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Showing posts from January, 2019

SOUL DETOX: verse 2

Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God. 3 John 1:11 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/3jn.1.11.NIV

SOUL DETOX: verse 1

Like a muddied spring or a polluted well are the righteous who give way to the wicked.  It is not good to eat too much honey, nor is it honorable to search out matters that are too deep. Proverbs 25:26‭-‬27 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/pro.25.26-27.NIV

SOUL DETOX: Day 22

Our lives are full of cultural toxins, which are those things that are culturally acceptable, but hurt our souls. Cultural toxins can be found in the books we read, the magazines we read, the music we listen to, the television shows we watch, and in the movies we watch. When we allow cultural toxins into our lives, it pollutes us. This week you will learn what God's Word says about the dangers of cultural toxins and the importance of focusing on things that draw us closer to God. What are some of the cultural toxins you currently have in your life? How have you seen these toxins pollute your life?

SOUL DETOX: verse

In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; God makes salvation its walls and ramparts.  Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith.  You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.  Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord , the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.  He humbles those who dwell on high, he lays the lofty city low; he levels it to the ground and casts it down to the dust.  Feet trample it down— the feet of the oppressed, the footsteps of the poor.  The path of the righteous is level; you, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous smooth.  Yes, Lord , walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.  My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you. When your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world learn righteousness.  But when grace is shown to the wicked, they

SOUL DETOX: Day 21

Choose by faith to not put your faith in the "what ifs", but put your faith in God and God alone. This will help you break free from the bondage of toxic fears. In what ways are you seeking God on a regular basis?

SOUL DETOX: verse

I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.  I will glory in the Lord ; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.  Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.  I sought the Lord , and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.  Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.  This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.  The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.  Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.  Fear the Lord , you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing.  The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.  Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord .  Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days,  keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies.  Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and p

SOUL DETOX: Day 20

In order to face the "what ifs" of fear, you must seek God until He takes away your fears. How different could your life be if you put your full trust in God and strived to seek Him daily?

SOUL DETOX: verse

Be merciful to me, my God, for my enemies are in hot pursuit; all day long they press their attack.  My adversaries pursue me all day long; in their pride many are attacking me.  When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.  In God, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?  All day long they twist my words; all their schemes are for my ruin.  They conspire, they lurk, they watch my steps, hoping to take my life.  Because of their wickedness do not let them escape; in your anger, God, bring the nations down.  Record my misery; list my tears on your scroll — are they not in your record?  Then my enemies will turn back when I call for help. By this I will know that God is for me.  In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord , whose word I praise—  in God I trust and am not afraid. What can man do to me?  I am under vows to you, my God; I will present my thank offerings to you.  For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I m

SOUL DETOX: Day 19

In order to face the "what ifs" of fear, you must acknowledge your fear and choose to trust God. What things are holding you back from acknowledging your fears and putting your full trust in God?

SOUL DETOX: verse

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord , “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”  Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.  He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.  You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,  nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.  A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.  You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.  If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling,  no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.  For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;  they will lift you up in their hands, so that you wil

SOUL DETOX: Day 18

What you fear reveals what you value the most. What you fear reveals where you trust God the least. What things are you not trusting God with that you need to?

SOUL DETOX: verse

Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?”  Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” “A staff,” he replied.  The Lord said, “Throw it on the ground.” Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. Then the Lord said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. “This,” said the Lord , “is so that they may believe that the Lord , the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you.”  Then the Lord said, “Put your hand inside your cloak.” So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, the skin was leprous —it had become as white as snow.  “Now put it back into your cloak,” he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh.  Then the Lord said, “If t

SOUL DETOX: Day 17

Fear is having faith, but it's placing your faith in the wrong things. Fear is placing your faith in the "what ifs". So much of our fears are focused on things that may or may not happen. There is no reason to fear things that might not even happen. Even people in the Bible struggled in fearing their own "what ifs". You will read today about Moses' "what if" fear and how God gave him strength to overcome his fear. What are some of the "what ifs" that fuel your fears?

SOUL DETOX: verse

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, in keeping with the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus,  To Timothy, my dear son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.  I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.  For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we h

SOUL DETOX: Day 16

There are four types of fears: fear of loss, fear of failure, fear of rejection, and fear of the unknown. It is very likely that you are struggling with one or more of these fears. These fears can paralyze you and keep you from God's best. Remember what 2 Timothy 1 says in that God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline. Which fears do you currently struggle with the most?

SOUL DETOX: verse

The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?  When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall.  Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.  One thing I ask from the Lord , this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.  For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.  Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord .  Hear my voice when I call, Lord ; be merciful to me and answer me.  My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord , I will seek.  Do not hide your face

SOUL DETOX: Day 15

We are often paralyzed with irrational fear that something may happen. Rather than living by faith, we live by fear. These toxic fears can cripple our lives and rob us of our joy. This week you will read what God's Word says about toxic fears and how we should face them. How have you seen your toxic fears influence your actions and thoughts?

SOUL DETOX: verse

( Some of these verses are done in Red...like when he tells the fig tree no one will eat from it again.  Verse 17, It is written, n Have faith in God to the end) The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.  On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’ ? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’ ”  The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this a

SOUL DETOX: Day 14

Not only should we speak life-giving words to others, but we should also speak them to our circumstances and ourselves. The toxic words we speak to ourselves can be some of the most dangerous. What types of toxic words are you saying to yourself? What steps do you need to take to stop saying these toxic words to yourself?

SOUL DETOX: verse

(Starting in verse 25 "Every Kingdom is written in Red) Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”  But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”  Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.  If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand?  And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges.  But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.   “Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then

SOUL DETOX: Day 13

Anytime you think something positive about someone else, you should tell them. We should all live by that rule, as it will help us become more comfortable speaking life-giving words. Describe a time when you were encouraged and uplifted by the power of positive, life-giving words.

SOUL DETOX: verse

So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.  That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.  Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”

SOUL DETOX: Day 12

God's Word gives us a very important instruction that we must all take to heart and obey. That instruction is to speak life-giving words to others every chance we get. Who do you need to start speaking life-giving words to? How will you go about doing it?

SOUL DETOX: verse

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.  When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.  All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full

SOUL DETOX: Day 11

Don't internalize the toxic words that others speak about you. Instead, guard your heart against toxic words, and every chance you get, speak life-giving words. Why do you think we tend to speak more toxic words than life-giving words even when we don't intend to?

SOUL DETOX: verse

Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding.  I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching.  For I too was a son to my father, still tender, and cherished by my mother.  Then he taught me, and he said to me, “Take hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands, and you will live.  Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them.  Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.  The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.  Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.  She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.”  Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many.  I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.  When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble.  Ho

SOUL DETOX: Day 10

Even as you strive to stop saying toxic words to others, you will still have to deal with toxic words being said to you. As a result, you must do what God's Word tells us to do when others speak toxic words to us: you must guard your heart against them. How will you guard your heart against toxic words?

SOUL DETOX: verse

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.  The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.  The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.  The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.  A fool spurns a parent’s discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.  The house of the righteous contains great treasure, but the income of the wicked brings ruin.  The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but the hearts of fools are not upright.  The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him.  The Lord detests the way of the wicked, but he loves those who pursue righteousness.  Stern discipline awaits anyone who leaves the path; the one who hates correction will die.  Death and Destruction lie open before the Lord — how much more do human hearts!  Mockers resent correction, so they avoid the wise.  A happy heart makes the face

SOUL DETOX: Day 9

Our words are powerful. They have the power to kill and the power to give life. Throughout the book of Proverbs, Solomon often writes about the dangers and the life-giving abilities of our words. He was very aware of the power of words. As a result, Solomon encourages us all to be aware of the types of words we speak to others and the positive and negative affects they can have. What types of words do you tend to speak most - toxic or life-giving? Explain.

SOUL DETOX: verse 2

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/pro.18.21.NIV

Soul Detox: verse 1

Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense.  The wicked desire the stronghold of evildoers, but the root of the righteous endures.  Evildoers are trapped by their sinful talk, and so the innocent escape trouble.  From the fruit of their lips people are filled with good things, and the work of their hands brings them reward.  The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.  Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult.  An honest witness tells the truth, but a false witness tells lies.  The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.  Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.  Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil, but those who promote peace have joy.  No harm overtakes the righteous, but the wicked have their fill of trouble.  The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.  The prud

SOUL DETOX: Day 8

Words can hurt you and the right words can help heal you. Those words that crush and hurt you are known as toxic words. Toxic words are incredibly dangerous not only when they are spoken to you, but when you speak them to others. This week you will read from God's Word about the dangers of toxic words and the power of life-giving words. How are toxic words infecting your life right now?

SOUL DETOX: verse

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.  Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.  You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Ch

SOUL DETOX: Day 7

Colossians 3 encourages us to set our minds on God and not on earthly things, which cause our toxic thoughts. One of the best ways to start focusing your thoughts on God is to spend more time with Him each day in prayer and in the reading of His Word. What are some specific toxic thoughts you need to change? What are some ways you can begin to make that change?

SOUL DETOX: verse

Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest. He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house,” bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future. But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory. Hebrews 3:1‭-‬6 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/heb.3.1-6.NIV

SOUL DETOX: Day 6

Hebrews 3 encourages us to fix our thoughts on Jesus; however, that can be difficult with so many toxic things trying to capture our thoughts away from Him. Our thoughts are so easily influenced by such toxic things as influences, relationships, and words. Strive to block out and remove all of the toxic things polluting your life and instead fix your thoughts on Jesus. Fixing your thoughts on Him is critical in filtering out all of the toxins in your life. How different is your life when you focus your thoughts on what is true and good rather than on toxic things?

SOUL DETOX: verse

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.  For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is t

SOUL DETOX: Day 5

A toxic thought contains poisonous material that can cause sickness and even death. We will identify and reject all toxic thoughts and we will replace those thoughts with God's truth. In what ways do you renew your mind and focus your thoughts on God's truth?

SOUL DETOX: verse

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!  I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.  Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. W

SOUL DETOX: Day 4

The next step in battling against your toxic thoughts is to replace those thoughts with God's truth. The best place to find God's truth is in His Word. Why is it easier to think toxic thoughts than it is to focus our minds on the truth?

SOUL DETOX: verse

You are always righteous, Lord , when I bring a case before you. Yet I would speak with you about your justice: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease?  You have planted them, and they have taken root; they grow and bear fruit. You are always on their lips but far from their hearts.  Yet you know me, Lord ; you see me and test my thoughts about you. Drag them off like sheep to be butchered! Set them apart for the day of slaughter!  How long will the land lie parched and the grass in every field be withered? Because those who live in it are wicked, the animals and birds have perished. Moreover, the people are saying, “He will not see what happens to us.” Jeremiah 12:1‭-‬4 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/jer.12.1-4.NIV

SOUL DETOX: Day 3

There are four common categories of toxic thoughts. These are negative, fearful, discontented, and critical. Chances are you are struggling with toxic thoughts in one or more of these four ways. Don't let these toxic thoughts grab hold of you and consume you. The deeper you let them take root inside you, the harder they will be to shake off. Identify those thoughts and reject them today. Which types of toxic thoughts do you experience most often? What are some examples of your toxic thoughts?

SOUL DETOX:verse 2

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With t

SOUL DETOX:: verse 1

By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” toward you when away! I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete. 2 Corinthians 10:1‭-‬6 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/2co.10.1-6.NIV

SOUL DETOX: Day 2

To battle against your toxic thoughts, you must identify and reject them. As 2 Corinthians 10 tells us, the battle against our toxic thoughts is like none other. It is not a physical battle, but rather it is a spiritual battle that requires God's help in fighting. What are some of the causes of toxic thoughts in your life?

SOUL DETOX: verse

Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding.  I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching.  For I too was a son to my father, still tender, and cherished by my mother.  Then he taught me, and he said to me, “Take hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands, and you will live.  Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them.  Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.  The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.  Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.  She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.”  Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many.  I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.  When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble.  Ho

SOUL DETOX: Day 1 (5wk plan)

Our thoughts matter so much. The thought really does count because what you think determines what you become. Unfortunately, most of us tend to be held captive by toxic thoughts, rather than focusing our thoughts on God's truth. This week you will read from God's Word about the dangers of toxic thoughts and how you can replace them with God's truth. How have your toxic thoughts negatively affected your life and relationships?

BATTLEFIELD OF THE MIND: Day 14 (laat day)

The Mind of Christ Today's scripture overwhelms many people. If these were not the words of the Bible, they wouldn't believe it. As it is, most people shake their heads and ask, "How can this be?" Paul was not saying we're perfect or that we'll never fail. He was telling us, as believers in Jesus, the Son of God, we are given the mind of Christ. That is, we can think spiritual thoughts because Christ is alive within us. We no longer think the way we once did. We begin to think as He did. When we have the Holy Spirit living and active within us, the mind of Christ is action. The mind of Christ is given to us to direct us in the right way. If we have His mind, we will think positive thoughts. We will think about how blessed we are--how good God has been to us.  Jesus was positive, in spite of being lied about, lonely, misunderstood, and a multitude of other negative things. He was deserted by His disciples when He needed them most, yet He remained positive--alwa

Day 13: verse

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 1 Corinthians 13:4‭-‬8 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/1co.13.4-8.NIV

BATTLEFIELD OF THE MIND: Day 13

Suspicious of Suspicion In today's scripture, these words about love are familiar to most of us, but I can honestly say that living them has not always been easy for me. As a child, I was not exposed to this kind of love--in fact, I was taught to be suspicious of everyone. I was told that the motives of other people were not to be trusted. While it is wise to be aware of people's motives, we must be careful that we don't allow our suspicious nature to negatively affect our feelings about everyone. An overly suspicious nature can poison your mind and affect your ability to love and accept other people. Consider this example. Suppose a friend approaches you after a church service, and says, "Do you know what Doris thinks about you?" Then the friend tells you every detail of the things Doris said. The first problem is that a true friend wouldn't share such information. And the second problem is that with an already suspicious mind, you now believe secondhand info

Day 12: verse

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13‭-‬15 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/jas.4.13-15.NIV

BATTLEFIELD OF THE MIND: Day 12

D.V. He told me that he and his wife were missionaries to Chad, Africa, and then he said, "We plan to return in January, D.V." I didn't know what D.V. meant, but I didn't say anything. As he described his evangelism program for the interior of the country, he kept saying, "D.V." Finally, I asked, "What does D.V. mean?" "It's a Latin phrase I learned in school, and it means a great deal to me," he said. "It stands for 'Deo volente,' which means 'God willing.'" As we talked, I realized how seriously he meant D.V. He said he had great ideas about things he wanted to see in Chad, but more than that, he wanted to be sure his ideas were in line with God's. "When I say D.V., that's a reminder to me--it's my way of saying, 'This is what I'd like. Is it okay with You, Lord?'" There are a lot of boasting people out there--they decide what they want and expect everything to run smoothly

Day 11: verse

Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 1 Peter 5:9 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/1pe.5.9.NIV

BATTLEFIELD OF THE MIND: Day 11

Defeating Unbelief Sometimes we unintentionally give the wrong impression about spiritual warfare. We know that our enemy is the devil and that we must fight daily to win, but that's not everything. If the Christian life were nothing but battles, it would be discouraging to fight every hour of every day. The Christian life is one of joy and peace. God gives us a great sense of fulfillment, and we're at rest because we know we honor Him by the way we live. In today's scripture, Peter wrote to Christians about their enemy--warning them and urging them to be vigilant, which is where we often put the emphasis. Just before he wrote those words, however, he said, "Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully" (v. 7). We must remind ourselves of God's love for us.  Satan tries to destroy our faith with lies like: "If God really

Day 10: verse 3

I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. Psalm 119:15 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/psa.119.15.NIV

Day 10: verse 2

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/psa.119.11.NIV

Day 10: verse 1

but whose delight is in the law of the Lord , and who meditates on his law day and night.  That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers. Psalm 1:2‭-‬3 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/psa.1.2-3.NIV

BATTLEFIELD OF THE MIND: Day 10

Be Careful What You Think If you are going to win the battle of the mind and defeat your enemy, where you focus your attention is crucial. The more you meditate on God's Word, the stronger you'll become and the more easily you'll win the victories. Too many Christians don't realize the difference between meditating on the Bible and reading the Bible. They like to think that whenever they read God's Word, they're absorbing the deep things of God. Those who meditate on God's Word are those who think--and think seriously--about what they're reading. They may not put it in these words, but they are saying, "God, speak to me. Teach me. As I ponder Your Word, reveal its depth to me." In today's scripture I quoted from Psalm 1. This psalm begins by defining the person who is blessed, and then points out the right actions of that person. The psalmist wrote that those who meditate--and do it day and night--are like productive trees...and everything

Day 9: verse

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”  Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. Romans 4:18‭-‬21 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/rom.4.18-21.NIV

BATTLEFIELD OF THE MIND: Day 9

Positive Belief The story of Abraham amazes me no matter how many times I read it. It's not just the birth of a son when he was a hundred years old. That's a miracle. But just as amazing is the information that he waited twenty-five years for the fulfillment of the promise. He was seventy-five when God promised Him a son. I wonder how many of us would believe God and live in expectation for twenty-five years. Most of us probably would have said, "I didn't really hear from God." "Oh, I guess maybe God didn't really mean that." Or "I need to go somewhere else to get a fresh word from the Lord." In our impatience, we often take matters into our own hands. I say we get "bright ideas"--plans of our own, which we hope God will bless. These plans open the door for confusion and chaos. Then their results must be dealt with, which often delays our miracle. The Bible gives us promises, hope, and encouragement. God promises good to those of

Day 8: verse

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5‭-‬6 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/pro.3.5-6.NIV

BATTLEFIELD OF THE MIND: Day 8

Getting What We Want I usually know what I want, and I like to get it. I'm exactly like most people. When we don't get what we want, our negative feelings flare up.  Too often, we Christians expect life to be perfect and for everything to go smoothly for us. We expect success, happiness, joy, peace, and everything else. When we're thwarted, we pout or complain. Although God does want us to have a good life, there will be times when we must be patient and endure not getting our way. These disappointments test our character and level of spiritual maturity. They actually show whether or not we truly are ready for promotion. Why do we think we should always be first? Why do we think we are entitled to the perfect life? Perhaps sometimes we think more highly of ourselves than we ought. A humble mind enables us to take a back seat and wait for God to move us to the front. God's Word says that we inherit the promises through faith and patience. Believing God is good, but can w

Day 7: verse 1 & 2

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/php.1.6.NIV For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/eph.2.10.NIV

BATTLEFIELD OF THE MIND: Day 7

A Perfect Plan What does it mean to think that God has a perfect plan for us? Perhaps it's the word "perfect" that troubles us. We're fallible and make so many mistakes. How could anything be perfect in our lives? We know ourselves too well. Immediately we think of our shortcomings and shake our heads. That's a trick of Satan! The plan isn't perfect because we're perfect; the plan is perfect because God is perfect. God has a special plan for each of our lives. Let's think about that plan. In Philippians 1:6, Paul told us that God saved us and started a good work in us. Paul also wrote, in Ephesians 2:10, that we are God's handiwork (or workmanship). The two verses before that tell us that we're saved by God's grace. We have nothing to do with the act of salvation--we haven't earned it or deserved it. We are born into the kingdom of God as a gift.  As we think about God at work in us, we remind ourselves that God is perfection. Nothing w