You have more power to change your thinking, than you might realize. The Bible tells us that we are renew our mind daily, on God’s Word for us. Many of us get defeated by our own wayward way of thinking. Many people don’t live a victorious life in God. People tend to believe the lies of satan and don’t end up believing in themselves at all. How do we overcome a negative mindset? One of the tactics of overcoming negative thinking is to identify strongholds in your life, and then replace the strongholds with biblical promises of God. It can be so defeating to live with lies from the enemy, but so freeing to live into the truth of God through the Bible. We need to create a new way of thinking.
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Have you ever concentrated on one word for the day, or for a week, or month, or even a year? We are practicing our one word for a year as a church together. God may be speaking one thing to you for the year, and He might be wanting you to focus on a single attribute of His, or a single thought for the year. We take a look at Philippians 3 and see that Apostle Paul wants us to forget what is behind (in his case, legalism) and press on to what is ahead (our identity in Jesus Christ), and see that God is calling us to lean forward into faith this coming year. What is your one word for the year?
Jesus taught us to forgive others, so that the Heavenly Father can forgive us.
Jesus doesn’t ask us how we “feel” about this conditional statement in his sermon on the mount. In fact, most of the Bible doesn’t ask the reader how we feel about what God says. In light of that, how is forgiveness working out in your life? Are you one who holds a grudge? Are you letting the evil stored up in your heart spill out onto others, or are good things spilling out of your life? When God asks us to forgive others who offend us, think politics, think personal offenses, think mistakes made … He is asking our hearts to be in line with His heart, since God forgave us more than we could ever ask.
Let’s put it this way, maybe you only have to forgive others, as much as God as already forgiven you … that’s all. If we can figure out how to forgive, then our capacity to love will be even greater still. Let’s walk in the wholeness and grace of God’s forgiveness, which spills out onto others.
The Lord is asking you and me the same question when it comes to loving our neighbors, “What do you have in your house, to help one another”? You and I have a part to play in helping the gospel of Jesus Christ advance in the world. We work with our neighbors to provide long lasting transformational work in underdeveloped communities. Covenant World Relief is a partner organization with Serve Globally, a wing of the Evangelical Covenant Denomination.
The church has gotten away with pride for too long. Scripture teaches the Church, quite clearly, to put aside issues of pride. We are to lean on humility and grace. In fact, God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. How are you working on identifying pride in your life, and working on eliminating it from your every day life? God calls us to humility because we cannot both worship God and worship self at the same time. Let’s grow in humility.
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Do you face persecution as a faith person? Do you face trials that want to hurt your faith? We all face some kind of opposition in life, and even Jesus said, “don’t be surprised with people persecute you because of me, in fact, rejoice in your suffering.” We are called to a new perspective in suffering trials. Peter tells us to not be surprised with trials come, because we are enduring suffering with Jesus, as we walk by faith. Trials that come will make us stronger in faith when we endure to the end. We don’t want to be lawn chair Christians, kicking back and taking life easy. It seems like like would be better to not suffer for faith, but in the end that kind of easy life faith makes us weak and useless for God.
The culture says to “go with the flow”, “let it ride”, “don’t ruffle feathers”. When it comes to living like the culture, the enemy wrote the book on how to “fit in” without making waves. Wouldn’t the enemy of our soul just love to see us not be different from the world? He’s a jerk. God, however, calls us to live differently from the culture. We have a calling to live HOLY and wholly different from society.
We are being transformed into the image and likeness of Jesus, so therefore, we are called to not emulate the behavior of the world. It’s important to get the order of things right, however. We don’t act with ethical and moral values to earn God’s favor, we already have God limitless favor, therefore we act in accordance to God’s Holy Standard. “But I’m not like other people,” you may say. Well, the standard isn’t “other people”, the standard is God’s holiness.