Monday, August 15, 2011

Think on These Things

I will think about what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy. I will purposely think about such things (Philippians 4:8). I am better off when I park my mind on things that fit into the previous categories—when I remember the good over the not-so-good or bad—when I mull over possibilities instead of dread.

Why do memories of hurts of the past still hurt today? Why are they often more clear than good memories from the past? Why is the bad stuff easier to believe? Hurts go so deep that they get lodged in the nervous system as well as in the brain. This is why I have to make conscious decisions to pray about past hurts, talk about past hurts with trusted friends, and force my mind to remember God’s truth over those hurts. It’s not easy and it takes much effort but it’s very possible—with God all things are possible.

True thinking is based on fact, not my imaginings—even when those imaginings seem real to my mind. Noble thinking dwells on God’s perspective on any given issue. Right thinking helps me to respond with compassion instead of bitterness. Pure thinking looks to the good that God inevitably brings from bad situations. Lovely thinking seeks the good in others. Admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy thinking is grateful to an all-knowing, all-loving God.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Love Covers

The Father covered Jesus in His love. Jesus covers me in His love. Jesus brought the Father’s love down to my level. Now I need to cover other people with that love—not because I have to but because I am so full of God’s love that I have no other choice.

Jesus’ love completes me so that I am able to live as a complete person—not complete when I do better or more—but complete right now—just as I am. I don’t need to search for that next best thing to help me improve. I just have to tap into that love that I have already been given. Because of Him, I am complete, whole, and loved. I am secure to do what He wants me to do. I can reach out to other people and help them. His love covers a multitude of sins. When I show love to others it makes up for any mistakes that I make in the process of loving them.

I need to approach a world filled with incomplete people with a joy in my heart that comes only from Jesus’ love. Love covers a multitude of sins.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Loved & Filled to Love & Help

God loves us with an everlasting love. Sometimes it is hard to fathom that love. And even harder to believe it. But when I fully believe it, I sense God’s favor and I walk in peace. When I let worldly cares crowd in, they seem to push the love of God right out of my head. Thankfully, they only seem to do that. In reality, I can’t get rid of God’s love. It is always there just waiting for me to pay attention.

My prayer is that I continue to be rooted and established in that love, may I have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that I may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:17-19).

Through this fullness and power, I can accomplish anything that God allows (and that is more than I can ever imagine. I can be healthier and more energetic. I can write every day. I can finish stories that will inspire hope and encourage. But the key is that anything that helps me accomplish more—anything that sets me free—should be used to help other people. If I keep it to myself, I have nothing. But if I fill myself up with God and His love and do good works in His Name, I have everything.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Enough is Enough

Satan wants me to look for multiple ways to comfort myself. As far as he is concerned any old thing will do—food, laziness, television, etc. Anything that is except God. God is the only thing that can really comfort me in a satisfying and lasting way. And there are no bad consequences or regrets later on when I go to God for comfort.

I have circled this mountain [of deceiving myself] long enough. Now I need to turn North (Deuteronomy 2:3). It’s time to move forward. Self-pity, fear, pride, and negativity have paralyzed me long enough. Ending this cycle of defeat takes courage but if I don’t do it, I will remain a victim and stay stunted—unhealthy, unfulfilled, full of regrets.

I am setting my compass to True North. I am going to stop circling that mountain and begin climbing up it instead. I’m taking off my mask and becoming who God made me to be. My relationship with my Lord will lead me onward. His love will lead me into true fulfillment.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Accomplishing Goals

How can I accomplish goals in spite of daily circumstances and distractions? Make a plan that includes a little bit each day. Faithfulness in little things leads to bigger things (Luke 16:10). Celebrate small successes daily.

I can choose to put more than 100% of effort in each day. I can become who I want to be someday. I can be that person today simply by taking small actions. Making my next decision or action today and the becoming will take care of itself. Today is all that I have. Tomorrow has its own worries (Matthew 6:34).

To move forward with a genuine sense of purpose and direction, I must make sacrifices because everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial (1 Corinthians 10:23). Today is my day to contribute. Today is my day to make a positive difference. Today is my day to encourage another.