Friday, January 30, 2015

A Wise Manager Will Look Ahead

In review of Proverbs 14:8 it says, “The wise man looks ahead. The fool attempts to fool himself and won’t face facts.”

Bottom Line:
When it comes to money, a wise man will understand where they are going. A foolish person will think they know best and won’t face the facts.

What this means to me:
I would be wise to look and plan ahead getting counsel when needed, so that I can understand where I’m going. It would be foolish for me to ignore the facts or think that I know best, because I’d only be deceiving myself.

What I’m learning is that money is a tool to be used for God’s purposes. I am not to hoard it or stockpile it. I’m certainly not to worship it or rely on it. I’m to use it! I’m to use the temporary resources of what God has put in my hands, for permanent good.

The story of the dishonest but shrewd manager is told in Luke 16:1-13. Interestingly enough, in this story Jesus made this shrewd manager the hero of the story. This manager knew he was going to be fired, so he decided to make some friends by lowering the debts owed to his master.

While he was dishonest, he did three things that are worth adopting. They are lessons I can learn and apply to my own finances.

First, the manager looked ahead. Like most people I may not always look ahead when it comes to finances. This is especially true when things are going well. Here’s an interesting statistic: The average savings in Europe is about 12 percent of income, and in Japan it’s about 25 percent. The average savings Americans had last year was minus one percent. American’s spent one percent more than they made! That kind of math does not add up correctly. They are not saving anything, and that’s not really smart. Proverbs 14:8 reminds me, “The wise man looks ahead. The fool attempts to fool himself and won’t face facts” (TLB).

Secondly, the manager made a plan. A plan or a budget, is simply planned spending. It’s a plan telling my money where I want it to go rather than wondering where it went. This verse reminds me that a wise person will have a plan. The Bible says in Proverbs 16:9, “We should make plans — counting on God to direct us.”

Lastly, the manager acted quickly. Luke 16:4 explains the managers action, “I know how to ensure that I’ll have plenty of friends who will give me a home when I am fired” (NLT). The manager didn't procrastinate; he didn't delay. He set his plan in motion. He didn't say, “Someday I’m going to get my finances in order” or “Someday I’m going to start saving for retirement.”

In this passage, Jesus was not commending the manager’s dishonesty but rather his attitude, which says, “I’m going to think ahead. I’m going to make a plan. And I’m going to invest in relationships that will benefit others and me in the future.

That’s an example of being smart! Jesus wants me to do the same when it comes to my finances. So today I need to consider; am I spending my treasure here on Earth or looking ahead and storing it up in Heaven?

This passage also reminds me that I only loosely have a plan for spending. I really need to do a better job of planning the spending and accounting for it. It should reflect the right priorities; investing in the future in Heaven. One worthy goal would be to become debt free. This would be including owning and not mortgaging my next home for a long period of time, and paying off my newly acquired student debt quickly.

Unfortunately, I’m the king of procrastination. It’s what comes naturally to me if I don’t purposefully plan. When things are going well, I procrastinate even more regarding finances. I need to be a better steward of the resources God has granted me.

In today’s study, I realized that I have been focusing on planning and finances; however these same three principles are applicable for anything that I manage.  To manage anything effectively, I need to look ahead, create a plan and then act quickly to put it into place.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Godly Goal Setting Starts with God’s Promises

In review of Genesis 24:7a it says, “The LORD, the God of heaven, brought me from the home of my father and the land of my relatives. And he promised me, ‘I will give this land to your descendants.’”

Bottom Line:
If God promises you something, he will provide it.

What this means to me:
When God promises me something, he’ll provide it so it’s important for me not to deviate from it.
The Bible is filled with promises from God. There are promises of success, confidence, health, prosperity, strength, wisdom, and more. So why would God make these promises?  What I’m learning is that he has made them because he wants me to learn to trust in him.

So as I set a goal, I should not focus on the problem, rather I should focus on the promise he has given. I should find a promise in God’s Word that will take me to my goal and hold on to it.

This is essentially what Abraham did when Eliezer, his servant, started to worry about accomplishing the goal he was given. In today’s verse, Abraham tells Eliezer about the promise he received from God: “The LORD, the God of heaven, brought me from the home of my father and the land of my relatives. And he promised me, ‘I will give this land to your descendants.’ The LORD will send his angel before you to help you get a wife for my son there” (Genesis 24:7 NCV).

Today, I won’t need an angel, because dozens of time in Scripture God has said that, “He will be with me no matter where I go.” God is always there, whether I feel it or not. I just need to learn how to plug into that power.

Interestingly enough, the size of my God is based on my trust in Him. This will determine the size of my goal. And, godly goal setting should always starts with a promise of God. Given this, I should not look at my limitations; rather I should look at the promises of God and adopt them for my goals.

Today, I can be assured that when God promises me something, he’ll provide it. If he provides all he promises, it’s important for me not to deviate from it, otherwise I’ll miss it.

Today, I should consider some of my goals and look for passages in his Word where he provides promises. It will be important for me to set goals that are not selfish but are ones that would be pleasing to him.  God will provide what I need to accomplish what’s truly on his heart.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Learning to Love Others the Way God Loves Me

In review of 1 Corinthians 13:7 it says, “Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up.”

Bottom Line:
Love patiently endures, does not lose faith, is always hopeful and never gives up.

What this means to me:
Love God’s way, is the key to how I am to respond to others. It must be a love that would patiently endure, would never give up, and it would always hope for the best in others.

The same love that God gives to me, is what I am to offer to everyone else that I come in contact with. It’s not an option or a suggestion. It’s a command: John 13:34 says, “Now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other” (NLT).

God’s Word tells me that I must love everybody; whether I like them or not, in the same manner that Christ loves me. This means I am to accept them completely, love them unconditionally, forgive them totally, and consider them extremely valuable. Love executed under these guidelines will ultimately transform my relationships.

Today’s verse reminds me that, “Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up” (1 Corinthians 13:7 GW).

This is a statement of how God loves and treats me. God never stops being patient with me, and never stops believing in me. In addition, God never stops hoping for the best for me and my life. More importantly, He will never gives up on me. This is what God expects me to do with everybody else I encounter.

So, when it says, “Love never stops being patient.” This means a love that extends grace. I need to offer grace to others, regardless.

“Love never stops believing.” This means it expresses faith. I communicate to others that, “Even though we’re having a tough time, I will never stop believing in you.”

“Love never stops hoping.” This means love expects the best. Am I expecting the best in my relationships, or have I settled for less than the best?

“Love never gives up.” This means love endures the worst. It means I can look at the other person and say, “You can throw everything at me, but I’m going to keep loving you, no matter what.”

Wow, given my natural inclination this will require some conscious effort and prayer.  Given that, today I start by praying, “God, I admit that I have not given as much priority in relationships that I should. They are at times complicated and broken, and I’ve often settled for less than the best. They need a transformation! I’d like you to begin by changing me. Deliver me from my fears, because I can see how they make me distant and defensive and even demanding. Today and every day from now on, I want to surrender my heart to you. I want to learn to live my life in your love and be filled with your love.”

Furthermore, I ask you God to “help me to accept others, just as you've accepted me. Help me to love others unconditionally, just as you have loved me. Help me to forgive others totally, just as you've forgiven me. And help me to value others as much as you value me. Help me to extend grace to and express faith in the people around me. Help me to expect the best in others, and help me to endure the worst when it happens. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Remembering How Gods Thinks About Me

In review of Isaiah 54:10 it says, “The mountains and hills may crumble, but my love for you will never end. I will keep forever my promise of peace. So says the Lord who loves you.”

Bottom Line:
The mountains may crumble and disappear, but God’s love for you can never be lost. He keeps forever his promise of peace for you, the Lord has mercy on you.

What this means to me:
God has given his promise and commitment that he will never lose me or stop loving me. Even when the earth falls apart (the mountains crumble and disappear), he will have mercy on me. His love can never be lost.

Today’s verse comes as the prophet Isaiah is illustrating to the people of Israel how God will accept them, even after their rebellion. He shows how much God loves them and will never stop loving them.

Feeling loved helps me to love others, and today’s verse reminds me just how much God loves me. It’s more difficult to be loving unless I can fully understand and remember the way God loves me.

So this is something that is worth reminding myself of every day. Its truly what God thinks about me and not what the world thinks or even what I think about myself. Remembering how God thinks of me helps to remove many of my fears.

Here are four specific things God thinks about me:

First, I’m completely accepted. I can spend much of my life trying to earn acceptance from others; those I respect, those I envy, and even total strangers. But I need to realize God has already settled this issue of acceptance: “Jesus … made us acceptable to God” (Titus 3:7 CEV). What Jesus did on the cross made me completely acceptable to God; regardless of what I've done or will do.

Second, I’m unconditionally loved. God doesn't say, “I love you if …” or “ I love you because …” He says, “I love you, period!” I can’t make God stop loving me, because his love is not based on what I do but on who he is. Isaiah 54:10a says, “The mountains and hills may crumble, but my love for you will never end. I will keep forever my promise of peace. So says the Lord who loves you.” (GNT).

Thirdly, I’m totally forgiven.
Because Jesus died on the cross and gave his life as a payment for my sins, I am totally forgiven. Romans 8:1 says, “There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus” (NLT). God doesn’t rehearse your sins; he releases them.

Lastly, I’m considered extremely valuable. There are two things that create value: who owns it, and what somebody’s willing to pay for it. I am a child of God and “have been bought and paid for by Christ” (1 Corinthians 7:23 TLB). Jesus Christ paid for me with his life. That’s how valuable I am.

When I can remember how I’m accepted, loved, forgiven, and valuable to the Creator of the universe, I’ll be better equipped to show that love to others and build deeper relationships and make a lasting difference.

I have to admit that I don’t always have a high opinion of myself. I can easily get caught up in being disappointed thinking about how I blow it or how I don’t think I measure up. Remembering that God places a high value on my no matter what should really help me in combating these feelings. Given the unconditional love that God shows me, I need to show those who are part of my life the same unconditional love and acceptance that God has for me. Today I need to illustrate how valuable they are to me by the way I treat and interact with them.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Learning to Surrender and Obtain the benefits

In review of Job 11:13-18 it says, “Surrender your heart to God, turn to him in prayer, and give up your sins— even those you do in secret. Then you won’t be ashamed; you will be confident and fearless. Your troubles will go away like water beneath a bridge, and your darkest night will be brighter than noon. You will rest safe and secure, filled with hope and emptied of worry.”

Bottom Line:
When you truly surrender yourself to Go, turning from your sins and going to him; you will no longer be ashamed but have confidence. Your troubles will seem to drift away like flowing water.  You will never be in the dark again, and you will rest security being filled with hope and less stress and worries.

What this means to me:
If I truly surrender myself to Go, turning from my sins and going to him, I will no longer be ashamed but have confidence. My troubles will seem to drift away like flowing water.  I will never be in the dark again. I will rest securely being filled with hope and I will have less stress and worries.

The Bible says in 1 John 4:18, “Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love drives out fear” (NCV). So how do I learn to live in God’s love such that I can live free of fear? Each day, I need to surrender my heart to God.

When I wake up every morning, before my feet hit the floor, I need to say, “God, before I even start this day, I want to surrender my emotions to you. I want you to be Lord of my feelings. I want you to control my mind and my emotions. I surrender my heart to you. I want you to fill me with your love.”

Today's verse from Job 11:13-18 says, “Surrender your heart to God, turn to him in prayer, and give up your sins— even those you do in secret. Then you won’t be ashamed; you will be confident and fearless. Your troubles will go away like water beneath a bridge, and your darkest night will be brighter than noon. You will rest safe and secure, filled with hope and emptied of worry” (CEV).

There are three commands and eight promises in those verses. God says you do this, and then he’ll do that. Every promise has a premise.

First, he gives the commands: Surrender your heart to God every day. Turn to him in prayer. And, give up and confess your sins to God.

Then, notice the benefits: You won’t be ashamed, you’ll be confident, you’ll be fearless, your troubles will be like water under the bridge, the dark night you’re going through is going to be brighter than noon, you’ll be able to sleep well because you are safe and secure, you will be filled with hope, and you’ll be emptied of worry.

Wow! Its hard not to want to have and experience those benefits. This is a good verse to have posted so that it can remind me to do those three things; surrender my heart to God, turn to him in prayer, and confess my sins. If I do God’s love will fill my life and cast out all of my anxieties and fears.

The thing I need to watch out for in my life is my pride. It can keep me from surrendering to God. I can get stubborn and not want to own up to my own wrongdoing or I can hold onto it feeling justified in my own entitlement. However, what I’m learning is that God wants me to take the first step. He never provides a full road map. I must take the first step and trust that he will respond. Based on my own experience he has never failed me in the past, so I have no fear that he would fail me in the future. I just need to remember that God always does what is best for me.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Learnnig to Master My Moods

In review of Philippians 2:5 it says, “Your attitude should be the kind that was shown us by Jesus Christ.”

Bottom Line:
Your attitude must be the same way the Christ Jesus demonstrated.

What this means to me:
I need to adopt the attitude and thinking that Christ Jesus demonstrated.

Success will come from learning how to master my moods. When I experience emotion that isn’t getting me where I want to go, I've have two options for it: Either change it, or channel it.

Often I need to change what I’m feeling.

Some emotions are very destructive, damaging, harmful, and non-effective. The only thing I can do with these is to change what I’m feeling.

Philippians 2:5 reminds me, “Your attitude should be the kind that was shown us by Jesus Christ” (TLB).

My attitude includes my emotions, so what I’m feeling should be the same as that of Jesus. I need to ask myself, “How would Jesus feel in this situation? Would Jesus get irritated with this waitress? Would Jesus yell at that person? Would Jesus be up all night, worrying that it isn't going to work out? Would Jesus be fearful?” No he wouldn't.

Then, in my response, I need to instantly dismiss any feeling that doesn't make me more like Jesus. If Jesus wouldn't respond with that emotion, then I shouldn't, either. I simply drop that attitude, and I figure out what Jesus would do instead.

At other times, I need to channel what you’re feeling.

I need to decide to channel the feeling; grief for good, and pain to helping others. I should never waste a hurt or problem I've gone through. I need to use it for good.

Also, what I’m learning is that my greatest ministry will not come out of my strengths and successes. I can come out of my deepest pains and struggles.

So, I need to consider how I’m using pains in my life, for good. One such example is the long struggle my wife and I had with finances in the past. By making the right decisions we were able to pull ourselves out of that situation. We now spend time with others counseling and encouraging them that they to can get through it.

Often emotions for me are a default reaction. I feel cheated, slighted or that I’m not getting my fair share. I’m likely holding onto this because, changing my reaction and attitude to think like Jesus would remove some of that entitlement I want to feel, and want to hold on to that. In the longer run, re-thinking my default emotions will take some work. I’ll need to eliminate my feelings of entitlement and ask the Holy Spirit to remind me to stop and think about either changing the feeling or re-channeling it for good.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Three Questions to Help Manage Emotions

In review of 1 Peter 4:2 it says, “From now on, then, you must live the rest of your earthly lives controlled by God’s will and not by human desires.”

Bottom Line:
It means you have been turned from spending your time chasing after your own desires, to live by and want to be controlled by God and His will.

What this means to me:
When I follow Christ, my desires and priorities will begin to change. I no longer pursue not my desires but rather I now desire to be controlled by the ones God want’s.

Today’s passage follows after a statement Peter made that can be summarized as: When you follow Christ, you will not always be understood. You must be ready to suffer just as He had. The passage states, “From now on, then, you must live the rest of your earthly lives controlled by God’s will and not by human desires” 1 Peter 4:2 (TEV).

Human desires from this passage can be best defined as my emotions and affections. Being a Christ-follower, my life should be controlled by God’s will, and not by how I feel at the moment.

Given this, here are three questions I can ask myself, when I’m trying to figure out how to deal with feelings (angry, upset or frustrated):

First, “What’s the real reason I’m feeling this?” Maybe the answer is fear or worry. Maybe it relates to something said to me years ago.

Next, “Is it true?” Is what I’m feeling at that moment true? There’s a point in the Bible where Elijah got so discouraged that he went to God and complained, “God, I’m the only one in the entire nation of Israel left serving you.” And God challenged him, saying, “Are you kidding me? I've got all these people who are still serving me! You’re acting like you’re the only one trying to do the right thing in the whole world! No. That’s not true.” I need to stay away from exaggerations. It takes me out the realm of reality.

Lastly, “Is what I’m feeling helping me or hurting me?” I need to consider if I’ll get what I want or need by continuing to feel this way? A lot of feelings I have feel natural, but can actually self-defeating.

For example, I go to a restaurant, and the service is extremely slow. I wait a long time to be served, and then a couple comes in 15 minutes after I do and gets their meal before me. I get increasingly more irritated until I feel something welling up inside.

So If I apply these three questions to this scenario:

What’s the real reason I’m feeling that way? I’m hungry!

Is it true? Yes. I’m frustrated because the service is slow. But is my emotion helping or hurting? Do I get better service by getting angry at the server? Absolutely not.

Does nagging work? Has it ever worked? When somebody tells me all the things I’m doing wrong, does it make me want to change? No! All it does is make me more defensive.

Asking myself these three questions, will help me get a better grip on why I feel the way I do and what I need to do to help the situation. This helps manage my emotions. In retrospect, I can be greatly attached to my emotions. They are what come to mind. Often it’s because I believe I've been cheated or I deserve something. I need to remember that what I’m feeling may not always be true. I need to consider what is the real reason for the way I’m feeling. I need to ask is what I’m feeling really true. And most importantly, is how I’m feeling going to help the situation or hurt it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Not Cheating Others of What God has Gifted Me to Do

In review of 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 it says, “There are different spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit gives them. There are different ways of serving, and yet the same Lord is served. There are different types of work to do, but the same God produces every gift in every person.”

Bottom Line:
There are different spiritual gifts, but they all come from the same Spirit. There are different ways of serving, yet we serve the same Lord. The same God works in all of us and helps us in everything we do.

What this means to me:
While there are different spiritual gifts that are given, they all come from the same Spirit. There are different ways in which we can serve, but we are serving the same God. God works in me and helps me in everything I do to accomplish His will.

Knowing about how I’m shaped, helps me to better understand what I should be and should be doing. Knowing and understanding this helps me to focus on and make better use of the life God has given me. This morning I’m reminded that the moment I accepted and put my faith in Christ, God gave me four major gifts:

The first is forgiveness. Romans 5:15 reminds me, “For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ” (NLT). The first thing Jesus did was wipe out everything I had ever done wrong. It’s forgiven! There is no further condemnation for me.

Next was eternal life. God has long-range plans for me. The Bible says in Romans 6:23, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (NIV). There is never anything I can do to work or earn my way into Heaven. The only way is by God’s free gift that I accept by faith.

I’m also given the Holy Spirit. Romans 5:5 says, “God has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” The evidence of letting God live through my life is when I embody the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Lastly is special abilities. These special abilities are called spiritual gifts, which makes them different from material or physical gifts. They are the abilities I need to get the job done that God wants me to do.

Today’s verse from 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 says, “There are different spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit gives them. There are different ways of serving, and yet the same Lord is served. There are different types of work to do, but the same God produces every gift in every person” (GW).

God has a purpose for my life, and my spiritual gifts are the equipment he gives me to do what he is asking me to do. God will never ask me to do something he hasn't given me the ability to do. They were given to me the moment I accepted Christ. Now, I don’t get to choose my gifts, and I certainly don’t earn them.  Also, they are not here for my benefit. Rather my spiritual gifts are given to me to help others. And others in my church family are given their gifts to help me. Therefore if I don’t develop and use my spiritual gifts, then I end up cheating others.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

How to Deal with What I Feel

In review of Romans 8:6, 8 it says, “To be controlled by human nature results in death; to be controlled by the Spirit results in life and peace. Those who obey their human nature cannot please God.”

Bottom Line:
If our minds are ruled by our sinful nature and desires, we will die. But if our minds are ruled by the Spirit, we will have life and peace. If we follow our desires, we cannot please God.

What this means to me:
If I allow my mind to be ruled by my old sinful nature or by my desires, I will not have eternal life. However, if I let the Spirit control my mind and thinking then I will have peace and eternal life. I can never please God by following my own desires.

As part of this, my learning to manage my emotions will be key to having peace of mind. So here are four reason from God’s Word to learn how to deal with what I feel.

First, I need to learn to manage emotions because they are often unreliable. My gut is often wrong. My intuition is often flawed. My emotions can often lead me down a blind alley. I can’t depend on everything I feel! Proverbs 14:12 emphasizes this, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death” (NIV). I don’t need to accept everything I feel, because not everything I feel is right, authentic or will lead me in the right direction.

Next, I need to learn how to manage my emotions so that I don’t become manipulated. If I don’t control my emotions, they will control me, and I’ll be manipulated by my mood. And, if I’m always guided by feelings, others are going to take advantage of me. Worst of all, Satan’s favorite tool is negative emotions. He will use fear, resentment, and worry to wreak havoc in my life. The Bible reminds me in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Also, I need to learn to manage my emotions because I want to please God. God won’t be able to rule my life if my emotions are. If I make my decisions based on how I feel, then I’ve made my feelings god, and God can’t be God. Romans 8:6 and 8 says, “To be controlled by human nature results in death; to be controlled by the Spirit results in life and peace. Those who obey their human nature cannot please God” (TEV).

Lastly, I need to learn to manage your emotions to succeed in life. Studies show that my emotional quotient is far more important than my IQ when it comes to success. Many people have ruined their reputation because of something said in anger, or missed a job opportunity because of a lack of self-control. The Bible says in Proverbs 5:23, “[People] get lost and die because of their foolishness and lack of self-control” (CEV).

When I give my heart to Jesus, it needs to include my emotions. Jesus wants to be Lord of how I feel, not just what I think and do. He wants to be Lord of my emotions. “From now on, then, you must live the rest of your earthly lives controlled by God’s will and not by human desires” (1 Peter 4:2 TEV).

I have to admit that often I do let me emotions drive my decisions and feelings. Unfortunately I can now see that my feelings, why getting more in line with Jesus each day, may not always line up his thoughts. My emotions may not always be reliable. They can easily manipulate how I conduct myself, which may not always be pleasing to God. I need to listen to the small quiet voice of the Spirit to guide me.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Think About These Things

In review of Hebrews 12:3 it says, “Think about Jesus’ example. He held on while wicked people were doing evil things to him. So do not get tired and stop trying.”

Bottom Line:
Jesus provides us with his great and patient example, he endured and put up with many insults from sinful people, so do not let yourself become discouraged and give up.

What this means to me:
When I find myself at odds with others and life, instead of becoming discouraged or giving up, I should look to the example that Jesus provided me. He endured and put up with many insults from sinful people.

For my own mental health, it is best for me to focus my mind on the right things, like thinking about Jesus. Ultimately, I will become what I think about. So If I want to become more like Jesus, I’ll need to fill my thoughts with him. Hebrews 12:3 says, “Think about Jesus’ example. He held on while wicked people were doing evil things to him. So do not get tired and stop trying” (NCV).

I should also think about others. The Bible says in Philippians 2:4, “Don’t just think about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and in what they are doing” (TLB). This is a very counter cultural notion, as everything in the world teaches me to think about myself and nobody else. But Jesus himself was counter-cultural, and when I think about him and what was important to him, I can more easily think of others.

Also, I should spend time thinking about eternity. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9 NLT). If I can start focusing on truths like these, all of my problems are going to seem inferior compared to the glory, the joy, and the pleasure of the things I have to look forward to in eternity.

My mind is my greatest asset and also the greatest battleground. I should ask God to help me in making the choice every day to feed on His Word, to free my mind of destructive thoughts, and fill my mind with Jesus, others, and eternity. If I do this, then I’ll have easier victories over the battles within my mind.

In order to practice Philippians 2:4, I need to think about what I can do to help others, especially with their good and worthwhile goals. Jesus first concern was always others. So trying to think more like him will help me with being concerned about others. Often I let the things of the day distract me and my focus. I need to take time periodically to really think about what it will be like when Jesus brings into eternal life with him.  This in itself will bring joy and help me to realize that the best use of my time will be for things that make a long and lasting impact.

Choosing to Accept God’s Grace

In review of Romans 6:23 it tells me that “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lor...