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Weekly Messages
Monday, 23 May 2011 10:52

A Quiet Gentle Spirit Wins! Part 2


By Angela Willingham
1 Peter 3:1-4

In part one of this lesson, I told you how I ended up teaching about the gentle quiet spirit. The truth is that I was supposed to be doing a session for women and this thing has grown on me. I find myself talking about it everywhere I go. I have even began watching women and identifying women who possess these qualities. In the bible reference it refers to wives but the truth is that every woman can gain something from it because we should not just be drawing husbands, we should be drawing everyone, our children, friends, family, co-workers that people we meet in passing and a gentle quiet spirit will do the job.

Wives

1 In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over 2 by observing your pure and reverent lives.
3 Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. 4 You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.
Verses 1-2 The scripture talks about wives accepting the authority of their husbands.

  • Can you accept the authority of Leadership that God has placed over you, in your home, at work and at church?
  • Can you accept the fact that if the authority over you, whether it be your leader, parents, husband, boss or pastor gets it wrong they are the ones that have to answer to God for that?
  • Your job and responsibility is to say what God has placed on your heart to share-no more and no less, and then pray and let God do what He wants to do in the situation. You may be right and you may be wrong, but let God take care of it without your need to be right or to fight for your rights.
  • Wasted Time-Personally, I have wasted a lot of time fighting for my rights and I enjoy the place of a gentle, quiet spirit because it is a place of peace and trusting God to handle my stuff. He has corrected my thinking on more than one occasion. Ladies, we are not always right. Isaiah 55:8-9, says 8 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. 9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. It may come as a shock, but we don’t know everything and how God will choose to fulfill His purpose or work through a situation often does not look the way we think it should or will look. We have to do our part and trust Him.
  • Your husbands will be drawn to God by your pure and reverent lives, but the truth is that so will other people. People will be drawn to Christ and this church by what you project or pushed away. If you project outer beauty the conversation will be about your beautician, where you get you nails done, where you shop or what brand of make up you wear. If it projects from the inside you open the door to your witness for the Lord. If we are honest none of us is drawn by people that are loud, argumentative and out of order. We move away from them and we don’t try to understand them or know anything about them.
  • When God gives you the opportunity to share what He has placed on your heart, share it in love. Ephesians 4:15 says, 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.
  • If they don’t agree with you don’t get mad. My boss shared this story he heard, if you think the wall should be painted white and the person that is in leadership decides to paint it black, you be the first to pick up a paintbrush to paint it black. Remember that the final responsibility and accountability does not lie with you, if you did and said what you were supposed to do and say. Yes, there will be times when we get upset, a gentle, quiet spirit does not mean doormat, loss of feeling or loss of passion, but at the end of the day our answer comes from following the leadership-submitting to the leadership and following the direction given. Ephesians 4:26, says 26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.”[a] Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry. There is no peace there.

Verses 3-4 Many of us will make sure we are getting our hair, nails done and spend all kinds of money shopping for the right shoes and outfit. We would not miss an appointment with our beautician or the opportunity to go to the gym and work out our physical bodies to make sure we look good on the outside, but the word in 1 Peter 3:3-4 makes it clear that is not the most important thing. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a proponent or supporter of us walking around looking broke down or tore up, because how we look on the outside, how we wrap the package does affect how we look on the outside and how we feel. As a woman I should look like a woman and take care and concern about that, but not over taking care of what I look like on the inside.

  1. I tried for years to lose weight so that I would look good on the outside and saw no progress. I knew it had to be spiritual. There was something wrong on the inside. Then I kept seeing how God kept pointing out my stuff to me. God was trying to show me that what was important to me was not His priority. Yes, He wanted me to look good on the outside and but more than that He wanted me to be good on the inside. We as women walk around with:
  • masks on of make up and beautiful hair to cover up broken spirits
  • We walk around with manicured nails and nasty attitudes
  • We walk around with a cute cut and can’t speak to the sister that we just walked past or worse than they walk the other way when we see her coming and we think that is okay.
  • We talk crazy to and about the leaders that God has placed over us to help us get to where we are supposed to be going because we think we know more than they do
  • We call ourselves prayer warriors and use that as our excuse for saying what ever we think and that warrior spirit is being used against the very people God has given us to love on
  • We look good, but we are prideful, disrespectful, have bad attitudes and we are loud
  1. Real beauty is not what we look like on the outside, but what we project from the inside. A gentle quiet spirit listens and encourages, it draws not just husbands but people.
  • When we meet some one what do they see?
  • What is there first impression or experience with us?
  • What will they remember, your manicure, hair or how you treated them?
  1. We can excuse away a bad attitude bad behavior or first impression by saying they
  2. just need to get to know us, but the truth is no they don’t need to just get to know
  3. us. We need to exemplify Christ and when they meet us that is who they should see, that is who they should meet, not a judgmental spirit, not an attitude, but a gentle, quiet, loving spirit. We don’t get a second opportunity for a first impression.

The Charge to each of us today comes from 1 Peter 3:3-4, focus more on the inner beauty and the outer beauty will come, not from makeup, but from the Lord. Get it right from the inside out then take the time to become Titus 2 Women. Titus 2:3-5 says, 3 Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers.[a] Instead, they should teach others what is good. 4 These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, 5 to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes,[b] to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.

Get Yourself under Holy Spirit Control,
then Share what you know with the younger women.

Scripture Reference:

1 Peter 3:1-4

Wives

1 In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over 2 by observing your pure and reverent lives.

3 Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. 4 You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.



Copyright 2005-2007 New Beginnings Holistic Fitness Ministries. All rights reserved

 
Monday, 09 May 2011 11:12

A Quiet Gentle Spirit Wins! Part 1


I was asked to speak for a women’s luncheon and was not sure what the topic was or what the scripture reference they wanted me to speak from would be. If you have ever been to a women’s luncheon you know that everyone that comes to the luncheon does not come for the same reason. Many come for the fun and fellowship. Many come to eat and some come to hear the speaker. You never know what anyone’s reason for coming is, but as the speaker you are responsible for preparing as though everyone was coming to hear what you had to say.

When I received the topic and the scripture I was surprised but at the same time I was not because I knew that God had been preparing and equipping me for this. I did not know when and I did not know where I was going to have to do it, but I knew it was coming. The scripture was 1 Peter 3:3-4 and it deals with a woman not being concerned about her outer adornment, but being more concerned about having a gentle quiet spirit.

Anybody that knows me knows I had been in the lab on this one for a while, but God can do a work on anybody and He has done a great work on me and I am grateful.

1 Peter 3:3-4

3 Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. 4 You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.

Personal Testimony-


I am not telling you something I don’t know. I was the woman that walked around as a prayer warrior ready to fight at any opportunity, not realizing that I was projecting a warfare spirit to everyone I came in contact with and making myself unloving and unapproachable and like many of you I thought it was their problem because I was walking in my calling, I was doing what God called me to do, but the question is not the calling, but how we carry it out. My attitude was wrong.

  • Can I still smile and laugh and be a warrior?
  • Can I have a light spirit and be serious?
  • Can I be loving and still walk in my responsibility as a leader?
  • Can I disagree with a leader that has been placed over me and not be disrespectful?
  • Can I feel a leading of God in a direction that is different than what has been given to the leadership and share my thoughts as God directs and leave it alone?

The answer to every question is yes, when we do it with a gentle, quiet spirit. My neck does not have to move, I do not have to put my hand on my hip or raise my voice to get my point across and once I have said what I need to say not 10 times, but once I can leave it alone and resort to seeking the Lord in prayer. We as women sometimes think the power is in our volume or the number of times we say it, but it isn’t. I don’t have to be angry about it and I don’t have to grumble, complain or harp on it.

I joined a church 3 years ago and I was told that the leadership, which was predominately male, did not believe in women in ministry. While several of my friends were concerned, God was speaking a word to me and that was, “A gentleman will open the door for a lady.”

I had been a mother and warrior but He was trying to soften me up, to make me a lady. As I have watched the transition, I have seen what He spoke to my spirit to be true. As ladies, we don’t need to kick down any doors, because ladies don’t do that. A gentleman really will open the door for you, whether that be a husband, pastor, boss or business partner. Just be a lady, operate with a gentle, quiet spirit and watch God work on your behalf. I have had the opportunity to be:

  • On the radio, because of my business partner,
  • I have had the opportunity to preach
  • To head up a department of a major corporation reporting to the president,
  • Attend an invitation only reception for Julian Bond,
  • Lead the New Beginnings Ministry, that God gave to my business partner

My personal transition from who I was to who I am, the lady I am today did not just take place in the church. God can use what ever He chooses to use to work on you so look for Him in everything. God worked on me at church, at my job and in my relationships.

  • I completed my last prayer assignment at the church I was assigned to as prayer director. I couldn’t pray any more all I could do was cry. God had spoken to my spirit, when you start to cry, you are finished. No more fighting. He was moving me in a different direction. He was softening me.
  • My job-I run a department that is responsible for the recovery of stolen equipment. I use to proudly say the position was made just for me. I could yell at people when I wanted to and have an attitude when I wanted to. It worked with my personality. Then God changed my environment and my CEO, who was much like me, said kinder gentler and I accepted it. He said, “Angela we have to determine if they are down on their luck and need our help, stupid or criminals”. I could no longer just report the equipment stolen and send everybody to jail.
  • Constant rejection and attacks against my personality and I have no desire to retaliate. I still wanted and desired to help the very people that were trying to hurt me. God was strengthening and stabilizing me. Preparing me for my next level.

Is any of this easy, not on our own, but the bible in Philippians 4:13 says, we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. He will give you the strength and grace to follow the leadership He has placed in your life in a respectful way even when you don’t agree and teach you how to pray. When we get to the place of a gentle, quiet spirit that is a place of peace like you have never experienced before.

Personally, I have been in the lab on the gentle, quiet spirit for a few years. It took me longer than it should have because I thought I knew better, I thought I had the right answer and I thought I needed to fight for my rights. I wanted to be married and thought I was ready. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I was wrong and as women we have been wrong. God was already taking care of me and He is already taking care of you. I needed to submit at my job, in ministry, relationally, physically and spiritually. With submission comes the blessing of peace and a gentle, quiet spirit.

A gentle, quiet spirit does not mean doormat. It means power under control, under submission to the Holy Spirit and I like it. The question we all have to ask ourselves is where are we. How do people describe you? Do we draw people to our beautician or to our Lord? Are we drawing or pushing people away? How do people describe you? As a woman if the word is mean, closed minded, argumentative or loud, it does not draw. Evaluate where you are and make the necessary changes to become a woman with a gentle quiet spirit because it will make gentleman want to do things for you.

Scripture Reference:


1 Peter 3:1-4

Wives

1 In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over 2 by observing your pure and reverent lives.
3 Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. 4 You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.



Copyright 2005-2007 New Beginnings Holistic Fitness Ministries. All rights reserved

 
Monday, 02 May 2011 11:20

Challenges!


Challenges come in all shapes and sizes. Some of our challenges are emotional, physical, spiritual and even financial. The question is not whether challenges will come or not, the question is how will we deal with them when they come.

Challenges that fall into either of the categories listed can also have an adverse affect on other areas if we do not handle them correctly. If you try to handle an emotional challenge by eating it could result in the physical challenge of weight gain. If you try to handle an emotional challenge by shopping it could result in a new financial challenge, because you spent money that was designated for something else-a bill and now that bill is not being paid or, you create additional credit card debt. We have to learn how to find healthy responses that have positive results in every area of our lives. Find healthy responses.

What is your challenge today? Where are you struggling?

In 1 Corinthians 10:13 the bible says that No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; he'll always be there to help you come through it. That means that there is a way out, we just have to seek God to find it. Ask Him to reveal it to us and then take the way of escape. We have to make an effort not to fall into the trap that has been set for us and somebody has already gone through the same thing so there is no need for us to have a pity party.

Every temptation I have ever experienced had a way of escape. The real question is not whether there is a way out, but whether or not you or I will take the out. Many times we skip right past the out options because we are so excited about the sin or temptation. We need to study the Word to know right and wrong and then watch for the roadblocks that God puts in our way to stop us from tripping down the slippery slope of sin.

Temptation is no time for trying to run the hurdles. Stop running around and jumping over the stuff that is in your way, because it may have been put there for a reason, to slow you down or to stop you. Many times we tell you to go around stuff, but if it was placed there to slow you down in a positive way, if it was placed there by God recognize that and stop, before your test or challenge takes you some where that you really did not and do not want to go. See it for what it is no matter how good it might look to you, it is something that is trying to get you off track.

Turn and go the other way.

In James 1:2-4, the bible says to consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.

So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. That is a word. Consider a challenge joy. Now it does not say it will be fun or that you will enjoy it so read the scripture carefully. It is not fun when there is not enough money to pay the bills or some medical challenge arises that causes us to be unable to do what we would normally do. It is not fun when we experience a financial setback or relational challenge like the break up of a marriage or loss of a child. It is not fun when someone you love is diagnosed with cancer or some other life threatening disease.

It is not fun when something you counted on is taken away. The scripture is not saying the challenge is joy, it is talking about the end result of that test or challenge if you allow it to do what it was intended to do.

Challenges will come but how we respond to those challenges is what really matters. Will we allow the challenge to break us or make us worse or will we use it as a building block or stepping stone and grow from it. Personally, I want to use mine as stepping stones and building blocks. I want to grow stronger and more powerful than I have ever been before, I want to be stabile and mature, not moved by ever wind that blows and that is what challenges do for us if we allow them to.

Challenges grow me emotionally so I don’t have to go off or become emotionally upset every time something happens. The truth is that challenges cause me not to ever see things that I once saw and got upset about. Some stuff I am now able to laugh about, because it is just not that serious. It is not worth my time or energy. Amen. If I handle my challenges well, I will be a better person because of them and be able to smile when I look back on them. Just for the record, I want you to know I am doing a lot more smiling these days and I feel a lot lighter, because I am allowing my challenges to do their perfect work in me, helping me to be better on the inside, so the outside represents what is really going on.

James 1:12 says, Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life. All that says to me is that if I can just get through the challenge there is a blessing on the other side of it. Amen and Amen.

Here are some positive responses to challenges you might try:

  • Prayer
  • Setting aside some quiet time for yourself. This does not have to be expensive. It could be something a simple as going to the park with a friend to chat. We always think when we spend time with friends it has to cost money, but the truth is that it does not. A romantic evening in Phoenix could be a trip to the top of South Mountain to cuddle with you spouse and look out over the valley. Take a bath or do your nails. Do something you enjoy-but put yourself first.
  • Exercise-Take a walk. Walking is free. There is no gym membership required to take a walk and no monthly fees. God’s space and air are both free. Many schools have tracks that you can walk around and many of them are open to the public at certain times if not all of the time. This will help you to clear your head and remove stress. Pray while you walk or take a friend. You will be amazed at the results you can get from just walking spiritually, emotionally, relationally and physically.
  • Learn how to handle the challenge areas better by studying that particular challenge. If it is a financial challenge learning to budget better could be a great help. If you have an emotional problem study the scriptures related to emotions or get some counseling.
  • Don't just sit around talking about the issue or challenge, do something. We will spend a lot of time telling everyone that will listen what we are going through and they can’t do anything to help our situation. Get into the word of God for some answers. Pray for God to reveal places for you to get the help you need. There may even be people and in the course of your conversations and talking ask for help, don’t just talk about it. But trust and believe that God can and will deliver you if you will turn it over to Him. He is waiting to be your Superhero.
  • Find Support
  1. A relationship with God is greatly encouraged because a good spiritual foundation will affect every area of your life. Going to church is not enough. There are many people that go to church Sunday after Sunday and still have no idea, not the slightest clue how to deal with problems when they come. They will have a great time on Sunday morning and will tell you that, but have no idea what scripture was preached or how to apply that scriptural foundation to their lives. You have to take the next step, by gaining an intimate relationship with God through Jesus Christ and growing that relationship through personal bible study and communion with other like-minded believers that are going in the same direction you are. That does not mean they have the same destiny or purpose, but that they are purposed to be better people and to use the Word of God as their foundation for growth. You will be amazed at where you can find like-minded people. I have found them in my workout classes and at my job. Don’t make the mistake of judging a book by it’s cover because like-minded Christians come in all shapes, colors and economic backgrounds. Church is not the only place that like minded people reside open your eyes and ears to hear and see them, because God has stationed us every where.
  2. Find people that have experienced success in your area of challenge to be your accountability partners and to provide mentoring for you. We choose people that we are comfortable with, but the truth is that an accountability person needs to be someone that will tell us the truth. We will even choose people that are struggling in the same ways that we are and wonder why we make no progress. I really cannot help you get out of hole that I have not figured out how to get out of myself. If you want to be a CEO watch a CEO not a janitor.
  3. Find a support group for your area of challenge-if you struggle with your eating check out Weight Watchers or one of the other options. If you struggle with working out find a workout group.
  4. If your challenge is a physical one dealing with weight remember that there are no bad foods, only bad habits. You can have anything you want if you learn to do it in moderation. Be sure to include these two new habits to overcome your bad ones.
  • Portion Control
  • Regular Exercise

What you are going through may be new to you, but it is not new, somebody else has already gone through it-press through your challenges using some of the responses we have listed above-God will not let you down. They may be unpleasant, it may cost you some tears, but you can press through to victory.

Scripture References:


James 1:2-4:
2 -4Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

James 1:12:
12Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.



Copyright 2005-2007 New Beginnings Holistic Fitness Ministries. All rights reserved

 
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