Focus On Jesus, He Develops Character

In my reading today in the Mosaic Bible, she is contrasting the difference in character between us and God. She points out God is merciful, gracious and loving, on the other hand we are rebellious and disobedient and I will add discontent. Although our character doesn’t look promising, still there is hope. The Bible gives us some guidelines to follow so we may become more like Jesus. The fruits of the Spirit are some examples, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control. If we put our trust in Jesus and the Holy Spirit to do a work on the inside of us we can become better people. Galatians 5:22-23,  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Romans 5:3-5, Not only so, but we[a] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. So God doesn’t leave us in our misery. If we choose Him we can overcome our rebellion, disobedience and discontent. We can be true children of God transforming into the likeness of Christ until we see Him face to face. 2nd Corinthians 3:18, And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit.Colossians 3:2-5,Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature:  sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Colossians 3:12-15,Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

 Ann Voskamp’s Study
Scripture reading Psalm 119:33-40, the psalmist is asking God to teach him and help him stay in the statues and laws of God. He wants anything that is an idol to be taken away. He acknowledges that God’s way brings renewed life.
Ann says: Repent of a heart that is an idol maker instead of making God the sole King of our hearts. Repent of stealing His glory and focusing on self. Lets be relentlessly focused on God and not on ourselves.
This word “focus” brings back to my mind the time just before I was saved. I was at my sister’s house and it came to me I needed to focus on God to be able to deal with my kids and all the stress and struggles of life. In my beginning of focusing on God I bought little trinkets that I placed around the house to help me remember God. When I looked at one passing by, I was reminded to focus on God. I would write one affirmation a day in a notebook also. I said it over my life. This was the beginning of renewing my mind to focusing on God and not my problems. As this practice went on I have progressed since August 2010. I didn’t realize it until now as I’m writing this, that there are always humble beginnings. I don’t need trinkets anymore to remind me of God. He is on my mind when I wake up and I keep Him in my mind through the day with devotions, music, writing, reading and this new practice of writing down His graces toward me. Paying attention to my life is sort of putting a refined focus on God and it makes Him even more present in my moment to moment life. Like Ann Voskamp says: Gratitude is medicine.

Pray For A Heart Of Flesh

151f03c5b6ba71095213f175d5aa80b1Today’s reading is a poem about thanksgiving for God’s love and goodness. Jesus comes from the tomb alive with hope and promise for us. He will come into your life when you accept His invitation. He will change you and give you new vision if you allow Him to. He gives us a sound mind, love and courage to face our days. He feeds our spirit and gives us joy. Thank you Jesus for all You have done and are doing and will do in the days to come.

 

Scripture for today is Ezekiel 36:26 and Psalm 51:10. These verses refer to the heart. Praying to keep a clean heart and God promising to give us a heart of flesh.

Ann Voskamp says: Today I will fast from a cold heart. Let myself be broken by the saving love of Jesus.

 

Lately I am learning that when I’m sick my patience are short and being irritable is so easy! I have been sick for a week and I have had some moments with people I wish hadn’t happened. Things I’ve said or the way I acted, wasn’t really me. Being sick has caused me to look at myself and not others. This is what sin does too. The sickness of sin causes us to focus on ourselves. You can look around and see everything is geared toward self. Everyone wanting attention about what they are doing. We are all infected with this sickness. Jesus came to cure us of our disease and change our focus. He taught us to be servants, not be served. When we only focus on ourselves it leads to a hard heart. When we realize what Jesus has done for us and how He looks at the world our heart begins to melt. When we ask Jesus to let us see things the way He does we are overwhelmed with His love. We can then give His love to other people. Sickness of sin leads to death but the healing love of Jesus brings life!