Family Matters: P.2 (4.29.18)

Psalm 103:17
[17] But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;

God is generation-minded. He is concerned about future generations.

Genesis 15:1-6
[1] After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. [2] And Abram said, Lord God , what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?[3] And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. [4] And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. [5] And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. [6] And he believed in the Lord ; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

Genesis 17:1-9 
[1] And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. [2] And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. [3] And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, [4] As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. [5] Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. [6] And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. [7] And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. [8] And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. [9] And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.

There are 33 different occasions in the Word where God is known as “the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

God has chosen family to be the avenue through which he brings forth generational blessing and righteousness.

Malachi 4:5-6
[5] Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord : [6] And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

Of the 10 commandments, only 1 has an attached promise: children honor your father and mother that it may be well with you…

God is serious about succession. Family is meant to be the strength of our society. Parents should train up their children in the ways of the Lord (Proverbs 22:6). To “train” means to narrow. Narrow their path to God’s ways.

We can’t be so concerned with ourselves and our own happiness that we sacrifice the raising of our children. We have to raise them in God’s ways, with future generations in mind.

Genesis 17:15-16 
[15] And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be . [16] And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.

Genesis 18:17-19 
[17] And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; [18] Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? [19] For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord , to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.

 

God chose Abraham to be the father of many nations because He knew He could trust Abraham to raise his children to honor the Lord. God trusted that Abraham would be the primary influencer of his family, and that he would make sure the future generations were secure in the faith.

2 Kings 18:3-7 
[3] And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord , according to all that David his father did. [4] He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan. [5] He trusted in the Lord God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him. [6] For he clave to the Lord , and departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the Lord commanded Moses. [7] And the Lord was with him; and he prospered whithersoever he went forth: and he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and served him not.

Hezekiah honored the Lord during his reign. However, he wasn’t concerned with the future of his household. When he became sick, God had mercy on him and gave him 15 extra years of life so that he could get his house in order.  During that time, he had a son, Manasseh.

2 Kings 20:1-3,6, 14-21 
[1] In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord , Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live. [2] Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the Lord , saying, [3] I beseech thee, O Lord , remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore. [6] And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.
[14] Then came Isaiah the prophet unto king Hezekiah, and said unto him, What said these men? and from whence came they unto thee? And Hezekiah said, They are come from a far country, even from Babylon. [15] And he said, What have they seen in thine house? And Hezekiah answered, All the things that are in mine house have they seen: there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shewed them. [16] And Isaiah said unto Hezekiah, Hear the word of the Lord . [17] Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store unto this day, shall be carried into Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the Lord . [18] And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon. [19] Then said Hezekiah unto Isaiah, Good is the word of the Lord which thou hast spoken. And he said, Is it not good , if peace and truth be in my days? [20] And the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and all his might, and how he made a pool, and a conduit, and brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?[21] And Hezekiah slept with his fathers: and Manasseh his son reigned in his stead.

When King Hezekiah died, his 12 year old son Manasseh became king. This means Manasseh was born during the grace period that God gave Hezekiah. But King Hezekiah was only concerned with “his days”, and not concerned with the future generations. Because of this, as soon as he died, his son undid all the good things he had done.

2 Kings 21:1-3 
[1] Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Hephzi-bah. [2] And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord , after the abominations of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out before the children of Israel. [3] For he built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal, and made a grove, as did Ahab king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them.

Don’t be so consumed with your life that you don’t secure the next generation.

Deuteronomy 6:5-7 
[5] And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. [6] And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: [7] And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

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Family Matters: P.1 (4.22.18)

Psalm 115:16
[16] The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s : but the earth hath he given to the children of men.

Genesis 1:26 says that man has been given dominion over the earth.

Matthew 6:10
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Thy kingdom come‘ is our mandate.  We are here to advance the will of heaven in the earth.

The purpose God has for family is to advance His Kingdom.

Isaiah 9:6-7
[6] For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. [7] Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

In the past, people were mindful of the legacy they would leave behind. They were concerned about the future of their lineage. They poured into their children because they knew they were creating succession.

Family is meant to create succession. Parents should pour into their children, and raise them in the ways of the Lord.

The enemy tries to make us consumer-minded  rather than a producer-minded. We can become so wrapped up in what we want, and what makes us happy, that we neglect what God has called us to do.

Don’t just consume as a family, be producers.

Psalm 127:1
[1] Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.

God keeps the city through the house/family that He builds

These days so many live with a consumer mindset that is self-centered. For example, people get divorced because they don’t feel ‘happy’ anymore, which is detrimental for children. But they are so focused on themselves, they are willing to sacrifice the stability of their children.

Don’t let a consumer mindset cause you to abandon your responsibilities and neglect the purpose God has given you.

Psalm 127:3-5
[3] Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord : and the fruit of the womb is his reward. [4] As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. [5] Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

The gate was where all important business happened. Its where news was received, and where trade happened. Important meetings took place at the gate. Our children will succeed us. We must raise them in a way that they honor God, and are productive for His kingdom. That is God’s will for family.

God intended families to be strong so that the city would be strong.

Psalm 103:17 
[17] But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;

Strengths and Weaknesses: P.3 (4.18.18)

2 Timothy 2:19-21
[19] Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. [20] But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. [21] If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

There is a difference between justification and sanctification. Justification, or to be justified, is to be declared legally right before a holy God. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, and place our faith in His finished work, we are justified before God- because God sees us through the righteousness of His Son. To be “sanctified” means to  be set apart. Sanctification is the process that begins the moment we are saved. At that moment the Holy Spirit begins changing us into His likeness. We begin to grow in holiness; less like our old nature and more like God. We become set apart from this world, and ambassadors for the Kingdom of Heaven. We live to advance the Kingdom by keeping the degree of the Kingdom- the Word of God.

John 17:17
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

2 Timothy 2:22
[22] Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

You need the right people in your life to help you flee lust and walk in righteousness.

What you don’t overcome will eventually overcome you.

Whatever you are content with cannot change. Thats why its important to be in the Word.

Proverbs 23:7
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

Job 32:7-9
[7] I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom. [8] But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. [9] Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment.

Don’t become so focused on your weaknesses or your lack of strength that you disqualify yourself from what God has called you to do.

You don’t have strength outside of what God has given you. But if God calls you do to something, He will always equip you to carry it out.

2 Peter 1:3-4
[3] According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: [4] Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

God will equip you to do things that are beyond your natural ability.

2 Corinthians 4:7-9
[7] But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. [8] We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; [9] Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

God will even anoint you to use thing things you have been through to help others who are going through the same things.

Isaiah 10:27… The anointing will remove burdens and destroy yokes.

1 John 2:20
But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10
[7] And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. [8] For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. [9] And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. [10] Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Philippians 3:4-8
[4] Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: [5] Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; [6] Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. [7] But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. [8] Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

Don’t have anything in your life that makes you think you don’t need to call on Christ.

Matthew 5:3
 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Only By Grace: P.4 (4.15.18)

Titus 3:3-7
For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Salvation is only by grace. You cannot earn it by works.

Ephesians 2:7-9
That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Luke 18:9-14
And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are , extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.  I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

It’s only by Jesus’ righteousness that we have access to God. Salvation is a gift that we cannot earn. We simply have to receive it.

Galatians 1:3-8
Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

Galatians 2:20-21
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.  I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Grace isn’t a one-time event in our lives. From the moment we are saved and forward, God wants to show His grace to us every day. We need grace to fulfill the purpose He has for us.

The wages of (payment for )sin is death.  Jesus died to pay the debt of our sin.  If we could have paid it ourselves, Jesus could have stayed in heaven.

Galatians 3:1-3,21-26
O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

The Galatians had lost sight of grace. They knew that grace saved them, but afterwards, they fell into a pattern of works. Don’t let bad religion fool you into a works-based concept of christianity. You are not righteous because of what you do.

Hebrews 7:19
For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

Romans 7:9
For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

1 Timothy 1:8
But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;

Romans 8:3
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

You cannot fulfill your purpose until you are secure in your identity, which is in His acceptance of you without works. If you see it any other way, you’ll always fall short. You’ll always feel insecure in your identity. God loved us and gave Himself for us when we were dead in sin (Romans 5:8). The payment for sin is the death of the sinless. None of us has the ability to pay that price because no man was ever born without sin; except Jesus. Because Jesus gave His sinless life for us, the work is finished. We only need to receive the gift He died to give us.

 

Romans 3:20
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

The purpose of the law was to bring you to Christ. We know that no man has the ability to keep the whole law. If you break one, you’re guilty of breaking the whole thing.

James 2:10
For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

Because none of us has the ability to keep every one of God’s laws at all times, we all need Jesus. And Jesus did not do away with the law; He fulfilled it. He lived a perfectly sinless life. The law shows us that we need Him as a savior. Once we accept this grace given by God, from that point forward God sees us through the righteousness of His Son.

Imagine that you had spinach in your teeth. You went the whole day with that spinach there, and didn’t realize it until you got home and looked in the mirror. That mirror isn’t responsible for your condition (having spinach in your teeth). The mirror is just the tool that revealed your condition to you. In the same way, the law is like a mirror. It isn’t responsible for man’s sinful condition…. it simply reveals to us that we are sinful and in need of a Savior. It is meant to point us to Christ.

 

Romans 7:9-13
For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.  For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.

Romans 8:3-4 
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Christ did not come to connect us to the law. He came to connect us to love. Every human being needs acceptance, identity and purpose.

Luke 7:36-50
And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat. And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it , he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he , to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

This woman realized that she had been forgiven much. Because she was accepted by Jesus, she became secure in her identity , which enabled her to go and fulfill her purpose.

God’s purpose for our life is that we bring Him glory. We must understand that we are accepted by God’s grace. Our acceptance by Him isn’t conditional on anything we’ve done. His love is unconditional. If we grip that, we’ll be able to receive His forgiveness and start to find our identity in Him. Only then can we fulfill our purpose.

We will take on the identity of what we worship. Eventually we’ll become like whatever it is we consistently follow.

When you worship God you take on the identity of God. You become like Him. And that is the purpose He has for all of us. We are created to represent Him here on earth as His image-bearers. We all need grace for this. 

2 Corinthians 5:14
For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

Hebrews 10:16-17
This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

No one is too far gone. No matter what a person’s past looks like, God’s grace is enough.

Your past does not have to define you. No matter what you’ve done, you are accepted by grace. You can receive that grace right now. There’s no past too horrible that could exclude you from God’s grace. God loves you and wants to show you His love every day. Receive His grace and forgiveness, and move forward knowing that you are accepted.

Strengths and Weaknesses: P.2 (4.11.18)

Matthew 26:40-41
And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

God created relationships to make things easier.

Every relationship in your life is making something easier.

1 Corinthians 5:6-7
Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

We must always be on guard against weakness to sin that is in us all.

No one is so saved that evil is not present within them.

We overcome our sinful nature by the Word of God and the blood of Jesus.

Speak the Word of God when you are tempted.

2 Corinthians 10

There is not a more powerful position for you to be in than to be declaring the Word of God in the authority of the name of Jesus.

The name of Jesus will give you victory.

Know where you are weak and be watchful that you don’t let the enemy in that area.

1 Corinthians 10:13 
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Don’t hide your weakness, but at the same time do not share your weaknesses with everyone.

James 5:16
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Proverbs 2:10-20
When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: To deliver thee from the way of the evil man , from the man that speaketh froward things;  Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked; Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths: To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words; Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God. For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead. None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life. That thou mayest walk in the way of good men , and keep the paths of the righteous.

You will never change what you are content to ignore.

Proverbs 24:16
For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

Don’t allow your weakness to become your focus.

Only By Grace: P.3 (4.8.18)

Ephesians 2:4-8 
[4] But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, [5] Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) [6] And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: [7] That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. [8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
4 needs of all humanity:
Acceptance
Identity
Security
Purpose
All of these rest in the grace of God.
Lots of people like to say, “God helps those who help themselves.” Thats actually not Biblical. Grace means that God helps those who cannot help themselves.
Grace is not of works. Otherwise its not grace. But our response to grace should be seen in our works. You are not what you do; you do what you are.
We all need grace because we are all imperfect. And its in the moments that we are weak that we need to remember grace. If we don’t understand grace, we will let the enemy push us away from God, thus succeeding in what he came to do…kill, steal and destroy.
Don’t confuse conviction (a convincing of God’s will by the Holy Spirit) with condemnation (feelings of guilt and shame that come from the enemy). God will never condemn us (Romans 8:1). Condemnation only comes from the enemy, seeking to drive us away from relationship with Jesus. Conviction will draw you into relationship with Jesus. If you dont have a good understanding of grace, you’ll fall prey to condemnation.
What are you finding your identity in?
You walk in the identity of what you worship.
Don’t find your identity in things, past experiences, what you do, etc… Your identity is found in God.
You can’t get any closer to God than your concept of who He is will allow.
Romans 11:6 
[6] And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
His grace isn’t in response to our work.
Our work is in response to His grace.
You can only fulfill your purpose once you have become secure in the knowledge that your identity is in Jesus Christ by grace.
Galatians 5:4 
[4] Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
The same grace that saved you is the same grace that you’ve been called to live by every day for the rest of your life.
1 Corinthians 15:10 
[10] But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

Strengths & Weaknesses: P.1 (4.4.18)

Romans 8:2-6 
[2] For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. [3] For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: [4] That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. [5] For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. [6] For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Matthew 26:41
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Temptation is when the weakness of your flesh does not allow the will of the spirit to be done.

You can’t feed/sow into your flesh and expect to reap a spiritual harvest.

We all have 2 natures:
Flesh
Spirit

Whichever nature you feed the most will become the strongest. Feed your spirit with the Word of God.

We all have weaknesses.

James 1:13-14 
[13] Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: [14] But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

The enemy doesn’t tempt and entice you with something you don’t have a lust for.

James 1:15
[15] Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

The enemy wants to bring death and destruction.

The enemy wants to use your weakness as his point of entry into your life.

By identifying our weaknesses, we can gain insight into the areas the enemy will try to gain entry into our lives.

Your weakness will cause you to become friends with the wrong people.

You need people in your life that will not tolerate your weakness.

Your weakness will make you uncomfortable in the presence of those that justify your weakness.

What is permitted is endorsed.

Galatians 6:7-9 
[7] Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. [8] For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. [9] And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Weaknesses attract relationships that will allow it grow.

If left unchecked your weakness will grow.

1 Corinthians 5:6-7
[6] Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? [7] Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

1 Corinthians 10:13
[13] There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Matthew 4:1-11
[1] Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. [2] And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. [3] And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. [4] But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. [5] Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, [6] And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. [7] Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. [8] Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; [9] And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. [10] Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. [11] Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.