How a Change of Mind Can Change Your Life
If you have ever changed your mind about anything, then you understand the basis of one of the most important spiritual principles in the Bible: repentance.
What is Repentance?
Repentance implies a change in direction, a 180-degree course correction in our relation with God. It begins with a decision to turn from sin and surrender to the lordship of Jesus Christ. And it’s vitally necessary for anyone desiring to draw near to the Lord and walk with Him every day.
That’s because every person is born with a sinful nature that finds expression in sinful actions. This sin creates a chasm between God and man that cannot be bridged by our human efforts (Romans 3:23, 6:23)
Our sin, however, is not the end of the story. In fact, God works through everything that happens in our lives, including our sin, to draw us to Jesus (John 6:44, 45; 14:6; Romans 8:28, 29).
No matter what you have done, God has made a way home — through his Son, Jesus Christ. His death on the cross and triumphant resurrection secures for you all the blessings of God, including forgiveness. All you have to do is repent and turn your life over to Jesus (Acts 3:19)
This is what the Bible calls being “born again” of the Spirit of God (John 3:3,5). We enter into the born-again experience by repenting of our sin, yielding our lives to Jesus as Savior and Lord, and trusting in faith that He will forgive and cleanse us from all sin (Romans 3:23; 10:13; 1John 1:8,9; John 1:12).
A Daily Walk
Repentance is also the key to growing daily in your relationship with Christ. That’s because the Christian life is a journey — we are not perfected in an instant. For the rest of your life, you will contend with the sinful and selfish tendencies of your flesh. The only way to overcome this ongoing struggle with sin is through repentance.
Some attitudes and actions are obviously sinful. The Bible calls these the “works of the flesh” and they include: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissension’s, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, etc. Such works of the flesh, if not repented of, results in spiritual death (Gal. 5:19-21; James 1:15).
In fact, anything that is not a faith-filled response to our circumstances and relationships is sin (Romans 14:23; 1 John 5:17, James 4:17). Anxiety, worry, fear, bitterness, depression, pride, resentment and anger all have their roots in sin. Also, anything that takes the place of trusting in the Lord — such as fortune-telling, psychics, horoscopes, numerology, astrology, — needs to be repented of.
Finding Faith to Repent
If you have been struggling with a besetting sin, repentance may seem like a difficult thing. But consider that the Bible says “the kindness of God leads you to repentance” (Romans 2:4). Another verse lets us know that God is patiently waiting for us to repent (2 Peter 3::9).
Your heavenly Father is not looking for ways to punish you. Yes, God is just, but He is also a loving Father searching for the lost coin or the one lost sheep — willing to leave 99 in the safe pasture to find the one that has gone astray.
One of the most powerful portraits of God’s love can be seen in the parable of the prodigal son. After the son changed his mind and headed home, the Bible says, “while he was still a long way off, his father saw him, and ran and embraced him, and kissed him” (Luke 15:20). This is God’s heart toward you when you come to Him in repentance.
As You Pray
God is patiently waiting with open arms, for His sons and daughters to come home. All it takes is humility on our part and faith to believe that a loving Father will hear our honest pleas and cleanse us of our sin.
Take a moment right now to repent — to change your mind and turn from whatever is separating you from God and those around you. “Father, I believe You love me. Your Word says that it is your patience and kindness that leads me to repentance. So I come to You humbly, and confess my sin. I thank You that You forgive me by the blood of Jesus, and ask for a fresh cleansing of my body, soul and spirit. Teach me how to walk honestly before You in repentance every day. In Jesus name. Amen.”
We must trust Jesus Christ to forgive our sins and determine to obey Him for the rest of our lives. That way we can know God and find peace again.
Power for Living
By: Arie Leder, today.reframemedia.com
“Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord?”
—Positive thinking has transformed the lives of men and women in all stations of life. Its power lies in the ordinary ability of people to take control of their situations. Once you learn about this basic wisdom, it seems obvious that negative thoughts deplete personal energy. But then wisdom is always obvious to the wise, isn’t it?
You’d think positive thinking might have been tremendously helpful to Israel, a pea-sized nation in the midst of vast, powerful empires that used their own brand of positive thinking to intimidate others. For example, the field commander of the great Assyrian army once wrote to the king of Judah, “Has the god of any nation ever delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria?” (2 Kings 18:33). But then an angel of the Lord visited the Assyrian camp and put to death 185,000 soldiers (19:35). All it took was for King Hezekiah of Judah to place the letter of positive Assyrian thinking before the Lord (19:14).
God’s people are nothing special, except for their Lord and the power of his blessing. That’s what is needed. “Blessed are you, O Israel!” declares Moses. “Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord?”
Do you want power for living? Seek the blessing of the God who sent the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s positively transforming-and the wisest thing to do.
How to Love the Life You Have Even If It’s Not the Life You Wanted
By: Tracie Miles, proverbs31.com
AUGUST 1, 2018
There came a time when I had to accept that my life had not turned out the way I thought it would, and no amount of wishing it were different could change it.
Sometimes we come across an unexpected bump in life, causing our plans to derail and our hopes to shatter. Or maybe we simply wake up and realize the life we’re living isn’t the one we expected, much less the one we wanted. As a result, we feel unhappy, joyless and discontent.
Perhaps you can relate.
Maybe you had a dream crushed after years of pursuing it. Perhaps you stayed at a job for years building your retirement fund, only for the company to go bankrupt and take your life savings with it. Perhaps you’ve experienced the heartbreak of infertility when you planned on having a full house. Maybe you had a loved one die far too soon, leaving you feeling alone and lost. Maybe you were struck with an illness that limits your abilities and independence. Or by now, you thought you’d be married but are still single, or maybe you invested years in a marriage that ended painfully in divorce.
Or possibly, nothing earth-shattering has happened at all, and life is the same as it has always been. Same ol’ circumstances, different day. And therein lies the problem: Surely there has to be more to life than this.
Regardless of your reason for feeling unhappy with your life, maybe you think loving the life you have is impossible unless circumstances change.
Trust me, friend, I understand.
The last several years have brought unexplainable sorrow, fear, disappointment and crushed dreams. There were countless days, months in fact, I thought I would never be able to feel truly happy again, much less love my life.
Yet over time, through a lot of faith and tears, God helped me accept that although I couldn’t change the circumstances I found myself in, I could change how I reacted to them. I realized I’ve been given one life to live — this life — and I could either continue to allow adversities to have power over my happiness, or I could embrace God’s promise for abundant life and make it a reality in my own. The choice was mine.
In John 10:10a, Jesus explains there’s a thief who seeks to steal, kill and destroy us. But in John 10:10b, Jesus declares He came to earth so we could not only live life but live it abundantly despite the thief’s intentions. “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10b). Here we see the contrast between the destroyer of happiness and the Giver of joy.
Jesus was explaining He is the answer to experiencing the best life possible despite what life throws at us. He is what gives our lives meaning and joy.
Choosing to learn to love my life, even if it wasn’t the life I had imagined, was the best choice I’ve ever made. It wasn’t always easy, but as I intentionally chose to let Jesus be the source of my joy, even in the midst of less-than-joyful circumstances, my perspectives and feelings changed for the better.
The life you have today, and all it includes or doesn’t include, is the life God has given you. It’s the life you’re supposed to love, despite what it looks like. It’s the only life you have, and the only life you’re going to get. You can live it abundantly with joy based on Christ alone or let life pass you by as you allow problems, disappointments or drudgery to steal your zest for living.
Sweet friend, no matter what you’re going through, loving life is a choice, not a by-product of everything going our way. Our peace, joy, contentment, fulfillment and overall happiness depend on the choice we make.
I now realize it was not only within my reach to love my life again and live it abundantly, but 100 percent within my control, as it is for you.
Your happiness is up to you.