One Mind

Have you ever been in lockstep with someone else? Have you and another been so in tune with one another you can finish each other’s sentences? Have you ever been able to anticipate what your boss is going to ask and able to have the answer ready?

We all have moments when we are of one mind with someone else. Perhaps it is with a spouse. Perhaps a sibling. It might have been a close friend. We might have experienced knowing our boss well enough to anticipate a key question and prepare to provide the answer or perhaps give the answer before the question is asked.

Moments such as these don’t typically last. They come and they go. It takes time and experience with another person to get to this level of cohesion. It can feel very rewarding to be in step with someone else, to be in sync. There is a rhythm that makes us feel good. Life seems to be humming right along and all is well with the world.

Since we cannot physically walk along with God, it is called being of one mind with Him in our Bibles. When we think as He thinks, speak as He speaks, and act as He would have us act. Being of one mind with God is also very rewarding. We experience a rhythm that is better than any rhythm we can experience with another person.

There is another benefit that comes from being of one mind with God. We become unified as the Body of Christ. We become one with one another, as well as one with God. Being unified as one Body increases our ability to do God’s work. It moves us along the path God has planned for us. We are effective in bringing others into the kingdom of God.

I pray we become of one mind with God. I pray we become a close-knit Body of Christ. I pray each one of us chooses to know more about God and grow closer to Him. Be of one mind with God. Be of one mind with fellow Christians. Be more effective in bringing others to Christ. Seek unity in Christ.

John 17:20-21 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

Lighten the Load

Do you feel as though you have too much on your plate? Is your list of tasks longer than you have time to get them done? Do you feel as though the weight of the world is on your shoulders? Would you like to lighten your load?

We all experience times when it seems the list of things to get done are far beyond our capabilities and the time we have to get them done. It may be in our jobs. It may be in our personal lives. And it can come from a combination of the two.

Our jobs can grow into an overwhelming task list. When we first start a job, we go into it knowing there will be things we need to learn. We understand that and are mentally prepared for it. Yet, as we spend years at the same organization, small additional tasks or position changes can increase the number of tasks we are to perform. As the old saying goes, “If you want more to do, do a good job.” Growing task lists are even more common with a plethora of employers being short employees.

Our personal lives can also become extremely busy. In some cases, it is due to the demands made by others. In other cases, we keep piling on the task list ourselves. There are some “must do” tasks, but there are also several tasks that either are not needed at all or are “nice to have” tasks.

How can we gain relief from all these tasks? We can turn to Jesus. We can take on His burden and allow Him to take on ours. This doesn’t mean the physical tasks. It means we exchange the mental, emotional, and spiritual burdens with Him. We allow Him to take on the worry and anxiety we face. We take on the calm of Jesus.

It is simple to say yet can be hard to do. The main reason behind it being hard is we don’t want to give up our worry and anxiety. Oh, we will say we do but we don’t. Not deep down inside. We must first take on Jesus’ burden in order to allow Him to begin to relieve us of ours. As we start turning our burdens over to Him, we find relief. As we find relief, we realize it feels good. We, then, allow Him to take on more of our burdens. It won’t happen overnight. It is a step-by-step process.

I pray we all decide to take on Jesus’ burden. I pray we give up our burdens to Jesus. I pray each one of us will begin the step-by-step process of finding relief. Give your worry and anxiety to Jesus. Take on the calm He offers. Find relief. Jesus’ burden is light.

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Teamwork Defeats Talent

Have you ever played on a team? What is one of the key components to a teams’ success? How does the team need to present itself to its opponent? What is it that can doom a team to failure? What does being on a team and being a follower of Christ have in common?

Most of us have played on a team at some point in our lives. If we have not, we may have been in a band. Even if we have done neither, we have observed them and can understand there is one key component each team must have to be successful.

What is the key component? Teamwork. The team must work well together. They must be unified in their goal. Each member must do their part to achieve team success. When there is dissension among the members, the team will fail. Their cohesion is key.

I have seen a less talented team defeat a more talented team all because they worked well as a team. In fact, I played on a team that won a championship by defeating a more talented team—not once, but twice in the same double elimination tournament. It is extremely gratifying when you can be part of a team such as that. It is also quite obvious to see dissension on the opposing team. When a team starts arguing the moment they get behind, you know the win is within your grasp, even if you are the less talented team.

How does this equate to our Christian walk? As the body of Christ, we must be unified. If we are to defeat the evil in this world, we must all be focused on the same goal. We must be of one mind. If we allow personal preferences to get in the way, we are doomed to failure.

How do we go about being of the same mind? We are to have the attitude of Christ. Taking on His attitude will remove our selfishness. We will ask what Christ wants us to do and pursue it. To defeat the evil in this world, we must come together as a body of Christ, setting aside our differences in mad-made guidance, following the example of Christ.

Notice Paul is telling the Roman church they are to be of one mind and one voice. This means to focus fully on Jesus and speak as He spoke rather than competing against one another. We cannot be a team filled with superstars who compete for personal statistics rather than the team’s success. Doing so sets us up for defeat. Speaking as Jesus spoke, teaching what Jesus taught, focusing on the lost, and bringing people to Christ is our goal. We need every Christian focused on this rather than the things of this world.

I pray we all focus on Jesus. I pray we set aside our personal preferences to be a unified body. I pray each one of us looks for opportunities to share Jesus with others. Focus on Jesus. Seek to follow His example. Talk about Jesus to others. Let go of selfishness. Work as a team. Be unified in Christ. Be of one mind. Speak with one voice.

Romans 15:5-6 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Offer Stands

Do you want to live forever? How would you like beginning your forever life today? Don’t think that is possible? Have you heard Jesus’ teaching? Are you willing to follow Him? Are you willing to commit your life to Jesus? Are you willing to feed on Him?

There are many people in this world who think this life is all there is. They fear death. They fail to understand there is an eternal life or an eternal damnation. It is an either-or choice. It is our choice to make. The offer stands.

Jesus pleads with us to believe in Him. He begs us to follow Him. He desires us to choose Him over death. He makes His offer to us in many different ways. God, the Father, put a plan in place for us to live with Him forever.

Jesus tells us He came down from heaven to be our bread of life. He tells us He will feed us, and we will live forever. He tells of the ancestral Jews who ate the manna the Father provided after they had escaped Egypt. He states that manna would not provide the eternal life He provides. It was meant to sustain them while they journeyed to the promised land. However, it would not grant them eternal life with God. In fact, as we look back at their journey from Egypt to the promised land, we see many instances of disobedience.

Jesus came to be the offering for all eternity. He eagerly accepts us into the kingdom of God when we commit to Him. Jesus provides the food for our soul that our soul longs for. Only He can fill our true desire. Only He can be the bread of life.

I pray we all accept the offer of eternal life. I pray we accept Jesus and believe in Him. I pray each one of us will accept God’s plan for salvation. Accept the bread of life. Accept the offer. Step into the kingdom of God. Be filled by Jesus. Feed your soul.

John 6:57-58 “Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”

Bread of Life

Do you have cravings for certain foods? How often during the day do you get hungry? How much do you drink throughout the day? Have you ever stopped to consider how much or how little you eat and drink each day?

We all eat and drink each day. We may even think it’s a bit silly to think about it. It’s just something we do. Perhaps we don’t consider what we’re eating and drinking. Or maybe we track each food we take in, the amount, and how healthy it is.

If you have ever been on a diet, you have certainly tracked what you eat and drink. You track the nutrition including sugars, carbohydrates, protein, sodium, calories, and more. You track what you drink and may drink water only. I know people who have lost weight by merely eliminating soft drinks from their drink options.

Yet have we thought about the food we take into our heart, soul, and mind? Jesus tells us He is the bread of life. He also tells us we will never be thirsty, if we come to Him. Some will take this passage literally, while others will state it is a metaphor.

I believe Jesus is talking about our soul rather than our physical hunger and thirst. Our souls absolutely long to be fed. When we attempt to feed our soul with something other than Jesus, we continue to find temporary satisfaction. It is only when we turn over our souls to Jesus that we find permanent satisfaction. Jesus fills our souls with what they are longing for.

Jesus provides us eternal life. He does so when we go to Him. He fills us with what our soul longs for. He gifts us with joy this world cannot provide. He grants us peace that only He can give. His Spirit fills us to the point of overflowing.

I pray we all choose the bread of life. I pray we choose to fill our souls with Him. I pray each one of us choose to follow Jesus and accept His gifts. Know the bread of life. Choose to be fed continually. Never go hungry. Never be thirsty. Choose Jesus.

John 6:35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

The Work Of God

What is your idea of working for God? Do you believe it is endless? Do you look at all the evil going on the in the world and think God wants you to work to eliminate it? Do you not realize it is not your responsibility? Does that sound out of whack?

Many of us will point to feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, giving a cool drink of water to someone who is thirsty, caring for the sick, and a litany of other things as the work of God. Not that those things are not good, but we would be wrong.

Why are we wrong? Well, we are not entirely wrong. However, we first must put our priorities in order. Jesus states specifically what the work of God is when He is asked. He says it is to believe in the one God sent. In other words, our work is to believe in Jesus.

Now, believing in Jesus, following His example and teachings does include doing other good works. Paul tells us God prepared good works for us in advance (Ephesians 2:10). You may think this is splitting hairs but notice the subtle difference. Jesus says the work of God is to believe in Him. Paul says God prepared good works for us to do. One is the work of God, the other is a work prepared for us.

We must first do the work of God. We must believe in His Son. We must believe He was sent to be our Lord and Savior. We must believe He lived, was crucified for our sins, was buried, and rose again on the third day. We must believe His teachings. We must desire to obey His commands. If we don’t do these things first, our good works are no better served than if they were done by an agnostic or atheist or any other non-believer.

Do not misunderstand, good works are good. Otherwise, they would not be called good works. Yet, the motivation behind those good works is important. When we believe in Jesus Christ and are doing all the good works in His name, there is a huge difference in how they are carried out. There is a huge difference in the impact we have through those good works.

I pray we all believe in the Son of God. I pray we believe He lived, died, was buried, and rose on the third day. I pray each one of us do good works for Him, not ourselves. Work for God. Do God’s work. Do the good works God prepared for you. Do them in Jesus’ name. Make a big impact.

John 6:28-29 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

Seek God’s Kingdom

What are you working for? Why do you get up each morning and go about your day? What is the reason behind your striving? Are you striving for things that will be destroyed? Or are you striving for what will endure forever?

Each of us has a reason for getting up each morning, going to work, going to school, or doing things around the house. The reasons for going about our days vary. Some work for their children. Some work for prestige. Some work to accumulate wealth.

Unless we pause to take time to reflect on our reasons for going about our lives, we may go about them blindly, simply following the herd. We won’t realize that is what we are doing. Yet we are working toward those things the world is telling us is important. We are not following a solid plan. We have no permanent purpose in our life.

Jesus tells us there is a permanent purpose we should be living for. This purpose is not simply about work but involves every aspect of our lives. The blessings of God, His gift of eternal life with Him is to be our genesis for everything we do. When our every decision is filtered through the plan God has for our lives, we are blessed with the abundant life Jesus came to give us (John 10:10).

Jesus has promised to provide for our needs when we are focused on Him (Luke 12:27-31). Seeking God’s kingdom both now and for eternity is a worthy task. Accepting God’s plan for our lives guides us each day and provides a purpose that never leaves us.

How do we gain understanding of God’s plan for us? We spend time with God. We keep Him at the forefront of our minds. We seek to know Him in a deeper, more intimate way. We must desire to seek God’s kingdom. We must accept the gifts He is willing to give us.

I pray we all seek God’s kingdom above all else. I pray we make following God’s plan a priority in our lives. I pray each one of us will work to fulfill God’s plan for our lives. Seek God’s kingdom. Desire to know God deeper. Accept God’s plan for your life. Seek eternal life with God.

John 6:26-27 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

Reject Revenge

How do you feel when someone wrongs you? Do you want to take matters into your own hands? Do you look for ways to repay them with the same type of wrong? Or worse? Do you carry out your desires for revenge?

Every one of us has been wronged in one fashion or another. Some worse than others. But no wrong ever feels good at the time it happens or while you are going through it. It is the nature of our fallen world to want revenge.

Yet we are told it is not for us to take revenge. We are to leave it to God to carry out His justice. That can be very hard to do. Especially when we have the opportunity for revenge right in front of us. All we have to do is take one more step to execute it.

Why would God not want us to take revenge? First, it taints us. Our own psyche takes a hit. We feel guilty later on. Second, it is outside of Gods will for us. He desires we emulate His Son. He wants us to follow Jesus’ example.

Remember, Jesus was slapped, spit on, flogged, and crucified. He did not take revenge. It was within His power to do so. He had the entire host of heaven at his disposal. He could have destroyed the entire world with a single command. Yet He went to the cross for us, all future people, and all past people.

Additionally, God may see an opportunity for us to minister to the person who wronged us, bringing them into the kingdom of God. If we take revenge on that person, the opportunity will never materialize. We will have thwarted God’s plan for us to rejoice with the person as they accept Christ as their Lord and Savior. In all circumstances, when we take revenge rather than allowing God to avenge us, we lose.

I pray we all decide to allow God to do the avenging. I pray we reject taking revenge on our own. I pray each one of us seeks to follow Jesus’ example. Do not take revenge. Leave it to God to avenge. Follow God’s guidance and plan for your life. Follow Jesus’ example.

Romans 12:19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

Children of the Resurrection

Have you considered what happens beyond this life? Have you stopped to think about eternity? Do you wonder what it will be like? Do you wonder what you will be like? Have you taken a look at Jesus’ description?

There are many in this world who fear death. They have no idea what happens next. Some believe there is nothing beyond. Others prefer to think that but wonder if they are wrong. Still, some know there is eternal life, but do not know what that will be like.

Jesus tells us that we will be like angels. He calls us children of the resurrection. He calls us God’s children. We will no longer die. We will spend eternity in the presence of God. Eternity with God will be different than this temporary life we live. For one, we will no longer marry.

We are given a variety of descriptions of heaven. The host of heaven is observing all our work to expand the kingdom of God. The temple of God is there, and He sits on His throne. There is an altar before the throne. Yet, most either forget or fail to understand there will be a new heaven and a new earth in eternity.

We will be given new bodies, ones that cannot be destroyed. For those who are experiencing the degeneration of old age or experiencing pain from disease must be looking forward to receiving a new body. Won’t it be wonderful to never worry about ailments again?

Our perception of heaven and eternity can be misguided by rumor, misunderstanding, and failure to properly interpret God’s Word. One thing we can be sure of, we will be joyous. We will rejoice. We will be far happier there than we have ever experienced here on earth.

Being child of the resurrection is a blessing beyond description. It is a blessing we don’t want to miss due to our failure to choose Jesus over this world. God has provided the perfect plan for us. A plan that provides eternal joy.

I pray we all choose Jesus. I pray we choose Him over this world. I pray each one of us realizes the weight of that one choice. Choose Jesus. Follow Him. Choose eternity with God. See God’s eternal plan for you. Be a child of the resurrection. Be a child of God.

Luke 20:34-36 Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection.”

Proof of Wisdom

How do you prove something? Is it by witnesses? Is proof provided through research? Do you provide evidence to prove your claim? Where do you look to find the proof you need? Have you ever thought proof is the result?

We have all seen movies or been chosen for jury duty. We know proof is required to convict a criminal. For the most part, hard evidence is required. We also know proof is often required in other lines of work. Proof or historical evidence may be required to get your boss to accept a plan you are proposing.

Many people look for proof that God is who He says He is. They look for hard evidence. They look through human eyes to judge God, who works in spiritual matters. It is like looking for water in a soda. It’s not that there is no water. But the water is mixed with syrup. That is how God integrates Himself in our lives, if we will allow Him to come in.

Proof that God exists is so evident, or in your face as some might say, that we don’t see Him. The very breath we breathe comes from Him. Our every muscle move is a blessing from Him. Each meal we eat is because He thought to create plants and animals for us to eat. Each skill we have been gifted with innately or able to learn is due to Him blessing us.

How do we prove God’s wisdom? Jesus plainly tells us it is proven by her children. What does that mean? Children are offspring. Children are the results of intimate relations between two people. Jesus is telling us, and everyone who will listen, that wisdom is proved by the results it produces.

As we go about growing in God’s wisdom and exercising it, we will see results that are blessed by God. His wisdom will produce the result He desires through us. God’s wisdom will prove all the naysayers wrong. His plan is being executed and will be completed, just as He designed.

I pray we all look at the results of God’s wisdom. I pray we see the proof we desire of God’s wisdom. I pray each one of us choose to follow God’s wisdom. See proof of God’s wisdom. See the results of God’s wisdom. Recognize proof. Trust God’s wisdom.

Luke 7:33-35 “For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by all her children.”