"Where Is Your Heart, Head, And Hands?"
Where is your heart, head, and hands? This question is not asked of a small child in hopes that he will be able to identify his body parts. Rather, this question is asked of intelligent adults. These three words–'heart', 'head', and 'hands'–represent the three important areas of human personality. When Jesus commands us to love God with all our heart, mind, and soul, He is asking us to make a full surrender of our emotions, intellect, and will to Almighty God, in order that we may be wholehearted Christians. The heart represents man's emotions. The head represents man's intellect. The hand represent man's will. True surrender of ourselves to God includes surrender of the emotions, the intellect, and the will.
When one asks "Where is your heart, head, and hands?", he is really asking "To what or to whom have you surrendered your emotions (heart), your intellect (head), and your will (hands)?"
Note first that we are commanded to surrender our Heart to Christ. Christ has commanded us to love God with all of our heart. Our 'heart' is the center of emotions and affections, the vehicle of feeling. To love God with our heart is to respond to God with our affections, made possible because 'Christ is the Life'. Through His Holy Spirit, Christ is able to shed abroad God's love in our hearts (Romans 5:5).
You have often heard people say, "Come on, have a heart!" What they really says is: "Have feelings of compassion and understanding towards others!"
Only the true Christian can have deep feelings of love and concern for others. A Christian has been defined as a person who really cares. Genuine feelings of care and concern for others is the trademark of authentic Christian experience. Wrote Paul to his friends at Philippi: "Is there any such thing as Christians cheering each other up? Do you love me enough to want to help me? Does it mean anything to you that we are brothers in the Lord, sharing the same Spirit? Are your hearts tender and sympathetic at all? Then make me truly happy by loving each other and agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, working together with one heart and mind and purpose". (Philippians 2:1-2, Living Bible) The apostle Paul had a real 'heart' for fellow believers (note Philippians 2:25-30). (Look also at 2 Corinthians 11:9-12, 2 Corinthians 11:28-29, Acts 20:32-38.)
A Christian must be a person with a tender heart, able to 'feel with' other people. There is a great song entitled 'Blest Be The Tie That Binds'. Here are some of the words: "We share our mutual woes, our mutual burdens bear, and often for each other flows the sympathizing tear. When we asunder part, it gives us inward pain; But we shall still be joined in heart, and hope to meet again".
"Father, your Son was a man who was touched with the feelings of our infirmities. He wept with those who wept, and rejoiced with those who rejoiced. He was a man of sorrows who was acquainted with mankind's grief .. Make me a person for others, tender in my heart and emotionally warm in my concern for people's hurts. In Jesus' compassionate name. Amen."
AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: To be tender-hearted is to be Christ-like! Through God's grace, I will not allow my heart to become hardened!
Acts 20:32-38, 2 Corinthians 11:28-29
Being a Man Of Tender Feelings!
Some years ago a friend of mine said, "What we really need in the Church is a 'revival of feeling'". 'A Revival of Feeling!'–that would bring a new zeal in worship, a new warmth in devotion, a new concern for people. Does not the Scriptures tell us that believers are 'to bear one another's burdens'?
Jesus was a man of tender feelings. See Him as He weeps over unrepentant Jerusalem. See Jesus looking at Mary whose heart was breaking because of her brother's death: "Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her weeping also; his heart was touched, and he was deeply moved … Jesus wept. So the Jews said, 'See how much he loved him'''. (John 11:33, John 11:35, Today's English Version)
"Does Jesus care when I've said 'good-by' To the dearest on earth to me, And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks-- Is it aught to Him? Does he see? O Yes, He cares; I know He cares, His heart is touched with my grief; When the days are weary, the long nights dreary, I know my Saviour cares."
"But when Jesus saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd." (Matthew 9:36) Notes Barclay, "The word which is used for 'moved with compassion' is the strongest word for compassionate pity in the Greek language. It describes the pity and the compassion which move a man to the very deepest depths of his being". (Daily study Bible, Matthew, p. 363)
Jesus was deeply moved when he saw the widow of Nain. (Read Luke 7:11-15.) The Book of Hebrews tells us that "Jesus is touched with the feelings of our infirmities" (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and He yet feels the suffering of every man. "He is cold in the chilled bodies of the poor, He is lonely in the outcaste, is hurt in the guilt of the sinner, is part and parcel of every life." (Christ and Human Suffering, p. 161; E. S. Jones)
Following the example of his Master, the apostle Paul, too, was a man of great feeling and affection (note today's Scripture readings). "As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us." (1 Thessalonians 2:7-8, New International Version)
"Father, revive my feelings. Feelings lie buried in me that grace can restore. Help me to 'rescue the perishing, care for the dying, snatch them in pity from sin and the grave; weep over the erring one, lift up the fallen, tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save'. Help me to follow the example of the loving Christ."
AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: "Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him." (Psalms 126:5-6, NIV)
Psalms 1:1-2, Psalms 119:9-16
Surrendering Your Mind On Christ!
In the last devotional we discussed the importance of having feelings of compassion, patterned after Christ's tenderness. Sometimes there is misunderstanding concerning the place of feelings in living the Christian life. It is important to distinguish between the deep feelings of the soul that can remain steadfast despite changing circumstances, and the surface feelings of mere emotion which are quite fluctuating and thus quite unreliable. Such latter feelings dare not be the foundation upon which we attempt to build a strong relationship with God.
Notes William Sangster, "Feelings can be very sweet, and never to know the rapture of religion would be dreadful, but feelings are too unsubstantial and too variable to be the guide to our praying. Feeling fluctuates with our health, our temperaments, the weather, the news; it fluctuates also with what we eat and whom we met last… Our commerce with Heaven cannot depend upon things so fortuitous as that". (Daily Readings from W. E. Sangster, p. 33)
Just as you may not always feel like praying, you may not always feel like witnessing. Some people say they will not witness unless they 'feel' an urging from the Holy Spirit. But we need not wait for the Holy Spirit to 'lead us' or to produce some special 'feeling' within us, before we attempt to witness. To pray or to witness only when we have surface 'feelings' is to pray and to witness spasmodically. It is clear that our Lord commanded us to go tell the good news to all men, whether or not we 'feel' always like doing it. Our praying and witnessing must be based upon the deep soul feelings of love for God and compassion for men. That deep soul feeling is the reliable motivation for compassionate involvement, not the surface feelings that are swayed by changing circumstances.
We must note next that we are commanded to surrender our Mind to Christ. Christ has commanded us to love God with all of our mind. Our 'mind' is the center of reason, the vehicle of thinking. To love God with our head is to respond to God with our intellect, made possible because 'Christ is the Truth'. Through His Holy Spirit, Christ enables the believer to 'have the mind of Christ within him". To love God with one's mind is to think God's thoughts after Him. A committed Christian is one whose life is being transformed by the daily renewing of his mind.
Wrote Paul, "Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and be glad about". (Philippians 4:8, Living Bible)
"Father, what gets my attention, gets me. So, let my attention be focused upon you. To see you is to see beauty and holiness and love and compassion and order. I want daily to be transformed by the renewing of my mind, in order that I might think your thoughts after you! In Jesus' name. Amen."
AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: "Whatsoever a man thinks, so is he."
"Sow a thought, reap an action. Sow an action, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny."
Isaiah 26:3, Philippians 4:4-9, 1 Peter 3:15-16
Learning To Fix Your Mind On Christ
The battle for thoughts is greater than the battle of guns! For temptation attacks the mind first, then the emotions, and finally the will. The Scripture exhorts us to guard our minds. "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 2:5) The Psalmist tells us to meditate upon God's word day and night. Isaiah 26: 3 says, "You (God) will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you".
How can one fix his mind on God, thus enjoying daily renewal and perpetual peace? Following are a few suggestions.
First, be careful what you listen to. Research has shown that what one carefully and repeatedly listens to, becomes the personalized life value of the listener. There are some researchers who indicate that if one listens carefully to a spoken concept six consecutive times that one usually adopts the concept as his own!
Second, if one is to fix his mind on God, he must be careful what he sees. The mind's ideas are largely formed through the eyegate. That which we look at most, will become that which we value most. Be careful what you watch on television. "More Americans have television in their homes than have indoor plumbing or telephones. .. Not only do people watch shows with almost religious regularity, but they invest a great deal of emotion and empathy in them. They strongly identify with the heroes and heroines of film and television. Each weekday, for example, millions of housewives become emotionally engrossed in one or more soap operas. . .By the time the average child enters the first grade, Nicholas Johnson pointed out, he has received more hours of instruction from television than he will receive from professors during four years of college." (Politics, Americanism, and Christianity, p. 246-248; Cathorn)
Third, if one is to fix his mind on God, he must be careful what he reads. Someone said, "He who does not read is no better off than he who will not read". Wesley told his ministers that if they did not develop a love for reading, that they should get out of the ministry! Of course, reading the Bible is the most important pursuit. Need we be reminded how fortunate we are? Russian Christians are using portions of hand-written Bibles, which are worn and torn and very old.
Fourthly, if one is to fix his mind on God, he must guard his conversation. The quality of one's conversation reveals the quality of one's thinking. But it is also true that the disciplined control of one's conversation (whether one's words are positive or negative), helps shape one's thinking. We create our world by our words! Someone noted: 'A feeble mind thinks and talks only about people (gossip); a mediocre mind thinks and talks about people, and some about events; a superior mind thinks and talks lovingly about people, interestingly about events, and profoundly about ideas'.
"Father, help me to have a consecrated mind–one that is being renewed daily through regular meditation on Your Word. Help me to guard my mind against satanic attacks of temptation by guarding my eargate and my eyegate."
AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: I will steadfastly fix my mind upon Christ and His Word, in order that my thoughts and my words will be steadfastly positive!
Ephesians 2:10, Titus 2:14, Titus 3:8
Surrendering Your Will To Christ
Christ has commanded us to love Him with our hand (soul). The 'hand' is the expression of man's will, the vehicle of acting. To love God with our hand is to respond with our will, made possible because 'Christ is the Way'. Through His Holy Spirit, Christ is able to help believers "to do those things which are pleasing to God". "God is at work within you (believers), helping you want to obey him, and then helping you to do what he wants." (Philippians 2:13, Living Bible)
Thus far we have noted the importance of loving God with our heart and our head. The 'heart' response is the upward reach in prayer and in adoring worship. The Spirit gives the assurance to the heart. The 'head' response is the inward meditation of the mind in inquiry. The Spirit gives answers to the mind. We are now looking at the 'hand'. The 'hand' response is the outward movement of the will in practical service and witnessing. The Spirit gives power to the will.
The proper result of an emotional and intellectual response to God's love is a strong volitional commitment to God's will.
Jesus Christ gave Himself to us "to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds". (Titus 2:14, RSV)
We are not saved by works, but by grace alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), but the result of man's salvation is good works: "For God has made us what we are, created in Christ Jesus to do those good deeds which he planned for us to do". (Ephesians 2:10, Phillips)
"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 15:58)
Wrote James (the brother of the Lord): "Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou has faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works … Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only". (James 2:17-18, James 2:24)
Said John Wesley: "Works do not give life to faith, but faith begets works, and then is perfected by them". Notes Bishop Marston concerning Wesley's understanding of the proper relationship between faith and works: "Wesley made much of the social direction of the Christian religion, insisting that good works must be the fruit of a living faith and a condition of one's continuing in saving relationship to God, but he protested forcefully against the teaching that works can yield merit for one's salvation". (From Age To Age A Living Witness, p. 108)
"Father, I see now that I can never earn your favor by the performance of good deeds. But I also see that, while I am not saved by good deeds, I am saved for good deeds. My faith is not real until it moves me to grateful actions– actions which are expressions of my eternal indebtedness to you for your unmerited favor and mercy towards me."
AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: I may perform 'good' deeds without having true faith, but I cannot have a true faith without the natural expression of good deeds!
Matthew 21:28-31, Mark 14:16-24
A Saving Faith Is a Working Faith
Good works do not save us, but good works are pleasing to God, for they are expressions of love, loyalty, and obedience to God.
Some people falsely reason that if they are saved by grace alone, then they can relax their own efforts in the Christian life. Such thinking is dangerous however, for "we (Christians) must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad". (2 Corinthians 5:10)
"What purpose, then, will the final judgment serve in the case of such believers? In the words of Paul, it will be the 'judgment seat of Christ', and the term indicates something of its purpose for believers. On that occasion, the Saviour will measure the quality of the life His followers have lived. Though their salvation is by faith, authentic faith reflects itself in works, and those works must be judged." (The Mature Church Member, p. 99; Donald Bastian)
We are not saved by good works, but we are saved to do good works. True saving faith is a working faith.
Jesus' parables teach the importance of loving Jesus with one's will (Hand). The Parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) teaches that fear to invest talents for God leads to uselessness and eventual disaster. The Master wants our lives to be invested to produce good fruit for Him.
Other parables which teach the importance of good deeds are as follows: (1) Parable of the two sons [Matthew 21:28-31]; (2) Parable of the Master's rejected offer (excuses) [Mark 14:16-24]; (3) Parable of the Good Samaritan [Luke 15:11-32].
Eternal life is gained, not just by believing, but also by doing (Matthew 25:31-46). Mere intellectual assent to a certain set of religious beliefs will not save anyone. Wrote James, "Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God, Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder". (James 2:18-19)
Jesus commanded us to pray: "Pray the Lord of the Harvest to send forth laborers into His vineyard". (Matthew 9:37-38)
Someone said, "If everyone did one job in the Church, there would be no job vacancies and no overworked workers". One minister asked me why the Church where I pastor had so many involved in the Church's midweek program. He complained that far too many in the Church where he pastored were not as conscientious in their Church attendance and responsibilities as they should be. He said something like this to me: "There are too many in the Church who want great results without hard work".
"Father, help me to be a Doer of the Word and not a Hearer only. Help me to translate good feelings into good actions, dreams into realities, good intentions into fruitful labors. No farmer would store his grain seed in his barn, never to be planted, and then wonder why he did not get a good harvest. So help me to liberally sow the seeds of love and hard work, and then I shall ultimately reap a mighty harvest of souls for your kingdom. In Jesus' name. Amen."
AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: "Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously." (2 Corinthians 9:6)
"Here I Am–Send Me!"
A clear vision of God changes one from a complacent person to a caring person, from a polluted person to a cleansed person, from a passive person to an active and aggressive person. "Then I (Isaiah) heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?' And I said, 'Here I am. Send me!'" A cleansed and Spirit-filled person is a person who is motivated to 'reach out in love' to others! A Spirit-filled person is a person of earnest prayer, but, in such a person's life, prayer never becomes a substitute for hard work, practical service, and outward witnessing. "It is said that Martin Luther was close friends with another monk. The other monk was as fully persuaded of the necessity of the Reformation as Luther was. So they made an arrangement. Luther would go down into the world and fight the battle there; the other monk would remain in his cell praying all the time for the success of Luther's labours. But one night the monk had a dream. In it he was a single reaper engaged on the impossible task of reaping an immense field unaided and alone. The lonely reaper turned his head and the monk saw his face, and it was the face of Martin Luther; and he knew that he must leave his cell and leave his prayers and go to help. It is, of course, true that there are some who, because of age or bodily weakness, can do nothing other than pray; and their prayers are indeed a strength and a support. But if any normal person thinks that prayer can be a substitute for effort, then his prayers are merely a way of escape. Prayer and effort must go hand in hand." (Daily Study Bible, James, p. 91; Barclay)
Someone said, "Prayer is work; prayer works; prayer leads to work!" Prayer is not a substitute for work; neither is work a substitute for prayer. It is not 'either/or'; it is 'both'. The following poem entitled 'Somebody Else' illustrates the importance of active involvement in God's work.
"There's a clever young gal named Somebody Else. There is nothing this lady can't do. She's busy from morning 'til way late at night, Just substituting for you.
You're asked to do this, or asked to do that, And what is your ready reply? Get Somebody Else, Madam Chairman, She'll do it much better than I.
There's so much to be done in our services, So much, and the workers are few, And Somebody Else is getting tired and worn Just substituting for you."
No local Church can grow without the enthusiastic involvement of many willing workers. And it is not a matter of great capability, but rather of great availability; not 'Can You?' but 'Will You?'
"Father, 'take my hands and let them move at the impulse of Thy love; take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee'. For Jesus' sake. Amen."
AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: "Only one life to live, it will soon be gone; only what's done for Christ will last!"
Partners In The Work Of The Lord!
"Do you recall when Edmund Hillary and his native guide, Tenzing, made their historic climb of Mt. Everest? Coming down from the peak, Hillary suddenly lost his footing. Tenzing held the line taunt and kept them both from falling by digging his ax into the ice. Later Tenzing refused any special credit for saving Hillary's life; he considered it a routine part of the job. As he put it: 'Mountain climbers always help each other'." (John Maxwell; Church Leadership Clinic)
Should it not be said of Christians: "Christians always help each other". Paul often talked about his fellow workers. "In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now." (Philippians 1:4-5) In Romans, chapter 16, Paul refers to over 30 different fellow workers and speaks of them with great affection and love and appreciation. No one can do the job by himself. We need one another!
What is one of the marks of a great Church? Christian workers who work together with a spirit of cooperation and interdependence, each working for all and all working for each in the spirit of Christ. The Church is like a team and the pastor is simply a 'playing coach'. None is seeking glory for Himself and all are seeking glory for the team Manager–Jesus Christ! Christ both owns and manages the team and all of us are fellow team players! The Church is not a spectator sport. The Church is a team of workers, all working hard together to win the game of life. No competition against each other, but all working for each other and for the Lord!
None of us, by ourselves, can win all the souls' to Christ. be doing witnessing and soul-winning. None of us can finance all the Church. All of us must be giving our tithes and offerings Someone said, "Many hands make the work easy".
We must all cooperate together to build the local Church. "There isn't a single person in the world who can make a pencil", insists News Week Columnist Milton Friedman as he opens his T.V. series, 'Free To Choose'. The wood may have come from a forest in Washington, the graphite from a mine in South America, the eraser from a Malaysian rubber plantation. "Thousands of people cooperate to make one pencil."
John F. Kennedy wrote in 'Profile's In Courage' that, "The way to get along is to go along". Whether in the sports arena or on the business scene, only through cooperation and team work will the job get done most efficiently and pennants for productivity awards be won. "All your strength is in union." Longfellow once said, "All your danger is in discord". Said one perceptive man, "Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success".
"Father, help me to work cooperatively with all of my fellow 'team members' in your Church. Let me do nothing out of envy or rivalry, but out of good will. Help me never to look only to my own interests, but also to the interests of others, never doing anything out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. (Philippians 2:1-4) In Jesus' loving name. Amen."
AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: To consider others better than myself (Philippians 2:3) is to better myself–for such an attitude of humble servanthood is the attitude of Christ Himself (Philippians 2:5-8)!
The Helplessness Of God!
In this world there is an eternal battle being waged between sin and God. Both sin and God have their weapons for the battle. What are the weapons? Human beings! Every person is either a weapon in the hands of God or a weapon in the hands of sin!
Have you ever thought that both sin and God are helpless without human weapons? "Both God and sin are looking for weapons to use. God cannot work without men. If God wants a word spoken, he has to get a man to speak it. If God wants a deed done, He has to get a man to do it. If God wants a person cheered, encouraged, strengthened, helped, He has to get a man to do the lifting up. God, as it has been said, is everywhere looking for hands to use. And it is the same with sin. Every man has to be given the push into sin. The invitation to sin has to be offered to every man. Sin is looking for men who will by their words or example, seduce and invite others into sinning." (Daily Study Bible, Romans, p. 87-88; Barclay)
Every man can make a choice as to whether he will be a weapon for sin or a weapon for God. Every man has the power to exercise great influence for good or great influence for evil. Every man must choose to yield himself to either God or to sin. Both God and Satan are helpless unless they get men through whom they may work!
"We hear a great many sermons about might and majesty and power of God; we would be well sometimes to think of the helplessness of God, that without us and without what we can do God is quite and totally helpless. He has got to get a man! We are the Body of Christ, literally hands to do His work, feet to run His errands, a voice to speak for Him. This is the Church's task; to be the body, the hands, the feet, through whom Christ acts." (The Life of Jesus For Everyman, p. 94-95; William Barclay)
Every man must yield his members to sin as weapons for wickedness, or he must yield his members to God as weapons for righteousness. There is no neutral ground. He that is not for Christ is automatically against Christ! Have you yielded your heart, your head, and your hands to Christ?
God commands all to love Him with all the heart, head, and hands. The affections, the intellect, the will–all must be surrendered to Christ. In living the Christian life, let us not be unbalanced in our love response to God. The strength of mind plus the weakness of the emotions equals the 'Intellectualist' in religion–one who tends to be rather 'cold' and 'calculating' . The strength of the will plus the weakness of the emotions equals the unapproachable 'Moralist' in religion. The strength of the emotions plus the weakness of the mind equals the 'Sentimentalist' in religion. The balanced and mature believer must exercise the strength of his mind, the strength of his emotions, and the strength of his will–in his total love response to Christ.
"O God, I see that every person is mastered by someone or by something. I choose to be mastered by You. I place myself in Your hands to be used as a weapon for righteousness and holiness. I want to love You with my total mind, emotions, and will!
AFFIRMTION FOR THE DAY: God is so mighty that He has chosen to be 'helpless' without me! How humbling and yet how ennobling to me!
Where Is Your Heart, Head, And Hands?
What do the 'heart', 'head', and 'hands' represent in terms of human personality?
What feature of Christ's personality is available as a resource to the believer to enable the believer to love God with all his 'Heart'?
Share experiences from the life of Jesus which demonstrate that He was a man of great compassion and 'feeling'.
Is the gentle treatment of people by pastors and leaders of Churches a sign of strength or a sign of sentimental weakness? (Give Scriptural support for your answer. Note 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8.)
How do you distinguish between deep feelings of the soul and surface feelings of mere emotion, and why is the latter type of feelings an unreliable basis for living the Christian life?
Should one involve himself in praying and in witnessing only when he 'feels' especially 'led' of the Holy Spirit, or should he pray and witness regularly, out of a sense of duty and discipline and obedience to Christ's commands in the Bible?
What feature of Christ's personality is available as a resource to the believer to enable the believer to love God with all his 'Mind'?
Give specific or personal illustration which demonstrates the truth of the following logic:
"Sow a thought, reap an action. Sow an action, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny."
Why is control of the mind (with its thoughts) so important in the effective coping with temptation? What advice is given in Philippians 4:8 as an aid in effectively controlling one's thoughts?
List at least four suggestions that ought to be followed in the process of learning to fix one's mind on God.
Tell why you agree or disagree with the following statement: "We create our world by our words."
What feature of Christ's personality is available as a resource to the believer to enable the believer to love God with his 'Hands' (Will)?
Tell why you agree or disagree with the following statement: "We are not saved by works, but'by grace alone, but the result of man's salvation is good works". (Note Ephesians 2:8-10, Titus 2:14, James 2:17-18, James 2:24.) Is the performance of 'good works' in the life of a believer a condition of one's continuing in a saving relationship to God?
Discussion Questions: (continued)
What is the nature and purpose of the 'judgment seat' before which all believers must come after they die (according to 2 Corinthians 5:10)? How does this judgment for believers differ from the judgment which unrepentant sinners must face (Revelation 20:11-15)?
What are some of the Parables of Jesus which teach the importance of 'good deeds'?
Is it accurate to say that "eternal life is gained not just by believing, but also by doing"? (Note Matthew 25:31-46)
Describe the nature and qualities of that type of 'Belief' which results in true conversion and eternal life, in contrast to that type of belief in God which is not morally transforming. (Note John 1:12 and James 2:18-19.)
Do you believe that the following statement is a fair assessment of many people who are present-day members of modern-day Churches: "There are too many in the local Churches who want great results without hard work".
In light of Isaiah 6:1-8, do you believe the following statement is an accurate and realistic statement: "A clear vision of God changes one from a complacent person to a caring person, from a polluted person to a cleansed person, from a passive person to an active and aggressive person".
What is the proper relationship between hard work (human effort) and prayer?
What attitudes must the pastor and fellow members in a local Church have if great goals are to be reached and great results are to be accomplished, in terms of building the Kingdom of God?
Why is the shocking concept of 'the helplessness of God' such a helpful concept in seeking to understand the responsibility which believers have in accomplishing God's purpose in God's world?
Tell why you agree or disagree with the following statement: "Every person must yield his members to sin as weapons for wickedness, or he must yield his members to God as weapons for righteousness. There is no neutral ground!"
Give illustrations of an 'unbalanced love response' in the lives of believers in their relationship to God.