From His Heart

What Are You Doing with Your Anger? – From His Heart – March 20

WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR ANGER?

For the churning of milk produces butter, and pressing the nose brings forth blood; so the churning of anger produces strife. 
Proverbs 30:33

Any college football team knows about rivalry games.  There are just some special match-ups where the stakes are higher and the emotions run hotter.  That is especially true concerning the Texas Longhorns and the Oklahoma Sooners.  Texas-OU weekend in Dallas in October often sees fan fights as the animosity toward one another runs as deep as the Red River.

Obviously, these “fighting fans” let their anger run amok.  They churn their anger, work themselves into a frenzy, and, no doubt, regret the strife that invariably ensues.  Anger is like that.  If you churn it and turn it over and over in your mind and heart, you will see harmful, hurtful results.  Many have been murdered because of churned anger.  If you don’t believe me, just ask Cain and Abel.

SO WHAT DO WE DO WITH ANGER?

God never wants us to churn and chew on our anger.  To churn and chew on anger is as foolish as rolling around in Poison Ivy.  Surely no one would do that, right?

Perhaps you are angry toward a boss who mistreated you, or a spouse who betrayed you, or a relative who abused you, or a dad who wasn’t there for you, or a coach who cut you, or a teacher who embarrassed you, or a former friend who stabbed you in the back.  When that person’s name is mentioned in conversation, you can feel your stomach start to churn and begin to taste the bitterness in your mouth toward that terrible, horrible, hypocritical person.  Inflicting harm on that “evil” person sure sounds like a great plan, doesn’t it?  Surely God would want you to take the bull by the horns and get even, right?  WRONG!

“Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord”(Romans 12:19).

GIVE YOUR ANGER TO GOD!

Anger typically comes about because something happened to you or someone you love that you did not like, did not want, or did not think was right.  Yet, God in His providence allowed it to touch your life.  Therefore, when you feel anger welling up inside of you, instead of churning it, chewing on it, and letting it produce strife, give it to God.  You can choose His grace to help you in your time of need.  His grace, the desire and power to live for Christ and rise above, is sufficient for every situation you and I will ever encounter.

Are you angry today?  Are you churning your anger?  Is the rancid butter of strife, discord, resentment and disharmony starting to ooze out of your life like pus from a boil?  (I was extra graphic here on purpose to help see what God sees when you churn your anger.)  Put down the churning-stick, and give your anger to God.  Let Him repay those who have wronged you.  Choose His grace, and allow the Lord to take the ashes of your hurt and anger and turn them to gold.

PRAYER

Dear Father, I have been holding on to anger, churning it, and chewing on it … and I need to stop.  I confess what I have been doing is a sin, and it is very displeasing to You.  Forgive me, Lord.  By faith, I put down the churn-stick and turn this situation over to You.  I choose Your grace to help me rise above.  Bring back the joy, Lord, as I walk in the light with You.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen!

Love,

Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries


Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 182 countries each week on TV, and is always available online.  Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.

Living your ’Now’ with the next world in mind – Experiencing LIFE Today – March 20, 2020

If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world. — C.S. Lewis

Believers in Jesus live on two planes of existence simultaneously. Don’t worry, I’m not about to go science fiction on you. (Actually, this is even crazier than sci-fi!) The truth is that we live in Christ… and we also live in Dallas/Phoenix/London, or wherever. We are in Christ spiritually, and yet we are in our physical location, living our lives with work, family, and other commitments.

Yeah, it sounds nuts, but the New Testament is full of this dual reality. Consider Paul’s salutation in Colossians 1:1-2:

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the holy and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae.

Notice the four words at the end of this verse. IN Christ AT Colossae. He is saying that they are in Christ, but that they are also in Colossae. How can someone be in both places? Think about what Paul wrote in another letter, 2 Corinthians 4:18:

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

The words temporary and eternal are key here. The world we live in can be seen; it’s physical and visible, and we interact with it continuously. It’s also temporary. It’s here for a while, but then it will go.

Then there is the invisible world. It is Christ and all that comes with Him. He is our purpose for being, the reason we go about things in the physical world.

We like to compartmentalize and sort things. That’s why label makers and organizing software sell well. But we can’t compartmentalize the eternal and the temporary. The two are interchangeable for believers. We live in both right now! And if we’re paying attention to the eternal, our temporary life will show it. 

Jesus, thank You for putting eternity into my heart. Thank You for the timeless perspective You give me. Help me live in such a way that my temporary life points to Your eternal work! Amen.

Taken from Pete’s 365-day devotional book Experiencing LIFE Today.

Hit the Jackpot – Ed Young Television Devotional – 3/20

Ed Young Television Devotional

Hit the Jackpot

And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. Acts 4:29

THINK

The gamble we choose to make is so often determined by those we choose to listen to. Like a high roller, we want to go for the big win. And we place our bets based on what is influencing us during the game.

In the game of life, when we gamble with God we listen to people above God. However, when we gamble FOR God, we listen to God above people. And there is no better voice to listen to in directing us as we risk and gamble each day.

Who are you listening to when it comes to the advice about the gambles you make? Listen to God first and foremost. And take the risks He has for you. Because when you do, you will hit His jackpot!

PRAY

Thank God for His direction and voice in your life. Pray for the wisdom to not only hear God’s word, but to take action and place the bets He has in store for you.

ACT

Take a relational risk today. Invite someone to join you at church this weekend – someone who has never been to church before. Don’t worry about their response. Simply focus on God’s call in your life to place bets for Him!

The Renewal of Your Mind – First15 – March 20

The Renewal of Your Mind

Weekly Overview:

One of the best aspects of spending time alone with God is being renewed daily by his word and presence. When we make space for God in our lives, especially at the beginning of the day, he is faithful to renew and prepare us for all we will face out in the world. Scripture says, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23). Where do you need renewal? How greatly do you need God’s mercies in your life? He has a plan this week to both teach and guide you into an encounter with him that will renew you with his overwhelming goodness and love. Make space for God. Make time to encounter him. And experience the refreshing spring rain he longs to bring to heal the dry and weary places of your heart.

Scripture:“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2

Devotional:    

The mind is the vehicle in which thoughts and ideas become emotions, beliefs, and actions. You hear things every day that attempt to influence the way you see yourself and your life. Advertising tells you that you are constantly in need of something bigger and better to be happy. People tell you who you are and what you should do based only on their limited perspectives. You also have a very real enemy who hates you, working to convince you that you aren’t worth love, you’re good at nothing, and you’ll never amount to anything. But God, because of his incredible love for you, has given you the Holy Spirit and his word. He’s given you the ability to renew your mind to the truth of how he sees you and feels about you, the truth of who you really are. Every day, you have the chance to experience the much needed renewal of your emotions, perspectives, and beliefs. Every day, God longs to speak the truth of your identity through his word and Spirit. So, let’s look today at the power of renewing our minds and how we can consistently experience that renewal.

Romans 12:1-2 says, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” When we renew our minds we are presenting ourselves as worship to God. You worship God when you choose to believe his word over others’ words. You love God when you trust him over your feelings and limited perspective. And when you renew your mind, you are conforming no longer to the world, with its destruction and many lies. God puts conforming to the lies of the world and renewing your mind to the truth in stark contrast.

Romans 8:5-6 further illustrates the point: “Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” When you set your mind on the Spirit, you will begin to experience life in your thoughts. Your way of thinking will be transformed from being negative and destructive to positive and responsive to God’s boundless love and grace. What you choose to trust and believe will impact every area of your life for either good or bad.

So in light of the incredible promises of God’s word, how can you experience the fruit of renewing your mind? How can you continually set your mind on the things of the Spirit? First, you have to make time to open your mind and heart to Scripture every day. The best time to experience renewal in your mind is when you first wake up. Every morning, you can lay the foundation for what you will believe and how you will think for the rest of the day.

Second, you have to read Scripture while listening to the Holy Spirit. Scripture will come alive when you spend time reading it with the guidance and teaching of the Spirit. In John 14:16-17 Jesus says, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” Spend time allowing your Helper, the Spirit of truth, to reveal the ways in which he desires to apply Scripture to your life. Ask the Holy Spirit to be your Teacher as your read.

Third, you have to live in obedience to God’s word.The Bible isn’t merely historical, but a book full of practical and applicable truth that has the ability to change your life. When you open your heart to God’s word and choose to believe it, you will experience transformation. When you obey God’s commands, they will bear incredible fruit in your life. God’s word is meant to direct you to the abundant life he has planned for you. Have faith in the words of Scripture. Choose to believe God’s promises.

Last, you must see yourself in light of God’s word. You have the choice to believe God or not. The Bible says incredible things about your identity in Christ: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). The Bible says that you are God’s child, that you are worth the death of Christ and that you are free from the bondage of sin and the world. Those are powerful promises. But in order for you to experience the fullness of what Scripture says, you must renew your way of thinking to be like God’s. Paul says that “we have the mind of Christ” as people born of the Spirit(1 Corinthians 2:16). So set your mind every day on the things of God. Read Scripture with the help of the Spirit, walk in obedience to God’s word, and see yourself as God does. If you will do these things daily, your entire outlook on life will be one of contentment, joy, purpose, and abundance.

Where do you need to renew your mind today? What area of your life seems to be plagued by negativity, insecurity, or anger? Spend time reading God’s word with the Holy Spirit. Receive revelation from the very God who authored the word you’re reading. Meditate on the words that stand out to you, and allow them to change the way you think, feel, and act. Experience renewal today in your way of thinking, and watch as renewing your mind changes your entire day for the better.

Guided Prayer:

1. Meditate on the power of renewing your mind.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:1-3

2. Reflect on your own life. Where do you need renewal today? What thoughts seem to plague you? Where do you normally feel negative, insecure, or angry?

3. Meditate on a passage of Scripture that seems pertinent to an area of your thinking that needs renewal. Do a web search on a specific topic if you need to. If you’re struggling with a particular sin, meditate on Scripture about freedom. If you struggle with your speech, meditate on a passage about taming the tongue. Wherever you need renewal today, God has a plan to help you.

“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:5-6

“Put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” Colossians 3:10

How great is the love of God that he would give us the incredible gift of his word to mold and shape us! Your heavenly Father loves you too much to let you stay where you are. Every day he has a plan to lead you into more and more abundant life. When you wake up, take a minute to ask yourself what you want your day to be like. What sort of life do you want to live today? Then ask the Spirit to help you renew your mind to God’s truth so you can live that life. Walk in freedom today. Live with your mind set on the Spirit. And experience the incredible life God has planned for you as his child. You’ll never have a better day than one where your mind is renewed to the truth of God’s unfathomable love.

Extended Reading: Romans 8

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