Saturday, September 24, 2011

Spirit Over Mind

"We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,"
2 Corinthians 10:5

Obedience to Christ begins in the mind. To live a life that pleases Him, we must make the decision to accept His teaching and conform every thought to His. This demands a constant yielding of our will to the Holy Spirit. When a sinful thought (a thought that gratifies self) enters our mind, we are to give it over to Christ and allow Him to give us His thought (a thought that glorifies God) in its place. This isn't mind over matter. It's Spirit over mind. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Remember His Wonders

"He has made His wonders to be remembered; The LORD is gracious and compassionate." Psalm 111:4

It is always a good idea to recall the wonderful works of our Father's hand. To meditate upon them and remember how full of grace and compassion He is. The Old Testament is full of examples of His faithfulness to His people. Think of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. David and Daniel and Joseph. And, of course, the coming of our Lord -- His life, death and resurrection -- is a testimony to God's wonders. As we look at our own lives, we can identify God's handprints there, too. From the day of our birth, to the end of our earthly days, God is working wonders. We would never come to Him, except He draws us. We would never praise Him, except He fills us with thanks. We would never love Him, except He loved us first. Remember the Lord's wonders. He has made them to be remembered.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Saintly Living

"to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours"
1 Corinthians 1:2

Do you think of yourself as a "saint"? I certainly don't think of myself as one, yet scripture teaches that whoever has been sanctified in Christ Jesus -- set apart for Him-- is a "saint by calling". As saints then, we are called to be holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:14-16); to live our lives in such a way that the world has the right opinion of God because of the way we behave. Holiness is a lifestyle choice. It's not being religious or subscribing to a set of rules. It's imitating Christ, obeying His word and turning away from the sins of our past. The sins that held us captive before we came to Christ. This may seem an impossible task, but with the Holy Spirit living inside within us it is absolutely possible. As we yield our will to His, we experience the joy of saintly living.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Otherness of God

"You thought that I was just like you;"
Psalm 50:21

In Psalm 50 God rebukes those who are hostile to Him: You thought I was just like you. Can you grasp the enormity of this statement? Put it in the negative and God is saying, "I am nothing like you." God is unique. Holy, majestic, supreme in every way. TV shows like Southpark make fun of God and dumb Him down. How sad. God is not mocked. Those who laugh at Him and think "He is just like us" will one day be confronted with their error and weep (Galatians 6:7-8). In his book Facedown, Matt Redman writes of the "otherness" of God and how it relates to true worship. "For worship to be worship," Redman says, "it must contain something of the otherness of God." Do you have a sense of the otherness of God? Are you in awe of HIm? In wonder of Him? If so, then you are a true worshipper. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

He Became Poor

"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich." 
2 Corinthians 8:9

This is an amazing truth that separates Christianity from every other religion. The Second Person of the Trinity abandoning the riches of His majesty and Divine glory in Heaven to become poor in human weakness on earth. The incarnation of Jesus Christ; God in the flesh. Still fully God, He became fully man. Condescending to humanity, stooping down, He chose to become one of us, so that we might become like Him. He became like us in form, but without sin, so that He could save us. The goal of His sacrifice was -- and still is -- that one day we would share in the riches of His glory in Heaven. That while we still have breath in our lungs we would come to Him and surrender our hearts and lives to Him. Thus He would become the Object of our love and trust, and through His Spirit living in us we would reflect the richness of His nature. This is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. He became poor so that we might become rich. Not because we deserve it, but because we don't. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Mighty Shield

"In addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one."
Ephesians 6:16

Our faith in God is a shield. What a wonderful truth this is. Through the darkest trials of our life, when the enemy means to harm us, our proclamation of faith in God rises up like a mighty shield to stop him. This powerful faith comes from God Himself. He deposits it in our heart the moment we receive Him. When Satan says, "God has abandoned you," faith answers, "Jesus said He will never leave nor forsake me." "You are weak," the devil says. Faith answers, "Jesus' strength is made perfect in my weakness." The evil one shoots flaming arrows of fear, but the shield of faith extinguishes them all with the words of Jesus, "Fear not. I have overcome the world." 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Words of Redemption

"Both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them."
Luke 15:2

"This man -- Jesus -- receives sinners and eats with them." The self-righteous Pharisees and Scribes meant this as a statement of condemnation, but for a sinner like me they are the words of redemption. Sinners know they need a Savior, and they respond when Jesus calls them. They know there's nowhere else to go. They say, as Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.” 
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