Summary: Part 2 of this series.
Our Personal Relationship With God Part 2
Do Not Grieve The Holy Spirit Of God
Last week I started this sermon series that is focused on how we can build a better, more fulfilling personal relationship with our Heavenly Father. I shared with you that the first step is to understand that we are not alone. When we became a child of Father’s, He implanted within us His Holy Spirit who is with us everywhere we go. His Holy Spirit loves us so much that He wants to be a part of everything we do and everything we become. I also shared with you our foundational scripture that is found in Ephesians 4:30 which says “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” This scripture when understood correctly helps us to focus on the fact that the Holy Spirit is always with us and by our actions we can cause Him to grieve. This grieving comes from His understanding of what Father would have us to do and become and having to see us choose to do otherwise. In last week’s message I gave you some examples of things that we do that grieve the Holy Spirit. This week I want you to take a closer look at our attitude(s).
Attitude is defined as “a bodily posture showing mood, action, etc; a manner of showing one’s feelings or thoughts; one disposition.” Although some people classify everyone with just one attitude “good or bad”, in reality each of us have several attitudes that we display depending on the circumstances we are in. We can have what I call a “core attitude” that is like our foundational attitude for responding to situations, but we have many attitudes in general. An example of a core attitude could be someone being describes as optimistic or pessimistic. Again, this core attitude has an impact on the other attitudes that we display throughout our lives in every situation we encounter. Regardless of the core attitude that we have adopted as our own, when we yield ourselves to the Spirit of God, we may be faced with a crucial decision of change. Remember, the Holy Spirit knows our thoughts, even the bad ones that we never speak. He knows that the “real” us would like to respond one way to a situation although what we show everyone else is the opposite. Because He is so intimate with us, our true attitudes can grieve Him. So this morning as part 2 of this series, I want us to look at our attitudes and determine “if” they need to be adjusted.
The Scripture we are going to look at this morning is James 1:21.
I. Bad Attitudes Affects Those Around You
“Therefore putting aside all filthiness and all that remain of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your soul.”
James said that we should put aside all filthiness and what remains of wickedness and receive with humility the word of God which when implanted will save our souls. I want you to concentrate on the “putting aside” part of this verse. James understood what it meant to put aside “bad attitudes” and receive the word of God with humility. This James was the brother of Jesus and a leader of the Jerusalem council (Acts 15), not the Apostle James. It is believed that he was the oldest of Jesus brothers based on Matthew 13:55. At first James did not believe that Jesus, his brother, was the Messiah and even challenged Him concerning His mission. Look at John 7:3-5.
“Therefore His brothers said to Him, ‘Leave here and go into Judea, so that your disciples also may see Your works which You are doing. For no one does anything in secret when he himself seeks to be known publicly. If you do these things, show Yourself to the world. For not even His brothers were believing in Him.” John 7:3-5
James initially did not believe in His brother. Based on Scriptures in the books of Acts and Corinthians, Jesus appeared to James after His resurrection and this caused James conversion. He joined the Apostles after He saw Jesus. His conversion was sure, as Paul referred to him as a “pillar” of the Church in Galatians 2:9. Paul would visit James when he had the opportunity and when Peter was released from prison, he told his friends to tell James of his release (Acts 12:17). Although James started out as a non-believer, once he was converted, he became a prominent leader in the Church winning the respect of the Apostles and other disciples.
I shared this history of James so that you can better appreciate what he is saying to us in verse 21. James was telling us to change our attitude as he had to change his attitude. When he speaks of humility, he is speaking from experience, what he went through when he finally accepted that his brother was the Messiah. Remember, it wasn’t until after Jesus died and rose again did James accept Him. And just so you understand the full extent of his conversion, he was martyred for his belief. So when we read the book of James, we can identify with him because he was speaking to us as one who has experienced first hand what he was trying to tell us to do.