Tag Archives: Philippians

You 2.0 – “New” Series

2 Corinthians 5:17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

The beauty in becoming a true Christian is the change that comes with it. God, in His love, actually changes us when we become Christians. As His Holy Spirit dwells within us, we have the luxury of not only seeing our lives and purpose in a different way, but pretty much everything around us. We become a new person. What do I mean? Well, let’s look. 

  1. Our thoughts change when we become Christians. Ephesians 4:23, Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. As a Christian, I don’t entertain the thoughts I used to. I recognize their wrongness and have to make the decision to refuse to dwell on such things. 
  2. My life is no longer about me being the center of attention. My decisions are no longer about how only I am affected by them, but how others are. Philippians 4: 3,  Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 
  3. Desires change as we become new people. The things of earthly value begin to diminish in appeal as you grow in your relationship with God. And obtaining the newest thing or things in general just doesn’t seem to matter anymore. 1 John 2:17, And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. 
  4. Your purpose in life takes a turn. You begin to realize how much you matter and how much serving your purpose matters for God’s Kingdom. 1 Timothy 6:12, Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses. 
  5. Lastly, your view of sin changes. You practically ache from the reality of the distance that sin has placed between you and God. You can’t help but thank God for the opportunity to repent for the sins committed. Ezekiel 36:31, Then you will remember your past sins and despise yourselves for all the detestable things you did. 

And while there is much more that takes place as we become new persons, these are just a few of the things that have taken place in my life. Won’t you accept Christ today to experience all this and then some?  

Today is the day of salvation. 

2 Corinthians 6:2 For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation. 

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Spiritual Cutlery, Part 2

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4) Listen – Oh be careful little ears what you hear.

  • Music is said to be used for “mood management.”
  • Have we noticed the correlation of disrespect in our culture with the degradation in the music of today?
  • How does certain music make you feel?

Ephesians 5:18-19; Psalm 95:1; Proverbs 2:2

What if you replaced or at least balanced that music with Christian music or an inspirational podcast?

5) TV – You see it and you hear it.

How much time do you spend watching TV? _________________________

How much time do you spend in prayer?      __________________________

We have a culture of desensitized, fantasizing Americans because we have watched too much TV. Forgive me if the stats are outdated now.

  • 56% of divorces involved a spouse with a porn addiction.
  • Average American spends 5 hours a day watching TV, has 5 social media accounts and spends 1 hour and 40 minutes a day on them.
  • Popular shows: The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, Empire, Basketball Wives, Love and Hip-Hop, Modern Family, HTGAWM, News etc…
  • African Americans watch 218 hours a month, while whites watch 155.3, Hispanics 123.2, and Asians 92.3.
  • The average Georgian spends about 12 minutes a day on religious activities.

Psalm 119:37; Isaiah 33:15

  • A mind is a terrible thing to waste, and to put waste into!

Proverbs 23:7 (KJV) –  For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…

The Main Point

Hebrews 4:12 (NLT) – For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

  • In essence, the only way to keep your mind sharp, is to keep it filled with the Word.

Vending machine – I put $1.00 in, I get $1.00 worth of food or drink out. I put the Word, and out comes the Word. I put in trash, well, eventually I start to smell it.

Transformation Chamber 

WE are called to live a different life. And that is going to require different time commitments and changes in what we put into our minds.

  • Romans 12:2 (NLT) – Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
  • Philippians 4:8 (NLT) – 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.

Remember the transformation chamber from Family Matters? When Steve mixed the right ingredients, he had the right formula to transform himself. In essence, he looked the same, but he was completely different when the right ingredients went into the chamber. When we step into the Word, our transformation chamber, we may look the same, but we don’t step out the same.

5-Minute Challenge: For one week, spend the first 5 minutes of your day with God (pray, read a devotion, listen to gospel music, or a podcast).

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Change in Relationships Bible Study

Embracing Changes for Good in Relationships: T.I.C.S.

Relationships are important. Relationships are good (Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). And even though they are important and good, there are still times when we don’t want to embrace the new things that come with them. Is it fear? Do we not want to change? Is it the fear of change? Tonight, we will discuss a few components that have to take place in true relationships.

  1. Trust – “Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”—Stephen Covey
  • Why is it hard to trust?
  • Trust equals vulnerability, we don’t like to be vulnerable.
  • Read Proverbs 3:5-6: If your trust is in the Lord, He will give you the ability to wisely trust others.
  1. Identity – “The value of identity of course is that so often with it comes purpose.”—Richard Grant
  • We don’t like to change who we are, no matter how much we need to, but why?
  • Galatians 3:26; Romans 8:14-16 – I am a child of God.
  • Your most important part of your identity never changes.
  • You don’t know who you are until you know Whose you are. —Ronnie Williams
  1. Compromise – “Let no one think that flexibility and a predisposition to compromise is a sign of weakness or a sell-out.”—Paul Kagame
  • Why not compromise?
  • I have to give of myself and trust you will do the same (thus leaving me vulnerable) …
  • Read Philippians 2:3-4: Show others that they matter.

Note: John 14:15: Compromise anywhere you can, but certainly not your beliefs.

  1. Sacrifice – “The most sublime act is to set another before you.” —William Blake
  • We don’t like or want to give up anything (especially if we don’t like to compromise).
  • Read John 15:13 – If giving up my life is great love, why can’t I give up my time, money, pride, etc.?

How can we cope with change?

Reprogram from society’s thinking: Have to v. Get to Mindset

  • We get to grow in these areas.

Question of the Day: If we struggle with these changes, and we are meant to be agents of change what are the steps that we are taking to build relationships with those in our communities who will struggle with the same things?

Beauty and the Beast – The transition of a flourishing relationship when one learns to trust, compromise, and sacrifice to become a better person.

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A Change is Gonna Come (Part 1)

A Change is Gonna Come Bible Study

I watch the news with a heavy heart. With the recent events that have taken place, as a Christian I believe many of us are praying for change. My question is, how often are we praying for change from somewhere, but not necessarily from us? I thought it would be nice to discuss some basic reasons/excuses people have for being agents of change.

It doesn’t have anything to do with me.

  • How many people have heard someone say that they don’t get involved in things because it doesn’t directly affect them?
  • Note: Jesus wasn’t directly affected in Heaven by what was going on here on earth with us, but He chose to get involved for our sake.
  • Read Isaiah 1:17 and Proverbs 31:8-9
  • You many not need to attend every rally or any for that matter. But as Christians it is our job to care and to get involved for the sake of others. Scripture tells us that.

I don’t have time.

  • God didn’t get us time to waste it or spend it on ourselves.
  • Time is an opportunity to invest the priceless commodity that it is into important matters.
  • Read Psalm 90:12 and Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
  • Evaluate: Do we not think it’s strange that the world has made so much time for war, killing, tearing down, hatred, etc. and not enough time for peace, healing, building up, and love?
  • Or is it that the world is on queue and as Christians, we’re not making time to do our part to counter the world?

If I were somewhere else, I could bring more change.

  • Who believes that they could bring change being anywhere but where they are? If I had another job or lived in another city I could… what? Where do you need to be to bring change?
  • It always seems easier to be an agent of change there, than it is to be one here. But being here is what prepares you for being there.
  • Being where you know a change is needed is having the upper hand in the situation.
  • Read Philippians 4:11-12
  • Paul was imprisoned and spent his life sharing the Gospel. I believe that at least once in his life he might have thought it would be nice to have a pulpit to stand up and a congregation to preach to from time to time, but he didn’t have that. Yet, he is credited with a pinnacle role in leading the Gentiles to Christ.
  • Do we have really have an excuse or is it just inconvenient for us?

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Lust

Matthew 5:28-29 (NLT) 

But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. So if your eye—even your good eye—causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 

The mind is where it starts. How do people end up in adultery? They think about lust. Our mind is powerful, therefore, our thoughts are powerful. “As a Man Thinketh,” wasn’t written just for the heck of it. It was written because of how true the power of our thoughts is.

Look it up. Many have said thoughts become actions. Actions become habits. Habits become character and so forth.

Thus, entertaining the thought of lust is the beginning of adultery. The Bible says if your eye causes you to lust, gouge it out AND throw it away. Be completely done with it. Why? Because sometimes all it takes is a thought…

God knows that. He knows where it begins and how it ends. Steer clear of adultery by steering clear of lust. And the best way to not lust, is to never start thinking about it. Don’t let your thoughts send you where you don’t want to go, doing something you didn’t want to do, feeling bad about something that didn’t have to be.

Colossians 3:2 (AMP) 

Set your mind and keep focused habitually on the things above [the heavenly things], not on things that are on the earth [which have only temporal value]. 

Philippians 4:8 (NLT) 

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.

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More and More

I do not think there is anything wrong with wanting more. I think it’s human nature to want more. However, the want for more and more is something the world forces on us as well. More and more will make you better and better, right? Wrong.

Wanting more only becomes a problem when you think having more is going to be the answer to your prayers. It’s bad when you think having more money is going to solve all your problems. It’s misleading to think that somehow gaining more will automatically make your life better than it was.

Does more money help? Certainly. But is it the answer to your problems? Probably not. Would a bigger house be nice? Maybe. But should your happiness be dependent on that? No.

Wanting more is a problem when you don’t take care of the little you do have. Why do I have the nerve to ask for more when I can’t even manage less? I shouldn’t.

There have been times in life when all I wanted was to have more of something. For some reason if I had more of it, it just seemed like things would be better. I wouldn’t feel so lost or I wouldn’t have to go through what I was if I had more of this or that in my life. But the lifelong lesson I have learned is that no matter what I do or don’t have, life is about glorifying God. And sometimes the way He is most glorified is for me to go without what I want, so that I can give what He needs me to.

In other words, I had to learn that the worst of conditions are often the best to glorify God in.

Philippians 4:11-12

11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.

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Influence

Philippians 4:9 New Living Translation (NLT)

Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

I think one thing people have to work on today is getting over the “it’s my life and I’m not hurting anyone” mentality. Accountability has kind of gone out the window when it comes to people today. For some reason, we have thrown out the idea that we are somewhat responsible for the influence we make on people’s live.

I hear celebrities say that they didn’t choose to be role models. As true as that may be, that doesn’t change the fact that they are. And that we all are to someone. Whether it was a decision we made or not. Choosing to say we are making a certain decision or not choosing to say it doesn’t take away from the fact that either way the decision has been made.

That’s why when I read Paul’s words and he says put into practice what you heard from me and saw me do, I am amazed. I think I’m a good person, but I’m not confident enough to say that I want people to mimic my ways and my words. And I think that is an important place to get to in life. A place when you can confidently say I’ve lived the best I can, I’ve done God’s will, and you can do the same by following my footsteps. And the footsteps I followed were His.

I’m not there yet. I want to be, but I’m not. But just because I’m not all the way there doesn’t mean I will never get there. It just means I have some more learning and growing to do. And I think the biggest replica I would want to leave behind for anyone would be to be obedient to God.

Paul knew he had done some wrong, but he also knew that once he knew better, and knew God’s will, he had no choice but to be obedient to it.

If we aren’t going to be obedient to God then what are we doing? If God tells us to do something, are we going to give all the reasons we can’t, or the one reason we can? Him.

If we aren’t going to live lives knowing that someone is watching and learning from us, then what exactly are we doing? After all, our greatest testimonies are the lives we live. And if that life isn’t for God, what’s the point?

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March 13, 2014 · 1:45 am