DON'T GROW WEARY, THIS IS A LONG RACE.
Many believers approach their Christian life like everything is a 100-yard dash to be completed quickly and then on to something else. I have seen it in their approach to Bible studies, Discipleship Training Material, reading the Word, confessing sins with an attempt for quick repentance, and many other disciplines of the faith.
The Christian life however covers three areas. The 1st of course is basic and it is the starting point. It is important how we start. START RIGHT! I know people who prayed prayers but without a heart of faith. therefore not having any change of heart or character. We must be sure of our salvation experience. The 2nd is to RUN RIGHT! There is SO much I can say about this, however I want to go to the 3rd area of importance. We must END RIGHT! Too many believers are falling by the way-side and not finishing the race, not keeping the faith, not being steadfast.
The second area of important is one of running the long race correctly. We need to be a people that no matter what we have determined that we are in this thing to the end. I have run a lot in my life. I use to have a running program of 5 miles 3 times a week with an intense exercise program the rest of the week.
When I started running I certainly did not start running 5 miles. In fact I would run 1/4 mile and then walk 1/4 mile each day. Then I would add to it. Once I got to 5 miles, I no longer wanted to add any more distance. I wanted to add speed each time I ran. In my mid thirties I was quite fast. Then something happened, I quit running. After almost 35 years, I recently started walking and riding a bike, and I am fining it harder to stay focused as it was in my 30's. It is also much more painful starting again.
What does all this mean spiritually? We need to approach each day in our Christian walk as a long marathon that lasts for years and years and not as a 100-yard dash. Each thing we do should build on another to strengthen us spiritually for the next day.
Galatians 6:9 ESV And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
2 Thessalonians 3:13 ESV (13) As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.
The main reason for this study in PRAISE is to show the different ways to praise listed in the Word of God. This is just laying the groundwork so we can see the difference between praise and worship. In future studies we will look at the different ways to praise.
In Romans 2:28-29 we see that praise is of the Spirit and is from God.
Romans 2:28-29 (ESV) For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. 29 But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.
In Philippians 3:3-7 we see that worship is also from God. We are not to put confidence in the flesh, even in what we might call praise and worship.
Philippians 3:3-7 (ESV) For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. 7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
In Philippians 3:8-9 we see that which is good and righteous in us comes from Christ by faith.
Philippians 3:8-9 (ESV) Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith--
In the study I must explain the difference between man’s spirit, soul, and body that the Apostle Paul addressed in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, so that our worship of God is in the Spirit. I am a spirit, I have a soul (thoughts, feelings, and will), and I am trapped in a body. The inner soulish man is my personality or who I am in the fallen Adamic nature. The inner-most-spirit-man is where the Holy Spirit dwells and who I am in Christ with the incorruptible seed of our Lord's righteousness. The out-man, my body, is but a shell that is perishes daily. My outer man is NOT who I am; it is only who others see.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 ESV Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In the study I must teach how to reverence God so that the Person of the Holy Spirit is not grieved and can manifest Himself as he desires.
I must believe that God cannot lie and wishes to bless me.
Numbers 23:19-20 ESV God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? 20 Behold, I received a command to bless: he has blessed, and I cannot revoke it.
I must choose not to grieve the Holy Spirit by a life that transgresses against God.
Ephesians 4:30 ESV And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
In Hebrews 12:28-29 we find there is an acceptable worship just like He commands in Romans 12:1-2. If we are commanded to offer the Father acceptable worship, then there must be an activity of worship that is unacceptable.
Hebrews 12:28-29 ESV Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.