Thursday, December 28, 2023

Growing Today For A Better Tomorrow

"that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head - Christ -
Ephesians 4:14-15 (NKJV)

Sometimes when there is road construction, or maybe a building is being remodeled, there will be a sign posted somewhere that says that what is being done will make things better.  There might be a sign that has a slogan like, "building today for a better tomorrow", or "we are building to make things better for you".  Building or changing things in the present to make things better in the future is good.  If something is only beneficial now, and it will not be helpful in the future, that thing is not such a good thing.

In Ephesians 4, Paul said that believers need to stop being children who are just tossed around with every wind of doctrine.  This means that we should not just follow every teaching that comes along or is popular in the Church world, no matter who says it.  But instead, Christians need to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), be mature in understanding (1 Corinthians 14:20), and desire the Word of God that will cause us to grow (1 Peter 2:2).  We need to grow up spiritually today so that we can be stronger, more mature believers tomorrow.

Spiritual growth is important, it is necessary, and it is something that should be happening on a continual basis in the life of a Christian.  We should be growing and improving, rather than just being the same person and same type of Christian in five years that we are right now.  By spending time in God's Word and following the direction of the Holy Spirit, we can grow and develop spiritually.  We need to develop spiritually every day, so that we are more effective members of the Body of Christ, and a better witness to the unsaved world, today and tomorrow. 

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Don't Miss The Point

"Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

And this will be a sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.
Luke 2:10-12 (NKJV)

One thing I have noticed in talking to people is that someone will miss the point about something, by getting sidetracked by something else.  Sometimes people get so caught up in insignificant facts and information that they miss the main point.  For example, in various sports there are so many statistics and so much information you can learn about that you almost forget the basic elements of the sport itself.  Whether it is sports, or anything else, we have to be careful that we do not get so caught up in some details that we miss the overall point.

Christmas is when believers celebrate the birth of Jesus, but some people miss that point.  For some people, Christmas is just about presents and time with family, which is good, but those things are not why we should celebrate Christmas.  Some Christians are bothered because others do not recognize Christmas for what it really is, or because Christmas is so secularized.  But in spite of that, we should not miss the real point to the story of Christmas.  We need to keep our focus on Jesus coming to the earth to save us from our sin, that is the real point to Christmas.

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year in many ways.  The main reason that Christmas is so wonderful is that it is when Christians celebrate the birth of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  Many people and churches will go over the story of the birth of Jesus from Luke 2, which is such a great story about how Jesus came to the earth as a baby.  Then, Jesus went on to live a god-pleasing life and die on the cross for our sin.  That is the main point of Christmas, and that is why we should celebrate Christmas, even though many people miss the point.

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Exercise Your Mind

"If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.

For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:1-3 (NKJV)

If you want to develop your muscles, you need to exercise.  But, to properly exercise your muscles, you need to do the right kinds of exercise.  For example, if you wanted to strengthen your legs, you would not do pushups.  If you needed to develop your cardiovascular system, you would not do exercises that are just for your arms.  By doing the right exercises you can develop and strengthen your body.  If you do not do any exercise, you are actually still making an impact on your body, it is just that the impact will be a negative one.

The Bible says a lot about the mind and our thinking.  The Bible talks about renewing the mind (Romans 12:2) and the right kinds of things to think about (Philippians 4:8).  Unfortunately, this is an area that many Christians have not paid the proper amount of attention to.  If we do not renew our mind and think about the right things, this can lead to other problems, because our thinking and believing are connected.  You cannot believe something you have not thought about, and you will think about the things that you believe. 

Colossians 3:2 tells us to "set our minds on things above", which is talking about what we think.  To "set your mind" can be defined as, "to exercise the mind".  If we think about spiritual truth, we will exercise and develop our mind, just like by doing certain exercises we would develop our body.  Rather than just struggling with wrong thoughts, depression, and stress, we can have a stronger mind through continually thinking about godly things rather than earthly things.  Start exercising your mind today by thinking about God's Word, and you can develop a strong thought life.

Thursday, December 7, 2023

A Good Word

"Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad."
Proverbs 12:25 (NKJV)

If you want to start a fire, you need the necessary elements, fuel, and oxygen; with these things, you can easily start a fire.  But, if you start a fire and add water, the fire will go out.  If you take away either fuel, or oxygen, you will also be without a fire.  This same thing is true in many other situations.  To have a certain thing, you need to have the elements necessary to properly create that thing, but even if you have the right elements, and you add something else, you will change what you had at first.

One thing that some people struggle with more than others is anxiety, which can lead to depression.  The dictionary says that anxiety deals with a concern about some trouble, some problem that may come at some time.  Everyone can have a feeling of anxiety when they hear some negative news, but it is what we do with that feeling that matters.  When someone is dealing with anxiety, or depression, that is a problem, but the Bible tells us that a good word can make the heart of someone with depression glad. 

If someone is dealing with anxiety and stress in their heart, in their life, Proverbs 12:25 says that a good word will make them glad, and a good word would certainly include God's Word.  On the other hand, if someone is hearing a "bad word", that can lead to anxiety and depression.  If we focus on and talk about the negative side of life, it will bring anxiety, stress, and depression.  But by focusing on and saying the right things, by saying what God says in His Word, we can successfully deal with anxiety, stress, and depression in our own life and in someone else's life.