VIDEO A Mind Like a Sieve

Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Philippians 4:8

The dictionary defines a filter as a device through which air or liquid is passed to remove impurities. People wore masks during COVID, hoping to filter out the virus. Our swimming pools have filters to keep the water pure. We need oil filters for our cars, air filters for our heating systems, coffee filters for our morning cups, aquarium filters for our fish, and light filters for our cameras. 

What filters our mind, keeping our thoughts pure?

There’s only one filter for the mind, and that’s the Word of God. When you internalize His Word through diligent study and memorization, it builds an internal spiritual and mental filter that helps us fight temptation, resist depression, and increase our wisdom. Through studying God’s Word, our minds are renewed, and our hearts cleansed.

Find a way to interact daily with Scripture. It will change your mind!

Let the Bible saturate your internal life, your mind, your thinking. Let the Bible be…your filter….Choose to have God’s Word dwell within you, which means having the Bible be at home in your mind. Chris Mueller


Think What to Do; Do What You Think – Philippians 4:8-9 – Skip Heitzig

A Friend of God’s Friends

Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Matthew 10:40

Something so cordial can happen in first introductions when two persons discover that they have a friend in common. In what may be its most memorable form, a big-hearted host welcomes a guest with something like, “So nice to meet you. Any friend of Sam’s, or Samantha’s, is a friend of mine.”   

Jesus said something similar. He’d been attracting crowds by healing many. But He’d also been making enemies of local religious leaders by disagreeing with the way they were commercializing the temple and misusing their influence. In the middle of a growing conflict, He made a move to multiply the joy, cost, and wonder of His presence. He gave His disciples the ability to heal others and sent them out to announce that the kingdom of God was at hand. He assured the disciples: “Anyone who welcomes you, welcomes me” (Matthew 10:40), and, in turn, welcomes His Father who sent Him as well.

It’s hard to imagine a more life-changing offer of friendship. For anyone who would open their house, or even give a cup of cold water to one of His disciples, Jesus assured a place in the heart of God. While that moment happened a long time ago, His words remind us that in big and little acts of kindness and hospitality there are still ways of welcoming, and being welcomed, as a friend of the friends of God.

By:  Mart DeHaan

Reflect & Pray

What could you do through the Holy Spirit’s leading that might give others a chance to open their hearts to you? How could this point them to the Savior?

Father, thank You for giving us a chance to be part of the good news that has its source in You.

A Servant’s Rewards

Rewards for our kingdom work await us in heaven, but God also blesses us in this life for our service.

Hebrews 6:10

In His grace, God freely gives salvation to those who believe in Jesus. We can’t earn it, nor do we deserve it. However, our Father does notice when we live according to His will, and He promises to reward us according to what we have done for Him.

Revelation 22:12 says, “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to reward each one as his work deserves.” Whether large or small, service done in Jesus’ name will be blessed. We must be careful, though, that our actions are for Christ’s glory. If motives are self-serving, the only benefit we receive is the praise (if any) that we hear from people in this life.

While we look forward to rewards that will be given in heaven, some blessings can be experienced now. For example, there’s great joy in allowing God to bless others through us. In addition, there’s a profound sense of fulfillment when we lead a person to Jesus and teach him or her how to walk by faith.

Serving others is both a great benefit and a responsibility. We should prayerfully consider our motives to make sure that our goal is to glorify Christ. Only then will we receive God’s full blessings—rewards given not just in eternity but on earth as well.

Scattered Abroad

“Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.” (Acts 8:4)

God has given two great commissions to His people, both of which would require worldwide effort to accomplish. Both, however, were so resisted that God Himself had to step in and force His people to be obedient.

Immediately after the great Flood, God gave the following command: “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Genesis 9:1). This was an extension of the Edenic mandate given to Adam in the beginning, a commission to fill the earth and exercise dominion over it under God (1:28). Noah’s descendants, however, decided to stay in Babel and “make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” As a result of this rebellion, “the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth” (11:4, 9).

Over 2,000 years later, the Lord gave His disciples another great worldwide commission: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). Then followed the coming of the Holy Spirit, and soon “the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly” (Acts 6:7).

But they remained in Jerusalem instead of spreading out to “the uttermost part of the earth” (1:8). Therefore, God once again intervened, and “there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem: and they were all scattered abroad” (8:1). Then, finally, began their full obedience to the great commission, for “they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word,” and eventually some “of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues” will stand in saving faith before the Lord (Revelation 7:9). HMM

Revelation—by His Spirit, through His Word

With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Psalm 119:10

Years ago my family and I enjoyed Christian fellowship with a Jewish medical doctor who had come to personal faith in Jesus, the Savior and Messiah. He gladly discussed with me his previous participation in Sabbath services in the synagogue….

“I often think back on those years of reading from the Old Testament,” he told me. “I had the haunting sense that it was good and true. I knew it explained the history of my people. But I had the feeling that something was missing.” Then, with a beautiful, radiant smile he added, “When I found Jesus as my personal Savior and Messiah, I found Him to be the One to whom the Old Testament was in fact pointing. I found Him to be the answer to my completion as a Jew, as a person and as a believer.”

Whether Jew or Gentile, we were made originally in God’s image, and the revelation of God by His Spirit is a necessity. An understanding of the Word of God must come from the same Spirit who provided its inspiration. JMI019-020

The Holy Spirit never comes into a vacuum, but where the Word of God is, there is fuel, and the fire falls. FBR028-029

Pretense, Consequence

When he heard these words, Ananias dropped dead, and a great fear came on all who heard.Acts 5:5

Consider this story about a couple from the Bible who forfeited their lives because they pretended to be more spiritual than they really were.

Ananias and Sapphira were highly respected members of the early church and appeared on the surface to be deeply committed disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. Doubtless, they had a fairly high degree of dedication, and they easily went along with the idea of selling their possessions and putting the proceeds into the treasury of the church. Their mistake, of course, was in pretending they had given their all when in reality they hadn’t, and the consequences that fell to them because of their pretenses were swift and dramatic.

God deals harshly with dishonesty, but He is compassionate to those who see themselves as they really are, who confess this to Him, and who request His help in becoming the people they know He wants them to be.

I have known people who have stood up in front of a Christian audience and talked about how wonderful it is to live a victorious Christian life, when in reality they were inwardly messed up. And I have known of others getting up before their brothers and sisters, confessing that though they love the Lord, they are experiencing great struggles and difficulties in seeking to live for Him. Who do you think is the closer to God? I will tell you—it is the one who is honest and open. Pretense repels God; openness and honesty draw Him quickly to our side.

Prayer

Father, help me to be a sincere and transparent person. Save me, I pray, from adopting an air of pretense and masquerading as someone I am not. You delight in openness and honesty. Help me to delight in them too. Amen.

Further Study

Ac 19; Eph 1; Rv 2:1-5

Why did the word of the Lord spread rapidly in Ephesus?

What words did Christ bring to them some years later?

Where Your Treasure Is

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.—Luke 12:34

What you value most is your treasure. Where you spend your time and your money is your treasure. Whatever dominates your conversation is what you treasure. What others know you for is a good indication of what your treasure is.

Most Christians are quick to claim that God is their first priority. Yet often their actions reveal that their treasure is not God but things of this world. Some Christians find it difficult to discuss their relationship with God, but they can chatter easily about their family, friends, or hobbies. Some find it impossible to rise early in order to spend time with God, but they willingly get up at dawn to pursue a hobby. Some find it difficult to give an offering to God but readily spend lavishly on recreation. Some boldly approach strangers to sell a product, yet they are painfully timid in telling others about their Savior. Some give hundreds of hours to serve in volunteer organizations but feel they have no time available to serve God.

If you are unsure of where your treasure is, examine where you spend your available time and money. Reflect on what it is you most enjoy thinking about and discussing. Ask your friends to tell you what they think is most important to you. Ask your children to list the things most valuable to you. It may surprise you to know what others consider to be your treasure.