Theme of the Week: All Things New: A New You
Bible Verse: “For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12, CSB
Scripture Reading: Titus 2:11-13
When do you sin? In what kind of situations do you act in a wrong way or experience negative feelings? What makes you depressed, angry, bitter, irritated, or frustrated? When are you prone to temptation? Think about your change project. Think of the last time you remember doing or feeling it. What was going on? What set you off? What wound you up? What made you depressed, angry, or frustrated? Is there a pattern?
Life is tough. All of us face challenging situations. Yours may be difficult family relationships or sickness or financial worries. It may be people who rile you up or a dead-end job. It may be singleness or a loveless marriage. Peer pressure may push you toward sin, or it may be the stress of having too much to do. We are messed-up people living in a messed-up world.
Our struggles reveal our hearts. But that means they’re a great opportunity to tackle the root causes of our sinful behavior and negative emotions. Sin happens when we believe lies about God instead of God’s word and when we worship idols instead of worshipping God. So, what is going on in our hearts? The Bible says two things are always happening in our hearts. Hebrews 4:12 speaks of “the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
- We think, interpret, believe, trust.
- We desire, worship, want, treasure.
Destructive or sinful behavior such as lying, manipulation, violence, theft, adultery, addictions and eating disorders, and negative or sinful emotions such as anxiety, depression, envy, guilt, bitterness, and pride all arise when our hearts don’t trust God as we should and don’t worship God as we should. So, the answer is faith and repentance. We need to:
- trust God instead of believing lies = faith.
- worship God instead of worshipping idols = repentance.
The key is to make the link between our specific sins and the lies and idols in our hearts.
Taken from You Can Change: God’s Transforming Power for Our Sinful Behavior and Negative Emotions by Tim Chester, © 2010. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, crossway.org.
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