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Friday, May 31, 2013

"Renewal of your mind"

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2 ESV

The words that stand out to me in this verse are “renewal of your mind”. Renewal of our minds is what guides us in the right direction. In Christ our minds are renewed, they are brought back to the condition that the Lord has always wanted us to keep them in.
We as sinful people have allowed all sorts of filth and depravity to creep into our minds unnoticed. Just like a neighborhood can fall into disrepair and become a place where decent people no longer live, our minds have become a place where God no longer dwells.
photo  ©2007  Jaro Gielens, Flickr
Paul is calling believers to clean up their  neighborhood. He calls them to be transformed by the renewal of their minds. He is teaching the necessity of having a mind where God can and will live.
In order for our minds to be renewed we must be open to the Spirit's guidance in our lives. We must clean out all the filth and bring in Jesus teachings and our minds will become a place that we can feel good  again.
So today, let’s open our hearts and our minds to God’s word and renew our minds, let’s get involved in cerebral renewal and bring our minds back to the condition they were meant to be in.
© 2013 Leo J. Woodman

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Whoever does the will of God

For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”
Mark 3:35 ESV
How do we know we are in relationship with Jesus? When we do the will of God. Pretty simple when you think of it. Doing God’s will requires knowing God’s will. Knowing God’s will is knowing Jesus and His teachings.
Studying Jesus and His interactions with His heavenly Father will teach us all we need to know about doing God’s will in our lives. Certainly to know that we are in relationship with Jesus we must be living a life of Obedience to God as He did.
photo  ©2009  Mike Darnell, Flickr
Obedience rubs us the wrong way, we like to think we are autonomous and in no need of outside influence in our lives. But just like little children need to learn obedience to parents to mature properly, we too need to learn obedience to God to mature spiritually.
To be a brother to Christ we must learn obedience as He did... “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on across.” Philippians 2:8 ESV True obedience and relationship with Jesus requires us to hand our lives over to God and trust in Him.
So today, let’s begin anew and give ourselves over to God’s care and trust in Him to  bring us to the place He has prepared for us.
© 2013 Leo J. Woodman


Monday, May 27, 2013

Endurance

Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. Revelation 14:12 ESV
"The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one's feet." This old chinese proverb reminds me of the above verse. A life of spiritual endurance begins right where you are right now. We are called to endure in the commandments of God and our faith in Jesus. In order to do that we have to decide every day that we will continue in our walk with God. Every day that we choose to continue is one step closer to heaven and our endurance increases with every step.
photo  ©2008  Flytipper, Flickr
Spiritual endurance is a lot like physical endurance, they both take training. A runner trains daily increasing the distance they run to build their endurance. For a Christian to increase their spiritual endurance they need to spend more time in the word daily. Time in the word will make keeping God’s commandments and faith in Jesus stronger. When our faith grows stronger our endurance increases.
So today, let’s set out to build our endurance. Let’s spend more time in God’s word. The more we learn about God’s commandments and Jesus, the stronger our faith will become and our chances of enduring till the end of the race will increase greatly. Let’s strengthen our spiritual health and wellbeing.

© 2013 Leo J. Woodman

Friday, May 24, 2013

Press on

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14 ESV
Paul speaks of his goal in this verse. The prize of the upward call. The prize of that call is glory. Paul knew that if he continued in his faith and pressed on in spite of the obstacles he would receive his reward.
Imagine if Paul had let obstacles hinder him from preaching the gospel in all of those places where churches were established. Many people would have been lost for eternity. Paul knew that his calling was to share the good news about Jesus. His goal was to share that wherever he went. Whether  it be in a prison or on a river bank he would share with those he came in contact with.
photo  ©2010  jayneandd, Flickr
We too must press on toward the goal and the prize of eternity in heaven with God. We share in the same calling as Paul, we are to share the gospel wherever we go. We cannot let obstacles hinder our progress toward the goal.
So today, let’s treat every obstacle as a stepping stone on our way to the goal. Let’s press on full speed ahead and challenge every obstacle and overcome it. If we overcome in this life we will have a glorious heavenly reward.

© 2013 Leo J. Woodman

Thursday, May 23, 2013

He who has ears


He who has ears to hear, let him hear. Matthew 11:15 ESV
This statement is repeated by Jesus many times in the Gospels and the Revelation. He uses this statement at the end of many of the lessons He teaches. It is obvious that Jesus uses this phrase to get the attention of His audience.
Using it at the end of a lesson forces the hearer to ask themselves; have I truly listened and heard what Jesus wanted me know? It has been said that the reason we have one mouth and two ears is because we need to listen twice as much as we speak. So often we say we want to learn, but we don’t listen as well as we should. This is what Jesus dealt with when He was addressing huge crowds. They were there to listen to what Jesus had to say, but all too often they didn’t hear what He had to say.
photo  ©2007  grafixtek, Flickr
Today we don’t hear Jesus lessons audibly, but we do hear them through the written word. We too are charged to hear what Jesus has to say to us. As we read His lessons we need to hear the core message that Jesus is trying to get across to us.
So today, let’s work hard on using the ears that God gave us to hear what He has to say to us through Jesus teachings. Let’s encourage others to be quiet and listen too.
© 2013 Leo J. Woodman

Friday, May 17, 2013

Jesus wept

John 11:35 Jesus wept.

This is the shortest verse in the Bible. It certainly is not short on significance. Jesus is weeping at the loss of someone He loved dearly. The verse shows the depth of Jesus love for His friends.

When we consider this verse we see Jesus love for the individual. We see Jesus, God in the flesh caring deeply for a single man. 

Jesus came to show God's love for every person. As we think about this verse we can know that God has a deep and abiding love for everyone of us.

So today, we can rest in the fact that we are truly loved by God the Father. So we can know He is keenly aware of every aspect of our lives. He knows our circumstances and is working in them.

(C) 2013 Leo J. Woodman

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Bearing fruit


so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. Colossians 1:10 ESV
There are a several things to consider when we read this verse. Is our walk fully pleasing to the Lord, are we bearing fruit and are we increasing in our knowledge of God? Paul isn’t applying a litmus test here, he just wants his readers to consider their walk in the Lord.
We all should consider our walk with the Lord on a regular basis, because how we walk is how we are relating to our Lord. It is important for believers to be living a lifestyle that is pleasing  to the Lord, fruitful and that shows growth in knowledge of God and His ways.
All this really hinges on our growing knowledge of God and His ways. Certainly the best way to grow in that knowledge is to be in His word, because that is where we will find Him. The fullest knowledge we can gather concerning God’s nature and love is to study the ministry of Jesus. As we study Jesus we learn more and more about a lifestyle that is truly pleasing to God.
If we want to be fruitful in every good work we must be reflecting our knowledge of God in our walk. Our lives must be modeled after Jesus. Our ways must be His ways. We want Our heavenly Father to be pleased with us, and if we are going to be pleasing we must follow Jesus, of whom God said  “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
S&B Nature Photography
So today, let’s decide to grow in our knowledge of God by studying the lifestyle that Jesus walked in. So that when we stand before God he will claim us as His child with whom He is well pleased.
© 2013 Leo J. Woodman




Monday, May 13, 2013

He who endures

But he who endures to the end will be saved. Matthew 10:22b NKJV

Jesus reassured His disciples that if they endured in their faith, salvation would be theirs.

As followers of Christ we too, must have an enduring faith. To follow Jesus is to follow Him for life. Salvation is not assured to fair weather friends of Jesus.

It's easy to follow Jesus when the going is easy. It's another to follow Him through  the storms of life. 

So today,let's commit to having an enduring faith and encourage others to do likewise .

(C) 2013 Leo J. Woodman 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A way of life


Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, Philippians 1:27 ESV
As Christians our way of life is to be worthy of the sacrifice Jesus has made for us. A significant part of a worthy lifestyle is to be united with our fellow believers. When Paul addresses this issue with the Philippians he wants them to know it takes every individual working together with the whole to live in a way worthy of the Gospel.
photo  ©2010  Tim Green, Flickr
This verse really speaks to the need for unity in spirit and thinking that a body of believers must to have. A body of believers needs to be just that, a body. Every part doing its part in harmony with all of the other parts. Our faith is based on the one true Gospel of Jesus. Unity must prevail in the local body to preserve the integrity of that Gospel.
We all serve one master, He is our teacher and example of selflessness. We must strive to be in unity with one another as He was in unity with His Father. True unity and love will show the world we are His.
So today, let’s check our manner or way of life and see if we are walking in unity with the body. If adjustments need to be made to bring us into unity, let’s make those adjustments. Let’s walk hand in hand with the brethren into glory.
© 2013 Leo J. Woodman

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Walkin' and talkin'


I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, Ephesians 4:1 ESV
This verse is an encouragement to the reader.
Encouragement to remember their calling. Every Christian has been called to follow Jesus and His example. Paul wants to remind the reader to walk in a manner worthy of that calling.
How we walk as Christians says far more to those that observe us than what we say. We can talk on about how we live for Christ all we want, but people won’t believe us until we live Jesus for them. Most people would rather see a sermon than hear one.
The reality of the human condition is that we learn by example. We watch others and emulate their behaviors whether good or bad. So, if we watch Jesus and how He lived and emulate that, we will be walking in a manner worthy of our calling. When others see Him in us they will be far more likely to listen to what we have to say about HIm.
So today, let’s remember our calling and let our walk do the talking. Let’s live Jesus for the world to see. If we do, they will see that we are walking differently than the world and be more open to hearing the good news.
© 2013 Leo J. Woodman



Wednesday, May 1, 2013

"Judgment begins in the household of God"


For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And“If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. 1 Peter 4:17-19 ESV


How one conducts themselves in the household of God is important, because we will be judged for our conduct as believers. Peter speaks to the fact even believers can lose their place if they have not behaved as they should in the household of God.  Forgiveness is there for the repentant sinner, but for the arrogant and haughty there is a price to be paid.
Think of the term Peter uses, “Scarcely saved”. Rather a sobering thought when you think about the fact that Peter is talking about Christians. Our conduct must be worthy of our calling. We must live a life of faith and service to our king.
Peter then say’s, “what will become of the ungodly?” What hope will they have if we as followers of Jesus don’t share the good news with them? Sharing the gospel of Jesus with others is the duty of every member of the household of God. Jesus went about doing good for others Acts 10:38b. If that is what He did, that is what we should do. Sharing the gospel message is doing good for those in need.
So today, let’s set our minds on doing good for others. Judgment starts in the household of God, let’s not be found wanting in our service to God and man. Let’s share the good news about the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ!
© 2013 Leo J. Woodman