2012-05-27: Spiritual Disciplines – Submission

Sermon: Spiritual Disciplines – Submission
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Ephesians 5:15-21
Duration: 28:37
Size: 13.1 MB

Spiritual Disciplines

Ephesians 5:15-21

Christian Submission…
Out of all the spiritual disciplines, I think that submission is the most counter cultural.

The Submission that Paul is calling us to is a mutual submission – not one where there is one person in submission, and another in authority, but that we would submit to each other.

It is not the abdication of responsibility or authority so we get no where and no decisions get made because we are so worried about stepping on each others toes.

Submission is – a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden. “put others first.”

The most amazing picture I have of submitting from a place of strength is that of Jesus standing before Pilate.

Laying down one’s life is not just about dying it is about giving up what we hold dear because our friend is even more dear to us.

Our Submission to each other is an outworking of the Spirit’s filling of our lives.

Areas to Submit…
I ask for the grace to let myself be shaped by my loving Creator.

I believe that God gives us families to practice love on, because if we can love them, we can love anybody.

If you look around you, these are all the “one-another’s” that God calls you to love and serve, to lift up and honor above yourself.

The Spiritual Disciple of Submission is as about as counter-cultural as you can get – you may feel it within you as you bristle at the very word “submission”.

Christian Submission…

  • Christian Submission is not about being a Doormat.
  • Christian Submission is not about the lowest common denominator.
  • Christian Submission Flows Out of Strength, Not Weakness.
  • Christian submission is not about placating a bully.
  • Christian Submission must come in Relationship.
  • Christian Submission is about Sacrifice.
  • Christian Submission flows from the filling of the Spirit.
  • Christian Submission is about Honor.

Areas to Submit…

  • Submit to God.
  • Submit to God’s Word.
  • Submit to our Families.
  • Submit to your neighbors, coworkers, friend…
  • Submit to the Christian Community.
  • Submit to the Broken & Despised.

2012-05-06: Spiritual Disciplines – Solitude

Sermon: Spiritual Disciplines – Solitude
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Luke 13:6-8
Duration: 25:45
Size: 11.7 MB

Spiritual Disciplines

Luke 13:6-8

The gardener of our soul is the Holy Spirit, he digs around our roots and feeds us so that we might bear good fruit.

What is Solitude
Just as fasting is the abstinence from food for spiritual purposes, solitude is the withdrawing to privacy for spiritual purposes.

True solitude removes ourselves from company, but it also removes ourselves from other distractions as well.

Loneliness is inner emptiness. Solitude is inner fulfillment. Solitude is not first a place but a state of mind and heart.

We only have to look at Jesus’ life if we want to find the practice of Solitude in scripture.

The Benefits of Solitude
In the quiet of solitude, all pretensions can be striped away, all the things in life that are trying to mold us in their image are removed, all the requirements of the world disappear, and we can stand before God “just as I am”.

Remember that Dallas Willard said that the Discipline of Solitude is for strengthening.

You can see that Jesus sought out solitude before the big events in his life.

When we are tempted to live in a way that will please those around us, rather than live in integrity with who the Father has called us to be, the more time we spend in solitude with the Father, the less other’s judgments stick to us!

How to Practice Solitude
The important thing is to get alone and recognize God’s presence with you before you read or pray.

They say that you can be alone even when standing in a crowd.

The truth is, I believe that all Christians should take some kind of solitary retreat at times.

The Benefits of Solitude

  • Being Real
  • Getting Centered
  • Learn to Live in Integrity

How To Practice Solitude

  • Daily Solitude
  • Spontaneous Solitude
  • Retreats

2012-04-01: Spiritual Disciplines – Confession

Sermon: Spiritual Disciplines – Confession
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Luke 15:17-20
Duration: 36:15
Size: 16.5 MB

Spiritual Disciplines

Luke 15:17-20

What God wants to hear is an honest answer to a simple question.

True confession is marked by honesty.

God can forgive any sin, but he will not forgive us until there is honest confession.

We have lost our moral bearings, we are spiritually adrift, and we are unaware of it.

The good news is that when we do confess our sin, we do not find rejection but acceptance from God.

True confession is marked by sorrow.

Real confession means that we regret what we have done.

Sin brings sorrow because it alienates us from God, from other people, and it leaves us broken within.

True confession is marked by change.

Once we become honest with ourselves, others and God, once we have repented with godly sorrow, a change takes place in our hearts.

It is a good thing to have someone to whom we can confess our sins.

When we are determined to seek the forgiveness of those we have wronged and make restitution, then we are on the path of a new obedience.

His heart is full of love and forgiveness.

2012-03-04: Spiritual Disciplines – Contemplative Prayer

Sermon: Spiritual Disciplines – Contemplative Prayer
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Psalm 27
Duration: 32:33
Size: 14.9 MB

Spiritual Disciplines
Contemplative Prayer

Psalm 27

Most of us realize that we cannot grow the fruit of the Spirit, or weed out the sins of our lives by sheer will power alone.

How do we develop a relationship with our maker?


Often times our prayers are the same way, we are running around in our lives and we stop for a second and say, “Oh, God, I need you.”

We must pray not just to speak to God, but also, to hear from Him what we are to speak.

Real prayer is something we learn.

Begin With Scripture
Meditate on Scripture before you pray.

Listen Before You Speak
Spend time in silence before God, wait to see what he says.

As we learn to listen to each other, we can apply that skill to God in our prayers.

God may not speak to you in words audible or inaudible. He may speak to you in pictures, images, feelings, sensations, dreams, and visions.

Prayer is about relationship, and although we should not make it one-sided by doing all the talking, we should also not make it one-sided by doing all the listening!

Having a spiritual friend or soul-friend is like having a training buddy.

We need to dig the well deeper, so that it won’t go dry during the hard times, and we need to develop our relationship with God so that we can enjoy the good times with Him.

2012-02-05: Spiritual Disciplines – Fasting

Sermon: Spiritual Disciplines – Fasting
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Matthew 6:16-18
Duration: 32:16
Size: 14.7 MB

Spiritual Disciplines

Matthew 6:16-18

Simply put, fasting is the voluntary abstinence from food for spiritual purposes.

When Jesus taught on fasting, he would say “when you fast”, not “if you fast”.

Fasting reminds us that we can get by without most things in our lives for a time, but we cannot get by without God.

Fasting is voluntarily turning up the heat in our lives.

It is both physical and spiritual and it builds our faith muscles so that we can withstand the bigger contests that come our way.

Our hunger pangs also remind us to lift our voice up to God.

When we fast in our repentance, it is not an attempt to punish ourselves for our past sin, but as a commitment and preparation for our future righteousness.

Determine the purpose of the fast. Is it to seek God, to seek direction, to pray for others?

There is so much potential power in seeking God in this way that Satan will do whatever necessary to derail your plan.

Remember that your fast is about you and God, not about impressing others, or even yourself.

Remember that we are not twisting God’s arm, we are trying to draw closer to Him.

The goal is spiritual not physical. If you want to loose weight, find a way to eat healthier, if you want to draw closer to God, try fasting.

Why Fast?

  • Fasting increases our hunger for God.
  • Fasting can train our passions.
  • Fasting can be an earnest prayer.
  • Fasting can help us humble ourselves.
  • Fasting can be a sign of Repentance.

How to Fast.

  • Start small.
  • Determine the purpose of the fast.
  • Determine the nature of the fast.
  • Determine the length of the fast.
  • Get people praying for you.

Pitfalls of Fasting.

  • Pride
  • Coercion of God
  • Penance
  • Dieting

If you’re satisfied with the status quo of your spiritual life, then just go ahead and ignore everything I’ve said today.

If you’re ready to move on to another level, and you’re not fasting as a part of your walk with Christ already, then I’d say, start right away.