Every day we wake up and have a choice. What are we going to think about first. What is our mindset going to be like for the day?
We are all human and have negative thoughts come in our mind all the time. We have a choice if we are going to listen to our negative self talk or not. What we feed our mind with absolutely affects our behavior and how we are going to act and speak.
Hebrews 12:2 reminds us to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith”.
We are to gaze on Christ and try moment by moment to ask ourselves, “what would Jesus think about this” or “how does this look to Jesus”?
It re-focuses us on what’s important and what’s eternal. It re-aligns our heart and gets us centered back to our walk with God. We have to be intentional about it. Our natural thoughts are to waver and go the opposite direction. We have to pray and ask God for help moment by moment. It’s a battle we all face!
I want to encourage you today to focus on Christ and his goodness. Remember all that he has done for you in your life and believe by faith that he’s not done with you yet!
When God allows us to go through seasons that aren’t particularly pleasant…we always wonder why. Searching, reasoning, forecasting our future, talking it out with a best friend..still we are not sure. Rest assured God is in control and wants to help you through seasons of wilderness that may seem to last for an eternity.
Here are 3 tools that have always helped me push through times like these:
1. Prayer– talking to our Heavenly Father first about the concerns of our heart is our first step . We need to “get it all out” with him first before going to anyone else. True confession and crying out to Him will begin to align our heart with the heart of God.
But in my distress I cried out to the lord; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears. Psalm 18:6 (NLT)
2. People – spending time with friends face to face does good for the soul. God puts friends in our lives to encourage us and give us hope to see our situation through a different set of eyes. In a culture that bends our perception of friendship as a ‘friend’ on Facebook, a ‘favorite on Twitter, or a ‘like’ on Instagram, we need more than that. God uses others to give us Victory over our struggles.
“The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.” Proverbs 27:9
3. Scripture – reading the promises of God that he has for you will change the way you are viewing your current situation. When we fill our minds and souls with God’s truth, it gives us an eternal perspective of our lives. God’s Word gives us hope that what we are walking through now has a “reason and a purpose” in it.
“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.Then you will be prosperous and successful.“ Joshua 1:8
God loves you and has an amazing plan for your life. The season in your life will not last forever, no season ever does. Allow God to shape you and mold you into the person he wants you to become!!
As we read in the book of James, we realize that we are not called to just live the “ordinary Christian Life” but one that is fruitful and that makes a difference. Repeatedly, he is talking about not just being someone who just hears the Word of God, but a person who takes action and does something. The old fashioned term, actions speak louder than words, is relevant all throughout James writings. People in our society don’t just want to hear a bunch of empty words, they want to see actions backing it up. In a world full of empty words and empty promises, evidence of Christ being Lived out is what we cry out for.
So, if you are truly a disciple of Christ, what are you doing for him? Church attendance, bumper stickers, and Christian T-shirts aren’t enough. Acts of kindness, thoughtful caring about someone, selfless living, thats what shines like a beacon to others.
Lord, help me to take more action in my walk with you so that others can see the transformational work you have done in my life!!
This topic is always one that we can try to avoid or simply argue about. But in the Book of James, the brother of Jesus, has very firm instructions for us and how we are supposed to live out our faith.
He tells us that Faith alone without being accompanied by good deeds is “useless” and “dead”. That means if we say we have Faith in Christ and we don’t do anything as an outflow of our faith, than its dead. He says in James 2:15-17,
15Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?
17So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
Wouldn’t that look silly to actually see that happen? You would probably be floored if you witnessed such an act. “I will pray for you” is an easy answer. But it doesn’t produce the fruit that God is looking for.
People will notice and pay more careful attention to Followers of Christ if they see actions backing up words. Thats what the world is looking for. “Show Me” what you mean by your faith. And when it’s shown, its a beautiful act of love. It demonstrates what James calls a “complete faith”. That’s what we are all looking for!!