Over the last 7 or 8 months, I have been working on writing a book about growing an excellent spirit… and in emotional and physical hardships I have learned something valuable. I have even learned that God has allowed me to severely break my wrist more than I let people believe. Now why would a loving God allow such a thing, you would ask? Why would he allow me to go through a bout of depression in the month of my wedding anniversary or the month of my daughter’s birthday where I can’t be there?
Well it’s all for a purpose! In 1 Corinthians 10:13 God promises he will not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able.
We may think that we are suffering, trials, temptations, and hardships more than we can handle, but we are not. We must look at these times in life through a spiritual lens.
Just in the last 2 years we have lost some good brothers in Christ and had some sickened. Brother Gary Lynn, in his last days had a great spirit encouraging everyone that spoke with him. Brother Bob Hudson was really sick for a bit and the same, he just wanted to get back to his prison ministry as he cares about the lost. Brother Johnston lost his wife and he was here the very next church service in good spirits ready to keep serving the Lord. Brother Nate has been very sick, but what we hear, he is in good spirits, not letting this get him down. I broke my wrist and did my best to be in good spirits and praise the Lord.
I have been so down over the last few years over losing my wife and daughter through divorce. I have felt worthless and like a failure in life, especially once I kept getting injured and was given 100% permanent and total Veterans disability and Social Security Disability.
The problem I had was selfishness. Even after I was saved, I could only think about what I deserved and what I wanted. I am lonely, I want a wife. I want to be a parent. I, I, I.
Well I had to let go of I and start thinking of you, they, them. I have wanted to serve Jesus as was my spirit once saved, but I had to let go. I had to see the world as Jesus sees it and think of others.
You see, we sing the songs, “I have decided to follow Jesus” and “Saved, saved, saved”, but do we mean it?
You see, God wants our hearts. He has our faith and belief, but that just makes us believers and the devil believes in Jesus Christ and his deity, but he will not spend eternity in heaven.
Jesus said, in Matthew 19:24 “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”
See he knew the rich man’s heart; and where our money is, shows where our heart is. For example, I tithe and give to missions because I love God, but apart from debt, the majority of my money goes to creating and publishing books. That shows that the books are important to me. I desire to share lessons I have learned with the world and to be a blessing to other people. That’s why I have given away more books than I have sold.
But we can have all the acts of goodness we want but, if we do it in the wrong spirit and heart, he will turn away our works.
Genesis 4:5-7 “But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”
Deuteronomy 28:47-48 “Because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things; Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the LORD shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.”
God wants our hearts and a holy righteous spirit as we can do as humanly possible with the help of the Holy Spirit.
People are watching us. Other brothers and sisters in Christ, the teens and children in the church and outsiders around town. We can’t give the devil one inch and we can’t lose our testimony, especially now in a time of moral death in our world and country. We will never be perfect just as Peter denied Christ 3 times, BUT he came back and shared the gospel, seeing 3000 saved.
We can’t do anything about yesterday and tomorrow is not guaranteed. All we can do is every day die to self, pick up our cross and daily carry out our mission of being a godly example with an excellent spirit while seeking opportunity to share the gospel.
Remember, being a Christian and living for Christ is more than going to church or teaching a Sunday school class. For many will say “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?” and Jesus will say, “depart from me.”
Apart from being saved, we must conduct our lives in a holy way as God said in 1 Peter 1:16 “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
The only way to accomplish that is to keep your daily walk with Christ in having a daily prayer life and daily devotional time in God’s Word. As Pastor Hudson’s 2019 theme was “All things through prayer” and 2020 theme “Looking unto Jesus”; that can mimic Abraham, Job, Noah or others, can we truly have that excellent spirit and perfect heart as we guide our hearts with a childlike faith.
Our attitudes are the outside view of our spirit, it is what other people see. So, we need to be sure we have a great attitude in this sinful world regardless how we are treated or what situation we find ourselves in.
Through our walk with Christ we can build that constant good attitude that is shown from our excellent spirit. Remember the fruit of the spirit can only be grown with a proper walk with Christ, and an excellent spirit is the combination and sum of having the fruit of the spirit in your life.
Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; is not something we are born to know. We are born sinners. These traits are a fruit given through salvation and a walk with Christ allowing the Holy Spirit to teach you to surrender, allowing Jesus to be the carpenter and the potter in your life.
So, brothers, I urge you all to join me in a consistent prayer life allowing Christ to mold us to whom he desires us to be. We all have different talents, skills, jobs, and lives, but we all have some circle of influence in this world and only through Christ can we have a testimony to see 3,000 saved. Don’t stop with denying Christ 3 times, but recover and share the gospel in a bold and honest manner with love for the lost.
My prayer is that we all, are never weighed and found wanting, but instead our Lord will one day say to us all “well done, good and faithful servant.”
That is all. Thank you.
Please check out my book.
Depression is something that most people experience at one point or another. During this time of life, life can be hard to live. Some people attempt to hide it from others, while others have trouble coping with life situations and have trouble with everyday tasks such as personal self-care.
This book will show how the author had gone through depression for many years and teaches how he allowed his faith in God to conquer that depression in his own life. These teachings are meant to help others overcome their own depression while letting them know they are not alone in their struggle.
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