Friday, January 1, 2010

Being Refreshed Always!

When you're working hard, out in the sun, there's nothing like a cool glass of ice water or lemonade. There's something about a fresh cup of cold water that refreshes you and invigorates you.

In 2 Timothy 4:2-7 , “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But YOU be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

Paul is giving Timothy, a young pastor, some wise instruction here. This is instruction that we should all follow, and in doing so we will stay refreshed always. Paul tells Timothy to preach the Word, stay true to it. We should all stay true to the Word. As James 1:22 says, “…be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” The last part of that verse should ring clear that you can get deceived by not being a doer of the Word. Times come when things can be a challenge. When you're not a doer of the Word staying true to it, you won't respond according to the Word, you'll respond according to the flesh. Paul is telling young Timothy to watch out for things that will pull him down. What pulls you down? Watch out for it by staying true to the Word. The Word of God is your power source, your lamp and your light.

As believers we have to “watch out” for stuff that can pull us away from our personal relationship with the Lord. We have to stay fresh before God and not let the “stuff” of this life pull us down. We must be careful not to allow the “stuff” to zap our enthusiasm and zeal and pull us back to “B.C.” (Before Christ!). Our walk with Jesus needs to stay fresh each and every day! If God put into you how much you put into Him, how much of God would you be really walking in? Daily, our relationship with the Lord needs to be fresh.

We need to always be a living example of what we believe. That's not always easy. We must strive to consistently put the Word to work in our lives, put it into our hearts so that we are being that beacon of truth and righteousness among those with whom we associate and especially to those who are passing by. Jesus was “followable”! We need to have “followable” lifestyles. “Follow Me!” He wasn't some mystic something. No, multitudes followed Him, the disciples dropped what they were doing, left, and followed Him. Our lives both public and private should be “followable”. Paul was giving some strong instruction to young Timothy to help keep him strong and keep him on track. Here are some simple points to keep you strong.

Three Things To Keep Yourself Refreshed Always.

1. Have The Right Emphasis.

Put The Word First! There is a lot of stuff out there that pulls you away from the truth of the Word of God. As you put the Word first, your faith will grow and strengthen. Romans 10:17, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” The more you know the more your relationship will grow with the Lord. James 4:8 tells us to draw near to the Lord and He will draw near to you. Let go of whatever makes you stop getting into the Word of God. Let it go! Have the right emphasis and put the Word first in your life. D.L. Moody once said, “God never made a promise that was too good to be true.” The man who puts God and His Word first will find God with him always! Proverbs 3:6 says, “In everything you do, put God first, and He will direct you and crown your efforts with success.” (The Living Bible)
You'll keep your peace, joy, and victory if you put the Word first. You won't give up control of your peace, joy, and victory when stuff comes at you because the Word that you've put inside will speak first and keep you strong and always refreshed.

2. Stir Up The Gift of God In You.

Don't wait for your Pastor to stir you up or some guest speaker, or some song. No you have got to stir yourself up! Not only do you need to take the responsibility for stirring yourself up but you need to be consistent about it too! 2 Timothy 1:6 says, “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you…” Paul told Timothy that he needed to stir himself up. Paul said basically, “YOU DO IT!” When there is a weather bulletin about possible snow or ice, the milk and bread at the stores are the first to be gone. Nobody wants to be without the necessities! You cannot walk strong if you don't have the overflow. Your overflow always keeps you walking in victory in everyday situations of life.

John 7:38 says, “Out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water.” Rivers that refresh and renew! Jude verse 20 says, “Building up yourself on your most Holy faith by praying in the Holy Ghost.” Rivers flow when you pray in the Spirit. You build yourself up on the inside when you pray in the Holy Spirit! 1 Corinthians 2:9-12 tells us that we might know the things that are freely given! How do we know? By stirring up the gift of God inside of you and me, praying in the Holy Spirit. You don't have to have wildfire to be on fire! You just have to keep yourself stirred up!

We must be careful that the affairs of life don't rob us of our time with God. We've got to think “conversion”. Our wealth lies in our ability to convert “downtime” to “God's Time”! If you want to always stay fresh, stir up the gift of God on the inside of you and you will be always refreshed! And lastly, number three…

3. Keep Yourself Right!

1 Timothy 5:22 says, “Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, not share in other people's sins; keep yourself pure.” It is so very important to keep yourself right in life. This verse says to keep yourself pure. God may use you mightily, but you cannot get to a place where you don't have control over you and over your actions. We've all spent time with some folks who walked in many gray areas in their personal life and think there is nothing wrong with what they continuously do. They will be one way in public and another in private. And they'll wonder why things keep happening to them and they'll struggle but they refuse to look in the mirror due to their own selfish pride. They will blame others first and never look inward. Pride always keeps you deceived. Pride will always keep you in bondage. Proverbs 22:1 tells us that a good name is rather to be had than riches. Don't talk one way and act another. It will show up somewhere and affect your bottom line. It's hard to swim to the shore when you're far away. Get back to the Word and keep yourself right.

Avoid the appearance of evil. Keep a lid on your flesh. Pay attention to what you watch, listen to, and partake of. Bad habits can consume your thinking. Good habits can keep you focused and on the right path. Romans 13:14 says to make no provision for the flesh. It also says to “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” Just like a coat, put His life on yours. Keep a teachable spirit about your life. Have a sweet attitude. Be willing to change things when you realize that you need to. If you mess up, fess up! The greatest message in life is the road sign that says “Keep Right”. If you will “Keep Right” you will be always refreshed.

Prayer: Father, I choose to be always refreshed. Help me to realize my depth of heart in regard to my relationships or the shallowness that I may be showing and not seeing. May my conversation be pleasing and my steps be sure. You alone are my strength and my song. I commit to lean on and trust in You and Your Word. I will put Your Word first in my daily life, stir up Your Spirit inside of me, and keep my heart right. Amen.

Pastor James Farmer