Wednesday, April 02, 2008


What types of things occupy your thought life? I’m sure there are many things, but do you see a pattern in the types of things that dominate your thoughts?

5Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. Romans 8:5 (NLT)

As a Christian, I must examine my daily thought life and see what dominates it. I must ask myself what I think about during a routine day. Is it simply work? What about before work (or school) or after?

Those DOMINATED by the sinful nature think about sinful things. What is a “sinful thing?” Anything displeasing to God would be the correct answer. You might say, “Does that mean if I have a sinful thought that I’m not really a Christian?” NO, that is not what it means! Notice it does not say, those dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things and the things of God equally. It doesn’t mention the things of God.

So look at the second half of the verse, “but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit…” Let’s stop there. Notice the word “controlled.” Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to control you and your thought life? Have you yielded yourself to Him? That’s not to say that a negative thought won’t creep in now and then, but it does mean that you yield that thought to the control of the Holy Spirit and think about what pleases Him.

How do we know what pleases the Holy Spirit? For starters, look at Philippians 4:8…

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

We know love pleases the Holy Spirit. We’re supposed to love God and love each other. Perhaps we could take a closer look at First Corinthians chapter thirteen. And what about the fruit of the Spirit? Perhaps we should re-read Galatians chapter five starting at verse 22.

The point is we need to see where are attention is focused and make some adjustments if it doesn’t seem to be in line with God’s Word. Thoughts are powerful and an indication of our character…

“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7a


Monday, March 31, 2008


So, you’re a Christian and you made a mistake. Does that mean you’re done, finished, no good anymore?

Or perhaps you simply are struggling with some of the same temptations that plagued you before you met Christ. You are not alone. Listen to this excerpt from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Church in Rome

I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22.I love God’s law with all my heart. 23.But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24.Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Romans 7:21-2 (NLT)

That’s right, even Paul struggled with the conflicting sin nature and the new nature of the Holy Spirit. In the next verse, he provides the answer to that last question…

Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. Romans 7:25 (NLT)

Some might say, “I thought I’d be perfect after I became a Christian.” Sad to say that’s not true. HOWEVER, we are free from the penalty of death for the sins we commit AFTER we accept Christ as our Savior. Jesus paid the price…

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2.And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. Romans 8:1-2 (NLT)

Isn’t that cool!!! Now, obviously we don’t have a “blank check” for running around committing sins. Paul addressed that back in chapter six…

1Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? 2Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Romans 6:1-2 (NLT)

If we truly love Jesus for Who He is and what He has done for us, we will grow closer and closer to Him to the point where the Holy Spirit living in us is given full control.

So, don’t get discouraged and think you’re going to be thrown out of heaven for doing something stupid. God loves you and NOTHING can separate you or me from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39).