Fast Wednesdays, August 1, 2012 — Pursuit of Excellence (Part II–Spiritual Checkup)

Greetings Beloved:

I got a kick out of the Queen and the storyline they created for her participating in the Opening Ceremonies at the Olympics in London. I love anyone with a sense of humor and the story conveyed a “wicked” one for her. I am sure we have all been hearing about some of the fascinating stories coming through on the athletes over the next several weeks as they compete. The athletes have gone through extensive physical checkups to ensure they are in peak health and also not hiding anything they should not be doing from a health perspective.

So, question for this week, how often do we perform SPIRITUAL checkups? I am asking each of us to perform a spiritual checkup and share what you come up with if you like but most importantly be open and honest with ourselves as we continue our march to our respective finish lines, according to GOD’s goals and purpose for our lives.

SCRIPTURE THIS WEEK:

This scripture is my prayer that we will base the “motto” for our lives off and I have listed it from The Message Bible:

Colossians 1  9-12Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.

I found a daily devotional out of the Our Daily Bread on some ways we could perform our spiritual health checkup (what is your attitude-ectomy)?

Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Examine me, O Lord. —Psalm 26:2
Bible in a Year:
Psalms 1-3; Acts 17:1-15

Given a choice, I’d probably not voluntarily visit my doctor for a physical exam. I’m inclined to assume that everything is okay and not bother my doctor about it. But since my wife is a nurse, I don’t have a choice. I go in for regular exams.

And given a choice, many of us are a little afraid of spiritual checkups as well. After all, if we check our spirit too closely, we might have to change a habit or two. We might need something like an “attitude-ectomy.”

I suggest that we get over our reluctance. With God’s guidance, let’s undergo a spiritual checkup, using Proverbs 4:20-27 as a checklist.

Ears (v.20): Are we hearing God’s Word clearly and with understanding? Are we doing what those words tell us?

Eyes (vv.21,25): Are we keeping our eyes on the teachings that will guide us toward righteousness?

Heart (v.23): Are we protecting our heart from evil?

Tongue (v.24): Is our mouth clean and pure?

Feet (v.26): Are we walking straight toward God’s truth without wavering?

How did you do on your examination? Are there areas where you need to take action? Regular checkups will help to restore your spiritual vitality.

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
Show me the way that Jesus has trod;
Then I will tell of Your saving grace,
Until the day when I see Your face.  —Hess

A spiritual checkup is the key to spiritual health.

Prayer: Dear Lord, create in me a clean heart and renew in me the right spirit… AMEN!

Love, Joy and Peace,

Debra J. Ellis

P.S. Imagine what life would be like if you let GOD lead? I’m thinking…much smoother for me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHnZRZiCYHE

Background

Chorus. [C-Lite] I could play the background. I could play the background. Cause I know sometimes I get in the way. So won’t You take the lead, lead, lead, lead, lead. So won’t You take the lead, lead, lead, lead, lead. And I can play the background, the background. And You can take the lead.
Verse 1 [Lecrae] It’s evident You run the show, so let me back down. You take the leading role, and I’ll play the background. I know I miss my cues, know I forget my lines I’m sticking to Your script, and I’m reading all Your signs. I don’t need my name in lights. I don’t need a starring role. And why gain the whole wide world, if I’m just gon’ loose my soul. And my ways ain’t purified, I’ll live according to Your Word. I can’t endure this life without Your wisdom being heard. So word to every dancer for a pop star, Cause we all play the background, but mine’s a Rock Star. Yeah. So if you need me I’ll be stage right. Prayin’ the whole world will start embracing stage fright. So let me fall back and stop giving my suggestions Cause when I follow my obsessions I end up confessing. That I’m not that impressive, matter of fact I’m who I are. A trail of star dust leading to the Superstar.
Chorus.
Verse 2 [Lecrae] [ From: http://www.metrolyrics.com/background-lyrics-lecrae.html ] I had a dream that I was captain of my soul. I was master of my fate, lost control, and then I sank. So I don’t want to take the lead Cause I’m prone to make mistakes. All these folks that follow me gon’ end up in the wrong place. So, just let me shadow You, and just let me trace Your lines. Matter of fact just take my pen. Here, You create my rhymes. Cause if I do this by myself I’m scared that I’ll succeed. And no longer trust in You, cause I only trust in me. And see, that’s how you end up headed to destruction. Paving a road to nowhere. Pour your life out for nothing. You pulled my card, I’m bluffing You know what’s in my hand. Me, I just roll to trust You, You cause the dice to land. I’m in control of nothing. Follow You at any cost. Some call it sovereign will, all I know is You the boss. And man I’m so at ease. I’m so content. I play the background like it’s an instrument.
Chorus.
Bridge. [Lecrae] I know I’m safest when I’m in Your will and trust Your word. And I know I’m dangerous when I trust myself, my vision blurred. And I ain’t got no time to play life’s foolish games. Got plenty aims, but do they really glorify Your name? And it’s a shame the way I want to do these things for You, yet, Don’t even cling to You. Take time to sit and glean from You. It seems that You were patient in my ignorance. If ignorance is bliss, its cause she never heard of this.

 

Reminder AND/OR for those of you just joining us either by contacting me or I personally added you: The purpose of Fast Wednesdays is to draw near to God on this specific day of the week fasting and praying in whatever manner the Holy Spirit is leading you as sisters in Christ…some have fasted from social media, coffee, or observed a traditional fast with no eating from sunrise to sunset with only liquids for the day, no deserts, etc. I know many of us for various reasons participate every week but in different manners. This has still been beneficial and the sisterhood continues to grow!

The key ingredient is that we are doing this together as sisters, of all ages, in the Lord both chronologically and spiritually in accordance to: Titus 2 — A God-Filled Life 3-5Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.

Note: Please share Fast Wednesdays with your friends and/or send me names to add to the distribution list. For now, I will post in three places: email (djf52055@gmail.com), Facebook (Debra Fuller Ellis) and blog https://fastwednesdays.wordpress.com


SCRIPTURE on Excellence:

  1. Esther 1:4
    While he showed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the splendor and excellence of his majesty for many days, even 180 days.
    Esther 1:3-5 (in Context) Esther 1 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
  2. Matthew 4:8
    Again, the devil took Him up on a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory (the splendor, magnificence, preeminence, and excellence) of them.
    Matthew 4:7-9 (in Context) Matthew 4 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
  3. Matthew 5:16
    Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven.
    Matthew 5:15-17 (in Context) Matthew 5 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
  4. Matthew 6:29
    Yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his magnificence (excellence, dignity, and grace) was not arrayed like one of these.
    Matthew 6:28-30 (in Context) Matthew 6 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
  5. Luke 4:6
    And he said to Him, To You I will give all this power and authority and their glory (all their magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, and grace), for it has been turned over to me, and I give it to whomever I will.
    Luke 4:5-7 (in Context) Luke 4 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
  6. Luke 9:46
    But a controversy arose among them as to which of them might be the greatest [surpassing the others in excellence, worth, and authority].
    Luke 9:45-47 (in Context) Luke 9 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
  7. John 3:31
    He Who comes from above (heaven) is [far] above all [others]; he who comes from the earth belongs to the earth, and talks the language of earth [his words are from an earthly standpoint]. He Who comes from heaven is [far] above all others [far superior to all others in prominence and in excellence].
    John 3:30-32 (in Context) John 3 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
  8. Romans 1:23
    And by them the glory and majesty and excellence of the immortal God were exchanged for and represented by images, resembling mortal man and birds and beasts and reptiles.
    Romans 1:22-24 (in Context) Romans 1 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
  9. 1 Corinthians 4:19
    But I will come to you [and] shortly, if the Lord is willing, and then I will perceive and understand not what the talk of these puffed up and arrogant spirits amount to, but their force ( the moral power and excellence of soul they really possess).
    1 Corinthians 4:18-20 (in Context) 1 Corinthians 4 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
  10. 1 Corinthians 4:20
    For the kingdom of God consists of and is based on not talk but power ( moral power and excellence of soul).
    1 Corinthians 4:19-21 (in Context) 1 Corinthians 4 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
  11. Philippians 4:8
    For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].
    Philippians 4:7-9 (in Context) Philippians 4 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
  12. 2 Peter 1:3
    For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [ full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue).
    2 Peter 1:2-4 (in Context) 2 Peter 1 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
  13. 2 Peter 1:5
    For this very reason, adding your diligence [to the divine promises], employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy), and in [exercising] virtue [develop] knowledge (intelligence),
    2 Peter 1:4-6 (in Context) 2 Peter 1 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
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