Monday, September 24, 2018

Know When It's Time to Reboot


By Andrea Merrell 

And do not be conformed to this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that you may prove what is that good and acceptable
and perfect will of God.
Romans 12:2

My computer does the craziest things. Sometimes when I type a period, it spits out five or six. At other times, the screen will freeze, wacky pop-up messages will appear, or my printer will jam and fail to print.

That’s when it’s time to reboot.

It seems to work much the same in my everyday life. Sometimes when I intend to be positive and constructive, my words come out negative and snarky. At other times, my mind wanders, my routine gets off track, and my life gets totally out of kilter.

Just like my computer, that’s when it’s time to reboot.

The Bible gives us a lot of instructions about how we should conduct ourselves, but we have to choose to follow those instructions.

They say a mind is a terrible thing to waste. The biggest waste comes when we fail to renew our mind. When we begin to think like God thinks and our words and actions line up with His Word, our values and belief system change. Everything falls into proper perspective, opening the windows of heaven for God to bless us as He desires to do.

When my computer acts up, I can keep on fighting with it—which only leads to frustration—or I can do what’s necessary to fix it.

When my carnal nature acts up, I can keep on making excuses for my thoughts, words, and behavior—which only leads to feelings of guilt and condemnation—or I can do what the Word tells me to do. Always a win-win situation.

If you’re struggling in your spiritual walk, don’t get discouraged. It happens to everyone. Maybe you just need to reboot.

(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and TAW4.)


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Monday, September 17, 2018

Change Your Position


By Andrea Merrell

 
 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you,
because you obey the voice of the Lord your God.
Deuteronomy 28:2 NKJV 


“What has God done for you today? This week? This past year?” The questions from the pulpit put us all on the proverbial spot.

Many people, when asked these questions, have a hard time thinking of a single blessing. Why is that? Maybe they’re looking in the wrong direction or from the wrong position.

Author John Mason says:

We typically see things not as they are, but as we are. By how we position ourselves, we’ll see the evidence of God everywhere or nowhere. Too often our minds are locked on one track. We’re looking for red, so we overlook blue. We’re thinking tomorrow, and God’s saying now. We’re looking everywhere, and the answer is right under our nose. When a person is positioned correctly, he’s ready to receive all God has for him.

So, how do we position ourselves correctly? The Word tells us that when we obey the Lord, blessings will not only come, they will “overtake” us.

God’s love is a guarantee. It’s unmerited, unconditional, and unending. But His blessings come through obedience. When we keep our minds and hearts focused on the Lord—seeking Him first above all else—we will find Him continuously at work in and around us.

If you can’t see God at work in your life, change your position and watch Him pour out His blessings on you.

(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Stuart Miles.)


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Monday, September 10, 2018

Hide Heaven in Your Heart


By Andrea Merrell

 
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Matthew 6:21 KJV


One week into our three-week vacation, my husband said, “I think I’m homesick already.”


A break from the norm is something we all need from time to time. But no matter where we go, deep inside we still yearn for the familiar. For the comfortable. For home.

Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home; there’s no place like home.” After her trip to the amazing Land of Oz, she realized how much she missed the simple comforts of her ordinary life and the people she loved.

Some say home is where the heart is. That begs the question, where is our heart? The Bible tells us that as God’s children, we are seated in heavenly places with Christ, and we are to set our affections on things above. Jesus said He is preparing a place for us. Our final destination. Our heavenly home. That’s where our heart should be.

In Jesus Calling, Sarah Young writes:

I made you in my image, and I hid heaven in your heart. Your yearning for me is a form of homesickness, longing for your time in heaven. ~Jesus

As much as I love the comfort and familiarity of where I reside, it cannot begin to compare with the glory that awaits me. This world is not my true home.

Whether your earthly home is a safe haven or place of turmoil, know that this existence, this earthly life, is temporary. We are only passing through.

Look to Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith. He has hidden heaven in your heart.

(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Stuart Miles.)

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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

What Does Your Life Consist Of?


By Andrea Merrell


It was a fierce competition. A cat-and-mouse game of who had the most toys. But the players were not kids, and they were living a shallow existence at best.


Too many people reach for success and happiness by having the biggest house, the newest and fastest car with all the bells and whistles, and a plethora of material possessions. But when they get what they’re after, are they really happy? Do all those things make their life meaningful?

The Bible says a man’s life does not consist of the things he possesses (Luke 12:15). The Message puts it this way: Take care! Protect yourself against the least bit of greed. Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot.

In other words, it’s not what we have or own that makes us who we are. Rather, it is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27 KJV).

Paul said, I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

What matters most and makes our life truly meaningful is allowing Christ Jesus to live in and through us. As we become more Christlike, we take on His attributes by developing the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). We adopt the attitude that our life is not about us but all about Him.

God is certainly not opposed to us having nice possessions, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18). In fact, He promises to bless us beyond measure when we trust and follow Him. Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers (3 John 2). 

His desire is that we find our true selves and the meaning of life “in Him.”

(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and radnatt .)

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Monday, August 27, 2018

Cream in My Coffee


By Andrea Merrell

 That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro
and carried about with every wind of doctrine,
by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of 
deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love,
may grow up in all things into Him
who is the head—Christ.
Ephesians 4:14-15 NKJV

I’ve always preferred my coffee black … until recently. Now, I find myself adding creamer, especially when the brew is too strong or not so good. It makes my coffee more palatable and easier to drink. Sometimes we need a little help.  As the song says, "a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down."

That’s not a bad idea, but it’s amazing how we try and sugarcoat other things to make them more palatable—especially when it comes to the truth. Rather than confronting a person or situation with the power and authority of God’s Word, we tend to avoid confrontation and turn a blind eye, hoping the situation will go away or resolve itself.

The Bible tells us to speak the truth in love. The Truth—God’s Word—is referred to in many ways: meat, milk, water, and honey. But no matter the label, it’s easy to digest … no cream or sugar needed to make it go down into our innermost being and bring about the changes God desires to make in each of us.

Don’t allow yourself to water down the Word. Accept it as it is—living, powerful, life-changing, life-giving, and life-sustaining.

(Photo courtesy of Stokpic.)

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