Many times in our life we look in the mirror and speak untrue things to ourselves. It’s a mental game that crushes our spirit and changes our whole being, even down to our health.
When we read this verse..
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8
We now have a command from God’s Word to think on positive and true things about our worth, our purpose, our goal for being alive. This is HARD. I am not saying that I’ve accomplished this at all. Actually, I’m far from practicing this daily. But I understand it, and see the value in it.
My dad’s book, The Satisfying Life, shares this list of things to quote when you first awake each morning. When we quote these truths, we change the outlook of our days. I’m so blessed to have a dad who lives this out today. And a mother who continually quoted scripture in our home.
I pray this helps you in your journey to understand your value in this world. It is not a value that man places on you, but the worth that comes from your Creator.
Who Am I?
I am accepted…
I am God’s child.
As a disciple, I am a friend of Jesus Christ.
I have been justified.
1 Corinthians 6:17
I am united with the Lord, and I am one with Him in spirit.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
I have been bought with a price and I belong to God.
1 Corinthians 12:27
I am a member of Christ’s body.
I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child.
I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins.
I am complete in Christ.
I have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ.
I am secure…
I am free from condemnation.
I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances.
I am free from any condemnation brought against me and I cannot be separated from the love of God.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22
I have been established, anointed and sealed by God.
I am hidden with Christ in God.
I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me.
I am a citizen of heaven.
2 Timothy 1:7
I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.
1 John 5:18
I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.
I am significant…
I am a branch of Jesus Christ, the true vine, and a channel of His life.
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit.
1 Corinthians 3:16
I am God’s temple.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21
I am a minister of reconciliation for God.
I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm.
I am God’s workmanship.
I may approach God with freedom and confidence.
I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.
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“If we confess our sins….” I John 1:9
Do Christians still confess their sins to God? It has been a long time since I heard a sermon on the need to confess our sins. It has been a long time since I heard a disciple of Jesus talk about confession. Where has confession gone?
Confession has always been difficult for men and women. It is not pleasant to discover when, where and how our love stops toward God or toward others. It has always been easier to throw stones at others than it is to see ourselves as we really are.
I remember hearing a speaker say that our ability to easily see and judge another person’s sin reveals a deep and intimate knowledge of the actions being judged. In other words, if you can see another’s sin easily, it is because you have personal experience with that same sin.
Jesus once dealt with an angry crowd of judgmental religious men who were about to stone a woman found in the act of adultery. (See John 8) He stopped their judgment by saying “He who is without sin can cast the first stone.” Beginning from the oldest and ending with the youngest they all dropped their judgment and left.
They left because Jesus led them into confession. The cure of judging others is in the spiritual discipline of confession. How long has it been since Jesus led you into confession?
“If we confess on sins….” that is a big “if”.
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By: Bud McCord
Here are some of my favorite thoughts.
“He who has Jesus lacks nothing.”
“Christ is all and is in all.”
“Whatever gets your attention gets you.”
“It is not that I sin less, it is that I abide more.”
“There is nothing that the presence of Jesus cannot cure.”
“I exist to love.”
“Jesus loves me this I know.”
“Nothing can separate me from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.”
“Obeying Jesus’ words can make my soul indestructible.”
“God is enough.”
“Jesus said I will never die.”
“Something pure enough to be called ‘living water’ can flow from my life.”
“Grace is like oxygen. Jesus is God’s grace. Just breathe.”
“Any thought that does not begin in abundance does not begin in God.”
“Love Jesus before you try to love people.”
“Jesus made God’s love visible and available.”
“Abiding in Jesus is the normal Christian life.”
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Phil. 4:8
Abide International is an organization dedicated to helping Christ-followers worldwide
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by Bud McCord
Did you know that there is a difference between your spirit and your soul? There is and that difference needs to be understood if you ever hope to understand and live what God has in store for you.
Read these words in Hebrews 4:12 and note how the spirit and the soul are differentiated and contrasted.
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (emphasis mine)
In this verse soul is linked to “joints” and spirit is linked to “marrow”. Problems with your joints will not kill you but they may make you want to die. Just ask people with chronic back pain! Problems in your mind, emotions and will (your soul) will not condemn you death, but may make you want to condemn yourself to death.
Problems with your marrow (spirit) don’t seem as dramatic or as painful as joint issues (soul disturbances) but they will eventually take your life. Problems with your spirit may seem unimportant and almost unnoticed, but they can separate you from God’s life forever.
The verse goes on to link “thoughts” to the soul and “intents” to the “heart” or spirit.
What goes on in the thoughts is significant to human behavior, but God sees our intent and judges our intentions as the essential thing about us.
It is in the marrow of our being, our spirit, where our intentions are birthed. Just as marrow is supposed to be the source of healthy human blood that allows us to live, so, too, spirit is supposed to be the source of healthy, loving intentions from which we should live. It is from the marrow (spirit or heart) that the intentions travel to the soul where they are felt, considered and become personal human desires. As soon as these desires are birthed in your soul you will quickly fulfill them with your body as actions.
Your spirit is where God designed you to connect with Him for the constant inspiration of healthy, loving intentions. No constant Divine inspiration in your spirit means no hope of healthy life and love in your soul. This is why the book of Ezekiel says God will need to give us a new heart and write His laws on our heart.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26
Your soul is where those Divinely inspired intentions are transformed into your thoughts, feelings and desires. These healthy, loving intentions did not originate in you but they become yours by God’s gracious generosity. That is why you will say as they become yours in your soul “I am what I am by the grace of God.” I Corin.15:10
Your body is where those Divinely inspired intentions, which are now fully yours, are manifested as continuous love.
So, here is the Divine plan. You receive in your spirit the inspired, living intentions of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit who abide in you. You rest and rejoice in your soul as these intentions become yours. You then release these intentions through your body as sustained love.
Over time, as you live from the union of your spirit with the Spirit of Christ, you stop limping in your soul and love gets delivered efficiently. Then you say “For to me to live is Christ.” Phil 1:21 This is what is called “spiritual formation”.
This is the faith, hope and love reality Paul describes in I Cor. 13- 14:1. This is the more excellent way to live.
If you have received Christ as your Savior, the Father, Son and Spirit have come to live in your spirit where they will inspire your intentions until your soul becomes one with them and real love is delivered through you where it is needed. Your job is to believe and cooperate—to abide.
Your soul pain (joint pain) will diminish over time and one day you will walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the wrong intentions which once were so natural to you.
What a plan! I’m in! In union with the Spirit of Christ, that is.Read More »
This is from Philip Pantana who has spent hours researching this topic. It’s been an interest of mine since I started this process with PureGoodness to understand how it is that our spirit effects our body and how our mind influences our health, and on and on!! So, he spoke on this at our church recently and sent me his thoughts. I hope it’s an encouragement to you and an inspiration to see how to care for each of these areas. When our bodies are sick, could it be a spiritual sickness personifying itself as a physical illness? How can we nourish our spirits as well as our bodies?
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:26-27 NASB)
According to the Bible, mankind is distinct from all the rest of creation, including the animals, in that he is made in the image of God. As God is a tripartite — Father, Son and Holy Spirit — so man is three parts — body, soul and spirit. In the most explicit example from Scripture of these divisions, the Apostle Paul writes:
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:23 NASB).
Man is made up of physical material, the body, that can be seen and touched. But he is also made up of immaterial aspects, which are intangible — this includes the soul, spirit, intellect, will, emotions, conscience, and so forth. These immaterial characteristics exist beyond the physical lifespan of the human body and are therefore eternal.
Dr. Duncan MacDougall was an early 20th century physician in who sought to measure the mass purportedly lost by a human body when the soul departed the body upon death.
They say we all lose 23 grams at the exact moment of our death, everyone. The weight of a stack of nickels, the weight of a chocolate bar, the weight of a hummingbird…
These immaterial aspects — the spirit, soul, heart, conscience, mind and emotions — make up the whole personality. The Bible makes it clear that the soul and spirit are the primary immaterial aspects of humanity, while the body is the physical container that holds them on this earth.
The Body (Greek, “soma”)
This is the entire material or physical structure of a human being — it is the physical part of a person.
The Apostle Paul, writing to the Romans again connects the body, the mind (soul) and the spirit.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:1-2 NASB).
For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body (1 Cor. 6:20).
The Soul (Greek, “psyche”)
Genesis 2:7 states that Man was created as a “living soul.” The soul consists of the mind (which includes the conscience), the will and the emotions. The soul and the spirit are mysteriously tied together and make up what the Scriptures call the “heart.”
The writer of Proverbs declares, ” Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” (Prov. 4:23 NASB). We see here that the “heart” is central to our emotions and will.
But a natural (psuchikos — soulish) man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised (1 Cor. 2:14 NASB).
Paul, looking intently at the Council, said, “Brethren, I have lived my life with a perfectly good conscience before God up to this day” (Acts 23:1 NASB).
The Spirit (Greek ” Pneuma”)
In Numbers 16:22, Moses and Aaron, “fell upon their faces and said, ‘O God, God of the spirits of all flesh, when one man sins, will you be angry with the entire congregation?’” This verse names God as the God of the spirits that are possessed by all humanity. Notice also that it mentions the flesh (body) of all mankind, connecting it with the spirit.
Another key verse that describes the separation between soul and spirit is Hebrews 4:12:
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Heb. 4:12 NASB).
We see in this passage of Scripture that the soul and spirit can be divided — and that it is the Word of God that pierces our heart to bring the division of soul and spirit, something that only God can do.
As human beings, we live eternally as a spirit, we have a soul, and we dwell in a body. We can rejoice with the Psalmist and declare,
For you formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well (Ps. 139:13-14 NASB).
We have a remarkable make up…fearfully and wonderfully made. Our God really created us into something very special, indeed. A wonderful complex of His love… Amen.
by Bud McCord
I recently watched a news report about children in Afghanistan who are born addicted to heroin because their mothers are addicted to heroin. The mothers are addicted because their husbands are addicted. The children are born addicted whether they want to be or not. The addiction is generational, pervasive and deadly.
In the spiritual realm we are all born addicted to the outer, visible world for satisfaction. Though we did not personally chose this outward orientation away from God’s satisfying presence in us, it is the inheritance of our birth as Adam’s children. This addiction to the outward for satisfaction is generational, pervasive and deadly.
Jesus was not born addicted to the outer world for satisfaction. Jesus lived from the inside-out.
We can get a glimpse into Jesus’ inner orientation through His own words.
John 15: 9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.”
John 15:11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
John 17:20-21 I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.”
I agree with author Thomas Kelly who said “Such practice of inward orientation, or inward worship and listening, is no mere counsel for special religious groups, for small religious orders, for special ‘interior souls,’ for monks retired in cloisters. This practice is the heart of religion. It is the secret, I am persuaded of the inner life of the Master of Galilee. He expected this secret to be freshly discovered in everyone who would be His follower.”
A TESTAMENT TO DEVOTION
Jesus was not born addicted to this outer orientation for satisfaction. Jesus was born with an inner orientation toward finding moment by moment satisfaction in God. He was abiding in His Father’s love, joy and peace for satisfaction. Jesus was truly clean.
To make a disciple is to lead people into a personal encounter with Jesus for forgiveness and then lead them out of their personal addiction to the outer orientation for satisfaction. It is to lead them to “Christ in you the hope of glory.” It is to lead them to “It is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me.” It is to teach them to abide in the Vine moment by moment so they can live fruitful lives of love.
Much of what passes for discipleship today never addresses our addiction to the outer orientation. It addresses the troublesome symptoms of the addiction through rules or recipes but it does not address the outer orientation versus the inner orientation.
Dealing with addicts is one of the most daunting tasks anyone can undertake because relapses are so common. Dealing with believers in Jesus who are coming out of their slavery to the outer orientation is no less challenging. Even so, this is the work of the church and relapses are part of the process.
Teaching others to live as Jesus lived is to face head on mankind’s addiction to the visible for satisfaction. Teaching others to live as Jesus lives means one forgiven, former addict is willing to teach a forgiven addict a whole new way of finding satisfaction. This includes dealing with the relapses that come.
We are all recovering addicts who are tasting inward love, joy and peace in Jesus. Because we have clearly seen Jesus for us at Calvary as our forgiveness, we can now enjoy Jesus in us right now as our satisfying life. As we learn to live from the inside reality of Jesus’ perfect love, joy and peace, the works of our addiction are put to death. This is no set of rules or clever recipes. This is satisfaction found and lived from the inside out moment by moment.
Outward orientation to the world for satisfaction is sleep and death. Inward orientation toward God in Christ is love, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Outward deadens and kills. Inward awakens and inspires us to love those who sleep as we once did.
In Jesus the addicts are free. Free to love God and love others. Abide and be clean.Read More »
This single, remarkable fact is the basis for our inner spiritual development. When we start with Jesus as the perfect source of all we need to be the person God expects us to be, we start at the only truly satisfying place. Amazingly, Jesus is all and is in all. What a relief to know Jesus abides in us!
The perfect presence of Jesus does not mean there is nothing for us to do. The abundance we have in Jesus equips us for all we need for life and godliness. Even so, we have to cooperate with this abundance and that means deciding to add to our faith behaviors that cooperate with such abundance.
In II Peter 1: 5-9 we receive this challenge. “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.”
Our soul (mind, emotions and will) must cooperate with Jesus. This requires all of the spiritual disciplines listed above. This requires constant vigilance and attention. The abundance of Jesus in us can be wasted and misused and I am responsible if it is.
Our bodies must also cooperate with our soul as it is cooperating with Jesus. This requires a clear knowledge of what keeps the body functioning efficiently so it can cooperate with the soul that is being continuously inspired by Jesus’ perfect presence.
True spiritual life and formation does not begin at the body, but it certainly depends on the body for love to be delivered efficiently.
God’s original plan was spirit, soul and body working efficiently to deliver love. This system was destroyed by sin. In Jesus this system can work again. When it does it is a beautiful thing to see and experience.
I want my spirit, soul and body to deliver God’s love quickly and efficiently. To focus only on one of these areas and exclude the others is to waste the abundance of Jesus’ presence in us. Christians who fail to care for their bodies will also fail to deliver love effectively.
People who need my love are counting on me to have a soul and body that are cooperating with Jesus right now. That means I have much to do since my soul and body are gifts of God for the purpose of love.Read More »