Renewing Our Mind

Paul admonishes us not to conform our thoughts, words and action to this world, but to allow the Holy Spirit to transform us and to renew our mind (Romans 12:2).

We feel remorse for our ungodly thoughts and behavior, repent of them as sin, and submit to God’s Spirit as He renovates us into the fruitful character and divine nature of Christ (Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Peter 1:4).

Satan uses the enticements of the world to distract us from our commitment to God. He lures us away through the lusts of our eyes and flesh, as well as our pride in our accomplishments (1 John 2:16).

When these temptations stop working on us, then the devil uses worthy responsibilities, as well as the expectations of others to sidetrack us to use our time for good things rather than to devote our time to God’s will for us.

If we say “No”, we may disappoint someone else, but we please our Lord and God. When we boldly choose to focus on God’s will, we submit to His Spirit as He renews our mind and directs our steps (Ephesians 4:23, 5:26; Proverbs 3:5-6).

As we regularly ingest God’s Word, we sorrow over our sin to the point of repentance, which helps us to walk in the good, acceptable and perfect will of God (2 Corinthians 7:9; Romans 12:2).

Our former Adamic nature dies and our soul is reprogrammed by Christ and His Spirit in us, as well as the life and light of scripture, which sharply divides our soul and spirit (Colossians 3:3; Galatians 2:20; Hebrews 4:12).

Prayer:
Father God, life gives us choices, on a daily basis, to either walk in Your Spirit or to succumb to the devil and our flesh. Thank You for convicting us when we walk on the path of destruction and for helping us to find our way back to Your true and righteous path for our life.

Help us to live according to Your ways and to cherish Your love throughout our life. We want to serve You with our whole being and to love You with our whole heart by Your Spirit, whom You graciously provided for us. We give You all of the praise and glory for the many benefits, which You shower on us with each moment of our life.

Thought for the Day:
In repentance, we find freedom from sin; and by reading God’s Word and hiding it in our heart, we renew our mind and walk in righteousness, peace and joy, which His Holy Spirit births in our soul and spirit. – Romans 14:17; Psalm 119:11;

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Words Matter – Part 2

Education and breeding allow us to learn self-discipline and to measure our words carefully, regardless of how we think and feel. We speak cultured words, which do not offend, unless we lose our temper.

However, the Spirit of God is our continual restraint in our thoughts, feelings and actions. He helps us not to blurt out whatever comes to our mind, which is usually crafted by Satan to cause trouble (Proverbs 17:27).

Yet, no human is always able to restrain our tongue, because it is intolerant, immoral and full of lethal venom (James 3:8). Only the work of Jesus, living within the Believer, gives us the power over our tongue.

Once we accept Christ as our Savior, the negative aspects of life control us only if we allow them to do so. When we belong to Jesus, His life-giving Spirit frees us from the power of sin, which leads to death (Romans 8:2).

Salvation also frees us from living in conformity to this world, because we are transformed by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:2). Jesus actually renews the spirit of our mind (Ephesians 4:23).

He always gives us a choice, along with wise counsel about which choice to make. If we guard our words and keep our tongue, we avoid calamity (Proverbs 21:23).

The Bible encourages us to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1:19). Wise words win good things for us; and if we guard our lips, we guard our life (Proverbs 13:2).

When our thoughts are excellent and worthy of praise then this affects what we say and do, as well as how we feel emotionally and physically (Philippians 4:8).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that it is better not to be quick to speak or hasty in our heart to think anything negative. When we walk in the Spirit, the fruit of our lips fill us with good things, as surely as the good work of our hands rewards us (Proverbs 12:13-14).

We give You the praise and glory for the transforming power of Your Spirit within us. We can never thank You enough for drawing us to Your heart and including us in Your family for eternity (John 6:44; Ephesians 2:19).

Thought for the Day:
God watches us from heaven as we are on earth, so let us be wise and let our words be few. – Ecclesiastes 5:2

Spiritual Maturity

Growing up in a Christian home, or church attendance or Christian service will not guarantee us a place in God’s Kingdom. Total surrender to Jesus Christ is our only ticket to Heaven (John 3:16-18).

God loves us and desires for everyone to come to the saving knowledge of His Son, so that He can adopt us into His family (Ephesians 1:5). Once we trust Him, God transforms our life by His grace (Matthew 5:6).

We slowly come to the place in our Christian walk where we no longer care about accumulating things of this world. We truly realize that our home is not here, but in heaven.

We mature to the place of being more spiritually minded than carnally minded, and we realize that our identity and victory come only from Christ in us.

Therefore, the lusts of the eye, the lusts of the flesh and the pride of life have no more appeal for us (1 John 2:16). We desire only what God wants for our life (Ephesians 2:10).

Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). If anyone attempts to destroy His temple, God will destroy that person, because He considers us set apart for Himself as His Body (1 Corinthians 3:17; Ephesians 2:21-22).

A person may be able to harm our body, but only God can affect our soul (Matthew 10:28). Even in times of trial or difficulty, God gives us victory as we maintain our faith in His faithfulness.

Prayer:
Father God, it amazes us that You actually rejoice over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). We hope in You and praise You, because Your love radiates in and through us (Psalm 43:5). You abide within us and are always in control of our life.

We trust in Your unconditional love for us, and we rejoice in the all-encompassing salvation, which You provide for us (Psalm 13:5). We sing of Your mercies forever (Psalm 13:6, 89:1). When our soul despairs over the trials of life and the current events swirling around us, we will hope in You and praise You with our whole body, soul and spirit (Psalm 43:5).

Thought for the Day:
Full salvation takes more than good deeds or a mental assent; it requires total commitment of our life to Christ.

Our Identity in Christ – Part 2

Our reality in life has nothing to do with this world, and everything to do with Christ (Colossians 2:17). We are risen with Christ, our life is now hidden in Him and He is our whole life (Colossians 3:3-4; 1 Thessalonians 4:16).

In Christ, we enjoy all of the assets of insight and understanding, which we need in this life (Colossians 2:3). We are planted and nurtured in Him (Colossians 2:7). Through Christ in us, we have His character and nature in us (Colossians 2:9-10; 2 Peter 1:4)

Due to our union with Christ we give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18); we have the promise of life, faith, hope, and love (1 Timothy 1:1, 14; 2 Timothy 1:1); and we stand firm in our assurance in Him (1 Timothy 3:13).

As we gain our identity from our union with Jesus Christ, we can laugh at our short comings and find our fulfillment in the fact that He abides within us. We take our focus from our self and keep it on Christ.

Our identity in Christ leads us to lose interest in this life and in accumulating wealth and possessions. Instead, we turn our focus on spiritual matters and furthering God’s Kingdom now and for eternity.

We spend every waking moment praying for the lost and sharing with our friends, relatives, associates and neighbors about what Christ does in our life each day.

Many will reject us, but some will have spiritual ears to hear what God’s Holy Spirit is speaking to their heart through us (Mark 4:9). We will have the joy of watching another sinner, saved by grace, come to completion in Christ (Colossians 1:10).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for making it possible for us to be part of Your family for eternity. We know that Christ paid a horrendous price as a man on this earth to make this possible. We give Him all the praise, honor and glory as the Lamb slain before the formation of the earth (Revelation 13:8).

Remind us that sharing with the world about Your glorious provision in our life is such a small price to pay for all that You have given us. Give us the courage of our convictions to share our faith and Your faithfulness with everyone we meet.

Thought for the Day:
In Christ, our joy overflows. – Philippians 1:26

Our Identity in Christ – Part 1

Our identity in Christ comes when we totally surrender to God’s love in our life, we allow God to fashion us into a new creation and as we have faith in His faithfulness, which gives us assurance (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 4:19).

God chose us for the praise of His glory, and uses us as a spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3, 1:11-12). We can always approach the throne of God with confidence (Ephesians 3:12).

At salvation He forgives our sins and wipes our slate clean (Ephesians 1:7; Psalm 103:12). With our identity in Christ, we have no shame or condemnation, because we love Him and keep His commandments (Romans 8:1).

God replaces our negative personality traits with His fruit (Galatians 5:22-23). As we live in the moment and keep our focus on Him, He replaces our destructive, stress-filled thoughts with His peace (1 Corinthians 2:16; Isaiah 26:3).

We are in Christ and Christ is in us (1 Corinthians 1:30; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:3). We have the wisdom of God and our labor is not in vain, because we follow His Holy Spirit’s leading through each moment of our day (1 Corinthians 15:58).

God gives us the incomparable riches of His grace and the guidance, which we need to minister in His name (Ephesians 2:7; 1 Corinthians 1:30). We can perform anything He calls us to do, because He dwells within us (Philippians 4:13; Ephesians 2:10).

God seats us in heavenly places and makes us His light shining in this dark world (Ephesians 2:6, 5:8). He causes us to walk in holiness and faithfulness to His calling on our life, until we come into maturity in Christ (Colossians 1:2, 28).

He takes individuals and forms us into His Body (Romans 12:5). We are also His church, His children and His bride (Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 2:22, 5:25-27). We look forward to living with Him for eternity (2 Corinthians 5:1).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for supplying all of our needs with Your glorious riches (Philippians 4:19). You hold all things together and we cling to our hope of sharing eternal glory with You (Colossians 1:17, 27). You are beautiful beyond description, the worthy Lamb and our alpha and omega. Our life rises and sets in Your Son.

Thought for the Day:
In Christ, we have everything we ever need to live a fulfilled life, and nothing can ever separate us from His love. – Romans 8:38-39

To Those who Overcome

All of my Christian life, I heard the verses to the churches in Revelation containing promises to those who overcome. I do not have the moral fiber, mental strength or physical stamina to overcome anything. In other words, I am a wimp!

Whenever I saw or heard those verses, I cringed and shut down mentally and emotionally. As a new Believer, life still frightened me; and yet, I wanted to receive those promises to the overcomer.

Recently, my pastoral husband preached about living as an overcomer and his sermon gave me the key verse that I missed all of these years (1 John 4:4, 5:1-5). We overcome not in our human ability, but through Christ in us (John 16:33; James 1:2-3).

Whoever is born of God automatically overcomes the world, because our faith in Jesus as the Son of God gives us the victory (1 John 5:45). Jesus already overcame the world and He abides in us.

Even in suffering, we glorify God by our example as patient victims (1 Peter 4:12-16; 2 Corinthians 4:17-18). In heaven, we will receive these promises to the overcomer:
• We will eat of the tree of life and hidden manna, and we will receive the white stone of acquittal for our sins along with a new name (Revelation 2:7, 17; 3:12),
• We will rule the nations (Revelation 2:26) and we will be clothed in white, which is the purity of our works (Revelation 19:8).
• We will have our name written in the Lambs’ Book of Life (Revelation 3:5), we will forever serve as a pillar of strength in the temple of our God (Revelation 3:12),
• We will sit with Christ on His throne (Revelation 3:21),
• We will inherit all things as co-heirs with Christ as Children of God (Revelation 21:27),
• We will not experience the second, spiritual death in hell (Revelation 2:11),

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for sending Jesus to do for us what we could never do for our self. Thank Your for taking away the shame and condemnation of our sins, and for making us acceptable in Your beloved family (Ephesians 1:6). Christ in us makes us overcomers, because we are born again of His Spirit and we have faith in His faithfulness (1 John 5:4-5).

If we could live for thousands of years, we would never have enough time to praise You for what You already did and still do for us every day. We look forward to living for eternity in Your Kingdom and to giving You the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Thought for the Day:
Christ in us will overcome anything, which the world, the devil and our flesh throws at us (Galatians 2:20); we are more than conquerors through Christ who lives in us (Romans 8:31-39).

Ask and Receive

God’s promises to us are positive and guaranteed (2 Corinthians 1:20). He tells us to ask and we will receive (John 15:7, 16:24). One of the favorite verses in today’s Christian ranks is that God will give us a hopeful future, that He has our best interest at heart and that He wants us to prosper (Jeremiah 29:11).

Due to this fact, many Bible teachers counsel people to stand on God’s Word. Of course, it is a good idea to read and pray God’s Word. The Spirit uses God’s Word to anoint our spirit, to encourage our soul – our mind, choices and emotions – and to strengthen our body.

However, many people will point to a verse in the Bible, hold the book up in God’s face and demand that He provide us with the humanistic fulfillment, which we interpret the verse to say. We take the verse out of the context of the rest of the verses around it, and we do not consider who the verse’s author is talking to when he wrote it.

Rather than demanding that God provide what we want, we can sit quietly in His presence and receive from Him what He chooses to give us. We praise and thank Him, even if His answer is hardship and suffering. We can give thanks to God for His love and generosity in the most dire circumstance, which life throws at us (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

God’s presence in our life is a more valuable treasure than any earthly, carnal provision we expect. Even if we are homeless, dying in a hospital bed or falsely accused and in prison, we can rejoice in the Lord always (Philippians 4:4-9). All of God’s promises come to us through Christ’s atoning work; and we give God the glory for whatever He provides for us (2 Corinthians 1:20).

Prayer:
Father God, trials are not a sign of Your rejection of us, our lack of faith or our immature spirituality. In this world, Jesus had tribulation, and we are not more privileged than our Lord (John 13:16). Help us to see the seed for a miracle in every trial You allow into our life (Job 1:8; 2:3). Thank You for teaching us submission to Your will, appreciation for Your blessings, and for molding us into the image of Christ through the things that we suffer (Hebrews 5:8).

You are our provision and protection, and our heart trusts in You and Your supply; we will sing songs to You, because our heart greatly rejoices in Your loving presence in our life (Psalm 28:7). Rather than demanding, grabbing or insisting on Your blessings, we will sit quietly in Your presence and surrender to Your will for our life.

Thought for the Day:
As we change our focus from temporal to eternal aspects of life, things of this earth will fade in their importance to us. – 2 Corinthians 4:18