VIDEO Sound Thinking

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

It’s helpful to have several good translations of the Bible to compare with each other. Doing so adds insight, for the same Hebrew and Greek words can have varying shades of definition. For example, in the New King James Version, 2 Timothy 1:7 says God has given us a spirit “of power and of love and of a sound mind.” But the New International Version says, “power, love and self-discipline.”

Both ideas are true. The original Greek word conveys the idea of having a mind that is wise and capable of sound thinking because it is disciplined and sober.

The same theme is conveyed in Romans 8:5: “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” The Holy Spirit is the caretaker of the believer’s mind. He longs to develop within us the mind of Christ. Is your mind sound and self-disciplined? Is it under the Spirit’s management?

An old hymn says, “May the mind of Christ, my Savior live in me from day to day.”1 May that be our prayer!

  1. Kate B. Wilkinson, “May the Mind of Christ, My Savior,” 1925.

Verse of the Day – 2 Timothy 1:7 | Life Without Limbs

The Lost Envelope

Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

We were on the way home from a visit with family in another state when I found it. I was pumping gas when I noticed a dirty, bulky envelope on the ground. I grabbed it, dirt and all, and looked inside. To my surprise, it contained one hundred dollars.

One hundred dollars that someone had lost and who at that very moment was possibly frantically searching to find. I gave our phone number to the attendants at the gas station in case anyone came back looking for it. But no one ever called.

Someone had that money and lost it. Earthly treasure is often like that. It can be lost, stolen, or even squandered. It can be lost in bad investments or even in a monetary market over which we have no control. But the heavenly treasure we have in Jesus—a restored relationship with God and the promise of eternal life—isn’t like that. We can’t lose it at a gas station or anywhere else.

That’s why Christ told us to store up “treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:20). We do that when we become “rich in good deeds” (1 Timothy 6:18) or “rich in faith” (James 2:5)—lovingly helping others and sharing Jesus with them. As God leads and empowers us, may we store up eternal treasure even as we anticipate our eternal future with Him.

By: Dave Branon

Reflect & Pray

What can you do this week that has eternal implications? How can you better use your earthly treasures as investments for heaven’s good?

Dear God, thank You for everything You’ve given us on this earth—our money, our homes, and more. Help us to hold them loosely while seeking to store up more eternal treasures.

Can It Really Be?

Christ also suffered for us. . . . Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” (1 Peter 2:21-24)

Those who love good church music have come to love Charles Wesley’s commitment to and knowledge of his Savior and the Scriptures, for he wove into his music and poetry deep insights that challenge and thrill us even today. One of his hymns, “And Can It Be That I Should Gain?,” has unfortunately been abridged in modern hymnals. The first verse is expressed:

And can it be that I should gain,
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him, to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be,
That thou, my God, should’st die for me?

Even the Old Testament saints wondered why God loves man so. “What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him?” (Job 7:17). The New Testament contains many similar expressions of wonder. “Behold, what manner of love [literally ‘what a different kind of love’] the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1). “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. . . . And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement” (Romans 5:8-11).

The point is we were desperate sinners deserving His wrath. “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love [i.e., ‘amazing love’] wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)” (Ephesians 2:4-5). JDM

Who Will Be in Heaven?

Matthew 7:13-27

Most people think that when they die, they are going to heaven. If you asked why, the majority would say they have been good people or their positive deeds outweigh any negative things they’ve done. Yet the sad reality is, most people will not find themselves in heaven—and that includes some who claim to be Christians.

It may not be a popular topic of conversation, but our Savior knew that hell was essential to understand. In today’s reading, He uses illustrations of contrasting gates, trees, and houses to point out that there are only two possible destinies after death: heaven and hell. Jesus is warning us about a most sobering reality—that not everyone who calls Him “Lord” actually belongs to Him (Matt. 7:21-23).

What, then, distinguishes a true follower? John 14:15 tells us those who love the Savior will keep His commandments. This obedience begins with believing Jesus is the Son of God (John 3:36). In other words, the first step is to humble ourselves before God, admitting that we’re sinful and deserving of condemnation. Next, we must call out to Him, requesting the forgiveness for which His Son’s blood was shed on our behalf. From then on, we’re to live only for God.

If you hear the gospel but stop short of obedience, ask yourself, Do I fully understand the goodness of God’s love? That should inspire you to obey the Father. Looking good on the outside isn’t enough to enter the kingdom of heaven. Remember, to those who truly receive Him, He will give “the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). Won’t you make sure you’re among those destined for heaven?

He Does Know

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

—Hebrews 4:15-16

Don’t pity yourself Don’t be afraid to tell God your troubles. He knows all about your troubles. There is a little song that says, “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen,” but there’s Somebody who knows, all right. And our Fellow Sufferer still retains a fellow feeling for our pains and still remembers in the skies His tears, His agonies and cries, though He’s now at the right hand of the Father Almighty, sitting crowned in glory, awaiting, of course, that great coronation day that yet is to come. But though He is there and though they cry all around Him, “Worthy is the Lamb” (Revelation 5:12), He hasn’t forgotten us, and He hasn’t forgotten the nails in His hands, the tears, the agonies and cries.

He knows everything about you. He knows! He knows when the doctor hates to tell you what’s wrong with you and your friends come and try to be unnaturally encouraging. He knows!

With boldness, therefore, at the throne

Let us make all our sorrows known

And ask the aid of heavenly power

To help us in the evil hour.   AOG094-095

Thank You, Lord, for this encouragement. Thank You that You know and understand. Amen.

 

Because Thou hast been my help

Because Thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of Thy wings will I rejoice.—Psalm 63:7.

 

On our way rejoicing gladly let us go,

Conquered hath our Leader, vanquished is our foe!

Christ without, our safety! Christ within, our joy!

Who, if we be faithful, can our hope destroy?

On our way rejoicing as we homeward move,

Hearken to our praises, O Thou God of love!

J. B. S. Monsell.

 

I cannot understand why those who have given themselves up to God and His goodness are not always cheerful, for what possible happiness can be equal to that? No accidents or imperfections, which may happen, ought to have power to trouble them, or to hinder their looking upward.

St. Francis De Sales.

 

Why should we go to heaven weeping, as if we were like to fall down through the earth for sorrow? If God were dead (if I may speak so, with reverence of Him who liveth for ever and ever,) we might have cause to look like dead folks; but “the Lord liveth, and blessed be the Rock of our salvation.” None have right to joy but we, for joy is sown for us, and an ill summer or harvest will not spill the crop.

Samuel Rutherford.

 

Peace In Whatever Exposure

“I will make them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.” Ezek. 34:25

It is the height of grace that Jehovah should be in covenant with man, a feeble, sinful and dying creature. Yet the Lord has solemnly entered into a faithful compact with us, and from that covenant He will never turn aside. In virtue of this covenant we are safe. As lions and wolves are driven off by shepherds, so shall all noxious influences be chased away. The Lord will give us rest from disturbers and destroyers; the evil beasts shall cease out of the land. O Lord, make this thy promise good even now!

The Lord’s people are to enjoy security in places of the greatest exposure: wildernesses and woods are to be as pastures and folds to the flock of Christ. If the Lord does not change the place for the better, He will make us the better in the place. The wilderness is not a place to dwell in, but the Lord can make it so; in the woods one feels bound to watch rather than to sleep, and yet the Lord giveth His beloved sleep even there. Nothing without or within should cause any fear to the child of God. By faith the wilderness can become the suburbs of Heaven, and the woods the vestibule of glory.