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The Pathway to Spiritual Vitality

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The Pathway to Spiritual Vitality
TEXT:
Hebrews 12:12–17 NLT
12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. 13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong. 14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. 15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. 16 Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who traded his birthright as the firstborn son for a single meal. 17 You know that afterward, when he wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears.
Introduction:
If you could discover the pathway to a more vitality in your Christian life, wouldn’t you follow it?
The Pathway to Spiritual Vitality:
The Pathway to Spiritual Vitality:
· STRENGTHEN THAT WHICH IS WEAK
· STRAIGHTEN OUT THE PATHWAY TO BE FOLLOWED
· SECURE PEACE AND HOLINESS
· SCRUTINIZE YOUR WALK WITH CHRIST

I. STRENGTHEN THAT WHICH IS WEAK ().

Hebrews 12:12 NLT
12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees.

Διὸ τὰς παρειμένας χεῖρας καὶ τὰ παραλελυμένα γόνατα ἀνορθώσατε

A. Strengthen that which is weak in the fellowship.

1. By discipling new believers ().
Matthew 28:19 NLT
19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
2. By declaring the uncompromised Word of God to all
(; )
2 Timothy 4:2 NLT
2 Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.
Hebrews 4:12 NLT
12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
Hebrews 4:12 NLT
12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
2 Timothy 4:2 NLT
2 Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.
3. By developing each believer to their full potential.

B. Strengthen that which is weak in your own life.

1. Determine the areas of weakness that are in your life.
2. Dig for the answers that will help you shore up the weak area
().
2 Timothy 2:15 NLT
15 Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.
3. Decide to put the plan into practice just as God has given it.
(; ).
Galatians 5:7 NLT
7 You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth?
1 Peter 4:17 NLT
17 For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News?
1 Peter 4:17 NLT
17 For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News?
Galatians 5:7 NLT
7 You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth?

II. STRAIGHTEN OUT THE PATHWAY TO BE FOLLOWED ().

Hebrews 12:13 NLT
13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.
A. The plan for straightening out the pathway:
1. Determine the pathway that God has given.
(; ; ).
Psalm 5:8 NLT
8 Lead me in the right path, O Lord, or my enemies will conquer me. Make your way plain for me to follow.
Psalm 16:11 NLT
11 You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.
Psalm 27:11 NLT
11 Teach me how to live, O Lord. Lead me along the right path, for my enemies are waiting for me.
Psalm 27:11 NLT
11 Teach me how to live, O Lord. Lead me along the right path, for my enemies are waiting for me.
Psalm 16:11 NLT
11 You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.
Psalm 5:8 NLT
8 Lead me in the right path, O Lord, or my enemies will conquer me. Make your way plain for me to follow.
2. Determine not to stray from God’s pathway.
()
Psalm 119:10 NLT
10 I have tried hard to find you— don’t let me wander from your commands.
B. The purpose for straightening out the pathway:
1. To prevent a destructive fall ().
1 Corinthians 10:12 NLT
12 If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall.
2. To promote healing and strengthening

III. SECURE PEACE AND HOLINESS ().

Hebrews 12:14 NLT
14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.
A. Pursue peace with all men.
1. Pursue peace with lost men ()
Romans 12:18 NLT
18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
2. Pursue peace with fellow believers (; )
1 Thessalonians 5:13 NLT
13 Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other.
Ephesians 4:3 NLT
3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.
Ephesians 4:3 NLT
3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.
1 Thessalonians 5:13 NLT
13 Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other.
B. Pursue holiness all of the time.
1. Pursuing holiness means following the instructions of our Holy God.
(; )
1 Timothy 6:11 NLT
11 But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.
Isaiah 51:1 NLT
1 “Listen to me, all who hope for deliverance— all who seek the Lord! Consider the rock from which you were cut, the quarry from which you were mined.
2. Pursuing holiness means being at odds with the world and its ways. ()
James 4:4 NLT
4 You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.

IV. SCRUTINIZE YOUR WALK WITH CHRIST ().

Hebrews 12:15–17 NLT
15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. 16 Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who traded his birthright as the firstborn son for a single meal. 17 You know that afterward, when he wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears.
A. Take a careful, intense look at your life.
1. Look Carefully at your life ( ἐπισκοποῦντες = to look upon, inspect.)
ἐπισκοποῦντες = to look upon, inspect.)
a) What is there in your life that does not belong there?
b) What is not in your life that should be there?
2. Look carefully at your relationship with Christ. ()
2 Corinthians 13:5 NLT
5 Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.
a) Have you received Christ as Lord and Savior?
b) Have you been obedient in Openly Identifying with Christ in Baptism?
c) Are you spending time alone with Christ daily?
d) Are you walking in obedience to His Word?
B. Make sure that you are in the grace of God.
1. Make sure you do not wait too long to receive God’s grace in salvation. ( ὑστερῶν = to come late or too tardily).
ὑστερῶν = to come late or too tardily).
2. Make sure you don’t leave the doctrine of grace for one of works.
C. Beware of the root of bitterness in your life ().
Ephesians 4:31 NLT
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.
1. The root of bitterness brings trouble for the believer. (μή τις ῥίζα πικρίας ἄνω φύουσα ἐνοχλῇ)
μή τις ῥίζα πικρίας ἄνω φύουσα ἐνοχλῇ)
2. The root of bitterness will defile others. (καὶ ⸂διʼ αὐτῆς⸃ μιανθῶσιν ⸀πολλοί)
καὶ ⸂διʼ αὐτῆς⸃ μιανθῶσιν ⸀πολλοί,)
D. Avoid immorality at all costs.
1. Believers are to maintain purity.
a) πόρνος = a man who indulges in unlawful sexual intercourse, a fornicator
πόρνος = a man who indulges in unlawful sexual intercourse, a fornicator
2. Believers are to maintain a godly life.
a) βέβηλος =profane, ungodly
βέβηλος =profane, ungodly
b) Like Esau
(1) Focused on his feelings at the moment.
(2) Disregarded eternal matters.
E. Live in the fullness of your birthright.
1. Unlike Esau.
a) He sold his birthright for a bowl of stew ().
Genesis 25:29–34 NLT
29 One day when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau arrived home from the wilderness exhausted and hungry. 30 Esau said to Jacob, “I’m starved! Give me some of that red stew!” (This is how Esau got his other name, Edom, which means “red.”) 31 “All right,” Jacob replied, “but trade me your rights as the firstborn son.” 32 “Look, I’m dying of starvation!” said Esau. “What good is my birthright to me now?” 33 But Jacob said, “First you must swear that your birthright is mine.” So Esau swore an oath, thereby selling all his rights as the firstborn to his brother, Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and lentil stew. Esau ate the meal, then got up and left. He showed contempt for his rights as the firstborn.
b) He chose to Identify with those outside of the promises of God ().
Genesis 26:34–35 NLT
34 At the age of forty, Esau married two Hittite wives: Judith, the daughter of Beeri, and Basemath, the daughter of Elon. 35 But Esau’s wives made life miserable for Isaac and Rebekah.
2. God has so much to offer you.
a) He offers an inheritance that is beyond all you can imagine.
(; )
Colossians 3:24 NLT
24 Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.
1 Peter 1:4 NLT
4 and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.
3. He offers a fellowship with other believers that is a taste of heaven on earth.
a) In the family of God.
b) In human family relationships.
CONCLUSION:
The Pathway to Spiritual Vitality:
· STRENGTHEN THAT WHICH IS WEAK
· STRAIGHTEN OUT THE PATHWAY TO BE FOLLOWED
· SECURE PEACE AND HOLINESS
· SCRUTINIZE YOUR WALK WITH CHRIST
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