Mind Control

(from Days of Praise)

“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.” (Ephesians 4:17-18)

A question that troubles many Christians is why most highly educated leaders in science and other fields—even theologians—seem to find it so difficult to believe the Bible and the gospel of Christ. The answer is in the words of our text: They are “alienated from the life of God” because of self-induced ignorance. It is not that they can’t understand, but that they won’t understand! They “walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened . . . because of the blindness of their heart.” They don’t want to believe in their hearts, therefore they seek an excuse not to believe in their minds. They are “men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith” (2 Timothy 3:8).

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How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee” (Psa. 139:17-18).

This entire Psalm is a revelation of God’s tender watchcare over and intimate involvement in the life of each of His saints. When God knows the thoughts of and searches the life of the redeemed, it is not to condemn but to bless. God’s omniscience and omnipresence are not to be feared but to be embraced, because His terrible holiness has been propitiated by Christ’s atonement. He has not given us the spirit of fear but the spirit of adoption (Rom. 8:15).

When He shows me my sin by His Spirit, it is not to destroy me but to lead me to repentance so that I might be conformed to the image of Christ. It is in this context that He knows my downsitting and uprising (v. 2). He knows my thoughts (v. 2).

One of the evidences of Jesus’ divinity was that He knew man’s thoughts (Luke 6:8). God compasses my path (v. 3). He is acquainted with all my ways (v. 3). He knows every word I speak (v. 4). He has beset me behind and before and laid his hand upon me (v. 5). In all places He leads me and upholds me with his hand (vv. 9-10).

Angels are messengers and helpers, but the Lord does not leave the care of His people to anyone else. It is with His own hand that leads and holds.

He fashioned me in my mother’s womb (vv. 13-16). The trillion parts of every cell and the interrelatedness of the 60 trillion cells in my body are His workmanship. The DNA of each cell, with its mind-boggling amount of information, is His workmanship. His thoughts toward me are innumerable as the sand (vv. 17-18).

It is redemption that has removed the terror of the fact that God knows every detail of my life, including every sinful thought, attitude, and action. All of my iniquity has been laid upon Christ, and I have been given His righteousness in God’s eyes (2 Cor. 5:21). Therefore, I do not fear asking God to search me and show me my wicked ways so that I might confess them and remain in fellowship with Him and walk in His will (Psa. 139:23-24; 1 John 1:9).

The more we understand God’s salvation and how completely His holy law has been propitiated (satisfied) by Christ’s blood, the more we can trust Him and draw near to Him rather than run away like Adam.

(Friday Church News Notes, July 5, 2013, www.wayoflife.org)

A Self-Willed Choice

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.  — 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12

I have found that many people will reject Christ without even knowing what He says. They will reject the Bible without reading it, even saying the Bible is full of contradictions. But when asked what so-called contradictions in the Bible they have a problem with, they can never identify them. That is because they haven’t read the Bible. They refuse to believe the truth, and instead they believe the lie.

What is the lie? When it is fully realized in the Tribulation period, the lie is that the Antichrist is God, and people will buy into this. Then God will confirm their choice and “send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12). Those who turn from the truth of God to the Antichrist and refuse God’s answer of salvation will be turned over to their own self-willed choice.

For example, Pharaoh hardened his heart, even when miracle after miracle was performed by the hand of God through Moses and Aaron. But then we read, “The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh . . . ” (Exodus 9:12). Isn’t that a contradiction? No, it is a progression. Initially Pharaoh did harden his heart. He hardened it again and again. And then God hardened, or strengthened, it.

God has given us a free will. He will not force us to believe something we don’t want to believe. He will come to us and seek to convince us of the truth of the Scripture. The Holy Spirit will work on our hearts. But we have the ability to resist Him.

If you harden your heart again and again, there will come a day when God will strengthen you in your own resolve.

by, Greg Laurie (harvest.org)

The Commitment to Obey

Many years ago after my “desert wandering” in Sacramenta CA, I made a commitment to obey the Lord regardless of the cost. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. Like everyone, I’ve made mistakes, but my determination to follow Christ has remained unwavering. When we run into those storms (or those storms run over us) such a commitment and pledge helps us stand firm.

We all encounter times when there’s a direct conflict between God’s way and what is being asked of us. Maybe the boss tells us to misrepresent the company’s product to customers. Or a friend may be pressuring us to join her in some risky behaviour. Or perhaps family members may urge us to participate in an activity that we know is wrong. Saying “no!” could bring loss, rejection, or even the end of a relationship. On the other hand, going along with the request could compromise our Christian witness or break Gods commands (and ultimately sweet fellowship with Him).

The hero of our story today faced such a dilemma. He and his friends had a clear choice – to eat food prohibited by Scripture, or to refuse and incur the king’s wrath, imprisonment, or eaven death. This man showed great courage when he proposed a different eating plan (1:12). His words and actions demonstrated his allegiance to the Lord.

These men were rewarded by God for their faith and commitment (vs 17). Despite their adverse circumstances, all men confidently trusted in the Lord’s sovereign care for them.

Their correct choices resulted in royal favor. Jesus’ obedience led to the cross and glorification. Paul’s trust in Christ resulted in hardship. When we obey, the consequences may vary, but two things remain constant: obedience glorifies our Father and pleases Him. What could be better than that?

Keep on keepin’ on for the glory of Christ .. and ..

Keep Lookin’ UP!

– Donald Cline (Unashamedly Independent, Fundamental, KJV only, Baptist Preacher)

God’s Watch Care

cloudsThe older I get, the more wonderful God is in my eyes. At age 63, I am reminded of the teaching of John that the spiritual fathers “have known him that is from the beginning” (1 John 2:12-14). The characteristic of the older saint is that he or she knows God. What we know of God in this life, though, is but a glimpse. The saints will learn of God forever, as there is no end to His Person and Character. God is an infinite Being and every aspect of His Person is infinite. His riches are “unsearchable” (Eph. 3:8). His love “passeth knowledge” (Eph. 3:19). His peace “passeth all understanding” (Phil. 4:7).

The most delightful and attractive aspect of God for the sinner, of course, is His mercy and compassion and tender nearness, and this is a major theme of the Psalms.  God is the protector and help of His people. This theme begins in Psalm 3:2-3 — “Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.”

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What is obedience?

The word obedience is defined as:

  • Conformity to the pattern
  • Observance to the rules
  • Adherence to the standard
  • Submission to another’s will

Obedience is the “bottom line” in the Christian life. Basic to every decision we make is the necessity of knowing what Scripture says about the issue, what action God wants us to take, what attitude would please Him, and what steps are required.

To obey means doing what God says in the timing and manner He says to do it. We must, then, know what His instructions are; we can’t comply with something we don’t understand. The holy Spirit assists us in relating God’s commands to our situation and helps us in determining the wisest course of action.

Once we decide to obey and start down that road, however, we can expect a challenge from the enemy. He might use distractions to divert us from a godly path. Or perhaps he’ll send temptations to weaken us gradually through small steps of disobedience. Though he wants us to compromise, we can counter by renewing our resolve to obey the Father as Jesus did. Commitment like Christ’s requires knowledge of Scripture (Mt. 4:1-10), obedient action, determination, and a willingness to suffer any consequences that derive from compliance.

Whenever you are tempted to disobey the Lord, your faithfulness and devotion to Christ are at stake. Ask yourself, “Is my understanding of Scripture increasing? Am I able to hold to God’s plan without compromise? How committed am I to obeying Him?”

Keep Lookin’ UP!

– Donald Cline (Unashamedly Independent, Fundamental, KJV only, Baptist Preacher)

Think About…Him (Part 1)

Think About…Him, Part 1 of 3


What to Think About?

Each of us has a thought life. The Lord wants us to be very thoughtful about our thoughts. It has been said that we can’t keep a bird from flying over our head, but we can keep it from making a nest in our hair…the same can be said about our thoughts. Thoughts can come to us from many sources, but we can choose what we do with those thoughts. Some thoughts, especially those from the enemy, must be rejected. The best and highest thoughts are those that speak God’s truth to us (Behold, You desire truth in the inner being; make me therefore to know wisdom in my inmost heart. Psalm 51:6 AMP). These are the thoughts that we should ponder, believe, and meditate upon.

This week we will look at Philippians 4:8 and the things that each of us should be thinking about for a lifetime.

Think About…Him

“Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest…… if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8 (KJV)

Things that are true:

God’s names…think about the meaning of each one.

God’s words…think about their authority and power.

God’s wisdom…think about how trustworthy He is.

God’s Spirit…think about His gentle and comforting ways.

God’s Son…think about what it means to have Him as your Savior, Lord, King, Shepherd etc.

Things that are honest:

God’s honor…think about His worthiness.

God’s purposes…think about His eternal plan.

God’s paths…think about the benefits of following Him.

God’s counsel…think about the things He’s spoken to your heart.

God’s guidance…think about how He’s directed your life.

© Roy Lessin (meetmeinthemeadow.com)