Friday, February 28, 2014

God-breathed

- Timothy was one of the first second-generation Christians. His mother and grandmother faithfully taught him the Holy Scriptures (the Old Testament to be exact) when he was a small child. Parents' task is very important. Grand parents can help, too :). Teaching children at home about God is both an opportunity and a responsibility.
- Timothy was to continue in what he had been taught. Paul wanted Timothy and all of us to know that we never outgrow the Word of God. The Bible is the one antidote against apostasy and corruption in the Body of Christ. We see what happened when the Roman Church ignored the Bible. The Dark Ages ensued. The Holy Scriptures give us true wisdom and enable us to quickly detect any false teaching.
- The whole Bible is God's inspired Word. The Bible is not human ideas about God. Through the Holy Spirit, God revealed His person and plan to certain believers who wrote down His message. "Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." (2 Peter 1:20-21) The writers wrote down what God wanted them to write. All Scripture is completely trustworthy because God was in total control of its writing from beginning to end.
- God's Word is entirely authoritative and profitable for our faith and our lives. It's useful for teaching us about Who God is, what God does, what God desires, how to be saved, and all that God wants us to know & apply it to our lives. The Bible is our standard for testing what we hear/are taught. "Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." (Acts 17:11) It's our safeguard against false teaching.
- God's Word is useful for rebuking/reproof. The Scripture is the Spirit's tool for convicting us. "For the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12)
- God's Word is useful for correcting. It shows us where we go wrong and directs us to the right path. It helps us improve spiritually.
- God's Word is useful for training us in righteousness/Godliness/Christlikeness. It's our source of guidance for how we should live.
- In our zeal for the truth of Scripture, we must never forget its purpose--to thoroughly equip us, servants of God, to do good work...to do Christ's work in the world for God's glory. "Seek not to grow in knowledge chiefly for the sake of applause, and to enable you to dispute with others; but seek it for the benefit of your souls." (~Jonathan Edwards)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Be A Welcome Mat, Not A Stumbling Block

- "A child" or "these little ones" refer to those who believe in Jesus with a humble, childlike faith.
- Jesus wants us to welcome other believers because of Him, not because of prestige, wealth, appearances, etc. Doing so is regarded as done to Christ Himself.
- Avoid causing other believers (including children) to stumble. The awful judgment awaits those who would cause believers to stumble or turn away from their faith. False teachers, for example, will receive severe punishment.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Gift of Arrows

- Children are blessings/rewards from the Lord, valued highly by Him. Every child is a miracle and a precious gift from God. We are to cherish them, our "treasures". Sadly, some people view and treat children as an inconvenience or nuisance. Raising children is an honor. Children bring us joy. I am a blessed mom!
- Children are like arrows in the hands of a warrior...a powerful weapon against the enemy. Arrows must be sharpened, polished, and made ready to hit the mark. They cannot be crooked or dull. We, as parents, must patiently, diligently, and faithfully prepare our arrows that God has given us to be effective arrows for His kingdom. This is a task that requires much prayer, energy, strength, and wisdom.
- We are to train our children to know how to contend for the faith. Teach them not only the Bible, but also apologetics. It's very important for them to know why they believe what they believe; otherwise, when they are questioned about their faith, they will not know what to say and often they start to doubt their own faith. Will the world change our children or will our children change the world? Our children need to experience authentic faith (not borrowed faith) for themselves. Where do you aim your "arrows" at? Let's be intentional about raising our children to impact their culture, community, and world for Christ....to leave their mark for eternity.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

That They May Know and Not Forget

- Learn from the past. We will not hide these truths from our children. We want the next generation and all the future generations to know God's mighty deeds, power, and wonders. Tell them how He has been faithful throughout the Scriptures, in your own lives, and other people's lives...so that each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting His glorious miracles and obeying His commands. Our important task and purpose is to help each generation obey God and put their trust in God.
- Learning from the past also can help keep them from repeating the same mistakes as their ancestors. We learn how easily the Israelites kept forgetting what God had done for them. They turned away from Him even after all the great wonders God had done for them. It's recorded in God's Word so that we can avoid the same errors. It's imperative that we pass on the accounts of God's faithfulness, blessings, and mighty acts to our children lest we and/or they forget. What are we doing to pass on the history of God's work to the next generation?
- Leave a lasting legacy of love for God. Leave a Godly legacy. Our own story is still being told; we must choose wisely how we live. What will we leave behind for our children and future generations? Will our lives testify to the unfailing love, grace, and faithfulness of God--or the temporary things of this world?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Everyday and Everywhere

- It is clear here that it's the parents' important responsibility to train, educate, disciple, equip, and nurture our children with God's Word.
- For the perpetuation of God's principles among His people, they were not to only depend on public instruction, but were to teach their children diligently at home. Back in the Old Testament time, books were few and scattered, the people were to write important parts of the Law on their doorposts and tie them on their hands/arms and foreheads, and talk of them constantly. Passing on the faith was at the very center of God's law. Eternal truths are most effectively learned in the loving environment of a God-fearing, God-honoring home.
- I am thankful for homeschooling. It gives me plenty of opportunities daily to impress God's Word on my children, to talk & discuss about the Scriptures, and to answer any questions they may have about God and His Word. Teaching about God and His Word needs to be an integral part of life, using the context of daily experiences. We must help our children see God in all aspects of life. In our family, we desire God's Word to be heard, seen (displayed), read, studied, memorized, and applied everyday and everywhere.
- We must teach our kids to love and follow God; otherwise, the world will teach them to love and follow the world (worldliness). We also must live out our faith at home. Our children are learning from us, whether we realize it or not. To them, the things we do or don't do speak just as loudly as the things we say. Do we live each day by the Book (God's Word)? The previous verses right before these say, "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts." (Deuteronomy 6:4-6) Our children can tell if these commandments are on our hearts and being lived out in our lives or not. It will not do our children any good if we do not walk the talk! Hypocrisy in parent(s) will likely turn children away from God.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday's Fave Five #92

It's time for another Friday's Fave Five (hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story)

My Fave Five this week:
1. I had a wonderful time at the Chinese New Year celebration on Saturday at George Fox University. Great food. Great performances. And great company.

2. I have been in a Haiku mood. I've enjoyed writing one or more Haiku every day. I post them on Facebook and on my Coram Deo Daily blog. Here's one of them:


God's law: God's mirror
Reveals that we're flawed and lost
We need a Savior

God's grace: God's rescue
Declares us righteous in Christ
Redeemed and made new


3. I love this testimony of Scott Hamilton. I've always liked him and I'm so glad he is one of my brothers in Christ. Yeah!


4. Two excellent articles about following Jesus by living and giving radically...
here and here.

5. I like this quote by Joni Eareckson Tada: "People are only as secure as the source of their security; if we are secure in Christ, then we have every reason to be confident." I also love the song "Alone Yet Not Alone" sung by her. It was nominated for Oscar but later got rescinded.

P.S.
You can read my review of The Marriage You've Always Wanted by Gary Chapman and enter a giveaway at http://fivesavedbygrace.blogspot.com/2014/02/book-review-and-giveaway-marriage-youve.html . I highly recommend this book! Ends 2/28. Low entries!

Sharpeners We Are

- We can help one another become sharper mentally and spiritually. We can exchange ideas and insights. We can challenge one another and stimulate growth. We can learn from one another. Dull knives and swords are not useful. Neither are dull Christians :). Let's rub off on one another for good and for God's glory! "When we are engaged in community from the body of Christ, a natural by-product is that we sharpen each other to be more effective for the kingdom and more like Jesus." (~Stovall Weems)
- As we surrender our lives to God and fill our hearts and minds with God's wisdom through God's Word, we can impact the lives of others.
- Fellowship helps us grow in our faith. "Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching." (Hebrews 10:24-25)
- "When you grind two pieces of iron together, you may get sparks, but it's not just one piece of iron that is sharpened; both pieces benefit from the process. Don't ignore this vital part of your Christian walk!" (~David McGee) Interaction with other believers may not always be comfortable. Someone may see areas where we are weak or where we fail to glorify God. Sometimes, we are not aware of the "sore spot" and someone brings to our attention the need to repent and change. All must be done in love and humility whether we're the sharpeners or the sharpened.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Grieving God or Pleasing God?

- It's interesting that verse 30, "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with Whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." is sandwiched between these other verses about some don't's and some do's. To ponder: Are we grieving God or pleasing God with our words, attitudes, and actions?
- We must not allow any corrupt/morally rotten/vile/unwholesome communication. Our words should be good, necessary, edifying, gracious, truthful, beneficial, and helpful to those who hear them. We must learn to tame our tongue.
- Psalm 19:14 has become part of my daily morning prayer (before getting out of my bed): "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."
- We are to get rid of all bitterness (resentment, animosity, rancor), rage (violent anger/violent & uncontrolled action) and anger, brawling (a noisy quarrel or fight) and slander (a malicious statement or report, evil speaking), along with every form of malice (the desire to harm others or to see others suffer). Bitterness is a result of unforgiveness (spiritual poison). "Anger is a choice, as well as a habit. It is a learned reaction to frustration, in which you behave in ways that you would rather not." (~Wayne W. Dyer) We must strip away all these sins which grieve the Holy Spirit. If we eliminate these from the closet of our heart, we will likely clean up our conversation at the same time.
- We, as Christ's followers, are to keep on being kind, compassionate (tenderhearted), and forgiving. "I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now." (Unknown) To be tenderhearted means to be moved by another's distress, to feel another's pain, to have sympathy/empathy for another's suffering. Forgive each other just as in Christ God forgave you! "Whenever I see myself before God and realize something of what my blessed Lord has done for me at Calvary, I am ready to forgive anybody anything. I cannot withhold it. I do not even want to withhold it." ~Martin Lloyd Jones
- "Do not keep the alabaster boxes of your love and tenderness sealed up until your friends are dead. Fill their lives with sweetness. Speak approving, cheering words while their ears can hear them and while their hearts can be thrilled by them." ~Henry Ward Beecher

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Love Is The Glue

- We are to be patient with one another and forgive one another for whatever grievances we may have. Be quick to show grace; be ready to show mercy!
- Yesterday, we learned that we're to love like Jesus. Today, we learn that we're also to forgive like Jesus. Unconditionally. To forgive others is to imitate Christ.
- The key to forgiving others is remembering how much God has forgiven us. We must forgive those who offend/wrong/hurt us. Each of us has sinned many more times against God than others have against us.
- Freely give grace and forgiveness because you've been freely given grace and forgiveness. "Freely you have received; freely give." ~Jesus (Matthew 10:8b)
- The virtue that sums up, gives meaning to, and cements all these other virtues (compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience) is love. To practice any of these virtues without love means nothing. "Love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." (Romans 13:9b-10) Love unifies people.
- Realizing God's infinite love and forgiveness for us can help us love and forgive others. We definitely need the Holy Spirit to enable us to love and forgive like Jesus.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Love Like Jesus

- Jesus commands us to love others as He loves us. Self-sacrifice kind of love!
- The proof of love is the willingness to die/lay down our lives/put selves aside for others. "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters." (1 John 3:16) We may not have to die for someone but there are other ways to demonstrate sacrificial love such as giving, encouraging, helping, listening, spending time with them, being there for them.
- Such a standard of love can be accomplished only as Christ's own love is flowing through our lives!
- Prayer: Dear Lord, may Your love overwhelm us and flow through us continually. Please empower us to love others like you do... unconditionally, selflessly, and sacrificially. Please help us to die to self repeatedly and daily. May everything we do be motivated by love and done in love!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Two Are Better Than One

- There's strength in number. There are advantages to cooperating with others. Better. Stronger. More effective. God creates us to be in community, hence the Body of Christ. We're not here on earth to serve ourselves, but to serve God and others.
- Don't isolate yourself and try to do life alone. Be a team member. "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." (~African proverb) Life is hard enough; we need one another.
- "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." (Galatians 6:2) Love, help/support, encourage one another, and pray for one another! The Scripture is filled with "one another" verses.



Friday, February 14, 2014

God-fearing Woman

- Charm and beauty are what the world focuses on and places women's values on. Charm tends to deceive. Beauty does not last. A virtuous woman is God-fearing and people-loving. She is a blessing to others. Her inner beauty shines and attracts people to the Lord.

- She will be honored and praised for what she has done. She is industrious, resourceful, prudent, responsible, thoughtful, kind, and generous. But most important of all, she has reverence for the Lord! That's the crown of her character. She is guided and governed by God's principles.

- True virtue will receive its praise--both from God and man.

- "Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." (1 Peter 3:1-4)

Friday's Fave Five #91

It's time for another Friday's Fave Five (hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story)
My Fave Five this week:

1. Last weekend, it was snow pretty :)! We had our own Winter Olympics here. Sledding Race. So much fun! One of my favorite things about snow is: having my husband home with us for four days in a row!

2. My daughter who is away at college also enjoyed snow this past weekend. She made a video sharing the simple joys of snow by using her iPhone.

3. My daughter (same one...I only have 1 daughter) has interned as a director and editor of Split Screen (a weekly show about video games) at her college's TV station.

4. I'd like to share 3 of my favorite Thai commercials: One about KindnessJane's Secret, and Mom's Choice. I was born and raised in Thailand. These made me proud :).


5. You can read my review of The Marriage You've Always Wanted by Gary Chapman and enter a giveaway here. Fantastic book!

Happy Valentine's Day! Feliz Día de San Valentín! 情人節快樂! Chúc mừng Ngày lễ Tình yêu! Glad alla hjärtans dag! ハッピーバレンタインデー! มีความสุขในวันวาเลนไทน์ ! Maligayang Araw ng mga Puso! Gelukkige Valentijnsdag!

I made a Valentine's Day gift for you all. Please feel free to print it out if you like :).


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Older Women

- Older Christian women should be exemplary women of God in speech and in conduct.
- They should be reverent in the way they live. "Reverent"--showing great reverence for God, leading a godly life, being very respectful. It's interesting that synonyms for "reverent" include respectful, humble, meek, and submissive. They're the same adjectives describing how wives should be :).
- They should not be slanderers (false accusers). "To slander" means to utter false and malicious statements that damage the reputation or well-being of another.
- They should not be addicted to much wine (or to anything for that matter). Addiction is bad. It shows lack of judgment and self-control.
- They should teach what is good. The older should teach the younger by words and by example. This is how values are passed on from generation to generation. Some of us are now of an age where people (at least our own children if no one else :)) start looking up to us, let's make sure that our example is motivating younger believers to live in a way that honors God.
- To stay above reproach, we need God's wisdom and discernment to be discreet and to master our tongues and passions so that Christ would not be dishonored. Self-control is necessary.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Christ Is the Key

- Submission is a beautiful word! A heart that loves God is a heart of humility and submission. We are to humbly submit to God and "to one another out of reverence for Christ" (Ephesians 5:21). Biblically, submission means willingly surrendering one's rights to another person based on the order God has established. Submission is the opposite of demanding one's own way.
- Christ is the Head of the Church. The husband is the head of the wife. "But there is one thing I want you to know: 'The Head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God." (1 Corinthians 11:3) Christ (God's Son) relates to God the Father in submission. Headship is not the same as dictatorship.
- Want a happy & fulfilled marriage? Follow God's design and plan. The marriage relationship was designed by Him to represent the spiritual relationship between Christ and His Church. This passage shows how the wife should relate to her husband and how the husband should relate to his wife.
- Submission is practical. It brings order in a marriage relationship. Wives are to submit to their own husbands as they submit themselves to the Lord. It means we are to willingly accept, support, and follow our husbands' leadership in Christ. Submission does not mean slavery. And husband leadership in the home has nothing to do with superiority. Husbands and wives have equal worth, value, and dignity but different God-appointed roles. Differences don't mean deficiencies. Ignoring God's ideal for marriage will only bring about chaos, conflict, and disunity. Imagine constant tugs of war or ineffective stalemate.
- Christ is the Key! A Christ-honoring husband will not take advantage of his leadership role and a Christ-honoring wife will not try to undermine her husband's leadership.
- Husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies...as Christ loves His Church by laying down their lives. Love unconditionally (regardless of how his wife looks, acts, or submits), sacrificially, and selflessly! Wives' well-being (not only physically but also spiritually) is husbands' primary concern.
- "What does it mean to submit? It is to give oneself up to somebody. What does it mean to love? It is to give oneself up for somebody, as Christ 'gave Himself up' for the church. Thus 'submission' and 'love' are two aspects of the very same thing, namely of that selfless self-giving which is the foundation of an enduring and growing marriage." ~John Stott
- Let's put Philippians 2:3-5 into practice in our marriage relationship. "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus." When we have Christlike attitude, we're willing to give up our own rights for the good of others; we discover that it's far better to submit, to serve, and to love than to have our own way.

P.S. You can enter to win a copy of The Marriage You've Always Wanted by Gary Chapman on my other blog at http://fivesavedbygrace.blogspot.com/2014/02/book-review-and-giveaway-marriage-youve.html . I highly recommend this book! Ends 2/28

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tempted and Disobeyed

- Satan tried to make Eve think that sin is good, pleasant, and desirable. His tactics today are still the same.
- Temptation often starts by seeing something we want. We must flee/run from those things that produce evil thoughts/desires.
- It's bad enough that Eve thought the fruit looked good and sounded good but she followed her desires with action. What if she recognized her desires but repented and refused to act upon them...? It's important for us to remember that whenever we're tempted, God provides us a way out. We must take the way out. No excuses, whatsoever. No lingering. We always have a choice to obey or disobey.
- Sin entered the human race when Eve and Adam succumbed to Satan's lies and temptation. Isn't it interesting that the Bible says "sin entered the world through one man"? Adam seemed to be held responsible for our sin mess. Adam, who witnessed the whole episode between Satan and Eve, chose to follow Eve in rebellion against God's will and command. When God questioned them, Eve blamed Satan and Adam blamed Eve (and God for putting her there with him). Yes, Eve gave the fruit to Adam but Adam didn't have to eat it. We must take a responsibility for our own actions! Quit blaming Satan and others for our sinful behaviors.

Monday, February 10, 2014

One Flesh

- God saw and knew the man's need. He made Eve to become Adam's companion and helper.
- God gave marriage as a gift to Adam and Eve. They were created perfect for each other.
- "The word for helper in Hebrew does not mean 'servant' or 'slave.' The word is most commonly used in the Bible in reference to God as our helper, often in a military sense. A helper in this sense would be someone--superior or equal-- who comes alongside to support another in a situation that can't be handled alone. According to this passage, man needed help--a partner every bit his equal whose strengths would compensate for his weaknesses." (commentary from the book, "Building a Marriage That Really Works")
- At the beginning of the human race, God designed and defined marriage: one man + one woman = one flesh.
- The husband is to leave his parents and to be united to his wife. Leave and cleave! Not only physically but also psychologically. However, it doesn't mean that we no longer honor our parents or that we quit listening to their advice/considering their wisdom.
- One flesh = a beautiful, intimate, committed union of the couple's hearts and lives. The goal in marriage should be oneness for the glory of God.
- "United"/ "One"--demonstrates the idea of loyalty, devotion, commitment, and permanence. Marriage is a picture of the relationship between Jesus and His church, the bride of Christ. Marriages are intended to be living testimonies of Christ's inseparable union with believers.
- "It is interesting that the word used for 'one' in Genesis 2:24...is the same Hebrew word used of God Himself in Deuteronomy 6:4 where we read, 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.'...The Scriptures reveal God to be Father, Son, and Spirit, yet one...The members of the Trinity do have varying roles, yet unity...Marital unity is not the kind of unity that eradicates personality. Rather, it is the kind of unity that frees you to express your own diversity, yet experience complete oneness with your mate. You are free to be all that God intends you to be, while experiencing all that God intended when He united us in marriage." (from the book, The Marriage You've Always Wanted by Gary Chapman)
- "There is no more lovely, friendly, and charming relationship, communion, or company than a good marriage." ~Martin Luther
- "What greater thing is there for human souls, than to feel that they are joined for life...to be with each other in silent unspeakable memories." ~George Eliot

Friday, February 7, 2014

What's On Your Mind?

- Facebook asks in the status box, "What's on your mind?" Great question, isn't it? Do our minds usually focus on earthly things or Heavenly things/things of God/things that are Christ-centered?
- Our citizenship is in Heaven above and this reality should direct our hearts and minds to our true home. We're just passing through this earth.
- Setting our minds on things above means focusing on the eternal rather than the temporal, looking at life from God's perspective, and seeking/desiring what God desires.
- This verse is the antidote to materialism. We must not become too attached to what is only temporary and/or too preoccupied with earthly things/concerns.

Friday's Fave Five #90

It's time for another Friday's Fave Five (hosted by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story).

My Fave Five this week:

1. Seahawks won their first Super Bowl! We enjoyed watching it and eating all the yummy foods while watching it :). We're glad to see the players using their platform for the glory of God. Check out this video!


2. On Tuesday, the kids and I watched the #creationdebate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham. We think Ken Ham did a great job. The Gospel and God's truths were proclaimed. Very proud of Ken Ham. Still praying for Bill Nye. If you missed the debate, you can still watch it at http://debatelive.org/ .

3. I like this video: Why Shouldn't Christians Accept Millions of Years?

I don't know why it's so hard for people to believe that God took 6 days for creation. He could have easily done all in a blink of an eye if He wanted to. He is God!

4. This week, I took two online quizzes: What Career Should You Actually Have? and Spiritual Gifts Test. Very interesting!

5. Snow! We Oregonians finally got substantial snow. Our family had lots of fun sledding!


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Obedience to Christ

- Paul talks about spiritual warfare and assures us that God's mighty weapons (Eph. 6:13-18) are powerful and effective. These weapons can demolish (tear down completely) the proud human arguments against the knowledge of God and every wall (barrier) that satan builds to keep people from finding God. All theories that are hostile to the Word of God will come to nothing.
- It's a battle! Paul uses military terminology. Satan wants to occupy/control our thoughts. He loves to fill our thoughts with lies, fears, doubts, discontentment, envy, arrogance, self-reliance, and others that are against what God says. Therefore, we must vigilantly seize/capture our every thought and submit it to Christ's control. Surrender and obey!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Think God's Thoughts

- What occupies our mind/our thoughts? What do we allow in our mind through our eyes and ears? What we feed our minds determine what comes out in our words and actions. We must examine what we're putting into our mind through books, television, internet, movies, magazines, and conversations. Harmful or wholesome? Lies or truth? Dirty or pure? Disgusting or lovely?
- This verse serves as an awesome guideline. Paul tells us to fill our mind with and meditate on things that are true, noble (worthy of reverence), right (just), pure (not mixed with elements that would debase our soul), lovely (that which inspires love), admirable (of good report), excellent, and praiseworthy. Think God's thoughts!
- Reading God's Word and praying help us focus our mind on God and on what is good and pure.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Renewed Mind

- Christians are called to be different. We are to cease being conformed to this world and surrender ourselves completely to Jesus to be transformed by the renewing of our mind.
- God has good, pleasing, and perfect plans for His children. He wants us to be transformed people with renewed mind, living to glorify Him and obey Him. With renewed mind/a new way of thinking, we'll be able to discern what God wants for us.
- Christians are called to quit acting like the world and stop embracing the world's values which are self-centered and corrupting. However, it's possible to avoid most worldly customs yet still be covetous, selfish, and prideful. Our mind/our thoughts/our way of thinking has to be truly transformed by the Holy Spirit and God's Holy Word. 
- We're a new creation. We no longer think the way the world thinks; we embrace the mind and the attitudes of Christ. Our old way of thinking and living has gone, being replaced with a whole new outlook on life and living according to God's Word.
- "Without the renewed mind, we will distort the Scriptures to avoid their radical commands for self-denial, and love, and purity, and supreme satisfaction in Christ alone." ~John Piper
- Farewell, vain world; my soul bids you adieu.
My Savior taught me to abandon you.
Your charms may gratify a sensual mind,
but cannot please a soul for God designed.

~David Brainerd
- "When they see a follower of Jesus who is sold out for Christ, living free of legalism and bondage to the world, they are drawn to Jesus. When they see a follower of Jesus living for 'self' and the world, they have no problem rejecting Jesus because it allows them to play the hypocrite card. The world needs us to be an example of living the Bible so that they too are drawn to Christ. They need answers, and for us to say we are "Christians" and live our life in pursuit of personal gain would only be a contradiction to who we say we follow. " ~David McGee

Monday, February 3, 2014

Spirit-Governed Mind

- Paul separates people into two categories: 1. Those who let themselves be controlled by their flesh/sinful nature and 2. Those who follow after the Holy Spirit. Before we surrender our lives to Christ, we're in the first category. Once we have decided to follow Jesus, we must intentionally choose to "take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." everyday/every moment.
- The flesh produces a certain pattern and way of thinking/mindset. It pleases self and it is attracted to the world. When people's thinking is controlled by the sinful self, there's spiritual death. The Holy Spirit produces a certain pattern and way of thinking/mindset. When people's thinking is controlled by the Spirit, there's life (eternal life and abundant life) and peace (that surpasses all understanding). "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal." Isaiah 26:3-4
- What do spiritually-minded Christians look like? Their mind/thinking is under the direction and power of the Spirit. They love what God loves, hate what God hates, and desire what God desires. They have the mind of Christ and the fruit of the Spirit is evident in their lives.

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