Our thoughts form who we become. When we renew our mind to think like God thinks, we become transformed into living life like Jesus. Find out more in this important study.
1 John 4:9
By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.
The word “live” in this verse is defined as, “to enjoy true life”. There is only one way you can enjoy true life. You must live your life through Jesus, not through the old you. Jesus is our example. To live through Him one must learn to walk in the love of God. Jesus told us in His Word that we now have a new commandment to follow. We are to love one another as He has loved us.
When we walk in love we follow His example and are therefore living our life through Jesus. Scripture teaches us that faith works through love. Jesus lived a life of faith, because Jesus lived a life of love. To walk in the love of God is a choice we make, and it takes practice. The love of God is in our new recreated spirit. Walking in love is choosing to walk in the new you, instead of the old fleshly outer man, treating other people the way you want to be treated, no matter how they treat you.
We must also spend time with love Himself, our God. 1 John 4:16 tells us God is love, and when you fellowship with God He rubs off on you. When you draw near to Him, He will draw near to you. So make the choice to walk in love, and to fellowship with God, and you will live your life through Jesus Christ. In doing so we can enjoy “true life”, the kind of life Jesus lived.
And if we are [His] children, then we are [His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His inheritance with Him]; . . .
Did you know once you are born again you are an heir of God and a joint heir with Jesus? What does this mean exactly? Well it means you now have ownership to all that God has ownership of. This is important to understand because far to many believers are still being deceived in taking ownership of something that does not belong to them instead of taking ownership of what does. Let me explain.
Anything that the Bible says we are redeemed and liberated from is no longer something we should take ownership of. Satan is a deceiver, and what he continually tries to do is to get believers to accept ownership of what actually belongs to him and not to us. The things that do not belong to God we need to stop falling for the deception of owning as ours, and the things that do belong to God we need to realize that is what we now have ownership of.
For example when a believer refers to a sickness or any part of the curse that came as a result man’s sin as theirs, they are allowing those things to manifest in their life. When someone says, “My diabetes, my cancer, I’m broke, I’m afraid, etc”, they are taking ownership of something that is not God’s and therefore not theirs. Stop taking ownership through your words of that which does not belong to God. Ask yourself, “Does this belong to God?” If it doesn’t, don’t accept it as yours. Instead claim what is yours based on what belongs to God. It will change your life.
When temptations in life come to the believer, their intention is to draw you away from God. Know what to do when things try to draw you away.
…working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
By our submission to Jesus Christ, our heavenly Father is able to work in us to do that which is pleasing in His sight. Our transformation does not take place by our ability, but God’s ability through our availability. For this to happen we must present our bodies as a living sacrifice unto God. To do so we have to redeem our time, giving attention to our spiritual growth by going to the Word of God. As we do we need to renew our minds to who we now are in Christ.
The renewal of the mind involves four things.
When we are born again, that is when the work of God in us begins. When Lazarus was raised from the dead, Jesus told His disciples to go and take the grave clothes off of him. Like Lazarus we have come out of the grave, and now through us presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice unto God, and having our minds renewed to God’s Word, He can complete His work in us by taking off the grave clothes, the old way of living.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.
Words – whether we want to admit it or not are powerful. They can bring forth life into every part of our existence, or they can bring forth death, the choice is up to us. The devil knows all to well the power of words, and this is why he works so hard to get people to speak words of death. James 3:2 says, “For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.”
This third chapter of James goes on to tell us that this little tongue of ours boasts great power. That no man (human effort alone) can tame the tongue. Christians will curse others and bless God, which James tells us should not be so. How then do we deal with our tongue if we want to reap life and not death? There are two primary keys. In Matthew 12:34 Jesus said that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Simply put, garbage in, garbage out. Change what you listen to if you want to speak life and not death.
Galatians 5:16 also tells us if we walk in the spirit, governed by our spirit man, we will not go the way of the flesh, for if we are ruled by our flesh we will speak words of death. As scripture teaches, be quick to hear and slow to speak. Listen to your conscience, the voice of your spirit before you speak, and this will help you declare life giving words. Do these things and the Words of life can come forth from your mouth, bringing forth the very life of God for you.
What do you do biblically when you have blown it? Find out in this important teaching.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.
Are you a Christ follower? What is your “want to” in life? Is it to follow in the footsteps of your Saviour and live a life like Him? Every believer needs to examine what their “want to” in life is. If you do not “want to” follow after Him, sadly then you would be considered a lukewarm believer. What does it take to be lukewarm? Simple, do little to nothing for the kingdom of God. If you take a hot cup of coffee, set it down and do nothing with it, it will turn lukewarm.
What was the purpose of giving your life to Jesus if not to follow Him? Jesus said if you want to be His follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow Him. To give up your own way means to stop living life for you, the way you think you should live, and instead follow His example, living for Him. In following His example the key is God wants us to “want to” follow Him, not feel like we “have to”.
If we truly are “Christ followers” then we are taking the new life He gave us and using it to bring glory to God. It begins by renewing your mind to who you have become in Christ Jesus. This needs to be your focus as a believer in Christ. Renewal of the mind requires both a new way of thinking, and also putting into practice this new way of living empowered from within. To live a life that really will mean something in the end, you must have the “want to” to follow Jesus.
I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].
It is through our reliance on Jesus that we have the strength for all things because we are self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency. Don’t try to be strong, rely on His strength. When we are weak, then we are strong. We are weak when we are not trying to be strong in ourselves but draw upon His strength within us, looking to Him and not to ourselves.
Believers often say they are trying to be strong, but the Bible does not teach us to find strength in ourselves. All who trust in the Lord shall renew their strength and they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and shall not faint. When we choose to put our full trust in God, He becomes our strength. We are no longer relying on us but on Him.
As scripture teaches we need to trust in Him with all our heart by acknowledging Him in all our ways and He will direct our steps, bringing great strength to our lives. Take Him at His Word, acting upon what He has said for He cannot lie, therefore act as if the Word is true because it is. Refuse to go your own way. Believe the Word of God and His strength will put you over, for all things are possible to them that believe. Just believe.
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
We are not to be anxious (worry) about anything, yet many Christians do. Worrying robs your faith. You cannot be in faith and worry at the same time. So how can we live a care free life? Begin by going to God’s Word and find scripture that gives you the promise of God to deal with your circumstances. This will be vital to not allow worry to overtake you.
Once you have scripture go to God in prayer letting your request (what you are needing or dealing with) be made known to Him. Supplication means to bring your petition to God, but do so with thanksgiving, thanking Him for what He has promised in His Word about your situation. Faith always sees His promises as already fulfilled, so thank Him for what He has already done through Christ Jesus to change that situation.
Once you have prayed maintain a confession of thanks to God for His promises, and the peace of God will guard your heart and mind from worry. When thoughts come refuse to think about and meditate on what leads you to worry by confessing and meditating on the scripture you are standing on. Worry will only keep you in defeat, but you don’t have to worry. You can master what you choose to think about, and when you do you can be worry free.