Chapter Twenty — Part Nine: The Book of ActsBy: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne
Publish date: 10/23/2022Foundation Scriptures:
1. Take Heed for Yourselves.
a. Acts 20:28 KJV — Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
b. We are responsible to please and obey our Master and to do His good pleasure.
c. It is His will that we love one another and care for each other’s well-being.
d. Take care and be on guard for yourselves and the whole flock… (vs. 28 AMPC)
e. Take heed (Greek prosechō) — to hold or turn the mind towards; to be attentive; give attendance to; pay attention to; be cautious about; apply oneself to; attach one’s self to: hold or cleave to a person or a thing; adhere to; beware; have regard; to bring to, bring near; to bring a ship to land; caring for: providing for; to give heed to one’s self; to devote thought and effort to.
f. The first person each of us needs to be concerned with is ourselves—our own soul; our own heart attitude and relationship with the Lord.
g. After that, we need to be concerned for the souls of others—the lives and well-being of those we minister to.
h. We need to be personally subject, in everything, to the Word and the Spirit.
i. 1 Timothy 4:16 Wuest — Keep on paying careful attention to yourself and to the teaching. Constantly stay by them, for in doing this you will both save yourself and those who hear you.
j. We need to take care and be on guard that we walk circumspectly before the Lord (Eph. 5:15).
k. We need to be proactive—and do what it takes to stay on fire for God.
2. Be Proactive.
a. We need to guard our own hearts.
b. Proverbs 4:23 AMPC — Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.
c. We need to be attentive and pay attention to attitudes, not just actions.
d. We need to beware and protect against wrong attitudes.
e. We need to put thought and effort into maintaining a right heart attitude.
f. Stay in the Spirit—hooked up with the Holy Spirit—wholly led and guided by Him.
g. Romans 8:5-7 KJV — For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
h. Live out of your spirit—not your flesh or your feelings.
i. Steer your thoughts toward things that are worthwhile, virtuous, and praiseworthy—that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report (Philippians 4:8).
j. Put a guard on your lips—line your mouth up with God’s Word.
k. Psalm 141:3 AMPC — Set a guard, O Lord, before my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips.
l. Pursue righteousness in your heart, mind, and works.
m. 2 Timothy 2:22 AMPC — Shun youthful lusts and flee from them, and aim at and pursue righteousness (all that is virtuous and good, right living, conformity to the will of God in thought, word, and deed); [and aim at and pursue] faith, love, [and] peace (harmony and concord with others) in fellowship with all [Christians], who call upon the Lord out of a pure heart.
3. Take Heed for Others.
a. We need to be particularly concerned with protecting our own heart attitudes, especially when we are in a position of leadership.
b. Dignity calls for duty; authority calls for responsibility.
c. If you are entrusted with a position, be true to your trust.
d. A leader must be awake and watchful over the flock.
e. Watching against those things which could be harmful and providing for those things which are helpful and beneficial.
f. When it is necessary, bring correction by the Word of God (Eph. 4:15; 2 Tim. 3:16).
g. Bring correction for the purpose of repentance toward restoration—in a spirit of love and humility—and with neither a superior attitude nor judgmental spirit (Gal. 6:1).
h. When we are judgmental toward others, we open ourselves up for temptation in the same, or similar, area.
4. Receive Correction.
a. Hebrews 13:17 NKJV — Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.
b. Receive correction with grace from those in leadership, whose assignment it is to watch over your soul.
5. Stay on Fire.
a. The enemy of our souls is always waiting to trap us or trip us up, and we cannot afford to be slack or neglectful.
b. 1 Peter 5:8-9a NKJV — Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith…
c. We cannot afford to live in a lukewarm condition.
d. We must stay hot and on fire for God (Rev. 3:15-19).
e. Revelation 3:16 NKJV — So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.