VIDEO Good Thoughts – The Devotion of Hearing

Good Thoughts

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.  Isaiah 26:3

When you are pouring a gallon jug of water into a larger container, you get that “glug glug glug” effect as the water leaves the narrow neck of the gallon jug. That happens because water and air are colliding in the neck of the jug. Water is leaving and air is rushing in to fill the empty space.

Our minds are like that gallon jug; they have to be filled with something. The more we fill our mind with godly thoughts, the less room there will be for ungodly thoughts. As the prophet Isaiah wrote, when our minds are focused on God we will be at peace (Isaiah 26:3). There will be no room for its opposite—worry and anxiety. The apostle Paul went further with a list of things to meditate on: things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8-9). That’s an expansive list—lots of things to choose from; lots of ways to remain free of worry.

Empty your mind of negative, ungodly thinking and let the good and godly thoughts rush in. There is no better source for good thoughts than the Word of God.

When anger enters the mind, wisdom departs. Thomas à Kempis


The Devotion of Hearing

Just because I have listened carefully and intently to one thing from God does not mean that I will listen to everything He says. I show God my lack of love and respect for Him by the insensitivity of my heart and mind toward what He says. If I love my friend, I will instinctively understand what he wants. And Jesus said, “You are My friends…” (John 15:14). Have I disobeyed some command of my Lord’s this week? If I had realized that it was a command of Jesus, I would not have deliberately disobeyed it. But most of us show incredible disrespect to God because we don’t even hear Him. He might as well never have spoken to us.

The goal of my spiritual life is such close identification with Jesus Christ that I will always hear God and know that God always hears me (see John 11:41). If I am united with Jesus Christ, I hear God all the time through the devotion of hearing. A flower, a tree, or a servant of God may convey God’s message to me. What hinders me from hearing is my attention to other things. It is not that I don’t want to hear God, but I am not devoted in the right areas of my life. I am devoted to things and even to service and my own convictions. God may say whatever He wants, but I just don’t hear Him. The attitude of a child of God should always be, “Speak, for Your servant hears.” If I have not developed and nurtured this devotion of hearing, I can only hear God’s voice at certain times. At other times I become deaf to Him because my attention is to other things— things which I think I must do. This is not living the life of a child of God. Have you heard God’s voice today?

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

There is no condition of life in which we cannot abide in Jesus. We have to learn to abide in Him wherever we are placed.  Our Brilliant Heritage, 946 R


Max Lucado – Anxious For Nothing

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The Battle

But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.  Psalm 39:7

As artillery rounds fell around him with an earth-shaking whoomp, the young soldier prayed fervently, “Lord, if you get me through this, I’ll go to that Bible school Mom wanted me to attend.” God honored his focused prayer. My dad survived World War II, went to Moody Bible Institute, and invested his life in ministry.

Another warrior endured a different kind of crisis that drove him to God, but his problems arose when he avoided combat. As King David’s troops fought the Ammonites, David was back at his palace casting more than just a glance at another man’s wife (see 2 Samuel 11). In Psalm 39, David chronicles the painful process of restoration from the terrible sin that resulted. “The turmoil within me grew worse,” he wrote. “The more I thought about it, the hotter I got” (vv. 2–3 nlt).

David’s broken spirit caused him to reflect: “Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is” (v. 4). Amid his renewed focus, David didn’t despair. He had nowhere else to turn. “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you” (v. 7). David would survive this personal battle and go on to serve God.

What motivates our prayer life doesn’t matter as much as the focus of our prayer. Godis our source of hope. He wants us to share our heart with Him.

By Tim Gustafson

A Gift for Every Believer

1 Peter 4:10-11

Even though the Bible clearly states that every believer receives a spiritual gift, some people nevertheless think they were overlooked. So these men and women meander through life refusing opportunities to serve. Other folks are so busy wishing they had a different ability that they do not use the one bestowed by the Holy Spirit. Both of these attitudes hinder the body of Christ.

God has a specific purpose and ministry for every Christian. Our spiritual gifts help us to fulfill His plan. We learn which one (or ones) we possess by getting involved in the life of the church. In other words, a believer will know his divinely appointed abilities when he begins to exercise them.

Moreover, the Lord has a purpose in mind when He bestows spiritual gifts on His children. Christians are to exercise their special skills for the common good (1 Corinthians 12:7), and everyone profits when believers do God’s work though the power of the Holy Spirit. These gifts are used in a variety of ways, including to equip, edify, and encourage one another (Eph. 4:11-13).

To appreciate how various gifts work to build up the body of Christ, we may have to broaden our understanding of words like evangelistprophet, and teacher. Biblically, these terms describe co-laborers who share Christ, spiritual mentors who explain biblical truths to new believers, friends who uplift the discouraged, and others doing similar work.

Every member of the Christian fellowship is important, and each one has a task to do. Where God has gifted us and opened doors of opportunity for ministry, He also provides the strength and courage to exercise our abilities.

Importance of Reading

Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” (1 Timothy 4:13) 

In this video age, Christians are in grave danger of forgetting the importance of reading. The word translated “reading” in this verse is the Greek anagnosis, a compound word meaning essentially “renewed knowledge.” A sermon or lecture is knowledge heard; an educational film or video is knowledge seen; but reading is knowledge that can be read, rehearsed, reviewed, and renewed again and again, until fully and securely learned. In fact, it is necessary for students to take notes, even when hearing a sermon or seeing a film, if they expect to retain any knowledge received by such means.

The importance of reading is also pointed out by the verb used in the verse. “Give attendance” means, literally, “continue steadfastly.” It is so translated in Acts 2:42: “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine.”

Reading and studying the Scriptures are especially necessary for a fruitful Christian ministry, but even this is not really enough. The Bible also commands us always to be ready to give an “answer” (Greek apologia, a systematic defense) to everyone who asks a “reason” (Greek logos, a logical explanation) for our Christian hope (1 Peter 3:15). To do this requires steadfast continuance in the study, not only of the Bible, but also of other sound literature as well. A truly effective and influential Christian is an informed Christian, armed with facts and sound counsel, prepared and capable both in his own professional field of practice and in his spiritual service as a Christian witness.

It is significant that Paul, just before his martyrdom and while imprisoned in a damp, cold, Roman dungeon, still desired his books to read (2 Timothy 4:13). The conscientious Christian must never cease to study and to grow in grace and knowledge (2 Peter 3:18). HMM

Influenced by Wild-Eyed Fanatics

Quench not the Spirit .Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

—1 Thessalonians 5:19-21

This is a crude illustration, but let me tell you what we did after planting a field of corn when I was a young fellow in Pennsylvania. To save the field of corn from the crows, we would shoot an old crow and hang him by his heels in the middle of the field. This was supposed to scare off all of the crows for miles around. The crows would hold a conference and say, “Look, there is a field of corn but don’t go near it. I saw a dead crow over there!”

That’s the kind of conference that Satan calls, and that is exactly what he has done. He has taken some fanatical, weird, wild-eyed Christians who do things that they shouldn’t, and he has stationed them in the middle of God’s cornfield, and warns, “Now, don’t you go near that doctrine about the Holy Spirit because if you do, you will act just like these wild-eyed fanatics.”   COU063

Keep us, Lord, from shying away from such valuable truth and experience as the ministry of the Holy Spirit because of the excesses of a few fanatics. We lose too much, and we can’t afford the loss. Amen.

 

Seeing ye have purified your souls

Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit.—1 Peter 1:22.

 

Thy wonderful grand will, my God!

Triumphantly I make it mine;

And faith shall breathe her glad “Amen”

To every dear command of Thine.

Jean Sophia Pigott.

 

You little think how much the life of all your graces depends upon your ready and cordial obedience to the Spirit. When the Spirit urgeth thee to secret prayer, and thou refusest obedience; when He forbids thee a known transgression, and yet thou wilt go on; when He telleth thee which is the way, and which not, and thou wilt not regard,—no wonder if heaven and thy soul be strange.

Richard Baxter.

 

Whatever the particular call is, the particular sacrifice God asks you to make, the particular cross He wishes you to embrace, whatever the particular path He wants you to tread, will you rise up, and say in your heart, “Yes, Lord, I accept it; I submit, I yield, I pledge myself to walk in that path, and to follow that Voice, and to trust Thee with the consequences”? Oh! but you say, “I don’t know what He will want next.” No, we none of us know that, but we know we shall be safe in His hands.

Catherine Booth.

 

You Shall Be Blessed In the Field

“Blessed shalt thou be in the field.” Deut. 28:3

So was Isaac blessed when he walked therein at eventide to meditate. How often has the Lord met us when we have been alone! The hedges and the trees can bear witness to our joy. We look for such blessedness again.

So was Boaz blessed when he reaped his harvest, and his workmen met him with benedictions. May the Lord prosper all who drive the plough! Every farmer may urge this promise with God, if indeed he obeys the voice of the Lord God.

We go to the field to labor as father Adam did; and since the curse fell on the soil through the sin of Adam the first, it is a great comfort to find a blessing through Adam the second.

We go to the field for exercise, and we are happy in the belief that the Lord will bless that exercise, and give us health, which we will use to His glory.

We go to the field to study nature, and there is nothing in a knowledge of the visible creation which may not be sanctified to the highest uses by the divine benediction.

We have at last to go to the field to bury our dead; yea, others will in their turn take us to God’s acre in the field: but we are blessed, whether weeping at the tomb, or sleeping in it.

 

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