Have you ever noticed that humans, as a group, tend to be extremely superficial and shallow? We expend enormous amounts of time, money, and energy making sure that we look a certain way – wear particular brands of clothes and shoes, dye our hair, even have surgery. We go to great lengths to change our outsides … but do almost nothing to change what really matters.
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Even back in Jesus’ day, folks gave more attention [...]
The ancient Greeks taught a form of dualism; that is, they believed that there was a great distinction between our bodies and our souls.
Image © Rolf Jansson from GoodSalt.com
In contrast, Scripture teaches that human beings are an integrated unit of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual dimensions. Whatever affects one part of the human frame affects all parts. The disciples taught that physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health were interconnected and could not be separated.
How is this idea reflected in 1 Thessalonians [...]
“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” (Colossians 3:1-2, NKJV)
A few years ago I had baptismal studies with an elderly man named Oscar. He had just come to the United States from Guam but was actually already a U.S. citizen before ever stepping on American soil. Guam has its own government, [...]
Key Thought : Our feelings are not safe guides to our lives. Our choices to yield to the Holy Spirit in spite of our emotions lead to actions acceptable to God.
[Teaching plan for Thinking New Thoughts September 9, 2013]
1. Have a volunteer read Philippians 4:7,8.
a. Ask class members to share a thought on what the most important point in this text is.
b. How does the peace of God keep our hearts and minds? What if a person doesn’t [...]
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7, NIV).
Image © Janet Hyun from GoodSalt.com
This is a wonderful promise but one that we have to actively seek in order to make it real in our lives.
There are many ways in which we can let down our guard. We can let in the cesspool of this world’s entertainment. Our minds might be overcome by anger, bitterness, and resentment. [...]
There are some parents who are so concerned about their children’s Internet viewing habits that they have installed filters to block out certain sites.
Image © Darrel Tank from GoodSalt.com
Others have done something similar with television. The purpose of these “electronic filters” is to let some things in while keeping others out. God has provided a “spiritual filter” for our minds. It has been carefully crafted to allow only those things into our minds that will build our spiritual experience [...]
Our thoughts will ultimately dictate our behavior. The way that we think influences the way that we act. The converse is also true.
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Repeated actions influence our thoughts. The Christian is a “new creation.” Old thinking patterns have been replaced by new ones (2 Cor. 5:17).
When a sailboat embarks on its seaward journey, the sails are set. The set sails give the boat its direction. Throughout the journey, the sails need to be reset in order [...]
Read for This Week’s Study: Col. 3:1-4; 2 Cor. 3:17-18; 10:3-5; Rom. 12:2-3; John 10:10;Matt. 5:13-15.
Memory Text: “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” (Colossians 3:1-2, NKJV).
Isaac Watts is credited with over seven hundred fifty hymns, many of which are sung by thousands of Christians today. On one occasion, a parade was held in London in Watts’ [...]
“Let no man present the idea that man has little or nothing to do in the great work of overcoming; for God does nothing for man without his cooperation. Neither say that after you have done all you can on your part, Jesus will help you. Christ has said, ‘Without Me ye can do nothing’ (John 15:5) . From first to last man is to be a laborer together with God. Unless the Holy Spirit works upon the human heart, at every [...]
Samba Jean loved going into the forest near their mountain home in central Madagascar to collect herbs for his magic. Although his family calls themselves Christians, his father sees no problem mixing Christian beliefs with witchcraft. He uses sticks and bones to determine who has cursed someone, and he uses magic and traditional herbs to break curses, bring good luck, and heal his clients.
When Samba Jean was 14, a friend invited him to attend evangelistic meetings. Samba Jean listened intently [...]
Have you ever been homesick? It’s a terrible feeling, isn’t it? Do you remember the first time you spent a night away from home on your own? The first few weeks of college were really hard for me. I know I must have called home so many times, just to hear the voices of my family.
Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com
That’s what homesickness really is, right? We don’t usually miss the actual building or even the place so much [...]
“But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:6, 7, NKJV).
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[Thought questions for Reformation: The Willingness to Grow and Change September 4, 2013]
1. The gift of grace. Without grace, could we ever experience the joy of eternity with God? Why is that? Is spiritual revival a [...]