Spiritual Growth


Last update: Sunday, August 7, 2016
Spiritual Growth
Your growth is our focus
picture for spiritual growth - San Francisco beach

“I’m praying that, out of the riches of his glory, he’ll powerfully strengthen you through his Spirit in your deepest self.
I’m praying that Christ will live in your hearts through faith, and that you’ll be rooted and founded in love.
I’m praying that, with all the holy ones, you’ll be fully able to embrace the whole width, length, depth, and height of that love-in other words, that you’ll know the love of Christ that is beyond knowledge.
That way you’ll be filled up to the whole fullness of God.”
Ephesians 3:16-19 (SENT)

 

 

Spiritual Growth Focused

Are you ready for a ‘spiritual growth focused ministry‘? Look no further, Sound Truth Ministry can help, try our free online Bible studies and Bible lessons. As Paul spoke to Philemon (Philemon 1:6), I speak to you: ‘My prayer is that our fellowship with you as believers will bring about a deeper understanding of every blessing which we have in our life in union with Christ.’

A prayer for you

I pray ‘…that you might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That you might walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please him in all things, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, with all endurance and patience with joyfulness;

Giving thanks to the Father, who has made us qualified to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness, and has transferred us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.’ from Colossians 1:9-14 (read Colossians 1:9-18).

Why pay for something that should be free?

Do you feel like you have to pay to learn about God? “Buy my new book, DVD series, sermon…“. “Join us at our next conference for only $$$“. Or “become a partner” by donating…” “Don’t rob God…pay your tithe” – [a horrible misuse of Malachi 3:6-12 (I had better leave that one alone for NOW but will address it when led to)].

A shameful article ‘How to Make Money Selling God’s Stuff[1]. Are you tired of the gimmicks? “Holy water from the Jordan River“. “Dirt, sand or rocks from Jerusalem the holy city“. Stop and ask, what did Jesus do, did He use these types of tactics? It is time for a Spiritual change. God’s word should be free of charge via any source.

Using God’s word for profit???

Do you spend more time reading books that tell you what the Bible says or means than you do reading the Bible? I am not against ministers creating spiritual materials. They can aid many in spiritual growth but I do question the sale of these goods for profit. Modern technology makes it possible to avail these items free of charge.

Why not put the videos on YouTube or other free social media sites? Put the books on booksie or other free online book publishing sites.

No charge

Of course, we must consider 1 Corinthians 9:14 “In the same way, the Lord ordered that those who preach the Good News should be supported by those who benefit from it.” (NLT) Paul went on to say in 1 Corinthians 9:18: “What then is my pay? It is the opportunity to preach the Good News without charging anyone. That’s why I never demand my rights when I preach the Good News.” (NLT)

My choice is to follow Paul’s example, your Spiritual growth is enough payment, we do not and will not ask for your money.

Spiritual Growth
Not For Profit
picture for spiritual growth - Windsor, Ontario

“But having food and clothing, we will be content with that.”
1 Timothy 6:8 (WEB)
Be careful to guard yourselves from every kind of greed. Life is not about having a lot of material possessions.”
Luke 12:15 (GW)

Church is a business

Some ministers claim, “church is a business”, I do not recall reading anything in Scripture that supports this. By definition, a business is “the activity of providing goods and services for money typically to make a profit”. 1 Timothy 6:5 warns against thinking godliness (serving God) is a way to gain wealth—make a profit. They have “corrupt minds” and are “destitute of the truth”.

Some translations further warn that we should withdraw (keep away) from them. Take a look at the New King James Version 1 Timothy 6:5 “useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.”

Beware of ‘prosperity’ ministries

Beware of the prosperity by faith, word of faith or other ‘movements’ that promote or emphasize financial prosperity and wealth using the Scriptures to support their lifestyle. As you grow in the knowledge of God and His word, you will not easily be fooled or deceived by false teachers.

⇒ Please read and study 1 Timothy 6:3-10; Isaiah 56:9-12 (focus on verse 11); 1 Timothy 3:1-7 (focus on verse 3); Titus 1:10-16 (focus on verse 11); 2 Peter 2:1-3, 15 (be sure to scroll down to verse 15); 1 John 4:1-6.

John 2:13-17 And the passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, 14 And found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting there: 15 And when he had made a whip of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep, and the oxen; and he poured out the changers’ money, and overturned their tables;

16 And said to those who sold doves, Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of merchandise {Matthew, Mark and Luke: “a den of thieves“}. 17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, Zeal for your house will consume me. (RKJNT) [read Matthew 21:12-17; Mark 11:15-19; Luke 19:45-48; John 2:13-22; Psalms 69:9; Romans 15:1-6]

Not a business

Church is not a business and must not be a for profit entity shielded by non-profit status. Preachers living in 10,000 sq ft. homes (and larger), collecting outrageous salaries and other extravagant material things. This is nothing but greed and excessive living.

They call it living in abundance or abundant life amongst other things. This concept ignores Scriptures that say it is the fruit of the flesh, Galatians 5:19, known as lasciviousness, from the Greek word ἀσέλγεια aselgeia meaning excess, outrageousness or lewdness. In Mark 7:22 Jesus says it defiles; Ephesians 4:19 and 1 Peter 4:3 help us to know it is not part of the born-again way of life. 2 Peter 2:2 refers to this false teaching as “pernicious ways” (same as lasciviousness).

⇒ For more detail read Mark 7:1-23; Luke 12:22-34; Romans 13:11-14; Ephesians 4:17-24; 1 Peter 4:1-7; 2 Peter 2:1-3; 2 Peter 2:18-22; Jude 1:3-4.

Do not associate with…

1 Corinthians 5:9-13 I wrote in a letter to you not to keep company with fornicators. 10 Yet you cannot completely avoid the fornicators of this world, nor the greedy persons, nor cheaters and robbers, nor those who worship idols. To do so you would have to leave this world.

11 I wrote you not to keep company with any man who is called a brother who is a fornicator, or who is greedy, or who worships idols, or constantly gets drunk, or cheats people. Do not even eat with such a person.

12 What have I to do with judging those outside (in the world)? Do we not judge those who are inside (the congregation)? 13 God judges those outside. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves. (NSB)

Spiritual life free of charge

Sound Truth Ministry offers a different approach. Your time, to read / study, and give feedback is all we ask! Learn to worship and serve God in Spirit and in truth not because you have to, but because you love the Lord and want to do His will.

Worshiping and serving God should not be merely a routine, habit or obligation. It is a way of life, a Spiritual life. You cannot buy your way into heaven. Nor do you have to pay God—your heavenly Father to get what He has in store for you.

Matthew 7:7-12 Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you: 8 For every one who asks receives; and he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks it shall be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you, whom, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?

11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him? 12 Therefore, all things that you would have men do for you, do for them: for this is the law and the prophets. (RKJNT)

Your salvation and spiritual growth

Our focus is salvation—the saving of your soul—and your Spiritual growth using the word of God to make God’s plan for you—child of God—clear. We also help those who are called to teach, learn how to teach others. What does this mean? Simply put we must learn to use the Spirit to teach us how to use the word to explain and understand the word. That is the only way we unlearn how to depend on someone else to help us understand the word.

God has blessed me with the ability to make a lot of money, but that would not fulfill His purpose. It would take away from the time I now have and use to study, document and teach. I will cover this in-depth at a later time.

Heal the sick, raise the dead to life again, heal those who have skin diseases, and force demons out of people. I give you these powers freely, so help other people freely. Matthew 10:8 (NCV)

Spiritual Growth
The Spirit Teaches
picture for spiritual growth - santa monica beach

What would Jesus do? – What did Jesus do?”

John 14:25-26 These things I have spoken to you while I am still present with you. 26 But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you. (RKJNT) [read John 14:25-31]

Natural and spiritual development similar

At some point in your life someone (more than likely one or both of your parents) taught you how to do basic things. How to eat, dress, groom, read, spell… Eventually, you no longer required them to help you.

Your spiritual life is similar to your natural life. During your Spiritual growth and development, you learn from your Spiritual parent(s), but at some point, we should no longer require their instruction. The Holy Spirit is our permanent teacher since it will be with us forever; John 14:16 (WEB) I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, that he may be with you forever, [read John 14:15-18]

picture for spiritual growth - god's word

“God’s Word – Hear it, read it, study it and do it”

Your spiritual growth and education

To get your natural education you started out with a teacher. That teacher was like a general practitioner not specializing in any particular area. You learned all you could from that teacher and went to other general teachers as you progressed.

 Eventually, you started learning from teachers who specialized in certain subjects, e.g., math, English, history, etc. Each taught you how to do things at a different level, including how to study. At some point, if you continued to learn you no longer required the teacher to guide you.

Again, it is the same in your Spiritual education, at the right time as we develop and mature, we can rely on the Holy Spirit to teach the deeper truths of the word of God. 1 Corinthians 2:13 “When we say this, we don’t use words taught to us by human wisdom. We use words taught to us by the Spirit. We use the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths.” (ERV)

Grow to maturity

1 John 2:24-27 Make sure that you don’t forget what you have heard from the beginning. Then you will remain joined to the Son and to the Father. 25 And here is what God has promised us. He has promised us eternal life. 26 I’m writing these things to warn you. I am warning you about people trying to lead you astray. 27 But you have received the Holy Spirit from God. He continues to live in you. So you don’t need anyone to teach you. God’s Spirit teaches you about everything. What he says is true. He doesn’t lie. Remain joined to Christ, just as you have been taught by the Spirit. (NIRV) [read 1 Corinthians 2:6-16]

What did Jesus do?

As a child of God, you should strive to follow the examples of Christ. When we meet certain challenges in this life the question is not merely “what would Jesus do” we do not always know the answer. The Bible does help us know, what DID Jesus do! The short and simple truth is He taught His followers not only to understand but how to teach others… What did His apostles do? The bible does give the answers, read it, study it, get to know it and live by it!

Read Matthew 13:36-53; Mark 4:30-34; Luke 6:20-26; Acts 4:23-31; 1 Corinthians 1:10-3:23 {just for starters}

Unfortunately, very few spiritual teachers teach you how to study or how to use the Spirit to teach you. Have you ever wondered why?

Are You Ready For Change?

picture for spiritual growth - stack of biblical books

Pray about it if you need to. Fortunately, as long as the internet is available, the Bible studies, lessons and other material will be here at least through 2024. God blessed us to pay for 10 years, I smile to think that we did not have to ask for money from anyone.

 He provided all that we need to fulfill His purpose, including the knowledge of web and graphic dezign (T&T Dezignz; not misspelled) as well as the equipment to create everything that is Sound Truth Ministry (stministry.com). I thank God every day for His provisions, love, and care.

I look forward to someday soon creating video lessons and have them posted on the internet for you my friends. My prayer is that your Spiritual growth continues, someone planted the seed, another watered, but it is God who makes us grow, I pray that you grow in love and grace, in wisdom and knowledge of our Lord.

I pray that you grow strong in the Lord and the power of His might, in Jesus name, amen.

God bless you

My dear friends, may God continue to give you everything you need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus—or did He already do that when you received the Holy Spirit? Be blessed, Tim.

Interesting Articles

Prosperity God’s Way || Richest Pastors (10/7/2014)

References

[1]How to Make Money Selling God’s Stuff

See what is available on the Sound Truth Ministry website.

If you have questions or care to discuss this, send me a private email message using this form:



Copyright information:

(ERV) Taken from the HOLY BIBLE: EASY-TO-READ VERSION © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center, Inc. and used by permission. || (NIRV) Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Reader’s Version®, NIrV® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com The “NIrV” and “New International Reader’s Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™ || Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. || (NSB) The New Simplified Bible may be quoted without express written permission of the publisher. Please give credit to the New Simplified Bible when quoting from it. New Simplified Bible. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Copyright (c) 2003. || (SENT) copyright 2009 J. Webb Mealy, All Rights Reserved.

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