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A Lesson Sermon Met on the Subject of Spirit for February 3-9, 2003
by Gary Duke, CS

Golden Text: “The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.” (Job 33:4) Who hath made you? Spirit! And you as reflection are spiritual. So let’s give up the false sense of material life and live in Spirit with all its eternal blessings. The space shuttle Columbia crew has realized the unreality of finite life as they are progressing with life and their identities intact. “Death will be found at length to be a mortal dream, which comes in darkness and disappears with the light.” (S&H 42:6)

Resp. Rdg.: “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Rom. 8:6) Isn’t everyone’s goal to be happy ~ to have “life and peace?” How do we obtain that state of true happiness? If being carnally minded (obsessed with looks, having cool stuff, smoking, drinking, sensuality, being the best at anything without glorifying God …) brought happiness, a lot of the world would be very happy. But are they? Are you? If not, why not? Because spirituality is the only way to lasting happiness ~ “to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”

Section 1: “Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing?” (Isa. 44:10) Any time we’re not happy, haven’t we formed a god out of the problem? We obey that bogus god by acting out a false sense of our identity (fear, anger, sensuality …). To escape our misery, might we try and buy our way to happiness, thereby creating a “graven (sculpted) image?” Think about the root of the word “graven!”

Section 2: “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” (I Cor. 2:12) Excellent ~ we’ve already received all we need and it came free as standard equipment! Our adulteration may have temporarily obscured the masterpiece, but a bit of spiritual restoration in the quiet sanctuary of prayer will reveal the original childlike sheen or shine. (Warren changed luster to its synonyms of sheen or shine here, since being a luster, or one who lusts is never childlike and never reflects light, but absorbs it, like a “black hole” in outer space.)

Section 3: “And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled. And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord answered him not…” (I Sam. 28:5,6) Haven’t we all faced an army of “Philistines” ~ scary situations of some sort? Saul started out fine by praying to God. Then, he thought God wasn’t responding. Impossible ~ Saul just forgot to listen! His fear was so great he wasn’t hearing the “still small voice” (I Kings 19:12) which is always directing us perfectly, if we still the senses and humbly pray with the sincere desire to do God’s will. Instead, Saul turned to witchcraft and spiritualism (communication with the dead) ~ dead-ends which resulted in his death shortly thereafter.

Section 4: “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.” (I Cor. 12:4) “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;” (Eph 4:11) When it comes to talent, being gifted, were you somehow left behind? No! We have all the qualities of God by reflection. As we cherish our individual expression of those qualities, we shall witness a fuller sense of completeness. “God expresses in man the infinite idea forever developing itself, broadening and rising higher and higher from a boundless basis.” (S&H 258:13-15)

Section 5: “There are many species of insanity. All sin is insanity in different degrees. Sin is spared from this classification, only because its method of madness is in consonance with common mortal belief.” (S&H 407:29-32) One definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over and expecting different results! If you’re not happy with the results you are receiving in life, try breaking out the herd mentality of mortal belief and yield to spiritual inspiration. Try asking for divine guidance in all you do starting with the smallest of decisions. When this habit is established, the large decisions often seem small and easy.

Section 6: “BAPTISM. Purification by Spirit; submergence in Spirit.” (S&H 581:23) By reading our Bible Lesson and periodicals, praying for ourselves and others and glorifying God in all we think and do, aren’t we being daily baptized? Yes! As we are purified by Spirit, we are given the spiritual armor and weapons to destroy any belief of sin, sickness or death. As we are submerged in Spirit, we are relieved of any pressure, knowing that, “The battle is not yours but God’s.” (II Chron. 20:15)

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