Friday, November 13, 2015

Eyes of Faith

Seeing what cannot yet be seen is he essence of faith.  It is looking TO, not looking AT! Faith keeps its eyes on the horizon, while walking on the shore. Faith is future oriented, but present driven!  If our faith makes no difference in our today's, it is not faith at all!

Question for the day: WHAT ARE YOU KEEPING YOUR EYES ON?

Moses is one of the greatest examples of Scripture.  See below...

“It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible.”
Hebrews 11:27 NLT

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Love: the reviver of the soul

“Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.”
Hebrews 6:11-12 NLT

The great remedy to spiritual back sliding is Love of others.  Love is the result of faith and endurance.  If you find yourself spiritually apathetic, the way out is love.  Love is the great reviver of the soul!!!

Monday, October 5, 2015

40 DOL-1: Knit Together in Love

As we launch or 40 Days of Love spiritual campaign over the next six weeks I am excited about what God is going to do in our lives and in our relationships.  Coming together for corporate worship, joining together in our life groups, and expressing our faith in love is our pathway to growth in this Fall season.

Perhaps today's Scripture will encourage you in your spiritual journey as well.

“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” (Colossians 2:6-7 NLT)

Monday, May 11, 2015

As a man Thinks: part #6

Our minds are able to focus on one thing at a time.  One truth, one focus, one emotion, one event, etc... As I conclude this online series about our thinking, I want to leave you with a powerful & practical encouragement found in a letter written to a church in the first Century.  It reads, 

"Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." (Philippians 4:8)

Fixing your thoughts means that you have the ability to choose what your mind focuses on.  This is true whether it is positive, negative, scary, joyful, encouraging, or draining.  Since we can choose, the teacher (Apostle Paul) gives us a helpful list of what to focus on.  Your thoughts are like the dart.  Paul is telling us to AIM WELL, and leaves us the pathway. 

1. What is TRUE:  So many focus on lies they have bought into about their identity, self-worth, future, and capacity.  In order to discover what is true, I would strongly encourage you to make a list of what God says about your live, and over your life. 
  • I DECLARE God’s incredible blessings over my life because of Jesus.  
  • I DECLARE I will experience God’s faithfulness.  
  • I DECLARE I have the grace I need for today. I am full of power, strength, and determination.  
  • I DECLARE it is not too late to accomplish everything God has placed in my heart. 
  • I DECLARE I am grateful for who God is in my life and for what He’s done.  
  • I DECLARE a legacy of faith over my life.  
  • I DECLARE that God has a great plan for my life.  
  • I DECLARE God’s dream for my life is coming to pass. (Taken from Joel Osteen's I DECLARE)

2. What is HONORABLE:  What behavior and choices are Able to be Honored.  Whether they come to light before others, or just between you and God, what can be honored.  Anything else only bring about shame.  

3. What is RIGHT:  Simply put, that which is approved and acceptable to God.  It is less about following the list of Don't, but what is right is also that which is righteous.  When our lives are "right" there is great freedom and peace in our minds.  We no longer have to hide or cover up.  

4. What is PURE: The term "pure" for Paul refers to that which is free from what he terms the flesh.  It is the carnal part of our lives, that must be brought into submission to the life of Jesus in us.  The more room we give for Jesus, the less room there is for the flesh.  The pure life is a powerful life.  It is unpolluted or diluted by the flesh.  

5. What is LOVELY & ADMIRABLE (Good Report): It is that which is worth speaking and sharing.  If it is not worth repeating, it is not worth doing or saying the first time.  

The Apostle ends with "Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise."  If it is worthy to be CELEBRATED, is not worth your thoughts.  Don't invest your energy or time in what can't and shouldn't be celebrated.  

Your mind (thoughts) determines the trajectory of your life.  Don't leave it to happenstance or random emotions that come and go.  Think on purpose, Think for your future, Think for your life… THINK ON THESE THINGS!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

As a Man Thinks, part #5... PREOCCUPATION WITH SELF

The condition of our minds that I would like to address today is that of Preoccupation!

What are you preoccupied with?  

For most we are preoccupied with ourselves, our circumstances, our relationships, our needs, our failures, etc...  Most of us can relate, for our needs and wants seem all consuming!

The paradigm of life in which all of life Surrounds me, begins with me, ends with me, and is all about me is a great form of evil that encompasses the human mind.  Most times (although not everytime) depression, emotional strife, difficulties, relational strain, and spiritual battles begin in the form of preoccupation with self.  Preoccupation with self is a great danger.  

It was the original trick of the enemy with Adam and Eve how had more than they needed or could ever ask. BUT, the devil deceived them with preoccupation, which led to sin.  His strategy is for you and I to get our eyes off of Christ and to put gaze upon self.  

Preoccupation is what caused David to sin with Bathsheba instead of focusing on his purpose. Preoccupation got Joseph in trouble with his brothers (bragging about his dreams) even when God's hand was upon him.  Preoccupation with self caused Ananias and Sapphira to sin against the Holy Spirit and then lose their lives.  

Paul alludes to this death that comes with preoccupation with self, which he encompasses with the term "THE FLESH".  He these words, 
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:5-8)
That last sentence is so powerful... for in this "realm" we cannot please God.  Why?  We are trying to please self at the expense or neglect of God.  

So this week, let me encourage you be FREED FROM PREOCCUPATION WITH SELF, and enjoy life in the Spirit, that keeps eyes on Christ!  The remedy is not to think less of yourself, but to think of yourself less!