Calvary Church

Calvary Church

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Mind Management (2)

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. This is something I've learned to live my life by since I was a young man. Everyday, thoughts come at us from all directions: at home, at work, through the media, in our relationships and in our private world. How can you manage your mind successfully?’ The answer’s surprisingly simple. You can be transformed by making this one decision: you must submit your 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 been given to Me.’ (Matthew 28:18 NIV) Jesus controls everything in Heaven and on earth. That means He has the final say on everything—including your thoughts. He has more authority, for example, than your parents. Your parents may have told you you’re worthless, but Jesus says you’re valuable, and He has authority over your parents. He even has more authority over you than you do. You may tell yourself you’re too bad to be forgiven, but Jesus has a different opinion. And when you repent and submit to His authority over your life, those old condemning thoughts are no longer allowed. Jesus also has authority over your ideas.
 
Suppose, for example, you get an idea about lying or cheating. Jesus has already made it clear that those things are wrong, and if you’ve submitted to His authority over your mind then the idea of lying or cheating can’t linger in your mind. To manage your mind successfully, all you have to do is submit your thoughts to the authority of Christ. Will it happen overnight? No, but with practice and commitment you’ll get better at it.
 
You are Loved!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Mind Management


'Above all else, guard your heart.' Proverbs 4:23 NIV

We hear a lot these days about time management, financial management and weight management—but what about mind management? Shouldn’t we be more concerned about managing our minds than managing anything else? Jesus guarded the gateway of His heart by refusing to concede in three areas:
 
(1) The agenda of people who wanted to use Him for their own purposes. Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make Him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by Himself.’ (John 6:15 NIV) Most of us would delight in the idea of becoming ‘king’. Even if we refused the crown, we’d enjoy considering the invitation! Not Jesus.
 
(2) The naïveté of those who wanted to spare Him.When Jesus announced His death on the cross to the disciples, Peter objected. And when he failed to see the necessity of the cross, Jesus issued one of His harshest rebukes: Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.’ (Matthew 16:23 NIV)
 
(3) The scorn of those who didn’t know Him or believe in Him.Before raising a girl from the dead, Jesus said to the people in the house, ‘She is only sleeping.’ (Luke 8:52 GNT) And what was their response? They laughed at Him. Like all of us, Jesus had to face scorn. But unlike most of us, He refused to accept it. Note His response: ‘He put them all outside.’ (Mark 5:40 RSV) Doubt, criticism and scorn weren’t allowed in the girl’s house—or in the mind of Christ. How about your mind?
 
You are Loved!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Finishing Strong the Race


'...I have finished my course...' 2 Timothy 4:7 KJV

The course God sets before us is seldom easy. Running it takes commitment. I've lived long enough to know men and women whose lives were sold out to God a few years ago, but who've since walked off the track...gone AWOL...lost their longing for God. It's a huge fear of mine and for others that many may follow in their footsteps...and it should you, too...

The faithfulness of my walk with God depends on my willingness to stay in a relationship with Him. I never want to lose the grip His greatness has on my life and the privilege it is to...serve Him till the day I'm welcomed into His presence. That passion compels me. It keeps me honest and humble... the last thing I want to do is crawl across the finish line a defeated, derailed Christian, or worse-give up the race before my life's over. I want to break that tape with arms high, my face to the sun. Can you see all of me crossing the finish line...lol

Paul said, '...I have finished my course... Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown...' (2 Timothy 4:7-8 KJV) Notice, courage plus endurance plus faithfulness equals reward.

Think about this: When nothing seems to help, go look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps 100 times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the 101st blow it will split in two, and I know it wasn't the last blow that did it, but all the blows that have gone before. God's Word is '...a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces...' (Jeremiah 23:29 NKJV) So, '[hold] fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ [you'll] have reason to glory because [you] did not run in vain...' (Philippians 2:16 NAS)

You Are Loved!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Hooked Together!


'All of you together are the temple.' 1 Corinthians 3:16 NLT


I read a story of a little boy who was playing outside when a neighbor asked him where his brother was. ‘In the house,’ he replied. ‘We were playing a duet on the piano—but I finished first!’
 
That's funny but it isn't what God intended when He called us to work together! It’s not a competition. In Bible days Roman soldier's shields were designed so they could literally be hooked together. Each man fought for his entire line. Paul lists the people he was hooked to; he called them his ‘fellow workers.’ (Romans 16:3 NKJV) Speaking to the church, he wrote, ‘All of you together are the temple of God…Everything belongs to you, and you belong to Christ.’ (1 Corinthians 3:16–23 NLT)
 
Notice a couple things that will make you think:
(1) Only together do we have everything we need.
(2) It’s about whom we belong to, not what belongs to us.
 
Experts say we need to hear something at least seven times before it registers. And this is particularly true when it comes to acknowledging our character defects or flaws in our plans. Dr John Maxwell writes: ‘After a period of frustration, I humbled myself and asked for advice. They told me things I didn’t want to hear. But I needed to learn to listen. And I learned to pay attention to things that struck a sensitive chord within me; it was often a signal that it was something I needed to improve. The things that upset me most, or that I resisted most, were usually what I needed to work on most. And if I gave myself time to reflect on what I was told and seek improvement, I usually improved dramatically.’ Don’t be defensive; learn from the people you’re hooked to!
 
You are Loved!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Trade-Offs



'I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ.' Philippians 3:8 NIV


No matter how hard you try, you can’t ‘have it all’. I know there are many voices saying you can...But Life’s too short!
There are trade–offs you must be willing to make.
 
In Matthew chapter 19 we read the story of the man who wanted to follow Christ, but he didn’t want to give up his lifestyle. Paul, on the other hand, said, ‘I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ.’
 
Let’s look at some trade–offs in life that are worth making:
(1) Approval for accomplishment. For people–pleasers and approval–junkies this means realizing that accolades are like smoke; they evaporate quickly. Awards turn to rust. Financial gain is quickly spent or lost. You must come to the place where ‘doing good’ means more to you than ‘looking good’.
 
(2) Security for significance. Greatness doesn’t lie in what you earn or own; it lies in what you give your life to accomplish. Instead of merely focusing on making a living, ask God to help you make a difference!
 
(3) Exploration for expertise. Too many of us like to dabble, but the problem with dabbling is that you never really become great at anything. True, when you’re young you should try new things and see where your strengths and interests lie. But as you get older you must become more focused. You will go far in life if you ‘specialize’ in something. If you study the lives of great men and women, you’ll find that they were single–minded and tenacious. So once you have found what God created and called you to do, stick with it and let the rest go.
 
You are Loved!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

What Do You Treasure Most?




'Where your treasure is...there your heart will be also.' Matthew 6:21 NIV

 Let me ask you a question? If your house was burning down and you could only save one thing, what would it be? It’s a decision people make every day, and it’s never easy. There’ll always be things we grieve about giving up because of their intrinsic value in our lives. If you want to know what yours are, look at how you spend your time and money. It’s a dead giveaway. Jesus said, ‘Where your treasure is…there your heart will be also.’ Your ‘treasure’ can be relationships you’d do anything to keep, a career that’s central to your identity, or your investments for the future. These things are ok. Indeed, the Bible says that wise people look ahead and plan (Proverbs 21:20). But it’s where you’re investing for eternity that really matters. ‘The rich young ruler asked Jesus: “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?”…Jesus said…“Sell all…you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.’ (Luke 18:18–23 NKJV) In essence, Jesus was asking this man who was rich and successful, ‘Would you give it all up to follow Me? Would you forfeit it for a few years in order to have much more for eternity? Instead of building a career, would you spend your life building My kingdom?’ Jesus wants to be ‘front and center’ in your life. And when you put Him there, He promises, ‘All your other needs will be met as well.’ (Matthew 6:33 NCV) Are you willing to put Him to the test?

You are Loved!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Go in His Strength


'Go in the strength you have...Am I not sending you?' Judges 6:14 NIV


It's one of those days...give me coffee, I need coffee...lol I really don't need the coffee as much as I need Jesus. It's really His strength you and I need. It’s said, ‘There’s nothing stranger than people, but there’s nothing more important!’ Jesus understood that principle. He spent His life as ‘one who serves.’ (Luke 22:27 NIV)
 
He ministered to society’s outcasts. He sought out the one sheep that was lost while the other ninety–nine waited (Luke 15:4–6). Even on the cross Jesus wasn’t just thinking about the impact of His earthly ministry, or tying up loose ends. He was busy forgiving the thief on an adjacent cross, asking His Father to forgive the men who crucified Him, and making sure His mother was taken care of after He went back to Heaven.
 
So, was Jesus’ schedule less pressing than ours? Or did He know something we don’t? For example, instead of filling our diaries, we should be more concerned with building relationships and pouring ourselves into the lives of those around us? Think what could happen if, like Jesus, we made a conscious decision to invest our time and talent into the lives of twelve people. The possibilities are mind–boggling! Perhaps you feel intimidated by the concept of making a difference in the world. Don’t let your vision of what’s possible be limited by what you perceive as your own strengths and weaknesses. ‘With God’s power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine.’ (Ephesians 3:20 NCV) Only one opinion matters—God’s. And He told Gideon, ‘Go in the strength you have and save Israel…Am I not sending you?’ The strength of the Sender, not the weaknesses of the one being sent, is what changes the odds and wins the day.
 
You are Loved!