Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday Motivation-Look to the Lord

God really does have everything under control. When consider the news, the conditions of our churches, and even our own lives that may be a hard concept to believe grasp. However, no matter what we see, God is still in control. He loves us. He is omnipotent. The same God who performed all of those great miracles in the Bible (and in your life) is the same God who is in control right now. He is still the Sovereign God.

Don’t miss out on life looking all around; look up to the Lord. The Lord never promised that life would be easy or that this world would be peaceful. God did promise that He would never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). The Lord promised that the Holy Spirit would comfort and live in all Christians (John 14:16). Jesus said that His grace is all that you need and that His strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). Look to God and have peace.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Focus-Lord of All

You have longed for sweet peace,
And for faith to increase,
And have earnestly, fervently prayed;
But you cannot have rest,
Or be perfectly blessed,
Until all on the altar is laid.

Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid?
Your heart does the Spirit control?
You can only be blessed,
And have peace and sweet rest,
As you yield Him your body and soul.

Do I really need to write anything after that? Not submitting areas of your life to Jesus makes you think you must deal with them yourself. You can’t manage your life; only Christ can do that. Trying to do so leaves you weak, stressed, and confused. Does God have ALL of you? Your level of peace will be your answer.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thursday Thought-Lord of All

Is Jesus Christ your Lord? When we accept His sacrifice on the Cross He becomes our Savior, but is He your Lord? Lord means, ‘one having power or authority over others.’ With that in mind we know that Christ is Master and Ruler of all. So then the question becomes, ‘Do YOU recognize Christ as Lord of your entire life?’

We refer to Him as ‘The Lord’ when conversing with others or even in our prayers. But we know that actions always speak louder than words.  At the end of Psalm 139 the psalmist asked God to search his heart and expose the impurities (vv. 23-24). Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what areas of your life are not submitted to Him. You cannot have a real relationship with God until you are real with yourself. Do you recognize Jesus as Lord?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wednesday Word-Lord of All

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”~ Romans 12:1
We are to be living sacrifices for God. Sacrifice means to give up or to offer. We are to give our entire selves as an offering to the Lord. Every step, every thought, every purchase, our bodies, and even our very lives should all be submitted unto Him.

This is our ‘reasonable service.’ This is what we should do. When we try to hold on to or control our own lives we tell God that we can do better with it than He can. God made us. He loves us. Jesus saved us. He knows all about us and He knows our future. Give your life up to the One who knows exactly what to do with it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tuesday Truth-Lord of All

God will only work with what you give Him. We are called to submit everything to Him, but God gives us free will. The Lord doesn’t make us do anything. In your life He cannot truly be Lord at all until He is Lord of all. To experience the renewed mind and newness of life we must give our whole selves to Him.

It is very easy to surrender most of ourselves to Christ, but hold on to a few ‘little’ things. God doesn’t want most of you, though, He wants it all! As long as you try to hold on to whatever it is you will a sense of disconnect between you and Jesus. He knows what it is and so do you. Nothing is more valuable than knowing Jesus more. Jesus gave His all for you and He just wants the same back.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday Motivation-Lord of All

God wants to be Lord of your whole life. He doesn’t just want to handle the ‘big things’, God wants to be Lord of your entire life. Every decision, every issue, every single thing. Christ wants to walk with you through it all. God made you to be dependent on Him.

The Lord wants to fill any void you feel in your heart. He wants to be your best friend. He wants to hold you when you cry. He wants to celebrate good times with you. He cares about every detail of your day. He wants to tell you how to live your best life. God is concerned about you. Moreover, not only does Jesus want to do all of those things; Jesus can do all of those things.  Don’t hold anything back from God. Let Him heal you.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Freedom-New Mind

He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

A renewed mind brings about several things in a Christian’s life. One of the most important of these is peace. The Bible tells us that if we just pray and give all of our concerns over to God, then He will give us peace beyond all understanding (Philippians 4:6-7). When Christ reigns in your mind you can go to your own ‘garden’ anytime in any place. Experience a joy that is unique to just you and Christ.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thursday Thought-New Mind

Do you give your new mind what it needs to lead you? In this crazy world there are so many influences fighting for our attention. We must be careful what we let our minds feed on. Sex, violence, and godlessness is everywhere from billboards, to the radio, commercials, and music (even some ‘church music’). With so many influences in this world that we cannot control, we must learn to control any that we can.

We are commanded to set our minds on heavenly things, not on the sinful things of this world (Colossians 3:1-2). Why? To give our renewed minds a chance in this crazy world. The only way we can even begin to be led by God is to block out all the sin that is polluting our minds, and focus on Him. This might seem impossible, but real Christians have the Holy Spirit living inside of them. Who else do you need? If you are not getting clear direction from Jesus who do you think is to blame; you or Him?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wednesday Word-New Mind

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” ~ Romans 12:2
The possibility of a renewed mind creates so much hope in my soul. The ability to walk into God’s perfect will is amazing to me. What we can’t pass over, though, is the command at beginning of this verse. Do not be conformed to this world. Don’t let the world shape you into its image. Too many of us are being made like the world. Even in the local church, sadly enough. You can’t even begin to experience God’s renewing of your mind until you make a conscious continual effort to let go of the world’s sinful ways.

In the previous verse Paul exhorts Christians to be living sacrifices to God. God wants all of you. He doesn’t want a good amount of your time here and there. The Lord doesn’t want a quick prayer just whenever you think about Him. God wants your life! There is no area of your life that you can do a better job in than Jesus. Give Christ total control and watch how He makes you new; on the inside.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tuesday Truth-New Mind

Your perception of life does not have to be based on outside circumstances. We cannot change the actions of others. We have limited control over what happens to us. Many of us waste time trying to control other people and outside situations and end up stressed. However, through the power of the Holy Spirit we can have total control over our perception of life.

With the new mind that is available to all Christians we can get over anything. Do not waste your time focusing on things that you cannot change. The Holy Spirit will give you more of God’s mind if you allow Him to. You can approach life the way God meant you to; with clear direction and serenity. Believe that God can give you the strength to forgive, love, be patient, and truly succeed.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Motivation-New Mind

God has given us the ability to have a new way of thinking. When we walk in newness of life we have the ability to have our minds renewed. Our entire outlook on life is based on our minds. What we like, who bothers us, our fears, joys, habits, and addictions. The beauty of accepting Christ is a renewed mind; thinking from God’s perspective.

Many Christians do not reach their full potential in Christ because of the way they think. We try to change our actions with our same sinful mindset. This is a frustrating recipe for failure. Christ, however, can give you victory in your thought life and therefore victory in your whole life. Pray and ask God to renew your mind. Then have joy.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Freedom-New Life

"There are some things I may not knowThere are some places I cannot goBut I am sure Of this one thing
That God is real
For I can feel
Him deep within
Yes, God is real
Real in my soul
Yes, God is real
For He has washed
And made me whole
His love for me
Is just like pure gold
Yes, God is real
For I can feel
Him in my soul!"

Being born of the Spirit is unlike any other experience. God’s Spirit is living inside of you and will be there forever. For the Christian God is so real that He does not have to be seen, heard, or touched. This is an intimate spiritual connection beyond physical senses. Don’t waste time thinking about what you don’t know. Stop worrying about the places you can’t go. Just trust and believe that God is real. How real? God is real in YOUR soul. Walk in newness of life.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thursday Thought-New Life

Have you ever thought about what it really means to be born again? We throw the phase around so much that it sometimes loses its depth. Even more real than being physically born, Christians have also been born spiritually. The new life available only through Christ is a spiritual one. Our souls were dead but are now alive.

We have to be mindful of how we conduct ourselves in this new life. We now have the ability to know God personally and walk in the path that He alone has laid out for us. Take advantage of that connection. Because this is a spiritual life we must be mindful of all the influences we allow to enter our lives. Every influence either helps or hinders your walk with Christ. Don’t let anyone or anything destroy the potential to live this new spiritual life to the fullest!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wednesday Word-New Life

“For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.” ~ Romans 6:5-9
Christ died, but He rose from the dead. If you have accepted Him as Lord and Savior then you have died as well. You have died to your old sinful nature. You used to be a slave to sin. There was no hope for your soul. But now you have new life. You died with Christ, but were also raised with Him.

Anyone who is dead to sin has been made free from sin. No matter how you feel, sin has no control over you. No more than you give it. You have the ability to overcome sin because of the new life given to you through Christ’s resurrection. Christ proved His power over sin and death. That same power now lives in you.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tuesday Truth-New Life

Walking into the new life Christ gives requires hard work! The moment we are born again we become new creatures with new minds. However our old nature still exists. How old were you when you came to Christ? Then that many years of your old sinful nature were programmed into your mind when you started walking with Christ. This, along with the fact that most don’t get serious about our relationship with Jesus until many years after we are born again, means living this new life will be difficult.

Therefore in every person the old nature has some advantage due to longevity and familiarity.  But because we have been born again the same God who raised Christ from the dead is living in us. The power to triumph is in us. Now we must yield to Him. Constant Bible study, prayer, meditation, and watching our influences are vital. Can this be hard? Yes. Is knowing Christ more and overcoming bondage worth the work? DEFINITELY!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday Motivation-New Life

Christ rose from the dead just for you! Thank God that not only did Jesus die, but that He rose again. Our Lord conquered death with ease. He proved that He is more powerful than sin. Jesus truly possesses all power. Greater than this, however, is that the new life of Christ is extended to you as well.

When we accept Jesus as Savior we are born again spiritually (John 3). God’s Spirit permanently indwells us (John 14:16). Each of us becomes a new person with a new mind. Whatever you used to be does not define you. No habits, mindsets, addictions, mistakes, or even others’ perceptions of you are important. God has given you new life. Just as Christ physically died and rose to new life; we have done the same (Romans 6). We have died to our old selves and are born again spiritually. If you have accepted Christ, then you are not your past. You do not have to continue life the same way. You can come out of whatever it is. You can be complete and experience a fulfilling life. You are God’s dear child; born again to new life in Him.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Friday Freedom-God’s Ways

Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.
He did it just for you. With His very life Christ paid the price for your sins. His blood was shed to set you free. You are precious. You are valuable in the sight of God. The Father gave His only Son so that He could know you better. You may see where you are, but God sees your true worth. You may feel filthy, dirty, and worthless, but you are spotless in God’s sight (through Christ). The debt has already been paid. Christians it is time to walk in newness of life.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thursday Thought-God’s Ways

When was the last time you just thought about how awesome God is? God does not need anything or anybody. He created us for Him and we went astray. He could have just wiped out the entire human race. He could have just damned us all to Hell. Or He could have just forgotten about us completely. But God loves us. God loves you. Being omniscient God always knew we would go astray, but He created man anyway. AND He still loves us. Wow…

He knew we could not redeem ourselves, so God made the way for us. God is Love, but He is also the Righteous Judge. Sin had to be punished so He took the punishment Himself. Make it personal. Jesus Christ knew everything you would do, yet He still died for you. Every time you would ignore Him. Every time you would put another person before Him. Every single time you would sin. Yet He still allowed Himself to be spit on, beaten, flogged, talked about, lied on, and eventually crucified JUST FOR YOU. Wow…

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wednesday Word-God’s Ways

'And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.'~ Mark 14:36
We can learn a great deal from Jesus’ prayer to the Father. He knew exactly why the Father sent Him; to die for the sins of the world. However, the night before He would be crucified Jesus prayed and asked God the Father to ‘take this cup’ from Him; to change His fate of being crucified. Then Christ essentially says ‘I don’t want to follow my own plans, I want to follow yours.’

Jesus made His feelings about the matter abundantly clear. Immediately after, though, He expressed that He would follow the Father’s plans above all else. There is nothing wrong with telling the Lord how you feel. However we are still called to follow God’s will no matter how we feel. Jesus went on because He knew His death was necessary to fulfill God’s plans. God didn’t say you have to feel like obeying Him. He just said you must obey Him. Walk where He leads you knowing great pain leads to great victory.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tuesday Truth-God’s Ways

Friend, Jesus Christ is proof that the Almighty Omniscient God loves you! You can rest in that truth. No ordinary person would give up their child for another person; especially not for sinful folks like you and me. Only a few people would give their very life for a close friend. God sending His Son for us was a totally and completely selfless act. God does not need us in anyway. However we are worthless without Him.  He wanted to bring us back to Him.

When we get wrapped up in our problems we can easily feel like no one cares about us. Life can weigh us down to the point where we may feel unloved. But God loves us! God loves you so much that He became a man and allowed Himself to be brutally murdered just for you. He wanted a relationship with you that much. God cares about your thoughts. God wants to walk with you through your problems. Christ loves you. He is concerned about you.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday Motivation-God’s Ways

God’s has been preparing for your success since before time began! We are about to celebrate Christ’s resurrection this upcoming Sunday. We know Jesus walked this Earth roughly 2000 years ago, but the Father planned for Christ’s coming all along. The first promise of Christ coming to redeem mankind is in Genesis 3:15. Since the beginning of time God has been planning and preparing a way for you to overcome.

So what about the things you face now? To us these issues seem to just pop up out of nowhere. But The Lord always knew they were coming. Surely if God made such extensive plans to save you from sin, then He has prepared a way for you to conquer anything else you face. Since the beginning of time…Before the beginning of time God cared about your well-being. God is concerned about you. The plans, prophecies, and ultimate salvation work of Christ prove that! Walk confidently knowing this is true.