Are You Satisfied?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

This morning, I woke up thinking about people and the ways that they live.

No matter who you are, there are two basic ways in which you can go on living your life.

One way is to live for your self enjoying the pleasures of this world as much as you can, as often as you can, and as long as you can. When this is your pursuit, you might work long and hard in order to have the most money to buy these pleasures with. Or you might be lazy and expect the government to provide for your addiction to pleasing yourself.

The other way is brought about by salvation. When God grants you His saving grace through the blood of Jesus Christ, you become a new person. You begin to daily put off "self" and put on "Christ". That is to say, you no longer live for you but instead you live for God.

So, this got me to thinking. The most popular way to live is the first way. That way is all about drinking out of those broken cisterns. On the other hand, many people claim to live the second way. Yet, even many of those people are clamoring for the broken cisterns.

Jeremiah 2:12-13
Be appalled, O heavens, at this;
be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the Lord,
for my people committed two evils:
they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters,
and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that hold no water.

God has offered His people a fountain. This fountain has living water, that never runs out. This fountain has living water, that satisfies your soul. This fountain, is God Himself!

Won't you drink with me?

Speaking of Accountability

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

In the last bunch of posts I did, I mentioned accountability.
In the Church today accountability and mentoring have become widely known.

So, I was wondering...
Do you belong to a church that encourages it?
Do you have a mentor?
An accountability partner?

A Little Clarification

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I have said that we must separate ourselves from all things in opposition to God and His Word.

This is true, but only to a certain degree. There is one thing that is in opposition to God that we must not shut ourselves out from, namely, lost sinners.

We must stay close to lost sinners.


Because we too were once lost sinners and God used those found sinners who stayed close to us to bring us to Himself. Yes, we must be discerning. Yes, we should seek to spend time with them in ways that honor God.

For example, if we have a friend that is into partying, getting drunk, etc...the best place to spend time with him is NOT at these drunken parties of his. OR If we have a friend who is into sitting at the coffee shop hoping to hook up with cute guys...the blest place to spend time with her is NOT at these coffee shops.

We must seek to lead them to Christ by offering alternatives. We must show them who we are in Christ and hanging out in those places for those reasons is not who we are in Christ.

All that to say, the purpose of being a Christian is knowing God and making Him known.
If you fail to do this, you've failed to carry out your calling.
In your ministering and your living you must be discerning lest you be led astray.

One Final Word

Monday, November 23, 2009

2 Corinthians 10:5

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

Now, may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completly, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of the our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it.

What Will You Do With the Tools?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

We have seen that God has given His people tools to obediently live for Him.

These tools can only be properly used with a heart that truly loves Him and so wants to please Him.

Some tools that He gives us in battling against the sinful thoughts and thought patterns are:

Communion (that is) Abiding with Him - Enables Us to Use All the Tools (John 15:1-11)
Himself - Gives Us Grace (2 Corinthians 12:9)
His Son - Sets the Example (John 14:6)
His Spirit - Works in Our Hearts (2 Corinthians 3:17-18)
His Word - Teaches and Trains Us (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
His People - Holds Us Accountable (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

As John Owen said, "You must be killing sin, or sin will be killing you".

Won't you join me in taking your thoughts captive Christ, that is, making your thoughts obedient to Him?

Now What?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Alright, I've resolved to stay away from things that are not in obedience to God's Word. I will put off these things that lead to sin. I will put on those things that are in obedience to God's Word and will encourage me to pursue righteousness.

Even so, I'm still a sinner saved by grace. I still have thoughts that are in disobedience to Him.

Now what?

Well, this is where we will get to continue building on the foundation we've laid. We know God's Word and are continuing to grow in knowledge, understanding, and application of it. We seek to surround ourselves with things that honor God. Now, we've got to battle against the flesh.

When a thought comes to our mind that we know is in disobedience to God, we must pray that God would remove it from our mind. We must take the time to look to His Word and preach to ourself about why this thought is wrong and what God would have us replace it with.

If we find that a thought pattern is beginning to develop, this is proof that we've not been diligent enough in battling the flesh daily. We must examine our life to see if there is some sin or presence in our life that is feeding this sinful pattern. Most likely, there is. But, in some cases its just our rotten nature showing up. These patterns must be stopped. If we allow them to continue, they will only grow. To stop them, we must resolve to seriously search the Scriptures, memorize Scriptures the Lord lays on our hearts, pray, confess, and find accountability.

This is where the rubber meets the road. If we don't make our thoughts obedient to Christ, it won't be long before we realize that the space between Christ and ourselves has become a weed patch that we have planted.

However, if we crucify the flesh each day we will find only a few weeds growing here and there in our glorious garden of life where it can truly be said that we walk and talk with God all the time.

How Do I Do This?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Okay, so as Christians we're striving to press on toward maturity in Christ. This comes about by having our minds renewed (Romans 12:1-2). Having our minds renewed requires

Taking every thought captive to Jesus Christ, that is, making every thought obedient to Christ.

So, the next question is HOW?

Well, I think there are numerous ways to apply this Scripture. First of all, we see that the goal concerning our thoughts is that they would show that our hearts, minds, and lives have God at the center. When God is the center, we will seek to have things that He likes close to us and things that He despises far from us.

In order to think like Christ, and so have our thoughts be in obedience to Him, we must be putting things into our minds that encourage us in that direction.

HOW do we discern what those things are?

Simply put, we judge them by the standards laid forth in God's Word, The Bible.
We should pick books, movies, music, friends, magazines, and even clothes and places that are obedient to His Word.

If we are filling our time with things that are in opposition to Him why would we be surprised when our own thoughts, and in turn, lives begin to show evidences of opposition?

Into Captivity

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Another familiar verse came to mean something new to me this week.

We've all heard it many times "Take every thought captive to Christ". It's a common phrase spoken by many Christians and yet, how many of us actually DO this? Do we even really know what it means?

I'll be honest, this elementary practice was something I had not fully wrapped my mind around. I don't know how I've managed to go this long without maturity in this area, but it's true, I have not.

Yes, I strive to live out Romans 12:1-2, but I've begun to realize that without 2 Corinthians 10:1-6, I really can't have my mind renewed.

So, what's the latest truth that God has revealed to me?

Simply put: Taking every thought captive to Christ means, taking every thought that pops into my mind and making it obedient to Christ.

If Only a Murmur

Saturday, November 07, 2009

"This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!"

Many of us have enjoyed this song from Psalm 118:24.

How true are the meaning of its simple lines.

Recently, I have been faced with days that do not seem to hold reason for rejoicing or being glad.

A dear friend of mine has been struggling.

Some dear friends of our family have been faced with uncertainty as their nine year old son was terribly injured in an accident. The life of this boy hangs in the balance. The future of his family seems to be on the line.

Even though I am unable to be with any of these people at this time, I have been burdened for them. When I find myself enjoying the moment, I think...."Why should I be happy?" This moment, my friends are facing hardship and need me to turn to the Lord on their behalf.

In my own life, I'm feeling as if there is more. I find myself reaching for the door knob that leads to the next season in my life. Yet, I am here.

And that's it. That's when I remember, this IS the day that the Lord has made. Whatever fills this day is exactly what He wants to fill it. There IS reason to rejoice AND be glad in it!

May this be the shout of my heart on good days and seemingly bad days...I pray that even if it's not, it will at least be a murmur.