WISE INTENTIONAL LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT TITUS EMAIL Volume 14, Number 5 – MAY, 2020
Greetings. With the issues of COVID-19, some of us may be experiencing more down time than normal or at least more time to be by ourselves. These two messages hopefully will be an encouragement to use these days as a time to connect deeper with the Lord, rather than allowing our minds to go places we normally would not have time to spend on. Mike
HIDE GOD’S WORD IN YOUR HEART
Do you struggle with sin or the temptation of sin? God has made it clear that we are to be holy and pure as He is holy and pure (1 Peter 1:13-15). Sin is deceptive as doing things that are contrary to what we find in Scripture can be fun for a season, for a period of time. Getting involved in sexual impurity for many is enjoyable at the moment but some time after, can be as grievous and heart wrenching as anything someone will ever experience. Getting involved in sinful activity is extremely scary. That is one reason why the Bible says to stay away, run from anything that is impure and pollutes our minds. The devil is truly a like a lion prowling around, looking to destroy whomever he can (1 Peter 5:8-9). Do not mess with the devil So how can we fight against Satan? The battles are fought in our minds. Romans 12:2 tells us to not be conformed or shaped, to be put in the mold of non-God thinking but be transformed, literally changed by the renewing of the mind. Scientists have showed us that parts of the brain that have been damaged, can be renewed (rehabilitated). To make your mind new again is a process. It does not normally occur instantly, though God is able to renew someone’s brain in an instant as He miraculously touches someone. When we become believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we do not physically receive a new brain, so the old thought patterns are still there. Over time the goal is to have your thinking process be sanctified, essentially to think as Jesus thinks. God gives us insight on how to do this when He revealed in Psalms 119:9-11, “How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word. I have tried hard to find you, don’t let me wander from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” The equation to pursuing to be holy is to put God’s Word into your mind, thinking processes and obey what the Word says. When someone prays for spiritual wisdom, insight and understanding, we are asking God to think as He thinks. WWJT – What would Jesus think!! Would it not be wonderful if at night when we go to sleep, to literally place a Bible on your head and wake up in the morning with more of God’s Word in our brain? No matter how big of a Bible you put on your head, that is not how the Word transfer into our minds. If you are serious about renewing your mind, to think biblically, then you need to get the Word into your thoughts, your brain. Read, study, listen to, meditate on, wrestle through, memorize, and obey the Word of God. There is no other way. Having the Word of God in your thinking processes will do battle with the temptation of and sin itself. Stick the Word in your brain and let the Holy Spirit help conform you to the image of Jesus. Memorizing is not easy, the older we get. Rejuvenate your mind by hiding the Word in the crevices of your mind. It takes work to memorize, partly due to aging and also it is a spiritual battle too. Find passages to memorize will excite you and help you grow in your relationship with the Lord. As you memorize, you will wrestle and meditate on what the Scripture is saying to you. Do we want to please God, be called a good, faithful servant? Then let the Word of God get into your thinking processes so that our minds become renewed and we think and live more like Jesus. Until I meet Jesus face to face, I want to grow in and think more like Him than the day before. That is my prayer. Is it yours?
YOUTH MINISTRY – STRIVE FOR A HOLY, PURE THOUGHT LIFE
God is holy and pure. He clearly indicates in Scripture that He wants His followers to pursue being holy and pure. The Bible indicates we are to stay away, run from anything that is impure, anything that will pollute our minds. We are commanded to stay away from sexual activity that occurs outside of marriage between a man and woman. It is for our protection and also enjoyment. It is easy to fool people by saying you as a single people are not involved sexually with anyone, because you may not be in relationship or have placed standards with your boy or girlfriend where you will not get intimate. Yet the question needs to be asked, are you involved sexually in your mind? We are wired for sexuality and there are so many opportunities to get involved mentally with others. So how is your thought life? “But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15-16 – NLT). God is holy, without sin and we must pursue being holy, not only because it is a clear directive, but if we want to develop in our relationship with Him, we want to please Him and pursue Jesus’ likeness. Our hearts reveal if we desire this goal in our spiritual lives as God looks at a person’s heart (1 Samuel 16:7). The actions of a person can fool but in time the real person will come out. What are you filling with your mind? In today’s world most people can access the internet which can bring impurity at a click of a button. Guys, how are we looking at or thinking about young ladies? Do we get our emotional enjoyment from our thoughts or opportunities to view suggestive material? Are we involved in activities that make it easy to get involved with a woman? Ladies, are you flirting with guys that lead them on? Do you talk or dress suggestively for guys or in ways that encourage guys to think sexually about you? Are you wishing to get romantically involved with a certain guy that you would love to get your hands on? These are dangerous games we first play with our minds and then out in the open. In the Old Testament, Joseph could have easily fell into the web of seduction with Potiphar’s wife. He was a well-built good looking, well-mannered, excellent worker, unmarried young man just coming into his prime (Would any ladies like to have a guy like that?). Potiphar’s wife was worth looking at and had a lot to offer as a woman. Joseph did not stop to pray when she did everything she possibly could to get him to get involved with her. What would you have done? Joseph literally ran for all his worth away from a scene his hormones were begging him to stay. He understood that God was pure and holy and if he wanted to continue to be like His God, pursing the nature of God, there was no question or hesitation to get away from her. What would we have done? Desiring to be a spiritual leader takes hard, diligent work to daily pursue becoming more like Him. When God looks at our hearts, does He see spiritual leadership material? So how is your thought life? None of us are immune. Work to place safeguards in your mind for your protection. Spend consistent time in the Bible, memorize and meditate on Bible passages that will help you obey what God says. He wants the best for you.