God loves it when we pull close to Him. . .He wants us reading and obeying His Word.
He wants us moving from glory to glory in His marvelous image. During a recent Rich Thoughts for Breakfast morning call, we taught from Revelation 2:19 in the Message Bible. The Lord used that scripture to show me seven keys of getting better in our spiritual walk every day.
Now, He directed me to put some meat on the bones of the seven points and share it with our world-wide Internet audience on Sunday Night LIVE.
But first, the letter to the church at Thyatira is the LONGEST of the seven letters, but was written to the smallest and seemingly least important of the seven cities. The point is God cares about each and every one of us. No one is ever left out.
Here’s our primary scripture for this teaching.
Revelation 2:19 in the Message Bible says:
“I see everything you’re doing for me. Impressive! The love and the faith, the service and persistence. Yes, very impressive! You get better at it every day.”
There are seven keys in what’s being said about the church in Thyatira.
1. God sees everything you’re doing for Him.
Hebrews 4:13 in The Living Bible says:
“He knows about everyone, everywhere. Everything about us is bare and wide open to the all-seeing eyes of our living God; nothing can be hidden from him to whom we must explain all that we have done.”
There are two ways you can look at this verse depending on your heart condition.
If you serve a condemning God. . .the thought that He can see every time you mess up is terrifying.
If you believe God is going to give you some sort of Spiritual ‘slap on the hand’ . . .then you’re going to live a miserable life. . . dying a little spiritually each day.
However, if you believe we serve a God who forgives and forgets our sins. . .who has made over 2,000 promises to us in the Word that He fully intends to keep. . .then you’re going to be shouting a lot of Hallelujahs.
God knows what we’re doing for Him. . .even if others don’t.
If God sees the things we wish He wouldn’t see. . .then we can rejoice that He sees the things we wish He would see.
God sees every time you help someone out … or pay for their lunch. . .without them ever knowing you did it.
But God also sees when you decide to do the right thing even though you get no recognition for it on the job.
He sees when you want to be right instead of just look right.
He sees you pray for a co-worker because you discern the hurt and pain they’re feeling even though they will never know it.
God sees your faithfulness in sowing your tithes and offerings.
Without question. . .God is seeing what you do for Him.
1 Thessalonians 2:4 in the Classic Amplified Bible says:
“But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the glad tidings (the Gospel), so we speak not to please men but to please God, Who tests our hearts [expecting them to be approved].”
What impresses God is not the eloquence of our speech. . .the wisdom of our words or what others think about what we say, think or do. . .but our focus on Him and Him alone.
God is impressed by what we do for Him. . .not for the recognition we gain. . .but the difference we make in the Kingdom.
The verse says were to “. . .not please men but to please God. . .”
2 Peter 1:3-4 in the Message Bible says:
“[Don’t Put It Off] Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust.”
Pleasing God is what makes us impressive. . .being about the Great Commission pleases God. . .getting to know Him intimately pleases God.
Let’s look 1 Thessalonians 2:4 once again. . .this time in the New Living Translation which says:
“For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts.”
If your desire is to please God. . .you will be impressive to Him.
How do you become impressive to God. . .seven words. . .READ YOUR BIBLE. . .DO WHAT IT SAYS.
John 14:24 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Anyone who does not [really] love Me does not observe and obey My teaching. And the teaching which you hear and heed is not Mine, but [comes] from the Father Who sent Me.”
This verse says that “Anyone who does not [really] love Me does not observe and obey My teaching.”
The Lord is saying … Anyone who loves me will observe and obey my teaching. In other words, the Lord is saying that loving Him means we will do what He says!
There is a difference between saying you love God and really loving God. Sometimes we don’t want to do what He says…but we know in our hearts it is the right thing to do to please Him. This is even pointed out in scripture in Matthew 21:28-31 in the New King James Version. Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees when he says:
“But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in myvineyard.’ He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went.Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go.Which of the two did the will of his father?”
They said to Him, “The first….”
When we love the Father … it will show in our behavior.
Here are seven reasons. . .love is all you need.
First, love is doing what’s best for all.
Second, love believes that you get more by sharing it with others.
Third, love knows that God has given you talents … certain things you do well … that were given for you to use for Kingdom business.
Fourth, love is growing in your life.
Fifth, love is seeing the good in others and helping it shine.
Sixth, love is feeling the fear and doing it anyway.
Seventh, love is continuing to learn and compassionately helping others to learn too.
Here are seven ways to manifest strong faith.
First, expand your boundaries. . .geographically and mentally.
God wants to expand your territory. . .enlarge your borders. . .move you from where you are to a total higher level of success in and through Him.
Yes, He wants to expand the boundaries of your sphere of influence but He also wants to expand your mental capacity as well.
Psalm 119:32 in the New Living Translation says:
“I will pursue your commands, for you expand my understanding.”
Second, elevate your conversation to a higher spiritual and success level.
Eliminate the words. . . quit, can’t, try, failure, negative and compromise. . . from your vocabulary.
Guard your heart. . .for out of the abundance of it. . .the mouth will speak.
Ephesians 4:29 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God's favor) to those who hear it.”
Third, expect divine appointments and supernatural connections every day…starting TODAY.
God can bring the right person into your life. . .just like that.
1 Samuel 9:15-16 in the Message Bible says:
“The very day before, God had confided in Samuel, "This time tomorrow, I'm sending a man from the land of Benjamin to meet you. You're to anoint him as prince over my people Israel. He will free my people from Philistine oppression. Yes, I know all about their hard circumstances. I've heard their cries for help."
Saul was a donkey herder until he had a divine appointment. Be vigilant. . .be watchful. . .be expectant. . .but never be judgmental about who or how God chooses to be. . .your supernatural connection.
If you want to start a business, spend time with people who have expertise in your new field of endeavor. Ask their opinions. . .seek their advice. . .. show yourself friendly.
Fourth, become spiritually aware of who you’re working for and how it relates to your future.
What have you done today. . .this week. . .this month. . .this year to increase your value as an employee to your current employer?
If your answer to that question in any way contains a bunch of negative statements about your current employer then your advancement is already hindered by an unscriptural perspective. No matter how you came to have this job, God can use it to your good… if you remember who you’re really working for.
Colossians 3:17, 23 says:
“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.”
You must realize that everything you do on the job. . .you are doing as unto the Lord. He’s the one who will cover your employee evaluation.
When you are faithful where you are. . .then He will open other opportunities beyond your wildest dreams.
Psalm 75:6-7 says:
“For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.
“But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.”
Fifth, enjoy the benefits of a good job
Your attitude will turn an average job into an above average job.
Ecclesiastes 5:18 says:
“Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.”
God has a portion for you…can somebody say Hallelujah!!!
Sixth, establish family time that is written in stone.
Ecclesiastes 11:9 in The Living Bible says that if you wait for perfect conditions you’ll never get anything done.
There should be some absolutes in your life. . .First, your time with God is immoveable. Second, create real value and lasting memories with your family time.
When you’re with your family. . .be with your family.
Seventh, energize your faith.
How do you energize your faith? It’s simple. . .the Word of God and time in His presence. .
Ecclesiastes 7:12 in the Message Bible says:
“Double protection: wisdom and wealth! Plus this bonus: Wisdom energizes its owner.”
Ephesians 4:12-13 in the Amplified Bible says:
“[and He did this] to fully equip and perfect the saints (God’s people) for works of service, to build up the body of Christ [the church]; until we all reach oneness in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, [growing spiritually] to become a mature believer, reaching to the measure of the fullness of Christ [manifesting His spiritual completeness and exercising our spiritual gifts in unity].”
According to Strong’s Concordance the Greek word for perfecting is G2677 and it means:
“complete furnishing, equipping”
G2677 comes from a Greek root word G2675 that means:
“to complete, fill out, equip, put in order, to strengthen, perfect, make one what he ought to be”
Are you fit and outfitted for Kingdom service?
Revelation 2:2 in the Message Bible says:
"I see what you've done, your hard, hard work, your refusal to quit. I know you can't stomach evil, that you weed out apostolic pretenders. I know your persistence, your courage in my cause that you never wear out.”
What does it take to be persistent? Here are seven keys to developing persistence in your life.
First, believe in what you’re doing.
You must believe in what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. If you understand your God-given purpose then self-belief and self-motivation are much easier.
There may be times when you feel all alone while pursuing your dreams with persistence. Just remember, once you give your heart to Jesus you’ll never be alone again.
Second, knowing that you have the ability to succeed.
Matthew 17:20 in the Amplified Bible says:
“He said to them, Because of the littleness of your faith [that is, your lack of firmly relying trust]. For truly I say to you, if you have faith [that is living] like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, Move from here to yonder place, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.”
“. . .Nothing will be impossible to you.”
Personalize that. “Nothing will be impossible to Harold Herring.”
Third, keeping your faith focused on your goal.
2 Thessalonians 1:11 in the New Living Translation says:
“So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.”
Personalize. . .
“So we keep on praying for <<Your Name>>, asking our God to enable <<him/her>> to live a life worthy of his call. May he give <<Your Name>> the power to accomplish all the good things <<his/her>> faith prompts <<him/her>> to do.”
Fourth, never look at the wind and the waves.
When you take your eyes off your goal and begin to look at your circumstances you’ll end up being fearful instead.
Matthew 14:28-30 in Amplified Bible says:
“And Peter answered Him, Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water. He said, Come! So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water, and he came toward Jesus. But when he perceived and felt the strong wind, he was frightened, and as he began to sink, he cried out, Lord, save me [from death]!”
Everything was good with Peter as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus (the Word) but when he began to focus on his surroundings instead of the command to come . . .he began to sink.
Fifth, realize that “no” doesn’t just mean “no” it often means “know.”
On your journey there will be times when people tell you “no” simply because they don’t “know” all the facts or else they would make a decision in your favor.
Sixth, encourage yourself.
There are going to be times where we need to encourage yourself because no one else is around to do it.
1 Samuel 30:6 says:
“And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.”
The best way to encourage ourselves is to recall all that God has done for us in the past. I can tell you from personal experience that this re-ignites a passion and determination for success.
Everyone needs a “Did I Ever Tell You About The Time?” speech. When the enemy attacks you can say:
“Did I ever tell you about the time when I was a sinner going to hell and Jesus reached down, picked me up and planted my feet on the solid rock?
“Did I ever tell you about the time I lost my job and He provided a better job for me?
“Did I ever tell you about the time when there was no food in our house and Jesus had someone bring food to my door?
“Did I ever tell you about the time when my son/my daughter was hooked on drugs and God set them free?
“Did I ever tell you about the time when I was driving down the Interstate highway when my angel moved my car over to keep me from being in a head-on accident?
“Did I ever tell you about the time when the doctor gave me a bad report but Jesus healed my body?
“Did I ever tell you how good my God is to me?”
I strongly encourage you to develop and personalize your own “Did I Ever Tell You?” confession.
Seventh, never Give Up or Give In.
When you feel like giving up. . .don’t.
The attack may be intense. . .the adversity more than you can seemingly bare but never give up.
Here’s what I know to be true. Luke 18:1 in the New Living Translation says that you’re to never give up. . . but rather pray about the next step you should take.
“[Parable of the Persistent Widow] One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up”
This story in Luke 18 is a good one to study when you feel like giving up!
Persistence and obedience are keys to success in life.
One final thought; your victory may be just around the bend or over the next hill so persist until you cross the finish line.
7. You get better at it every day.
I Googled “getting better” quotes and found three that made me laugh, think or both.
Allen Iverson, former NBA basketball player. said:
“When you are not practicing, someone else is getting better.”
Brian Tracy, the motivational author and speaker, said:
“There is no real limit to how much better a person who really commits to getting better can get.”
And finally, this next quote is the one that made me laugh.
Former President Gerald Ford once said:
“I know I am getting better at golf because I am hitting fewer spectators.”
Please hear very carefully.
How can we know. . .with absolute certainty. . .that we’ll be getting better every day?
Romans 8:28 in the Classic Amplified Bible holds the answer. The verse says:
“We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.”
If things are working together for good for you. . .and they are. . .if you do what His Word says to do. . .then you’re getting better every day.
Listen to Romans 8:28 again. . .this time in the Message Bible where it says:
“That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”
You’re getting better every day. . .because of the Greater One working in you.
Romans 12:1-2 in the Message Bible says:
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it.”
And that. . .Child of God. . .is how you get better at it. . .every day.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS