Jesus' Precious Little Lambs

A Charlotte Mason Christian Home School: Preschool – 2nd Grade :)

Confessions of the Heart

on November 3, 2012

I was convicted last Sunday at church that I have a religious spirit. If you also are a devout believer passionate about the truth, you may want to prayerfully consider this post, as we who are concerned about holiness are often the very ones most susceptible to this religious spirit. The Jewish temple leaders of Biblical times, called Pharisees and Saducees, are an example of what I mean by a “religious spirit” (in the eyes of Christians). Most of us believe that we are night and day different from those staunch religious men of old, many of whom never became born again to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus said they preach but do not practice, they do all their good deeds to be seen by others, and their hearts are hard. Some of us read the Bible and just can’t wait for Jesus to put them in their place–get em’ Jesus! However, we may have more in common with the Pharisees than we realize. Pharisaism was at heart, though tragically miscarried, a movement for righteousness. It was the longing for a righteous Israel and the hope of the coming Messianic kingdom that motivated these men. It was this concern for righteousness that drove the Pharisees to their legalism with such a passion. They often lived moral lives, full of good deeds, but it was all outward actions with no thought given to the heart or motives of the actions. Today, if you walk out on the streets of any city in this nation and ask non-believers what they think about Christians, you’ll usually get a response like, “They’re self-righteous and legalistic. They stab each other in the back.” Yet that is not usually how we think of ourselves, is it?

Denial is Dangerous, Confession is Cleansing

Jesus’ stern warnings to the hypocritical Pharisees make it clear that sin we ignore and deny is no less serious in its effects than the sin of the public sinner. And we are in denial if we have convinced ourselves that we share no resemblance to the Pharisees. This mindset is dangerous as a religious spirit can take greater and greater hold the longer we continue to think that we have no characteristics of a religious spirit. Those of us who have the biggest religious spirits, are the same ones who believe that we are not susceptible. If we feel like none of the characteristics of a religious spirit apply to ourselves, we are declaring a strong religious spirit over our life. I don’t want that, so I am here to tell the truth and admit that I am very susceptible!

Sometimes we are unable to admit even that which is obvious to everyone else. Sometimes we scurry about in the dark, obsessed with hiding things from one another’s view. Walk in the light as He is in the light, and the blood of Jesus will cleanse us from all sin. Satan the accuser is allowed into your life through unconfessed sin. Unconfessed sin allows the accuser leverage to roar his accusations, and his voice can get so loud that we have a hard time hearing God’s. Confession silences him and removes his authority to attack you. Can you hear the peace of silence?

Confession.

Yes, I am vulnerable.

I am a Pharisee.

I love to be ‘seen of men’.

I enjoy, indeed, revel in recognition.

I like to receive all of the honor I can get … from men.

I critique people and worship services.

I look to correct people, especially those I love the most.

I think about how glad I am that so and so is hearing this message.

I often rebel against God given authority in my life.

I am a Pharisee.

Forgive me Lord.

Do You Have a Religious Spirit?

Characteristics of a Religious Spirit Preached by Pastor Scott Perky last Sunday at Bay Summit Church

A religious spirit: A mindset, behavior pattern that wants to look spiritual. Relying on religious activity more than the Holy Spirit. High on truth, low on grace. A religious spirit will say I am nothing like the Pharisees in the Bible and the following message has nothing to do with me.

Characteristics of a Religious Spirit:

1.  More committed to religious tradition (rules) rather than obeying the scripture (Mat 15:2-9)

Ex: Rather follow a list of do’s and don’ts, stay in the box, or have boundaries, than obey the scripture

2. Routinely confuse their individual preferences (things of men) for biblical precepts (things of God) (Mat 16:21-23)

Confuse individual preferences (things of men, things taught in life that seem like good principles, things grown up with) for Biblical precepts. Elevating your personal convictions and application of the Word as the correct interpretation of scripture, which makes others taking a different path disobedient in your eyes.

3. Legalism: Focuses on external formulas as a way to gain God’s approval (Gal 5:1-6)

Ex: Fasting to get God’s approval, or to get closer to God by our work of fasting

4. Perfectionism: Has a ridged idealistic view of the way things or people should/ought to be. (Mat 23:1-4)

Needing things a certain way in order to be acceptable.

5. Judgmentalism: Will choose to reject and not join anything that he or she does not deem as being perfect and is constantly looking for something/someone to correct (John 9:1-3)

Cover someone else’s weaknesses with the blood of Jesus rather than thinking “you better get it right or I can’t even be around you when you act like that”. This one is huge!

6. Idealism: Will often see as his/her primary mission as correcting what is wrong with ministries and individuals rather than seeing what is right (Luke 7:37-39)

If your tendancy is to have a negative slant when you enter an environment, you are operating in a religious spirit. We use excuses too like “It’s just because I am Irish, or because I am German.”

7. Agnosticism: Dismisses spiritual manifestations and realities as untrue, emotional, or fanatical (Eph 1:17-18)

There is still an authentic move of the Holy Spirit that is not sensational, but religious people dismiss it.

8. Fanaticism: Views the will of God through external manifestations rather than on Kingdom principles

You only get spiritually stoked when you get goose bumps and the Holy Spirit is moving. These manifestations are never above kingdom principles.

9. Elitism: Believes that he/she is closer to God than other people and on the cutting edge of what God is doing. Believes that their church is superior to others.

Literally anything and everything that sets you ‘apart’ from your fellow man can be the catalyst for feeling above.

10.​Existentialism: Rejects God-given authority, (protection) structure and institution (1 Pet 2:13-16)

I don’t need the body of Christ, I don’t need that person, all I need is God. Opposition to authority is a huge stronghold in this area. God given authority is your umbrella and when you step out, all of hell breaks loose.

11. ​Will have the tendency to resist and oppose anything new in the church

People who have to have things a certain way, usually their way.

12.​Will adopt a philosophy that will not listen to men, but “only to God”

We are saying of ourselves that we are not teachable. To get into the things of God you will have to submit to authority and you will have to be teachable. Run to those people who put you back in line.

13.​Will resist a Godly rebuke from individuals that they judge less “spiritually” mature

Even a child can rebuke you and thereby help you.

14.​Thrives on recognition and the approval of men (Mat 6:5)

How many of us put the smiley face on when we show up to church so that no one knows what we are going through? Paul said if I am a person who seeks to please men, I can not please God.

15.​Believes that he/she can never measure up to the Lord’s standards. Creates a performance mindset that keeps a religious scorecard

We can’t receive a message because we feel condemned.

16.​Will Glory more in what God has done rather than what God is doing

Lets go back to the things we were doing when God moved last time and stay there.

17.​Will make excuses that none of this list applies to them

18.​Will think of other individuals while reading this list

Lord Renew a Right Spirit Within Us!

If you would like to hear more from the heart of my pastor and be led in a prayer to renounce a religious spirit, visit my church’s website where you will find a video recording of this message. Perhaps Bay Summit is the type of church you are looking for, so if you live anywhere near our two locations in Concord and Brentwood, consider visiting sometime!

Community Outreach: Blessing Our Neighbors with Pumpkins

To be a light on halloween, we reached out to our neighbors with the cuteness of our kids, a pumpkin for their doorstep, and a tag that sent a blessing their way with an invitation to come visit this blog. We turned down everyone’s offer of candy as we wanted to give without getting anything back (plus we prefer that our kids don’t eat candy). However, we did get much back from the experience, intangible things, as I will share in a bit. We were so well received by our neighbors, and the kids enjoyed it so much that they wanted to do it again the next day! Plus, collecting a wheelbarrow full of pumpkins to share at the pumpkin patch was way more fun than picking just one to take home for ourselves. I think I am seeing an annual tradition forming here!

Cinderella and Her Pumpkin

Mr. Firefighter and His Load of Blessings

The Moment that Made the Day

We visited a wonderfully bright and friendly 93 year old neighbor named Lois. I asked Noah to stand by her for a picture, and instead of posing, he turned around and put his arms around her. We were all touched how he showed the love of Jesus on this day. “Show the love of Jesus” were actually his own words on this day. I am blessed that God has put compassion in his heart through our little community outreach efforts and past Little Lambs lessons. I cherish how our Little Lambs theme of “love” last February left an eternal mark on him. I love seeing these lessons of love bubble out every now and then,  evidence that the Word has reached into the inner recesses of his heart. What astonishes me is that it seems like the Lord has worked in Noah’s heart after only a few nursing home visits and a few other types of outreaches. Apparently the Lord doesn’t need much to work with!

This season of thanksgiving is a great time to get your children thinking of others. Plan some small acts of kindness together today, and down the road you will see how the Lord uses these small experiences to work something special and eternal in your children’s hearts.

Visiting Mr. Don

Showing Jesus’ Love to an elderly lady who lives alone. So sweet!! Valene said she would take all the hugs she could get.

Safety Lessons with Miss Sheila:

Crossing the Street Safely

Stove Safety

Color Mixing Science with Miss Cherie:

Mixing Primary Pigments Makes Black

Mixing Primary Light Colors Makes White Light

What I Want to Be When I Grow Up Handwriting

A diver– with a mohawk. Noah is into mohawks lately.

My Very First SENTENCE!

Raggedy Ann (My Favorite Childhood Doll)

Geoboard Copywork……Uhhh Almost.

Much Improved! (Mr. Busy Hands Was Asked to Fold His Fiddlers so I Could Get a Decent Pic)

Cutie Pies in Costume


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: