Sunday, February 22, 2015

50 Days of Transformation - Physical Health

Temple Maintenance
III John 1:2
God loves you just the way you are.  He loves you unconditionally.  But he loves you too much to let you stay that way.  So he wants to help you grow.  He wants to help you become more like his Son.

Does God really care about our health?  

  • Jehova-Rapha was a name for God as our healer.  III John 1:2; Exodus 15:26; Psalms 103:2-3; I Corinthians 6:12-20
Our Lifestyles Are Hard to Change  Ephesians 4:22-24
  • We are creatures of habit.  Any lasting change I make is going to have to begin as a thought, become an action and then be repeated until it becomes a habit.

God’s Instruction About Rest  Psalms 127:2; Exodus 34:21

  • My best requires rest.  Resting is Refreshing
  • What am I supposed to do on my Sabbath?
o   Rest my body.
o   Refocus my spirit.
o   Recharge my emotions. 
  • There are only two ways that you can create energy: rest and exercise.
  • The Bible spoke more about not being lazy than exercise. Proverbs 13:4; Proverbs 21:25

Mind Changing Truths About Our Bodies  I Corinthians 6:19-20

  • God’s Spirit lives in my body. Ephesians 1:13-14a
  • My body belongs to God.  Ephesians 1:14b
We are practicing dualism: the idea that your mind or spirit is important, but your body isn’t important spiritually.
  • Jesus paid for my body when he died for me on the cross.  
  • God expects me to take care of my body.
Taking care of my body is an issue of spiritual stewardship.

Five Elements For Lasting Change

  • Lasting change requires accepting the truth.
  • Lasting change requires making wise choices.
  • Lasting change requires new ways of thinking.
The biblical word for changing your mind is “repentance.”
  • Lasting change requires God’s Spirit in your life.
  • Lasting change requires honest community.

You obey the law of Christ when you offer each other a helping hand.  Galatians 6:2 CEV

Sunday, February 15, 2015

50 Days of Transformation - Spiritual Health

God loves you just the way you are.  He loves you unconditionally.  But he loves you too much to let you stay that way.  So he wants to help you grow.  He wants to help you become more like his Son.
Transformation changes us from emptiness to fullness; from defeat to victory; from failure to success; from insecurity to boldness and from cowardice to courage.
Premise: The further away you get from God the more trouble you’re going to have in your life. 
Promise: The closer I get to God, the more my life is going to be transformed. 
 The Pathway to Spiritual Defeat
#1 The journey begins with self-centeredness.
#2 The world will use you and take severything you have.
#3 The world will reduce your value and values.
#4 The world will leave you to die.
The Pathway Back To Spiritual Transformation

      I.         Get Fed Up With My Life

  • Nothing is going to happen in your life until you first get dissatisfied with the way you are.
  • The gift from the father he wasted was a grace gift.
  • The abuse of grace can destroy the life of a believer.
  • If we ignore God's knocking long enough, He steps back and lets Satan knock the door down.   
  1. Own Up To My Sin  Luke 15:17-18 NLT
  • When he finally came to his senses signifies that he had been living a delusion.
  • When there is no one else to blame you have finally accepted responsibility. 
  • If there is anything that will drive you to God it is sin when it has done its work. 

Make A Habit Of Regular Spiritual Checkups. 2 Corinthians 13:5 MSG 

  1. Offer Up Myself  Romans 12:1 NIV
  • When your heart moves from self-centeredness to God-centeredness, that is the beginning of transformation.
  • Conformation to God's precepts and principles is not God's transformation of our heart by His Spirit. 
  • God restores us by grace and graces us with grace (the power and resource to do His will) when we come to Him.
  1. Lift Up My Praise  Luke 15:23-24 NIV

Friday, February 13, 2015

Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.  1 Corinthians 13:7-8a

Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye. – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
The verses above could be translated as:
Love protects, shields, guards, covers, conceals, and safeguards people from exposure.
Love strains forward with all its might to believe the very best in every situation.
Love always expects and anticipates the best in others and the best for others.
Love never quits, never surrenders, and never gives up. Real love never quits because it doesn’t know how to quit.
Love will enable us to stand...regardless.

Love believes that circumstances or situations can improve.  That is also the very nature of hope.  That hope is based on the conviction that God is going to be with us, whatever the hardships of life.  That hope will see us through.  You see here the connection between faith, hope, and love.  Faith is the idea that we believe that God does love us to the point that we risk our lives, invest our lives in that faith.  That faith leads us to view the hardships of life, not with cynicism but with the conviction that God is always going to be with us.  He affirms, “I will never leave you.  I will never forsake you.”  Because of our faith and hope, we have a response of love to other people.  We have a desire to help, to include, and affirm others. 

When we love someone, even if we can see the bad, we often choose to believe it is not there and only see the good. We choose to believe, hope, endure, to never give up.  If you have loved ones in your life in the midst of major sin, and you are not the most loving person they know, then you are doing something wrong.  That doesn’t mean condoning their sin, that means loving them and not their sin.  It means loving them through this season of rebellion.  It means hoping and believing that the good you have seen will eventually win out.  Sometimes all the motivation people need is someone who believes in them.  Paul gives us his thirteenth point about love when he says that love “…hopeth all things….” The Greek word for “hopeth” is the word elpidzo, which depicts not only a hope, but an expectation of good things. This means that rather than expecting failure or a bad result in someone’s life, the agape love of God always expects the best in someone else. It not only expects it, but it is filled with an anticipation to see the outcome of God’s hand in someone’s life.

Of course everyone definitely needs the love of God, but the love of a family and/or close friend is also important. When you feel like you are being attacked on every front but you know there is someone who loves you and believes in you no matter what, you can endure any storm.  If you don’t have someone one that loves you that unconditionally, it is absolutely the loneliest feeling in the world.  Everyone needs the unconditional love of someone.  God designed us to need to be loved and He created love.  He created families and His plan is for us to love and support each other.  His plan is for us to hope, believe, endure, and never give up.  He never gives up on us.  

Now, at this point in my life, love means something different to me.  It is not fluffy and romantic.  It is not dreamy and fairy-tale material.  It is real.  It is hard.   But it is worth it. And the only way I endure often is through hope and believing by faith that God, the author of my life and lover of my soul, has got this. 

Scripture to Claim:
But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. 
1 Corinthians 13:13

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Love Rejoices in Truth

Love…does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth.  1 Corinthians 13:6
Love always wants to believe the best about others.  Jesus could always see the good qualities in others. He could see a queen in a harlot, a preacher in a fisherman with no manners, and what about you and me?  Jesus is not the one who condemns but commends us to a higher walk.  Jesus did not condemn the sinners, only the self-righteous.  When was the last time that you honestly said in love, "I am so glad that they are happy”?
Love always looks for the good instead of the bad, and when one does wrong, love is always genuinely regretful. True love rejoices in good and if it covers up sin or seeks to justify wrongdoing, it is not Godly love. Love does not sweep sin under the rug. Love does not try to find ways to get away with bad behavior, and it does not put up with injustice. Instead, it embraces truth, celebrates good behavior, and promotes virtue. True love has nothing to hide.
Psalm 5:4 says, “You are not a God who delights in wickedness.” The God who is love (1 John 4:8) delights in what is true and just. God loves us, and He “desire[s] truth in the inner parts” (Psalm 51:6). God does not ignore our sin in love.  Because He loved us, He sent His son to die for our sins so we could be forgiven and have eternal life. This is real love--not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.  1 John 4:10 says This is real love--not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. He expects us not to ignore sin either, but in love pray for struggling loved ones and friends and seek His wisdom and direction in how He can use you to help them.
When love enters the picture everything changes. When it is our friend who falls from grace, we are sad. When our loved ones meet hard times, when bad things happen to them, when the evil day attacks, when the medical diagnosis is grim, we are saddened and shocked. It is hard to delight in the misfortunes of those you love, no matter what they have done. It is hard to rejoice in the downfall of leaders, if you wish them well
Also, to “not delight in evil” carries the idea of not gloating over someone else’s guilt. It is not uncommon for people to be glad when someone is found guilty of a crime or caught in a sin. This is not love. Love rejoices in the virtue of others, not in their vices. Sin is an occasion for sorrow, not for joy, even if you believe they should get what they have coming.  We are all sinners but some sin is more public than other sin.  No one person is spotless and has the right to judge another.  We can find ourselves face down in our own pile of mud when we have that attitude.  God has a way of showing us that we are deceiving ourselves if we believe we are better because another person sins differently than we do.  We don't delight in the downfall of others when we know our own hearts.
Basically, to extend God’s kind of love to others, we must be able to view sin and righteousness the way God does. The more we love others, the more genuine sadness we will feel over those who commit sin. The more we love truth, the better we can love those around us. Love rejoices with the truth, and the reality of redemption - that Christ has come to forgive us and give us a new start when we repent and turn to him in faith. Love rejoices with the truth that failure is not the end of the story.
Love acts on the power of the truth that is in Jesus to change lives. Love does not delight in other people's downfalls, but is overjoyed with the truth that saves us. We are all capable of falling to sin. Love is the grace of God that reaches out to us in Jesus. When we receive him, and live with him, and are empowered by his Spirit, we have his truth within us. That gift of love is cause for joy!
Scripture to Claim:
No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.  1John 4:12

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