Tag Archives: mind

Let Peace Rule

The word rule means absolute power or control over something. In this world, we can allow many things to rule over us. No matter what is said, something rules you. I know some people ruled by anger while others are ruled by pleasure. Some are ruled by anxiety and worry. Others are ruled by doubt or emotions. The list goes on and on. Whatever rules you controls your actions and your attitude.

I have seen many people being depressed, get fired from jobs, or have a huge fight with their spouse because they were ruled by something like fear or anger. Paul speaks of being content in all circumstances. That is not possible when we allow the world to have power over us. The Bible tells us to let the peace from Christ rule. Wow! The peace of Christ. How differently is life when the peace of Christ rules!?!

When the peace of Christ rules, it doesn’t matter our circumstances, we are content. When the peace of Christ rules, doubt is replaced with confidence. When the peace of Christ rules, security and trust reign over past fears and struggles. When the peace of Christ rules, you surely can have the peace beyond understanding. It’s a real thing. It’s a possible thing. It can be yours. The key word in this passage is “let.” Let the peace from Christ rule. How? Surrender. Be intentional. Allow it. Speak it. Breathe it. Own it.

“And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].” – Colossians 3:15 [AMP]

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Doing the Same Old Things

Repentance means that there is a change. Repentance says, “I’m sorry and I do not want to do this anymore.” Repentance or metanoia means “change of mind.” It is an inward response not a behavior reform; however, repentance should show results of a change of behavior.

Zephaniah spoke of those who were doing the same old things. There was no visible proof that there was a change of heart or a change of mind. After facing the consequences of sin the people were right back at it “bright and early” in the morning.

If you have repented of something, there should be a visible change along with your inward response. When you turn your life over to Jesus, when you confess your sins to Him, your life should not revolve around doing the same old things. If you find yourself still doing the same old things today, ask Him to give you the strength to press forward. Pray for forgiveness, for comfort and for guidance. Never be fearful of asking your brothers and sisters for help—for encouragement, for support, for accountability. You do not have to spend your life doing the same old things. Jesus offers you something new.

 

“I thought, ‘Surely she’ll honor me now,
accept my discipline and correction,
Find a way of escape from the trouble she’s in,
find relief from the punishment I’m bringing.’
But it didn’t faze her. Bright and early
she was up at it again, doing the same old things.”

-Zephaniah 3:7 [MSG]

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Prayer of a Righteous Man

When the Lord told Abraham that He planned to destroy Sodom, Abraham prayed. James wrote that “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (5:16). We see this to be true in our own lives, and we see this when the angels come escort Lot out of Sodom to safety before the Lord brought destruction upon Sodom and Gomorrah for their great sin.

God hears prayer and He answers. Never doubt the power and effectiveness of prayer.  Abraham pleaded for Sodom. He first asked if God would save Sodom for fifty righteous people. Then he asked for forty-five, for forty, for thirty, for twenty, and then finally for ten righteous people. We see the great mercy of God as He says He will save Sodom for only ten people.

Nonetheless, there weren’t ten righteous men in Sodom, but Abraham’s prayer did not go unanswered. Lot and his daughters were escorted out of Sodom by angels. There is great power in prayer. Abraham’s prayer didn’t change God’s mind (His mind cannot be changed) but it did allow Abraham to see the mercy of God. Prayer changes us. Keep on praying.

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” – James 5:16 [NIV]

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Living in the Rearview

The guy in front of my car was swerving all over the road. Someone might assume that the driver was drinking or sending a text message. But what he was doing was actually looking at what was behind him while he was moving forward. He demonstrated how hard it is to move forward when you are looking backward. You cannot be successful if you are paying attention to everything going on behind you.

Life is like that as well. If we invest so much time dwelling on our past, we do not have ourselves focused on the present. If we are looking down the road we just traveled to see all the road bumps and pot holes that bounced us around and messed up our car, we cannot see that the car right in front of us has just stopped.

I like to think that everything happens for a reason. When we experience something in life; however, we cannot get stuck in that area. God always wants us to move forward in life. He has given us a purpose, and it is not to get stuck. He wants us to grow in Him, to mature as Christians. He has things for us to do, and we are not capable of doing much when we are stuck.

Some things that we experience in life hurt. We may have been hurt by a situation, by people that we care for deeply, and even by ourselves. It is okay to have emotions and to need time to go through the process of change. When we are going through change, there is always going to be some type of loss in our lives. That loss will bring you pain and it needs to be dealt with first. If it is not addressed, you will be as this driver was in front of me, swerving all over the road, focused on what is behind you.

If something behind you is on your mind, acknowledge it and take the steps to grieve for the loss. If you cling to it, not letting it go, your hands will not be open to receive the blessings that God has awaiting. While you are stuck, God is still moving. Being stuck does not help you to go forward. Being stuck only allows your future drive to be as bumpy as the last ride. God has so much more for you.

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
– 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 [ESV]

Reclining with Christ

    I have told so many people that I have an inability to relax. I always try to keep myself busy, partly because I like to be productive, and partly because I really never learned how to relax. Even so, I see relaxation as a sleeping child or a cute, little puppy curled up in a ball. In my eyes, relaxation is peace.

    In John 12, Mary anoints Jesus. But if we look only at the anointing, we can miss something that barely sticks out in the text. Verse 2 states, “So they made Him a supper there, and Martha was serving; but Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him” (NASB). Reclining is something one does when relaxing. Some of us sit in a reclining chair and put our feet up. I imagine sitting by the ocean reclining or reclining in a hammock. How peaceful?

    At this point in Lazarus’ life, why was he reclining? Yes he was dead not so long ago, and yet brought back to life. But now he had people seeking his life. The chief priests were planning how to have him killed (verse 10). Would you be reclining? I would probably be trying to figure out how to make a fast getaway via whatever mode of transportation was fastest.

    Perhaps Lazarus was reclining because he was at peace. He saw first hand the power of God. He was as low as death, and then as high as resurrected. He also knew he had a friend in Jesus. As believers of Christ, we have a friend in Jesus. Although our situation and pressures may be different, we have the ability to recline at the table with Christ. Don’t forget to recline with Christ.

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:7 [NASB]