Renewing Your Mind

Romans 12: 2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

 

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. But exactly how do we do that? The “experts” say we do that my reading and studying God’s Word. And I think they’re probably right. Of course, there are other things (going to church; praying; praising…) we do as well but reading, studying, and knowing God’s Word is one of the best ways.

But why do we need to the renewing of our minds?  Life can be really difficult. First we have our own personal problems such as chronic illness, money problems, and difficult family relationships to name just a few. Then there’s the state of the country and the world to worry about, not to mention all the difficulties of our friends and families. Let’s not forget about all the tragedies.

If we don’t renew our mind on a regular basis, sadness, sorrow, worry, anxiety, and even anger are going invade our thoughts. The more we dwell on the negative–on how helpless we are or how “bad” the world is the more negative we become. Before you know it, we’ve lost the peace and joy that is our spiritual birthright.

And that’s why we need the renewing of our mind on a regular basis. But like the infomercials says–wait…that’s not all! Yes renewing our mind will keep us in a good place spiritually, but it does so much more than that. The second part of the verse says, Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.  As we renew our minds, we will begin to know God’s will for us.

How good is that!

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

 

 

 

 

 

Setting My Priorities

Matthew 6: 33 (KJV)

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you.

This verse popped into my head a few weeks ago, or at least the part about seek ye first the kingdom of God. So it’s become my new mantra. Seeking God first. It sounds simple enough but not always an easy things to do. I always plan to do that when I get to my office to start my workday. By my office, I mean upstairs at my house in my jammies. I’m retired now so writing has become my job. (Yay!!)

Anyway most weekdays, I get up spend some time with my husband then exercise. Then it’s off to work I go–hi-ho-hi-ho. So the plan is to always do a little Bible study first but…then I check my emails and answer a few…then that leads me to do this or that or the other thing…and before you know it, NO Bible study that day or the next or the next.

Sooner or later, I start to feel a bit unsettled. So I include some Bible study and then I begin to feel more settled. Then it slowly slips away again. And it becomes a cycle–not a good one. So when this verse popped into my head, I took it seriously. Which is why there are more devotions being posted lately.

Anyway…back to the verse: all these things will be added unto you. What things you might be asking? At least that’s what I asked. So I read the complete chapter and discovered it was Jesus speaking during the Sermon on the Mount. Here’s a few more verses to add clarity to the verse, this is from the NIV.

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

The bold print is mine. So you can see these verses are about Jesus telling us to not worry but instead to seek the kingdom of God and that God will take care of us. Sounds good, doesn’t it–a life with no worry, but not so easy to do. I don’t consider myself a big worrier but I still find myself worrying about things sometimes.

Because after all, life can be overwhelming at times. Worry is the opposite of trusting God. And above all, I want to honor God by trusting Him so I’ve been setting my priorities. And that means seeking God first and everything else comes second.

YOUR TURN: How about you? What interferes with you seeking God first?

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

In Step With The Spirit

Galatians 5: 25

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

I was curious what in step with the Spirit really means, so I looked it up. Here’s a small sample of what I found. The bold highlights are mine. If you want more information, do an Internet search of Galatians 5: 25.

Adam Clarke Commentary

If we live in the Spirit – If we profess to believe a spiritual religion, let us walk in the Spirit – let us show in our lives and conversation that the Spirit of God dwells in us.

Copyright Statement: These files are public domain.

Bibliography: Clarke, Adam. “Commentary on Galatians 5:25”. “The Adam Clarke Commentary”. //www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/galatians-5.html. 1832.

The Biblical Illustrator

 

 

 

 

 

Walking in the Spirit

1. …What is a man’s walk? It is his whole life, his whole conduct, outward and inward--all he thinks, feels, desires, speaks, does, suffers. To walk in the Spirit is to have the Holy Ghost originating, directing, controlling, and governing all these.

 

A Christian’s walk

“That man’s been in the army,” said a gentleman to his friend, the other day, as a stranger passed them in the street; “I know a soldier by his walk.” Men ought to know Christ’s soldiers by their walk. But how many are there of us who profess to march under His banner, who compel the world to take knowledge of us that we have been with Jesus? Often the community in which a man lives first learns that he was a Christian at his funeral.


Copyright Statement: These files are public domain.

Bibliography: Exell, Joseph S. “Commentary on “Galatians 5:25”. The Biblical Illustrator. “//www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/galatians-5.html”. 1905-1909. New York.

So…simply put in step with the Spirit means to live in such a way that others know you are a Christian. Some days I believe I do that and other days not so much. One thing I do know is the more I  depend on the Spirit, the more I stay in step with the Spirit.

YOUR TURN: What do you think it means to stay in step with the Spirit? Can you give a specific example?

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

Attitude is Everything!

Proverbs 17: 22

A cheerful heart is good medicine but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.

Yesterday I found out that I’m facing months of chemotherapy again for my brain tumors–third time actually–if the insurance company agrees. And of course, it comes right as I’m finally feeling better than I have in a long time. My chemo isn’t as bad as what a lot of people experience and for that I’m grateful. The main issue for me seems to be fatigue and it sabotages my weight loss.

My first reaction was to throw up my hands and say, “I give up!” Give up on trying to getting healthy. Give up on trying to lose more weight or even to maintain at this point. Just give up-give up-give up! But that didn’t seem to be the best attitude to have. And attitude is everything!

So I had my little pity party and then it was time to move on and be cheerful.

After all, the chemotherapy has saved my hearing twice in the past, and hopefully it will again. And that’s a really good thing! So what if I don’t feel quite as good for a while. So be it!

Attitude is everything! And I’m determined to have a good attitude–even if it kills me! That’s a joke! I’ve been dealing with my brain tumors for a little more than four years so I’ve learned a bit about how to keep a good attitude. Here’s some of the things I do to keep a cheerful heart in spite of difficult circumstances.

  1. Being thankful for all the good things in my life.
  2. Stay close to God through His Word. It’s amazing how powerful God’s Word is.
  3. Stay close to God through praying. The Bible encourages us to bring our petitions to God–so why not do it?
  4. Staying close to God through praising. Feeling down? Turn on some praise music or traditional hymns and be sure to sing along!
  5. Focus on other people–life isn’t just about me and my problems!

Those are some of my ways I keep a cheerful heart.

YOUR TURN:  What about you? What’s some of the ways you keep a cheerful heart in the midst of a storm?

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

Today’s Words of Wisdom

Proverbs 24: 16

For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again.

Bad things happen! That’s a fact of life, but giving up is not a godly option. When we fall, God wants us to pick ourselves up and rise again. It’s easy enough to pick ourselves up the first time and maybe the second time, but what about the tenth or the fiftieth?  I don’t think this verse means it’s ok to give up after the eight failure.  The point is not to give up–period.

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!

Today’s Word of Wisdom

Psalm 28: 7

The Lord is my strength and my shield, my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped.

I love this verse.

The Lord is my strength and my shield.  Strength is  the same thing as power. Shield represents protection so…God is our protector and gives us the power we need.

My heart trusts in Him, and I  am helped.  It doesn’t say I’ll trust God after I’m helped. The trusting comes first. It’s hard to say God, I trust you when something awful happens but when we do, God will be there to help us through it. I wish we lived in a perfect world where bad things don’t happen, but we don’t.

Not yet! Some day, we will. In the meantime, God wants us to trust Him in spite of our circumstances.

GOD BLESS & GOOD READING!