Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Renew Your Mind.

"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind." Romans 12:2

There is a dynamic principle shown throughout God's Word, and no person will ever walk in victory unless he understands and operates in it: right action follows right thinking.

Let me put it another way: you will not change your behaviour until you change your thoughts.

In God's order of things, right thinking comes first, and right action follows.

"Be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind." Ephesians 4:24

These are quotes from the book, Battlefield In Your Mind, by Joyce Meyer.

Joyce helped me so much in my Christian walk. I used to wake up each morning wishing I had never been born. I hated facing a new day with all the problems it may throw at me. I used to ask God to let me die and have some peace.

This was my state of mind when I read this book. I wrote down all her suggestions on how to think differently. I read them every morning and quoted the Bible out loud as she instructed. Immediately I felt better about my life. Soon I didn't need to read the list of instructions, it just came naturally to think right thoughts.

My inner life has changed completely. I wake up happy to be alive. When something bad happens I now know that with God I can face it. I am so thankful to God and Joyce.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Jesus Asks Questions.

This is the last post on questions that God and Jesus have asked people. I conclude with Jesus and a few of the questions he asked.

"Why were you afraid, you men of little faith?" Matt. 8:26

"You of little faith, why did you doubt?" Matt. 16

Faith is important to God. Jesus asked both these questions when he was on the sea with his disciples. In the first instance, they were all afraid of their boat sinking. There was a fierce storm at the time. Jesus was asleep and they woke him asking if he cared they would all die.

Jesus implied a person of faith would not have been afraid. Why? Why does it show faith when you believe you are about to drown and you are not afraid? I think that faith would say, "Trust in the Lord, if it is his will for you to die now then accept it. If it is not his will, no storm on earth could kill you."

The second verse came from Jesus when Peter came out onto the water to walk with Jesus. But Peter looked away and became afraid and began to sink. He looked at the storm instead of at Jesus. This it to teach us to look at God when we are in trouble. If we do, we will not doubt or be afraid.

Saul (later named Paul)was persecuting Christians; he was arresting them and taking them to jail. As he was going to Damascus a great light shone around him, he saw a heavenly person (Jesus) who spoke to him and asked him this question,

"Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?"

Paul had an open mind, he asked, "Who are you Lord?"

Jesus answered, "I am Jesus whom you are persecuting."

Paul was converted that day, he repented and became one of the greatest Apostles.

If God ever questions you or I, how will we answer him? Will we be rebellious or will we open our heart to him?

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Question for Isaiah and Questions for All of Us.

Isaiah, like Elijah, was another great prophet of God. One day God took him to heaven and Isaiah saw, "the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted..."

God now asked a question of the ones in heaven, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for me?"
Isaiah answered and said, "Here am I, send me." What a wonderful answer! After seeing the majesty of God, Isaiah must have been strengthened for his great work in giving God's messages to the people of Israel.

Reading through the book of Isaiah, God asks the people many questions. Sometimes questions push us to examine why and what we are doing.

"What do you mean by crushing my people and grinding the face of the poor?"
This is an important issue with God; it is mentioned time and time again in the Old Testament and the New.

"To whom will you liken me that I would be his equal?" says the Holy One.

"Why do you say, 'My way is hidden from the Lord, and the justice due me escapes the notice of my God?'"

"Is my hand short that it cannot save? Have I no power to deliver?
Behold, I dry up the sea with my rebuke. I make the rivers in a wilderness."

"Why do you spend money for that which is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy?"

The Lord God wants to talk with people. He doesn't just want a one-sided conversation, he wants us to hear what he says in the Bible and he listens to what we say to him. If we have questions for God, he will answer them. Sometimes, like with Job, he will not explain all his reasons for doing things, but he will show us that he is trustworthy.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

God Questions Job.

The book of Job tells the story of a man who endures terrible psychological and physical suffering. God shows us in the first chapter how Satan tells God Job only loves God because he has given him many gifts: children, money, lands, animals, and servants.

Satan tells God if he lets him take away all Job has then Job will curse God and leave him. God tells Satan he can touch everything of Job's but cannot take his life.

When Job loses everything and everyone but his wife, he cannot understand why he is suffering. Job's three friends tell him he must have sinned greatly for God to punish him in this way, but Job can think of nothing he has done. He wishes he had never been born and wishes he could talk with God and question Him.

God appears to talk with Job. He never explains why Job has had these tragedies. Instead, he asks him a long list of questions which I won't quote since there are too many. I will quote four of them.

"Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?"

"Will the fault-finder contend with the Almighty?"

"Will you really annul my judgement?"

"Will you condemn me that you may be justified?"

God explains his great wisdom and power by pointing to all creation. He is trying to tell Job he knows what he is doing.

Job answers God, "I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted...Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, things too wonderful for me which I did not know..."

"But now my eye sees you; therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Question for Elijah.

Elijah was a mighty prophet of God, one of the greatest who ever lived. Yet, even he could become discouraged and fearful. When Jezebel announced she would have Elijah killed he ran into the desert to hide. He ran until he became hungry and tired; he sat under a tree and asked God that he might die, then fell asleep.

God sent an angel who woke Elijah and said, "Arise, eat." When Elijah looked there was warm bread and a jar of water. This happened twice, he regained his strength and went further into the wilderness until he found a cave in which to hide.

Now God himself appeared and asked Elijah a question, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"

Elijah explained to God all that had happened and told God he was the only person left in Israel who believed in him and they wanted to kill him. But God told him he was wrong, there were 7,000 people in Israel who had not worshipped Baal (an idol that demanded human sacrifice).

He then asked again, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" He asked this because he had not sent Elijah into the desert. He had not told him to flee Jezebel. He now told him to return to Israel and Elijah obeyed.

I love how God deals with his people. He is so patient and understanding. "May everything that breathes praise the Lord!"

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Questions II

Yesterday, I blogged about how God asks questions. I studied some more and found quite a few more examples.
Most people know the story of Jonah and the whale, but did you know that Jonah was angry with God when he didn't destroy the people of Nineveh? He probably didn't think they deserved to live, and also that he might be thought of as a false prophet.

So God came to visit Jonah and asked him, "Do you have a good reason to be angry?" Jonah 4:4

Isn't it wonderful to see the patience of God. Someone was angry with him, yet God didn't yell or punish, he simply asked a question. And what was Jonah's reply? "I have good reason to be angry, even to death." He was so angry, he wanted to die rather than accept what God had done.

Again God shows patience in explaining to Jonah his reasons.

"Shouldn't I have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who don't know their right hand from their left, as well as many animals?" Not only does God care about the people, he cares about the animals that would have died.

You may ask, "If God loved Nineveh so much why would he threaten to destroy the whole city?" The Bible has long lists of evils that push God to punish nations. The most prominent reason is child sacrifice. In many religions of that day the people laid babies and children on an alter and burned them to death. The other reasons were cruelty to strangers, murder of innocent people, sexual sins, robbing the poor, widows and orphans and not helping those in need. God will let nations go so far, and then no farther.

To those who turn to God, he will gladly accept and forgive. He will give them a new heart that loves to do good and not evil.

Monday, November 22, 2010

When God Asks a Question.

Genesis 3:9-13

After Adam and Eve had eaten the forbidden fruit, God came to the garden and started to ask questions.

"The Lord God called to the man Adam and said to him, "Where are you?"

"I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself."

"Who told you that you were naked?"

Why would God, who knows everything, ask these questions of a man? Is it because he wanted Adam to run to Him in trust, telling him all about what had happened. But instead, Adam pointed at Eve and blamed her.

God now questioned Eve, "What is this that you have done?" She evaded he responsibility and pointed at the snake and blamed him.

God gave both Adam and Eve a chance to say they were sorry, but it didn't happen. Perhaps later, but not at first.

Then there was Cain. God spoke to him with questions also. Cain was upset so God said, "Why are you angry? Why do you look sad?" He wanted Cain to open up to Him, to tell God his feelings, but instead the Bible says Cain went and told his brother Abel. Abel must have said something Cain did not like, for he rose up and killed him.

God came again, "Where is Abel, your brother?" God gave him a chance to confess his terrible sin. But Cain gave the answer, "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?" Instead of repenting, Cain lied.

I see in the actions of God a patient and welcoming personality. Even though he knew what these people had done, he didn't open up with an accusation. He asked them to tell him what has happened.

This is what prayer is - telling God all about our feelings, our plans, our day. He wants us to share everything with him and ask for his help and strength. If Cain had done that when God first spoke with him, he probably would not have killed his brother. If Eve had waited after she met the serpent to talk with God about what had happened and asked his advice, this world would still be a paradise.

Tomorrow, I will show some more examples of God and Jesus asking questions.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


I was reading II Corinthians yesterday and it hit me how much Paul had suffered for preaching the gospel. Some preachers tell us God will bless our lives with money and other comforts is we ask him. Compare that to what Paul went through.

"Five times I received 39 lashes, three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked. I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure." These are some of Paul's words taken from Chapter 11.

Paul said he also had a "thorn in the flesh" that he asked God three times to remove. But God said, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." I take this to mean God can use our weaknesses to show forth his power.

If we think God will protect us from all trouble, we are mistaken. But, he will be with us in that trouble. Jesus said, "In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." John 16:33 I love that verse. In tribulation - look at what Jesus did and know he is with you. "Behold, I am with you until the end of the world." Matthew 28:20

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I Press On.

Philippians 3:12-14

"Not that I have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.

Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet, but one thing I do; forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead.

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

When mountain climbing you don't look down, you look up. You forget what happened on the way up, you keep looking up towards the prize of reaching the top. So it is with us and our walk with God. Don't look back at your mistakes, don't look back at the hard times, look up and keep your eyes on Jesus.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Value of Jesus.

Philippians 3:8-11

"I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ and may be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, being conformed to his death in order that I may obtain the resurrection from the dead."

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Put On Love.

Colossians 3:12-15

"As those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone, just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.

And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Seek the Things Above.

Colossians 3:1-4

"If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.

For you haved died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.

Monday, November 15, 2010

From Darkness to Jesus.

Colossians 1:13-16

"God delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

And Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation. For by him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things have been created by him and for him."

I once was in darkness, but am now in the light of God. I am so thankful for this.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Walking On the Sea.

"They saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat; and they were frightened. But he said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid." John 6:19-20

I believe this excerpt comes from the book, "My Utmost For His Highest."

"What is my vision of God's purpose for me? Whatever it may be, his purpose is for me to depend on him and hon his power now. If I can stay calm, faithful, and unconfused while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the goal of the purpose of God is being accomplished in me.

God is not working toward a particular finish - his purpose is the process itself. What he desires for me is that I see "Him walking on the sea" with no shore, no success, nor goal in sight, but simply having the absolute certainty that everything is all right because I see "Him walking on the sea. It is the process, not the outcome, that is glorifying to God.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


"Jesus did not entrust himself to them, for he knew what was in man." John 2:24-25

"Our Lord never put his trust in any person. Yet he was never suspicious, never bitter, and never lost hope for anyone, because he put his trust in God first. He trusted absolutely in what God's grace could do for others.

If I put my trust in human beings first, the end result will be my despair and hopelessness toward everyone. I will become bitter because I have insisted that people be what no person can ever be - absolutely perfect and right. Never trust anything in yourself or in anyone else, except the grace of God."

I don't know what book this quote came from. I hope whoever wrote it won't mind if I print it.

Friday, November 12, 2010


This is an excerpt from the book, "Where is God When it Hurts?" by Philip Yancey.

"It seems to me that suffering involves two main issues: 1) whoever caused my discomfort, and 2) my response. Most of us expend our energy trying to figure out the cause of our pain before we'll decide how to respond...

In the book of Job, the portion of the Bible which most vividly poses the question "Who causes pain?" God deliberately sidesteps the issue. He never explained the cause to Job. All the way through, the Bible steers from the issue of cause to the issue of response. Pain and suffering have happened - now what will you do? The great discussers of cause, Job's three friends, are dismissed with a scowl. The Bible is so clear on this point that I must conclude the real issue before Christians is not "Is God responsible?" but "How should I react now that this terrible thing has happened?"

I remember reading a book by Viktor Frankl who was in a concentration camp in Germany during World War II. He said that his captors could take everything away from him (and they killed his wife and parents) but his attitude.

My attitude during suffering is that I want to just die. Yet God doesn't answer this prayer, he keeps my heart beating. Therefore, I now try to have the right attitude towards suffering - that God is with me, he suffers with me, and he loves me. This makes all suffering bearable for me.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

It's Ok to Be Different.

"The sun is glorious in one way, the moon is glorious in another way, and the stars are glorious in their own way; for one star differs from and surpasses another in its beauty and brilliance." ICorinthians 15:41

This is from the book, New Day, New You, by Joyce Meyer.

"God has created us to be different from one another; and he has done this on purpose. Each of us meets a need, and we are all part of God's overall plan. When we struggle to be like others, we not only lose ourselves, but also grieve the Holy Spirit. God wants us to fit into his plan, not to feel pressured trying to fit into everyone else's plans. Different is okay; it is all right to be different.

We are all born with different temperaments, different physical features, different fingerprints, different gifts and abilities, etc. Our goal should be to find out what we are good at and then throw ourselves wholeheartedly into it."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Do Not Fret

I found this quote in my drawer, I don't remember where I found it.

"Do not fret - it only causes harm." Psalm 37:8

Fretting means getting ourselves "out of joint" mentally or spiritually. It is one thing to say, "Do not fret," but something very different to have such a nature that you find yourself unable to fret. It's easy to say, "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him," until our own little world is turned upside down and we are forced to to live in confusion and agony like so many other people. Is it possible to "rest in the Lord" then? If this "Do not" doesn't work there, then it will not work anywhere. This "Do not" must work during our days of difficulty and uncertainty, as well as our peaceful days, or it will never work. And if it will not work in your particular case, it will not work for anyone else. Resting in the Lord is not dependent on your external circumstances at all, but on your relationship with God Himself.

Worrying always results in sin. We tend to think that a little anxiety and worry are simply and indication of how wise we really are, yet it is actually a much better indication of just how wicked we are. Fretting rises from our determination to have our own way. Our Lord never worried and was never anxious, because his purpose was never to accomplish his own plans but to fulfill God's plans.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Falling Leaves

1 Corinthians 15:31 "I die daily."

This morning, as I sat outside, I looked across at a large maple tree. It is taller than the houses and covered in golden leaves. Winter is approaching, there is a chill in the air.

There was no breeze, but as I looked, I noticed leaves were falling off the tree. One here, two there - bit by bit the tree was losing it's leaves and going to sleep for the winter months. Little by little, it's glorious covering would fall.

The thought came to me it is like dying to self. Little by little God takes away our sinful nature. Bit by bit he shows us things in our lives that have to die. He does this slowly and for as long as it takes until we are left with nothing but Him.

Then the sun shines - the Son of God. He makes new and beautiful leaves grow. At first they are just buds on the branches. Slowly they grow, we cannot even see the growth as it happens, yet one day the tree is covered in new leaves to give beauty, shade and fruit to make people glad.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The God Who Comforts

God is always comforting me. When I talk with him about my worries, I feel his presence and comfort. These are some Bible verses on the word, "Comfort."

"I, even I, am he who comforts you." Isa. 51:12

"Your rod and your staff, they comfort me." Psa. 23:4

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort." 11 Corinthians 1:3

"This is my comfort in my affliction. That your word has revived me." Psa. 119:50

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sowing and Reaping.

"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this shall he also reap." Galatians 6:7

This is an excerpt from "New Day, New You," by Joyce Meyer.

"These scriptures plainly tell us that we will reap what we sow. Sowing and reaping applies no only to the agricultural and financial realms, but also to the mental realm. We can sow and reap an attitude as well as a crop or an investment. One pastor I know often says that when he hears someone has been talking about him in an unkind way, he asks himself, "Are they sowing, or am I reaping?" Many times we are reaping in our lives what we have previously sown into the life of another."

Friday, November 5, 2010

Psalms 71:17-24

"O God, you have taught me from my youth;
And I still declare your wonderful deeds.
And even when I am old and gray, Oh God, do not forsake me.
Until I declare your strength to this generation,
Your power to all who are to come.

For your righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens.
You who have done great things,
Oh God, who is like you?

You, who have shown me many troubles and distresses,
Will revive me again.
And will bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
May you increase my greatness
And turn to comfort me.

I will also praise you with a harp.
Even your truth, O my God;
To you I will sing praises with the lyre.
O you Holy One of Israel.
My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to you,
And my soul, which you have redeemed.
My tongue also will utter your goodness all day long.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

God Loves Me?

I heard a sermon today by Joyce Meyer. She was preaching salvation in India. As I listened, I realized I still needed to understand the basics - that God loves me no matter what I do. That he is pleased with my efforts to follow him, even though my efforts are full of stumbling and mistakes. That he doesn't want me to worry about my sins or my failings - that he accepts me just as I am each day. That I should enjoy God and my relationship with him. I am learning this, but I still fall back to my old ways of fear.

I was raised in a works-oriented church. The Ten Commandments were memorized, and yet I have read that Jesus said the most important commandment is love. My church is so afraid of sin that they make everyone else afraid of sin. But the Bible says, "Perfect love casts out fear." Love should be preached, love should be emphasized, love should be our ideal - not obedience.

I cried as I listened to her sermon because I knew I still have trouble believing God loves me just as I am. I still have times when I am uncomfortable with him. This is why my daughters don't take their children to church. They have taught their children God is a loving God, and the kids are happy with that. They feel at peace with God. They pray and don't feel condemnation. I am happy for them because they don't have years of brain-washing to overcome in their relationship with God.


Acts 4:32-35

"And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them.

And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all.

For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales and lay them at the apostle's feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need."

I wish our churches were like this. I know churches do a lot of good, but think of the good each member could do if he sold the extra things he had and gave to the poor. I know of a person in the news who owns 7 houses. What if he sold 6 and gave to the poor? He would still have one house, which is all he needs.

I have read that Bill Gates has challenged all the billionaires of America to give half what they have to the poor. I was thrilled to hear him say this, and excited to see that a lot of rich people have agreed with him. This is a wonderful thing and I hope they especially help the people who are out of work right now and people who are losing their homes. May God bless them for what they are doing.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Have A Dream

This is from the book, "New Day, New You," by Joyce Meyer.

"I would rather have a big dream and see half of it come to pass than to have a little dream and see all of it come to pass. I believe that when God created all of us he breathed the breath of life into us and then took a little part of himself and placed it within each of us. One of us may have a musical gift, another may have a gift of writing. The problem comes when we try to take the gift God has given us and use it to do what someone else is doing instead of developing our own potential. We have a part of God in us. We are not a mistake. We don't have to spend our lives on the back burner.

We are not too old or too young. We have God-given dreams and visions. But the dreams and visions God gives us for the future are possibilities not "positivelies." (That's the way God spoke it to me a long time ago.) With him, nothing is impossible, but it also takes our cooperation and willingness through determination, obedience, and hard work to develop what he has put in us."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


ll Corinthians 1:3-5

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.

He comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the same comfort he gives us.

For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ."

Monday, November 1, 2010


A poem from the book, "Outrageous Joy."

Heaven's Misfits - by Barbara Johnson

I dreamed I went to heaven,
And I was quite surprised
To see just who had made it to
That home up in the sky:
The ragged, dirty drifter,
The kid who barely spoke,
The loudmouthed woman down the street -
Was this some kind of joke?
Then I noticed they were staring
Right at me. They made it clear
That all of them were thinking,
"What are you doing here?"