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A Thoughtful Hour- Part 1

Justin Ringstaff

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Conference

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  • June 5, 2017
    8:00 AM
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Father in heaven we're so grateful for your love in your care for us in the call of heaven in each of our lives as we spend this hour together though we wanted to be an hour together with you especially a thoughtful hour with our Savior our ears learning to be in tune with the voice of heaven and then praying Father for your will to be done in our lives thank you for each 1 here thank you lord that you have brought them and I especially pray Lord that you may minister to them minister to me father and may we go away from this hour knowing that you have been in our midst we pray this in Jesus' name and amen. Amen last year we did a seminar on prayer and word of you and that some are last year OK good majority of you and I had so many requests coming in from that and just to help. As stablish the devotional life we talked a lot about prayer a lot about the need for prayer how to pray in and those things but not as much time just modeling the example of the devotional life so that's the intention of this if you saw on the program is said is not a seminar this is the real life example and so I haven't really prepared for this I wanted it to be as natural as it could be just like if I were to wake up in the morning in and go to my time in prayer and devotion that we could just do that together now I want to be quick to say that this is not the way to do it it's 1 way it's a so I hope you understand that you can glean from it you know it's like Not everybody enjoys the same kinds of food and not all foods work the same way with some people as they do others but 1 thing we do know is that we all need food. And Scripture says and you can tell me where it's found man does not live by bread alone but by every word proceed in the mouth of God And where is that found. Nowhere else so that's found you know I swan and I just want to tell you the power of God's word and having a consistent daily walk with the Lord you'll see things that you never saw before I don't think I even noticed that until you know a couple years ago I thought wow that's interesting is that it's the same in Matthew 4 and someone else tell me in Luke 4 go to Luke 4 for. But Jesus answered him saying it is written man shall not live by bread alone but by every word of God Matthew 4444 never ever see that before 1 person I didn't see that for years and it is shows you the little treasures we find in God's word. And yesterday someone handed me a card that had a verse on it and I had not noticed that before how it jumped out and I'm trying to find it here again Mike what verse was that on your card. He's got a look here to Oh yeah 162 Psalm 119162 I thought about that after I saw that on the card that he gave me and I thought Lord what a blessing that was to me because that's what I find morning by morning in your words someone 19 verse 162 I read Joyce at your word as 1 who finds great treasure. Each day we want to find a treasure from God's word we want to be like Jeremiah in Jeremiah. 15. Yes Jeremiah 15 verse 16 Your words were found and I ate them in your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart for I'm called by your name will Lord God of hosts so that's what we want each morning when we come to the Word of God When we come to that time in the early morning to spend with God we want to come to it as searching for a treasure we want to come expecting to meet God in that time. And I wrote it down here this is an incredible quote here from steps to Christ sorry it's not on the screen but Page 90 she says there is nothing more calculated to strengthen the intellect than a study of the Bible. No other book is so potent what is potent. There are so much in there just ready to. Spring out of the Word of God so potent to elevate the thoughts never find your thoughts or down here or as the Bible say about the Lord's thoughts they are higher than our thoughts and we come to scriptures scripture whose thoughts are we meditating on cots and as we meditate on God's thoughts where are there lifted higher that's what she says so potent to elevate the thoughts to give vigor to the faculties the mind in the body as the Brod ennobling truth of the Bible so wonderful to know it is so wonderful to know that God has a plan to strengthen us day by day as we spend it with him. Now steps the Christ page 90 steps of Christ page 90 in this comes from the desire of ages and. Page 39 D.. Talking about the Word of God in the promises the Word of God. This is what she says in His promises and warnings Jesus means me think about that for a moment when you open the Scriptures and you're reading when you open the spirit of prophecy in your reading you're reading the promises and warnings who is God talking to. To you and he's talking to me and that's what I want to show you in as we go through a devotional together now some of you may say you know 1 time when I got it others may say you know I need a couple times I have been here all week each day we're going to do a devotional together and you're going to find that God will have a treasure hidden for you every single day and it's pretty incredible there are some times where I wake up and you know I don't feel so much like getting up. And going to my knees and opening the Bible sometimes open the Word of God and my mind is just so foggy. Think Lord you have to help me today never have a morning like there. And yet I don't know that there's ever been a time where I've left not having a rich blessing. If I've sought it if I've sought it the Lord never turns us away without his having the blessing no 1 ever sought Christ. Or he didn't touch them and give them a blessing she says in His promises and warnings Jesus means me. Then talking about. Relating the God's word to my experience she says as faith thus receives and assimilates the principles of truth they become a part of the bean and the motive power of the life the Word of God received into the soul molds the thoughts and enters into the development of character so how is it that God changes us to be like Him our scriptures say. Yes So by be holding Christ we become changed and that's why you know when I look at scripture you know so my favorite Bible characters and I could you know tell you why. But some of them like the knock he walked God for how long so he was walking with God and then he had a son and he walked with God even closer 300 years after that it wasn't a constant state of excitement it wasn't a constant sensational walk with God It was a daily humble earnest elevated who walk with Christ. And sometimes I think we have a danger in thinking that the devotion to life should always be an ecstasy of feeling now tell you the highest joys I've ever experienced have been in that time with the Lord but also there have been times where you know I've just been you know the weeping and gnashing of teeth in a sense just pleading with God to help me and. There's a misconception sometimes that I should always feel so great when I come to the Lord and so often we wait until we feel that great desire to come to the Lord when we need to learn that every day we must seek God Whether we feel up here with of those he feels they are here we need to get in the habit of seeking Him day by day and walking with him day by day not just for a moment not just for a week now for a spiritual revival but day by day. Think of that you know walk with God 300 years. And then 1 day the Lord just opened the gates of heaven and he found himself walking into the New Jerusalem that's going to be all of us on Day. Now we don't have to none of us are going to walk this Earth 300 years you understand that right there. Or at most we have a few short years. To walk with our Savior but we'll find them a joy if we do indeed walk with him so since does not appear I was hoping to have appear didn't make. Copies of it too so I want to just kind of start from the get I'm going to hand this out this is a. What I did do was I chose some of the shorter chapters from Speer prophecy in them will do the correlation in scripture but sometimes it spans multiple days but I chose ones that could be done all in 1 day just for the sake. Of making each time together stand alone time so I'm going to have and these you can just kind of pass that around and hand them back get that out and then I want to kind of give an overview of kind of a format. Of. The devotional time how many of you have the discipleship handbook. How do you do not have it it's out of him. OK if you do not have 1 May just have 1 for you if you don't if you already have 1 for those every day this week I have a copy for each 1 of you. Handbook and mentors a guide. The reason why it's so important this is because in the back of this handbook there is a devotional reading plan it correlates the Bible and the spirit of prophecy and this is the basis that I go off of and I just find it a fantastic plan now you may have another plan and that's OK sometimes they do deviate from this. And now explain that here in a moment but. The key is you want a plan. You can have an extraordinary experience and would have gone by just getting up 1 morning and filling in need of seeking God and going open your Bible somewhere in reading and the Lord is going to bless because His Word does not return void right however. For the consistent daily walk with God You want a plan. So that it's not haphazard it's a well rounded Di it. Understand why that means not just a hobby that I want to study but God will. Be So that's important you want to have a plan you want to think about it before you come to that morning so before the morning comes I'm already thinking in what is going to be for that next day so if I have a plan that's kind of laid out for me so that kind of takes that part but there are some things that I want to have ready I want to have my Bible. I want to have my plan what I'm doing and I want to have whatever spear prophecy book that I'm using as well and I want to have that ready I think I mentioned last year that I do believe there are a place for devotional books there you know the 1 page of the Bible text in the devotional arena I think those are fantastic However I don't think those are best suited for the personal personal devotional life now there are many times where I've read 1 of those you know as a blessing and but I don't want that to be the extent I want to have time in the Word of God and I don't have time to spare prophecy to let my mind absorb those things so I'm not saying that those are wrong we use that for our family worship so usually every year will choose devotional book of our family for our devotional time we always choose. And devotional compilation from the writings of L. and white just for us. There's so much to read out there but time is so precious on a spent time in the inspired word of God in this speired writings of his prophets for family time because I don't have to have a filter. When I am in the Bible this provides. I can let it go into my mind and let my mind be conformed to the word rather than having to test all things prove what is good hold fast what is good and discard what is not. So that's just. For us personally. So I want to have my Bible I want to have would ever I'm going to be in the spirit of prophecy. I want to have no Pad You may have similar difficulty that I have that sometimes Already things I have Fosse that come to my mind they're like little rabbits ever had those here you know so you're thinking about something else out of but I don't want to forget it or there's something else I want to study about the world of man that so interesting but I don't want to just go where I want to go on as I want to be where the Lord has been that day so I just write those things down so focus on my mind Oh don't forget to pick up this Lord why am I thinking right now. It just gets out of my mind or if I say ah you know I really want to study that you know there's a reference to just Scion I you know all these things about Reforma man that's fascinating I would make a little note on it and I'll study that later but in this time this is something that that took me years and years to discipline myself on where when I came to the devotional time I want to hear God speak to me. I'm not saying that when you do an exhaustive study of a book of the Bible or you're doing a word study or reference or topical study I'm not saying that God doesn't speak to us and I'm not saying that all but I came to realize that I need a time to just sit at the feet of Jesus and let my mind and my heart be connected to him emotionally spiritually every energy of my being be bent towards learning of him. And we know that passage very well in desire of Ages thing is 83. It would be well for us to spend a whole hour each day in contemplation of the life of Christ and she talks about how we should take each scene a letter mind meditate on it what does that mean means to let the mind absorb it and dwell in a bit on it to think about it not just a haste the reading of a not just to get through a check mark of the day all right I did my devotion them off for the day now as we want to learn of Christ. We want Christ to live his life within us and so we need time to let the mind become acclimated to spiritual things. Our she says as we do that she says that our confidence in him will become more constant. You know I used to get so frustrated with myself and I still do. And I show you how I combat that. But I go away from that devotional time and it would feel like out almost immediately forget so I spent that hour have 2 hours with my Lord and just was so as like heaven open I'm in the present government had to leave and then come back on Earth you know in about earthly things you know advocates of Lord why don't why why am I so quick to ludes that you know why because I let my mind lose the meditation of that hour and so I just started forcing myself I am not a writer I'm not a journal or. You know my you know there are some of my family there are just wonderful that there are many I I know they could write volumes of things and for me it is painful. And when I was younger I thought Lord how could I knew from from you know is the earliest memories I have I knew the Lord was calling you to the ministry. And when I got into high teen years and in into school back I can't write I hate English. All my favor 7 is for math and science I have to you know I have to study you know I just you know it just came naturally to me just listen to the teacher and you know where the English in the rioting in those things oh it just so painful and it still is. But I realized that I needed to do something to keep my mind focused through the day and so I I do have a little little journal book that I write down extraordinary experiences that I have I don't want to forget those and I don't want to forget the thank and praise God for it every once in a while I'll look back through that and just praise God for what he's done in my life but I adopted the. Lazy man is not a word. But non-writer version. Or I just took a card each day and I wrote 1 or 2 thoughts gleaned from my study that. Just kept it with me so through the day I just glanced in just keep my mind and it was it in grains that in the mind and then. I forced myself whatever lesson I had I had to share it with someone that day. You know what I found that. Some will say well as a pastor it was easier because you're visiting people and all these things yeah maybe but I've often thought could I just be a lay person that I could be working to have coworkers and honored be so easy to share his phone when. It is a matter of where where Pastor or layperson gotto put so in our path to share that with that day and I don't mean just post it on Facebook I mean share it no I found that I always had a little thought a little sermon in my mind no matter who I spoke to it was it was incredible to me I Ted I would test this. You know I do little experiments you know. And I do still do those kinds of things. But not have it and I would just test the Lord because I just knew that the Lord wasn't just giving that for me he gave it to me because someone else needed it maybe more than I needed it and I would go and sit in the home with someone or someone to come to visit me or be on the phone someone and I would find day after day that that message that God gave to me that person who I speak into needed that message that day. And so I always had something fresh you know I didn't have to worry about you know going to visit you I'm going to give you some of the the hidden secrets of pastors. You know as a pastor you're always expected to have something fresh and new. And sometimes in visitation you could say you could tell the same story to 100 people and it always be new to have person you know. But after the 10th time it wasn't fresh and new to you and the earnestness and the sincerity the passion of it it wasn't the same as when you shared it when it was fresh to you now in a saying that you can of things that you glean that can be constantly renewed refreshed. But when I could go visit I always had something new I knew that if if I walked into a church on Sabbath morning and. I visited churches so tapped on my shoulder said passed we need you to preach today I always knew that I had something fresh that I could share with them from the Word of God and that just what a blessing that was that every day you know John Wesley talked about him last year extraordinary man this man would preach you know 5610 times a day and I'm sure some of those he was share the same but he has volumes and volumes A servants How was that when he was so active so busy how is that he had so much so many fresh insights from the Word of God because he learned to glean those day by day from the Word of God So to share share that with you today so going to pass out of this and if I'm not careful I'm going to preach in. Here. Does there's there's such a. The transforming power of God's word and you can never separate the Word of God from biblical earnest prayer and you can never separate prayer from the Word of God they go they go hand in hand. So I'm going to walk through this today of course we won't have as much time as we will tomorrow because I've kind of needed to set a foundation for this. But I want to show you how incredible this is and I know because you know every time I share I'm at home I glean you know coming up share things with me and I'm going to glean from you too so this is in any way saying that my way is perfect. It's just a way that. That the Lord has tweaked and developed in my life that has become a blessing to me and if you can glean from it and you can develop a consistent burnous walk with the Lord your life will never be the same. Your prayer life. Will just be strengthen and grow from that as well so you have this here you have your book your Bible if you don't have your Bible to day you want to bring that tomorrow. You may need to grab 2 cars a garage in the back of your car today but if you have thoughts even here I want you to practice letting your mind be captivated by what we're studying. That is probably the the greatest. Enemy of devotions that we have and that it enemy is there to distract our thoughts so even here I want you to try and cap to be your thoughts and if they start to wander pull it back again and after a while you will be able to have such a focus on the Word of God that you will see things that you have never seen before I mean it is it is pretty incredible how the mind strengthens to discern spiritual things so you have your card so also and I don't have 1 for you but you you have a pen or something but usually I have highlighter a highlighter that I like to highlight the things as I'm going through that speak to me. And then at the end I glean through and say Lord what am I going to write down on my card today. Sometimes there are so many things it's hard for me to choose but I know that if I write down 10 things they're all going to be kind of scattered saw I discipline myself to boil it down to 1 or 2 thoughts need for that day and often it will be verses that I'll come across that I'll say I want to memorize that So write that on my pad memorize Matthew 4 for. Good 1 freedom memorize that I'm going to memorize now is Psalm 1962 because I want to put that 1 to memory or Jeremiah 1516 so as I go through I'm writing those down and out tell you I have a list I mean I my list of verses I want to memorize this is very very long and. I'm not going to spend time with it today but maybe tomorrow briefly talk about that and how that can be a strength gleaning from your devotional life so you have those things the thing I didn't mention is in your devotional time before you this is just another secret. Have your water. Ready the night before. Drink I usually drink between 2 and 4 glasses of water in the morning right when I get up before I study and pray. And well how say I usually drink a whole 2 glasses then I drink another $21.00 or 2 glasses during the time the reason why is because it helps to wake up the body in the mind and there's a huge difference let alone it's it's healthy and it's a good practice you need to get the body cleansed with water but have that right when all those things prepared beforehand so when you get up there's nothing to distract or pull you away from that time so let's go to the devotional. This is going to be a you know a 30 minute devotional. But tomorrow we'll have an hour devotional and you'll probably see the difference in that because you have more time to meditate and glean from the Word of God Some have told me after I can spend 5 minutes of potions and start somewhere. I rather spend 5 minutes the no minutes. And you may not be able to start with an hour but what I usually recommend those who are just starting 15 minutes of devotion reading and study and 15 minutes of prayer the harder part is the prayer but I'll show you as we go through how your devotion life becomes the very fodder in content for our prayer. So I am is have a see here and have my Bible have my reading plan and if I came here this would be how to have it bookmarked and if you don't have a bookmark there are some out there power through prayer bookmarks that you can get. On the table in here you'll see it has the Bible Reading for the day and then the Spirit of Prophecy reading for the day it's a correlates the scripture with the Spirit of Prophecy so in here John chapter 3 verse 22 of John 4 Verse 3. And I didn't choose it for this but it just kind of happened that as a found this and why because of its length then I thought oh good this is John 330 this 1 of my. Favorite verses in all the scripture. Which says anyone know. He must increase but I must decrease so John chapter 3 verse 22 we already prayed but I'm going to have another prayers we open God's word Father in heaven. Please guide us. We know spiritual things are spiritually discerned so please help us Lord I just pray for each 1 here Lord pray for myself that we might be students of your word but that we may this morning let your word impress our hearts and minds that we may see our Savior and be drawn closer to him for having spent this time in devotion to him Pray in Jesus name. After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea and there he remained with them and baptized. So in my mind I'm thinking well elsewhere in Scripture I know that Jesus himself that I'm baptize but that His disciples baptized so base what I'm doing I just see a stand. I'm just going to kind of speak out loud what I would be thinking in my head if that's OK Just to give an example now John also is baptizing in a non near saleman because there was much water there something in my mind I've been there. When I was just 10 years old I was had my 10th birthday in Israel and so in my mind I'm just thinking about that. There was much water there what does that tell us baptism by immersion and they came and were baptized you know I'm thinking Lord who Cain what I have come what I have come at that preaching and thinking all this cultural Jewish mean all the cultural Adventist upbringing. Lord what I have had a heart to hear and calm I pray that I would. So I'm I'm warning to put myself in the scene and have it apply to me and say Lord help me to always come for John had not yet been thrown into prison. Then there are rows a dispute between between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purification can you hear in the back so hard to hear if you hear OK OK just holler if you need me to speak up more and they came to John and said to him Rabbi. He who is with you beyond the Jordan to whom you have testified behold he is baptizing and all are coming to him So what's happening here her. Here both of them are serving the kingdom of heaven and there is a dispute between them there is a disunity there jealous why do we become jealous pride pride so I'm thinking Lord help me or not have that times where it's so easy to have that kind of spirit is so easy they're jealous. Or John's sake but really for their sake because they're John's disciples and they're John's the cycles. Verse 27 John answered and said A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from a. Oh this so true my mind I'm just saying Lord thank you for all what you have given to me I would be nothing without what Heaven has done nothing so on 155 I am the vine you are the branches you abides in me and I in Him will bear much fruit without me you can be nothing you yourselves bear witness that I said I am not the Christ but I have been sent before him. Lord we've been sent before you. Haven't we. We have been sent before him we are sent to prepare the way and Lord help me this is this day help me to be preparing the way for Jesus to come again. He who has the bride is the bridegroom but the friend of the bridegroom who stands and hears him rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. Therefore there this joy of minus fulfilled this is so man who is speaking. Out of the he's not he can't fake this. He's speaking and he's really joyful and I think we're having tons of oxygen those things but I've been saying it when I haven't really been feeling it but I would say even if you don't feel it say it. Let your words be what you want to feel and. You know help you he must increase but I must decrease Oh Lord please increase in my life today increase I'm thinking Lord 1 of those things that I should be decreasing. And normally I would take time probably several minutes and just think about that for what are those things in my life I should be decreasing. Or those areas of my life that I need you to be increasing in I'm going to meditate on that and I may even write some things down because I'm doing this what am I I'm praying the whole devotional life is a is a prayer so I'm speaking during the whole time on talking to God he's talking to me and I'm preparing that but when I go to my knees a little bit later all of that is just going to. Spill out in my pleading for God to do that for me that day and that my life or time sake we're going to switch to this 1 now just with I want to show you how both of these work tomorrow we won't be constrained by that song and I have. That describes in my mind the spirit prophecy is just going to develop that a lot and so on the let the Lord speak to me in this as well remember primarily this is speaking to me I'm keeping my mind from thinking Lord please let my wife do this Lord please let my church. Lord let it be me and then maybe I'll have the right attitude of heart and mind to pray that the Lord could work in my family's life too I just have found that a critical spirit is so much more damage than we could ever imagine. And it's so easy and I and I have fallen in this over and over and over again where I come from the Word of God and I I have felt self-righteous You know you come out of the gully mean gates of heaven you know and then there are no 1 else oh what's wrong with they have you know. We don't want that kind of critical spirit we don't want to come out and and having spent you know hour at the LORD and then you know make a quick comment to our our spouse Yeah that was great devotion this morning so what do you do this morning you know. You know maybe she was wrestling with the kids that she was protecting my time I don't know but I don't some want that critical spirit I want the Lord to speak to me and then I want the right spirit to be a minister righteousness to my family. He must increase for a time the Baptists influence over the nation have been greater then of its rulers priests and princes That is incredible. The 1st part of my mind just came who was John the Baptist. I mean. He was he was nobody This is a man who was raised and was in the desert people didn't know about him until he came revealed himself but his influence became greater than that of rulers priests or princes know that tells me about my influence Lord give me heavenly godly influence yes naturally I'm timid afraid I'm overly shot I but Lord with you and me you're going to give me a boldness and a strength and influence it may not be you know the you know Ellerbe or up front but you'll give me an influence I want to be for you I mean that's incredible if he had announced himself as the Messiah and raise a revolt against Rome priests and people would have flocked to his standard I mean that's incredible every consideration that appeals to the end Bishan of the world's conquerors Satan had stood ready to urge upon John the Baptist now I'm thinking Lord what I have stood that test. Why would I want that what I want that influence to bring glory to me or what I truly sincerely want that influence to point people to Jesus. Where the evidence before him of his power he had steadfastly refused the splendid bride the tension was fixed upon him he had to go the tension which was fixed upon him he had directed to another and Lord always. Let me defer that to my savior sometimes people come up and they'll give accolades and they'll give thanksgiving. We may do something for someone they want to give us praise Lord help me to always use that as a wedge an opportunity to give glory to you. I think right now you know but I could use that. You know I could take a loaf of bread to my neighbor and they could say thank you and I can when they say thank you I could use that as a entering wedge. To give glory to you and maybe open a door to speak to them about the 1 who they should really think for it I mean that's that's the thought that I thinking now he saw the tide of popularity turning away from himself to the savior so he's watching this so the day by day the crowds less and about him are you imagining it imagining the. 2 motionless the crowd the huge crowds gathering and day by day he starts to notice that there is less when Jesus came from Jerusalem to the region about Jordan the people flocked to hear him the number of his disciples increased daily so when he said he must increase promise decrease he's talking out of experience right he's watching this happen every toy so you know how to take men. I think Lord what would my initial response have been what if what if me and another pastor are having seminars. And. 1st day it's crowded a mine and then day by day I see them going to his seminar how would I feel. How would I feel what I be jealous for my sake or what I say Lord you guide your people where they need to be. And if it was just me and you Oh what a blessing it would be I mean that. Tell you when we go through we need to make it real and personal and not be afraid to actually just say Lord what I feel the way I would be tempted to. But I would need his strength to change that in me the number of his disciples increased daily many came for baptism and while Christ himself did not baptize he sinks in the administration of the ordinance by his disciples the Lord out of love have been there can you imagine baptizing someone that the Lord sent you to be baptized now as a pastor the greatest burden I have when I baptize someone is Lord are they converted. In you just please Lord may they be converted. If the Lord said Oh what a piece out how to have to worry about virgins on the learn I think Lord that burden is still on you. That burden is still on the Lord. A lot of these things are going to see are from my experience a minister so. They may know of plenty but I hope that your as your in your thinking in your own mind how these things would apply to you Bessie said his seal upon the mission of his 4 Runner. But disciples of John looked with jealousy upon the growing popularity of Jesus they stood ready to criticize his work and it was not long before they found occasion if you're looking for something to criticize you will find it you will find it you would find something to criticize as they did in the very work of Jesus is that not a rebuke. I mean some of the the most difficult times in ministry are the criticisms and fault finding of those who go around professing the love of Jesus in their hearts and as a minister you have to listen you're praying Lord help me not to be critical back how will you be when some give me wisdom how to direct this lord for me let me not be critical elements in a last time about if someone comes to you and is critical and is gossip meaning you're trying to get a member of that where a song is in the corner you can change the subject or something I says to start singing the Doxology. So is there gossip way they're critical or try to change a subject and you care she says just start seeing in the dark. Praise God for. That was startle them right. Now. But Lord don't give me a critical heart. And when I start to have that checked me Lord. You know when you're thinking about this what did Jesus say about the things he would bring to our remembrance of things that he's taught us so we're putting this in our minds. I guarantee if you just meditate that on that for a moment new start to be critical whether it's to your spouse to someone in the church to your children that's going to pop up the Holy Spirit can bring that to your mind and you're going to have to make a decision in that moment. You're going to pray Lord help me give me victory no it's going to happen yes the learning of you victory. Will give you victory I'm naturally. By nature I'm. A critical person in the sense that I can go into a room where I can read something and I can find the mistakes like that I don't know why. I just am naturally bent that way I can just see what needs to be fixed. But I say Lord let that be a gift you've given me and not a curse. Because it could be a gift I could use it to the glory of God or I could use it to the destruction of the morale of those around me and of myself and there are times where I just had to bite mine tough and say Lord. Give me the. The tongue of the learned that I should know how to speak a word in season to those who are weary. That's another 1 you should memorize. OK Oh man we're running out of time I'll just tell you. Every day with God is an exciting journey and I'll tell you it's like this has anyone here ever had the fruit dirty and you know Durian is. You know it's the they call the king the fruit. Is this like weird smelly custard like fruit and you know no my family I'll even go near it to eat it but I remember the 1st time I tried it it was just awful it tasted like eating garlic custard. And. I thought it a smell was like dirty feet. And when I cut this thing open to 1st I thought that I'd buy a rotten 1. And so and I ripped it open it was like I was like opening a small animal or some video of just. The whole experience was just strange. And I honestly didn't know if it was raw. And. Eat this and I'm like about for a gag you know. And I thought. I had to get rid of the thought of the smell the imagery of ripping this thing open and the texture and consistency. And then I was pretty good. And I had and I thought I'm going to I'm going to make myself eat another 1. Out I mean that's that's good now I love durian I mean I love it it's so good I was telling commenced my family of that. But I mean and I'm not comparing the Word of God to that my point is that we sometimes can come to something and it's not enjoyable but we learn and then it becomes the joy and rejoice you know our hearts. And I've I remember coming to God's Word I mean especially in my youth it was it was a chore sometimes for me to read the Bible I did it because I knew I was supposed to but no 1 came alongside me to teach me how to love the Word of God and apply it and let me hear it as of God was speaking to me. I came to it doctrinally and I and I learned to love that I saw the truthfulness of the trustworthiness of the Word of God but I didn't I didn't know God speaking to me and and I felt bad because I saw the Word of God move other people in such extraordinary ways and I thought there's something wrong with me Lord how come. How come I don't hear you speak to me that way and I even in my childhood I've always had. My talks about those who are more naturally devotional there are some that are more naturally devotional in there are others that aren't And so we've got to be careful not to ever judge because there are some the you can look and say you know they don't seem very earnest about the Lord but that doesn't mean they're not how do we judge that only by the fruit right we can read the heart some aren't as natural devotion you may not be as naturally devotional in the sense that there is a natural tendency to just cleaning to those things but that doesn't mean that God isn't going to speak to you and you're not going to be drawn to him Your hearts are going to change these are going to take that stony heart of flesh out I mean the stony heart out and give you the heart of flesh he will. But when you learn to hear thoughts speak to you it is so exciting I mean I'm not saying every I told you before or some days I get it but I'm just like my mind my body I don't feel well I have these burdens on me but I come to God's word and I become such a joy because I know that he's speaking to me and it's exciting it is so thrilling and I just lifts the countenance it lifts the thoughts it ennobles the mind it gives a clarity of thought in decision making it's just it's just wonderful they're saying say that as that it's enough fun. It's just a joy a. Fun Well more common. You can see how it takes time it takes time. You're building a relationship it takes time and you can't you can't get imagine having 5 minutes to talk with someone versus having an hour you know the levels of conversation and that's why are our prayers become so formal they're so repetitive it's almost like it's like our prayers for our meals and I'm the same that's wrong because we're thanking God and asking his blessing upon the food in that's naturally kind of he repetitive. But in our personal per life we get into root root routine just that that habit we've said it so many times assists is default we we can say a prayer and we say made and we don't remember we don't have to remember we pray because we pray the same thing you know for 20 years. But this just makes our conversation with God So living because as you're doing this you're talking to God and he's talking to you know. So when you go to your knees in prayer you're already at such a depth in your conversation with God You go your knees is not Lord thank you for this day please be with us be her children in Jesus name it is not that you more you're still praying for these things but this is not you've just started the conversation of God you've been N. it with God's and it's just wonderful Well we just have a few minutes here on going to we're going to jump down if you are willing to take this and finish this today. And this is I haven't made this a real good example today because. We're we don't have a full time to get through this but I want to go down here if you see on the 2nd on the back side of the page just because this is kind of been the theme here go to that 2nd it's. Paragraph they are says those who. Just because. It says here just because I want to show you how you you're put you're looking to pull something out to speak to you that day and I want to show you how in every reading every scripture you can find a treasure a gym a principle to pull out and write down and glean for that day so he look here this is a very good example where there is a direct speaking to our hearts those who are true to their calling as messengers for God will not seek honor for themselves you could take that sentence and you could pray that exact sentence to God like this Lord I want to be true to the calling that you've given to me. I want to be a messenger for you Lord please help me not to seek honor for myself. He said you can take that and make that a prayer to God. Just that once and you could write that down on your card as the principle that you needed for that day Lord. Help me to be true to my calling. How would be a messenger for you help me not to seek on for myself or as I more often do outtake the exact quote those who are true to their calling as messengers for God will not seek honor for themselves. Then when I go through that day I'm praying that for myself I'm saying Lord how me to be true to my calling I'm a messenger of the most high God and I need you with me today I don't want to see honor for myself and if people see my good works to glorify us my father haven't. So that would be something I could put down for that day. Or you could come down to the next paragraph. Mean the jump way down says so with the followers of Christ. You can see this we can you see or am we can receive heavens light only as we are willing to be emptied of self. What a powerful thought that's a prayer that some that could write down that's something I could share. Lord I want to receive Heaven's Light. Or I don't want there to be anything to keep me from the light of of heavens grace of Heaven's truth of heaven's glory. I want that in Lord I know that I need to be emptied of self Lord there so much anything I need to be emptied of him to me of self today what are those things that I need to be him to. Tell me Lord what do I need to be emptied of it goes back to what we said before he must increase but I must decrease Lord what are those things that I need to decrease said the Lord I just don't want to decrease our to be emptied. Emptied What is empty now does decrease that means nothing right nothing of me all. So I could write that down or maybe. It's coming down again all the way down where you see here the disciples of John had declared that all men were coming to Christ but with clear insight John said No man receives his witness so few were ready to accept him as the savior from sin maybe I'm struggling with something in my life that I need I know I need the power of God to break that Lord's be the savior of this sin in my life for me today be that savor savior of life for me. You can go all the way down to the back of the page then I mean look at that 1. The same the 2nd to last paragraph the same danger still exists God calls a man to do a certain work and when he has carried as far as he is qualified to take it the Lord brings others to carry still farther but like John's disciples many feel that the success of the work depends on the 1st Labor and you say Lord it doesn't depend on me. You called me to do my part and when I've done it I need to be happy for those who are going to take it farther than me or could be the sins of the last pair up the work of God is not to bear the image and superscription of man Lord let a bear your mark so can you see how you can go through that now tomorrow will go through that it will make it all the way through and I'll show you start to finish this will give just the glimpse of how it begins to become a living conversation between you and God day by day morning by morning so what would happen from there as I would take those things that have my other things I'm praying for 2 for my church family the Lord's burdens that he's placed on others that they've given to me and have all those requests that people have asked to pray for this to pray for this as I want to tell someone to pray for them and I don't pray for them. Now I was on to say you know to get in and Lord please be with this person and then let it go no I want to pray for that. Honor pray for that I want to pray for my family so going to have those things but then I'm also going to have those things that God has put right on me for that day in a poll or those things out of my heart to God in prayer and in a listen and to be still to know that the Lord is speaking to me and I'm going to listen to hear his voice. And then to hear him saying yes Justin to day I am going to give you victory over that critical spirit and I say hallelujah thank you a hard. Thank you so much and I'm going to rise to my feet just filled with the joy of have him and hopefully day by day I'll remember to put the card in my pocket. But if I don't then I'm going to ask the Lord keep then grain in my mind well let's let's close in prayer and let's ask the Lord to keep us this day oh dear father May the the prayer John the Baptist be our prayer today oh that you may let Jesus his life be increased in us may we let you do that in us may we decrease Lord may self be swept away in the light of a Savior who gave all that he had for me oh I'm just so thankful that you have taken this time father to be with us what a blessing it is to be in your presence but now Lord I covet your presence to be with us throughout this day let us not quickly forget and you long to walk with us through the day thank you for each 1 here Lord I pray that our time together has been a blessing to them but Lord more importantly than this time alone I pray that our time together who this week will in graine a habit that is built upon a foundation that will never be shaken. That will be servants of the Living God. Now we will live. Only and all for you. Play pray this in Jesus' name in. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse or if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W W W audio verse or.

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