The Elevation of All You Do

SighForSignificance-1I recently finished a book on the American President John F. Kennedy. In it, the author states the following about his killer, Lee Harvey Oswald. “He longs to be a great man. A significant man. A man whose name will never be forgotten…. Oswald does not hate the president…. In fact, Oswald would very much like to emulate JFK. Above all, he wants to be a great man.”
Oswald defected to Russia hoping to find it. He returned to the US and couldn’t find it in marriage or family. He hoped to find it in Cuba, only to be denied entry into that country. (Cuba would later reverse this decision.) He sought it in the workers/union movement only to be left on the outside again. No, this was his chance to leave his indelible stamp on the world – kill JFK.
God put into all humans the need to lead significant lives. This search led Oswald to his drug of choice – violence and murder. This search can lead the believer in Jesus to their drug of choice as well.
This need can only be met in a personal relationship with Jesus as Lord and Savior. Jesus tells us who we are, children of God. As such, we can lead significant lives from the very ordinary act of eating an apple with Him to the extraordinary act of giving an apple to a poor person with Him (1 Cor. 10:31; Col. 3:17). Everything we do with Jesus throughout our everyday life can count for eternity. Talk about significance!
Your search for meaning and purpose in life are over. Keep listening to and following Him in everyday life using your biblical tools and you will do “the good work” He prepared for you to do today (Eph. 2:10).
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Trusted Protection

Child proof capI just had to smile when I read this. Brittany (age 4) had an ear ache and wanted a painkiller. She tried in vain to take the lid off the bottle. Seeing her frustration, her mom explained it was a child-proof cap and she’d have to open it for her. Eyes wide with wonder, the little girl asked, “How does it know it’s me?”
God is like that bottle cap and mom. He tells us in His word the best and most fulfilling way to live each day, which also protects us from harm. He knows just the right dosage of encouragement and rebuke to hand out to keep us on track.
It’s not when life is going our way that we find out what we really believe, but when we hurt. As children of God will we trust Jesus and His Word or force the cap open and take what we want to feel good? Jesus is our child-proof cap, a trusted protection, if only we will act in faith on the truths, the right dose of medication, He gives when life wants to force us to life our way.
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Shut ’em Down!

not listening“I don’t receive that!” I would often hear Christians give that line whenever they heard something they didn’t want to hear. I used to think they were simply ignoring reality by hoping for something better, a kind of “name it and claim it” unbiblical form of Christianity.
Yet the more I’ve thought it through, I now believe this phrase reflects rock solid truth. We live in a fallen world intent on destroying our peace and freedom in Christ. We have people in our lives who can and will say very hurtful things to us that are simply not true. We face situations that seem insurmountable from a human perspective. It’s true that we can’t control what people say or what life brings our way, but it’s also true that we can control how we filter what comes our way.
We don’t have to receive lies into our heads! Remember, we become what we dwell on. Therefore, don’t let those hurtful words or situations bounce off the walls of your mind. Shut ‘em down by keeping your truth filter working 24/7, not just when you’re at church or at a Bible study.
As you put specific lie fighting truths into your brain, you’ll have an operational shield of faith that’s ready to shut down the lies before they get into your brain. You can then dwell on the truths (Phil. 4:8) that will set and keep you free from the sinful habits/behaviors that you’d run to if you let them in. It’s okay to not receive lies! Go ahead, make your day by shutting ‘em down in the Spirit’s power.
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Input Then Output is the Freedom Order

brain processingThere’s an old adage that says, “What goes in must go out.” The other day I heard this said a bit differently, “You will become tomorrow what you dwell on today.” Scripture tells us the same thing when it says we are to focus on our thinking, rather than on our behavior when it comes to life change (Rom. 12:2). If we want to see our unChristlike character replaced with His, we must start with our thinking. What are the less then stellar thoughts we dwell on throughout our day?
Philippians 4:8 states, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think on such things.” Changed thinking doesn’t mean we’re done simply by memorizing this verse.
No, this verse only gives us the starting point. The hard or uncomfortable part is to allow the Spirit to shine into our minds and expose the lies that need to be replaced with specific point at the lie true and noble thoughts that we not only need to input into our brain, but we need to dwell on throughout our day as well.
What is the excellent or praiseworthy thought that needs to go into your brain? What is the pure thought that you need to dwell on today? Your input determines your output. What you dwell on today is crucial to your freedom tomorrow.
Se“T” Free Nowww

Stand Your Ground!

stand firmWell another funny thing happened on a prayer walk. I was having a great time with Jesus. He was both correcting and encouraging me at the same time. As I’m enjoying my time with Him, out of now where comes a teeth-bared, hair raised, barking dog.
There was no way I was going to let this animal ruin my walk with Jesus. I was just having too a great time with my Savior to stop. Showing no fear, I kept walking while keeping my eye on the mutt. Eventually it wandered back home without attacking.
We can walk with and enjoy our Savior throughout our day. We do this by using our biblical tools to stay in His presence. Our enemy, however, will try intimidating us through his bark. He hopes we’ll run to our drug of choice through fear.
He’s only a little mutt! Stand firm in the faith, not a faith, but the faith, which are the truths we’ve put into our head to stare him down (1 Pet. 5:6-9). You can’t stop the barking. You can, however, choose to stand your ground while enjoying the presence of your awesome Savior.
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