“Is your state of mind tied to your relationship with God?” October 9


State of Mind

What is your state of mind? Is it full of anxiety or is there peace? Are you meditating on some wrong done to you or how God has blessed you? Are you content or striving for more? Your state of mind leads either to peace or to turmoil. But more importantly, what does it say about your relationship to God.


Today’s Readings:
Jeremiah 3 & 4
Psalm 116.15-19
Proverbs 27.2
Philippians 4.1-23


Is your state of mind tied to your relationship with God?


Philippians 4.1-23:

Pray & Be Thankful

Yesterday I talked about some of my favorite passages in Philippians. Today I want to share a few more:

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.

“Be anxious for nothing …” is a command, not a suggestion.

Worry is sin! Ouch, that hurt since I have a couple of things weighing on my heart right now.

We’re told not to be anxious, worried, fearful and fretful about ANYTHING! Instead, we are to pray about everything and be thankful, and when we do, the peace of God, which often makes no sense to the world, will stand guard over our hearts and minds. What a great promise! But it’s a conditional promise—dependent on our faithfulness to choose not to worry and to pray and be thankful, instead.

The more we come to know Him, to trust in His sovereignty and goodness, the more His peace will guard our hearts and minds. In other words, the level of our peace depends on the quality of our relationship with Him.

Think About This

8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Instead of playing the video tape in your mind about that hurt, that sin, or that wrong done to you, meditate on what God says about your situation: how He’ll use all things for good (Rom. 8.28-29), how He takes care of His own, including any retribution that needs to happen (Rom. 12.17-21), how we can be joyful in trials (Jas. 1.2-5), and how, out of His love for you, He died in your place so you could extend His love and mercy to others, even your enemies (Matt. 5.43-48).

So how do we grow in our ability to trust in Him and to live the way He’s called us to live? It starts with our thinking.  Continue reading

“Why We Can’t Think Straight” July 5


Why We Can't Think Straight - Sometimes we truly "can't see the forest for the trees," as the saying goes. If we are made in the image of God, why do so many people come to wrong conclusions and false beliefs? Why can't we think straight?Sometimes we truly “can’t see the forest for the trees,” as the saying goes. If we are made in the image of God, why do so many people come to wrong conclusions and false beliefs? Why can’t we think straight?


Today’s Readings:
2 Chronicles 5 & 6
Psalm 79.11-13
Proverbs 20.13-14
Acts 13.1-25


Why We Can’t Think Straight


2 Chronicles 5 &6:

The God of All Men

The temple has been completed and in chapter 6, he prays and dedicates it to the Lord:

12 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands 13 (for Solomon had made a bronze platform five cubits long, five cubits wide, and three cubits high, and had set it in the midst of the court; and he stood on it, knelt down on his knees before all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands toward heaven); 14 and he said: “Lord God of Israel, there is no God in heaven or on earth like You, who keep Your covenant and mercy with Your servants who walk before You with all their hearts.

18 … Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built! 19 Yet regard the prayer of Your servant and his supplication, O Lord my God, and listen to the cry and the prayer which Your servant is praying before You: 20 that Your eyes may be open toward this temple day and night, toward the place where You said You would put Your name, that You may hear the prayer which Your servant makes toward this place. 21 And may You hear the supplications of Your servant and of Your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and when You hear, forgive.

He prays for the nation of Israel and then he prays for all who will come to the temple in faith:

32 “Moreover, concerning a foreigner, who is not of Your people Israel, but has come from a far country for the sake of Your great name and Your mighty hand and Your outstretched arm, when they come and pray in this temple; 33 then hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, that all peoples of the earth may know Your name and fear You, as do Your people Israel …

Over and over we see God’s desire for “all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2.4) even here in the Old Testament.


He Alone Knows Our Hearts

Chapter 6.29-30, “whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel, when each one knows his own burden and his own grief, and spreads out his hands to this temple: then hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of the sons of men).”

“… for You alone know the hearts of the sons of men”—Jeremiah said it this way:  Continue reading

The Jesus Code: “Don’t be among the 9!” + LINKUP


The Jesus Code

Chapter 38 The Jesus Code: 52 Scripture Questions Every Believer Should Answer by O.S. Hawkins.


This week’s question: Where are the nine? (Luke 17.17).

The author:

One day, near the end of Christ’s time on this earth, He was walking to Jerusalem when He encountered ten lepers in a colony to themselves. They began to lift their voices and call to Him for mercy, He stopped, spoke words of healing over them, and sent them off to the priest for confirmation of their wholeness. All ten had been healed, and nine of them immediately rushed home to their families. Only one of the ten men returned to thank Jesus, and He asked the healed leper— and us— a poignant and penetrating question: “Were there not ten cleansed? . . . Where are the nine?” (Luke 17: 17).

All ten of them desperately wanted to be healed. All ten of them cried out for His mercy (Luke 17.13). All ten of them obeyed Christ when He said “go show yourselves to the priests” and all ten of them were healed (Luke 17.14).

All they had was the word of Christ. All they had was the promise of God’s word. Yet they walked in faith and obedience.

What about you? Are you sitting by a road somewhere? Continue reading

November 24 “When sickness invades your life” + LINKUP

sick woman with tissue on whiteHow do you respond when physical sickness invades your life? Is your first thought to cry out to God or is your first thought fear, worry, anxiety, or concerns about worldly answers? Do you remember to trust God even in the midst of medical treatment?

Today’s Readings:
Ezekiel 39 & 40
Psalm 132.10-18
Proverbs 29.5
James 5.1-20


Ezekiel 39 & 40:

Our exact God

As I read chapter 40 with all the measurements, the numbers of steps, the beveled windows, etc., I couldn’t help but remember that our God is a God of precision and order. He is fulfilling every word He has spoken and keeping every promise and He is doing so exactly as He intends!


Psalm 132.10-18:

The real meaning of Thanksgiving

He will clothe His priests with salvation … and His saints will shout for joy! That’s us! What a great and awesome God we serve and what a great salvation He has provided. We should be thankful for all He has done. That is the real meaning of Thanksgiving. From the beginning it was always about Him. We tend to forget that in our secular society. Continue reading

September 15 “Presuming on God’s grace” & LINKUP

presumptuous, thoughtful girlIs there some area where things could have gone badly, but somehow worked out? Did you just “count yourself lucky,” assume it was your quick thinking that got you out of that jam, or did you think about God’s grace and mercy?

Today’s Readings:
Isaiah 21 & 22
Psalm 107.1-9
Proverbs 25.14-16
2 Corinthians 7.1-16

Isaiah 21 & 22:

Presuming on God’s grace

In chapter 22 Isaiah begins to prophesy concerning the “Valley of Vision”—a reference to Israel. God had allowed the Assyrians to threaten and attack them previously, but in his mercy had prevented their defeat. Instead of seeing God’s mercy at work, taking it as a “shot over the bow,” and repenting in thankfulness, they had taken His deliverance for granted.

In this chapter Isaiah warns them that though they will take the next deliverance for granted and will even be celebrating prematurely, God will let them fall because of their continued rebellion.

What about you? Is there some area where things could have gone badly, but somehow they worked out? Did you just “count yourself lucky,” assume it was your quick thinking that got you out of that jam, or did you think about God’s grace and mercy? Did you consider what God might be saying through that situation or will He have to repeat the lesson, this time with more severe consequences?

prayerPsalm 107.1-9:

Thankful or unthankful?

Verse 8, “Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men.”

Just as with the ancient Israelites, one of the characteristics of these last days is unthankfulness. 2 Timothy 3 gives us a picture of the times in which we live: Continue reading

June 30 “How’s your corporate worship?” & LINKUP

How do you view the music on Sunday mornings? Is it something you see as nice “if you make it on time”? Do you purposely come in late to avoid it? Or do you see it as an offering to the Lord?


Today’s Readings:
1 Chronicles 23-25
Psalm 78.40-55
Proverbs 20.3
Acts 9.22-43

1 Chronicles 23-25:

Worthy of our worship

Verse 25.1, “Moreover David and the captains of the army separated for the service some of the sons of Asaph, of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, stringed instruments, and cymbals.”

The passage goes on to tell us there were 288 singers, plus musicians and support staff, 4,000 in all! What a music ministry that must have been! There were people singing and praising the Lord all the time!

And when I read the Psalms and other passages of Scripture, it appears to me there is lots of praise and lots of music in heaven. I believe God loves to receive our heartfelt praises often expressed through music and singing.

How do you view that time in the service where the truths of God are being proclaimed through music and song? Do you see it as just the prelude to the service, something to be enjoyed “if you make it on time”? Or do you see it as a time when you really focus on God and worship Him? Do you allow the words of the songs to penetrate your heart? Do you “think about” and “meditate on” the words you’re singing? Or is it “vain repetition”?

Let’s ask God to give us a “right spirit” where praise and worship are concerned. Continue reading