This is How….

I’ve always done it.

This is how I was taught.

My parents and my family have always done it this way.

Do you hear these things coming out of your mouth?  Thoughts like this pop into my brain but I try not to say them out loud because – everything changes.  God is a God of change.  Things are constantly evolving, changing.

My God is a God of transformation.

He is renewing my brain, opening my heart and growing my perspective and understanding.  I need to change.  I have missed God’s work in my life if I do things the way I’ve always done them.  If I act like I’ve always acted, it means I’m not letting God’s spirit move inside of me.

God told the Israelites through Jeremiah that they needed to change.  They needed to put away their idols and turn back to the One True God.

The people responded that they were going to continue to worship idols ‘ just as we and our ancestors’ did.

God was giving them a chance to turn back from disaster and they chose to continue traditions and habits that were going to destroy them.  They refused to obey.

They refused to change.  And the consequences were devastating.

Please open our ears so we will listen and obey, Abba Father.

From This Day Forward

We drive a stake into the ground.Jan 14 2015 From this day forward

This is it.

From this day forward.

Sometimes God shows us we need to make an abrupt change in our lives.  Something happens and God uses it to significantly change the direction we are headed.

Most of the time, God transforms us gradually – baby steps.  But, every once in while, we get an epiphany from God – our eyes are opened to God’s desire to make a big change in us – and we are compelled to drive a stake into the ground.

From this day forward, we will be different.  There’s no going back.

I had one of the epiphanies 6 months ago about eating right and daily obeying God’s commands in the Bible regarding food.  I am forever changed.  My eyes are opened to how God wants me to use food in my life and there is no going back.  The stake is in the ground.

We read in Genesis that Laban and Jacob made a covenant and Jacob set up a pillar to remind each of them of their promises to one another.  From this day forward, we will not harm one another.

A pillar in the ground.  From now on, our behavior is going to be different.

There is no going back.

God is transforming us as we walk this road of faith.  The Holy Spirit is convicting us of the truth in God’s word which we need to apply to our lives.  God is teaching us.  He is guiding us.

If we are listening, we should be experiencing these epiphanies and working with God has he transforms us from the inside outside.  We should be more like Christ today than we were a year ago.

It doesn’t matter if we’ve been on this road of faith for 50 days or 50 years, God is renewing our minds and remodeling our hearts.

Changing us.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Our New Self

 

We need to put on our new self……

become the person God created us to be – righteous and holy.Dec 15 2014 our new self

New attitudes.

Different behaviors.

Take off our old, selfish, sinful thoughts.

“Be made new’, Paul tells us in Ephesians 4.

In our minds.

In our hearts.

This is a life-long process for all of us.

We each has a lot of ‘old’ that needs to be put off and ‘new’ that needs to be etched in our mind so that we can be transformed.

So we stay on this journey towards God, putting off the old and putting on the new.

We let God renew our minds with the truth.

And we become more and more like Christ everyday, every month, every year.

That’s the goal.  As we race into January of a new year, lets commit to letting the Holy Spirit shift our transformation into turbo gear next year.  Out with the old – in with the new!  2015, here we come!

Please guide us, dear Father.

Towards The Truth

“But when he, the Spirit of Truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.”

These are the words of Jesus in his final teaching session with his disciples before heading to the garden to talk with his Father on the night he was betrayed.

This is the life-long journey we are on – towards the truth.Nov 15 2013

God sent the Holy Spirit because he knew we would need a Guide for this journey.  We don’t know the way.  When we go to God, he sends our Guide who will show us the next step.

As we read God’s word to us, the Holy Spirit has a free rein in our minds.  He points out truths and helps us understand.  Whenever we are lost or confused, seeking God is the right thing to do.  Our Guide is always with us but his ability to help is limited when we’re not paying attention.  Reading the Bible helps us focus on God and then our Guide can accomplish his work of transformation in our lives.

We won’t know ‘all truth’ this side of heaven.  But our Guide is here to help us understand what we need to know to keep our lives in the center of God’s will for us.

Thank you, dear Holy Spirit.

First – Clean the Inside

“First clean the inside of the dish and then the outside also will be clean,” Jesus tells the Teachers of the Law in Matthew 23.

Jesus is talking to them about their hypocrisy.  He points out that they work so hard at looking clean on the outside but their hearts are full of wickedness.

The inside.Nove 11 2 2013

Our hearts and minds.

It’s so much easier to clean up the outside, isn’t it?

We can make ourselves look good, we can act like we have it all together.

The challenge Jesus gives us today is the same challenge he gave the Pharisees over 2000 years ago.  We need to clean up the inside and then the outside – what people see –  will take care of itself.

How do we do this?

It’s about daily focusing our eyes on Jesus.  When the things that are most important to us are the same as the things that are most important to God, we are right where we need to be.  When we let the Holy Spirit move in our hearts and minds, he will transform us.  Yes, its gradual.  Unfortunately it doesn’t happen overnight.

When we love God with all of our heart, mind and soul, the Holy Spirit has free reign within us and he will help us clean it up.

He has promised!

Thank you, dear Father.