G.P.S.

I am sure that almost everyone is familiar with a Global Positioning System (GPS).  They are everywhere today, from the TomTom in your car to the new smart phones, the GPS system is everywhere.  The GPS can offer directions to desired locations and on a cellular phone it can offer location to emergency systems when someone doesn’t know where they are.  A GPS has become a part of everyday life for many people.

Take a look with me at another meaning that we as Christians can implement into our walk that will change our view of the GPS, that system is God’s Priority System.  When we tap into God’s Priority System we will see what His desires for our lives are.  One way to do this is by using the book of Philippians as a guide in our everyday life.  I remember one common theme growing up in youth group was the use of the Philippian filter.

The Philippian filter can be a great guide for our daily walk with Christ.  Looking through the words that Paul shared in Philippians, we see almost every situation that may come up in our lives and can guide our steps in a way that will lead us closer to God if applied correctly.

Philippians 2:5-11 shows us what type of mindset we should have when approaching every situation we may face.  Paul tells us here: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (KJV)”

We must put on the mind of Christ if we want to view this world the way that God does.  When we accept Christ and call ourselves Christians we profess before men that we are following Christ.  We make a profession that tells those around us that we are putting on the mind of Christ, and we are making a claim to live as He would live.

What kind of life are you living today?  Are you using God’s Priority System or your own?  Are you striving to put on the mind of Christ on a daily basis while seeking to serve God in every aspect of your life?  I challenge each of you to put on the mindset that Paul is speaking of here…you will be surprised at how your life will change when you do.

Use your GPS and follow God down the path He has set before you…you will never regret following His pathway.

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E.G.O.

Many of us have used terminology about others that speaks to their ego.  “He’s too big for his britches” or “Don’t say that or she’ll get the big head,” are both commonplace when we discuss how someone seems to be overtaken with their egotistical ways.  Ego can overtake someone, but when we get down to the real center of it all, the definition of Ego can be summed up as this, “Edging God Out.”

When we become wrapped up in our everyday comings and goings, how we approach them can show us where our mind is really at.  When we get so buried in our work, our activities, or even our families, we many times find that we are forgetting the most important factor of them all, keeping God at the center.  One thing I would encourage you to do is to see where your focus lies.  Look deeply into your heart and see who you are praising when things go well?  Where do you turn when things get rocky?

For many of us, the answer to the second question is the same…we turn to prayer when things start to go wrong, because we can’t see any other way out.  This should also be our attitude toward the good times in our lives as well.  God is the same whether things are going well for us, or things are going badly; He is always the same, never changing, no matter the circumstance.

Too many times in our lives we only remember God when we need Him, forgetting that we need Him in every aspect of our lives.  God is not just our go-to-guy in the time of trouble.  Scripture tells us that God is our “very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).”  Many of us only remember this verse when it comes to our dealings with God.

In those times of trouble, however, we do seem to find ourselves forgetting the words that David shared a few lines later:  “Be Still and Know that I am God (Psalm 46:10)”.  God is always there, and we are asked to be still at times and let Him be there.  When we let our Ego take over, we still turn to God in our times of trouble, but we let pride allow us to hold on to what we are turning to God for, because we feel as if we need to do something ourselves…letting go of our problems at the foot of the cross is not a bad thing.

This can also be translated into the good times in our lives as well.  We too many times forget how we got where we are…we have done nothing on our own, and what we have is a gift from God.  We are His.  We have nothing without His blessings, and we need to remember that in the good times we must also give Him praise for what we have.

John the Baptist understood this, he had a following…everything was going great for him in his ministry, but when asked if he was the chosen Messiah, he responded that he was but a messenger sent to prepare the way.  When Jesus entered the scene and was baptized, John again proclaimed praise and informed those who followed him that Jesus was the one they were seeking.  We should put on a mind like John and remember his words when asked how he felt when his followers departed from him to follow Jesus.  “He must increase, I must decrease (John 3:30).”

We must get out of the way for God to truly bless us in the way He intends…when we hold on to the problems and seek praise for the accomplishments, we limit God in what He can do in our life.  We are His children, we are His messengers, and, simply put, we are His.  What are you doing today in your life?  Are you seeking the glory that is rightfully God’s? Or, are you seeking to praise Him in every aspect of your life?  Don’t let your Ego edge God out of your life.

G.R.A.C.E.

The Christian walk is based deeply in the grace that was afforded us who call ourselves children of God.  God pours out His grace upon His children freely, as we see through the words of Paul to the Roman church in Romans 5:8 where he says, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (KJV).”

This is where we can see what grace truly means.  G.R.A.C.E. can be looked at like this – God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense.  This is where we truly see the love of Christ for the church.  We, as the church, are the bride of Christ.  We have been bought with a price that was unimaginable by the human mind.  God has given His riches to his children through the selfless sacrifice of His only son on a cross that, for all intensive purposes, was intended for each of us.

Romans 6:23 reminds us, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  This is the evidence of the grace that abounds through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.  We are all sinners and we all come up short when trying to succeed on our own…this is where grace thrives.

What we see in grace is that none of us can make it on our own accord…there is not a single person alive that can reach heaven if they fail to realize that grace is the only way for us to enter the gates.  If we do not accept the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, we will fall short of the eternal promise that is given.

So what can you do today?  There is only one answer.  Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…no one comes to the father except through me.”  This is what we must realize; the only way to heaven is to believe with all our hearts that Jesus is the one, true way to reach the throne of God.  Believing is not enough, however; we must also confess that Jesus is the Savior, and deny ourselves, taking up our cross and following in His footsteps.

The scripture tells us that even Satan and the demons believe in Christ, so believing is not enough, we must accept and acknowledge with our deeds and our lifestyles.  When we become a Christian, we are washed clean of our transgressions, we are made whole – are you living life like that?

In 1 John 3:5-6 we are told that Christ appeared to take away our sin, and in him there is no sin…also showing us the form of grace in that, anyone who abides in Christ cannot sin, and that Christ cannot abide where sin is.

Paul sums it up best in Romans 6 where he tells us, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him; (Romans 6:1-3, 7-8 KJV)”

Remember you were bought with a price.

P.U.S.H.

When we come before the throne of God we are to come reverently. God is there for us to address each and every moment of the day because we have accepted His grace if we have truly devoted ourselves to the teaching in His word.

Where then do you stand today as you seek to serve God in your daily walk?

Paul addresses the issue of prayer in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 by saying to pray without ceasing. He also mentions prayer throughout his letters to the churches by telling of the power that is found in the daily conversations with God.

The problem that many Christians have today is the lack of zeal when it comes to developing their relationship with God. There are many who are content to sit back and watch the world fade into darkness and selfishly claim a savior who died for all without sharing the comfort that comes with a relationship with Him.

I ask you today to search your heart.  Look deep within yourself and take note of what you are doing for the kingdom. I encourage each of you to pray earnestly for God to work in situations with full assurance in the faith that He will deliver on His promises.

Prayer is an important part of your daily relationship with God. If it weren’t so I would venture to say that Jesus wouldn’t have taught the disciples how to do it. The apostles wouldn’t have preached it, and we wouldn’t rely on it when people are sick and downtrodden today. Pray until something happens today or this week. Pray for a month and see if God is not willing to fulfill promises that He made to us.

When you pray, abide in faith, because the promise of faith we have from Hebrews 11:1 states that, “faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of things we do not see.” When you pray with faith mountains move and things happen. Bury your life in prayer and enjoy the blessings that await.

F.R.O.G.

A couple of weeks ago I talked about the acronym W.W.J. D., and this week I want to continue discussions on the acronyms.  The next that has been pouring over and over in my mind is the one of F.R.O.G. – Fully Rely on God.

As Christians this shouldn’t be a foreign concept to us in how we live our lives, but many times we only seem to go to Him when we have struggles that we cannot see another way out of.  This is not how it should be; on the contrary, we should be always taking things to God in prayer, because we are to fully rely on Him for all of our life issues, choices, and every small moment that goes by.

When we fully rely on God and His power, we start to see amazing things happen…In looking at the book of Acts we can see numerous things happen that God will work through in our lives.  The Apostles were left with questions when Jesus left the earth.  Not only were they struggling with how they were supposed to continue in their ministry without him.

This answer came in the form of the Holy Spirit…On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles to guide them in their ministry.  This same Spirit is available to us today as we seek to fend off the attacks that this world can throw at us.  We are called to seek God in fighting with the powers of the world that we do not see.  These troubles that we face can come in the form of many different tests and trials that we do not understand.

The trials can be depression, worry, doubt, drug addictions, etc.  These are all things that can keep us from fully grasping for the Help that is always there.  God is always there, but there are many trials that can cause us to think we are unable to seek Him.  Many of the trials that we face are struggles that can lead us to a place where we do not feel good enough to accomplish anything that we are seeking.  We can also begin to feel as if God is not available for us to seek, but we have promises throughout scripture that show us He is always there in our times of need.

Paul recounts this in Romans chapter 8 where he states, “35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Choose today to put your full trust in God…Fully Rely on God and see what blessings will come your way…just remember the promise found in Psalm 9:9, “9The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.”