Today I'd like to challenge you with what I am being challenged with!
We just returned from St. Louis, attending the memorial service of a dear, sweet friend. This was the third funeral we attended in less than two months, and all three of our friends' lives were cut short by cancer.
In a world where tragedy, pain, hardships, disease, death, murder, rape, injustice (and the list goes on) is reported everyday, how do we stay positive? We see it in newspapers, hear about it on radios and televisions even when we don't read or watch them purposely. It happens around the world, amongst our friends, church family, and in some cases our own families or even ourselves.
What do you do? How do you overcome and stay positive and strong through these circumstances and not let them shipwreck your faith and overtake you? It's not easy, especially when tragedy hits close to home.
The answer of course is: Continue looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, and holding on to His love and promises.
We must also continue to weep with those who weep and comfort the brokenhearted, reaching out with compassion to those who are bruised and recovering from the aftermath of such horrific events.
But I want to challenge you today! Whether you are being attacked or walking with someone who has been, you have to take care of yourself in the midst of all of this.
You see, the enemy wants to pull all of us down and get us looking at the wrong things, asking the wrong questions, thinking the wrong thoughts and saying the wrong words. He's obsessed with distracting us from the race God has set before each of us, to sidestep our destinies. He knows as we stay the course, we will all help more people and bring more to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. So one of his biggest tools is to distract and ensnare us.
The greatest way to honor God and our loved ones whose lives have been cut short is to run our race with all our might and win it. And in doing so,reach as many others with the good news and the comfort of the Holy Spirit as we can. Life is SHORT - like a vapor, so as long as we have breath, let us run with ALL the strength and heart God gives us.
In all the conflicts of life, the main battle waged is for our hearts and minds.
When difficult things happen, our thoughts run rampant, our emotions go everywhere and the enemy goes to work setting traps to ensnare us with a toxic mindset, speaking words stemmed from poisonous thoughts.
That's why it is imperative we protect and guard our hearts, especially in times of trouble, by controlling our thoughts and words.
Proverbs 4:23 tells us to, "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life." Your heart determines your future, and your thoughts will form your heart. How we think and what we allow into our thought life is crucial to our future.
That's why Paul exhorts us to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5) Unbridled thoughts can take over our lives and eventually destroy us.
The ancient Proverb says, "As a man thinks in his heart, so he is." (Proverbs 23:7) What we think DEFINITELY affects our entire life, because what we think roots down into our hearts and begins to shape our lives.
THEN we have those seemingly trivial things called WORDS. Generally, people don't think what they say will make any difference in their lives, but that is SO NOT TRUE. In fact, most of us are a product of words, which have been spoken over us, to us and out of us since childhood.
Even God created the world with His words. Words are powerful, coming TO you and THROUGH you. Words will create your thoughts, which in turn will affect your heart and ultimately your life.
James 3:2 says, "Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.
The challenge I'm talking about today is simple;Think and Speak Good Things. There are so many things we cannot control in life, but these two things we can with the help of the Holy Spirit!
Paul said it simply, "And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." (Philippians 4:8)
Make a decision today with God's help, that you are going to guard your heart by guarding your thoughts and your words, and ultimately bless your life.
Your future depends on it!
Speaking & Thinking well of YOU,
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I wrote a song several years ago about Jesus' encounter with Mary & Martha from Luke 10:38-42 titled Listen to His Heart. I can reme...
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