Worry

We just hosted a big women’s event…The Beth Moore Living Proof Simulcast… at my church this past weekend! It was absolutely amazing…many women were encouraged…and I was so blessed to have the opportunity to coordinate such an event!

As awesome as this event was…the week prior was extremely busy with preparing and organizing with staff and volunteers… literally day and night. Due to my focus and time on this event, many of my other work responsibilities were placed temporarily on the back burner. And so now I find myself behind and trying to catch up!

I am actually living this blog post as I my fingers hit the keyboard…Worry has creeped in making me unsure that I will have a blog done to be posted on Wednesday… which is today for you.

It finally hit me on the day of the women’s event this past Saturday morning…I awoke before 5am…Uuuhhh…not my usual wake up time…and while my children were still asleep and my husband already off to work, I sat in our home office and began to brainstorm ideas for this week’s blog.

I can’t believe that on the day of such a huge event, I was up so early and actually worrying about the subject of my next blog! About 200 women were about to wake up, get ready, and come to this event and I found myself praying and asking the Lord to place something in my heart that He would like for me to write about. The subject that tugged at me…probably because I am living it right now …is worry.

No matter where we are spiritually, worry sure has a way of creeping in.

We may worry about our jobs, our finances, our marriages, our children…

We may worry about our health, our families, our future…

We may worry about how we look, what we should say, being accepted by others…

We may worry about meeting our deadlines…my exact situation right now! …how we are raising our kids, if and when we will get married if we are single…

Oh and the list of things that we can worry about can go on and on!

What do you worry about the most? Are you a constant worrier or just with some things in your life?

When it comes to the things we worry about, did you know…

40% are things that will never happen?

30% are about the past, which can’t be changed?

12% are about criticism by others, which are mostly untrue?

10% are about health, which gets worse with stress?

8% are about real problems that can be solved?

In the Bible, God tells us not to worry. Worry and/or anxiety are specifically mentioned 25 times in the New Testament alone! And God doesn’t merely suggest for us to not worry, He commands for us to not worry or be anxious! (I know, I know…easier said than done!)

Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6 HCSB

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6 NASB

So why does God not want us to worry so much? Because…

Worry weighs a person down.  Proverbs 12:25 NLT

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his [her] life? Matthew 6:27

Oh I know God created time with only 24 hours in one day…but it sure would be nice to add a few more hours so I could get what I need done!!! Ever think this way?

The words most often used for worry or anxiety in the New Testament come from the same Greek word, meridzoe, which means “to be divided, to be pulled in opposite directions, to choke.”

“…to choke?”  Pretty interesting, huh?

The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. Luke 8:14 NIV

I recently heard this great acronym for WORRY which is so true!

W Worry

O– Only

R– Robs

R– Rest

Y–  fromYou

In my experience, I have found that worry is usually rooted in fear. Think about what you worry about and see if the underlying reason lies in some kind of fear.

For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2Timothy 1:7 KJV

If God doesn’t want us to worry or have fear, then where did it come from anyway? Where did it originate?

Fear had its origins way back in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate the fruit of the forbidden tree. When they ate the forbidden fruit, their eyes were opened, and they realized they were naked. So, they then covered themselves with fig leaves.

They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”

He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself. Genesis 3:8-10 NASB

Sin and fear entered the picture at this time. Before this act of eating the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve were not afraid and they lived a very peaceful and fulfilling life in the beautiful garden where they had a very special and sweet relationship with the Lord.

So why else does God not want us to worry?

God knows that worry, resulting from fear, short circuits our relationship with Him.

Worry fixes our eyes on our situation rather than our Savior. Worry damages our health, causes the object of worry to consume our thoughts, disrupts our productivity, and reduces our ability to trust God.

Now don’t get me wrong…in our world of struggles and challenges, we can and do face legitimate concerns. Worry looks to self or other people for answers…Concern looks to God for answers.

Living a life of worry and fear doesn’t leave room for faith…faith in Him to make the impossible, possible…faith in Him to do above and beyond what we could ever think or imagine…faith in Him to heal your illness, restore your marriage, pay your bills, protect and guide you and take care of every need you have!

How can we conquer worry in our lives? I believe the answer lies in Philippians 4:6 and Matthew 6:33-34.

1)      Be anxious for nothing.

Realize what you can control and what you cannot. 92% of the things we worry about are things we can’t control!

2)      Be prayerful about everything.

No prayer request is too big or too small for God to answer.

I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4 NLT

3)      Be thankful for all things.

When we thank God, our focus moves from our situation to our Savior.

4)      Be willing to let go.

We must be willing to let go and let God take control. Giving Him complete control involves you putting Him first in your life.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:33 NIV

Note that Jesus tells us to seek Him first and in the next verse tells us not to worry about tomorrow!

As I thankfully complete the very object of my worry these past few days…writing this devotion…My hope is that you would be encouraged and equipped in your own life to conquer worry.

Worry cannot change the past. It cannot control the future. It can only make us miserable today.

Whether you worry about the daily tasks and deadlines of each day…or the greater struggles and challenges that life may bring your way, I pray that you will have trust in the very God who tells us not to worry…and have faith that He will see you through!

“Worry is fear’s extravagance. It extracts interest on trouble before it comes due. It constantly drains the energy God gives us to face daily problems and to fulfill our many responsibilities.” Unknown

“Worry is faith in the negative, trust in the unpleasant, assurance of disaster and belief in defeat…worry is wasting today’s time to clutter up tomorrow’s opportunities with yesterday’s troubles.” Unknown

Reflection Points:

1)      What do you worry about the most? Are you a constant worrier or just with some things in your life?

2)      Is your worry rooted in some kind of fear?

3)      Are you worrying about something you can or cannot control?

Action Points:

Review the steps outlines above to help you conquer worry in your life.

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Tongue Taming

When I was growing up as a child, I remember the saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” “Sticks and Stones” is a children’s rhyme and it persuades the child victim of name-calling to ignore the taunt, to refrain from physical retaliation, and to remain calm and good-natured.

Really? Did that work when you were a kid? We may have said this rhyme to others but did we truly believe it? Saying this rhyme to someone calling us names may have made us feel a little better… for the moment…but the reality was that names did hurt…and may still hurt!

I would have to say that I disagree with this rhyme…I wish names would never hurt me! And plus, coming from a background in anatomy and understanding bone injuries, bones heal…hurtful words may or may not! Not only can words hurt, they can be damaging…even for a lifetime!

Were you called names as a child? Were negative words spoken to you as a child? How did you respond?

Maybe you were the name caller…

When I was in high school, I had a real pretty friend who was a ballet dancer. She loved dancing and had begun at a young age. At this young age, she was also told that she looked fat in her leotard and she needed to watch what she ate. All through high school she battled with anorexia and bulimia. There were times she looked so thin that I was afraid for her health…and really her life.

Having studied and worked with many female athletes in my previous occupation, I have come to understand the seriousness of eating disorders and the serious health conditions that can develop from this disease…including death.

The words that we speak to one another are so important to consider…not just as a child growing up …but also as adults and throughout our entire lifetime. Spoken words can bring either life or death…literally! And we can see the effects of the modern day example of this in the rise in childhood bullying that has become even more prevalent through our social media.

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21 NIV

Whether we are speaking to our husbands, children, friends, family members, co-workers and even strangers, our words are so important!

Statistics say that the average person spends one-fifth of his/her life talking. If all of our words were put into print, the result? … A single day’s words would fill a 50 page book, while in a year’s time, the average person’s words would fill 132 books of 200 pages each!

That’s crazy! And you and I know perfectly well, that as women we are not the average person when it comes to chatting! Among all those words, we are bound to speak some words in anger, carelessness, and haste!

As Christians, getting our tongues under control is a very important task and one of the most difficult to master. Whether we gossip (and let’s be real and not hind behind our Christian umbrella…we do gossip!), speak reckless and careless words, speak lies and even flattery…God wants us to control our tongues!

Gossip A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much. Proverbs 20:19 NIV

Recklessness The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18 NIV

Carelessness   I tell you, on the day of judgment, people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matt 12:36-37 ESV

Lies There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue… Proverbs 6:16-17 NIV

Flattery Whoever rebukes a person will in the end gain favor rather than one who has a flattering tongue. Proverbs 28:23 NIV

As we can see, all the scriptures above are from the book of Proverbs. I just love the book of Proverbs! The purpose of this book is to help us apply divine wisdom to daily life and to provide moral instruction.

The bible speaks about our tongues also in James 3:3-12. I thought The Message translation stated these scriptures in an interesting way.

3-5 A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it!

5-6 It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.

7-10 This is scary: You can tame a tiger, but you can’t tame a tongue—it’s never been done. The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth!

10-12 My friends, this can’t go on. A spring doesn’t gush fresh water one day and brackish the next, does it? Apple trees don’t bear strawberries, do they? Raspberry bushes don’t bear apples, do they? You’re not going to dip into a polluted mud hole and get a cup of clear, cool water, are you?

So how can we “tame” our tongues?  The word tame is defined “to make docile or submissive, to conquer or bring under control, to subdue”

How can we bring our tongues under control?

1)      Realize that we are accountable to God for our words.

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:36-37 ESV

2)      Fill our hearts with God’s word

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14 NLT

…For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. Matthew 12:34-35 NLT

3)      Listen before you speak.

Have you ever already decided your response to someone before they have finished talking? (My husband would say I totally do this…and he is right!) If we would listen before speaking, we would be more careful with our responses and words.

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry… James 1:19 NIV

 4)      T.H.I.N.K before you speak.

If we would just think before we speak, we would speak words of grace and life! I have learned to try and pause for a moment before responding to help me from being careless with my words…especially in situations where I feel anger rising up in me or my emotions are high.

            T– Is it True?

            H Is it Helpful?

            I-Is it Inspiring?

            N– Is it Necessary?

            K– Is it Kind?

 Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. Colossians 4:6 NASB

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.    Proverbs 18:21 NIV

When we realize the long term negative effects of the careless or hurtful words we speak, we can see why God is clear about holding us accountable for our words. It certainly isn’t easy for some us to tame our tongues, but God wouldn’t expect something from us without equipping us and giving us the power the strength to succeed. And on top of that, His power is made perfect in our weakness! (2 Corinthians 12:9) Along with our reliance on God, it may take a willing and conscious effort on our part…but it is possible for us to tame our tongues!

Reflection Points:

1)      Were hurtful or negative words spoken to you as a child? Are you still carrying the hurt as an adult?

2)      Do you believe your overall speech…words to others are positive and encouraging or more negative and discouraging on a daily basis?

3)      Do you need to work on your words with specific people in your life? ie. husband, children, family members…

4)      How can you begin to “tame” your tongue with these people?

Action Points:

1)      Realize the importance of the words we speak. Understand what the bible says about taming our tongues. Look over the scriptures that discuss gossip, recklessness, carelessness, lies, and flattery when it comes to our spoken words.

2)      Begin to follow the steps outlined above to help you speak words of life vs. words of death.

3)      Pause and T.H.I.N.K before you speak. This will help you from speaking out of anger or high emotions.

Your “To Do” List

If any of you are like me, I am a “To Do” list kind of girl! I love making “To Do” lists to help me remember everything I need to do and get done for the day. And I love the feeling of accomplishment when I get to cross things off my list! I know some of you may think I have some issues…and I will be the first to say I do! …just like everybody else.

With life so busy though, it can be challenging trying to remember that my son needs to bring a “Show and Tell” item that begins with the letter G…or that I need to send out invites for my other son’s birthday party…or what time flag football practice is that day…or what items I need to buy from the grocery store to make dinner for that evening! And that’s not even my work “To Do” list!

In my experience of making these daily lists, I have come to realize a few things about “To Do” lists…

1)      They aren’t necessarily prioritized.

2)      They don’t always get done.

3)      They can get lost…and then back to using your memory.

4)      They can grow throughout the day as unanticipated things find their way on the list.

For some of us, with the great intention and desire to spend time with God, we have added God to our “To Do” lists as well.

Do you put God on your “To Do” list? …Do you put God on your list with the hope of getting in some time with Him either in the morning or another part of your day?

For those of you who aren’t “To Do” list ladies… First of all, you are truly awesome to get done what you need to do each day…I admire you although I may not comprehend how you do it without a “To Do” list…but stay with me here! …I believe you will still relate to this blog!

The problem with putting God on our “To Do” list is that since the list isn’t necessarily prioritized, our time with God doesn’t become a priority. Or even if He is a priority, something else may all of sudden require immediate attention and kicks God out as a priority…pushing Him further down the list.

In the book called “Freedom from Tyranny of the Urgent,” (an expansion of his classic book called “The Tyranny of the Urgent”), Charles Hummel explains how the urgent things tend to take priority over the most important things in life and discusses efficient vs. effective prioritizing. What may seem urgent…like answering an email or a text message…may not be important. (Something I personally need to keep reminding myself this when my children want me to play with them and I am busy texting a friend!)

God should not be on our “To Do’ lists…He is the “To Do” list. He is the very reason we have been given the responsibilities on our list. He isn’t an item to just check off and say… “Ok I am done spending time with God today!”

He is part of our entire day…He infiltrates every decision we make…He reminds us of patience when the person at the checkout counter is buying their groceries with a bag of change…He restrains us when someone cuts us off while driving and everything in us wants to shout some absurdity back… He reminds us…me!… to stay calm when we are in a rush running out the door and our child spills all his crackers on the floor and has proceeded to take off the shoes you just put on him!

We make “To Do” lists to make sure we remember the things we need to do… but some things are more important than others…some items take priority over others.

I believe the following passage in Malachi 1:6-11 has very interesting parallel to spending time with God and our daily “To Do” lists.

6“A son honors his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the Lord Almighty.

“It is you priests who show contempt for my name.

“But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?’

7“By offering defiled food on my altar.

“But you ask, ‘How have we defiled you?’

“By saying that the Lord’s table is contemptible. 8When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the Lord Almighty.

9“Now plead with God to be gracious to us. With such offerings from your hands, will he accept you?”—says the Lord Almighty.

10“Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord Almighty, “and I will accept no offering from your hands. 11My name will be great among the nations, from where the sun rises to where it sets. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to me, because my name will be great among the nations,” says the Lord Almighty.

In the Old Testament in Leviticus 1:3, God’s law required that only perfect animals be offered to God. But the priests in this passage were allowing the people to offer blind, crippled, and diseased animals to God. So God accused them of dishonoring Him by offering imperfect sacrifices…this greatly displeased Him.

So what does this mean for us today? We clearly do not offer God animal sacrifices today. The blood of sacrificed animals only covered sin in the Old Testament…it did not remove it. These animal sacrifices were necessary until the final and perfect sacrifice was made…Jesus. Jesus came to offer Himself once and for all for all the sins of mankind. Animal blood no longer needs to be shed, because the blood of Jesus has been shed. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, His blood cleanses us.

The New Testament says that our lives should be living sacrifices to God.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship. Rom 12:1NIV

So here is my challenge to you…to me…If we are to give God only our leftover time and energy, aren’t we displeasing God just as these worshipers who didn’t want to bring anything valuable to God?

Our time is valuable and it’s important for us to protect it so that we can focus on the important…not just the urgent. Time is the one thing we can never change or take back once it’s gone. What we give God reflects our true attitude toward Him.

Whether God makes your “To Do” list or not…whether you even make a “To Do” list…is He getting what He is worthy of? Is He getting the honor due His name? …Or Is He getting your leftovers? Is He getting your leftovers in time and energy?

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:8 NIV

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 11:18-19 NIV

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. Psalm 1:1-3 NIV

My prayer and desire for you..and for me…is to make sure we are making God a priority in our life before the busyness takes over…before we become distracted by “urgent” things…before we get pulled in so many directions to fill the needs of everyone around us and then we find ourselves tired, wiped out, and unable to give Him the quality time He deserves.

God, who created you and me…the creator of the universe…the creator of time…the God who brings the sun up each day…Doesn’t He deserve the very best?

Reflection Points:

1)      Do you make “To Do” lists to remember what you need to get done each day? If so, do you put spending time with God on your list?

2)      Whether you make a list or not, is it a priority to spend time with God each day?

3)      How do you make spending time with God a priority so that the “urgent” things do not take its place?

Action Points:

1)      Think about the important things in your life and begin prioritizing those things. Your relationship with God is important so much that He asks us to seek Him first in everything we do…everything else will fall into place. (Matt. 6:33)

2)      Christianity is a relationship…not a religion. It is your life. Your trust in Him will grow as you spend quality time with Him…Your intimacy will grow as you spend quality time with Him…Your “To Do” list can wait …so you can spend quality time with Him. He wants to commune with you…He desires to spend time with you. Make Him a priority today…Your first priority.

Loving God with All Your Mind

During our first few years of marriage, my husband Billy and I went through very difficult financial circumstances.

To give you a little background info…I had waited 7 years as a single Christian woman for the Lord to bring me my husband. I had always dreamed and prayed for financial security and stability…and I remember thinking, “One day when I get married, I will finally not have to live paycheck to paycheck! My husband will provide for me and take care of me and life is going to be wonderful!” Hmmm…Any single ladies out there ever feel this way?

Since I didn’t know when I was going to be married and being in my 30’s, I purchased my first home. After more years went by…and still no husband … the economy was booming, so I decided to invest in a new Condo to give me some financial security.

When I met my husband Billy, he did well for himself. He had a fairly new baseball business which was growing and he also did some investing during this thriving real estate market. He owned a home and purchased another for us to move into once we married.

Things were wonderful for about 6 months and then the economy crashed. My husband’s baseball business slowed down due to the decreasing demand for the luxury of paying someone to teach your child baseball…and along with that his side business of investing in real estate became non-existent.

To make a long story short…I was 8 months pregnant with our first child when we lost our home to foreclosure. At the very same time, we also lost the 2nd home my husband had owned prior to marriage. And then soon after that, we lost both homes that I had owned. We prayed and prayed and prayed and found ourselves losing more and more…I had to sell my car and soon after we filed for bankruptcy. Seriously? Was this really happening to us?

Talk about stress! …Talk about a reality check! …Talk about some major life changes! …Talk about my great credit score plummeting! (I had to get past the point that it was just a number and it didn’t define me) …Talk about a new baby being born in the midst of these financial difficulties!

Where are we to go? What are we going to do?  Lord, why did we have to lose so much? I just don’t understand…

In the passage below, Jesus explains to us not just one of his commands but the most important commandment He wants us to follow.

28One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.31The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31 NIV

These scriptures are so significant because Jesus is stating the most important commandment for us to follow! He says in verse 30 that the most important commandment is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Not just part of our hearts…not just part of our soul…not just part of our minds…and not just part of our strength! He says…all!

Is that really possible?

This commandment in Mark 12:30 is also expressed in other books of the bible like in Matthew 22:37 and Luke 10:27 of the New Testament and it is actually first seen in the bible in the Old Testament in Deuteronomy 6:5.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.5Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5 NIV

So check this out! …If you read through these scriptures too quickly, you will think they are all identical. But what is so interesting to note here is the first 3 books of the New Testament Matthew, Mark, and Luke (sometimes referred to as the Synoptic Gospels because of their similarities in structure, content and wording) add one way which we are to love God that is not mentioned in Deuteronomy 6:5.

Looking at all these scriptures, we can see that Jesus inserts the word “mind”…to love the Lord your God with all your mind! He makes it explicit that our minds are an integral part of loving our God.

So I believe there is significance in Jesus adding that we are to love God with all our mind. Especially as women, we have a great tendency to struggle with our thoughts…to battle with our thoughts…to wrestle with our thoughts! We tend to focus, worry, and become anxious …We have the tendency to become consumed by our problems to the point that it will ruin our day and make us less productive.

How many of you hear me on this? How many of you can relate? I know I can! Our minds are so important because our thoughts affect our actions and behavior.

So just how exactly do we love God with all our mind? Reflecting on the difficult financial situation I experienced above…

How do I love the Lord with all my mind…when I can’t figure out why I am going through this difficult challenge in my life?

How do I love the Lord with all my mind…when I pray and pray and know He has the power to change my circumstances in an instant…and yet He doesn’t?

How do I love the Lord with all my mind…when I feel a huge knot in my stomach everyday making want to throw up from the stress I am facing?

How do I love the Lord with all my mind…when I am tired of fighting and fighting and just flat out don’t feel like it fighting anymore?

These were some of the thoughts and feelings  I experienced when going through this difficult time in my life…

Are you going through a difficult circumstance right now in your life? Even if you aren’t, are you loving God with all your mind?

So how do we love God with all our mind?

1)      It’s a Decision.

Loving God with all our mind is a conscious decision.

We have a choice whether to love God with all our minds or not. We have a choice to trust Him or doubt Him. We have a choice to dwell on our pain, on our weaknesses, on our failures, on our negative circumstances…or we can choose to let these things turn us to God.

By making these choices we are choosing to love God with all our mind. By making these choices we can control what we think about regardless of our feelings. By making these choices we can take our thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ and consequently we can fill our minds with Godly thoughts.

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ… 2 Cor 10:5NASB

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Phil 4:8 NIV

2)      It’s Daily.

Loving God with all our mind is daily.

It is renewing our minds every day…not just some days. It is saying “no” to our flesh, and saying “yes” to God. It is a continual renewal of our minds daily.

And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. Luke 9:23 NASB

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 12:2NIV

3)      It’s Developed.

Loving God with all our mind is developed.

It is a process of growth and development as you grow in your relationship with God. Your love for Him grows as you get to know Him better. Your love for God grows when you experience and understand His love for you.

So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God . Ephesians 3:17-19 NIV

Your desires will begin to align with His desires. As you spend more time praying and reading His word, your faith and trust in Him will grow.

Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17

So as Christians, we can love the Lord our God with all our mind…Even when we don’t understand…Even when we pray and pray and God doesn’t answer our prayers how we want Him to…Even when we feel stressed and anxious…Even when we are tired of fighting and fighting…(Proverbs 3:5-6 ,Isaiah 55:8, Philippians 4:6-7 , Isaiah 40:31)

Having experienced this difficult financial season our life, Billy and I are so thankful that God not only has given us a 2nd  chance at being better stewards of our finances but also for giving us so many opportunities to encourage others to continue to love God through their difficult seasons.

Reflection Points:

1)      Are you going through a difficult circumstance in your life right now?

2)      Do you feel that you are loving God with all your mind…every day?

3)      What keeps you from loving God with all your mind?

4)      What can you do to help you to love God with all your mind?

Action Points:

Loving God with all your mind is…a Decision, Daily, and Developed. Check out the scriptures listed above.