Friday, July 27, 2018

What Fills Your Mind?

What Fills Your Mind?
Philippians 4:8 KJV
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 

You could consider the above verse to be highly important in your life. Because there are thoughts that occupy your mind and become more critical as time passes, your thoughts will determine the extent of your love for God, and your love for others. Your life, as you know it today, is a result of your process of thinking yesterday. Your life tomorrow will be determined by what you think and do today.

A healthy thought life comes out of a close relationship with Christ: reading His Word, praying and being obedient to what the Bible instructs. This is essential! As a believer, you need to be sure your ideas about God are accurate, biblical, and true. Inaccurate and unbiblical views about God and the gospel of Christ are damaging to your faith.

When we view ourselves through the lens of God’s Word, we can replace the negative, self-defeating thoughts with His truth. We are worthless sinners, and without Christ, we are unquestionably lost in hopelessness and despair.  Remembering what Christ has done for us and what is TRUE according to the gospel is essential. “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s”  (I Corinthians 6:20). It is in Christ that our heart is guarded and secure.

The capability to think biblically, and live out the gospel message in our lives, comes only through the influence of the Holy Spirit. Don’t waver in your faith being tossed to and fro thinking opposing and unfruitful thoughts. The Apostle Paul taught in Philippians 4:8 that Christians are to reflect on things that are true, honest, just, etc., for in your human weakness God’s grace is still sufficient for all.

Lord, keep my mind stayed on You.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Witnessing with Boldness

Witnessing with Boldness

Acts 14:8-15

Paul and Barnabas are in the city of Lystra giving the gospel. We see Paul’s boldness in his witness for Christ and his humility. There is no mention of a synagogue in the city so most likely, he is preaching to a crowd of people gathered in the marketplace or town square. As Paul begins to speak, he looks upon a man that has been crippled from birth–– “perceiving that he had faith to be healed.” Paul commands the man to stand up and immediately the man leaps up and walks.

When this miracle took place, the men of the city cried out in Lycaonian, “The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men!” According to tradition or folklore, the gods Zeus and Hermes visited Lystra incognito. They asked for food and lodging but everyone turned them away except one old man and his wife. This so displeased the gods that they took vengeance upon the people of the city, drowning them by a great flood. The couple that took them in was spared this plight. Their humble home was made into a temple where they served as a priest and priestess. The people of Lystra believed Barnabas to be Zeus, Jupiter, and Paul to be Hermes, Mercury.

Paul and Barnabas didn’t become proud or desire the praise of men; but cried out to the people, “stop this ritual we are men as you are.” They preached the gospel to them telling them of the Creator of heaven and earth. After restraining the crowd from offering sacrifices for them, some Jews from Antioch and Iconium came to Lystra persuading the crowd to stone Paul. One minute they were desiring to sacrifice oxen for Paul and Barnabas and then were plotting to stone Paul. They dragged him outside of the city, leaving him for dead. Paul survived the stoning and continued to the city of Derbe, to preach the Good News. He believed that proclaiming Christ was his sole purpose for living.

Lord, may I boldly give the gospel of Christ.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Teaching Your Children (Part 2)

Teaching Your Children (Part 2)
Training children is not an easy task, but it is extremely rewarding. We, as parents, are instructed to train up children in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord.” We are to love, discipline, and instruct them in the precepts of the Word of God. We are instructed never to provoke, annoy, or anger our children with unreasonable demands or criticisms. But, we are to bring our children up to respect the ways of God as a foundation of life in godliness, with blessings.
Teach your children to obey –– Proverbs 1:8, “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law (teaching) of thy mother:” Proverbs 6:20-23, My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law (teaching) of thy mother: Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.  When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. For the commandment is a lamp; and the law (teaching) is light; and reproofs of instruction (discipline) are the way of life:”
It is an unbelievable thing to watch young mothers today trying to get their children to obey. They stroll through the store with a screaming child while they count to numbers that mean absolutely nothing. They attempt to threaten or intimidate their children into obedience but never succeed. The parent continues to ignore the fit that has proceeded throughout the store, and the child has not yet obeyed. Is that a picture of “Teaching your child to obey?” No! Teaching a child to obey takes time and discipline on the part of the mother/parent. Sometimes, it’s the embarrassment that causes a mother to just say, “forget it!” We can’t do that if we want our children to learn the godly aspect of obedience. Teaching a child to obey, mom and dad is important and biblical because it guides a child into the practice of obeying God as they mature and grow older.

Lord, help me to train my children to obey.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Teaching Your Children (Part 1)

Teaching Your Children

Deuteronomy 6:5-8 KJV
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. . .

The book of Proverbs is a practical guide for mothers and fathers to impart to their children the wisdom of God. There are wonderful lessons for your children that will serve them well their entire lives.

What is a healthy fear of God? Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” There are two kinds of fear mentioned in the Bible. One fear is the fear of the Lord, which is good and to be encouraged. The second kind of fear is a "spirit of fear"  (2 Timothy 1:7), which is a hindrance to one’s faith in God.
What does it mean to fear the Lord? To have a correct view of God with an attitude of respect and awe. This includes His unfailing love, mercy, power, and His glory. The fear of the Lord contains many blessings and benefits one of which is true salvation. Also, this fear leads to wisdom and brings genuine rest and contentment (Proverbs 19:23).  
What does it mean to guard the heart? Children need to be taught to protect their minds. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” To watch over their heart means a parent needs to be a safeguard regarding their minds, their emotions, and their will. The heart is like a depository and parents are to be careful about what their children watch, read, and listen to. Their minds are simple, uncomplicated and somewhat unaffected by the things of this world. That’s why they need guidance through their formative years in the things that enter the eye gate –– impacting the heart.

Lord, I pray for wisdom to be able to guide my children in the fear of the Lord.