Jesus Calling: September 19thThere is a mighty battle going on for control of your mind. Heaven and earth intersect in your mind; the tugs of both spheres influence your thinking. I created you with the capacity to experience foretastes of heaven. When you shut out the world and focus on My Presence, you can enjoy sitting with Me in heavenly realms. This is an incredible privilege reserved for precious ones who belong to Me and seek My Face. Your greatest strength is your desire to spend time in community with Me. As you concentrate on Me, My Spirit fills your mind with Life and Peace.
The world exerts a downward pull on your thoughts. Media bombards you with greed, lust, and cynicism. When you face these things, pray for protection and discernment. Stay in continual communication with Me whenever you walk through the wastelands of this world. Refuse to worry, because this form of worldliness will weigh you down and block awareness of My Presence. Stay alert, recognizing the battle being waged against your mind. Look forward to an eternity of strife-free living, reserved for you in heaven.
RELATED BIBLE SCRIPTURE:
Ephesians 2:6 (NLT)
6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.
Additional insight regarding Ephesians 2:6: Because of Christ's resurrection, we know that our body will also be raised from the dead (1st Corinthians 12:2-23) and that we have been given the power to live as Christians now (Ephesians 1:19). These ideas are combined in Paul's image of sitting with Christ in "the heavenly realms." Our eternal life with Christ is certain because we are united in his powerful victory.
Psalm 27:8 (NLT)
8 My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”
Additional insight regarding Psalm 27:7-8: We often run to God when we experience difficulties. But David sought God's guiding presence every day. When troubles came his way, he was already in God's presence and prepared to handle any test. Believers can call to God for help at any time, but how shortsighted to call on God only when troubles come. Many of our problems could be avoided or handled far more easily by seeking God's help and direction beforehand.
Romans 8:6 (NLT)
6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.
Additional insight regarding Romans 8:6: Once we have said yes to Jesus, we will want to continue following him, because his way brings life and peace. Daily we must consciously choose to center our life on God. Use the Bible to discover God's guidelines, and then follow them. In every perplexing situation, ask yourself - What would Jesus want me to do? When the Holy Spirit points out what is right, do it eagerly. For more on sinful nature versus our new life in Christ, see Romans 6:6-8, Ephesians 4:22-24, and Colossians 3:3-15.
1st John 2:15-17 (NLT)
Do Not Love This World
15 Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 17 And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
Additional insight regarding 1st John 2:15-17: Some people think that worldliness is limited to external behavior - the people we associate with, the places we go, the activities we enjoy. Worldliness is also internal because it begins in the heart and is characterized by three attitudes: (1) craving for physical pleasure - preoccupation with gratifying physical desires; (2) craving for everything we see - coveting and accumulating things, bowing to the god of materialism; and (3) pride in our achievements and possessions - obsession with one's status or importance. When the serpent tempted Eve in Genesis 3:6, he tempted her in these areas. Also, when the devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness in Matthew 4:1-11, these were his three areas of attack.
By contrast, God values self-control, a spirit of generosity, and a commitment to humble service. It is possible to give the impression of avoiding worldly pleasures while still harboring worldly attitudes in one's heart. It is also possible, like Jesus, to love sinners and spend time with them while maintaining a commitment to the values of God's Kingdom. What values are most important to you? Do your actions reflect the world's values or God's values?
When the desire for possessions and sinful pleasures feel so intense, we probably doubt that these objects of desire will all one day pass away. It may be even more difficult to believe that the person who does the will of God will live forever. But this was John's conviction based on the facts of Jesus' life, death, resurrection, and promises. Knowing that this evil world will end can give you the courage to deny yourself temporary pleasures in this world in order to enjoy what God has promised for eternity.
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