Category Archives: Devotionals

There is NO MIND like a CHRIST MIND! 1of 7

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series No Mind Like a Christ Mind

What will keep us united and our faith strong?

The power plant of the Christian is a spiritually transformed mind. There is No Mind like a Christ Mind! Romans 12:2 Say’s do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is that which is good and acceptable and perfect. I don’t want God to have these words with me that he had with the church at Ephesus in revelation 2:4 “I have this against you that you have left your first love.”

I was reminded on the day before preparing this message of how important the word of God is to the development of relationships in the family. I shared openly ,with my wife, what I had been learning from the scriptures about having the mind of Christ.  We had an exciting exchange of what scriptures where saying to us. It had a unifying effect on us and it convicted my spirit.

I would like to share with you , in upcoming blog posts“Seven Characteristics of a Christ Centered Mind.”

1.    The Mind of Encouragement  (verse 1)

“1Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any  affection and compassion,”

Encouragement is multi-faceted. It at times comforts the sick or emotionally hurting.  Encouragement also helps to redirect those that are going in the wrong direction. Christ both healed the sick and turned tables when folks where selling in the Temple .Mat.21:13 “It states “is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers den.” Hebrew 3:13 say’s that we should “encourage one another day after day, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. “

There is a strong urgency to be an encourager in fact it takes courage to be one. I teach art at a local school, one of my students became tired of working on one of my assignments . Half way through, they asked if they could stop and hand in the project the way it was. I thought for a moment, what if in life they didn’t complete their assignments.   So I said “Sure give me half of your assignment and I will give you half of your grade.”

That was enough of an incentive to complete the full assignment.  They actually relieved an excellent grade for the good work submitted. We are like this at times. We need a little encouragement to do things that will benefit us. Be that encourager; help some along both with a soft word, a helping hand or a firm word to redirect. Ask yourself, how would Christ do it?

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How Can Psalms 90 Impact Our Decision Making?

Here is a devotional based on Psalms 90. The author, Joe Stowell, is a writer for the Daily Bread. Please read and share some comments. Is this a realistic perspective for you right now?

Overcommitters Anonymous

By Joe Stowell

“Teach us to number our days . . . that we may gain a heart of wisdom” Psalm 90:12

I am hopelessly prone to overcommitting myself. Is anyone else out there a little too quick to say “Yes” to every request? Let’s start our own little group—Overcommitters Anonymous. We can have weekly OCA meetings. We’ll become experts at saying “No.” Wanna join?

As I get a little older I realize, like Moses did in Psalm 90, that my time on this earth is limited. It is quickly passing. And that means that, more than ever, I want to be strategic and purposeful about where and how I am spending my time. It’s not because I feel like I’m better than others, or that some tasks and opportunities are beneath me. It’s just that I have this long list of goals I’d love to accomplish, people I want to invest in, and dreams I want to see realized—and there just doesn’t seem to be enough time.

Moses was gut-level honest about this reality. He says, “The length of our days is seventy years—or eighty, if we have the strength” (Psalm 90:10). This from a guy who didn’t even lead God’s people out of Egypt until he was in his eighties! Moses goes on to say of our years: “yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.”

I suppose old Moses may have just been having a bad day when he wrote this, but I suspect, more accurately, that under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Moses had one of those wake-up-to-your-own-mortality kind of moments where he became aware, in a fresh way, that he wasn’t going to be around forever. And so his heart’s cry was very simple: “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (v.12). In other words, “Lord, I need you to clearly show me how to use the time that I have left.”

Which brings me back to my overcommitment problem.

I’ve found that often I am afraid to say “No” to people because I have a fear of offending them. I like being liked. I like being available. I like being helpful, and so I cringe at the idea of disappointing someone who has asked for my help. Another committee to serve on. Another project to lead. Another trip. Another . . . well, you get the idea.

For me, the antidote to my fear of offending people is cultivating a deeper fear—the fear of neglecting some of the core ministries and responsibilities that God has entrusted to me. Like, for example, my family. I want to be sure that my outside commitments don’t pull me away from my responsibilities as a husband, a son, a father, and a grandfather. If I have a healthy fear of neglecting my family, it will eclipse the lesser fear of potentially offending someone who has asked for a chunk of my time that would overcommit me.

After 18 years at The Moody Bible Institute, I’m now on staff at a church again, and I want to be sure that I am maximizing my effectiveness to the church that God has called me to. So, my Sundays are not free for “pulpit supply” the way they used to be, and more of my speaking time and energy is reserved for my church. If I overcommit myself, I risk neglecting that vital ministry.

So, maybe we don’t need a meeting of  “Overcommitters Anonymous” after all. We simply need to personalize the perspective and prayer of Moses as we consider every opportunity in terms of the priorities of our fleeting lives. Besides, I really shouldn’t commit to another meeting!

YOUR JOURNEY…

* Do you have a tendency to overcommit yourself? What fears prevent you from saying “No” to certain people or opportunities?
* What are some of your core responsibilities and commitments? How are those affected by overcommitment on your part?
* Take a few minutes to read through and then personalize Psalm 90. Spend some extra time praying the prayer of Moses, “Lord, teach me to number my days aright, that I might gain a heart of wisdom.”

The Right People

I firmly believe that the principles basis of all Team Building practices are based on those principles found in scripture. Most devotionals like the one featured in this post will use a real life story and apply those sound principles.

In the devotional I read to day I was reminded that regardless how many books I read to prepare for a workshop or keynote on Team Building that I should always start first with my bible.

Take a few minutes to read this powerful devotional and illustration, especially appreciated by sport fans, on Team Building that leads to Team Work.

The Right People.

Keep The Faith

This is a devotional written by Elizabeth Aryee (Mrs.) on the subject of Faith.

FAITH:

The bible defines FAITH in Heb. 11:1 as being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.

Faith is the believe that God is real and that God is good.  It is a choice to believe that the one who made it all hasn’t left it all and that He still sends light into the shadows and responds to gestures of faith.

Faith is the believe that God will do what is right even though we do not see Him, yet we trust Him for that.

In the book “A woman’s journey with God: Joni Eareckson Tada wrote “faith means believing in realities that go beyond  sense and sight ….. being aware of unseen divine realities all around you.”

(RUTH 1:16)

But Ruth said, “don’t beg me to leave you or to stop following you.  Where you go, I will go.  Where you live, I will live.  Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.

Ruth had no idea what the future held, but she had FAITH in the God of Israel.  After the loss of her husband, father-in-law, Ruth was so convinced that the God of Israel was the true God that she told her mother-in-law that “where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.  Your people will be my people and your God my God”.

Perhaps it was her mother-in-law Naomi, who influence her to put her faith in God, or God may have visited her in her need, convincing her of His goodness and power.  Whatever her source of motivation , it is clear that Ruth made the correct decision.  She placed her faith in God the Creator.  As Christians, we should do no less.

Abraham also demonstrated that faith in Romans 4:2 & 3; It says “If Abraham was made right by the things he did, he had a reason to brag.  But this is not God’s view, because Scripture says Abraham believed God, and God accepted his faith, and that faith made him right with God.”

Our faith will not be whole unless we are made right with God or unless we are circumcised.  Circumcision here means cleanse from unrighteousness.

The Bible exhorts us to fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.  Heb. 12:2.  The journey of life is a journey of faith when we look up to Jesus as our savior and guide.  He makes that journey with us, and he makes that journey worthwhile.  Let us then, build our lives on the firm foundation: faith in the Son and faith in the Father.

2 Chronicles 20:20 said “ …. have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld.

2 Cor. 5:7 said “we live by faith, not by sight.”

Corrie Ten Boom wrote “Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives, is the perfect preparation for the future that He can see.”

Let us all join Timothy to say in 2 Timothy 4:7 & 8 that “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, not only to me but to all those who have waited with love for him to come again.”

Struggle With Our Old Lifestyle

What does Romans 7:15-25 say to you about personal struggles?

These are my reflections  from a message I heard from Pastor Steven Davis  of Calvary Gospel Church in Newark, NJ.

Paul’s conversion was about 33 AD. He wrote this letter about 57 AD . He was then 24 years into the ministry. This is a man speaking from experience and also the authority of God.
We also learn from experience.   But God uses our life experiences, good or bad to teach us the deeper things of his wisdom.  Jesus is the truth and the life.

Paul , through his writings, allows us to  see a picture of the painful struggles of contending with the sinful nature. He speak about it like it’s a warfare going on inside of himself.  He cries, “Who will deliver me?” Rom. 7:24

We all struggle but the same Jesus who helped Paul will help and teach us in our battles.

What are you learning?