Making 2021 your best year yet! Part 2 Spiritual health
So much of what we do and how we feel is reflected in our spiritual health. We don’t realize if things are off with us spiritually, we end up carrying the weight of the world, our own sin, and aren’t walking in the blessings God has for us. John helps us realize that in his third epistle
3 John 1:2
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”
John is telling us in his mini-prayer that our physical health, blessings, success are often rooted in where we are spiritually
What does it mean to be spiritually healthy?
Some believe if they simply believe in God then they are “safe” and have it together, that because God loves everyone they are all children of God thus have God’s favor, blessings, and protection. If that were true there would be no more war, border disputes, fights, jealousy, no more tyrants, slavery, addiction if we all are God’s children living under his favor and blessing.
The Bible tells us a different story…I don’t mean to belabor this but too many believe we are “all God’s children”
For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
It is only those who have faith in (believe in, acknowledge, live like, Jesus) that are Children of God
1 John 3:1
See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him.
Not everyone is a child of God because there are many who simply do not know him. (this means understand what he is about what he requires, what his call on our lives is all about)
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
Only those led by the Spirit are children of God, does that mean we have to be perfect at it? No but we must acknowledge Him in our every day lives allow His Spirit to lead, guide, protect and direct our steps….this helps show you and others, your spiritual health…let’s take a quick look
Fruit of the Spirit
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
These virtues directly address the factions in the church
• love: The greatest Christian virtue encompasses all the others (1 Cor 13:4-7). Only the Spirit of God can produce in us love for those who hate us (Matt 5:43-48; Luke 6:35-36). Love means we want God’s best for people as God does for us…sometimes that can seem harsh when the world tells you that its best is different than God’s best..truth is always truth
• Joy produced by the Spirit does not depend on circumstances but trust in God (Rom 15:13; 2 Cor 6:10; 8:2; 1 Thes 1:6). It is a contentment that regardless of what is going on God has this
• Peace with God creates internal well-being (Rom 5:1; Col 1:20; Eph 2:15; Phil 4:6-7) that spills into our relationships with others so that we become peacemakers (Matt 5:9; Rom 8:6; 12:18; 14:17-19; 2 Cor 13:11; Eph 4:3; 6:15). There is a way to talk with people to lead them to the truth that is led by the Spirit that sets people free
• Patience (or tolerance, or long-suffering) gives us forbearance (patience) toward other people and endurance under unfavorable circumstances (Eph 4:2; 2 Tim 4:2; Jas 5:10-11). God is patient with us (Exod 34:6; Ps 103:8; Rom 2:4; 9:22; 1 Tim 1:16; 2 Pet 3:15) and promises his presence with those who are patient with others (Isa 57:15). It is knowing God has an answer and in that knowledge being at peace if it is not here right this moment
• Kindness connotes generosity, a giving spirit that reflects how God treats us (Rom 2:4; 11:22; Titus 3:4-6). Being like the father giving freely of your time treasure and talent to show others Jesus
• goodness: wanting God to be at the center Rom 15:14; Eph 5:9; 2 Thes 1:11. It is taking a breath and knowing God has every situation and not responding to the circumstances or people but looking for God in the middle of every situation, His wisdom, heart and understanding
• Faithfulness (or faith) means exercising good faith in all of our relationships, just as God does with us (1 Cor 1:9; 10:13; 2 Thes 3:3). It is believing that God really does have whatever it is and not resorting to anything of the world, emotions, worldly wisdom, but relying on Him for everything
Gentleness is antithetical to the vices of 5:20 and requires strength (see Prov 15:1, 4; Matt 11:28-29; Eph 4:2). Gentleness is not weakness it is realizing that we are actually in control of a situation because we are allowing God to be in control. We can be gentle as we listen to His wisdom and guidance
• self-control: The Holy Spirit does not give moral license but empowers people to avoid sin (Rom 6:14-18; 1 Thes 4:3-7; 1 Pet 2:16; Holy Spirit gives strength to the person submitted to him to overcome every situation, fear, anger, intimidation, whatever the case may be
Each of these reflect our very understanding of God and his nature and how we believe and apply it in our daily lives
So far how is your spiritual health?
Don’t worry recognizing where we need help is the only way to improve.
Let look at a couple more verses
Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
When you are spiritually healthy you begin to realize how loved you really are
God love isn’t a hammer waiting to beat us but a hand to lead and guide
God love isn’t saying “Aha!” I knew you’d fail it is a heart break that offers a hand to lift you up when you do
God’s love isn’t looking for the worst in you but instead believing in God’s best for you.
God’s love doesn’t gloat over you being down but sits with us, arms around you and at the right time lifts you up
God’s love isn’t expecting for failure but is always leading you to excellence
God’s love believes in you, hopes for you and will never fail you
As you understand that, you become spiritually healthy
Spiritually healthy people overcome fear by faith as you heard Pastor Mike share a few weeks ago
2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
Pastor Mike covered this very well
How is your fear factor?
There is so much more to this but these verses do a great summary
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. 2 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. 3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. 4 For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.
Can we evaluate where we are with our spiritual health? Like any other project if we want to have a successful 2021 we need to evaluate where we are so we can improve and have a better 2021….even if 2021 was good for you a healthy evaluation will only challenge us to get better
You are a child of God..being as healthy as you can be spiritually will cause others to see it more clearly…we are not victims we are children of the King and we must strive to improve to get better.
The world is in your hands and you can only handle the depth of your spiritual healthy so let’s get healthy church start today