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Speak Blessing to your Spirit

Speak Blessing to your Spirit

| On 06, May 2014

SPEAK BLESSINGS TO YOUR SPIRIT

KEY TEXT
Mark 1:9-11 (Msg) – At this time, Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. The moment he came out of the water, he saw the sky split open and God’s Spirit, looking like a dove, came down on him. Along with the Spirit, a voice, “You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life.”

Man is a tripartite being – composing of the spirit, soul and body.

Which is the most important part of this tripartite being?

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 – “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.”

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 gives us the order of its importance:

1. Spirit (inner man – where the Holy Spirit dwells)
2. Soul (our will, intellect and emotions)
3. Body (our physical body)

When a sinner becomes born again by accepting Christ, it is the “spirit” part of him that becomes alive. Before that, it was dead through sin. But when he accepts Jesus Christ as His Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit enters into his dead spirit to regenerate it, thus making his spirit to be literally “born again.” The regenerated spirit then constitutes the NEW NATURE of a believer.

All believers of Christ have this born-again spirit. We all have this new nature that is constantly at war with our fallen nature or our OLD NATURE, which is actually our SOUL AND BODY.

Our job as believers is to always NOURISH this new nature, this spirit man of our being.

I remember as a SCG “Gateway To Life” teacher, I used to share this illustration to the new believers of my class. I used to tell them that the Red Indians liken their new nature and old nature to a new dog and an old dog. These 2 dogs are always fighting against each other. So which dog will win? It depends on which dog you are feeding.

Similarly, we have to constantly nourish our spirit, our new nature and one of the ways to do that apart from praying and reading the Word of God is TO SPEAK BLESSINGS TO OUR SPIRIT.

This morning, I would like to share a sermon entitled, ‘SPEAK BLESSINGS TO YOUR SPIRIT.’

(I) PERSPECTIVE ON THE SPIRIT
There are two pictures I would like to share with you in order to give you a perspective on the spirit.

The first picture is one of a child with cerebral palsy. We could look at that child and know that although the body was not entirely functional, the spirit was not diminished. The spirit was capable of being nurtured and becoming great, but it was trapped by the body, unable to express itself.

The second picture is that of a person whose spirit is thin, undernourished but the soul is the size of a sumo wrestler. The spirit has no chance to implement the will of God in this person’s life because the soul has been so OVERFED for so long.

The Bible says, “Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls” (Proverbs 25:28).

A city that is broken down and without walls lacks clear identity, clear boundaries and the means to protect itself. Similarly, someone who is controlled by his soul will not have the proper identity, nor will he have solid boundaries that will protect him. God designed our spirit to be DOMINANT and the soul to be SUBORDINATE to the spirit. But when a culture feeds the soul and ignores the spirit, it develops a misrepresentation.

We must focus on speaking blessing to our spirit and to the spirit of others, asking God to bring into our lives a massive amount of challenge, nurture, stimulation and direction for the spirit.

A person’s spirit should RULE THE SOUL.

Being filled with the Spirit means that God’s Spirit in you infuses and controls your spirit, soul and body. When your spirit is controlled by His Spirit and is dominant over your soul, your whole person is conformed to God’s truth and His intention for you. When your spirit is centered in joy and peace and is larger than your soul, it works to take care of a lot of other things, including the lies you believe, depression, discouragement, death and destruction.

Look at the spirit of man and its roles and functions in the Bible……

“A man’s spirit sustains him in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?” (Proverbs 18:14)

“A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22).

What about the spirit’s role in worship?
“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior” (Luke 1:46-47).

What about your spirit’s role in understanding?
“It is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding” (Job 32:8).

What about the spirit’s role in hearing God’s Spirit with the ears of our spirit?
“He who has ears, let him hear” (Matthew 11:15).

What about your spirit’s role in will?
“The spirit is willing, but the body is weak” (Matthew 25:41).

What about the conversation between our soul and spirit?
“These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng. Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Psalm 42:4-6).

The mission of Jesus was internal first and His Kingdom is now within us. Jesus was prepared, empowered, anointed and appointed by God to bring good news to our spirits: to release slavery of spirit and soul; to give us the vision of being sons; to lift those who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed and broken in spirit; and to call them forth to become the true sons that they are.

For most of us, our soul dominates our spirit, because we have fed the soul a LIFETIME diet of lies through passivity of spirit and constant bombardment of the world, the flesh and the devil. We have exercised our soul far more than our spirit.

(II) OUR HEAVENLY FATHER SPEAKS BLESSING TO THE SPIRIT OF HIS SON
Mark 1:9-11 (Msg) – At this time, Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. The moment he came out of the water, he saw the sky split open and God’s Spirit, looking like a dove, came down on him. Along with the Spirit, a voice, “You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life.”

Our key text is the account of Jesus’ baptism in Mark.

Please notice the Father’s words are different in Mark than in Matthew.

Matthew 3:17 says, “This is my Son, whom I love, with whom I am well pleased.”

“This is my Son” = (third person).

In Matthew 3:17, it was like the Father introducing Jesus to the world.

But Mark 1:11 says, “YOU are my Son, whom I love; with YOU I am well pleased.”

In Mark 1:11, the Father spoke DIRECTLY to Jesus, second person. It was PERSONAL, not a general announcement.

Why did the Father address Jesus so personally?

It made sense for God the Father to say these things about Jesus to bystanders. But why say them to Jesus? On the face of it, none of this was new information to Jesus. Scripture reveals that Jesus knew He was God’s Son while at the temple as a 12-year-old.

As Jesus was visible image of His invisible Father and someone with impeccable command of the Old Testament, I would assume no one needed to tell Him that He was the offspring of a loving Father. And of course, the Father was well-pleased with Him. Any father should be extremely pleased with a sinless, perfect son.

So, why did the Father say these things to Jesus?

I believe God the Father wanted to tell Jesus how He felt about Him. God the Father was actually feeding Jesus with His words. God the Father was actually NOURISHING the spirit of Jesus. He was feeding Jesus vital EMOTIONAL NUTRIENTS. And doing it so the whole world could take note!

If Jesus needed this nourishment from His Father, how much more do we! Our sins and the sin of others drain us of essential nutrients. Most of the words we heard from our toxic parents were the opposite of all the words our Heavenly Father spoke to Jesus.

Notice also Mark 1:12-13 –At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, and he was in the desert 40 days, being tempted by Satan. His Father fed Jesus before He fasted and confronted the devil.

In Matthew 4:4, Jesus says in response to the first temptation, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Many of us thought Jesus was referring to Scripture as “every word that comes from the mouth of God.” But actually Jesus was talking about the actual words of nourishment the Father spoke into His spirit. Here is a picture of the Father feeding His son before a potentially draining experience!

How does the Father speak blessing to the spirit of Jesus?

1. YOU ARE MY SON
The most profound blessing our spirit needs to receive and can receive is the Father-heart of God: His special creation of us, His kind intention towards us, His matchless love for us, His glory revealed in us. This is a gold mine of identity and legitimacy from which to live out our birthright confidently and purposefully. To know the Father-heart of God nurtures belonging, inclusion and worth. This is exquisite fathering, and if it is received, will lead to exquisite sonship.

Our Father is working constantly to bring us to know fully our birthright as sons, and this is done by the Spirit of sonship, which indicates that sonship is a spirit-thing, first of all. Sonship is received in our spirit and works on our heart and soul to release us from sin and the flesh and to bring recovery from wounding. It also propels us forward into the potential that God wrote in His book for us, all the possibilities He planted in our DNA, both spiritually and naturally. The resurrection power of the Son is actively available to our spirit and working on our behalf. Our part is to cooperate with Him and not quench Him.

Jesus said that this is “the day when salvation and the free favor of God profusely abound”(Luke 4:19 amplified). Jesus said that the Spirit of God is extending His favor toward us, assuring us release into a new status – the full rights of our true identity. Someone recently said that he had moved out of sin management mode into the presence of the grace of God. That is a spirit thing.

Today, our Heavenly Father wants to speak this blessing of sonship to you – You are God’s son; you are God’s daughter.

2. YOU ARE MY CHOSEN
To be chosen is to be singled out among million to be God’s elite.

To be chosen means to be endowed with a destiny. We are always chosen for a purpose. We have a God-destiny.

To be chosen by God means we are handpicked. It means we are special. We caught the attention of God.

To be chosen means we are not born into this world by accident even though your parents may consider you as an unplanned child or accidental child.

3. YOU ARE MARKED BY GOD’S LOVE
Too often we are marked by:
• sin
• rejection
• hatred
• resentment
• guilt
• loneliness
• mediocrity
• curses
• society and men

But today the blessing our Heavenly Father wants to speak to your spirit is – “You are marked by His love – His gracious and unconditional love. He loves you not because of you but because of who He is – God is love.

Whether you believe it or not – WE ARE THE FOCUS OF GOD’S DELIGHT.

I mean God loves the entire of His own creation generally – the earth, the birds, the animals, the fishes but of all His creation – WE ARE HIS FOCUS. WE ARE THE CENTER OF HIS DELIGHT. WE ARE THE CENTER OF HIS FAVOR.

You may be the middle child today in your family where the focus of your parents’ love is either the eldest or the youngest in your family. But not God. Even though the family of God is very big and innumerable, none of us needs to experience the middle-child syndrome –being overlooked. Each and every one of us is the focus of God’s delight. We are marked by God’s love and not curses or inattention.

4. YOU ARE THE PRIDE OF GOD’S LIFE
We are not a shame to God. We are the pride of God’s life. We bring glory to God. Each time God looks at us – He sees the redemptive blood of His Son stamped over us and therefore we become His pride.

It is a wonderful feeling to be the pride of your parents and it is nourishing to hear your parents tell you personally how proud they are of you. I always tell my children that and this speaking of blessing to them propels Joy and Jan to greatness in their studies and even in their career.

But it is a downer not to have parents tell you that you are their pride. It is toxic to hear parents tell you day and night that you are a pain in their neck; that you are a disappointment or a shame to them.

Every furlough that I went home, my mum would love to pick at all my faults. Due to my mum’s failure to speak blessing to me, I lost confidence in many areas during the time when I was still an unbeliever. I dared not call up public institution like schools to ask for direction and I loved to stay at home to read books. It was only after my mum died that my best friend, Tin, told me what my mum said to her about me a month before she passed away – “I am very proud of my daughter Lily. She is a very capable daughter and very intelligent.” What???? I only got to hear this after she died and in a way it was too late because I grew up feeling very inferior to others.

But God is not waiting for us to die before saying to us that we are the pride of His life. He is saying that to you now.

So parents – speak blessing to the spirit of your children. Tell them – they are the pride of your life.

These are the words of Blessing our Heavenly Father spoke to the spirit of His Son Jesus and these will be the same words He is speaking to you too today.

You have to constantly get these blessing words of the Father and speak to your own spirit. You have to nourish your spirit with these exact words. If not, you will be engulfed by the spirit of this generation.

(III) THE SPIRIT OF THIS GENERATION
Matthew 17:17-18 (Msg) – Jesus said, “What a generation! No sense of God! No focus to your lives! How many times do I have to go over these things? How much longer do I have to put up with this? Bring the boy here.” He ordered the afflicting demon out – and it was out, gone. From that moment on the boy was well.

There is a spirit in every generation. Jesus describes that spirit as:

1) No sense of God
2) No focus to their lives
3) No understanding of the things of God
4) A generation that tests the patience of God

(IV) THE SPIRIT OF THE Y GENERATION
The spirit of this generation that Jesus describes, aptly fits our Y generation today.

Who are the Y generation?
Teenager and twenty-something have been dubbed the Millennial Generation or simply the Y generation.

The Y generation refers to the generation of people born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s.

The most commonly used birth range for this group is 1982-2000.

They are called the Y generation because it comes after the Generation X – those people between the early 1960s and the 1980s.

NEGATIVE CHARACTERISTICS
1. TECH/WEB SAVY
“I’ll send you an email”- Generation Y were born into an emerging world of technology and have grown up surrounded by smart phones, laptops, iphones, tablets, and other gadgets. As a generation, people are constantly plugged into technology and it becomes an essential aspect of the generation life.

Generation Y prefer to communicate more quickly and effectively via email, social networks or text messaging as opposed to traditional means of communication. The generation is also attracted to organization where technology is the forefront of the companies ethos. Traditional companies are less of an attraction for the Y generation. Technology needs to be part of this generation day to day life. Ask yourself this question, “How many 20 somethings do you see without a smartphone?”

Generation Y prefer communication via email whereas baby boomer generation and Generation X prefer to pick up the phone. Communication which is quick, effective and on Generation Y terms will be conducted in a heartbeat.

Downside: Generation Y become a generation with low EQ. They are not able to relate properly to people face to face. They become socially inhibited.

How many husbands from the Y generation do you know who are so obsessed with computer games and computer programs that they do not spend enough time with their wives and children? They are so tech savvy but have become not good husband or family-man material.

Many Y generations spend so much time updating your facebook but so little time updating your devotion. I know Y generation can spend up to 8 hours with FB but only 8 minutes in devotion. So is this tech savvy thing causing you to be more focused on God? We feed our soul with so much social media but we don’t feed our spirit with prayer, the word of God and blessings. We speak so long with our network of friends in FB but we don’t speak blessings to our spirit. No wonder this generation is stunted and always filled with resentment towards parents, family, society and church.

2. LAZY
The 2008 book “Trophy Kids” by Ron Alsop discusses how many young people have been rewarded for minimal accomplishments (such as mere participation) in competitive sports and have unrealistic expectation of working life. A story in Time magazine said polls show that Y generation “want flexible work schedules”, more ‘me time” on the job and nearly nonstop feedback and career advice from managers.

The way one sees the workplace is entirely different when it comes to Generation Y. Instead of working long shifts to work their way up an organization the millennial generation prefers flexible working schedules and a more rounded work and life balance. Many Y generations have grown up with overworked parents and this has driven the new perception to work. The older generation may see this as a commitment issue. However the Y generations merely view life differently and want to find the best blend of an enjoyable life with a fulfilling working environment.

3. NARCISSISTIC
Time released another harsher article about the Y generation in 2013 titled “The Me Me Me Generation.” They are narcisstic; lazy and coddled (strawberry). They are even delusional. There is an emphasis on the self. They like to be loved.

Constant feedback, gratitude, relaying to someone they are doing a good job are common characteristics of Generation Y. In generation before, this level of communication was unheard of with senior management. However Generation Y in the workplace seek this level of love.

4. PRONE TO JUMP FROM JOB TO JOB
Generation Y are confident and ambitious. Expectations typically need to be managed as Generation Y’s are confident to take on important roles within organization as soon as they begin. With young entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerburg the millennial believe there is no limit to what they can achieve.

Generation Y have high expectations of their employers and expect this to be matched. Many are not afraid to seek employment elsewhere if this ambition is not met. Unlike generation before them they are happy to change job roles more often to find the right organization to work within.

There is no job loyalty.

5. MATERIALISTIC
One 2012 study found Y generations to be “more civically and politically disengaged, more focused on materialistic values, and less concerned about helping the larger community than were Gen X (born 1962-1981) and Baby boomers (born 1946 to 1961). The trend is more of an emphasis on extrinsic values such as money, fame, and image and less emphasis on intrinsic values such as self-acceptance, group affiliation and community.

6. LIBERAL
They are more open-minded and more supportive of gay rights. They are self-expressive, liberal, upbeat and receptive to new ideas and ways of living.

The spirit of this generation is so prevalent that if we do not have a strong spirit within us, we will be like them –obsessive focus on tech over personal interaction; lazy, narcissistic, materialistic, liberal to sin, changing job to job; church to church; spouse to spouse. We will then fall into what Jesus describes this generation to be – no sense of God [only the sense of self]; no focus to their lives [like no focus to family or the church], no understanding of the things of God even though it was taught many times [the spirit man is too weak to grasp the things of God because it has become a soulish and carnal generation] and ultimately it will become a generation that tests the patience of God, releasing judgment.

If you do NOT want your children to be embracing all the negative spirit of the Y generation, then start teaching them to speak blessing to their spirit.

As parents, always tell your children –
1) You are God’s son – You belong to God and not to themselves
2) You are chosen – You are chosen by God to fulfill the purpose and destiny of God and not to live out their own selfish dreams and desires.
3) You are marked by God’s love – You don’t need to be coddled by their teachers or bosses. You need to be affirmed by God’s love more than men
4) You are the pride of God’s life – Nothing that you do can make Him love you less. You are His pride because of His son.

CONCLUSION
Our spirit man is a very sensitive being within us. Many times because we fail to nurture it by speaking blessing to it, it has become the weakest part of our being with our soul and flesh dominating our lives. No wonder today, many of us are living with a CRUSHED SPIRIT. We are born again but we still go around living below the potential God has purposed for us; we carry on lives with so much excess baggage of wrong identity and low self-esteem because we have allowed wrong and toxic words and lies to overfeed our soul. We have neglected our spirit-man. No wonder also many of us are assailed by the negative spirit of this age- the Y generation spirit – so selfish, narcisstic, no sense of God, liberal and no loyalty, no focus of God in our lives.

Let God’s word be the words you use today to speak blessing to your spirit.

Speak blessing to your spirit by saying:
1) I am the son and daughter of God.
2) I am chosen by God. I am special
3) I am marked by God’s love.
4) I am the pride of God’s life

Recant the wrong spirit of this generation:
1) No sense of God
2) No focus to our lives
3) No spiritual understanding of the things of God
4) Testing the patience of God.

Tell God that you don’t want to embrace the wrong spirit of the Y generation. Tell God you don’t want to be children of the last day. Tell God that you want to be God’s generation – a generation that sense God; with God’s purpose as your focus; with spiritual understanding and enjoying the favor of God.

Speak blessing to your spirit!

That is what the Heavenly Father did to Jesus, His Son and He wants to speak blessing to your spirit too.

Parents – start speaking blessing to the spirit of your children today!

END
PRECHED AT ETAB 2ND ENG SV ON 4 MAY 2014

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