Focus on Forgetting


Have you found the older you get the harder some things are to forget? Perhaps it’s the multiplication factor or just the fact that we have more to remember.

That’s why I take comfort in the Apostle Paul’s instruction that his single focus was to forget. Forgetting was his goal. “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, (NIV.)”

We’re told to forget the poor choice, a disagreement others or even an imperfect project already completed. God wants us to stop thinking about the stupid thing we said. He even wants us to overlook the fact that we may not have been included in something and had our feelings hurt.

Forgetting the past also means staying out of other people’s business and not worrying about what someone else is doing or not doing.

In the same way, our thoughts can become consumed with what people have said about us. If it’s something spot on then fix it, yet if it’s untrue…FORGET IT.

What’s more the good things we’ve done and achievements we have accomplished should also be forgotten. It’s impossible to become a giving Christian while we’re still patting ourselves the back. Abraham Lincoln once said. “To ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own.”

“Dear Father, please help me to forget my past and with every ounce of energy within my being strain to complete YOUR will for my future. Amen.”

Too

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Attentive

Do you consider yourself to be a conscientious person? In Hebrews 13:7, we’re told to attentively observe our leaders and imitate their faith. God wants each of us to pay special attention to all of those around us looking for ways we can stimulate and motivate others to demonstrate love with helpful actions, (Hebrews 10:24 – AMP).

None of us will just roll out of bed in the morning knowing how to do this. Solomon in Proverbs 2:2 states, the wise man makes his ear attentive to skillful and godly wisdom by inclining and directing the heart and mind and applying all your powers to the quest for it. (AMP) Attentiveness involves the whole person.

I love how in Luke 5, after Jesus healed the lame man, in verse 27 scripture tells us He looked ATTENTIVELY at a tax collector and then called him to become one of His disciples. Tax collectors in those days were swindlers and cheats. One can only imagine the extent of His power of discernment, being able to pick out a man such as this to become one of His devoted students.

Charles Brent once said, “When we fail to hear His voice, it is not because He is not speaking so much as that we are not listening. We must recognize that all things are in God and that God is in all things. And we must learn to be very attentive, in order to hear God speaking in His ordinary tone without any special accent.”

One of my favorite scriptures is 1 Peter 3:12. It states that if we’re in right standing with God, He promises that the Lord’s eyes are upon us and His ears are attentive to our prayers. The same attentiveness we’re called to exercise toward others pales in comparison to that which The Lord gives to us as we stay in a right relationship with Him.

Why not make it your aim to pay special attention today to the things you hear and don’t hear? Then pray for His power to help you follow through. Have a great weekend!

A Pure Heart

 

          Thomas A Kempis knew the value of having a pure heart.  He’s quoted as saying, “If thou hadst simplicity and purity, thou wouldst be able to comprehend all things without error, and behold them without danger.  The pure heart safely pervades not only heaven, but hell. “

            Purity of heart offers us access to God’s goodness (Psalms 73:1.)   Jesus himself said those with a pure heart would have the ability to see Him, (Matthew 5:8.)   It’s only those with a pure heart which are able to live continuous presence of God. (Psalm 15:1,2)

            Too often, we like thinking of ourselves as having a pure heart when Jesus tells us in Matthew 15:19 that things such as murder, slander, stealing, adultery and lying originate in our hearts.  Who knows what heinous sins we each might be capable of?

            It’s only through Christ and His grace that our hearts have any chance of becoming pure.  Yet, if we’re willing to come into agreement with His plan and purpose for our lives we can know these benefits of a pure heart. 

            Do you want access to God’s goodness, the ability to see Him clearly, and the joy which comes from living continually in His presence?   It all comes with a heart of purity and integrity.  Why not let Christ complete His work in you today?

For previous Tude Talk Posts go to :  https://tudetalk.wordpress.com/

Heart Attitude

Of late, I’ve been giving quite a bit of thought to the similarities between the Christian concept of “the heart” and our attitudes. I’ve even wondered if the two words (in Christian context) couldn’t be used interchangeably.

First, both our physical heart and what we term attitude are at the CENTER of our being. In each case, their usefulness impacts one’s core ability to function. Aren’t both thought of as the center of our being and affecting the whole body’s effectiveness?

Our human heart routes blood in two different directions. Veins carry deoxygenated blood to the heart and arteries bring oxygenated blood back to all the other body structures. In the same way, our attitudes are bent in a negative trend, yet can’t they with a conscious choice of our will be routed in a more positive direction?

No one could deny that the heart is essential to sustaining life. Without the continuous flow of
oxygenated blood all body systems fail and our organs would die. Likewise, a life full of negative attitudes compounds one’s ability to function effectively.

Scientific studies have now proven God’s truth, through research, that having a positive attitude foster’s resiliency and a better ability to manage stress. In the same way, employers have noted increased output, better communication, and higher confidence levels among workers who display a positive attitude. Even seniors with a positive mind-set are less apt to have a sense of helplessness and frailty – making for a better quality of life.

So much in life depends upon our outlook. A positive Christ honoring approach allows us to begin a new task with the end in mind. A good mindset will help us accomplish all that He has called us to do. So just for today, won’t you center up with a good heart attitude?

Abide

A few days ago, I wrote a blog about overwatering. Here in central Florida, we have drought conditions during this time of year. Many of us are tempted to dump gallons of water onto our grass, shrubs and tender plants to keep them green and lush. I noted in that post excessive watering stymies growth.

The same can happen in our Spiritual lives. Often, we give people so much of the Word of God that they become saturated and are unable to process the wisdom presented. These days, I’m learning to strike a balance by sharing a little of the life giving Word of God and following it up with prayer. I’m praying for individual needs and growth in the people I talk or share with. Sure it takes much more time, yet

I’m looking forward to lush green growth in each of their lives.
Often, the Lord asks that we endure difficult situations which will not be resolved in twenty four hours.

When people ask me to pray for them, I’m learning to do what I call placing them in a holding position in my heart. Throughout my day (and night) as I think of them individually, I pray. Are their people in your life you’re “holding” like that? I hope so. We each need watering that come from the prayers of others. It’s during these times of patiently waiting on God that we learn to ABIDE in His presence.

In 1 John 3:6 Jesus tells us that if we abide in Him we don’t sin. He offers a great promise of provision in John 15:7. It states, if we ABIDE in him and His words ABIDE in us, we can ask what we will and it’s done for us!

Henry Francis Lyte wrote a famous hymn in the eighteen hundreds called, Abide with Me. A favorite verse states:

“I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord abide with me. “

Make sure as you move throughout your days and nights that you are taking time to abide and hold others in your heart.

Mindfulness

God has given each of us an extraordinary mind that we will never excavate the depths of, in this lifetime. Nonetheless as a Christ follower, we are required to situate our minds.

In the complexity of our chaotic world, life’s circumstances and challenges will compel our attention. Then as we try to center our attention during times of focused prayer, we become distracted.

Brother Lawrence put it this way, “One way to recollect the mind easily in the time of prayer, and preserve it more in tranquility, is not to let it wander too far at other times. You should keep it strictly in the presence of God; and being accustomed to think of Him often, you will find it easy to keep your mind calm in the time of prayer, or at least to recall it from its wanderings.”

1 Thessalonians 5:17 instructs us to “pray without ceasing,”(KJV.) Staying in a mental posture of prayer leads to life and peace, Romans 8:6 (NLT.) We can make a conscious choice to not copy the behaviors and customs of non-Christians, instead letting God transform us by changing the way we think, Romans 12:2 (NLT.)

As you move throughout your today and feel yourself slipping back into negative thought patterns, why not follow Brother Lawrence’s advice? Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes ad infinitum.

Have a GREAT JESUS filled day!

Overwatering

It’s essential to “water in” the new foliage we place in our landscapes. Regular watering provides the hydration a young plant needs to thrive. Yet once a plant is established, irrigation needs to be decreased so that the root system can deepen in search of water. Overwatering can result in an underdeveloped shrub, tree, or plant.

I have found this same principle to be true in the life of a Christian. When a young Christian first becomes born again they have a great deal of potential. Baby Christians require a bigger dosage of God’s Word to grow and thrive in their faith.

All at once, they begin a new battle against things like THE WORLD (systems of thought or philosophy) THE FLESH (selfish desires) and THE DEVIL (a real entity that can influence thoughts and behaviors.)

I’d be the last to say that all Christian’s don’t need plenty of the seed of God’s Word working in their lives. Nonetheless, each of us at any stage of Christian maturity can become overwatered, if we are not absorbing its nutritious healthful benefits.

Paul speaks of this in Ephesians 3:16-17: “May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the Holy Spirit Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality. May Christ through your faith actually dwell settle down, abide, (and) make His permanent home in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love.” (AMP)

Therefore, as you read and study God’s Word each day make sure that you are not becoming overwatered and simply going through the motions. Take time to let Holy Spirit apply the Word to your heart and life situations. As the next verse in that passage says, God wants each of us to know His power and grasp the breath, length, depth, and height of His love.

We serve an awesome powerful God that has much to teach us. Let’s not allow ourselves to become underdeveloped with overwatering. May we each press past a co-dependence on others or a dullness of hearing and open ourselves up to be nourished by His spectacular love. Have a GREAT day and week!

Mind Combat


It’s what Romans 7 talks about. “When I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. (Romans 7: 21-23)

Thank God, we only have to turn the page to find the answer. Romans 8, begins by telling us that we are no longer condemned, once we’ve made a decision to belong to Christ. We’re told that the sacrifice of God’s son, Jesus, satisfied the requirement of the law.

The good news is that we have the same life giving Holy Spirit living inside us that raised Jesus from the grave. We’re no longer compelled to act upon our selfish and sinful impulses. Unlike non-Christians, we have a choice to harbor sinful thoughts or let our minds be controlled by the Holy Spirit and think about things that please Christ. (Romans 8:5)

Pray with me today that our thoughts become as familiar as God’s thoughts. As we immerse ourselves in the scriptures, we’ll recognize His methods and techniques. Our thoughts and desires will begin coming into harmony with His. The battle’s already been won , but plays out in your mind every minute of the day.

Have a great JESUS filled day!

The Clean Heart

In a distant land, rural poor natives had gathered in the center of their community to witness the annual event.

From the hilltops to doorways of village huts, young and old have assembled in their best and most colorful outfits to observe the sacrifice of bulls and goats.

Old men sing in high pitched voices a song unknown to Americans, as the deep base drum drowns on in the background.

Well-developed young men have lassoed one animal after the next into the center of the village. There the living things will be beaten and forced onto the bloody dirty ground. Here, they will be gutted to death alongside the other slain animals.

The crowd watches with anticipation as each creature struggles with all its might to break free from the ropes, slipping about on the already bloodied ground.

To westerners such a practice is seen as brutal and horrific to any witness. Yet, similar types of services were held on bloody altars of our Jews ancestors not so many years ago.

Ezekiel 18:4:20 proclaims that sins require death. Romans 6:23 phrases it this way…”For the wages of sin is death.” How many of us as kids remember learning Hebrews 9:22? “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin,” (KJV.)

Atonement for man’s sins in the Old Testament was accomplished with the blood of animals on the tenth day of the seventh month of each year (Lev. 17:11.) From the New Testament forward, the shed blood of Jesus atones for our sins.

Hebrews 10:4 makes it clear that the blood of bulls and of goats could not take away our sins. The only perfect spotlessly clean sacrifice for our sins was and is our Lord Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 9:11-14.)
Without the healing cleansing power of His sacrifice, little American kids might be standing a village crowd watching as their family livestock (pets perhaps) were being sacrificed for their sins.

In our sterile and spotlessly clean sanctuaries, it’s too often easy to forget the violent bloody cost of our atonement.

Won’t you take a couple of minutes this morning to thank your Lord and Savior for his mind-boggling sacrifice so that you and I can worship with a clean heart? Have a great day and week!