Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Discipline begins in the mind.

We are living in a most revolutionary era of world history, when situational ethics and ease have taken the precedence. Therefore we need to go back to God’s word and principles, which God has laid down in Holy Scripture. These principles are eternal truth, fixed, firm and unbending, that has everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3) Everyone is building their life on some kind of foundation.  There are only two choices: you either build on a solid and deep foundation or you build on a shallow and weak foundation.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33

Jesus said “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”  (Matthew 7:24-27)    It is not enough to KNOW about God. It is not enough to know what God wants you to do.  It is not enough to know how to apply His word. If we are going to build on a solid foundation we must actually DO what God wants us to do. Remember the times of testing reveal the foundation on which we have built.
Bible says “Discipline yourself to be Godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." (I Timothy 4:7,8) 
There is no such thing as instant godliness. There are no “one minute,” forty days, or “easy steps” to a life of righteousness that pleases God. That is not the way God planned for our sanctification. We are justified instantly by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  But justification and sanctification are completely different.
Oswald Sanders said, “Only the disciplined person will rise to his highest power. He is able to lead because he has conquered himself” .We must face the fact that many today are disgracefully careless in their living. We have liberty, we have money, and we live in comparative luxury. As a result, discipline practically has disappeared and overpowered by temptations, distraction and superficial form. Many people fail to consistently train themselves for Godliness because they settle for second best agendas. Remember that the biggest source of objections to Godliness will be our own sinful nature. Jesus said, "It is not what is on the outside of a person that defiles them, but what comes out of their heart 
 In our old nature we have spent a life time developing patterns of sinful attitudes, thinking and behaviors. These habits will not be broken and replaced with godly behavior and thinking without commitment and discipline. The apostle Paul uses an athletic image to tell us we must discipline ourselves to live godly. “Why is it so important? .Because “it holds the promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” It has immediate pay offs in this life, and eternal rewards.
Discipline is that determined effort on our part that corrects molds and perfects the character of a person. Godly character does not come all at once, but over a lifetime. Spiritual discipline is the training that is needed for the unhindered pursuit of God’s will and purposes. Discipline puts into daily practice our commitment to live a godly life. It begins in the mind. “Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2). This inner transformation takes place as we memorize, meditate, and put into daily practice the precious truths of the Bible.
Here are 7 set principles to follow
1: Seek God, not the things. This is what the LORD says “Seek me and live." Amos 5:4
2: Fear God, not men. “The fear of the LORD leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.” Proverbs 19:23.The A.W. Tozer said, "It is impossible to keep our moral practices sound and our inward attitudes right while our idea of God is erroneous or inadequate." When we lose the fear of God and don't respect Him and His commandments, we are going to live our lives without accountability to God and one another, which is the cause of a number of sins.
3: Love God, not the world. “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father[d] is not in them.  For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.—1 John 2:15-17.
4: Listen to God, not the devil. Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”  John 8:42-44.
5: Obey God, not our appetites. “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.  Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.  No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27.)
Obedience to God demands two main things. It demands courage to say no to self, no to appetites, no to lusts of the flesh, no to what's easy, and yes to carrying the cross. It also demands faithfulness—the plodding endurance to God, to his call, and to that which He calls you to suffer. Only by yielding to the cross can you obey God, not your appetites.
6: Serve God, not riches.
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Mathew 6:24
7: Worship God, not comfort. Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails    and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen    and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD,    I will be joyful in God my Savior. — Habakkuk 3:17-18.
8: Have a Faith in God not in your own self
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”Hebrews11:6.Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;proverbs 3:5.
9.Be a peace maker and be holy
Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.Hebrews 12:14

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Be careful what you think because your thoughts run your life.

"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer."  Psalm 19:14
Fixating on thoughts and emotions, day in day out, affects all aspects of our lives. Learning to be mindful of our “internal dialogue” helps us recognize thought patterns and how they may be affecting the way we handle the situations of daily living. 
Friends, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable
Our behavior may be blameless--while the thoughts are tainted with sin. It is easier to keep our acts without fault--than to keep our thoughts pure. We may do no outward act of unkindness; while our hearts may be full of selfishness. Hence ensure that our thoughts are so pure and clean--that they will be acceptable in God's sight. It is a great thing to be faultless in speech--but perfect grammar and articulation is not enough. Our words may be grateful and graceful--and yet our thoughts and motives may be full of hypocrisy, of deceit,& of all evil! The prayer here is that our thoughts may please God. This is a higher spiritual attainment, than merely faultless words. Then, a still higher test of life--is our meditation. Meditations are our deepest thoughts, the quiet reflection of our hearts. 
We meditate when we are alone, when we are shut away from others. Our minds then follow the go with the flow of our own desires, dispositions, and imaginations. If our hearts are clean and good--our meditations are pure and holy. But if our hearts are evil and unclean--our meditations are of the same moral quality. Thus, our meditations are an infallible test of our real self. "As a man thinks in his heart--so is he." Proverbs 23:6.Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life!" Proverbs 4:23. See that our primary focusis about our heart: that there, God's image is planted; His interests are advanced; the world and flesh are subdued; the love of every sin is cast out; and the love of holiness grows. Bible says "I, the Lord, search the heart and examine the mind!" Jeremiah 17:10. 

A positive attitude leads to happiness and success and can change your whole life. If you look at the bright side of life, your whole life becomes filled with light. This light affects not only you and the way you look at the world, but also your whole environment and the people around you. If it is strong enough, it becomes contagious.

Negative attitude is our biggest obstacle to maintain friendships, jobs, marriage& relationships. Because Negative people will blame the whole world, their parents, teachers,   spouse, the economy and the government for their failures. Ability without the right attitude is wasted energy. People with positive attitude are caring, confident, patient, and humble. A person with a positive attitude is like a fruit of all season. Stay away from negative influences, people, behavior& environments Start our day with positive thoughts Primarily three factors that determine our attitude are: - Environment, Experience and Education.
Circumstances in life may not always be the best, but we can make a right choice & wise decision to stay positive in spite of negative circumstances by trusting in God and refusing to quit when situations seems hopeless. The way we think about the world around us, makes an enormous difference in the quality of our life. So stay in control of our attitude, & make that life the best it can be. Even in paradise fault finders will find faults. Most people find what they are looking for. If you’re looking for Blessings, holiness, happiness, & Peace, that is what you get.
Positive attitude helps to cope more easily with the daily affairs of life. It brings optimism into your life, and makes it easier to avoid worry and negative thinking. If you adopt it as a way of life, it will bring constructive changes into your life, and makes you happier, brighter and more successful. With a positive attitude you see the bright side of life, become optimistic and expect the best to happen. It is certainly a state of mind that is well worth developing and strengthening
 Here is an inspirational story. A little girl walked to and from school daily. The weather one morning was questionable and clouds were forming, yet she made her daily walk to the elementary school. As the afternoon progressed, the winds whipped up, along with thunder and lightning. The mother of the little girl felt concerned that her daughter would be frightened as she walked home from school and she feared that the electrical storm might harm her child. Following the roar of thunder, lightning, like a flaming sword, would cut through the sky. Full of concern, the mother quickly got into her car and drove along the route to her child's school. As she did so, she saw her little girl walking along, but at each flash of lightning, the child would stop, look up and smile. Another and another were to follow quickly and with each the little girl would look at the spark of light and smile. When the mother's car drew up beside the child she lowered the window and called to her with anxiety, "What are you doing? Why do you keep smiling?" The child answered, "I am trying to look pretty. God keeps taking my picture." As you face the storms that come your way! It’s all about our attitude.
A positive attitude can be the salvation of a difficult situation.  David, the ancient Jewish king said “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I may learn thy statutes.” (Psalm 119:71)We learn some important lesson in life, only through difficult situation. Distress is there to correct us, when responded correctly. God is far more interested in our character than our comfort. Psalmist says "It was the best thing that could have happened to me, for it taught me to pay attention to your laws." 
The distress we face will either defeat us or develop us - depending on how we respond to them. God wants to use the troubles for good in our lives. We react rudely rather than pausing to consider what benefit they might bring. We can rejoice when we run into problems... they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us & helps us to trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope &faith are strong and steady."  Our relationship to God and our character are the only two things we're going to take with us into eternity.