As pastors and church leaders, we must come to the point that we allow the search and conviction of the Holy Spirit upon our lives to the very core of our souls (2 Cor. 13:5)! Once this happens, the result will be more faith and more use to Christ. The result for your church will be more focus upon His precepts and increased prayer, which will bring an outpouring of the Spirit and renewal! This will impact your neighborhood and the world in which you live. It all starts with your determination to encompass the faith He has given you and obey! What is stopping you?
Psalm 15 is a crucial image of how we are to approach God. It tells us that He is indeed working in us; we are learning and receiving His Truth and are willing, able, and called to impart it to others. These are the traits of faith that will produce results. Faith will help, along with the Holy Spirit, to build maturity and character. If you are wondering if you have faith, or enough faith, the results will be:
· Walking with integrity and honesty, genuine and just to God and to others!
· Worshiping, rejoicing, and praising Christ as Lord!
· Teaching God's Truth with power, conviction, and clarity!
· Restraining the tongue that reflects the soul!
· Working and living for righteousness and truth!
· Modeling Christ's love to others!
· Always humble, generous, gentle and kind!
· Not over-worrying, and trusting in the Lord!
· Committed to the importance and practice of prayer!
· Speaking from the heart with love!
· No gossiping, slandering or lying-or even listening to it!
· Not doing evil or reproaching others!
· Despising of ungodliness!
· Honoring people who fear and respect the Lord!
· Not being influenced by power or position-of self or of others!
· Not being corrupt!
· Not extorting, manipulating, or using people for false gains!
· Not taking bribes or fighting against the innocent!
· Allowing the Holy Sprit to direct one's life!
· Swearing to one's own oath and keeping promises!
Those who do these things will never be shaken!!! These are the instruments to determine character and how one has taken in and used faith. These gauges do not lie. If these precepts are weak, not functioning properly, or not at all, then there is something definitely wrong and you need to get on your knees and into His Word! Without a real, working faith, you will not be able to be used by God to build His Church! Real faith will cause the above principles to work from you to those around you! A real, called church leader follows these principles, from the heart and a desire to please God, resulting from the work of the Spirit within him or her. A pretender or false teacher in the pulpit will not exhibit these characteristics!
1. Discuss the "Introduction," and how faith has impacted you.
2. How can your growth in faith impact your church?
3. How well can you relate to these principles from Psalm 15? Are they realistic, practical for today, for you? Why, or why not?
4. Look at each of these "Principals" and answer the question, how have you applied these to yourself, your family, your friends, your church, and people in general?
5. How can you improve your spiritual walk so you can be the person who models Psalm 15?
6. Can you think of practical ways to demonstrate these principles in your life?
7. What about ways to demonstrate these principles to others around you so that it effects "who you are" in your personality and deeds? In doing so, you not only hear what God says, but truly listen and apply His "principles" in all that you do.
8. What happens when we are not following these or other godly principles?
9. Why would you or a church not want to follow these principles?
10. How will these principles be used to build your faith and church?
11. What would be the characteristics of a pretender or false teacher? Would he or she model the above precepts? How would you know?
12. Our focus must be on edifying and encouraging. So, what can your church do to make this a priority?
Listening and not doing is wrong; but, to obey what the Word of God reveals in Psalm 15 is being a real disciple! Because of Grace, we may be able to "dwell in the Lord's Sanctuary" and place our home "on His Holy Hill," but what good will it be if we do not show our gratitude and obedience for what He has done by living out His principles? "He who does these things will never be shaken."
© 1992, 2001, completely updated and revised 2004 R.J. Krejcir, Into Thy Word http://www.intothyword.org/