Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. — 2 Corinthians 7:1
In the prior verse, God said that he will be our Father, and we will be his sons and daughters. As a parent we are always instructing our children. Don’t do this or do it this way. We instruct them because it is our duty to train them in the knowledge of God so they will reverence Him. Then we train them in how they should conduct themselves in society. We realized that they may not dot every ” i” or cross every “t” and they will make mistakes, bad or worst. But they are our children and we love them. God who is our Father and we are his children and he has loves us. But he wants us to do it His way. He has made numerous promises in his word to us and all that he asks is that we repent and be willing to change. He wants us to work on perfecting holiness. He wants us to work on ourselves and free ourselves from anything that would keep us from reaching the mark such as prideful attitudes, watching what we say because whatever is in us will come out (Read Mark 7:21-23) and how we treat each other. Let us not be like the Pharisees. They were so concerned about being ceremonial clean and being religious (I go to church, I pay my tithes, I pray), and they missed the mark because they did not work on themselves with cleaning their hearts and their minds.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.–Ephesians 6:10
We are living in some unstable times. Trouble seems to be every where. Woman are being abducted out of their homes. Our young men are being killed like wild animals on the street. Gas prices are going up every day. Our food prices are going up, too. These things are happening and we feel so powerless. What is a person to do? One thing that has not changed is God. He is still the same yesterday, today, and forever. We have a power source that we can connect to and who is able to strengthened the inner man. When Jesus walked this earth, he always made time to connect to the power source. He would steal away to pray and commune with the Father. Because he knew where his strength came from. Take time out to read your Bible, fast and pray, and worship the Lord. This will build up your spiritual muscles. “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary;and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. — Philippians 4:8
I am learning in my walk with Christ to not allow the enemy to use my mind as a playing field by bringing old mistake to the forefront, by challenging your belief systems in God’s word, and by allowing one to become spiritually complacent. Jesus is our perfect example. The Devil tried Jesus with various approaches, but one thing Jesus said was Satan get thee behind me. Well we have to do the same thing by changing the channel when those negative thoughts appear that will try to bring us down. How do we reject negative thoughts in our daily lives? Why is it so important to maintain control over our thoughts in our daily walk with Christ? Lets our thoughts be of pure things, lovely things, honest things, virtuous things and praises of what God is doing in our lives.
I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. — Psalms 34:1–3
Do you have a praise report? Have God done something for you today? When we exalt our Father’s name, wonderful things begin to happened. Paul and Silas were thrown into prison because they cast out a divination spirit out of a young girl. She made a lot of money for her masters by telling fortunes. They clothes were ripped and they were beaten with wooden rods and their hands and feet handcuffed. At midnight, Paul and Silas begin to pray and sing praises unto God. All of a sudden, there was an earthquake which shook the foundations of the prison and all the doors to each cell were opened and everyone’s handcuffs in prison were loosed. When praises go up to God, blessings come down. Not only should we praise God when all is going well. We should also praise Him even when times are bad. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. Psalms 34:19
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith..–Hebrews 12:1-2
What weights are in your life that are keeping you from the promise? Athletes run the race to win a prize, but only one can win. The prize that they win will fade away. But the prize that we win will be eternity.
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. — Romans 8:1
Have you ever had one of those days that it starts off like you have two left feet? It just seems like nothing is going the way it should. You get up like you normally do and get ready to head out the door. But its like something just don’t feel right and you can quite put your finger on it. You have to ask yourself, Lord what’s going on here? There is a war being played out while we slept through the night.The scriptures tells us that the weapons of our warfare are not worldly weapons, but godly weapons we use to tear down strongholds in our lives. The enemy wants to come and accuse and build up those strongholds even though we have repented and God has forgiven us. He’s an accuser and wants to put thoughts in our minds that we are ugly, stupid, and always reminding us of our mistakes. But God says as far as the east is from the west, that’s how far He has removed our sins from us. Let us remember to whom we belong to and we need not feel ashamed.
“Have faith in God. I tell you the truth you can say to this mountain, May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea, and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” — Mark 11:22-26 (NLT)
There is a story in the Bible about a poor widow woman who was out collecting sticks at the village gate. Along came Elijah and he called out to her asking for cup of water. As she was on her way to fetch it, Elijah called out to her again asking for a piece of bread. She replied that she only had a handful of meal and a saucer of oil. She was out gathering sticks to make her last meal for her and her son to eat and die. Sometimes we feel that we are at the end of our rope. We’re tired and in despair. We may feel that no one cares about us and we are all alone in this world. Well you’re not! God has not left you and he’s right there by your side holding you up. All he asked is that you turn to him and trust that he will work it out. Just like this widow woman even in the face of famine, she obeyed his word and made her last for him, and God honor her because of her faith and allow the meal barrel and her oil to never run dry. God uses this woman as an example for you to catch a hold of not only His word, but apply His word to whatever situation, to whatever problem or whatever circumstances, good or bad, that you are facing in faith.
For anyone who has asked the same questions over and over in Sunday school, but hasn’t gotten straight answers, coming summer 2016 is my book: "When Sunday School Answers Don't Cut it.." In a culture where the Bible is a number one best seller, but almost nobody actually reads it, this book gives the reader a gift of simple, clear, dinner party Bible trivia and beyond. Way beyond. Sample chapters found (here).