It Is Time For You to Renew?

Isn’t it amazing how quickly renewals happen? It seems like you just joined and it’s already time to renew your subsciption or license, membership or affiliation. If you don’t renew you will be cut off from all the benefits of that organization, service, or priviledge.

The same is true in our walk with God. We are constantly in a need for renewal! It seems like our attitudes and thoughts are our greatest testimony against us, which is why, in the book of Ephesians, Paul warns us to RENEW!

Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Ephesians 4:23 NLT

 

The operative word in this verse is “let”; we must LET Holy Spirit do the renewing that we so desperately need. He won’t barge in and change things for us, we must surrender and LET Him do what is needed.

Are you willing to LET Holy Spirit renew your thoughts, your attitude today? Have you considered how badly you need it to happen?

Is it time for you to renew?

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Is Your Mind Ready For This?

coffeeI like to start my mornings with a cup of coffee and some quiet so that I can think through my day. It’s good to think ahead and plan for anything that might be a conflict in schedules or difficult meeting so that I can prepare my mind for come what may.

Though I do my best to plan for events, meetings, and chores, often times I’m caught off guard by the attitudes and emotions other people convey in their day-to-day activities. It’s in these times that I can be derailed from what I was trying to accomplish.

So if I don’t prepare my mind for the jerk who cuts people off on the road or the rude receptionist at the office, I’m certainly setting myself up for failure! The reality is that each day has its own share of troubles and grief – even Jesus said so! – therefore it’s foolish for me to not assume that tomorrow I will have opportunities to lose my cool.

F-report cardIt’s not like I’ve had a tremendous track record for keeping my composure under stress or maintaining a great attitude when dealing with frustrating people when I haven’t planned ahead, nor have I done well when temptation rears its head and I didn’t plan for it. In fact, I would estimate my performance pretty poorly!

Knowing this is the case, why wouldn’t I want to prepare my heart and my mind for what’s coming ahead. Every fighter, every athlete, every speaker, prepare’s their mind for what’s coming ahead; in the moment they exercise great self-control because they have prepared specifically for this moment!

In the Bible, the book of Peter warns us to prepare our minds…

So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control….           1 Peter 1:13 NLT

Can you imagine how much easier our days would be if we would assume that someone is going to behave poorly, someone is going to say something rudely or  someone is going to push your personal or professional boundaries?

This wouldn’t simply make our days easier, it would set us up to be ready to show the LOVE of Christ to people who, under normal circumstances, we may have written off because they frustrated us, disappointed us, or rejected us.

Take some time today to prepare your mind so that you can exercise some amazing self-control, share the love of Jesus, and find yourself walking in victory instead of regret!

How Attractive Are You?

In Luke 15, the very first verse starts off with a bang!

Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach.

The real question is, “Why?”. Why did they come to hear Him? Jesus’ message was a simple message of repentance, which I’m not sure if you know this or not, is not an attractive message with most people who are struggling in sin, or dead in their sins.

So why did they “often” come to hear Him?

As notorious as the sinners were for sinning, Jesus was a notoriously loving person. In fact, He is love. They were attracted to Him because He loved them more than their sins. He treated them better than the establishment of religion would ever dare to treat them.

He loved them unconditionally.

What would it look like for you to be attractive to sinners? Some automatically assume that to be attractive means to appeal to their senses or desires. Instead what if we appealed to the one common need every of human? Love.

What if we loved them as Christ loved them? In fact, they are the reason for the gospel! Just as you were once!

I challenge you to consider the way which you come across to agnostics, atheists, all unbelievers, those who believe differently than you. 

I challenge you to approach them with “no-strings-attached” love.

 

He Does Not Lie!

We are incredibly fickle creatures!Baloo Fickle Finger of Justice 2012 9-3

We change our minds and turn our backs on people with nearly no regard for consequences.

We will lie to people we love to keep from being discovered, gain more favor, or make them feel better about a situation.

I realize that this is hardly breaking news, not only have we all experienced someone else treating us this way, but we’ve all been the one who has treated others this way. After years of use and abuse of these attributes, we’ve learned not to fully trust anyone because ANYONE is capable of hurting us, and we are capable of hurting others as well.

We begin to see life through the unfocused lense of doubt and mistrust; this is perfectly understandable, even defensible, behavior given how we humans tend to treat each other.

raccoon

Trouble ensues, however when we think of God as a human; we engage in personification, treating something which isn’t human like it is human. We see this when someone dresses up their dog and uses little baby voices and speaking on behalf of the dog. “Ohhh…. I’m so glad to see you mommy!” 

Why is this an issue? Because God is not human, in fact He is a spirit. This changes everything – we cannot attribute our experiences, failures, and behaviors on Him when He isn’t anything like us! Look at what scripture says about Him.

God is not a man, so he does not lie.
    He is not human, so he does not change his mind.
Has he ever spoken and failed to act?
    Has he ever promised and not carried it through? Numbers 23:19 NLT

Just as we have attributes which cause us to change our minds, lie, and betray others – God’s attributes cause Him to love, cause Him to illuminate, and cause Him to tell the truth. He doesn’t just tell the truth, He IS the truth! He doesn’t simply have attributes – HE IS THE ATTRIBUTE!

Regardless how many PEOPLE have lied to you, how many PEOPLE have changed their minds, when God tells you He loves and that He will never leave you – He isn’t human, He doesn’t change His mind, nor does He lie!

You are loved… you are unconditionally loved… and as a follower of Jesus, you are locked into a love relatioship with God, a spirit, who will never change His mind about you!

Any promises God has made concerning you, will always and forever be true!