Pastor Joe’s devotion was in the Connection newspaper this week. You can read his devotion below.
This article is to challenge all of us, especially those who call themselves followers of the Word of God. We need to think about why we do what we do and make sure we have behaviors in line with the principles that bring life and not death. As noted above in the picture, all of our actions and behaviors have their beginnings in our thinking. If we are not aware of the power of thought, we will entertain all thoughts, and some will lead to behaviors that produce anxiety, fear, competition, judgement and eventually death. The goal would be to get rid of thoughts that create death behaviors and allow only thoughts that bring life: behaviors like forgiveness, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control, (Galatians 5:22-23).
However, this is a challenge, because we are bombarded with so many ideas and thoughts every day from the Internet, TV, Radio, Billboards, Books, etc… If we are not conscious of this responsibility that we have to control our individual thought’s we will be misled and allow behaviors opposite of the Word of God and what we really want in this life.
How do I control my thoughts? We do it somewhat like a coffee filter. The filter in a coffee pot is used to keep the unwanted grounds out of the coffee. God has given us a control center called the brain, (Proverbs 16:1) and His Word to act like a filter (Psalm 119:105). When we have knowledge of His Word, we can measure every thought that comes to determine if it is in agreement with His Word, or not. If it is not, in agreement we cast it out and state I do not receive that thought because it does not line up with God’s Word and His plan for my life. However, we must choose to use His Word to filter the thoughts that come. If you do not know His Word, you will be ineffective at filtering your thoughts. That is why we need to know His Word.
The Word says in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says that: “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of strongholds in our minds. We are destroying speculations or wrong thinking and every thought that raises itself up against the Word of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of God’s Word.”
As we are preparing for the Holidays; Christmas and the New Year, it is an opportunity to examine ourselves to determine who we are following in this life. As stated, the best way to identify who we are following is to look at our behaviors (what we do).
All of us are following or serving someone, (Romans 6:16). Therefore, we should always examine ourselves to determine who we are following or serving. Second Corinthians 13:5 says that we are to examine yourselves to see whether we are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? Proverbs 14:12, says “There is a way that appears to be right, but the end is death.” Proverbs 16:2 says that “All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Word of God”. In addition, 2 Cor 5:10, says that we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
Make a commitment today to get into His Word, and to take action to do what His Word says. In Isaiah 55:8-9, it says that He does not think like man, but in Psalm 25:9 He says He will teach us His ways if we will humble ourselves and seek Him. In John 14:21 Jesus said if we love Him, we will do what he says and then He will manifest Himself to us.
This Holiday Season (Christmas and New Year) give God the greatest gift you can give, your life to follow Him, John 1:11-12, Romans 12:1-2.