Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Mind of Christ

Lesson 38



As we know, the soul consists of three parts: the mind, will and emotions.  All these have to be subjected to the control of the Spirit. 
  Our mind and affections have to be set on things above, not on things on the earth (Col.3:2), but this can only happen when we have died to self and are risen with Christ:
  It is only through death to self that we can rise in the resurrection power of the Holy Ghost!
   

Colossians 3:1-3  (KJV)

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
2Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
3For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
   
When our mind is “stayed” on the Lord will we walk in perfect peace.

Isaiah 26:3-5 King James Version (KJV)
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.

The mind then, is the leading part of the soul.  Every thought has to be taken captive in obedience to Christ (2 Cor10:3-5). And as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. (Prov.23:7).
  That implies that the emotions follow the dictates of the mind. Therefore, it follows that the mind set on Christ will cause us to have Spirit-filled emotions .  The contrary is also true: Uncontrolled emotions simply means that they are under control of the flesh which has not died.
  Either we live under control of the Spirit or under control of the flesh.
  Once we have embraced the cross and have reckoned ourselves dead to sin (e.g.uncontrolled emotions) and alive to God in Christ Jesus (by the Spirit) (Rom.6:11) we have to make the choice with our will whether we will give in to the temptation to react in the flesh or respond in the power of the Spirit.
  In Philippians 2 Paul beseeches the believers to have the mind of Christ who has taken on the form of a servant in lowliness and humility to become obedient even unto death out of love for the Father.
  Lowliness of mind is the opposite of pride that wants to have its will and its way causing emotions to run haywaire if the situation cannot be “controlled”. 

1 Corinthians 2:16 - For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Romans 12:2 - And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and 
perfect, will of God.

Philippians 2:5 - Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:


2 Timothy 1:7 - For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

1 Peter 1:13 - Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

Philippians 2:5-11 - Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. 

1 John 2:6 - He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

Romans 8:1-39 - [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.   
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Philippians 4:8 - Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Agape Love conquers offenses

Lesson 37



I am so overwhelmed by the love of the Lord – just meditating on the power of love to overcome all offenses.

Recently I have been meditating on the Scripture below:



“The Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another,
and towards all men,
even as we do towards you:
To the end He may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God,
even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.”
1 Thessalonians 3:12

To have a heart established in holiness before God is equated with the fulness of His agape love with His eternal perspective.

When our hearts are filled and overflowing with the agape of God, it is not easy to become offended. We will see people from God's perspective and His love will conquer all.

Negative situations will always come across our path, but when we respond in the Spirit of love and instant forgiveness, the fires of destruction are quenched with peace as the result.

The more we get saturated in His Presence, the more we will abound in love and then we become unoffendable and unmoved by the fleshly conduct and reactions in others.

When we counter someone’s negative response with the love of God, Christ is glorified and the fragrance of His presence spreads into the situation.

After all, our love towards another spills out from our love for Him and this enables us to love as He does with His agape.

Jesus asked Peter three times whether he loved Him more than those around. Twice He referred to agapao (divine love), but Peter answered with Phileo (brotherly love).
Jesus’ directive was to feed His sheep.

Our ministry to others should be motivated by the fiery love of God.

To live through Christ is to love and it is easy, because it is a natural flow of the Spirit of Love – the royal law of the Kingdom of heaven (James 2:8).

PRAYER: Father, it is Your commandment to love and You are the One who enables us to do so by the Spirit. Cause us to increase and to overflow in love, bearing with one another, forgiving one another as You do. Help us to counter the plans of the enemy to divide by offenses through your agape love so that You can establish us in holiness before You - in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

God is bringing Transformation



    Lesson 36
    

       We are in a wonderful season where God's grace is causing many to see themselves
       in the light of the Holy Spirit. 

       This is our opportunity for transformation into the image of Christ.  

       As we are willingly yielded to Him to do a work in us which we cannot do, 
       He brings the shift in our perception to see in a new way. 

       Repentance and forgiveness paves the way for newness of resurrection life as we
       come to the foot of the cross. Hallelujah!
    




Saturday, October 13, 2018

JUDGE NOT!



LESSON 35

We often first have to deal with the stumbling blocks within ourselves before we can overcome the stumbling blocks in our relationships.

Our judgments of another form opinions, which in turn form resistances that become like walls between ourselves and those we do not “approve” of.

Matthew 7:1-5 says it all:
“Judge not, that ye be not judged.
For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.”

Judgmentalism is an attitude that becomes a stronghold by which the whole world is viewed and judged and quickly taken to task.  It is rooted in perfectionism, which stems from rejection and is married to pride.
When we find this attitude in our hearts, we need to humble ourselves, repent and God to help us get rid of the beam in our eyes.  Yes, it has to do with the way in which we see things, people and their actions.
We can judge the fruit, but never the person!  Sin remains sin and will receive judgment from the Lord. However, because we are all prone to stumbling, we should exercise the same grace and mercy on another as we expect to be treated with when we err.
Often, when someone has grown up with a measuring stick of “perfection” (from parents), he in turn will exact a perfect behavior and standard from everyone else, being a very hard task master, with no mercy. 
When, on the contrary, we take every situation to the Lord in prayer, asking God to show us the root of someone else’s rude, controlling or offensive behavior, He will give us divine perception.
From His point of view, understanding the root of the problem, we can easily forgive, praying for that person from a place of mercy and compassion to receive enlightened eyes of his understanding by God’s grace to repent and be restored to a place of righteous living.
In the meantime we can bless those who persecute us and revile us, knowing that they do not know what they do. When we have interactions with such people, let us pray for grace to see with the eyes of Jesus to not be offended by them, bless them and move on, without reliving the negative in our memories, or talking about it.
Luke 6 give us a whole list of how we should treat our enemies:
  • Love your enemies (v 27,35) ,35)
  • Bless them that curse you (v 28)
  • pray for them which despitefully use you (v 28)
  • Let them take what they demand of you (v 29)
  • Give (v 30, 38) and lend (v 35) 
  • Judge not, condemn not, but forgive (v 37)


In Isaiah 58 the Word says that we will walk into the light of healing when we withdraw the pointing of the finger!  So help us, God!

Prayer:  Father of glory, open the eyes of our understanding that we can see ourselves in the light of truth to repent of anything in our thoughts, words and actions that does not bring glory to you. You are a holy God and you want us to be true reflections of Your glory.  Change us, form us and mold us into Your image, Lord. And, Father, help us to take the path of lowliness to bring and end to hatred, judgments, accusation and division.  Give us Your perception of every unrighteous act and give and wisdom and grace to love others as we love ourselves. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.



Thursday, October 4, 2018

The Art of Living Free of Stress

Lesson 35

Stress starts in our mind and is usually instigated by fear of some kind. It always involves negative thinking, which quickly sets negative emotions in motion. Then it gets to the nervous system. The brain secretes adrenalin, which in turn releases toxins to the body. It also causes foggy thinking and we cannot make the right decisions as the soul dominates the spirit man.  

It is obvious that this is a very unproductive and undesirable state to be in, since it is detrimental to our whole being, steals our peace and joy, robbing us of quality of life.  It also affects everyone around us. 

There is hoever a simple remedy for it, yet seemingly the most difficult thing to do. 

It is simply stated in Philippians 4:6-7


”Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

When we become still in the presence of the Lord, handing over our worries, concerns and stress to the Lord in worshipful prayer, He takes over. It is basically an issue of trust and total dependence on Him. We need to realize that all our independent efforts will keep Him out of the picture and prolong our struggle with stress.

As we bring our requests to God by faith (taking our hands and minds off), He will take care of all our needs, giving us the ability and strength to endure until we see the breakthrough. Take note! It all starts in the mind! When our mind is focused on the fact that God gives us the strength to overcome every situation, it becomes easier not to allow our minds to engage with fear.

Thanksgiving is the result of faith that He will do what seems impossible to us!  And then, inexplicably, peace floods our souls, guarding our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus!  It surely is an amazing, miraculous wonder!  

Practicing this instruction from the Lord as soon as we feel tense (which is a result of what we are thinking), we bring us into the habit of handing over everything to Him! It is "hands free” living in a constant state of peace so that we can enjoy our lives.

Make sure that your mind is “stayed” (focused) on the Lord in total trust and He will keep you in perfect peace. 

Isaiah 26:3-4

You will keep him in perfect peace,                                                                                                                             Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.Trust in the Lord forever,
For in Yah, the Lordis everlasting strength.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Choose Life or Death

Lesson 34
We are in a time zone where persecution of Christians is on the rise. This is the onslaught of darkness and its forces against the Kingdom of God, which we as Christians carry inside of us. 
It is a confrontation between light and darkness!  Your values and standards of your belief system will be challenged as many deceiving, seducing spirits are on the rampage.
We have to choose whether we will follow the Lord full-out or whether we will compromise – giving in to the demands of the flesh and subsequently be defiled.
 
“For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:6)
 
Your stand in light and truth will be challenged and might cause rifts in your relationships – even in your family!  But choose thee this day whom you will serve! (Joshua 24:15)
We are children of the light. Let your light then so shine that every can see it. Never be ashamed of Jesus.  Never be ashamed of the truth! The Word of God is our plumb line and it doesn’t change!  
So , here is our instruction from the Lord:
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye?” Matthew 5:44

Thursday, September 13, 2018

When the devil wants to catch you with a loop!

Lesson 33
The one thing that can throw us totally off balance in a moment is a negative surprise.

How do you deal with that?

Well, it is, as always, all about the heart. If the enemy can occupy your mind with the negative, your emotions will go haywire and you will not be able to make the right decisions.
Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it springs the issues of life. (Prov.4:23)
So, here’s what to do:

1)  Run to God! He is our very present help in time of need and as soon as you cry out to Him, He will answer. 

The key is to bare your heart, pour out all your fears and feelings of rejection to Him and ask Him to take charge with His power and might. That’s right!  We have to get our focus on His Almighty power and the fact the He reigns supreme in all circumstances.

The moment you release the fear, anxiety and negative pictures to Him, He comes into view again and your heart comes to rest. Praying with supplication and thankfulness that He will turn the situation around for good, peace starts flooding your soul again and you can think straight.  Hallelujah!

I’m just describing Philippians 4:6:

Philippians 4:6-7 (KJV)
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
2)  Now it is time to worship!  Coming into God’s Presence is key for victorious living! 
In this place we become still before the Lord, ready to wait on Him for His instruction.
The Hebrew Word “wait” means to be intertwined.  This spells union in, by and with the Spirit of the living God.  What a place to be! 

Here we can hear his heart beat, being tuned to Him. The sound of His wisdom comes forth, giving us strategy through His Living Word.

3)  As soon as you hear it, start declaring it and calling it forth by faith. 

Do not give any place in your mind to the contents of the negative situation.  Envision the glorious outcome through God’s Word and keep His face before your eyes in absolute faith and expectancy for the manifestation of His Word. 

In the meantime clothe yourself in love!  It is your heart's protection and your offensive weapon!  Love conquers all!


Now you can rejoice in the midst of a seemingly impossible situation.  The Lord reigns!

The Mind of Christ

Lesson 38 As we know, the soul consists of three parts: the mind, will and emotions.  All these have to be subjected to the control ...