Posts Tagged ‘Christ’

16
Nov

Change Your Mind, Change Your Life

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Christian Living

Bible Reading~Devotion

Image by Chineka via Flickr

Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny. –Author unknown

The Bible says, As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. (Proverbs 23:7) Whatever you think about the most is what you will become. Here’s how to make this principle work for you instead of against you.

When your mind is focused on carnal, or “fleshy,” things, you’re going to do those things. The Bible is righteousness. When you focus your attention on it, you’re going to do what it says. When you’re doing what the Bible says, you’re doing righteousness. The Bible is the written word of God, and it’s all about Jesus, the living Word of God.

If you want to change your life, you have to change your mind. You have to abandon your old carnal thoughts, and replace them with God’s thoughts. That means you have to study the Bible for yourself, and apply it to your life. That’s renewing your mind. It’s replacing your old carnal thoughts with God’s thoughts. The Apostle Paul described it like this:

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, with a continual lust for more.

You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of him 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. (Ephesians 4:17-24 NIV)

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25
Nov

Give Thanks to God

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Christian Living

The kids horsing around at the Thanksgiving di...
Image by dionhinchcliffe via Flickr

Memory Verse: Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Your life is your prayer, and there is a protocol to follow in prayer. It’s to express your heartfelt gratitude to God for what he has given you. Thanksgiving gets you in the gate, and praise gives you access to his presence.

“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good: his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” (Psalm 100)

The sacrifice of praise is the sacrifice that God desires. Thank him when you feel like it, and especially when you don’t feel like it. Because that’s what makes it a sacrifice. “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” (Hebrews 13:15)

In Philippi, Paul and Silas were beaten and placed into stocks in their jail. At midnight, they were singing praises to God; and, they were loud enough that all the other prisoners heard them. Certainly God heard them too, because an earthquake shook the prison setting all of the prisoners free. As a result of this incident, the Philippian jailer and his family came to Christ.

Paul and Silas could have spent their time complaining. They were falsely accused and unjustly punished, but instead of whining and complaining about it, they were singing praises to God. These men were disciples of Jesus Christ. They offered God the sacrifice of praise, and God changed their circumstances.

Don’t Complain About Your Circumstances:

“Do all things without murmuring and disputings:” (Philippians 2:14)
Don’t have an emotional reaction to every thing that happens. Don’t allow negative emotions to take control of your thought life. When something goes wrong, get over it and keep going forward with God.

Be a Praiser Instead of a Complainer:

Anyone can complain. Most people complain about every little thing that happens to them. Every day of their lives is just another gripe-fest. Don’t be like them. Take charge of your own attitude and choose to be happy. Practice being happy where you are, and with what you have. “For I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.” (Philippians 4:11)

God is pleased when you say, “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24) and actually do it.

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8
Sep

Faith is Believing God’s Word

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Bible Study

REMBRANDT Harmenszoon van Rijn Sacrifice of Is...
Image by carulmare via Flickr

 

God told Abraham that he would be the Father of many nations, and that through his seed all the families of the earth would be blessed. This is certainly true, even though it seemed to be impossible at the time.

When Abraham was a hundred years old, he and his barren wife, Sarah, had a son named Issac. And he is the child through whom that blessing (Jesus) came.

God told Abraham to offer Issac as a sacrifice. Even though this defied logic, Abraham was willing to do it anyway. He trusted that God would do them no harm, and that he would fulfill his promise.

He didn’t know what God had in mind. We know that he expected God to raise Issac from the dead. If you read this whole story in Genesis 22, you’ll see that Abraham told his servants to wait and that, “I and the lad . .  will come again to you.”

Abraham knew God and his ways very well. He had based his whole life on believing God’s word. This is what the Bible says about him:

He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was rich in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;  (Romans 4:20-24)

What exactly did Abraham do that was so remarkable. He believed God to the extreme extent of being willing to obey him. All he provided was the willingness. God provided everything else, including the sacrifice–one for Issac and one for us.

God even provides us the faith we need to believe his word. As it is written, So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  (Romans 10:17)


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24
Jul

How I Became a Christian Author

   Posted by: Larry Vaughn    in Christian Living

    When I was twenty-one years, I served in the Army in Vietnam; and I thank God that my name isn’t on the Vietnam Memorial in Washington. I thought that I got away scot-free, but thirty years later, I was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic-Stress-Order.

    PTSD is like the devil. It steals your joy and it steals your life. My doctors saw that I couldn’t control my anger, and they took me off work. So, I spent a year on sick leave, and then took a disability retirement.

     American soldiers never “retreat.” We just “fall back and regroup,” and that’s what I had to do. I was in trouble, and I needed God’s help. I spent that year reading the Bible from cover-to-cover. I didn’t know what I was doing at the time; but I was fellowshipping with God in his word. I became fascinated with God’s word. I copied down the Bible verses that seemed most significant to me, and put them together in a book. That book of verses eventually became my first published book, The Bible Believer’s Handbook.

    When you read an author’s work, it makes you feel like you know him. That’s because he reveals his heart and his mind through his words. This is especially true of God, who is the Author of the Bible.

    I had swerved into doing exactly what the following passage of Scripture says to do. I was delighting in the law of the Lord, and meditating on it day and night. I became like the man who is described in these verses, and that put me on a collision course with the blessing of God.

    “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” (Psalm 1:1-3)

    It took the Federal bureaucracy a very long time to process my disability retirement. My sick leave ran out, and I had no income. When all of my savings were gone, I was at the end of my rope.  I was old, and broke, and too sick to work; and, I didn’t know if I would ever be able to work again.

    I had hit rock bottom, and I knew that God was my only hope. I cried out to him in desperation, “Jesus, please help me!” Jesus heard my prayer and he answered it.

    The first thing that he did was to get rid of my anger. I went to bed mad at the world, just like I did every night; and when I woke up, my anger was gone. That intense anger, which had been my constant companion for thirty years, just disappeared. Jesus took it away, and he replaced it with joy and peace. I knew that I had experienced a miracle!

    I heard somebody laughing, and then, I realized that it was me. I hadn’t laughed in years. Jesus healed me, just like he healed all of those people in the Bible. I was like blind Bartimaeus, who cried out to Jesus, “Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47) I had done the same thing that he did, and I got the same result. I had acknowledged that Jesus is the Messiah, and cried out to him for help; and he had mercy on me.

    These Bible verses explain what Jesus did for me, and I will never stop thanking him for it. “I waited patiently for the Lord: and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of miry pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and trust in the Lord.” (Psalm 40:1-3)

    The next thing that he did was to put me back to work. He gave me a new job, with better pay. I didn’t do anything to be treated so well, but Jesus gave me the help that I needed. He has saved me spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and financially. That’s who he is and what he does. He is our Savior. He does the things for us that we could never do for ourselves.

     Jesus loves you and he cares about you. If you’re in trouble, call on him; and he will help. My testimony is that Jesus’ words are true. He said, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21)

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