Tag Archives: Peace

Renew your Mind!

On Sunday morning of the 16th December, I had the opportunity to preach the following message at Lied en Geloof Congregation in Pretoria West as the Spirit of God revealed it to me and it is also a follow up on the previous one titled: God is able to do!

In summary and according to Scripture,  Eph 3:14-21, God has given us all.  He had given us

the following:

  • Authority;
  • Empowerment through the Spirit of God;
  • Christ that lives in us – through Faith;
  • Ability to do something;
  • Insight and wisdom;
  • His 4-dimensional love and grace (width, breadth, depth and height);
  • And the fulfillment with the fullness of God!

Just so that:

  • Our prayers and thoughts could be pure and powerful;
  • In the knowledge and the faith – that
  • He (God) has the power TO DO!
  • And HE is waiting to do – for what?

  • Whatever you might pray or think in faith and in the power of the Holy Spirit!

  • He wants to be God in our lives through our faith!

Is there anything impossible for God?  NO!!!!!!!!!!!

But the problem is our thoughts! Our thoughts and carnal desires influence our prayers!

Paul wrote: Rom 12:1-2

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

So the theme of this message is: The power of your thoughts!  (Get your mind straight!)

We have gone through 2012 and just started with 2013, but what are your thoughts about the past year as well as the new year:

  • Positive or negative?
  • Did you achieve what you would have liked to or not?
  • Any failures or trauma?
  • Any new aspirations/plans for the new year or none at all?
    • Anyhow, we should praise God for every new day and year where we can still praise and worship His name!

In what sense does our thoughts then influence our lives?

Paul wrote that we should be renewed in our minds – meaning our thoughts and beliefs.

  • Your thoughts influence your frame of mind;
  • And your frame of mind influence your level of energy and commitment;
  • And this impacts on your emotions;
  • And your emotions influence your reaction upon events!
  • And the foundation of your thoughts is being controlled by your sub-conscious;
    • It contains all of your experiences (good and bad from childhood);
    • It forms your perceptions of current situations (good or bad);
    • Just think of Christmas as a child:
      • Immediate thoughts of a long summer holiday period; swimming and fishing; fruits; presents; family gatherings; going to the farm; etc…….
      • Nice thoughts but for others it could mean quite the opposite and loneliness?

Your thoughts:

Wants to satisfy the flesh –

  • “But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. Rom 7:23   
  • Therefore do my thoughts cause me to answer, and for this I make haste. Job 20:2 
    • You see the thoughts of your mind is also the playing field of Satan!
    • Your thoughts determine your attitude and behavior;
    • Your thought can therefore overrule or undermine your faith –
      • Or stimulate/support your faith to be powerful in God!

It is in this area where deception and temptations are taking place – the breeding place of bad thoughts?

  • “ Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,  That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 2Th 2:1-3
  • “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. Eph 4:17-19 
  • Another translation says:
    • you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do,
    • in the futility of their minds.
    • They are darkened in their understanding,
    • alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.

Verse 20: But that is not the way you learned Christ!–

The “Old Nature” is still in your mind – read verse 22- 24

That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

  • Another translation of verse 24
    • “and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness”.

So, coming back to our main verse from Paul in Rom 12:1:

  • That we have to be renewed in our minds!
  • Clear your head of all rubbish and worldly things;
  • Clear your thoughts of negative stuff – which is an indication of a lack of faith!

Verse 3:

“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

  • In this regard, our thoughts would like to put us into a higher position where we ought not to be, such as:
    • To be a leader of people (a team captain; manager; or even President of a country);
    • To assume an office such as Pastor, officer; judge, etc. – while we should only be the usher at the door;
    • Or to be a great musician/singer – such as the “wanna-be’s” on Idols?

Verse 6 – 8:  And then Paul continues with the gifts of grace ……

  • We have (possess) gifts through the power of the Holy Spirit;
  • To be a servant unto the Body of Christ
  • And it differs according to the grace that has been given to us:
    • whether prophecy   –  according to the proportion of faith;
    • Or ministry  – in our serving;
    • or he that teacheth – in his teaching;
    • Or he that exhorteth  – in his exhortation:
    • he that giveth – in generosity;
    • the one who leads (rules)  –  with zeal;
    • the one who does acts of mercy –  with cheerfulness.

So, here we find the 5-fold ministry and support ministries all in one.

This shows me that both categories are equally important!

Now remember – we are busy dealing with the issue to renew your mind!

  • Therefore, the revelation of this verses (6-8) is:  To have a mind of a leader!

But in order to implement the gifts above, you will need the following characteristics as well: (Beginning from verse 9 – 21):

  • “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
  • Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor”.
    • This refer to a: MIND of love!
  • Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
  • Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
    • This refer to a: Mind of Faith!
  •  Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
  • Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
  • Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
    • This refer to a: Mind of a servant!
  •  Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be conceited.
    • This refers to unity; submission; humbleness; etc.
    • It refers to a:  Mind of Unity  (One Mind)
  •  Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.
  •  If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
    • It seems to me the Apostle Paul also understood that it is sometimes difficult to have peace with everyone we meet. It is quite noticeable when he starts the sentence with  if possible, so far as it depends on you…”
    • And yes, we can control much of the outcome of relationships when we try to live in peace with people, despite their reactions or attitude. It is just a choice and an act of your love through the grace and love of Christ in us.
    • If you are not born again, this will be nearly impossible to accomplish;
    • But these verses refer to a: Mind of Peace.
  •  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
  • To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”
    • This refers to a Mind of Forgiveness !
    • Forgiveness clears the mind of all bitterness and hate!
    • It clears the mind of negative thoughts!
  •  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
    • This refers to a:  Powerful mind!
    • Powerful through faith in God and His ability to do!
    • Powerful through the Spirit of God!

In summary, Paul is actually telling us to renew our minds to the following standard. To have a:

  • Mind of a Leader!
  • MIND of Love!
  • Mind of Faith
  • Mind of a Servant!
  • Mind of Unity!
  • Mind of Peace!
  • Mind of Forgiveness!
  • Powerful mind!

Then, when we look once again at each of the eight characteristics,  it clearly identifies the characteristics of Jesus Christ!  And once again, the Word of God gives us the answer on this:

  • Having the mind of Christ! 
    • 1Co 2:16  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. 
    • Rom 15:6  That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    • Having the “mind of Christ” also mean to have the thoughts of Christ! His reasoning and wisdom; His compassion and zeal.

One last word on this: We find eight (8) characteristics in this Scripture from Paul and this number refer to “New beginnings”.  When we renew our minds according to the perfect will of God, there will be a new beginning for us as well as for those whom we touch through the gifts of Grace!

When your mind and thoughts are renewed and in line with the mind of Christ, and start to pray in faith, what will the outcome of your prayers be now? When God says that He is able to do far beyond what we may pray or think – according to the power within us?

Do you want to be a shaker and mover of the Spirit of God in your city? Start to renew your mind according to the above guideline from the Word!  Have the mind of Christ!

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Israel’s Never Looked So Good

by

Founder, OLAM magazine

February 2, 2011 02:32 PM

They warned us. The geniuses at Peace Now warned us. The brilliant diplomats warned us. The think tanks warned us. Even the Arab dictators warned us. For decades now, they have been warning us that if you want “peace in the Middle East ,” just fix the Palestinian problem. A recent variation on this theme has been: Just get the Jews to stop building apartments in East Jerusalem and Efrat. Yes, if all those Jews in the West Bank and East Jerusalem would only “freeze” their construction, then, finally, Palestinian leaders might come to the table and peace might break out.

And what would happen if peace would break out between Jews and Palestinians? Would all those furious Arabs now demonstrating on streets across the Middle East feel any better?

What bloody nonsense.

Has there ever been a greater abuse of the English language in international diplomacy than calling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict the ” Middle East peace process?” As if there were only two countries in the Middle East .

Even if you absolutely believe in the imperative of creating a Palestinian state, you can’t tell me that the single-minded and global obsession with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the expense of the enormous ills in the rest of the Middle East hasn’t been idiotic, if not criminally negligent.

While tens of millions of Arabs have been suffering for decades from brutal oppression, while gays have been tortured and writers jailed and women humiliated and dissidents killed, the world — yes, the world — has obsessed with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

As if Palestinians — the same coddled victims on whom the world has spent billions and who have rejected one peace offer after another — were the only victims in the Middle East .

As if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has anything to do with the 1,000-year-old bloody conflict between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, or the desire of brutal Arab dictators to stay in power, or the desire of Islamist radicals to bring back the Caliphate, or the economic despair of millions, or simply the absence of free speech or basic human rights throughout the Arab world.

While self-righteous Israel bashers have scrutinized every flaw in Israel ‘s democracy — some waxing hysterical that the Jewish democratic experiment in the world’s nastiest neighborhood had turned into an embarrassment — they kept their big mouths shut about the oppression of millions of Arabs throughout the Middle East .

They cried foul if Israeli Arabs — who have infinitely more rights and freedoms than any Arabs in the Middle East — had their rights compromised in any way. But if a poet were jailed in Jordan or a gay man were tortured in Egypt or a woman were stoned in Syria , all we heard was screaming silence.

Think of the ridiculous amount of media ink and diplomatic attention that has been poured onto the Israel-Palestinian conflict over the years, while much of the Arab world was suffering and smoldering, and tell me this is not criminal negligence. Do you ever recall seeing a UN resolution or an international conference in support of Middle Eastern Arabs not named Palestinians?

Of course, now that the Arab volcano has finally erupted, all those chronic Israel bashers have suddenly discovered a new cause: Freedom for the poor oppressed Arabs of the Middle East !

Imagine if, instead of putting Israel under their critical and hypocritical microscope, the world’s Israel bashers had taken Israel ‘s imperfect democratic experiment and said to the Arab world: Why don’t you try to emulate the Jews?

Why don’t you give equal rights to your women and gays, just like Israel does?

Why don’t you give your people the same freedom of speech and freedom to vote that Israel does? And offer them the economic opportunities they would get in Israel ? Why don’t you treat your Jewish and Christian citizens the same way Israel treats its Arab and Christian citizens?

Why don’t you study how Israel has struggled to balance religion with democracy — a very difficult but not insurmountable task?

Why don’t you teach your people that Jews are not the sons of dogs but a noble, ancient people with a 3,000-year connection to the land of Israel ?

Yes, imagine if Israel bashers had spent a fraction of their energy fighting the lies of Arab dictators and defending the rights of millions of oppressed Arabs. Imagine if President Obama had taken one percent of the time he has harped on Jewish settlements to defend the democratic rights of Egyptian Arabs — which he is suddenly doing now that the volcano has erupted.

Maybe it’s just easier to beat up on a free and open society like Israel .

Well, now that the cesspool of human oppression in the Arab world has been opened for all to see, how bad is Israel ‘s democracy looking? Don’t you wish the Arab world had a modicum of Israel ‘s civil society? Would you still be worrying about “stability in the Middle East ?”

You can preach to me all you want about the great Jewish tradition of self-criticism — which I believe in — but right now, when I see poor Arab souls being murdered for the simple act of protesting on the street, I’ve never felt more proud of being a supporter of the Jewish state.

 

David Suissa

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Thought for the Week

How desperate are you for God
How desperate are you for God

Never Stop Waiting

Selections From Luke 2
There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking forward to Israel’s consolation, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Messiah…. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform for Him what was customary under the law, Simeon took Him up in his arms, praised God, and said: Continue reading Thought for the Week

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