The Spirit of Tenderness 4/6/14
For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. (Isaiah 53:2 KJV)
This verse speaks about Jesus, written about 700 years before His birth. The words "grow up" means to rise up or to ascend.
We as a church are growing - how we grow is as important as growing in itself. Jesus Himself had to go through a process of growth. We too have to go through a process of growth; we cannot become spiritual giant over night. To grow means to rise up, to ascend, to climb up. The Bible speaks about how Jesus grew from Mary's boy-child to the Son of Man. the process of growth was as a tender plant. The word tender in this verse means with full of inward love, the imagery is of a nursing child. If the nursing baby is unable to be tender and is rough, the baby will not be able to grow up in the fulness it was intended to.
You can't grow up as a rough, wicked Christian that is like a rose with thorns. You need to have tenderness in three areas:
Tenderness in relation to the Word of God
Tenderness in relation to the Spirit of God
Tenderness in relation to people
1. Tenderness in relation to the word of God
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: (1 Peter 2:2 KJV)
You must grow DESIRING the sincere milk of the Word. The moment a baby cries you know that he/she is desiring milk. But the moment you find a Christian crying, it is because they have a need in their lives, not because they are seeking the sincere milk of the word. If you want to grow, you have to start as a baby. You have to come back to base. Unless you sit like a little child and listen to the Word, you will not grow. You have to receive the word in tenderness without stubbornness.
A mother's milk has no added substance to it. The content is pure without additives. You need to desire this type of sincere milk which needs to be absorbed with tenderness. Be tender so that you don't bite your teachers, when you are tender you are not difficult to teach.
The opposite of a tender heart is a stony heart:
And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended. (Mark 4:16, 17 KJV)
Another type of heart without tenderness is a heart that is like a cactus:
And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. (Mark 4:18, 19 KJV)
If you have a stony or thorny heart, you need to replace it with a tender heart so that you can receive the milk of the Word and grow.
2. Tenderness in relation to the Spirit of God
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: (Matthew 3:16 KJV)
The Holy Spirit descended like a dove, lighting upon Him. God lights on people he delights. If you want the manifest presence of God to light your life, you have to have tenderness. The Spirit delights in a tender heart. For everything you need, you don't have to pray for - a lifestyle of tenderness attracts the Holy Spirit.
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:30-32 KJV)
We grieve the Holy Spirit through bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, evil speaking. These are the opposite of a tender heart. As you grow in Christ in tenderness, these things no longer fit in with your life. Put away things that grieve the Holy Spirit so that you will grow like a tender part.
3. Tenderness in relation to people
In your Christian life if you cannot master your relationships with people, it will affect your relationship with God. People have a lot to do with our connection with God. It's easy to worship and sing praise to God when people aren't around.
Moses spent 40 days alone on the mountain with God. But when he came down from the mountain, he had to face his people who had built a holy cow (golden calf) to worship. His attitude towards his people affected his relationship with God:
And Moses said unto the Lord, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me? Have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers? (Numbers 11:11, 12 KJV)
In life we will meet a lot of difficult people. We must treat them with tenderness.
He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock; (Deuteronomy 32:13 KJV)
A rock is a hard place- it is the picture of a hardened person. Your tenderness in relation to people has to be like bringing honey out of a rock. If you are tender, you can soften the hardest person. If you are tender hearted, you can bring goodness out of the hardest people.
Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured. (Genesis 29:17 KJV)
Leah and Rachel were sisters but worlds apart. Leah was tender while Rachel was more beautiful and favored. Rachel was loved more by Jacob but Leah in her rejection had a tender heart. If you carry the character of Leah the tables will be reversed for you. Leah was the one that God blessed - she was part of the lineage of Christ. God chose to favor the tender hearted.
He Must Increase 3/23/14
He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30 KJV)
John prayed "He must increase, but I must decrease". But we can't pray the way John prayed, because we are after the resurrection. We should say "Lord, you must increase, and I must decrease and disappear". If we only decrease, there is some element of ourselves left. God must be so preeminent that we must disappear. We are not fully fledged Christians until we decrease to such an extent that we disappear. The day we disappear, Christ will appear powerfully.
What does it mean for Jesus to increase?
What does it mean for us to decrease to such an extent that we disappear?
How do we get there?
After you come to the Lord, He has an intentional plan for your life. How He brings that plan to fruition is not through you, but through Christ in you. When you try to make your business grow, make your marriage work, receive healing etc. through your own strength, you will fail. When you do it your way, you will fail. As a Christian, you must not even be in the picture. The day you no longer live but Christ lives in you - That is the day you will see the glory of God come alive in your life.
1. Jesus must increase in your life to such a degree that you will not know the things you used to know. Peter who was a fisherman, who didn't know how to fish after he met Jesus. Jesus must increase to such an extent, that you must disappear. Jesus must take over your actions, your thoughts. The old man must completely disappear.
2. Jesus must increase in your life to such a degree that you compare and count everything else as rubbish. On a weighing scale, when you put Jesus on one side, there is nothing that you can put on the other side that will match. That is why Paul said he counts everything else rubbish in comparison to everything in his life.
3. Jesus must increase in your life to such a degree that all your eggs are in one basket.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. (Matthew 13:44 KJV)
The kingdom of God is like a treasure hidden in field - it is unseen - it is found by revelation. What is found through revelation is greater than what is found by sight. When the man found the treasure he put a value to the treasure. The value he put was greater than the value he placed on all that he owned. Jesus must increase to such an extent that Christ in you is of greater value than everything you have. Christ is a greater treasure than your bank accounts, your family. Put all your eggs in one basket, that Christ is the only treasure.
Jesus gave His life to you. He is now waiting for you to give yours to Him.
Knowledge of Christ is key. You must know Christ to such a degree that you don't even know yourself. If you are utterly comfortable in places where the Holy Spirit is uncomfortable, you have to decrease. Your knowledge of Christ will swallow up all your weaknesses you knew about yourself. Death has been swallowed up by victory; in the same way, when Christ increases that knowledge swallows you up.
You must know Jesus like Paul, like Peter, like Phillip.
1. You must know Jesus like Paul knew Him:
For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:3 KJV)
Paul considered himself dead, and his life hid in Christ. How can you be dead and still have a life? You are dead but Christ is alive in you. Your life must be hid in Christ. The devil cannot touch you directly because you are hid in Christ.
[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope] (Philippians 3:10 AMP)
To know Christ:
Paul had a determine purpose - and that was to know Christ.
Paul had a determined progress path - to know Christ more deeply and intimately.
Paul had determined to perceive and understand Christ.
2. You must know Jesus like Philip knew Him:
Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? (John 14:8, 9 KJV)
By Philip's question, Jesus knew that Philip didn't know Him. The more knowledge you have, the less questions you have. Philip didn't stay in that position - he became a person that knew Jesus so intimately that he was transported in the Spirit.
3. You must know Jesus like Peter knew Him:
Andrew brought Peter to Jesus. Andrew's motivation to take Peter to Jesus was that he had found the Messiah.
One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone. (John 1:40-42 KJV)
Peter's knowledge came to Jesus that first time because Andrew invited him. This is the lowest (first) form of knowledge.
Awhile later (possibly 2 years):
He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. (Matthew 16:15, 16 KJV)
Peter moved from knowing Jesus through the words of Andrew to gaining revelation of who Christ is for Himself. You cannot live for Jesus based on what others have said to you about Jesus. The day will come when Jesus will ask you what YOU say about Him.
The first stage of knowing Jesus is knowing Him through what others. The second stage is knowing Jesus to a degree when you can tell Jesus who He is. There is a deeper third stage of knowing Jesus:
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me. (John 21:18, 19 KJV)
Jesus tells Peter: when you were young, you did whatever you wanted but now you are older and you will be taken to places you may not even wanted to go. Peter knew Jesus to such an extent that he would come to a point in his life that he would not even consider his life.
Until you are truly dead, you don't truly love Christ. When you have disappeared, Christ will appear in your life powerfully. Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Breaking the Mentality of a Hard Life 3/16/14Pastor Jerome
And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. (Genesis 3:17-19 KJV)
First Adam vs. the Second AdamMan's beginning in Eden didn't last too long. Adam was given some instruction. Instruction can turn into destruction if you listen to foreign voices. Adam moved away from the instruction of God. As a result, a curse came upon his life and sorrow entered. Many today have lives that revolve around sorrow. Sorrow is a symptom of a hard life. In addition to the sorrow, Adam was told he will experience thorns and thistles: destructions and obstructions. "And thou shalt eat the herb of the field": equivalent to the cows in the fields. "In the sweat of your face you will eat bread until return unto the ground": sweat is another element of the hard life. Always perspiring just to make ends meet.All of this is a result of the fall. But that is the first Adam. The day you realize that there is second Adam is the day the devil will stop playing tricks with your life. Jesus is the second Adam. The opposite of the hard life is a life of rest:Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28 KJV)You shouldn't work like a poor man. You have to break the mentality that life is hard. The devil is a liar; you don't have to have a hard life. The curse stopped the day you came to Christ. God makes you free. It's a law that you receive rest: God has promised rest. We have to enter into that rest of God. No more sorrow, destruction or obstacles:Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. (Psalms 37:7 KJV)
First Creation vs. Recreation For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10 KJV)For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]. (Ephesians 2:10 AMP)Adam was God's first creation. When you accept Christ, you a God's recreation. God is looking to you to do what the first Adam couldn't do. For Adam, all he had was sorrow, destruction, obstruction and sweat. We who are born again, we that have a recreated life. We that have a new life have a good life.
For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) (Romans 5:17 KJV)Through the abundance of God's grace we will have the good life. To have the good life, you have to first change your mind. You have to first change the way you think. The day your mentality changes, your reality changes.
How to break the mentality of a hard life:1. Know who God is. The first step to breaking the mentality of a hard life is to know who God is.Ah Lord God ! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee: (Jeremiah 32:17 KJV)There is nothing too hard for God.Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me? (Jeremiah 32:27 KJV)We serve a God with whom nothing is too difficult. Nothing is hard for God. Then why must things be hard for His children? We have been born of God, we don't have to live the hard life.But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. (Psalms 3:3 KJV)Nothing is too hard for God. He will lift you up.
2. Have an Anointed MindThere are different types of minds. We have to have the mind of Christ. Our mind is then anointed mentality. Bad attitudes come from a bad mentality which comes from bad thoughts that have been cemented. Throw away that mentality and understand how to create a new mentality.Thoughts come through reasoning. Reasoning is the ability of the mind to compare and discern which came from your sights, learnings and surroundings. You need to change your reasoning. Then your new thoughts will be cemented to create a new mentality. An anointed mentality is like a well programmed computer. Then comes a sound mind.
3. Have a Sound MindFor God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV)An anointed mind is a mind with ability, a sound mind is a mind with stability. You are stable: you don't change. A sound mind doesn't think bad about people, it doesn't back bite. What many have in this day is a reprobate mind: an unapproved mind, a mind that resists truth:Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. (2 Timothy 3:8 KJV)And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; (Romans 1:28 KJV)You should have a sound mind not a reprobate mind or a blind mind.In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2 Corinthians 4:4 KJV)Let there be an exchange of the reprobate and blind mind for an anointed and sound mind.
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. (Proverbs 23:7 KJV)This verse says that where the mind goes, the man goes.You are not Adam to go where the mind goes. The recreated mind has ability: a greater ability than lustful tgoughts, wicked thoughts, corrupt thought etc. In the OT, your thoughts can dominate you but in the NT, you dominate your thoughts.[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One), (2 Corinthians 10:5 AMP)As Christians don't be caught arguing. Stable minds don't argue. You are better than that. Don't get caught up in theories and reasonings that sets itself up against God.We lead every thought. In the OT thoughts led man, in the NT, man leads thought.
1. understand that nothing is impossible with God.2. Understand that you are the recreation.3. Understand that you have an able mind.4. Understand that you have a stable mind.5. Understand how a mentality is created: protect your mind from ungodly thoughts.To Him who believes all things are possible.
Jesus broke Peter's hard life mentality: Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. (Luke 5:4-6 KJV)Your hard life is not needed, God can do with one word what you couldn't do fishing all night.