Wednesday, August 31, 2016





HeartsAlive Ministries


For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; 
 (Romans 10:10)














Developing Disciples By the Grace of God




Self-published
By the Shelton Family
September 2016


















































Copyright © 2010 by Fred A. Shelton

All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means--electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, or other--except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Self-published in Somerset, Kentucky
September 2016








Contents





I. Introduction: Laying the Foundation for spiritual growth …..... Pages 4-13

II. The Foundational Truth Of Worship….......………............…..Pages 14-18

III. The Foundational Truth of Walk……......………................…Pages 19-34

IV. The Foundational Truth of Work……....………......................Pages 35-44
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V. The Foundational Truth of Warfare……….................…..….....Pages 45-55

VI. Review……………………………..........................................Pages 56-58
































Introduction: Laying the Foundation for spiritual growth

The soul of man has a deep longing for contentment and satisfaction, but that longing cannot be satisfied in the delights of the cursed earth. The wayward soul of man has deep longings for God and nothing will satisfy the soul until it has found it's place at home with God.

Isaiah 57:20-21 20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. 21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.

The soul of the lost is like the troubled sea tossed this way and that finding no genuine peace or rest in time. This life will not stand in the face of the adversities of time.

Matthew 7:26-27 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

A person cannot live their life without happiness. They will not go day after day without discovering contentment or satisfaction even if it means going the way of the world to find it. We were made for God. Man was made in the image of God to know HIM and to enjoy HIM forever. But with the fall of man we were separated from HIM. Mankind is in need of redemption.

As we begin this study, let us consider the very character of God. If we are to love God, we must know HIM. The Scriptures tell us that God is a merciful God; “(For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) - Deuteronomy 4:31 How has HE been merciful to you?
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Romans 12:1-2 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.


This text (Romans 12:1-2) indicates that the mercies of God have been manifold to the child of God How have these mercies of God applied to our lives in the past, present and future?
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We are told in the Scriptures that God is good. “Truly God is good...” (Psalm 73:1) “Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.” (Psalm 143:10)

How has God been good to you?
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God is love” (1John 4:8) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Prayer Challenge: God is. Who is God to you today? What do you personally know of HIS character? How has HE revealed that character to you? Take time to think about the person of God as revealed in the Scripture, then ask God to make HIMSELF known to you this week. Ask HIM to show you what HE is to you personally. Write out your prayer request in the space provided and any further understandings of HIS character shown to you.
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John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

2Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

The ministry of Satan is to deceive mankind. He works very hard to remove truth from our lives, so that, he can divide us from all that is good.

Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world:

Prayer Challenge: Can you identify any deceptions that Satan has brought into your life to divide you from things that are good? What are the good things that God desires for our lives that Satan seeks to remove or divide us from? Be willing to re-visit this prayer challenge at a later time if God would so prompt your prayerful reflection.
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God, who is, has already made provision for HIS children to overcome the deceptions that trouble them. The ultimate purpose of the principalities and powers of darkness is to promote emotional, spiritual and even physical Destruction. What evidences of emotional, spiritual or even physical destruction have your known in your life?
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John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

Jesus uses words like freedom, liberty, deliverance. He has come to preach the gospel to the poor. He has come to heal the brokenhearted. He has come to give sight to the blind. He has come to set at liberty them that are bruised.

Jesus loves us. Time and eternity will be needed to grasp the depth of this amazing truth.

Prayer Challenge: Do you know what your greatest need is today? Ask God to reveal to you your greatest need. Again, be willing to revisit this prayer challenge at a later time. Take a few moments to prayerfully reflect upon this question and then write out your greatest need as a prayer request to God. Remember, God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.
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Recorded below is a partial prayer from King David. It is a very important prayer that can be used by a student of the Word of God throughout their Christian life. Read over this prayer and reflect upon the meaning of these verses. It is also a powerful prayer to read out loud.

Psalm 51:1-10 1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. 5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. 6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. 9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

What elements of this prayer are significant to you?
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Read the following texts which speak of the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ. Take some time to read over these verses to understand HIS sacrifice. Do not be in a hurry. Remember the goal is not to finish, but to find in the Word of God a personal message from God.

Psalm 22:14-15 & 18-19 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death…. 18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. 19 But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me.

1Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Matthew 27:28-31 28 And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. 29 And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! 30 And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. 31 And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.


Prayer Challenge: This prayer challenge should take some time. These verses need to be read and reread, so that, an appreciation of the sufferings of Christ can be known. Jesus did this for you. Because HE loves you. He did this to bring glory to the Father as the image of God that was lost at the fall can now be restored to you by the grace of God. God the Father desires that HIS children bear the image of HIS Son the Lord Jesus Christ. In this prayer challenge, ask God to show you the depth of His love and His sacrifice which was made for you. Then write a prayer of thanksgiving for HIS suffering and sacrifice.
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John 4:23-24 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

When the Spirit of God illuminates to our soul: Who God is; What HE has done; and, What HE shall do; we will WORSHIP him in Spirit and in Truth.

If we are to have a proper view of who God is, we must also have a proper view of who man is. Mankind is Finite – limited, bound, subject to limitations. There are certain individuals who are more intelligent than others, but none have all knowledge. There are those who posses great strength and athletic ability, but there are none who have all strength or power. Mankind is limited in his abilities. Man is subject to weakness and failure.

God is infinite – The attributes of God are without limit. God transcends all limitations which time and space impose. God is complete to infinity. His love is eternal. His wisdom is without measure. He is above all in every quality and characteristic of life. He alone is the sufficient cause of all that is. And God cannot fail.

1Chronicles 29:11 Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.

Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms:

Psalm 147:5 Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.

Psalms 89:11-12 11 The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and the fulness thereof, thou hast founded them. 12 The north and the south thou hast created them:

Psalm 145:3 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.

Zephaniah 3:5 The just LORD is in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity: every morning doth he bring his judgment to light, he faileth not;

Revelation 15:3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.


Prayer Challenge: Take a few moments to prayerfully reflect upon the awesome character of God as revealed in the previous verses and then write your thoughts about God in the space provided below.
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God is the supreme first cause of all causes. He has made man in his image to be a visible, physical representation of HIS righteousness upon the earth. Sin invaded this universe and marred the image of God in man. Therefore, God sent HIS beloved Son the Lord Jesus Christ to restore that image to our lives. This restoration process begins with personal salvation. Once personal salvation is received worship will occur as “spirit and truth” meet in the soul of man. If God is infinite (without limitations) and mankind is finite (bound by limitations), we must recognize the worth of a personal relationship with HIM. Without HIM and without HIS truth, we are subject to every manner of sin and deception.

Worship is born in the heart of the believer as the truth of what God has done, is doing and will do is discovered.

1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Confess does not simply mean to verbally state that you have sinned. To confess means to come into agreement with God about our sin. “God I want you to know that I have sinned. I want you to know that I know the name of my sin and I am sorry that I have sinned against you. My heart is grieved that I have chosen to turn away in unbelief.”

This is what it means to confess. We come in agreement with God about our sin. When we do that, He then is free to be faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. He comforts us.

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

When we confess, we need to make sure that we praise HIM and worship HIM for the forgiveness and cleansing. At that point, before we close our prayer, it is also very important that we ask God to fill us with HIS Holy Spirit. We choose by faith to walk in forgiveness, cleansing and filling. These are prayers that God will answer.

The Beatitudes begin with God’s portrait of a believer Worshiping and Walking in faith.

The Beatitudes are a beautiful portrait of the faithful working of God in the life of a believer; as they cooperate with HIM in their journey of faith, and personal growth in grace. A believer is saved by grace through faith. (Ephesians 2:8) The believer also matures by grace through faith. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:”(Colossians 2:6)

The Beatitudes serve as an introduction to The Sermon on the Mount delivered by the Lord Jesus Christ himself. If we first look to the conclusion of this sermon, we can see the significance of the introduction.

Matthew 7:13-14 13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.


In this text, there are two gates, two roads and two destinations. Can you identity them? The answers are either given or implied.
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The true believer must enter a narrow gate. He must travel down a narrow road. By doing so, he will end up at the desired destination. But there are many, who will enter the wide gate. They will then travel down the broad way, therefore, ending up at the destination of deception. Listen to the startling words of Jesus in verses 21-23.

Matthew 7:21-23 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

In this context, the word “iniquity” implies self-will. Self-will stands in contrast to God’s expressed will.

Now, the obvious question is: What is this narrow gate that Jesus speaks of? What is the narrow road or way? We understand that Jesus is the Way. But do the scriptures provide for us a portrait of that way? How do we know if we have entered the narrow gate? The answer is made plain as we look back to the introduction to this great sermon.

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

The proud do not enter the Kingdom of God. Pride was the great sin that caused Lucifer to fall from his place in heaven. He expressed his will against the expressed will of God. He said: “…I will be like the most High.” (Isaiah 14:14) For the first time in all of eternity, there were now two wills expressed in the universe and one was “iniquity”. The proud are convinced that their way is as good as or better than God's way.

Jesus very plainly states those who enter the narrow gate are those who are “poor in spirit”. The poor in spirit are the humble. This is powerfully illustrated in Luke 18 with the publican and the Pharisee.

Luke 18:9-14 9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 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. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 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. 14 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.

The publican demonstrates poverty of spirit as he humbles himself before God and cries out for mercy. This is truly a beautiful salvation prayer that carries the sinner through the narrow gate.

God be merciful to me a sinner.”

Personal salvation is the recognition that I have sinned against God and that my sin has separated me from God. But God, who demonstrated HIS love and mercy, sent HIS beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die on Calvary’s tree to suffer the judgment of God for our sin.

Therefore, the Justice of God has been satisfied; and the sinner that cries out for mercy can be granted salvation, because of the finished work of Jesus Christ.

Have you humbled yourself and cried out to God for mercy? Have you received the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart? Briefly give a testimony of your personal salvation.
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If so, the first step of obedience following salvation is baptism. Baptism is a picture of my identification with Jesus Christ in his death. Jesus Christ was buried in the grave and HE arose again the third day according to the scriptures. By faith, I choose to identify myself with him. I will die to the old life and live unto God. I will declare to the world that I am saved. I am now a follower of Jesus Christ.

Act 8:35-38 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

Self-will chooses not to follow the expressed will of God. Which will you choose?


The Worship

The Journey of faith begins with the acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The journey continues as the believer learns obedience to the revealed will of God as found in the scriptures. The sinner now made saint is able to worship God “in spirit and in truth”. The Spirit of God begins to teach the soul of man, who HE is and what HE has done and what HE shall do.

Humility is experienced as the greatness of God is now found in the soul of man.

This is evidence that one has entered the narrow gate. The believer is humbled by the greatness of God and what he has done for them. Can you give a brief testimony of the greatness of God?
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Listen to the hearts of those who met the Lord Jesus Christ.

The woman at the well met Jesus. She had been devastated by a life of broken relationships until she met the Savior. She said: “Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?”. (John 4:29)


The Pharisees mocked Jesus and accused him of being a sinner. But the blind man who met Jesus “…answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.”
(John 9:25)

Nicodemus a man of great wealth and prominence came secretly to meet Jesus at night. But at the death of the Savior, he came with a great sacrifice. “And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.” (John 19:39)

See the heart of this woman. “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.” (Luke 7:37-38)
Prayer Challenge: Worship is a heart filled with gratitude about who God is, what God has done, and what God shall do. As you begin your prayer times, take some time to bow before the Lord and praise HIM for who He is, and what He has done. Demonstrate your gratitude. To get you started prayerfully write down some things that you are grateful for since coming to faith in Christ.
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Since coming to personal faith in Jesus Christ, how has the Lord taught you the worth of humility?
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Worship will provide the necessary attitudes to enjoy the Grace of God and to walk in the will of God. Great joy is found by worshiping God in the church congregation for God “…inhabitest the praises…” of his people. (Psalm 22:3) But a soul that is forgiven may worship God in his prayer closet, in his car, with his family in the living room of his home. “23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24)
Psalm 7:17 I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.

Psalm 9:1-2 1 I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works. 2 I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.

Psalm 21:13 Be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power.

Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

Now that you understand more about praise and worship, consider the following text.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12:1)

The word service is listed in the Strong's concordance as G2999 λατρεία latreia lat-ri'-ah From G3000; ministration of God, that is, worship: - (divine) service.

How would you describe your worship of God?
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The believer is to surrender his or her life as a living sacrifice. This is our acceptable form of worship to God. Romans chapter 12 and verse 1 points back to the first eleven chapters of the book of Romans. In the previous 11 chapters God has demonstrated mercy after mercy after mercy to mankind.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,….”

Because of the multitude of those mercies, Paul begs for the believer to present their bodies a living sacrifice. This is our reasonable act of worship to our God.

Prayer Challenge: Ask God to give you wisdom and understanding to see how HE has led you to surrender your life at various times in your personal journey of faith.
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Discovering the treasures of truth will enable us to build towers of truth in our soul.

We are seeking to rid our souls of deception. Towers of truth will become strongholds of victory against the deceptions of darkness.

Prayer Challenge: When the Spirit of God illuminates to our soul Who God is and What HE has done, we will WORSHIP him in Spirit and in Truth. Take time to read Revelation chapters 4 and 5. In these chapters, you will discover how God will demonstrate HIS mercy to his children in the future. Record your thoughts about the mercy of God that shall be demonstrated to you in the future. Then, worship God for HIS mercy that is yet to come.
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John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Testimony: Write out a personal testimony about your personal worship. Since coming to faith in Jesus Christ how has worship become a part of your journey of faith?
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The Walk

The Walk - “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3)

Salvation is the beginning of our pathway to victory. Personal salvation opens the door for the personal worship of God in spirit and in truth. By coming to faith in Jesus Christ, the believer begins to have a new view of God. God is high and lifted up. He is the Savior. HE becomes the focus of our worship. With a proper view of God now established, the student will choose to walk in agreement with HIM. The Walk of faith is portrayed by the development of first four beatitudes in the life of the believer.

Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. From this text is established a necessary principle for spiritual growth.


1. Humility is the attitude necessary for salvation and growth in grace.

The poor in spirit are the humble. 1Peter 5:5b “…for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”

Pride must be destroyed and humility must be embraced. This will be a constant battle throughout our journey of faith. Humility is the narrow gate by which we gain entrance into the kingdom of heaven, but humility is also the attitude by which we continue our walk of faith.

Colossians 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:

We received the Lord Jesus Christ by grace through faith in the Word of God. We walk in the same manner. By humbling ourselves to the truth of God, grace is received. Humility allows the believer to continue to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Savior and God the Lord Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

Failing the grace of God is to make the grace of God of none effect. The grace of God is to sustain us. The grace of God is our source for power and blessings. Without the grace of God in operation in our lives we fail to stand in truth. We fail the grace of God when we choose not to surrender to the truth.

Ephesians 3:7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.


2Corinthians 12:9 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.


2Timothy 2:1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.


Do we know of times in our lives when we were choosing not to surrender to the truth of God and it caused us to struggle mightily?
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Grace and humility are the pathway to victory.

2Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.


Prayer Challenge: What personal, experiential knowledge of Jesus Christ (his love, his forgiveness, his humility, etc.) have you gained that encourages you to Walk in agreement with HIM? Fulfill this prayer challenge by writing these things down, and then pray over them asking God to make them real in your life today.
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If we are to walk in agreement with God, humility must be embraced. Read the following verses and record the different effects that pride will have upon our lives verses the effects of humility.

Psalm 10:4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.

Psalm 10:17 LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:

Isaiah 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

Proverbs 22:4 By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.

1Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

Obadiah 1:3 The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee,

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

Proverbs 13:10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
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Prayer Challenge: Ask God to reveal any areas of pride that are presently in your life. Record those areas in the space provided below. Confess those areas as sin. Ask God to forgive you and to cleanse you of the pride. Ask God to fill you with His Spirit. Thank God for the forgiveness, cleansing and filling. Completely mark out the areas of pride as listed below for the guilt and condemnation of those sins of pride are now gone. Worship Him and continue in the Walk of faith.
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The greatest enemies to walking in agreement with God are pride and selfishness.

Personal prayer times will enable the believer to identify areas that need to be confessed and forsaken.

Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God:

Prayer times should include moments of silence. Being still before God. Waiting upon the Lord. Allowing HIS Spirit to settle over our hearts. Part of the practical ministry of the Holy Spirit is to convict the believer of his sin, therefore, we confess. We are cleansed. We ask God for a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit and we are filled. Secondly, the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to convince the believer of righteousness. The faithful hand of God is developing the life of the believer by teaching him the worth of humility. The faithful hand of God is teaching the believer of the awesome character of God. God is love. God is faithful. God is conforming the new born babe in Christ to the image of HIS Son. As this process is occurring, the Spirit of God reveals the changes taking place in the life of the believer. The believer is becoming faithful. The believer is becoming more loving. God is faithful to restore the image of Christ to HIS beloved child. As we are still in HIS presence, the faithful hand of God reveals the changes that are being wrought in our lives and we praise HIM. This is Worship that gives to the child of God a proper view of God, therefore, the believer has a greater desire to humble himself before HIM.

True worship helps to maintain humility.

Prayer Challenge: Ask God to show you areas of your life that HE by HIS grace has changed, and is continuing to change in your life. “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) Record those areas in the space provided below and praise HIM for HIS faithful hand of grace at work in your life.
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God is faithful to teach every believer of the value of the grace of humility. If the believer is to maintain their pursuit, continue growing and changing thus bearing the image of the Lord Jesus Christ, the student must surrender to the expressed will of God. Humility will increase our heart’s desire for the worship of Jesus Christ in spirit and in truth.

Testimony: Write out your own personal testimony of some of the ways the grace of God has taught you the worth of humility.
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Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. From this text is established a necessary principle for spiritual growth.

2. A believer must maintain the proper attitude toward sin.


What keeps the child of God from continuing to maintain a proper attitude toward sin?
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Honest confession of our sin to God brings HIS comfort. When truth and honesty reign in the heart of the believer, the comfort of God is present. Truth purges deception from the heart and life of the believer.

Psalm 15:1-2 1 LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.

Psalm 26:3 For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.

Psalm 117:2 For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.

Psalm 145:18 The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.

Proverbs 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.

Ephesians 4:14-16 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

With humility enthroned upon the heart, it will be much easier to maintain a proper attitude toward sin.

It is only when pride enters the heart that sin is embraced. It is only when pride is accepted that deception reigns. Humility will work hand in hand with a proper attitude toward sin.

2Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

When known sin is committed, one of two things will happen. The sin will be justified. Or, the sin will be confessed. It is easy to say, “Well, everyone else is doing it.” The Holy Spirit of God that dwells within the believer will convict the believer of sin. If the Holy Spirit is shining the light of conviction, it matters not what everyone else is doing. Humility will not make excuses or justify sin. Humility will continue to surrender. Humility will come in agreement with God and make confession.


Example: “God, I have sinned. Please forgive me and cleanse me of this sin. I ask you to fill me a fresh and a new with your Holy Spirit. I thank you dear God for the forgiveness, cleansing and filling received.”

God responds to the humble with comfort. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. But if we allow pride to enter into our souls, deception begins. We forfeit the comfort of God. Instead of the peace of God reigning, we have confusion and frustration. The Walk of faith ceases and the struggling believer has a tendency to run to the comfort of the world instead of the comfort of God. This only leads to further sorrow.

Proverbs 13:15 Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.

Matthew 11:28-30 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

What is the blessing found in Proverbs 13:15, and Matthew 11:28-30? And what is the result of unbelief?
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Prayer Challenge: Since coming to faith in Jesus Christ, reflect upon the times the comfort of God has been yours to know personally. Write down some of those times in which the Spirit of God has revealed to you sin and led you to a place of repentance, forgiveness, and cleansing. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Again always be willing to revisit these prayer challenges as they are a source of blessing. We are to praise God for his daily benefits of provision. Forgiveness is a provision. Mercy is a provision. Grace is a provision of God that we should daily give thanksgiving to HIM for these great provisions.

Psalm 68:19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.

The comfort of God is given to give us hope, and to bring us again to a place of worship. We confess, and God forgives. The forgiveness of God humbles the repentant sinner, and we bow before HIM to worship.

John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

The comfort of God is real. As we receive the comfort of God, we then become vessels sanctified and mete for the masters service. We are to minister this comfort to others.

2Corinthians 1:2-5 2 Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

Prayer Challenge: Ask God if there have been times wherein you have been a vessel to bring the comfort of God to others? If so, make a brief record of that experience. If not, ask God to give you opportunity to come alongside of someone who is struggling or hurting and bring them comfort. Record that opportunity when God answers this prayer.
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James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, ...

The small group bible study can be a very important time to share personal needs and prayer requests. We need to be willing to be transparent with each other, and to be accountable to each other.

Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Galatians 6:1-2 1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

Transparency and honesty are often difficult as people in times past have not shown themselves to be trustworthy. Therefore, we are afraid to be honest. So the question becomes, shall we hold onto our integrity? Or, shall we daily take up our cross and die to self, so that, Christ may live HIS life through us?

Galatians 2:20-21 20 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. 21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
Testimony: Is God deepening the reality of humility in your life? Is God teaching you the worth of mourning over your sin? Write out your own personal testimony of the grace of God, which is teaching you, the reality of maintaining a proper attitude toward sin.
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The Pursuit of truth must be maintained and it is maintained as we walk in humility, with a proper attitude toward sin. Our Pursuit is enhanced as we discover the value of brokenness.

Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. From this text is established a necessary principle for spiritual growth.

3. God will rid the believer of pride and selfishness through the process of brokenness.

To be meek, is not to be weak. It requires great personal strength to demonstrate patience in the face of trial and tribulation. Meekness is being willing to lay aside personal preferences for the opportunity to esteem others better than yourself. Meekness is choosing, by faith, to demonstrate compassion instead of contempt. To do this we must be broken of our own will, so that, we might embrace HIS expressed will.

John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

We must die to self. We must die to pride. We must die to religious activity to embrace the very life of Jesus Christ.

Prayer Challenge: Since coming to faith in Jesus Christ, what opportunities has God given you to demonstrate patience in the face of trial or tribulation. Have you been given the opportunity to esteem someone better than yourself? Have you been given the opportunity to show kindness and forgiveness where it was not deserved? Meekness is allowing the Spirit of God to control your actions and attitudes instead of our own pride and selfishness. What opportunities has God given you to demonstrate meekness? “Be still…” and let God reveal to you the opportunities HE has given you. Record some of those personal reflections.
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While Jesus Christ prayed alone in the Garden of Gethsemane, the disciples slept. They gave way to the desires of their flesh for rest in the face of great spiritual conflict. Jesus, on the other hand, prayed to deny the pleas of the flesh for comfort.

Luke 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

Jesus was surrendered to the will of God. Our pride, selfishness and our love for the world will cause us to fight against the Spirit of God. Therefore, the faithfulness of God will create circumstances to break our selfish will thus freeing us to embrace HIS will.

Romans 8:28-29 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, ….

The “good” of Romans 8:28 is not the good of ease and comfort. The good is the good of God’s will being accomplished in the life of the believer as we are being conformed into the image of HIS Son the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our hearts are filled with a love for the things of the world. Our hearts are often very hard and proud and the process by which God must take us to free us from our own pride and selfishness can be very painful.

He crushes the hardness of our hearts, and turns the stony heart into a heart of good soil.

A heart that has good soil, is a heart that is prepared to receive the good seed of the Word of God. This is a heart that will bring forth fruit. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) Is this seed growing in your soul?

Prayer Challenge: Since coming to faith in Jesus Christ what circumstances have you walked through that revealed selfishness, pride or a love for the world, and the things of the world? Ask God to reveal to you these areas of need in your life. Then, ask God to give you wisdom and grace to walk in cooperation with HIM and surrender to HIS expressed will.
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The apostle Paul had a thorn in his flesh. This problem could have been poor eyesight. It could have been a bad back. We do not know. But Paul knew of God’s great miracle working power. Jesus healed the blind, raised the dead and fed the hungry. Paul also had this great miracle working power upon his life, but when he asked the Lord to do a miracle in HIS life Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for thee”.
2Corinthians 12:8-9 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.
There was purpose in the sufferings. God’s will would be expressed through Paul’s weakness.

2Corinthians 12:10 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.

Our tendency is to rely upon our strengths and our reasoning. God will take us to a place of weakness, so that, He can put HIS power on display in lives.

Peter fell asleep while the Lord Jesus prayed. He forsook the Lord when the soldiers came. He cursed and denied that he knew Jesus. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead just days prior to coming into the city of Jerusalem. And yet, when Jesus was buried in the tomb the disciples were all hiding. No one was looking for the resurrection. Their reasoning, their flesh had failed them. Their selfish dreams to keep Jesus with them clouded their thinking. Jesus had expressed the will of the Father to them, but they could not comprehend it. The death of Jesus Christ went against their desires and their dreams. Therefore, when it came time for the death of the sacrificial lamb, they all fell prey to disillusionment and despair. But after the resurrection everything changed. After the day of Pentecost, Peter stood and boldly preached the gospel and 5,000 were saved. The pathway from sleeping during prayer time to boldly preaching the gospel, and seeing people saved can be a rough road to walk.

Nevertheless, it is a necessary path to walk, so that, God may receive glory from our lives. The pathway of victory is characterized by the poor in spirit, the mourners, and the meek.

Matthew 5:3-5 3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Prayer Challenge: Since coming to faith in Jesus Christ how have you seen God’s power at work in your life to minister to others. Ask God to show you times that HE has worked through your suffering to minister to others and record those times and thank God for them.
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Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. From this text is established a necessary principle for spiritual growth.

4. The grace of God will produce the necessary pursuit for our journey of faith.

Lasting victory is realized as the believer embraces the truth of Scripture. The humble recognize the greatness of God and the mercy HE faithfully demonstrates. Therefore, the humble choose to walk in agreement with God. Trusting God, worshiping God, maintaining a right heart attitude toward sin. When sin is committed, sin is confessed. Sin is not excused. Sin is not blamed on someone else. Sin is confessed and forsaken. As pride and selfishness are dealt with by the faithful hand of God, grace pours into the heart of the believer and his testimony becomes: “Father…, not my will, but thine be done.”

By surrendering to the revealed will of God, the believer will now consistently hunger and thirst after righteousness. The Pursuit is on! The poor in spirit have a proper view of God, therefore, they worship God and choose to walk in agreement with God. Faith will trust God in the difficult times, and intimacy will increase. Hungering and thirsting after the truth of God is the operation of grace in the life of the believer.

Prayer Challenge: Ask God to reveal to you the reality of this truth in your life. This is the righteousness of Christ being made manifest in your life. Record your praise and thanksgiving to God for HIS faithful hand to create in you a hungering and thirsting for HIS righteousness.
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If we are struggling in our faith walk, then our pursuit does not match the level of our struggle.

If this is our case, then we must take a prayerful walk through our journey of faith to date. Grace operates in the realm of faith. Grace operates in the realm of truth.

“…God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5)

We will never grow beyond the need of humility. Humility must be our constant companion. Humility will enable us to worship God in spirit and in truth. Humility will enable us to maintain a proper attitude toward sin. Humility will allow us to trust the Lord when there is no light or understanding.

Our pursuit will continue to grow and develop as we continue to walk in the truth of the beatitudes. The grace of God will teach us to be poor in spirit, mourners, broken of our will and thus hungering and thirsting after the very righteousness of Christ.

The Spirit of God will convince the believer of this grace that is being made real in the soul. This realization will birth worship. Worship in spirit and in truth will challenge the believer to walk in greater surrender to the expressed will of God which is the Word of God.

Prayer Challenge: Ask God to show you areas of these first four beatitudes that you are not embracing. When pride creeps in, deception begins. We must always guard our hearts from the deceptions of pride. Allow the Spirit of God to convict you of sin, or Convince you of the righteousness that HE has wrought in your life. Either way, you are a candidate for blessing.

Matthew 5:3-6 3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
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The Work

The Work of Faith is illustrated by the activities of the merciful, the pure in heart, and the peacemakers.

By maintaining our focus upon the four foundational truths of Christian growth, Worship, Walk, Work and Warfare, the student will realize a greater consistency in their spiritual development. Personal worship, keeping a high view of God, will challenge the student to walk in agreement with God. As the student continues to walk in agreement with God, HIS desires will become our desires. The expressed will of God, which is the Word of God, will become the work of our hands as we enter into the Warfare of faith. The work of our hands becoming the expressed will of God for our lives will be the focus of our present study.

Psalm 37:4-6 4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. 5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. 6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

Psalm 43:3-4 3 O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. 4 Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.

As we learn to delight, commit, and to trust, we will see HIM bring it to pass. We will see the grace of God in operation in our lives and this will produce greater worship. Thus we will choose to more fully surrender our lives to HIM. Humility then continues to grow as we have a greater vision of the awesome character of God. As we grow in grace, our faith increases because we see the faithful working of God in our lives. His work becomes the delight of our lives, and HIS work becomes our work.

We delight and we commit. Psalm 37:5 Commit (to go together) thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

Proverbs 16:3 Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.

Before coming to faith in Christ, we spent much of our life thinking about things that were selfish, and rooted in pride. Therefore, our pursuits were for ourselves and not for the glory of God.
1Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

Our pursuit since coming to Christ is characterized by the poor in the spirit or the humble, the mourners who have a proper attitude toward sin, the meek who have chosen to surrender their will to the will of the Father. God then brings to pass, by the grace of God, a hungering and thirsting for righteousness.

Psalm 37:5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

Prayer Challenge: Committing my way to God implies trust. What areas of your life is God challenging you to trust HIM with? Write these down. What are the new desires and new dreams that God is birthing in your soul? The old desires took you to places of deception. The old desires divided you from that which is good. The new desires will take you to God’s calling for your life. Be prepared to re-visit this prayer challenge as God will continue to change the desires of your heart. His desires will become your desires. His works will then become the delight of your hand.

My Prayer: “This day I declare my works as the works of YOUR hand. I surrender my will to thine. I will work for the glory of God in all that I do.” Record the areas that God is challenging you to trust HIM, and walk through this day seeking to yield to HIM.
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Committing my way to God implies trust. Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (1Peter 5:7) The third thing we find in this text from Psalm 37, is the grace of God bringing forth HIS righteousness in our lives.

Psalm 37:6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

What is this righteousness that God is going to bring forth into our lives by the grace of God? What is this judgment? It is the mercy of God.

Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

5. Mercy will be the key to our personal ministry.

Our personal works of righteousness will be characterized by mercy. The righteousness of God is the very life of Jesus Christ being manifested in our lives. We will become “mercy show-ers”. We will begin to see people with a heart of compassion instead of contempt. We will begin to see them in their state of need. God saw our need and HE sent HIS only begotten Son to bear in HIS body our sins and to endure the wrath of HOLY God so that the Justice of God could be satisfied. Thus creating a pathway of blessing for all of those who would call upon the name of the Lord. But the mercy does not stop with personal salvation. The mercies continue throughout out lives.

Lamentations 3:22-23 22 It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Psalm 52:8-9 8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever. 9 I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done it: and I will wait on thy name; for it is good before thy saints.

At this stage in our personal development of a growing maturing disciple, towers of truth begin to rise in our soul. These towers will cause the deceptions and strongholds to begin to diminish. As the truth of God is surrendered to and embraced, the heart that was once cold, hard and selfish now looks for opportunities to show mercy to those in need. Mercy has been received and now mercy longs to touch the lives of others. This new attitude toward others is the beginning of personal ministry. Are we simply religious or do we have the mercy of God in operation in our lives? Consider the discussion that Jesus has with a doctor of the law. This is one who was very skilled in the law of Moses. He would also have been known as a Scribe.

Luke 10:25-37 25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. 28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. 29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? 30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. 36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

Jesus showed very clearly that this doctor of the law knew truth but with his life fell very short of the truth.


Prayer Challenge: How has God begun the process of giving you a heart of compassion for those who may deserve contempt? Have there been times that you showed compassion and mercy for those who did not deserve it? We are not asking for a self-righteous, Pharisaical, litany of your good works that give evidence to you and others that you are serving God and showing compassion. Have you sensed a change in your heart that causes you to genuinely look at others with a heart of compassion. This is the righteous character of God being manifested in your soul. Record your thoughts.
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The righteous judgment of God or the righteous character of God will bring His righteousness to pass in our lives. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son,….”(Romans 8:28-29). The image of Jesus Christ in the soul of man was lost at the fall. Jesus Christ came to restore that image to fallen mankind. This image is revealed to us in Matthew 5:1-16.

We must be willing to ask God to try the spirit of our heart in the development of the beatitudes. Is poverty of spirit continuing to grow? Without humility before God, I will not choose to walk in agreement with God about my sin. “Dear God, is my will surrendered to thy will?” By embracing the cross and dying to self, I will see the worth of embracing God’s will over my will. I must try the spirit of my heart and ask these questions. Am I embracing humility, therefore, maintaining a proper view of God? Am I maintaining a godly sorrow toward my sin, therefore, dealing justly and honestly with my sin before God and man? Am I continuing to surrender my will to HIS will, therefore, by the grace of God hungering and thirsting after righteousness? When I by the grace of God am hungering and thirsting after righteousness, I will begin to look at people who may deserve contempt with compassion.

But if I find that I am not consistently hungering and thirsting after righteousness, then I am lacking in one or more of these first 3 beatitudes. “Dear God, reveal to me the spirit of my heart in regard to these truths.” Pray over these matters and make notes of God’s working in your heart.
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Prayer Challenge: The greatest motivation for increasing our pursuit of Christ is to see HIM at work in our lives. Take some time to reflect upon the verses listed below and write down the character qualities of God. Then also write down the qualities God is actively seeking to develop in your life as revealed in these same verses. Prayerfully ask God to remind you of the events of time that HE has orchestrated to demonstrate these qualities to you and to make them real in your life. Are we delighting in God? Are we committing (choosing to walk with God) our works, our daily activities to HIM? Ask God to give you the faith and grace to surrender to HIS faithful working in your life.

Lamentations 3:22-23 22 It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

2Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;

Psalm 51:1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

Psalm 59:16-17 16 But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble. 17 Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy.

Jude 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
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Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

6. The demonstration of God’s power will be evident in the life of the seeker.

For HIS desires to become our desires, for HIS works to become the delight of our soul; we must be confident that the faithful God, who is our Father, will accomplish this work of Grace. This confidence grows as the Word of God becomes a living reality in our lives.

A pure heart is not a heart that never fails. A pure heart is a heart that faithfully and justly deals with his sin in an honest fashion, before God and man. By worshipping God, we will maintain a high view of God. By worshipping God, we will choose to walk in agreement with God. If we sin, we do not excuse our sin. If we sin, we do not justify our sin. If we sin, we do not blame our sin on someone else. If we sin, we come into agreement with God about that sin and confess it, we are cleansed, forgiven and then filled with the Holy Spirit.

1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Prayer Challenge: You are learning to Worship God. You are learning to Walk in agreement with God. You have been embracing humility, and a proper attitude toward sin. You are learning to yield to the Word of God; being broken of your will, and embracing the Will of God. You are delighting in God, and committing your works to HIM. Therefore, God is purifying your heart and your life and you are now beginning to see the reality of God at work in your life. Prayerfully reflect upon these realities, and the activity of God at work in your life. How do you see God at work in your life? Record those thoughts in the space below and then praise and worship HIM for HIS faithful work in your life. If you are not aware of God's working in your life, ask God to show HIS faithfulness to you or to reveal any areas that you have not yet surrendered to HIM. These prayer challenges should be visited and re-visited over time. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The work of God in and through the believer is a result of the Grace of God being on display in that life. God’s desires are becoming the desires of the child of God. God’s work is becoming the delight of the soul of man. God’s power is at work and ministry is taking place.

Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.


7. The ministry of reconciliation will be our testimony.

One of the first great delights of a new born believer in Christ is to tell someone: a friend, a family member, or co-worker of what Christ has done in your life. This testimony of faith has the power to bring others to saving faith. But there will be those individuals who will want to see the reality of your decision. This is why it is very important to cooperate with God as HE develops in you the reality of HIS truth.

As you find yourself growing in humility, developing a godly sorrow toward sin, being broken of your will and then consistently hungering and thirsting after righteousness, all by the grace of God, then works of faith will occur in your life.

You will become a mercy-shower as you have received much mercy. You will begin to influence others because God is developing purity of heart, and he is showing HIMSELF to be real in your life. You will become a peacemaker. A peacemaker is one who is working in the faith ministry of reconciliation.

2Corinthians 5:17-18 17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

The ministry of reconciliation or peacemaking has a two-fold application. First and foremost it is the reconciling men and women, boys and girls to God through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Secondly, the ministry of reconciliation can include the restoration of broken relationships. Broken relationships between husband and wife, parent and child, co-workers, and any other relationships.

Galatians 6:1-3 1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.


Prayer Challenge: If you presently have the confidence that God is giving you the grace to demonstrate mercy, and you are aware of the reality of God at work in your life, then ask God to show you situations that you can with a spirit of meekness be involved in the faith ministry of reconciliation. In every day situations being an actual peacemaker, or being actively engaged in restoring relationships. Record the work of God through you below. Be patient the goal is not to finish the prayer challenge, but rather to find the reality of God at work in your life as you cooperate with HIM in the execution of HIS will.
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Hebrews 13:20-21 20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Grace and faith are necessary for a believer to see the image of Jesus Christ restored to their lives. The apostle John said: “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30) Our selfish and prideful desires must cease to exist and the life of Jesus Christ must come alive. “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.” (Galatians 2:20) But if we neglect our worship and walk by substituting busyness, the work of our hands will simply be wood, hay and stubble. The nature of our works will be revealed at the judgment seat of Christ.

The child of God has been born of the Spirit of God: to Worship God - releasing the power of his presence; to Walk with God - deepening the fellowship of HIS presence; to Work with God - in the power of HIS presence, so that, Satan and the principalities and powers of darkness are put to flight in the Warfare of our faith.


Testimony: Write out a personal testimony about your works of faith. How is God demonstrating mercy through you? How has God shown himself real in your life? How has God used you to reconcile others to HIM?
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The Warfare

Warfare – The Warfare of the believer is constant.

We gain victories in the warfare of our faith as we become mighty in Spirit. The soul of man yields to the indwelling Spirit of God instead of yielding to the world, the flesh and the devil. Satan’s deceptions and strongholds will be defeated with the power of the pure Word of God and the indwelling Christ.

The goal of our adversary is to deceive the believer, to divide him from all that is good for the purpose of spiritual and or physical destruction.

The antidote for Satan’s plan can be found in the words of Jesus: “…, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:31-32)

The world will react to those who are walking in grace and truth. It is imperative to keep a Biblical focus. A Biblical focus will keep our spiritual vision clear. As we maintain a proper view of God, we will worship HIM. Because we worship HIM, we will maintain a proper attitude toward sin. Walking in agreement with God about our sin, will enable the Work of our hands to be the expressed will of God, for our lives. We will then enter into the warfare of faith and gain victories. The Warfare of Faith will then be characterized by persecution and rejection.


Matthew 5:10-12 10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

8. Prayer will be our weapon of choice in the Warfare of faith.

Prayer is the avenue by which the believer develops intimacy with his beloved Christ. It is also the avenue by which he becomes mighty in Spirit; and grows in the knowledge of Jesus Christ and His amazing grace.
As we grow and mature in Christ, burning, cutting words will become our companion.
Many will not understand the sacrifices and the pursuits of grace that now control our life. The changes we make from following the world to now following the ways of God will seem to be unnecessary and many will react to our pursuit. If we are to deepen our intimacy with Christ, we must enter into these sufferings. These words will have the potential to bring discouragement and despair; but God‘s call for our life is to draw near to HIM, and to be encouraged in the LORD, during these difficult times.

These words may come from family and friends and those we care about deeply. Love will suffer long with those we care deeply about. Love never fails, therefore, love never gives up. These words of persecution and discouragement may also come from those who simply are enemies of the cross. We are told in scripture to love our enemy. (Matthew 5:44) How can we learn to love our enemy if God does not first give us an enemy to love?

This will be a great spiritual battle: learning to love those who do not understand the grace of God that is at work in our lives. But the process is always the same. Humility will not react to the enemy. Humility will pray for the enemy. Humility will realize that I too was the enemy of God, before HIS mercy reached my life.

Prayer Challenge: Ask God to give you the grace and faith not to react in anger toward those who would persecute you, and seek to discourage you; because of the changes that are occurring in your life. Even if these words come from family members and friends be “Pray-pared” to respond in faith. Record opportunities God has given you to suffer long with those who use bitter and angry words against you. Record successes and failures.
Do not record names unless appropriate.
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If we are struggling with a stronghold or a besetting sin, it is because our level of pursuit is not equal to our level of addiction, therefore, we must increase our pursuit.

Faith increases by embracing the Word of God; and Grace increases as we die to self, and surrender to the truth of God. Is humility winning over pride? Is a right heart attitude toward sin still present? Are we yielding to God as HE breaks our will, so that, we embrace HIS Will?

Prayer Challenge: Ask God to search your heart. Is my pursuit still strong? Am I still growing and changing? We will continue to emphasize the battle against deception. Deception begins with pride. The great problem with deception is the deception. Silence the comfort of noise and wait upon the LORD; that HE might renew your strength and pursuit. Record your walk of faith. How am I pursuing HIM?
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Spiritual warfare will cover every area of the Christian life. Unbelief is at war with faith. Selfishness is at war with love. Rejection battles against the knowledge of God that declares the believer to be “accepted in the beloved”. As truth comes alive in the heart of the believer worship is born. Worship is a foundation stone for maintaining pursuit. The prayer closet must be a tabernacle of praise and worship.

Remember Jesus said: “…true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.” (John 4:23)

Prayer Challenge: Take time to worship HIM. Reflect upon HIS greatness, HIS mercy and love for you. Praise HIM and Thank HIM. Record some of your thoughts of the Father who seeks your worship in spirit and in truth.
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Persecution, rejection, scorning will all come to the believer who is seeking to Worship, Walk, and Work for the Lord in the power of HIS Spirit. In the Warfare of the Faith, this is an opportunity to “…count it all joy…” and to trust in HIM.

Prayer Challenge: Revisit the first principles. Ask God to try the spirit of your heart in the development of the beatitudes. Is poverty of spirit maintained. Without humility before God, I will not choose to walk in agreement with God about my sin. “Dear God, is my will surrendered to thy will?” By embracing the cross and dying to self, I will see the worth of embracing God’s will over my will. If I am embracing humility, therefore, maintaining a proper view of God. If I have a godly sorrow toward my sin, therefore, dealing justly and honestly with my sin before God and man. If I am continuing to surrender my will to HIS will, therefore, I will hunger and thirst after righteousness. But if I find that I am not consistently hungering and thirsting after righteousness, then I am lacking in one or more of these first 3 beatitudes. “Dear God, reveal to me the spirit of my heart in regard to these truths.” Pray over these matters and make notes of God’s working in your heart.
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If we earnestly inquire of the LORD, HE will speak to our hearts concerning our needs. HE will also convince us of the righteousness that HE has wrought in our lives. This will produce a greater appreciation for HIS grace and mercy and will intensify our worship for HIM.


The Spirit of God convicts us of our sin. The Spirit of God convinces us of the righteousness HE has wrought in our souls by the grace of God for the glory of God.

Prayer Challenge: Record works of faith which reveal the grace of God in action in your life. Works of faith which involve: humility, godly sorrow toward sin, yielding to the will of the Father, pursuit increasing, acts of mercy, seeing the reality of God alive in your life, and opportunities to reconcile the lost to God and reconcile relationships that have been broken, record these works of faith. This is a faith journal that should be visited and revisited as God speaks to your heart. Do not be discouraged if nothing is upon your heart to write. Be patient and revisit this prayer challenge as God speaks to your soul.
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Always remember, the purpose of a prayer challenge is not simply to finish it, but rather the purpose is to find in that challenge the reality of the living God in your life. Intimacy is deepened and developed as the soul of man meets with the Spirit of God in the day to day expressions of faith and truth.

If the first principle is abandoned, “the poor in spirit”, pride enters and truth is replaced by deception. For this reason, we understand our original thesis.

WARFARE - The Warfare of the believer is constant.

If Satan and his principalities and powers of darkness are able to cause the believer to look upon the journey of faith with pride instead of gratefulness, he has his foot of deception into the door of our hearts.


How can we take credit for the things God by HIS grace have wrought in our lives? This is pride. As the believer recognizes the amazing grace of God at work in their lives their praise for HIM, and their perspective of HIS greatness will only increase, thus deepening true humility and intimacy.

Prayer Challenge: Inquire of the LORD: Do people react to me because of the grace of God at work in my life? Or, do people react to me because of self-righteous pride being manifested. If it is because the grace of God is at work in my life, and the Spirit of God convinces me of what God has done in my life; I will praise HIM. If God shows me there is yet self-righteous pride in my life, I will confess my sin and then praise God for HIS love and forgiveness. Either way it is always cause for praise and worship of our God who is faithful. Record your personal reflections below.
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Warfare - The Warfare of the believer is constant.

Matthew 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

9. A simple warning: The believer must choose to maintain their pursuit of Grace.

Our journey of faith is not an arrival. It is a destiny. A journey that will continue through the ceaseless ages of eternity as the Father reveals to us the riches of HIS grace. Walking through the beatitudes thus growing in the grace of God, will make us to be the salt and light of the world. Salt is a preservative. Obviously the world in which we live needs more salt. Light gives clear direction. The whole world lieth in wickedness or darkness. (1 John 5:19)

John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
The believer can rest in the promises of God, and be at peace in the midst of the battle. But often times it is those who are closest to us that cause us to experience great hurt and disappointment. Faith needs to lay hold of the promise of God.

Colossians 3:12-15 12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Forbearing literally means “to put up with”. Sometimes we must simply put up with someone and pray they will also put up with us when we are not doing so well. We must seek to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the church.

Ephesians 4:1-3 1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Prayer Challenge: Is there anyone in your life that you need to be reconciled with. As one who is salt and light, and one whose testimony is to be a peacemaker, are you at peace with God and man. Some men will not allow us to be at peace with them and that shall be there choice, but the question is are you at peace with God and man? Make a list of those you may need to first pray for and then go and see, so that reconciliation can occur.
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Mark 9:50 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.

Testimony: As God gives you opportunity write out a testimony of reconciliation. Be discreet. Do not use names unless you are confident that individual would not mind being included in your testimony.
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Matthew 5:14-16 14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

10. The expressed will of God for man is to glorify God.

These ten principles derived from the Beatitudes, which illustrate the four foundational truths for our journey of faith: Worship, Walk, Work and Warfare will enable the believer to be the salt and light to a world that is perishing and in darkness thus glorifying God.

Daily we must choose to die to self and to glorify God. The flesh is selfish. The spirit longs to live in the presence of the Father. Pride is the beginning of deception, therefore, we must always be on guard to stop it’s presence in our lives. We must embrace opportunities to humble ourselves.
1Peter 5:8-9 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith,….
Glorifying God includes surrendering to the expressed will of God.

Prayer Challenge: Read the following verses that apply specifically to the expressed will of God for the believer and ask God to reveal to you specific needs in regard to theses verses. Or, record the realities that you have found by surrendering to and walking in these truths.

2Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
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1Timothy 2:3-4 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
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Ephesians 5:17-18 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
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1Thesalonians 4:3-4 3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: 4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;
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1Peter 2:13-15 13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. 15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
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1Peter 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
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1Thesalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
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The Review:
Worship

Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
1. Humility is the attitude necessary for salvation and growth in grace.

Worship begins as the sinner humbles himself and cries out to God for mercy. Mercy is granted and worship begins. The attitude of humility must be embraced for grace to continue to develop the walk of faith.

Colossians 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:

Walk

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
2. A believer must maintain the proper attitude toward sin.

Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
3. God will rid the believer of pride and selfishness through the process of brokenness.

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
4. The grace of God will produce the necessary pursuit for our journey of faith.

By maintaining a proper attitude toward sin, humility is embraced and God is exalted. By having a proper view of God, faith will choose to walk in agreement with HIM. As God directs the believer through pathways of brokenness, pride and selfishness diminish and the Christ in you is released and made known in your life. With grace at work and faith desiring to continue to overcome the world, the flesh and the devil, the believer will continue to hunger and thirst after righteousness.

Work

Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
5. Mercy will be the key to our personal ministry.

Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
The demonstration of God’s power will be evident in the life of the seeker.

Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
7. The ministry of reconciliation will be our testimony.

By walking in grace and faith the work of our hands will be the expressed will of God for our lives. The work of our hands will be characterized by mercy. The work of our hands will manifest the reality of God at work in our lives. We will see and others will see the faithful hand of God at work in our lives. The ministry of reconciliation will be our testimony. “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”

Warfare

Matthew 5:10-12 10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
8. Prayer will be our weapon of choice in the Warfare of faith.

Matthew 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
9. A simple warning: The believer must choose to maintain their pursuit of Grace.

Matthew 5:14-16 14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

10. The expressed will of God for man is to glorify God.

Because we are Worshipping God, and walking in agreement with God, the work of our hands will be the expressed will of God for our lives. We will then enter into the Warfare of faith. Prayer will be our weapon of choice. Pursuit is synonymous with heart. We must keep our heart or keep our pursuit of the things of God if we are to continue to grow and change. By growing and changing by the grace of God through faith, we will become the salt and light of the world and thus we will glorify God. Remember, the purpose of this Bible study is not simply to finish it. The purpose is to find in it’s pages the reality of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

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