Do Not Lose Heart

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We will age and fade away but as we do so, we are being spiritually renewed day-by-day.

~ Lisa Blair

Our faith becomes stronger with the renewing of our minds. We mature as Christians, God’s children, and grow in the Word. We receive salvation, are forgiven of our sins (overcome our sin nature), are healed from backsliding, and choose obedience to and dependence on God over my own free-will.

Resource – YouVersion, Bible.com; Google Images

Times Are Changing And We Must Too

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You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. ~ Galatians 5:13 NIV
Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord [is], there [is] liberty.
~ 2 Corinthians 3:17 KJV

As I awoke and began thinking and praying this morning, this thought came to mind, God is a timely God. Our world is going through turmoil, especially the turmoil of the racial injustices that have operated in the dark and are coming into the exposure of the light of day leaving us, Black and White, determined to act and feeling anxious. Anxious in the way a women feels just before the birth of her child.

So many have observed the civil unrest over past several weeks and judged the unrest as the sole act of the latter part of peaceful protests, eager to condemn, choosing not to focus on the reason for the peaceful protests. To deny the right of a peaceful life to anyone is to deny peace for everyone. To deny justice for some comes home to roost on all. I believe the Lord is removing the veil that blinds us, which is difficult for many to see the injustices that prevail and destroy. When eyes are opened, change is underway.

As this process unveils, we must remember to rely on the Lord’s peace. The same peace he gave Moses as he lead his people out of Egypt. And, the same peace he gave Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela.

In this peace, we must re-evaluate who we are in the Lord. Charles Stanley shares Finding Peace, a 10 day devotional on YouVersion. Bible.com. Day Five reads:

How Your Thought Life Affects Your Peace

If we’re being honest with ourselves, most of us aren’t who or what we think we are. Our thinking is marred at best, off-track, and in most cases, needs to be changed.

How do I know this to be true? Aside from my experience pastoring so many through the years, God’s Word calls us to a “renewal” of our minds. That means trading in our old perceptions, opinions, ideas, beliefs, and self-centered attitudes for a new set of perceptions, opinions, ideas, beliefs, and attitudes that God develops in us. These godly responses are nurtured by regular reading of Scripture and meditating on what’s been read in the Bible. Christ’s followers are urged to avoid being “conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Rom. 12:2).

Out of a renewal of our thinking comes a change in our speech patterns and our behaviors. As our speech and behavior become renewed, our relationships with others become renewed. And as our relationships become renewed, our immediate world is renewed as well. It all begins in the mind with what we choose to think and what we choose to dwell upon.

You have the ability to determine what you’ll think. At any time, you can refocus your mind to a new topic, task, or problem to solve instead of negative thinking that will steal your peace and/or cause you to venture into rebellion or sin. You have the ability to say, “I choose to trust God,” in any situation you face or thought you have.

Furthermore, any child of God who takes a willful stand against thought patterns that clearly are harmful is going to be provided a way of escape from that circumstance. God will help you focus your mind on something other than your problem or bad thought pattern if you will make the initial step in His direction. 

When you guard your mind, you guard your peace. When you offer prayers to God with faith and thanksgiving—no matter what trials you face—He assures you inner peace (Phil. 4:6-7). And when you focus your thinking on what’s true, noble, virtuous, lovely, pure, and praiseworthy, you rely upon God with increasing faith and trust. 

You can never fully exhaust your ability to think about the goodness and greatness of God. Choose to respond to life the way Jesus responded. Guard your prayer life. Guard your thought life. Seek the Father and all that’s godly. His Word promises that when you fill your mind with what is virtuous and praiseworthy, “the God of peace will be with you” (Phil. 4:9).

Romans 12:2 says,

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Philippians 4:9 NKJV reads,

“The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”

God is love. Love is not allocated to some and not others it is unconditional and uncompromising. Unconditional love yields justice and unity.

Resources: biblegateway.com; YouVersion.Bible.com; Google.com

Gods’ Representative?

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We are Christs’ representatives. People see Him through our actions, and our actions verify the Word of God.

~ Lisa Blair

We are Christs’ representatives. People see Him through our actions, and our actions verify the Word of God. If we say we are Christians, there are expectations that surround how we treat others, e.g., are we kind, patient, giving, loving, supportive, attentive, joyful, and have self-constraint? Christ nailed our sins to the cross and we are now living by His Spirit. When we received Christ as our Lord and Savior, we were released from sin, washed by the blood of the Lamb, and have been cleansed from our old sin nature.

YouVersion

And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” (Colossians‬ ‭3:17‬ ‭NLT.‬‬ Bible.com)

Living by the Spirit’s Power
16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. (Galatians 5:16, 17, 22-25 NLT. Biblegateway.com)

If our old nature reigns, we are not living by the Spirit. If we do not exude a genuine Christ-like behavior, are we Christians? Our actions and deeds are reflective of who we are in Christ.

New Norm – Continual Prayer

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We are weaponless and vulnerable without prayer. Being in prayer mode throughout the day strengthens our resolve and our relationship with Our Lord.

~ Lisa Blair
Youversion/Bible.com

Prayer is needed at all times. It catalyzes, activates, everything that happens in life. It empowers us to persevere in difficulty, exude hope in all situations, and reside in a state of patience despite the prevailing circumstances.

It causes us to supplant blaming God, and reviling others for our current conditions with peace. It provides hope (in eternal life), enduring faith, and rest in knowing God is with us and will see us through this walk, called life.

It is crucial that we develop (our) practice of continual,  persistent prayer. This means throughout the day, in good moments and uncomfortable times. Prayer can be as simple as calling on Christ, a single sentence or a long(er) dialogue. You can do it standing, sitting, on your knees, or prone on the floor. Your eyes can be open or closed. Your hands can be 🙏🏽 pressed together, or open.

Our God is good and receives us as we are in the moment, pleased that we invited Him into our heart.

We are called to rejoice in the Lord.  And , have hope which is founded on faith, and faith on the Divinity of God.

LAB Photos

Image – Bible.com

Resources – BibleStudytools.com;Studylight.org