Changed – inside out!

 

feed-your-mindWhat you do flows out of who you are in your inner thoughts! If you want to change the way you live, transformation must start in the foundations of life.  To illustrate – I am convinced by the truth of Holy Scripture that God loves me and that basic fact shapes every other part of my life.  I take the Scripture at face value when I read of the promise of eternal life so I am able to deal with the brevity of my earthly life with peace.  My life is formed about these facts –

  • God loves me.
  • God has a purpose for me.
  • Christ Jesus died to save me and rose again to lead me to eternal life.
  • The Holy Spirit is active; now, here, in me, to empower me to live a godly life.

So, what do you believe about yourself, about God, about the purpose of your life?
Are your beliefs based on a solid foundation or are they just flimsy assumptions formed around a few anecdotes you find appealing or some stories your Grandma taught you as a toddler?  Have you tested, refined, and matured your beliefs, weaving them into your value system, connecting them to daily decisions?

Paul urges us to build communities of Christians and to strengthen each other in the faith. “Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!” (Philippians 3:17-4:1, NIV)

Take it from the last statement – “That is how you should stand firm in the Lord.”  How?

Choose your models and mentors wisely!
Who are your heroes?  Why do you admire them?  Is it just charisma or a pretty face, or do they show real human depth?  One of the tragedies of our media age is the emergence of a celebrity culture that puts people of little or no actual accomplishment in the public eye. Foolishly people choose to emulate someone like the Kardashians. Life with meaning and purpose is about so much more than a pretty haircut, a designer pair of jeans, or a new car.  We know that with our head, yet far too many of us still let superficial fashions and trends shape us.  We need to choose mentors that will encourage us to develop real faith and character.

Choose your object of worship carefully!
“Many live as enemies of the Cross, their god is their stomach.”  How much of your life is formed around making yourself comfortable? Do you spend an inordinate amount of time focused on the food on your table? Are you consumed by sensuality, seeking the soothing of your appetites endlessly?  Have you made the sins that only create guilt and shame the ‘glory’ of your life?  A person becomes like his god.  And, our god is whatever/whoever gets the larger part of our time and/or resources.

Make Heaven your home!
Our citizenship is in Heaven.”  We let the policies and promises of Heaven form our daily choices.  In this world, I am a citizen of these United States.  I live by her laws. I would be a foolish man to try to conduct my business by the laws of Mexico. That’s fine for a Mexican, but I am an American.  Similarly, we cannot enjoy the life God has planned for us if we are living by the laws of earth when, because of Christ, we belong to the Kingdom of God!  What are the policies and promises of our citizenship?  Jesus states them with compelling clarity in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).  We do well to be knowledgeable of those passages.

In time the choices we make each day come together to form a legacy and a destiny. What will be yours?

If your life is shallow, without real meaning or purpose, make a change today. Humbly invite Christ to become Lord and Savior.  Put your trust and hope of reconciliation to your Father, not in your goodness, but in His offering of Himself on the Cross. You can never earn what He offers as a gift of grace.  And, then, begin the life of a disciple, changed from the inside by the Truth and the Spirit.

Here is the word from the Word.
“God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)” (Ephesians 2:4-5, NLT)
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10, NLT)
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2, NLT)

That is really transformational Truth!

 

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