SAVED FROM A “HARD SPIRIT”

stone-heartSAVED FROM A “HARD SPIRIT”
by Pastor Charles P. Schmitt

I was recently evaluating how easy it is to develop a “hard spirit” in the process of standing for truth and opposing evil.

As I was examining my own heart along those lines, I was reminded of a familiar passage of Scripture, one of Paul’s admonitions to his spiritual son Titus. Paul began by admonishing Titus to take a firm stand for truth and morality —“these then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you” (Titus 2:15). On the issues of “ungodliness and worldly passions” and on living “self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” (Titus 2:1,2), Titus was to be unyielding. But how does one do just that without developing a hard, judgmental spirit, especially towards those who are living wayward and sinful lives?

I believe the key lies in the next few verses. Paul wanted Titus, along with all of us, to “be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men”! (Titus 3:2) How can this be possible as we stand firmly for the truth? Paul’s next statement tells us exactly how. We must never forget that, “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures…”! (Titus 3:3)

What saves us from a hard spirit in the process of defending the truth is to remember the pit from which we ourselves were dug! For example, when I reflect on my own life, I can never despair of any man! I am moved with compassion towards everyone, when I remember my own shortcomings and failures. And for our goodness, our boasting can never be in our own goodness, but in the goodness of Him who graciously redeemed us by His love. Consequently, Paul’s very next statement was: “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done but because of His mercy…” (Titus 3:4-5).

This passage, Titus 2:11–3:8, really has answered the quest of my heart—how to be saved from developing a “hard spirit” in the process of standing up for the truth and opposing evil! “If You, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with You there is forgiveness, therefore, You are feared” (Psalm 130:3-4). Amen!

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DAY 12 – PREPARING THE HEART FOR REVIVAL

img_11115DAY 12 PREPARING THE HEART FOR REVIVAL

Read Psalm 51 and Hosea 10:12

“The channel God uses in revival is the channel of a broken heart…

just as there is no state of soil more satisfying to the gardener than that which is mellow and pliable, crumbling to pieces at his touch, so there is no heart more satisfying to God than that which breaks at His touch, that crumbles under His mighty, yet tender hand.” (Ps. 51:17) — Arthur Wallis

Reread Hosea 10:12 and observe the 5 keys to revival in this passage.

1. Revival centers in the Lord Jesus Himself.
• “seek the Lord until He comes.”

2. Revival requires preparation
• “break up your unplowed ground”
• “sow for yourselves righteousness”

3. Revival produces eternal fruit
• “reap the fruit of unfailing love”

4. Revival is a sovereign happening
• “It is time…”

5. Revival is divinely disruptive
• “until He comes and showers righteousness on you.”
“The prepared heart becomes the praying heart that prevails with God… It is only out of a heart ploughed deep that there proceeds that kind of praying that prevails with God and brings revival.” (In the Day of His Power by Arthur Wallis)

P R A Y E R F O C U S
• Pray for a tender heart – “Search me, O God.” Invite Him to show you anything that hinders His work of revival in your heart
• Pray for our children to hunger and thirst for a deep encounter with the Lord Jesus.
• Pray for His Spirit to be poured out upon our children and the youth of this nation, and especially in our churches.

By Pastors Charles and Dotty

More Than Enough – Day 16

Monday, April 22, 2013

It is always God’s desire to save the lost, and to revive the hearts of His people with a fresh outpouring of His Holy Spirit.  But, He amazingly looks to His people to cooperate with Him in prayer, petition and praise to accomplish His purposes.  Ponder Hosea 10:12. Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you. Hosea stresses the importance of  heart-preparation in preparing for the rain from heaven.  We are admonished to “plow up” the soil of our hearts, and to seek the Lord until He comes.  A man of God once wrote “The prepared heart becomes the praying heart that prevails with God.”  Lord make my heart tender that your intercessions may be on my lips!  Pour out Your Spirit!

More Than Enough – Day 5

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Prayerfully read Proverbs 4: 18-27.  Talk with the Lord about the important truths you learn from this life-changing passage.  Re-read it.  In what areas does the Word reveal that He is “more than enough”?  Father, I am learning to trust You with my whole heart.  I give to You my time, talents, and treasure.  Use me and my resources however You choose!  Lord, show me how to “guard my heart”.  Deal with any seeds of resentment, unforgiveness or bitterness.  Lord, your mercy, grace, and forgiveness are “more than enough” for me to live with a pure heart.  Lord, I pray for those who have hurt me, and I bless them.  ..bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:28)