Monday, August 17, 2015

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What's On Your Mind?

"Your thoughts control your words,
Your words control your actions,
Your actions control your conduct,
And your conduct controls your destiny;
the destiny of your soul."[1]

          We, as Christians, need to learn to rejoice by choice. The Bible tells us that "all things work together for good, to them who trust in Him"[2]. Even the most devout Christians are sometimes subject to forms of anxiety, depression, and fear. We know that these are all attacks, on our mind, by the destroyer. At times, even Jesus was subject to emotion: He was angry enough to purge the temple twice; He wept; He was distressed in the Garden of Gethsemane, but He never faltered or gave up on Himself or His mission.

          It rains on the just and the unjust. Rain can be a metaphor for bad times, but at the same time can be good for our crops. "Falling down is not the problem; staying down is. You were created to be victorious!"[3]

          You, having the availability of the mind of Christ, have to make a choice of what path to follow. Do you depend on the Lord and rejoice in Him, or do you succumb to the attacks of Satan. We need to repent for those times when we let the cares of this world, and Satan's attacks, cause us to deviate from our faith in God's ability to see us through. Yes, we are all subject to mans weaknesses, but we all have the Lords strength, if we
will seek it. It takes practice, and learning to  listen, to enable the "Holy Spirit", who in dwells us, to guide us into all righteousness. Life in Christ is a daily growing process. We have to 'exercise' our mind in letting the Spirit guide us. God has given us the guidelines for overcoming whatever is affecting our minds: it is the Bible and we must immerse ourselves in it daily. All decisions, right or wrong, are ultimately up to us. "Lead me, O Lord, in the path of righteousness."[4]

          It has been said that depression is the number one emotional problem today. I believe that the number one problem is the lack of trust (faith) in the Lords ability to sustain us. Only through submersion in His Word, and diligent prayer can we become the 'over comers' He desires us to be. This does not come about instantly. It comes by practice, exercise of our
minds and by testing every spirit.

          Anger is a form of frustration brought about by what we see happening around us. We should not give in to anger, but rather guide those feelings into being guided by righteous indignation. Righteous indignation guides us to seek out God's answers.

Philippians 4:6-7
"Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Matthew 6:33
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

1 Peter 5:7
"Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you."

Philippians 1:6
"Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:"
Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."

Psalm 43:5
"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God."

"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer."

Psalm 39:23-24
"Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

Philippians 2-4
"If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:"

Isaiah 26:3
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusts in thee."

2 Timothy 1:7
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

Romans 5:3-5
"And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."

          Political correctness is poison to common sense. In today's world, we Christians are looked down on for following what the Bible says.  We are often called self righteous, bigots, intolerant and haters. It is that we are living by antiquated ideas. Following the Lord has always come at a price. Jesus told us that if they didn't respect Him, they wouldn't respect us. If we truly have this in our minds, we will be able to overlook these slurs. We should respect their right to believe, or not believe, as they please. The Lord has never forced anyone to follow Him. This is just another reason why we need the mind of Christ, by the Holy Spirit living in us.

          "In Psalm 73 Asaph divulges that he had struggled with a problem that is, most likely, common to us all. Asaph looked out at the world and saw that the wicked prosper!  Psalm 73:3 'For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.' Not only do the wicked prosper, 'they increase in riches' (Psalm 73:12). God seems to blesses the wicked even though they are wicked. I labor for the Lord everyday and yet I do not have what this wicked man has. Modern vernacular would phrase Asaph’s quandary as: 'Why does God allow bad things happen to good people?' or 'Why does God allow bad people to prosper?' "[5]

          Who, or what, is affecting your mind? The Bible tells us that we are to love God with all our body, mind, soul and spirit. If you submit your will to the mind of Christ, there will be no room for the Devil. If you are filled with the Spirit of God, there will be no empty spot for Satan to enter.

          Even the apple of God's eye had his problems. Nathan let King David know that God was not unaware of his sins of adultery and murder, but in his mind he must have thought God didn't know.
          Would you recognize Jesus if He was standing in front of you? When Jesus came walking on the water the apostles didn't recognize Him. On the road to Emmaus, the two men He was talking to didn't recognize Him. The Pharisee's and Sadducee's and the Romans didn't recognize Him, as God. He made His way through the crowd, who wanted to kill him, probably because most people didn't recognize Him. How can we expect people to respect our Christianity if they can't see Him in us? We don't exude Jesus juice you know. People have to recognize us as Christians by our words and actions.

          Jesus is not a respecter of persons. John 10:16 tells us: "other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." Some day, "at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father"[6]. It is our job to share the Good News (Gospel) to our relatives, friends and acquaintances about the Love and Salvation available through Jesus, But we must do it His way: present the facts and let the choice be up to them. Jesus didn't twist anyone's arm and neither should we.

[1] Pastor John Hagee
[2] Romans 8:28
[3] Pastor John Hagee
[4] Psalm 5:8
[6] Phil.10-11 


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