“Well Done”

LifeLink Devotional

Friday, August 17, 2018

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is admirable…think about such things.

Matthew 25:21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!”

The Apostle Paul says that we are to conform our thinking and our behavior after the pattern of Christ, and the specific challenge today is that we are to think only about those things that are admirable. Like yesterday, the word Paul uses appears only here in the entire New Testament. It is a compound word that is translated in the King James Version of the Bible as good report. It literally means to speak auspiciously of another person.

One part of the word is used to describe the growing popularity of Jesus in His early ministry when Luke says that a report about him went out through all the surrounding country.  But all reports may not be about things that are admirable. Every day we hear reports of bad news. As Christians this should not cause us alarm. We are reminded in Psalm 112:7 that a righteous man will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD. We have a wonderful privilege of choosing to focus our minds on things which are admirable rather than things which are of bad report, because we trust in the God of infinite power and good. Nothing of bad report can change the final good report that will be issued when Jesus returns and takes us all to glory.

The other part of the word Paul uses here in Philippians 4:8 is used by Jesus when He commends the faithful servants who invested their talents well and produced a commendable return for the Master. Jesus is describing the Kingdom of God in parable form. He tells the disciples that the citizens of the Kingdom will each be given specific talents, skills, and abilities. They are to use them to serve the Master and bring growth to the Kingdom. Two of the men in the parable do just that, and the Master praises them with the words,Well done, good and faithful servant!” The third servant in the story hides his gifts. His intention is to protect what he has and return to the Master only what he was given. He is condemned in front of all the others as wicked and lazy.

Each man in the story had a report issued about his life. Two reports were good, and one was bad. Good reports are admirable: bad reports are not.

What kinds of reports are being made about our lives? We could probably spend a lot of time looking at a variety of personal issues:

  1. What kind of report is the Master compiling about how I use my finances?
  2. What kind of report is the Master compiling about my work ethic?
  3. What kind of report is the Master compiling about my language and how I speak of others?
  4. What kind of report is the Master compiling about how I treat my spouse or my family?
  5. What kind of report is the Master compiling about my sexual preferences and purity?
  6. What kind of report is the Master compiling about my honesty and personal character?
  7. What kind of report is the Master compiling about the priorities of my life?
  8. What kind of report is the Master compiling about my commitment to His kingdom purposes above all else in my life?

It is this last issue that I want to specifically address for a brief moment. Each of us as born-again followers of Jesus Christ is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and is equipped for specific tasks in the local church. We have been given talents, skills, abilities, and resources to invest primarily in the growth of the Kingdom. When the Master returns we will each have to give a report to Him of how our investments turned out. What will your report be? Are you using your gifts to serve Jesus Christ admirably? If He were to return today would His report about you be, “Well done!”?

I think for many of you it would be. You serve faithfully and humbly. You give generously and sacrificially. You have prioritized your lives around the things of God and you have remained faithful by sacrificing your personal goals for the sake of Christ’s goals. I praise God for His work in your life to accomplish that.

But for some, there is still a very selfish nature to the faith. God is a part of life, but He is not yet your whole life. You serve Him when it is convenient and comfortable, but the word sacrifice cannot yet be used in the report of your life. The report of your life is not yet admirable.

But it’s not too late. Start today. Be willing to invest every part of your life into the cause of Christ. Deep inside of you there is a still small voice that speaks to you. You can hear it right now, can’t you? It is the Holy Spirit graciously reminding you of the glory you could receive one day when Jesus says, “Well done!” That day is worth far more to you than anything you can accomplish for yourself today. Listen to Him and obey Him. Start thinking about what is admirable, and live your life in such a way that you are assured of Christ’s good report.

Pastor John

You Can Be Lovely

LifeLink Devotional

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Philippians 4:8  8Finally, brothers, whatever is lovely…think about such things.

Acts 28:1-2 1Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta.  2The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold.

How are you doing so far at transforming your thinking so that it conforms to the nature and character of God? It’s hard work, isn’t it? I know I find myself easily slipping back into the pattern of thinking I learned from the world and my flesh. But the Holy Spirit is active in our hearts and minds, and He is changing us into the image of Jesus Christ – Hallelujah!

So far in Philippians 4:8 we have been challenged to think according to the truth; to think about that which honors God and is noble; to think in terms of righteousness and justice; and to keep our minds pure and holy. Today we are told by Paul to think only about what is lovely.

The Biblical word lovely is not the word we normally use in our culture to describe beauty. Our brains do not need to be trained to think about beauty. God created us with an incredible appreciation of things that are lovely and pleasing to the eye. We by nature find beauty in nature. We enjoy the changing colors of the leaves in the fall. We are in awe of natural wonders like mountains and Grand Canyons. We are amazed at the diversity and splendor of the vivid colors of animals and fish. We do not need to be taught to see beauty.

The word lovely in Philippians 4:8 is a compound word, and this is the only place in the entire Bible where this word is used. One of the parts of the word is the Greek word phileo, which means to love by treating affectionately or kindly, to welcome, to befriend. It is the word from which we get the name of the city Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love. The other part of the word means to direct towards another. The full meaning of lovely then is to direct brotherly love towards others. Paul says that we are to be constantly thinking about how we can be friendly to other people.

Late in Paul’s life, on his boat ride to Rome, he is shipwrecked on the island of Malta. When everyone on the boat arrives safely on shore, the natives approach them. They are strangers to one another with no way to communicate because they do not speak the same language. To our knowledge they have never been told about Jesus Christ, and in fact when Paul is healed from the venomous bite of a snake, they believed that he was a god and wanted to worship him. Yet when Paul and his shipmates floated ashore, the natives showed unusual kindness to them. They welcomed them and built them a fire so they could warm up and dry out.

Two very important words are used by Luke when he describes this event – kindness (phileo) and welcomed, which is the word used to describe someone who takes another into their home as a companion. Luke emphasizes that the brotherly love that was shown was unusual in nature, meaning that it was not just a little kindness, but it went far beyond the ordinary.

This is the model of how we are to be thinking when it comes to our relationships with other people. This is the essence of what Jesus taught when He said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:43 – 45) Jesus went on to say in Luke 6:32 – 36, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them.  And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that.  And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full.  But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.  Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

That’s challenging! If it wasn’t, maybe you should read it again. When we think according to the nature and character of God, we do not discriminate when it comes to showing brotherly love to others. As followers of Jesus Christ, we do not have the privilege or the right to choose whom to love or treat with kindness. But we must also understand that we don’t get to stop at a level of kindness that is convenient or socially acceptable: we are to show unusual kindness – the type of kindness modeled by Jesus Himself. The type of kindness that directs good at those who have harmed us or who might harm us. The type of kindness that goes the extra mile and gives the extra garment. This is what will make us lovely.

Unfortunately, we are the victims of fleshly thinking and we do discriminate when it comes to doing good. Our thought process is corrupted by our emotional needs and our predication to self-preservation. We must ask the Holy Spirit to begin to change our thinking so that we truly love all others the way Jesus loved them and loves them still.

We the people of God can be lovely by showing unusual kindness towards others, whoever they are. The ungodly people of Malta had no way of knowing what to expect from Paul and the others who drifted onto their shore, but they directed brotherly love at them anyway. How much more should we who know Jesus do the same!

Pastor John

 

Think About Purity

LifeLink Devotional

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is pure…think about such things.

James 3:17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure;

1 John 3:2-3 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.

The fourth characteristic of God upon which we should focus our intellectual energy is to think about whatever is pure. As temples of the Holy Spirit, our lives are the dwelling place of Christ. He brings to us the wisdom of God so that our thoughts and actions may be honoring to Him.

James describes the wisdom of God as first of all, pure. We cannot claim to be under the influence of the wisdom of God if what we are thinking or doing is not pure.

I have had too many personal experiences with people who claim to have prayed for wisdom from God about a decision, and then make a choice that directly contradicts the teaching of Scripture on that subject. They claim that they are in the right because they have peace in their heart after praying. Well, I don’t know who they were praying to or what voice they heard, but it wasn’t God’s wisdom. God’s direction and guidance is always pure and holy. I suspect that what they did was to talk themselves into getting what they wanted rather than really listening for the wisdom of God. The reason for this is that their thoughts are on the things of the world and not on the things of God.

The Apostle John deals with this in his short letter he wrote to the churches. He says that the children of God will think about the things of God and the return of Jesus Christ. This will fill us with the hope of glory rather than hope in this world, and as a result we will purify ourselves so that our thoughts and actions are holy, just as God is holy.

We all live every day with two choices – to be like the world or to be like Jesus Christ. Our actions are the visible proof of our choice and the condition of our heart. When we choose to attach ourselves to the world, it is because our thought life is worldly and not pure. However, our minds can be transformed.

What does Paul mean by the word pure? The basic meaning of the word is sacred. It is derived from a word that means physically pure, morally blameless, and ceremonially consecrated. Let’s look at our lives right now in light of those three aspects of purity.

First, are our lives physically pure? One dictionary of the Greek language defines it this way – to be pure from carnality, chaste, and modest. We are bombarded every day with sexual images and messages from a decadent society. Magazine ads and articles, television commercials and programs, movies, and personal friends all use the carnal pleasures of the flesh to influence us or make us laugh. It has become such an accepted part of our lives that we quickly excuse it as being insignificant. We are no longer disgusted by the disrespect and dishonor it displays towards God, but we accept it as a part of life. We even participate in it if it means fitting in to the group of people we are with or if it brings us pleasure. We re-tell the off-color jokes. We silently and secretly lust at the sight of sexual images. We buy into the immodesty of our culture by buying the clothing that shows more skin than is appropriate. We have become far too much like the world in our physical appearance and behavior.

The second part of purity is to be morally blameless. While we may be able to claim that we have not physically committed sexual sin, we probably cannot claim purity in our thought life. Jesus says, ”But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28)

In Romans Paul speaks of the constant battle in our minds between knowing the truth and desiring to please the flesh. A little boy was caught pulling up flowers in his mother’s garden. She placed him in a chair in the house and told him to sit there for 15 minutes. As she walked away she heard him mumble, “I’ll sit here, but I’m going to imagine that I’m still outside pulling up flowers.” That little boy was not morally blameless. We only become morally blameless when we come into agreement with God’s purity. We can desire holiness rather than the satisfaction of the flesh.

Finally, purity means to be ceremonially consecrated. In the Old Testament items for use in the temple were ceremonially consecrated for a sacred purpose, and they were never allowed to be used for anything else. God also asked the people of Israel to consecrate themselves to Himself, and be determined to accomplish His purpose and no other.

In Romans 12:1 we read, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”  It is our privilege to come before God as an act of worship and consecrate ourselves to Him as holy, so that we might serve Him and Him only.

This act of consecration is not just a one-time thing we remember doing years ago, but no longer consider it significant. It is an act of daily submission to the One who gave His life for us on Calvary. When we recognize the purity that has been freely granted to us by God’s grace, and we consecrate ourselves to bringing our lives into conformity with our exalted spiritual position, it is the first step in becoming morally blameless and physically pure. May that process be renewed in all of our lives today.

Pastor John

It’s Not Fair!

LifeLink Devotional

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, …whatever is right…think about such things.

Proverbs 11:1 A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is His delight.

“That’s not fair!”

How many times have parents heard those words from their children? How many times have we used them to describe undesirable conditions in our own lives? When we evaluate the real motivation for those words, we must conclude that we have been given a wonderful gift from God – a desire for justice.

In Scripture, justice and righteousness are inseparable. It is not possible for something to be right and not be just, nor is it possible for something to be just and not be right. But we don’t want that to be true because our personal preferences and desires are not realized in such a black and white world. It may be just to punish every criminal the same for every similar crime, but when we or someone we love is the criminal, we don’t think it’s right to have the sentence imposed. We look hard for various justifications to ask the judge for a reduced sentence. We hire lawyers who give us the best chance of avoiding the most serious consequences. And when the sentence is finally imposed, we claim it is not fair if we get more than we thought we should.

Our underlying problem is this – we are still seeking to serve self rather than honor God. We chose the action that got us in trouble because we thought it would please us and bring us something of value. Then, when we realized that the action itself was unrighteous, we did everything we could to protect our self-value by avoiding the stigma of the consequences.

We seem to apply that philosophy to many parts of our lives. We are constantly making choices based on their immediate benefit to our emotional needs, our physical pleasure, or our financial goals. The author of Proverbs refers to this when he says, a false balance is an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is His delight.

When I was in high school, I got a job at a grocery store working in the meat department. My main job was to clean all the equipment, but soon I was also waiting on customers from behind the counter. There was no self-serve in those days, so everything had to be weighed and wrapped following the customer’s selection.

I remember the training process the boss took me through to learn how to weigh meat properly. His main point of emphasis was this – once you have placed the meat on the scale, take both hands away and hold them where the customer can see that you are not touching the scale. “We want the customer to know we are honest,” he said. I was taught to have just (righteous) scales.

That principle applies to every part of our lives. Every decision we make about our goals and activities must be made so that they are in perfect agreement with God’s holy character. That’s Just and fair because He alone is righteous. The temptation to put our thumb on the scale and manipulate the outcomes of our lives is very real and powerful.  We must understand that all our attempts to bring value to our lives at the expense of justice and righteousness do not change the very nature of God, who is just and righteous. His justice will prevail, and the consequences of our unrighteous choices will result in serious consequences to our lives.

It is vital that we not only think about right things, but that we do them. However, be aware of the subtle temptation of Satan to convince us that our definition of right is valid. Our understanding of right and wrong is only accurate when it is based on the unchanging, absolute truth of God’s Word. Truth is not relative, therefore, definitions of right and wrong are unchangeable, regardless of our personal desires and emotional influences.

We have an incomparable gift from God in our salvation – the knowledge of the truth, and it is able to set us free to walk on level paths of righteousness and justice. But that will only happen if we choose to deny our self-validating desires and live according to the way of the Upright One.

Make that choice today!

Pastor John

An Honorable Name

LifeLink Devotional

Monday, August 13, 2018

Philippians 4:8  Finally, brothers, …whatever is noble…think about such things.

What kind of reputation do you have? When people speak of you, are they saying kind things?

The reputation we have is established by the consistency of our behavior. On the negative side, if we consistently lie, we will be known as a liar. If we consistently cheat, we will be known as a cheater. If we consistently steal…well, you get the point.   But on the positive side, if we consistently serve others we will be known as a servant. If we consistently give to others we will be known as generous. And if we consistently do things honestly, we will be called honorable.

In Philippians 4:8 Paul says that we need to live our lives in such a way that it clearly demonstrates that we are thinking about noble things. The Greek word for noble means honorable, and is derived from another Greek word that means to revere. Our lives are to be lived with such honor that we are revered by others.

Recently I heard a true story that illustrates the need for Christians to do all things with honor. The story is about a man and a woman who have finalized their divorce and the settlement has been reached. The woman is very active in her church and claims to be a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. Her former husband had a business associate who had stored some of his equipment in the husband’s machine shed. When the business associate called the woman to claim his equipment, he was told that she had been awarded his items in the divorce settlement. When he asked her if she knew they were his, she said yes, but that they had chosen not to declare them so they were awarded to her. When he asked her if she would return them, she said no. She is keeping the equipment even though she knows it belongs to him.

How can a true follower of Jesus Christ behave so dishonorably? It is so unlike the example of Paul. In 2 Corinthians 8:16 – 21 Paul tells us another story about a follower of Jesus Christ – a man named Titus. Here it is:

But thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same earnest care I have for you.  For he not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest he is going to you of his own accord. With him we are sending the brother who is famous among all the churches for his preaching of the gospel. And not only that, but he has been appointed by the churches to travel with us as we carry out this act of grace that is being ministered by us, for the glory of the Lord himself and to show our good will. We take this course so that no one should blame us about this generous gift that is being administered by us, for we aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of man. 

Here’s the background to the story: the church at Corinth has a huge offering they want Paul to deliver to the needy people in Jerusalem and to other churches. Titus, Paul’s pastoral trainee, has agreed to go to Corinth and pick up the offering. He is taking with him a fellow pastor who is a famous preacher. He is not named, but we soon discover his reputation. Paul did not want anyone to question his integrity, so he selected a man that had an honorable reputation to handle the finances. All the other churches agreed that this man is so honorable that they trusted him to carry the money and make sure it was used for its intended purpose.

That’s the kind of reputation each of us should desire, and it is only achieved through the consistent practice of honesty.

But why don’t we know the man’s name? I think there are two reasons:

  1. A person should be known first by their character and not by their name.
  2. Paul is emphasizing the characteristic of honor by using Titus as the main character in the story because the name Titus means honorable.

Titus was fortunate to have a name that reflected his character. Paul wanted everyone for all time to know the other pastor by his character as well. The question we must ask is this: when people hear your name, what kind of character do they think of?

We all want to make a name for ourselves – let’s just make sure it’s an honest and honorable one.

Pastor John

Loyal to the Truth

LifeLink Devotional

Friday, August 10, 2018

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true…

John 7:18  He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.

I recently discovered something rather significant about myself. I have the tendency to shift loyalties based on personal honor. As a young boy I grew up in the state of Michigan, and during my late elementary and middle school years, we lived about three hours north of Detroit. It was the early 1960’s, and because of my grandfather and my mother, I became a huge baseball fan. I remember all the greats of the game from that era, and still have a connection to the old time American League teams like the Indians, Yankees and Red Sox. But one team has been my lifelong favorite – the Detroit Tigers.

Ever since their last World Series victory in 1984, they have been on a serious skid. In the last 34 years, they have one of the worst overall records in baseball. There have been a few years where it looked like they would be champions again, but overall I have become disillusioned with their management and performance. I still keep my memorabilia from the past, but I have lost interest in following them today. In fact, just a few weeks ago I cleaned out my garage and threw away a Tigers baseball cap.

On the other hand, for the last 20 years, I have been somewhat following the Minnesota Twins. I have gained respect for their team because of their philosophy of developing players into champions rather than buying players that may already be champions. I love their style of baseball, and I appreciate their team chemistry and camaraderie.

I find that I am rooting for the Twins more than the Tigers. This causes me great consternation because suddenly I question my loyalties. Am I becoming a fan who shifts loyalties based on which team is winning? I certainly hope not, and I will fight that shallow tendency. I have analyzed my feelings and the logic of all of this and have come to this conclusion – whichever team wins I will take pride in saying I am a fan. I don’t like that about myself, because I don’t personally believe you can be a true fan of two teams. But I’m not ready to make a choice yet.

I’m sure by now you are asking yourself, “What does all of this baseball talk have to do with Scripture?” We all have a choice to make about the truth by which we will live. We will either live by the truth that we have the right to live for the honor of self, or we will live by the truth that we will live for the honor of Jesus Christ. Every day we must make that choice. In every social situation we must make that choice. In every relationship we must make that choice. We choose to either conform to the circumstances of our life so that we can be accepted and fit in, or we choose to live consistently by the unchangeable truth that no matter what happens, Jesus is Lord.

Jesus said that he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. Accordingly, the opposite of that statement must also be true: he who works for the honor of self is not a man of truth, and everything is false about him.

We have all experienced the unpleasantness of being in the company of someone who is constantly changing their position on issues to please the people they are with. But are we willing to evaluate our own lives and see the unpleasantness we cause Jesus when we do the same thing to Him? Can we honestly say that we live every moment of every day according to the truth of Jesus Christ? Are we seeking to honor Him in every part of our day and in every choice we make, with no attempt to honor self?

Our answer to those questions is probably no. For some, it is because we have given up trying. We accept the human limitations of living in perfection. For others, it is just not important. But for God, it is vital. Paul’s challenge is to have our minds so transformed by the saving power of Jesus Christ that we think only in accordance with His truth.

Every day we are bombarded by a Godless culture with man’s attempt to eliminate moral truth and live only to honor self. We must, as the people of God, choose to think and act according to God’s truth.  We must not let emotions and personal rights interfere with our decision to think on the things of God.

We decide every day whether we will honor self or honor God, and that choice makes us either liars or people of truth. Let the truth set you free to live fully for Jesus Christ.

By the way, to be true to who I am, win or lose, GO TIGERS!

Pastor John

Retrain the Brain

LifeLink Devotional

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Philippians 4:8 8Finally, brothers, 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.

Romans 12:2 2Do not conform any longer 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.

 Of all the helpful advice I have been given over the years by my parents, my wife, and others who love me and want to help me be the best I can be, the counsel I have not yet mastered is this – You should think before you speak.

I am a man of spontaneous action. I am not defending it; in fact, most of the time it gets me in trouble. There are certain situations which call for quick responses, but in general there needs to be more thought put into responses and decisions. I’m still learning to do that. I am trying to perfect the skill of thinking through things before I act.

But thinking alone is not enough: we must think correctly. The first step in learning to think correctly is to evaluate our motives. When we need to make a decision, plan a course of action, or respond to another person’s communication with us, we usually determine in our minds what we want the outcome to be. Our minds are very powerful and work incredibly quickly, but they always work within the parameters that have been set by previous experiences and decisions. Our brains have been trained to think according to the patterns that have been established through years of practice.

When a decision needs to be made, our brains process previous experiences quickly according to what we have chosen to do in the past. We are presented with choices that fall within those historical contexts. Such decisions are usually based on emotional needs, psychological needs, or self-serving objectives, because apart from Christ that’s how the flesh responds.  We are thinking, but we are not thinking correctly because we are letting the flesh and its needs dictate our goals and objectives. Unless the predetermined outcome of our thought process is to honor God, then the entire thought process only honors self.

Paul teaches this in today’s two Scripture passages. We need to retrain our brain so that it thinks correctly: not according to the pattern of the world, but according to the pattern of Christ. He gives us a list of virtues that are to influence our thought process. When adopted in their entirety, they assure that the outcome of any decision, response, or communication will be honoring to God.

They are not to be applied individually, as if we are picking and choosing which ones to use in any given situation. Each virtue is to be included in each and every decision or response. When God decides to act according to His good will and pleasure, He doesn’t just consider His nature of love, nor does He just consider His nature of justice. Every decision and act of His will is a compilation of all His virtues, and expresses the totality of His nature. That is how we are to learn to think.

Here are the 8 things Paul says must be included in our thought process at all times:

  1. Is it true?
  2. Is it noble – which means done with honor?
  3. Is it right – meaning Righteous and Just?
  4. Is it pure – meaning holy?
  5. Is it lovely – meaning serving the best interests of another?
  6. Is it admirable – meaning highly regarded by others?
  7. Is it excellent – meaning morally excellent?
  8. Is it praiseworthy – meaning does it bring praise and honor to God?

For the next few days we are going to look at each of these virtues and learn to apply them to our thought process. For today, review the list and begin to evaluate your own thought process in light of these 8 virtues. Let the Holy Spirit convict you of where your mind needs to be renewed, and begin the process of retraining your brain to think correctly.

We are in a war for the control of our minds. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3 that though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. Let us renew our minds and bring every thought into conformity to Christ.

Pastor John