The Blessed Man
09 May 2014 Men’s Meeting – Tan Ye Peng
Shepherd yourself before you shepherd others.
Worship is your whole life put on the altar as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.
Shepherd Yourself in….
1. Social circle
2. Bodily Health
3. Mental Soundness
4. Spiritual Life
These four areas are inseparable. You cannot just be focusing on a few areas but neglecting others. Eg, you cannot be so spiritual but neglect your body and health.
51-52 So he went back to Nazareth with them, and lived obediently with them. His mother held these things dearly, deep within herself. And Jesus matured, growing up in both body and spirit, blessed by both God and people. Lk 2:52 [MSG] …Jesus grew in both BODY and SPIRIT
If you are constantly hanging around friends who go drinking, to pubs/bars, where women and alcohol are readily available, you can sing and worship all you want in church, but you will never get your breakthrough in that area! You can still reach out to them and keep in touch with them, but you do not have to be their best friends!
stress, sleep, sunlight, exercise
Sleep deprivation will cause:
increased probability of accidents and industrial errors
slowing of metabolic activity in brain
detrimental effect on cognitive tasks
The sun is good! Here are the 10 benefits of sunlight.
Are you a negative person, or positive person?
Where do you focus your life? Past, present or future? Some look at the future but they don’t actually live in the present. Some look at the past, but why worry about the past when you cannot change that anymore?
The way you look at things. One particular direction only? Or different direction? Always go in the direction of being a positive, FIND a reason to. Don’t have an “all-or-nothing” perspective. “If I fail at something, I’m not good at it” and you quit
You cannot grow just based on positive experiences in your life. You grow when you experience failures; you develop resilience and endurance.
If you don’t know how to change the way you think, you’re going to be up awake at night thinking, and you can’t sleep. And sleep deprivation further causes depression and other problems; it’s a snowball effect and a vicious cycle. Learn to look at things differently!
Don’t have a mental filter that filters out all the positive information, and only focus on the negatives. Don’t overthink, don’t jump to conclusions right away. This will lead you to fear and timidity.
If you are not connected to God, you are only operating at a ‘natural’ level, using your own human strength. Eg, trying to be positive on your own strength, psyching yourself up. But when you are connected to God you are operating at a supernatural level, having faith using the rhema Word of God.
One of the greatest reasons for our struggles is the failure to endure temptations.
When u go through temptations, focus on 4 things:
1. God’s Promise: LIFE
12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. James 1:12 .. Blessed is the man
Eg if you’re not serving God in ministry, you’re missing out on a certain LIFE that God has planned for you, just because you’re afraid that you’re not good enough, or you don’t have enough time for it, etc.
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4
Trials or the things that you are struggling now can be opportunities to lead you forward to LIFE, or it can be temptations to draw you backwards to DEATH.
Responsibility = Response ability
If I have to keep enduring, then isn’t christianity just a religion of works?
Sex is consummation of relationship:
Introduction > acquaintance > friendship > fellowship > intimacy
VS the guy who pays for it, there is no process (prostitution).
If there is no need to endure temptations, then it is given to you too cheaply, you won’t value it! But if you go through a process and work for it, then you will treasure and value it even more; it shows you are serious!
2. God’s Process: Endurance
James 1:12 .. endures temptation
Temptation is an impulse to sin.
You cannot put the blame on God that He tempts you to sin, there is no evil in God.
v14-15: 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. – it is when you are drawn away by your own desires.
If you sin, it will bring forth a certain death. Eg, if you keep drinking, you hurt your liver.
What is God’s way? Endurance!
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Heb 12:1-2 .. Lay aside every WEIGHT. RUN with endurance, not just walk.
God tests us (not tempt us) to foster our endurance. Because when you are approved, you receive the crown of life.
4 The Lord is in His holy temple,
The Lord’s throne is in heaven;
His eyes behold,
His eyelids test the sons of men.
5 The Lord tests the righteous,
But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates.
3 The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,
But the Lord tests the hearts.
God never tests us so as to induce sin, or destroy our faith, for that would be evil.
It’s like a father overseeing his son doing a test. The son doesn’t know how to do it, and asks for help, but the father will not help him, to make the son learn something.
3. God’s Person: GOODNESS
Whenever you have light, you always have a shadow. Right? NOT UNLESS you are the light itself.
The same is with God, there is no shadow in Him, He is ALL-GOOD.
Imagine you have a genie lamp, and whenever you need help, you rub it and call for God. Then really, who is God? You are the god. If you can call upon him whenever you need him, and ignore him if not.
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Rom 5:8
4. God’s Power: WORD
18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures. 19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. James 1:18-21… Word of truth….. which is able to save your souls
13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, Eph 1:13… word of truth, the gospel of your salvation
Word of Truth = The Gospel
Be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.
When you go through a big trial, it’s very easy for you to keep complaining.
v21 … Lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word…
BUT don’t just be a hearer (when you receive the word)
You need to ACT ON IT, be a doer!
v22-25.. but he who is a doer of the work is blessed!
Learn to live holistically and shepherd yourself, so that you can shepherd others!