. We are to imitate Him as His children. We do so by walking in love just as Jesus walked in love. Walking in the love of God means we treat others the way we would want to be treated, no matter how they treat us. The very first fruit of our spirit is God’s love. When we choose to yield to the love of God we are yielding to our spirit man. As we walk in the spirit, we will not fulfill the lust of our flesh. Our spirit man begins to dominate our entire being and we become more aware of who we really are.

As 1 Thessalonians 5:23 reveals, we are a spirit, we have a soul, and we live in a body. The more we learn to develop our spirit man; we will begin to see things as God sees them. We will become more conscious of the Holy Spirit who bears witness with our spirit. We will also no longer be a carnal Christian, ruled by our flesh but instead we will become mature believers, seeing the power of God working in and through us to fulfill His will by changing the lives of others. You are a spirit, you have a soul, and you live in a body. Develop your spirit man and you will live a whole new life as a child of God.

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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1/13/14 – “MASTERING YOUR MONEY”

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Matt. 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

When it comes to money have you ever thought about this question: Are you master over money or is money a master over you? When it comes to money and Christians they don’t usually like anyone talking about money, but Jesus addresses this issue many times in scripture and He did so for several reasons, but the most important reason He did so is because of the above verse of scripture. Take a moment and read that verse again and think about what it is saying.

There is not doubt nor question about what Jesus is saying here. If money has become your master then you are not serving God for you cannot serve both God and money. One of the first things that religion has done to deal with this incorrectly is to claim that we should be poor, for Jesus even told a rich young ruler to go and sell all that he had, give it to the poor, and come follow Him. But Jesus was dealing with what had become a god to him, and Jesus also declared that when you give it shall be given to you. There is no doubt that poverty is not of God. Poverty is demonic and will strip you from what God desires to do through your life.

On the other hand there are those who do teach it is God’s will to prosper us, and it is, but they clearly are out to take advantage of people going further to say things the Bible does not say. They will tell you that you must give only to their ministry to be blessed, or that you must give in the next 30 minutes a certain amount of money and if you do all your needs will be taken care of. Neither Jesus nor His disciples did any of this when it comes to dealing with money. But there is a clear truth revealed here in Matthew 6 that if you are serving money then you cannot be serving God.

God wants us to master money because if we do money will never master us. If you serve money then money is making the key decisions of your life. God is being removed from that equation even if you think otherwise for again as Jesus said you cannot serve God and money. God wants us to master money so that He is the one that has our heart, for it is through your heart that God is going to lead you, it is through your heart that you are going to receive from God, and it is through your heart where true life comes from. So what are some of the signs that our money is our master and we are in fact serving it? Jesus gives us some clues in our foundation verse for starters.

Those who despise or hate for a pastor or minister to ever ask of anyone to give to the work of God are serving money. As Jesus states here one of the things you will see in contrast to serving God or money is that you will love the one and hate the other, or you will at least be devoted to the one and despise the other. Most believers would not think they are despising God, but to despise here means to think little of. What you think little of you will invest little in, but what you think highly of you will invest highly in.

If you think highly of your kids you are going to invest much in your kids. If you think highly of your education you are going to invest much in your education. If you think highly of God you are going to invest much in the kingdom of God. Investing much is not based on amount but percent, but the truth is we all invest our money in something. Everyone beyond their basic needs invests or spends their money on things that are important to them. What we invest in reveals what our heart is set on.

Matt. 6:21 Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be.

When our heart is set on God, then God can give us the direction and guidance we need in life, for that is how He does so. When our hearts are set on God faith will rise in our hearts as we hear God’s Word, for faith is of the heart. When our hearts are set on God we will tap into the life of God within us, for that is where the source of that life comes from. Our treasure (which refers to where our money comes out of, bank account, wallet, etc.) reveals what our heart is set on. Many just don’t want to admit this is true, but in denying this truth from the Word of God we continue to live in deception and continue to have money as the master of our life instead of God.

Money is not a good master. It cannot love you when you hurt, it cannot heal you when you are broken, it cannot fix relationships, it cannot bring you true inner peace and joy, it cannot deliver you from the powers of darkness, it cannot get you to heaven, it cannot restore your relationship with God, and on and on you could go. God has never been against His kids having money, for He knows that it is what we need to not only provide for our families, but it is also what we need to fulfill His Great Commission to go into all the world and preach the gospel.

Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
Mark 16:16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

If God has called His kids to go into all the world and preach the gospel don’t you think He would provide us the way to do so? God would not call us to do something He would not provide us with the ability to do. One reason money is a master to many is because they are not thinking of fulfilling this Great Commission God gave us. They are just focused on trying to provide what they need and what they want. When our focus in life is not the same as God’s we are not going to see what He sees and we are not going to experience what He desires for us in this life. When it comes to our money do we look at a dying world where so many do not know the truth about the gospel and become motivated to do something about it? God’s desire for you is to not only see to it that you have your needs met, but that you have more than enough to help evangelize the world, but it begins with a seed.

2 Cor. 9:6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
2 Cor. 9:7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Cor. 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
2 Cor. 9:9 As it is written:

“He has dispersed abroad,

He has given to the poor;

His righteousness endures forever.”
2 Cor. 9:10 Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness,

Many may say that when God finally blesses me I will begin to give, but that is the same as the farmer saying I will start sowing when I get enough seed. Notice here in 2 Corinthians 9:10 the Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul states that God supplies seed to the sower and bread for food, and He will in fact supply and multiply the seed we have sown. God does not multiply seed sitting in our bank account or wallet. God does not multiply seed that we use to spend on other things instead of sowing that seed. When you finally decide to become the master of your money you decide to become a sower. You decide to invest in something that your heart becomes set on, the kingdom of God. When you become a sower you begin to recognize that you have seed to sow. You just have been using it for other things that are not eternal.

James 2:26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

How do you become a sower? How do you begin to master money? You must put action to your faith. People often think they don’t have any seed to sow, but in fact when you simply pray and ask God what He desires for you to give above the tithe and then do so, you will see God begin to multiply the seed you have sown. Scripture in the New Testament is clear that we should in fact be tithing and giving offerings. That is a whole other subject to teach on, but if you want to become the master over your money you must go to the Word of God, recognize what God’s Word says about money, then face any fears you may have by acting on God’s Word in faith.

As I recently heard my wife say, “If we trust God with our life (our spirit) which is eternal, surely we can trust Him with our money, which is only natural & temporary.” You cannot serve God and money. If we want to serve God we are going to have to master our money instead of our money mastering us. God’s desire is to prosper your life. Scripture is very clear about this, but you have to sow seed for God to have something to multiply. Don’t let money be your master, make God the master of your life and you will watch Him bless you and take care of you providing more than enough to do your part in evangelizing the world!

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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1/6/14 – “7 REASONS FOR GIVING TO GOD”

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Matt. 23:23 “How terrible it will be for you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest part of your income, but you ignore the important things of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but you should not leave undone the more important things.

One of the most misunderstood areas of scripture has to do with money. There are those who think if you ask for any money to do the work of God you are just after their money. Then there are those who exploit people by making all kinds of promises about their giving that is not based on scripture. As the old saying goes we should not throw out the baby with the bath water. I am amazed at how many Christians don’t think you should ever ask for money in church.

Many want to have a church facility to come to where they can grow in their walk with God, bring their kids to kid’s church, and have a place to connect with others, but for some reason they must think the money to provide such things to do God’s work just comes from out of no where. I often wonder how do they think a church pays their light bills, provides snacks for their kids, pays for rent or payments to keep their facility, and provide upkeep and maintenance for their facility? Most people who have an issue with giving to the work of God either have no understanding of what God’s Word says about it, or they are in love with money. This week I want to share seven Bible reasons as to why God says we should give tithes and offerings.

1. TITHES AND OFFERINGS IS GOD’S PLAN NOT MAN’S
2 Cor. 9:10 And God who continually supplies seed for the sower and bread for eating, will supply you with seed and multiply it, and will cause your almsgiving to yield a plentiful harvest.

Take a look back at our foundation text, and then at this text here in 2 Corinthians 9:10. First in Matthew 23:23 Jesus tells the Pharisees that they tithed right down to the very herbs in their gardens, but they had overlook the very justice, mercy, and faith of God that was standing before them in Jesus Christ. Notice Jesus in the New Testament clearly states that they should tithe, but not overlook what He had come to do to provide justice for all through His shed blood, revealed by the mercy of God, and received by faith in what Christ would do for us.

In Leviticus 27:30 God said all the tithe is the Lord’s, and it is holy to the Lord. The tithe is the first tenth of our increase. Many today say tithing is of the law. First of all by saying that they don’t even understand tithing and the fact that Abraham who gave a tithe of all to Melchizedek did so before the law was ever established. Tithing is in the law but not of the law. Secondly Jesus Himself here clearly tells the Pharisees that they should tithe. I don’t know how anyone can misinterpret that unless you are going to change the Word to fit your lifestyle. Tithing is a way we honor our God and it is something He established, not man.

Above the tithe we are to give offerings. Remember the tithe is the Lord’s, not mans. That is why Malachi said to God’s people in his day that they had robbed God of tithes and offerings. As 2 Corinthians 9:10 above states God supplies us not only with bread for food, but with seed to sow, so that when we sow that seed He can in turn multiply it back to us to yield a harvest of blessing. All through the New Testament we see verses of scripture that reveal it is God’s plan to give tithes and offerings, not mans.

2. TITHE AND OFFERINGS IS GOD’S PLAN TO SUPPORT THE LOCAL CHURCH AND ALL OUTREACHES OF THE CHURCH
Mal. 3:8 Will a man rob or defraud God? Yet you rob and defraud Me. But you say, In what way do we rob or defraud You? [You have withheld your] tithes and offerings.
Mal. 3:9 You are cursed with the curse, for you are robbing Me, even this whole nation.
Mal. 3:10 Bring all the tithes (the whole tenth of your income) into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now by it, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

Our tithes and offerings are to be brought to our storehouse, the house of God where we are feed the Word of God, and where we in giving help support the work of that local church as well as the outreaches of the church. As I stated in my opening comments how do people who come to church and think it’s wrong for the church to obey the Word of God and take tithes and offerings think the church pays it’s bills? A church that is obeying God’s Word is also going to fulfill the call of God through outreaches to evangelize and reach out to those in need. This is clearly God’s plan.

3. TITHE AND OFFERINGS IS GOD’S PLAN TO BLESS HIS PEOPLE
Luke 6:38 If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving—large or small—it will be used to measure what is given back to you.”

The kingdom of God’s system to bless you is in giving and receiving. Jesus here states that when you give you will receive. The measure of your giving will determine your receiving. Even Paul states in 2 Corinthians 9:6 if we sow sparingly we reap sparingly, but if we sow bountifully we will reap bountifully. This is how God’s kingdom operates to bless His children. Sowing bountifully is not based on amount, but on the percentage of what we give. Jesus in the temple one day pointed out a widow who gave two mites in the offering that day. He told his disciples the rich had put in much by way of amount, but that widow had given more than all of them for it was all she had left. The key to giving offerings is praying and asking God what He desires for us to give. If we will do so and obey Him God will make us a bountiful giver because He does desire to bless His children. We don’t reap what we want; we reap based on what we have sown.

4. TITHES AND OFFERINGS IS TO HELP YOU KEEP GOD FIRST
Prov. 3:9 Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the first and best part of all your income.
Prov. 3:10 Then your barns will be full, and your vats will overflow with fresh wine.

When you honor God with the first tenth of your income, and each time you come to God’s house pray about what He wants you to do in giving Him an offering, you are keeping God first in your life. Jesus Himself said in Matthew 6:24 that no man can serve God and wealth. If we honor God in our giving we keep God first, not wealth. Scripture reveals that the love of money is the root of all evil. Money is not evil, but the love of money is. That will never be a problem for one who puts God first.

5. TITHES AND OFFERINGS IS GOD’S PLAN TO KEEP YOUR ATTENTION ON HEAVEN
Matt. 6:21 For where your wealth is, there also will your heart be.

When we use our wealth, our money to do the work of God that reveals what our heart is set on. Those who give to God from their heart, because they want to not because they have to, they keep their focus on eternal things. Their attention is on heaven, not on the things of this earth.

6. TITHES AND OFFERINGS IS HOW WE LAY UP TREASURES IN HEAVEN
Matt. 6:19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;
Matt. 6:20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

As givers we are laying up treasures in heaven. Those treasures are all the people who will come to know the Lord and be born again because of the seed we have sown into God’s kingdom. People are God’s treasure and we will have a great reunion in heaven with those whom we have help to reach with the gospel.

7. TITHES AND OFFERINGS IS GOD’S PLAN TO ENLIST YOUR PARTICIPATION IN THE GREATEST THING CLOSET TO HIS HEART, WORLD EVANGELISM
Mark 16:15 And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere.
Mark 16:16 Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.

God’s desire is that none perish but that all would come to the knowledge of salvation. One of the last things Jesus said to the church was to go into all the world and preach the good news to everyone everywhere. It takes money to go into all the world, but it is an investment that changes lives for eternity. There are many things man can invest his money in, but there is only one thing that will make an eternal difference, investing into the work of the kingdom of God.

See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”

May God’s Best Be Yours!

Pastor Darryl Baker

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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