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04 Sharpening the Mind

Eric Walsh
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In this message, Dr. Walsh looks at the tools God has given us to make our minds sharper and better instruments for Him. Dr. Walsh will look at prayer fasting and studying. Each of us is called to have the Mind of Christ and that was a very sharp mind!

Presenter

Eric Walsh

Pastor and Physician

Recorded

  • February 4, 2021
    12:00 PM
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A. Serious message today in that it is there's a lot of. Kind of died back. Training that is going into the message that will be given today. And our scripture reading come from 2nd Corinthians Chapter 3 2nd printing the chapter 3 starting at the 1st 18 starting in verse 18 it says look we all with open face beholding as an eye glass the glory of the Lord changed into the same image from glory to glory even as by the spirit of the Lord we are changed. Into the same image from glory to glory to glory even as by the spirit of the Lord our message for tonight is untitled sharpening the mind sharpening the mind let us pray Father God we thank you Lord for this opportunity to once again study your word and your true lives. Lord. Help us to take the lessons. Here in the scriptures to heart let me apply. An extra into our very the fabric of our beings by a Holy Spirit or again I just ask to be made a male upon the wall. Rusty sorry mail order but upon a nail it asked during a portion of Jesus Christ let me not be seen or heard in step father let us hear word from the throne room of grace this is our prayer in Jesus is precious and holy name Amen All right. So we are going to jump into the book of of. This is I think actually the book of Matthew and I want that mark there Matthew Chapter 17 starting a verse 14 Matthew Chapter 17 start of verse 14 says and when they had come to the multitude a man came to him kneeling down to him and saying Lord have mercy on my son for he is an epileptic and suffers severely for he often falls into the fire and often into the water so I brought him to your disciples but they could not sure Him So Matthew and Mark discussed as maybe made the full part here but Mark here instead of Matthew Mark Chapter 9 Matthew Chapter 17 this is the story that happens immediately after Jesus has come down from the Mount of Transfiguration what's important about that story is that Jesus takes 3 disciples up Peter Peter James and John believes the other 9 disciples while the 9 disciples are left behind and while the 3 are having this amazing experience on the Mount of Transfiguration a man we are told in Mark chapter 9 brings his son who has a demon a dumb spirit the scripture says that is trying to destroy him. And so Jesus is up in the mountain the 9 disciples who we would have to believe and work miracles before are unable to deal with this challenge would Jesus comes down from the mountain Mark 9 tells us that the the scribes are questioning his disciples Jesus jumps in to defend them and as he stands there. A man brings his son I can imagine the crowd clears out and opens up. As Jesus and the 3 disciples had of our returning to the situation you can see that. There's a major showdown about to happen. As Christ is dealing with the situation the man if you can imagine humbly comes before him and his son is there. As they are talking to the demon is trying to throw fits through this boy to destroy him the key words here in verse 16 says but they could not cure him. The 9 disciples honestly were jealous. There was some contention that they were not included with the 3 gone up into the mountain and seeing the Transfiguration they were so upset that their discontent seems to have removed some of their spiritual power and so they were not able to do what they should have been able to do verse 17 then Jesus answered and said all faithless and reverse generation How long shall I be with you how long shall I bear with you bring him here to me. Bible says in verse 18 and Jesus rebuked the demon and it came out of him and the child was cured from that very hour days as is able to deal with the demon right away and in fact is a great dialogue between Jesus and a father that we're going to discuss in a few minutes. But Jesus takes him the rebuke the demon and the demon comes out of him the very same hour. But it got him when the 9 disciples get Jesus alone and they asked this question then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said Why could we not cast it out they were perplexed why didn't they have the spiritual power necessary why couldn't they move on this demon to leave this man alone why is it that they were kind of stuck where they were and couldn't get the results that they wanted it and I tell you just to just kind of make this more practical to each of us probably every one of us has something going on in our lives that we think we should be able to deal with that somehow God is not allowing us to move maybe it's a wayward child maybe it's a broken marriage maybe it's a bad habit or or disease there's something in our lives and and of course there's those of us who are looking not just that way we're children but others who we think we should be able to influence to come back to God but we're not having any effect it just doesn't seem to be working and privately now you get to ask Christ the question why couldn't we cast it out why can't I deal with the fact that you know I'm dealing with this addiction problem or. I'm stuck. In a rut when it comes to maybe the financial part of my life why Lord is nothing seeming to work. I think it's most powerful when applied to why is it that those who are under. Are in the area of my influence why is it that I cannot reach them for the Gospel of Jesus with the gospel of Jesus Christ why is it that it seems so difficult and I can tell you after traveling a lot around the world preaching that there are parts of the world that are just recalcitrant to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and parts of Europe and Australia definitely here in North America now places that it is almost impossible to treat it seems to be impossible to preach this gospel which is why the pastor who spoke about a man and going to the outer islands of Yap and bringing the health message is so important we live in a time when reaching people is going to be more and more difficult it will take very sharp Christian minds to be able to work for God in these last days verse 20 So Jesus said to them because of your unbelief for assuredly I say to you if you have a faith as a mustard seed you will say to this mountain Move from here to there and it will move and look at the last part of this church and nothing will be impossible for you if you have the faith of a must see Jesus it is because you lack faith it's your unbelief you know you stood there dealing with the man talking to his son praying and trying to elicit an effect but in fact you didn't really believe. Because your faith is the wrong kind of faith it's it's maybe it's a face on display but it just didn't work is what Jesus is saying. But Jesus gives us a hint here he said if you had the faith of a mustard seed of mustard seed as one of the smallest seeds. Yet it makes one of the biggest trees and I always thought it was the size of the seed that was relevant here but Jesus was actually speaking to the fact that the seed is so small that it makes such a big tree but as I studied it what it really looks is more like is that the mustard seed is persistent the mustard seed does not give up if you place the Muslim under a rock it will find a way to grow out in a round the rock and still make that tree it isn't the size of the seed it is the persistence of the seed and for many of us we lack the the the power of the Holy Spirit moving in our lives because we are not consistent and persistent in-tray are not not consistent persistent in believing that God can do what he says he's going to do. He says if you had that kind of faith you would say to the mountain Move from here to there and it would move. I can imagine the disciples eyes open why this he says this of course in the scripture mountains are often referred there are mountains of sin it just could be you know speaking to the fact that this thing can change lives and I like what it says and nothing nothing will be impossible for you nothing will be impossible for you and then Jesus gives the secret he says however this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting Matthew 17 and verse 21 however this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting. And what we find is that there is almost like a formula. If you really want power and when life gets super difficult when the challenge of that wayward child that fractured marriage that that ill relative or that the illness that you've been diagnosed with there is something powerful about this but most important it's powerful in its ability to transform characters because realistically when you look at what 9 disciples were lacking they were lacking the character of Christ they couldn't have the effect that Christ had because they didn't have the character to Christ that how do you get to that point well Jesus says it comes by prayer and fasting so I do get a sharp mind about 3 things I was actually for going to so that's number one is faith which was prayer done with various fasting number 4 is studying God's word studying God's word in order to have a sharp mind these are the things that you would want to do a lot of other things are going we talked about this week we talked about diet we talked about inflict the influence of music and television. There's so much more we could discuss I haven't gotten to marijuana and alcohol and all of the ill effects of those things but a sharp mind works in a very powerful and persistent way we have a call to have sharp minds for Christ Jesus. The father of the child is the other person that we gain a great lesson from because the 1st thing you need is face and I want to liberate you in a sense. From a lot of what we think about faith as we look at the story in Mark 17 mark 17. This is this is marked up tonight I'm sorry I've never changed this thing I don't know a blend of Matthew 17 and Mark 17 but here is the mark 9 Mark 920 says. This is Mark Matthew 17 verse 20 So Jesus said to them because of your unbelief for surely it's you you have faith as a mustard seed you will say to this mountain Move from here to there and it will move and nothing will be impossible to you nothing will be impossible to you this is where we are trying to get to because church I don't know about you but even as a physician as a preacher docile sometimes some things just seem impossible it seems like some folk just are not going to hear the Word of God and not be transformed like the valley of dry bones in the book of easy it just seems like some things are impossible if we are going to finish the work if we're going to do it God has us to do the impossible needs to become possible posthaste we're going to see that God has a plan for us he was Chapter 11. Verse 6 says but without faith it is impossible to please him he that comes to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him There is power in this little verse and he was Chapter 11 if you do not have faith you cannot please God Why because you can't you don't believe he exists God created us to be in a loving relationship with us that doesn't work if we are questioning him doubting him and don't believe he really exists they settle it so he says Paul says but without faith it is impossible to please him for he that comes to God must believe that he is and he has a that he has a reward or of them that diligently seek Him We're going talk about today is believe is the belief part of it and the diligently seeking him part of it James 2 in verse 900. 11 said there is one God out dualist Well look what he said as he says the devil's also believe and tremble. Just having an intellectual belief we talk about as we talk about the frontal lobe when we talk about the seal of the Living God in life says will talk about that but it's not simply an intellectual understanding of truth it is a spiritual one the demons believe and they tremble when they think of what is to come upon the earth they tremble in fact in Revelation Chapter 12 The Bible speaking of Satan being cast out of heaven the Bible says wool into the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea for the devil is come down upon you having great wrath Why does he have such great wrath because he knows that he has a short time here's what's crazy the devil knows he has a short time but many of us behave as if we have all the time in the world the demons the devils believe and they tremble they tremble at the fact that judgment is coming they tremble at the fact that the time is short they tremble at the fact that they cannot defeat the blood of Jesus Christ the very demons and devils tremble at the truth that we too often take for granted James goes on in James 2 in verse 20 says but will the old vain man but will down no all vain man that faith without works is dead the sharp mind doesn't just belief that belief that faith. Is transformed into a place that works happens that manifests we are not saved by what we do but we are swear saved by what we believe but what we believe ought to change what we do. And how we live James 221 says it was not Abraham our father justified by works when he had offered Isaac is his son upon the altar c.e.c. is the outhouse faith wrought with his works and by works was faith made perfect day and uses the example of Abraham and his faith how he took Isaac up into the mountain this is a character build for Abraham remember Abraham. You know had. Gotten to Hagar and had Ishmael that there was no faith the national faith in him or Sarah would not happen but there was something powerful about what he does that Isaac in fact the Bible says in the scripture was fulfilled it says Abraham believed God and it was imputed to him it was credited to him for righteousness and he was called the friend of God Here is the end point here is I get powerful. It took Abraham years to exercise the faith that he claimed when when God 1st came to him in Genesis and showed him the stars of heaven and told him that his scene would be like this he would be the father of a great nation and the Bible says Abraham believed him and the Bible says right then and there they are in Genesis that Abraham was predicted with righteousness Abraham's belief. Gave him credit for righteousness he would not display for many years until I was sick was a teenager which was years later but. James' point is that at some point the faith he showed all those years earlier blossom bloom and manifested into his bringing Isaac to the mountain to be sacrificed is believing in God So he was credited with it by belief that's what you have you saved by righteousness through faith but it should manifest into what we actually do. I don't like how James finishes chapter Chapter 2 verse 23 James says Abraham and he was called the friend of God Abraham develop the kind of relationship by faith and by manifesting his faith into what how he lived that he became the front of gotta let me say this to you church if you view God is anything but a friend you've got work to do on your relationship with him if you still view God as some tyrant in heaven yielding lightning bolts looking to strike you down the 1st time you do something wrong you don't really understand the God that you serve through faith God becomes like a friend that we can talk to that we can commune with that we can lay our troubles upon and that's where Abraham got to mark 9 verse 22 the father gives us a bit and like I said this is to liberate us the father of this young boy gives us some information with which we can actually. Help to grow our faith Mark 922 says and often times that have cast them into the fire and into the waters to destroy him but if you kick can do anything have compassion on us and help us so when the father gets there tonight disciples can do anything you know Father says that I brought my son to his disciples to cast out the lot of us and they couldn't do it Jesus says How long has he had this in Martin ideas how long that is and father says since he was a child and he says it has cast him into the fire into the waters of the strong him the man asked Jesus a question he says but if you can do anything have compassion on us and help us he if Jesus if you can do anything to have compassion on us and help us the man who had enough faith to bring his son looking for Jesus and His disciples still doubted that Jesus could do what that man needed done or wanted. Verse 23 Jesus said unto him If thou canst believe all things are possible to him that believes Jesus almost like he's a little brother who you if and you get if me I'm the one that stood out on nothing and spoke and the world came into existence I am the one for man out of the dust of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life Jesus in you can if means a listen if you can believe all things are possible to him that believe and this is why this is liberating because it's not that we will have doubt but it's that when you have doubt church take it out to Jesus the problem for some of us is we take I doubt it we take it to the world we take it to our friends we take our doubt and hide it away inside of us and like a malignant cancer doubt Grohl is inside of us and begins to destroy us you when you have doubts it's Ok do like this father take your problem and doubt to Jesus and you can say Lord I believe help the how mine unbelief was that's the father's response Lord I believe help the hotline unbelief you can say Lord I have the face enough to come looking for you I show up at church but somehow Lord I don't believe fully. Lord I believe help my unbelief there's a desire it is faith for 29 says of this. Look not to self but to Christ he who healed the sick and cast out demons when he walked among men of the same mighty Redeemer to day. Faith comes by the Word of God than grasp his promise him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out John 6 and verse 37 cast yourself at his feet with a cry Lord I believe help unbelief I love what Sister White says here she says you can never perish while you do this never this is to liberate you the father said Lord I believe help my unbelief the the way that we can read this is as long as what willing to take I doubt sincerely to Christ spirit of Proverbs as you can never perish will you do this never so what has to happen well before we get into the didactics it is that in today one of the things that happened I was we have to recognize that the seal of the Living God as you mentioned earlier will talk more about that over the next couple sessions the seal of the Living God is represents a character that reflects Christ that is and so molded by the Holy Spirit that it reflects Christ's character here is what it says here manuscript 173 just as soon as the people of God are sealed in their foreheads it is not any seal or mark that can be seen but he's settling into the truth look at this both intellectually and spiritually so they cannot be moved just assume is God's people are sealed and prepared for the shaking it will come indeed it has begun already the judgments of God are now upon the land to give us warning that we may know what is coming as soon as we are sealed and here's a thing like that father it's not just an intellectual believe the father had enough belief to bring his son to Jesus that he he understood he heard the stories he knew this make it wearable but spiritually he had not fully settled into that truth and there are many in the church with intellectually settled into the truth. They believe what we believe but spiritually it does not matter says did in a different life they're still Clegg by the demons by the bad behaviors by the by the by the by them but habits and addictions is still pledged by the doubt still plagued by all of those different things because spiritually it is the Holy Spirit has not come into their minds to sharpen it and to transform them it's not enough to just believe James as the demons believe in trouble we've got to believe and it's got to be applied we've got to submit to what we believe in such a way that we don't live the same way so how the power of all of us work out well there's an interesting study there's a science there was this spirituality religion make protect against major depression by thickening the brain cortex if you can move beyond just a simple belief I believe that it actually begins to develop the mind and atomically and that's the signs of beginning to say that of course is very shallow just doesn't get to where the Holy Spirit gets to it it is this modern science can't can't really do that but it begins to give us a hint that if we are going to receive the seal of God enough foreheads which is the ultimate goal is what will be protective according to Revelation Chapter 7 it takes that we are every day working to get to know God every single day we are being sealed preparing our mind for that seal and we are being prepared prepared for what is coming upon the earth. And to the sharp mind that has been trained and prepared to counsel the church face 333 says not all who profess to keep the Sabbath will be sealed there are many even among those who teach the truth to others who will not receive the seal of God in their foreheads they had the light of truth they knew their masters will they understood every point of our faith but they had not corresponding works. Not one of us will receive the seal of God while our characters have one spot or stain upon them it is left with us to remedy the defects in our characters to cleanse the soul temple from of every defilement then the latter rain will fall upon us as the early rain fell upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost this is rich with meaning this thing is telling you that we won we've got to have the manifest the works we you know I was we really believe it as a lie says I should spiritually transform us number one and 2 we should people should be able to see it I joke all the time I don't know how there are so many mean Christians that you know that are kind to people arrogant Christians that this tells you that conversion hasn't fully happened the Spirit of God has not really manifested in you and this is something that you lose the will of God to to to to move to a place of constant humility of constant self-sacrifice always asking God and asking him to work upon us because our characters that cannot have one spot or stain that is a frightening thought church is still ISIS that is left with us to remedy the defects of our characters to cleanse the soul temple from every defilement that he said a lot of rain will fall upon us as the early rain fell upon the disciples and they have kind of cause and let me days I'm going back say they how difficult it is to reach people in this day and age we are going to need the lettering it is going to take a Holy Ghost power I believe that before long there will be supernatural manifestation but of people of God in order to reach people who have been so hardened against God so hardened against the scripture they want that the Spirit of God is going to have to actually work to bring these folk into the fold so character direction is 2 pieces to it one sin must be dealt with. Characters must be corrected there's a correction to the character that must happen and in the Bible is one great place where this happened that is in the book of Psalm it's up to 51 they talk about a sharpening the mind as David is caught by the prophet Mazen not caught but it is brought to his attention that David secret sin has not been it's not such a secret. Eventually David writes to the 51st Division of the psalm kind of as a response to it and I'm just going to read some of it as a way to show that none of us you know all of us I should say in our imperfections have a need to come to Christ the way that David did some 51 says Have mercy upon me oh god it's not about asking God to help you with the character have mercy upon me oh god according to the loving kindness according to the multitude of the tender mercies blot out my transgressions there is a book of works in heaven where our transgressions are written and it must those those must be written in the Lamb's book of life but the transgressions will see blotted out and I believe blotted out by the Blood of Jesus Christ David then says wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity and cleanse me from my sin for the knowledge of my transgressions and my sin is ever before me some folk will never again victory over to sin because they want even recognize they have it they will protect and it will not just like everyone else they will even lie to themselves but that isn't you can't fool God David says listen my sin is ever before me. Where 70 says purge me with hyssop that I shall be clean wash me and I shall be whiter than snow make me here join Gladys in the boulders that was broken may rejoice I face for my sins and again he says here and blot out all my iniquities But verse 10 is what I want you to get David then says Create in me a clean heart oh God and renew a right spirit within me if you are someone listening who is killed who has the daunting challenge of trying to to to. Be reconciled to God after a moral fall after severe sin or are you still dealing would have it or a behavior that is not acceptable in the eyes out of the Living God David not only cheated with a married man's married man's wife he did had the man killed his sin that was serious and the reason that this is important to tell you is you may think that you have out send God's ability to save you but let me tell you something you cannot and have not sinned God's ability to save you if you are willing to repent give up the sin and ask for God's forgiveness ask to be purged with Hyssop and to be washed Why didn't snow I can tell you that today God still can cleanse and heal and say if you have not sinned God's ability to save you once you come to that conclusion are some steps that you can take. To gain a powerful victory 1st of all learn the power of prayer for things or look at problem for the 1st one you've got to learn the power of prayer in fact Matthew 26 and verse 41 says it like this Matthew 26 verse 4041 says it like this watch and pray that you enter not into temptation the spirit indeed is willing. But the flesh is weak if we are to gain a victory so the game prayer is critical we are told to watch and pray now remember what we talked about watching earlier in the week and getting the brain to be innocent in its best state by avoiding certain things but the other side of it is we've got to actually praise got to pray that you're going to temptation why because you know but as I said yesterday your body will conspire to kill you it will work to destroy you and so do you even aware willing in a mind that are hard to say hey I want to live for Christ the whole time the flesh is working against us this power in prayer and this book Finding God in the ways this is how I'm one of and sellable left and any came back to God through science again the studies and things he was convinced of his faith I can't I can't really say whether or not to read the book I'll just get you an excerpt from it. From that book a few slides here he says the parietal lobe part of the brain of course is the part of our brain that keeps track of our immediate surroundings and sense of physical presence it gives us our sense of taste and touch so it's the part of brain helps us figure out where we are and time and space in a sense our specimen space and it creates an ongoing map that's vital to the lower brain when you're trying to escape a source of danger in your environment so fragile lobe is like the g.p.s. ways of your brain in terms of when you're in trouble it's what gives you this gives you that feeling to try and floods of fleet of the fight or flight it's a true how do you get away and this is even get away from the stress of the bills if it is a parietal lobe that does that but watch this. But research has found that religious people with a consistent prayer Brecht is basically shut down basically shut down their parietal lobe during prayer. This reduced activity can create the sensation that one is leaving this reality and connecting with something greater and less physical he says I experience this many times and I was fascinated to learn I'm not the only one he says nor scientists have found that people who pray regularly have sicker gray matter in their prefrontal cortex that's a brain c.e.o. he displays explains responsible for focus and willpower and the anterior cingulate cortex the part of the brain responsible for compassion and empathy he goes on to say it is not enough to simply believe in God because only prayer and meditation and meditation I was as meditating on God's Word will turn that belief into a neural network that changes your outlook and behavior even when the new cycle is depressing or a situation in your life seems hopeless you can hold on to the knowledge that God is with you and that the overall arc of life will work out for good most remarkable he says to me is that the fact that regular prayer can work for anyone regardless of their religious background even people who self identify as atheists are likely report feeling close to God if they pray or meditate consistently for 6 weeks the church there is power in prayer I've seen studies where he double blind groups and I say use of one and one set of patients and prayed for and the other group is not and it seems based on that based on the studies that have group of this prayed for us but outcomes that if that is not there is power in prayer great power in prayer and many of us are are not. I'm not doing our spiritual life justice because we don't pray some of us our only prayers are what we might say before we eat or a few words with our spouse or what that's what we hear when we go to church on Sabbath morning it is not enough you let's have a vibrant prayer life will talk a little bit more about how you can do that in a minute but you've got to have a vibrant trade a life that is persistent and consistent right you've got to pray without ceasing. Like the. Emperor to that woman you've got to come before the king over and over again making a plea until you are heard prayer is Tower alive so there's a little prayer in about prayer page one she says with the knowledge that we need the outpouring of the Holy Spirit but this can be accomplished only as we pray individually and collectively when God's people pray earnestly sincerely individually and collectively God and great things will happen in and among God's people and the world will feel the impact as the Holy Spirit comes to equip and empower his people are we preening like we should mention yesterday or the day when Dr Robinson was host. The plans for for clinic expansion and so forth let me say something after this message some of what is said ought to be applied increased the amount of folk collectively playing praying the amount of folk individually praying with a unified mind for God to move on those grounds for God to do what he said he will do there is power in prayer. How do you improve your Pray life there's a few things well number one find a prayer group and a prayer partner it's very good to have the accountability of a prayer partner that you can share things with something that you would want to share with many people but is someone that you trust that you pray with as a group that you trust that you pray and I The beauty of technology on Whatsapp on my phone I've got several prayer groups if I need prayers I can just quickly shoot a message even while I'm at work even while I'm under stress even in the most heat of the moment I can shoot about they pray quickly for me I need a word of prayer on this or that or some of them saying this church prayed have a prayer group and a prayer partner I was say keep a prayer journal then that's important because it will give you faith as you in a month and 6 months in a year you go back and read what you prayed about and see how God led you through that thing it will grow your faith exponentially I want you to get simple you schedule a time of prayer so you have it set up so that just like you set up to do to go to work you set up to do other things you have spread times at least 3 times a day that are schedule times that you pray opposite of the stop you from praying anytime you are moved to pray but you say you build prayer India life little for. Learnt to always be in a mindset of prayer but also the pray without ceasing always be in a mindset of prayer and then learn a structure of your prayers as well as learning specific prayers so I use what I call it a sanctuary version of prayer where you move to the sanctuary and at each step you do something different you enter into the gates with Thanksgiving and it was Courts of praise the start of prayer with Thanksgiving the 2nd step is that that is the. Altar of sacrifice that that 1st day that you meet so the next thing you do is you ask the forgiveness of sin. And then of course you pray for others you claim by the promises but I go through this when I pray my prayers there's a stair steps that I take and in a time that I'm free of completely free style because I need God to move on something so. Learn different ways structures of prayer but also pray the Bible promises I have not found power in one of my favorite ones us on the book of Isaiah. Or brings in a psalm but it's to pass a scripture that says many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him out of them. When I was in serious trouble and really being persecuted and really being tried those passages I would say Lord you say in your word. That nothing is impossible for you you say in your word that you never leave me no for say to me Lord you say in my word that you would confound and confuse my enemies and I would pray the promises of scripture out to God because God cannot lie so learn to pray the Bible promises next thing is the power of fasting so Jesus said to the cycles listen Lord why could you cast this thing out we couldn't Jesus some things come only by prayer and fasting. How does fasting work well there's a lot of ways you can fast I will really get into that today except that if you if you. At least we should all fast every day by eating the not eating our last meal today too late. And then make it and we break fast in the morning that's a fast every day but it should be days of the week when we fast. From a meal at least miss a meal if you miss that 2nd the 2nd meal of the day and don't have any other sweet 1st meal a day or a day when you don't need anything some folk when it comes to you faster 3 and 4 in 5 days or longer obviously consider all your medical conditions but it's power and fast and if you can't fast from food you can definitely Fassel me internet you can fashion media you can fast from definitely fast and from things like secular music you can fast from things and during that time use it to build your relationship with Christ Here's what they say about fasting this is food fasting the power of fasting it may boost brain function and prevent neurodegenerative disorders. One study in mice showed that practicing intermittent fasting for 11 months improvable brain function and brain structure and of other animal studies reported that fasting could protect and increase the generation of nerve cells to help enhance cognitive function because fasting may also relieve inflammation it could also aid in preventing neurodegenerative disorders in particular studies in animals suggest that Fasting may protect against and improve outcomes for conditions such as also I was ease and Parkinson's and we know one of these a fasting that is it brings the levels of insulin down in the body as he becomes more insulin sensitive you also become more leptin sensitive which is a hormone made by fat cells that tells you when you're full but a lot of us because we're constantly eating we're in a constant state of elevated leptin our brain is never told. Be a brain is always being told us and so it stops recognizing leptin to be left in resistance and it is difficult to control appetite fasting helps with all of that. And it brings clarity to the mind by detoxifying and allowing us to focus away from our old physical wants to what God wants and so there's another things here just as a quick to show you the power of fasting Aaron says. Optimize neuron by element by 0 energetics optimized neural plasticity in neural Genesis meaning the brain me is more able to be malleable and molded and so that would mean that under the influence of the Holy Spirit while you're fasting if the Holy Spirit can mold you your mind in your thinking. And gives you more neuron resilience as you can see what would decrease and increase there but it gives you more resilience your brain literally become stronger and so there's a stepwise process that is given as to how we move our characters towards him so that about prayer and fasting we talk about the study of God's word in a 2nd but Peter gives this chain silent Peter servant an apostle of Jesus Christ to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God in our Savior Jesus Christ grace and peace multiplied and through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord according to divine power that that power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him that has called us to glory and to virtually when called to these things where by are given unto us extremely exceeding great and precious promises that by these he might be partakers of the divine nature we pause here. We are given exceeding great and precious promises if we understand the promises given us in the Bible and like I said if we prayed a Bible promises Peter says something profound He says that if you can do that you become a partaker of the divine nature what is this is talking about having the character of Christ and what will you have done you will have Xscape the corruption that is in the world through lust. Wow we can become partakers of that divine nature crisis return of a people whose characters look like him verse 5 and decide this given all diligence add to your faith virtue so you start with faith as we did from there you move to Virtue That's understanding goodness in wanting to do goodness and to Virtue knowledge from from from the desire to do good and desire to be pure you get knowledge in other words you get instruction into how to be sure and good right so you get that to Bible study when I was a kid growing up before you would join the church they get 6 weeks 8 weeks were to Bible study no one came into the church not knowing what we believed you need the knowledge I remember working in in the Deep South in Alabama as a physician and we did a crusade we baptize of people it was a big deal you can get me back to them down there one gentleman after he was baptized so he came out of Toulouse smoking a cigarette you know maybe he's still dealing with that addiction you know he's driving home some of the cigarette us on his car and then at one of the Publix he brought some unclean food and that's it wait a minute how is he bringing unclean food to the potluck turned out he had never been told our health message they skipped it because they didn't want to offend them and I want to make sure that they got him into the pool Well the problem with that was what he found out and he couldn't smoke or eat pork he was very upset and felt he had been duped and left the church. To virgin you must give knowledge it's not enough to just want to do good there is instruction the Scripture gives because once you have the knowledge of what's right what's wrong what's expected and not expected then temperance kicks in self-control and from that self-control now you develop patients why because you've got to wait and trust on in God to get to allow you to be temporary and from that patience you gain godly this is when you begin to look like the character of Christ and from that you gain brotherly kindness and brotherly kindness charity which is love which is giving which is sharing which is all of those things that you notice there are a lot of folk who try and say listen I'm brotherly kind of charity and I stick that at the front of it the reason Peter gives you this this this cadence this way of moving through it is because you know your kindness in your brotherly love is not that is not you don't do it in order to be saved you do it because you're saved because you're transformed a lot of focus but that at the beginning is Ok I'm saved but they do not have the knowledge they are not of the Temperance they do not have the patience or the real godliness and so they are a shadow of the type of Christian God is calling for he wants us to Big Brother Lee brotherly kindness and have charity but God wants us to go through the steps because he wants our characters to look like Christ Peter says this for if these things be in you in a bound they make you that you shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ but he that lacks these things is blind and cannot see a far off and I've forgotten that he was turds from his old sins wherefore the rather than give diligence to make your calling and election sure and I like this last verse for if you do these things you shall never fall if you do these things you shall never fall so we've gotten from this lesson the Spirit of Prophecy tells us that one of. When the father of the demoniac boy says Lord I believe help the mind I'm to believe if we pray that prayer. You know that is a prayer that will protect us it will never of will never fail if we do as we prayed at prayer but we're also told if we follow what Peter says and this isn't it a step wise approach to developing the character of Christ or it's a computer chapter one if we follow the steps of the work of God says if we gain the knowledge Well how do you gain the knowledge Well you've got to study God's word the power of the word and for many of us we you know the Bible just collects dust but the Bible is something you want to read something you read it read it through like a novel sometimes you read it through and by subject matter you look at fasting you look at everything Obama says on fasting or marriage and everything about was as a marriage which you you know use the word to instruct and to and to improve. Says it like this and Christ is the fountain of all knowledge in him our hopes of eternal life are centered He is the greatest teacher the world has ever known and if we desired to enlarge the minds of the children and youth and win them if possible to a love of the Bible we should fasten their minds upon. Fashion their minds upon the plain and simple truths digging out that which has been buried beneath the rubbish of tradition and letting the jewels shine forth I want you to get this church. Study of the Bible is one of most important things you can do as a Christian. There's power in God's word and for many of us we only we get all of our Are our biblical truths secondhand we get it from what the pastor says we get or what the preacher says you've got to get this thing for yourself you've got to understand this thing for yourself you know that time of trouble coming and no one is going to lay down their lies for for doctrines or truly that they do not understand for themselves if all we've gotten is 2nd hand new spiritual nutrition from others when the time comes we will be confounded by the words of the world and we will not stand up in the time of trouble we will fall away if we are not will if we are not studying God's word this is one of the most important things and again we talk about prayer but when it comes to studying the Bible you should have a. Plan to read the Bible through your thoughts have a plan for daily devotional in the Bible not just the devotional book that quotes the Bible but the Bible itself. And you should study is a family book of the book in the Bible and I should have made a slight of this but this is how you do that one you get us to pick the book I would say start with the book of John. And then what you do is you get a good Bible commentary in the essay by commentary is actually a phenomenal Bible commentary so you get a Bible Commentary and when you get the parts that are difficult to understand you use the commentaries to help you narrow the ones that you can find but the other thing that you do is you get to where you learn to use that can cordons So when you run into a difficult text you can actually use the can corns to find other places in the Bible where where that subject matter is covered and get all of it. Says that when we study the Bible which is studied here a little there a little precept upon precept line upon line we are to look also at a Bible to get a better understanding of it and at the same time read the psalms as a way of worship let me say that when I was going through my trials and I came along after those trials when I was going through my trials I would read the Psalms the Psalms became like full to me they were like like a like a spiritual. Anti-anxiety and spiritual lengthy a little in order to to to bring down the stress levels that I was having to read the words of the psalmist and his and courage meant transformed to me. The Bible has to be the blueprint of your life a light says here encourage them to search into these subjects. The effort put forth will be an invaluable discipline the unfolding of God as represented in Jesus Christ furnishes a theme that is grand to contemplate and that will if studied sharpen the mind and elevate and ennoble the faculties as a human agent learns these lessons in the school of Christ trying to become as Christ was meek and lowly of heart he will learn the most useful of all lessons that intellect here it is that intellect is supreme only as it is sanctified by living connection with God a lot of people want to shut my eyes I think they are smarter have a higher i.q. they do better at work they do better the Spirit of Prophecy is warning us that intellect is supreme only as a sanctified by a living connection with God and that is why so many. Will have trouble in their spiritual walk because they're looking for intellect devoid of God's influence now. I finished with just a couple minutes left finish with interesting story where all of this was applied I was doing a crusade preaching on me a wonderful island of Jamaica a town called Frank Field and I remember it was up as we were maybe less than a few just a few days into the crusade a gentleman came. To many of the people that were in the church or from the community we had some concerns about he said he was a they say in Jamaica the gunmen is a bad man he was someone who had committed you know they thought was a criminal and they were very afraid he was coming to the tent in Jamaica they don't really follow North or noise ordinances so the sound was being blasted a little bit they were worried as he was standing a few feet outside of the tent that maybe he was there for trouble we began to pray for him and fast for him and for of course the effort in general and what we found as we were praying for this young man is that every day he came closer to the tent to live as he said in the back of the tent and so many others were very concerned that he was sitting inside the church it's a tent but he started to move even closer and we we noticed after a while that he began to bring family members a woman children when it was all over we were praying for him and one night when I made the appeal this man who they were also very big very tall big guy they were also afraid of during the appeal he got up came down front this is the power of prayer the power of the Word of God and it's instruction in the Holy Spirit the power of fasting as we did all these things he got up and he walked down the front and that man lay a scribe to criminality to gave his life to Jesus Christ not just him but he and his entire family church. The sharp side is the mind that has accepted Christ and allowed the character to be molded for the load to be changed so that we have the character of Christ and are ready to receive the seal of the Living God let's pray Father God we thank you for this opportunity to study a word we thank you Father for the truth of your scripture like the father of the demoniac boy Lord we cried Lord we believe our unbelief help us to grow in you and to be more like you to have the faith that would lose its. People To this end we pray in Jesus precious and holy name Amen. This media was brought to you by audio from a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio. If you would like to listen to your sermon leave a visit w w w audio verse or.

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