How to spiritually examine yourself

Scripture tells us to examine ourselves so that we can be on the right path spiritually  Here are some pointers on how to do that.

2 Corinthians 13:5 (NKJV)

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.

 

Consider whether you walk in the fruits of the spirit or exhibit carnal, fleshly works.

 

James 3:17 (NKJV)

17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

 

James 3:14-16 (NKJV)

14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.

 

Galatians 5:16-21 (NKJV)

16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are:adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

 

Another key is learning what God hates and reversing it, turning it around into things God loves.

 

 

Proverbs 6:16-19

16 These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
17 A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
18 A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
19 A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren

 

Spiritual family, God wants us all to become spiritually mature and stop doing those things which hinder our spiritual growth.  Pastor G and I suggest you prayerfully ask Him to help you make needed changes so that you can spiritually endure to the end and be saved.  You began the salvation process when you asked Jesus into your heart as Lord and as Savior.  Salvation is a lifelong process.  May God help you to endure to the end.

 

copyright 2018, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved

Posted in Being Christlike, Bible Study, Christian Choices, Christian Coping and Living, Christian Meditation, Christian Teaching, fruits of the spirit, James, spiritual transformation, spiritually loving yourself | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

How God speaks to you and me

Image result for image of Jesus teaching or talking with His followers

 

 

 

Beginning with the Garden of Eden, God has been speaking to man.  He began by conversing directly, as He did with Adam.   Then He spoke through prophets, beginning with Noah and Moses.  And then, He communicated through personal dreams and visions like He did with Joseph and Daniel.  Sometimes, He used various methods with one person, as He did through many prophets.  Lastly, He communicates through the Bible, where we learn how He thinks and does things.

How does God communicate with you?  Pastor G and I have been blessed through the years to hear His voice directly and get to know Him that way and through His written word, the Bible.  At times, He has communicated with us through dreams and visions and given us personal words of revelation and warning for individuals and groups.  We will give you some examples from the Bible for you to see for yourself.  We welcome your thoughts and comments at the bottom of this blog post.

 

Genesis 2:16-17  (NKJV)

16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

 

Genesis 37:5  (NKJV)

Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more.

Note:  It takes wisdom, discernment and spiritual maturity to know when to share what God has revealed.  Joseph was clueless and should have kept silent even though the revelation proved to be very true in his future.

 

Genesis 18:1-8 (NKJV)

18 Then the Lord appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground, and said, “My Lord, if I have now found favor in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant. Please let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. And I will bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh your hearts. After that you may pass by, inasmuch as you have come to your servant.”

They said, “Do as you have said.”

So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quickly, make ready three measures of fine meal; knead it and make cakes.” And Abraham ran to the herd, took a tender and good calf, gave it to a young man, and he hastened to prepare it. So he took butter and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree as they ate.

 

1 Samuel 3:4-10  (NKJV)

that the Lord called Samuel. And he answered, “Here I am!” So he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.”

And he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” And he went and lay down.

Then the Lord called yet again, “Samuel!”

So Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” He answered, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” (Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, nor was the word of the Lord yet revealed to him.)

And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. So he arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you did call me.”

Then Eli perceived that the Lord had called the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

10 Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”

And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.”

 

 

Job 42:7 (NKJV)

And so it was, after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.

 

Jeremiah 1:5 (NKJV)

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

 

 

Revelation 22:6  (NKJV)

Then he said to me, “These words are faithful and true.” And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place.

 

Revelation 18:4-5  (NKJV)

And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.

 

 

copyright 2018, Pastors George and Sharon Billington,  All Rights Reserved

Posted in Bible Study, Christian Choices, Christian Coping and Living, Christian Meditation, Christian Obedience, Christian Prophecy, walking with God | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do you love yourself the way God wants you to?

Matthew 22:39 (NKJV)

39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

 

What does it mean to love yourself  spiritually?  If we know how to love ourselves, does that mean we know how to love our neighbor?  Let’s explore the kind of love Jesus looks for when He invites us to share in His kingdom for eternity.

 

Matthew 25:31-40  (NKJV)

31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

 

First, notice that Jesus loves it when we are other-focused and compassionate.  We see others’ needs and supply them as best we can.  Second, notice that the sheep were actually clueless as to having performed these acts.  That tells me these acts of love were so natural to them that they didn’t even recall doing them.  This kind of love was ingrained in them, and it was almost as though these acts were a natural byproduct of that love and compassion.  It gives me much joy to note that these acts are literal spiritual proof of God’s transforming love in me.  And the wonder of Jesus saying that we who are His performing these acts of love is having a twofold impact:  upon the brother or sister whose needs had been met and actually upon Him.  This tells me that love can affect so many more (including God) than those to whom it is directed.  Think about that!

 

So, the question is simple:  are you being love in a way that matters to and affects God?  Did you know that kind of love shows God He wants you around for eternity?  Are you literally loving your neighbor in the same way you would love yourself?  If you are, Pastor G and I look forward to spending eternity with you.  If you aren’t , there is still time to change how you love so you literally act within Godly parameters.  And you don’t have to make these needed changes on your own strength and power.  God is very willing to help you change so that you can be more like Him.  Be blessed.

 

copyright 2018, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved.

Posted in Bible Study, Christian Choices, Christian Coping and Living, christian love, Christian Meditation, Christian Obedience, Christian Teaching, Godly love, spiritual growth, spiritual love, spiritually loving yourself | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God, righteousness and you

Do you do as Jesus teaches in Matthew 6:33 and seek God and His righteousness?  What does that look like?  How does it affect your life and your thoughts?  Do you rely on Jesus’ promise that your physical needs will be taken care of when you seek God and His righteousness?

 

Matthew 6:33 (NKJV)

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

 

right·eous·ness
ˈrīCHəsnəs/
noun
  1. the quality of being morally right or justifiable.
    we had little doubt about the righteousness of our cause”

 

Righteous | Definition of Righteous by Merriam-Webster

Definition of righteous. 1 : acting in accord with divine or moral law : free from guilt or sin. 2 a : morally right or justifiable. a righteous decision.
How important is it to you to be pure, to be free from sin and guilt?  How important is it to you to seek that divine righteousness?  It’s a wonderful thing to strive for while realizing none of us can truly achieve that righteousness.  Scripture does say:

Romans 3:10 (NKJV)

10 As it is written:

“There is none righteous, no, not one;

 

 

We are so blessed that we are indwelled by God the Father, Jesus and God the Holy Spirit.  Consider  that what is impossible for us to achieve, He has already achieved and lives.  How blessed we are that God looks on the heart, the attitude and intent.  Even though we are not righteous, He sees us really looking hard to righteousness in us, and that pleases Him because it shows Him what our heart’s desire is:  to be like Him.

 

It seems that just about daily, Pastor G and I are approached by spiritual brothers and sisters in crisis asking us to help financially.  We can do so, but we know God wants us to encourage our spiritual family to live Matthew 6:33, so we point them back to Jesus and His promise to provide as long as they seek God and His righteousness first.

 

There is a female spiritual leader in Africa who was facing eviction and begged for our help.  God led me to point to Matthew 6:33 and Romans 8:28.  We prayed and left the matter in God’s hands to resolve as He saw fit.  A few days later, our colleague was delivered.  She told us God sent a woman (He nudged her so greatly that she knew she had to do as He led) who gave her twice what she needed.  That is our God!

 

Pastor G and I pray you live Matthew 6:33 and Romans 8:28.  We look forward to hearing how God delivered you.  Be blessed.

 

copyright 2018, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

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Are you on spiritually fertile ground?

Did you know that being on spiritually fertile ground will help you endure to the end?  Did you know that constant, daily attention to this will result in your ultimate salvation?

 

Luke 8:4-8 (NKJV)

And when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to Him from every city, He spoke by a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it.But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

 

Notice that the seeds all seemed to be of  similar quality.  The difference was upon which kind of ground it fell.  Verse 5 shows us some just fell untended to the wayside, where it was trampled and available for the birds to eat.  Verse 6 tells us that growing conditions just weren’t there for the seed:  the rock lacked moisture.   Verse 7 says that thorns made for a bad growth environment, and the thorns choked the new seed growth.  Ah, but verse 8 tells us that those seeds fell on good ground and therefore yielded a plenteous crop of varying degrees of production.

 

Pastor George and I pray that all seek the good ground where all can be granted an abundant harvest.  Make this a spiritual priority so that you can reap so very much more than was sown.  May you be spiritually productive and continue to grow in His grace and knowledge.  Be blessed.

 

copyright 2018, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved

 

Posted in Bible Study, Christian Choices, Christian Coping and Living, Christian Meditation, Christian Teaching, Endurance, spiritual growth | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

What is the famine of the Word?

Image result for image of famine

Scripture tells us there is or will be a famine of the Word.  We believers can look around and think that’s not the case for us.  Bibles abound, and so do spiritual leaders.  So do many books about the Bible. So, what is this famine of the word about?

 

Amos 8:11 (NIV)

11 “The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord,
“when I will send a famine through the land—
not a famine of food or a thirst for water,
but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.

 

 

From this verse, it is plain that God initiates this famine of the word.  Why?  I am not God and can only surmise that His word does not matter to believers, so He sends this drought and famine.  Much of the church cherry picks portions of scripture while rejecting other parts that do not fit their narrative.  Many so-called spiritual leaders “preach” what the congregation wants to hear and not what the congregation needs to hear.  Can this famine be avoided and end?  At his point, yes it can, but only if those of us who are His return to Him and His word as they speak to us.  We need to hear about choices and their consequences.  May we heed and choose Him and His way.

 

Isaiah 2:6 (NIV)

You, Lord, have abandoned your people,
the descendants of Jacob.
They are full of superstitions from the East;
they practice divination like the Philistines
and embrace pagan customs.

 

2 Kings 20:18 NIV

18 And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”

 

As you can see, God wants to bless only those who are spiritually committed to Him and His ways.  The penalty for not heeding Him and His warning is to be rejected and cut off.

 

There is a companion scripture to Amos 8:11.  Here it is:

 

Hosea 4:6  (NIV)

    my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.

“Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also reject you as my priests;
because you have ignored the law of your God,
I also will ignore your children.

 

 

Have you ever considered that knowledge exists but can be rejected?  In essence, to reject God’s knowledge is to reject Him.  What a truly sad thought!  To reject the creator God and lover of our souls!

 

Sadly, it is possible to develop poor spiritual habits so that how we choose to live and love becomes more important than how God wants us to live and love.  May you heed these warnings and reconnect with God in all the right ways.  Not doing so could cost you being with Him for eternity.  There will come a time that God creates a dividing line between those who are really His and those that compromise being His.

 

Revelation 22:11  (NIV)

11 Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy.”

 

Pastor George and I pray that you heed the words of this post and make needed changes in your spiritual lives.

 

copyright 2018, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved

 

 

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How your bible study can be spirit-led/3

God the Holy Spirit delights in helping you see beyond the physical.  Ask Him to help you do so as you read and study the bible.  It’s a real adventure to read scripture this way, to see what not only happened through physical eyes but what happened through spiritual eyes as well.  The spirit realm is the true reality, since God is spirit.  Just as you are familiar with the physical, so can the spiritual become familiar as well.

For instance, read John 11:1-2

 

Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.)

 

There are many questions that arise from reading these verses  such as how is it that Mary poured perfume on Jesus’ feet for His burial?  How spirit-led or influenced was she to perform this act of love and reverence?  Lazarus was Jesus’ friend.  Why didn’t He immediately go to him?  What greater purpose would God the Holy Spirit have in delaying Jesus’ going to Lazarus?  You see, asking questions like these helps you see beyond the physical.

 

This but touching the surface of what it means to have a spirit-led bible study.  May God the Holy Spirit greatly enrich your study to see beyond the physical.

 

A final tip is to ask God the Holy Spirit what’s missing from an account.  In other words, to see what’s not there.  Have you ever read a story and wondered at how incomplete it seems?  That can happen with scripture as well.  Ask God the Holy Spirit to enlighten you in this way according to His will.

 

Pastor George and I pray this three part introduction helps you move forward spiritually.  May you continue to grow in His grace and knowledge.

 

 

copyright 2018, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved

 

 

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