Theme of the Week: Staying On Course
Bible Verse: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
Scripture Reading: Romans 8:1-14
Some people walk around all day like a powder keg ready to explode. If you find yourself letting anger rule your actions and ruin your day – or other’s around you – you need to re-evaluate your thinking. What you think determines how you feel, not the other way around.
Nobody makes you mad. If someone is rude or demeaning, you do not have to respond in kind. Your actions and reactions are your choice. Nor are you at the mercy of all the pettiness, meanness, impatience, and anger of others. Besides, do you want to let someone else decide how you are going to act?
You make you mad. The people and pressures in your life don’t make you angry. Something inside you makes you feel that way. When you change what you are thinking you can stop being angry.
You have little or no control over what happens to you, but God’s grace gives you more control over what happens in you than you are willing to admit and accept. Epictetus, the first-century philosopher said, “When we meet with difficulties, become anxious and troubled, let us not blame others, but rather ourselves; that is, our ideas about things.” Good advice!
As believers we need to feed our brains. The Bible has the power to change your thoughts because it’s God’s Living Word, and it’s the truth. It has the power literally to change your thoughts when you are powerless.
Here’s an idea: Take a 3-by-5-inch card, and on one side write the Scripture you find especially life-giving for your personal situation. On the other side write STOP! in large letters. Carry the card with you. When your thoughts start running away from you, pull out the card and read it to yourself – out loud if you can. Tell your brain: Stop thinking that way! Then turn the card over and review the Bible references. Read them again and again, many times a day if necessary. (Try Psalm 20:1-5.)
Also, filter your thoughts through the Holy Spirit:
“I will ask the Father,” Jesus promised, “and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth” (John 14:16-17).
You can tap into the power of God’s wisdom and discernment if you will call upon the Holy Spirit to help you find the truth.
You can utilize crises to help you, too. People change radically when the hurricanes of life blow through. Hardship is the way the Lord disciplines us and teaches us:
My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son. Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? (Hebrews 12:5-7).
Change your thoughts and you will change your life!
Content taken from Staying on Course by Dr. Garth Leno, ©2001. Used with permission.
Prayer: Father in heaven, we are surrounded by so many messages and it is difficult not to let the thinking of this world shape us in ways that are contrary to your ways. Help me to renew my mind by spending time with you and in your word.
Reflection: Determine to spend more time with God this week. Read the Bible for 5 more minutes than you normally would—whether that is 5 minutes total, or double what you normally do or if it is just a pinch longer. Spend 5 more minutes.
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