February 28, 2015

Seeking God (2)

‘They saw the young Child…and worshipped Him.’ Matthew 2:11 NKJV Notice two more things about the wise men:  (1) How God guided them. ‘The star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was…And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshipped Him.’ (Matthew 2:9–11 NKJV) Never limit God. And don’t lock Him into a personal experience you had in the past where He guided you in a certain way. If God can move a star, He can […]
February 27, 2015

Seeking God (1)

‘Wise men…came…saying, “Where is He…?”‘ Matthew 2:1-2 NKJV Notice two things about the wise men:  (1) Who they were. Astrologers. Jews considered astrology to be a counterfeit to true prophecy. Be careful; there are people whose lifestyles you may disapprove of, who are honestly seeking God. So be gracious in your dealings with them. The Greek philosophers on Mars Hill had a pantheon of gods. Was Paul shocked or put off? No. He commended them for being willing to search for God, adding, ‘He is not far from each one of us.’ (Acts 17:27 NKJV) Don’t jump to conclusions and write people off. […]
February 26, 2015

Brokenness

‘Not My will, but Yours be done.’ Luke 22:42 NIV  If your goal is to be used by God, don’t be surprised when He permits seasons of adversity and brokenness. Jesus experienced it, and He said, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ (John 15:20 NKJV) Jon Walker points out: ‘God’s intent isn’t to hurt us, but to expand our capacity to carry His love to a world in need of compassion… Sorrow clarifies our thinking. In the school of Christ, brokenness is a good thing. It’s impossible to become intimate with God unless we’re broken of independence, pride and […]
February 25, 2015

Stop Fighting in Your Own Strength

‘We do not wage war as the world does.’ 2 Corinthians 10:3 NIV During World War II, Allied bombers carried machine guns in the nose, under the belly, on top, and in the rear. B–17s, better known as ‘flying fortresses’, carried thirteen .50 calibre machine guns. At one point scientists suggested the planes might actually be safer without them. Without the extra weight needed to operate the guns, they could fly faster and higher, increasing their odds of survival. The pilots, however, thought differently. They wouldn’t even consider embarking on a mission without guns to shoot back and defend themselves. With […]
February 24, 2015

Words or Actions?

‘Let us not love with words…but…actions.’ 1 John 3:18 NIV We must care about people’s spiritual and practical needs. It’s hard for someone to grasp the concept of God’s love when they don’t know where their next meal is coming from, or where they’ll sleep tonight. Food banks worldwide are seeing a dramatic upsurge in emergency requests. Volunteer Cindy Crosby writes: ‘Each client is as different as the patterns in a kaleidoscope: the retired, the mentally ill, single mothers, young men fallen on hard times… And not everyone is grateful. Some are angry… some refuse eye contact… some leave without saying more than […]
February 23, 2015

Mind Management (4)

‘Don’t cherish exaggerated ideas of yourself.’ Romans 12:3 PHPS Here are two more examples of mind management. A thought knocks on the door of your mind and says, ‘You’re so wonderful, the world is lucky to have you.’ Typically it’s the kind of thought you’d welcome, but you don’t do things the typical way. You submit it to the authority of Christ, and as you unsheathe the Sword of the Spirit, His Word, you learn that pride doesn’t please God. ‘Don’t cherish exaggerated ideas of yourself.’ As much as you’d like to embrace an exalted image of yourself, you can’t. You only […]
February 22, 2015

Mind Management (3)

‘For we are God’s handiwork.’ Ephesians 2:10 NIV  Your mind is the doorway to your heart, and when a questionable thought arises, you always have a choice. You can throw the door open and let it in, or do what the Bible says: ‘Fight to capture every thought until it acknowledges the authority of Christ.’ (2 Corinthians 10:5 PHPS) In other words, capture the thought before it captures you. Let’s say a thought regarding your self–worth arises and says, ‘You’ve been a loser all your life. You’ve failed in relationships and jobs and ambitions. You might as well write “loser” on your […]
February 21, 2015

Mind Management (2)

‘Fight to capture every thought until it acknowledges the authority of Christ.’ 2 Corinthians 10:5 PHPS  Be careful what you allow into your mind, because your thoughts run your life. You say, ‘But thoughts come at me every day from all directions: at home, at work, through the media, in my relationships and in my private world. How can I manage my mind successfully?’ The answer’s surprisingly simple. You can be transformed by making this one decision: I will submit my thoughts to the authority of Jesus. It’s easy to overlook the significance of Christ’s claim: ‘All authority in Heaven and on earth has […]