Mature Class Study, teacher Edith Tolbert.
Do you have a mindset you grew up with that isn’t adding to your growth? We have to be diligent to add things to our life.
II Peter 1:5-7 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
We’re supposed to grow in grace (II Peter 3:18). After we’re saved, God wants us to be temperate. Temperance is moderation in thoughts, words, and actions. We won’t be able to add patience, godliness, and kindness unless we’re temperate. God wants us to add spiritually to our experience so we glorify him. Sometimes there are wicked things in our life that we don’t see. We need to pray that God will search us and see if there is any wicked thing in us (Psalm 139:23-24). Edith testified that years ago the pastor asked to see her. As she drove to see him, she thought of the scripture that says, Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper” (II Chronicles 20:20). The pastor and his assistant both told her that God woke each of them up the night before and told them about a fault she had. They gave her instruction and she followed it. She saw that if she had continued in her way that was just a little bit off, it would have led her to backslide.
II Peter 1:8-10 For if these things be in you, and abound…ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore…give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do…ye shall never fall:
Peter says to add patience after temperance, then with patience comes longsuffering and forbearance. Forbearance means to put up with things that bother us. God wants our soul sanctified. Our soul includes our thoughts, motives, and actions which is our humanity. We need humility, temperance, and patience to be in us by being sanctified wholly. Many of us have problems at times in controlling our thoughts, mouths, and feelings.
I Thessalonians 5:23-24 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
God allowed Job to be tried to show what was inside him. God doesn’t want us to trust in our feelings because Satan has access to our feelings. God wants us to walk by faith (II Corinthians 5:7). God wants us to trust facts and trust in him. God doesn’t give us feelings to show we’ve completely trusted him. When the Philistines burned Ziklag and carried away the wives and families of David and his men, they were all feeling grieved. The difference in David was that he turned to God and asked him what to do. David had feelings just like his men but he sought the Lord and trusted him for what to do. Our feelings won’t encourage us many times. God wants us to trust him, regardless of how we feel. Our personal spirit is our humanity. God doesn’t want us to make excuses for the things we do because of our humanity. We’re supposed to cast down every imagination in obedience to God (II Corinthians 10:5).
I Corinthians 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and…spirit, which are God’s.
God maintains our lot in life. He’s in charge of everything – the weather, the fires, the pandemic, and whatever happens. We have to set the Lord continually before us, no matter how we feel. God wants us to have a growth mindset about the way we live so we grow in patience, longsuffering, and temperance.
Psalm 16:5-8 The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons. I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Whatever we do, we should do it heartily as if we are doing it to the Lord.
Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God…by him.
Colossians 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
So you can glorify God, keep your mouth under control and shut if your mindset if irritated, grouchy, and upset. Paul had a thorn in his flesh. The Bible doesn’t say what it was, but it was really irritating and bothering him. He asked God to remove it, but God said no and that his grace was sufficient for Paul. There may be a fault in your spouse that you see now because your love has waxed cold over the years. They may slurp their soup or have another habit that irritates you. When you’re losing patience, ask God to help you have longsuffering, patience, and forbearance. God says, “My grace is sufficient for” you – for the human faults that you may see in your spouse or someone else.
II Corinthians 12:7-10 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said…My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
We don’t have any choice for our lot in life. God is in control. We’re in a drought and we’ve had droughts before. There’s nothing we can do about it. God told Elijah the ravens were going to feed him bread and meat. He had no choice or variety. If you get tired of your lot in life, you need to ask God to help you have patience and to be content with what God gives and feeds to us. We need to be content with our lot in life and the word of God. Paul told Timothy, “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content” (I Timothy 6:8).
I Kings 17:2-6 And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. So he…did according unto the word of the Lord: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith… And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and…in the evening; and he drank of the brook.
When the brook dried up, God sent Elijah to a woman who wasn’t selfish but was kindhearted. She willingly shared the little she had and fed Elijah first. She did what Elijah said and there was just enough (sufficient) oil and meal for them to eat that day. It was just enough – not more or less than they needed. When God says he’ll give us grace, there will be just enough for when we need it. Our part is to crucify our flesh so God can get glory. Elijah didn’t complain about the same food the raven was feeding him every day. It was what God provided. When people aren’t content with their lot in life, it means they’re not crucifying the flesh and not being content with what God has given.
I Kings 17:8-9 And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.
We can give God glory 24 hours a day!
Psalm 29:1-2 Give unto the Lord, O ye mighty, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.