Monday, December 20, 2021
The best thing you can do for your life and the direction that it goes, is to change the way you think. Have you ever heard the old saying, garbage in garbage out? It's true.
Monday, December 20, 2021
Originally Published September 15, 2021
Through the end of the year, we’ll be rerunning some of the best Life Lifters from 2021. We hope you’ll join us each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning!
What are the right thoughts? I'm so glad you asked. Philippians 4:8 gives us eight thought filters. These are the eight things you should allow in your mind only, and everything else you should not. Paul tells us that we can find joy through right thinking. He says, "Finally, brothers, 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 about such things." What is Paul saying? I don't know that it's exactly limited to these eight things, but these are eight filters. Paul is saying we should only think about these things, and not the opposite of them. Not ignoble things, but noble things. Not impure things, but pure things. Not things that are horrible, but things that are excellent. Not things that are praise-un-worthy, but praiseworthy. Think on these things. What's he saying? You have to filter your mind and make sure you're thinking the right thoughts.
If you want to have joy in your life, it starts right here, it's the battle of the mind. You have to filter out the things that are going to tilt your life in a negative direction. Only allow yourself to think about things that tilt it in a positive direction. I'm not talking about the name-it-claim-it stuff, because they take that crazily. What I'm talking about is the right kind of holy, godly thinking through these eight metaphors, and having that shape how you think about God, yourself, and life. Do you do that? Can you do that? For some of you, you may need to write down these eight things. You just need to get an index card and write down, "true, noble right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy." Then, you need to say, "Am I thinking these things?" It's going to take time because guess what? It took you as many years as you're alive to start and keep thinking the way you're thinking. But if you think the way God wants you to think with these eight filters, it will slowly but surely change your life. You'll have more joy in your life. Filter your thinking with these eight great filters.
Let's pray. Father, help us to think along the lines that you want us to think. Help us to think through these eight things in our life so that they become filters. Let them filter out everything that's not that and filter in only what these are. We'll find more joy there. Our world always wants to bring us down. Like crabs in a bucket, people want to bring us down with them into the bucket. We want to crawl out and we can crawl out of the bucket when we practice the right kind of thinking. Biblical thinking. Help us to find joy in that, God. Help us to not give up if it doesn't work in one day, because it takes a long time to change your stinking thinking. And I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.
Friday, November 12, 2021
Roller coasters are amazing. However, the roller coaster of our lives isn't as fun as the physical roller coasters.
Friday, November 12, 2021
One person who knew this all too well was the Apostle Paul. Paul had a life that was filled with ups and downs, turns, loop-de-loops, and his life was like a roller coaster. One place we can see that is in Philippians 4:11-13. He tells us how we can get through this roller coaster called life. Starting in verse 11, he says, "I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." So, he's saying, "I've learned that in this roller coaster called life with its ups and with its downs, with its left turns and with its right turns, that in whatever situation, I need to be content. So in whatever he's going through, whether it's good or bad, I have learned what the secret is. The secret is, "I can do all things through him who strengthens me."
What Paul is saying here is that whatever it is that he went through, the good, the bad, the indifferent, all of it, he was able get through it because of Jesus. That's my encouragement to each and every one of you. It's the holiday season. Statistics show that the holiday season is probably the most depressing for people, because you have loss of family, friends that maybe have moved away, and family that have moved away. For a lot of people these bad memories come up around the holiday season. But it's a it's a time of joy as well. So I just encourage you, whatever you're feeling, whether it's a high or a low, whatever is going on in your life during this time, know that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. You don't do it alone. Not only does he walk with us, and he says he'll never leave us or forsake us, but he goes before us as well. So that's my encouragement to you, whatever you're going through, whatever situation you may be in today, just know that you can get through it with Jesus if you turn to Him.
Friday, August 13, 2021
Until our minds are completely renewed and our minds are completely transformed, which will be on that day when we are with Jesus, our minds will still think that we are in charge of our own show. At least to some degree, we all think that.
Friday, August 13, 2021
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
It can be really easy to fall into the tendency of thinking, "This is my life. This is my body. I do what I want, go where I want, do what I need to do, what I like when I feel like it." Basically, that's sin in a nutshell. No matter how long we've walked with Christ, we still have those tendencies. Until our minds are completely renewed and our minds are completely transformed, which will be on that day when we are with Jesus, our minds will still think that we are in charge of our own show. At least to some degree, we all think that.
But the Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 that we are temples, that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in us when we have received him from God. Paul says that we are not our own, we were bought at a price, and therefore, we're to honor God with our bodies. This is incredible to think about. Our bodies have become the temple of the Holy Spirit. If we believe, if we've committed our life to Jesus Christ in faith, if we've asked him to forgive our sins and if we're following Him, then we belong to Him. We are his, and these bodies have become the temple of the Holy Spirit. He actually lives in us.
Another astounding thing to consider in all of this is that God gave us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a gift from God to those who believe and he actually dwells within us. What that gives us is a motivation. This motivation comes from remembering that we were bought at a price. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sin. Jesus died on the cross so that he could give us His Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ paid that price for us. He loved us enough so that, by giving our lives to Him, we would have His Holy Spirit live within us. When we consider that we were bought at a price that is the motivation for living our lives in these bodies for Christ. It is the motivation that we have to honor him with our bodies. So today, because Jesus Christ lives in you, you can rejoice. He's close to you. He's with you, he lives in you. So today, we have the motivation to serve him with our bodies. Why? Because we were bought at a price and therefore, we honor Christ with our bodies and what we do with them.
Friday, May 14, 2021
Today, I want to ask you to do a spiritual gut check.
Friday, May 14, 2021
Today, I want to ask you to do a spiritual gut check. In other words, I want you to not worry so much about what others say. That is still important - I just said it was. But I want you to hold yourself to the highest standard you can. Do a spiritual gut check. I get this from a verse that I think about very, very often, like many other scriptures that roll around in my head. It comes from the very end of Psalm 139, verses 23 to 24. I want you to take it in, because I think it just says what it means, and means what it says. It doesn't need a lot of explaining, but it does need a lot of applying in many people's lives. David says, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
Search me, O God, and know my heart. In other words, what's in my heart? Try me. In all my mind, what am I thinking about? See if there is any offensive way in me. That refers to your actions. Lead me in the way of everlasting life - in other words, lead me the right way. David is saying that sometimes we need a gut check. Sometimes we let things slide in our life that we shouldn't let slide. Sometimes we have anxious thoughts that we have no business being anxious about. Sometimes there are things in our life that are character slippage. If you let character slippage go on too long, your character will change. I don't know what's going on in your life, but one of the most challenging prayers is to say, search me, O God and know my heart. Ask God to look into your heart, look into your mind, look into your actions. Those are the three things David calls out. Say, "God, what do I need to change?"
Are there things in your heart that you need to change? An attitude toward a person, or things in your mind? The things you think about a lot, or things in the way you're living, where you're going, what you're doing? Search me O God, and know my heart. I know this is a very humbling, sobering thought, but it's an important one. The best thing in life is when you challenge yourself more than anyone else in the world does. When I challenge myself, I hold myself to the highest standards, and I know when I do that, I'll be the best Christian I could be, the best husband I could be, the best person I could be. I hope the same is true for you.
Let's pray. God, I just pray this prayer, search me and search all who are reading this. Search us, O God, and know our hearts. Try us in all our mind, see if there is any offensive way or action in us, and lead us in the way of righteous, everlasting life. God, just help us see where we need to grow and help us work on changing it. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Tuesday, February 2, 2021
If you don't know your identity in Jesus Christ, you're never going to live a full and complete life. You're forgiven, you're going to heaven, but you want to live a full and abundant life. And you'll do that, when you appreciate your new identity. The seventh thing is that your new identity in Christ means that you are
Tuesday, February 2, 2021
We're continuing to talk about 10 new things that come into your life that form your new identity when you become a Christian, your identity in Jesus Christ. And so far, we've talked about six of them. And today, I want to talk to you about a seventh amazing thing that changes your identity and gives you a new identity in Jesus Christ.
Life will not make sense if you're living out your own will. Life only makes sense when you live out God's will. "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven", according to Jesus Christ, and the Lord's Prayer, you're enlightened. You can figure things out through Christ. The Bible even says, you have the mind of Christ. Does that mean you're omniscient, and you know everything? No. It just means that you can begin to think like Jesus does. You can begin to think like God does and know his perfect will. You're enlightened. And when you're enlightened, you can figure out what God wants you to figure out. It's a great feeling.