Feed Your Mind With Truth

“A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash.” Proverbs 15:14

If you want to become wise, the first thing you have to do is feed yourself with God’s Word every day.

Proverbs 2:6 says, “It is the Lord who gives wisdom; from him come knowledge and understanding”.

You don’t get wisdom from television. You don’t get it from the Internet. You don’t get it from magazines. Wisdom comes from God.

The Bible says, “A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash” (Proverbs 15:14). You can either feed on truth or feed on trash. Whatever you fill your mind with is what’s going to come out garbage in, garbage out. So, if you want to be wise, feed on truth every day.

There are three kinds of things you can feed your mind with: poison, junk food, or health food.

Poison, simply, is stuff that poisons your system. It’s bad for you. It takes you down. Pornography is poison. Some people say, “I can watch that stuff. It doesn’t bother me anymore.” That’s the problem! When you can watch and read things that are profane, blasphemous, evil, vile, and abusive and it doesn’t bother you, you have a problem. You have become a fool.

Wise people protect their mind. They don’t allow just anything into their mind. They keep the poison out.

Junk food is neither good nor bad. It just has no nutritional value to it. Most of the stuff you see on tv is not evil. It’s just junk food. It’s what I call “stuffing.” But the problem with stuffing is that when you stuff yourself with stuffing, you have no hunger for truth. If you watch TV for four hours, your mind is full of empty calories that don’t help your body or your mind.

Health food is nutritional food. It helps you grow and maintain your health. Truth is the health food for your mind, so the wise person feeds on truth. It makes you wiser in your relationships, your time, your money, your business, your parenting, your marriage, and every other area of your life.

To feed your mind with truth, the first place you need to go is to God’s Word. The more you develop the habit of spending time each day reading and studying the Bible, the wiser you’ll become.

Why Should You Be Generous

“As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 9:13

As a follower of Christ, why is it so important to be generous? Here are three ways it can make an impact on your life:

It makes you happy. Acts 20:35 says, “Remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’”. The world will tell you that you will be happiest when you receive. But Jesus turned that idea around and said that you will be happier when you give than when you receive.

It just makes sense. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 9:6, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously”. You want other people to be generous with you. But do you think that by sowing selfishness, you can reap generosity from God and others? God says that’s not the way life works. There is a law of sowing and reaping. If you want to reap generosity, you have to sow generosity.

It shows the world what God is like. The Bible says, “As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ” (2 Corinthians 9:13).

I’ve found that the best way to learn to be more generous is to remember the incredible generosity of God. Even when life is difficult, you can always find God’s gifts when you look for them. Look at the world you get to live in. Look at the life he gave you. Look at the way he meets your needs.

God is the perfect model of generosity. And when you are generous with others because of God’s generosity toward you, it points others to God.

Can’t See The Future? Rely On God

“He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.” Psalm 25:9

The Bible says you need to do several things to receive guidance from God, but the very first thing is this: You need to admit you need a guide!

If you’re like most people, you don’t want to follow God or anybody else. You want to go your own way. Sometimes you even “play God” and make your own choices. Instead of doing what God wants you to do, you take matters into your own hands. And you struggle to admit that you need direction or that you need a guide.

Sheep, by nature, tend to wander off the path. The prophet Isaiah says, “All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own” (Isaiah 53:6).

Another thing about sheep is that they have poor vision. They can’t see very far ahead. That’s why they need a shepherd.

God made you so that you would not be able to see into the future, no matter how much you try. Why did God do this? He did it so you would depend on him.

Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death”. We’ve all made decisions that at the time seemed right but later turned out to be wrong. Some paths lead to dead ends and you end up off track. That’s why you need to admit, “God, I need help.”

God wants to lead you on the right path, and that’s exactly what he’ll do when you surrender to him and let him to your guide.

Choose Faith Over Fear

“By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.” Hebrews 11:27

Moses made some intentional resolutions about how to live his life, and it’s important that you do too. One of Moses’s resolutions was this: He chose to live by faith rather than by fear.

You’re going to face the same choice. Will you choose to live by faith or by fear?

The Bible says in Hebrews 11:27, “By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible”.

Moses went to the most powerful man in the world and said, “You know those slaves that are building all your pyramids? I’m taking them, and we’re all leaving. You’re not going to have slave labor anymore. Let my people go.”

Moses had every reason to be afraid. He was standing against the most powerful man on the planet. In those days, Pharaoh was considered a god, and whatever Pharaoh said was the law.

And here comes Moses, saying, “We aren’t going to do what you say anymore. I’m not afraid of you because I report to a higher authority.” It took some guts to do that!

Do you want the same kind of faith in your life so that you can overcome your fear? The closer you get to God, the more you’re going to be filled with faith. The further away you get from God, the more you’re going to be filled with fear.

I cannot over-emphasize the importance of faith for the rest of your life. The Bible says, “Whatever is not of faith is sin” (Romans 14:23).

How many times did you sin this week? A lot. So did I. Anything I did that wasn’t done in faith that I did in doubt was a sin.

The Bible also says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). How many times did you please God this week?

Do you want something to change in your life? Stop complaining and start believing. God is not moved by complaints. God is moved by faith: “According to your faith let it be done to you” (Matthew 9:29). Your faith has a big impact on what God does in your life.

Here’s the key: What matters is not the size of your faith but the size of our God. A little faith in a big God gets big results!

Name Your Values, Then Live By Them

“[Moses] regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.” Hebrews 11:26

What matters most to you? What are the top three or four values in your life?

Here’s a firm decision you need to make: Choose God’s values, not the world’s. Moses made this life-shaping resolution. And that’s why God used him!

Hebrews 11:26 says, “He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward”.

Moses made a value judgment. He clarified what mattered most to him. He knew what his top values were.

I can easily name my top values: integrity, humility, and generosity. I decided long ago that I wanted to build my life on those three things because they’re the antidotes to the three traps of leadership.

Can you name the three most important values in your life? If you can’t, then you certainly can’t live by them.

Before you let another day go by, sit down and ask yourself, “What’s most important to me? What are the top values in my life?” Write them down, because until you clarify your values, you can’t live by them.

Why is this so important? If you don’t decide what’s important in your life, other people will decide for you. They’ll push you into their mold, and you’ll live your life by their values, not your own.

When you know what’s most important to you and live by your values, God will use you and bless your life too.

For Long-term Gain, Choose Short-term Pain

“[Moses] chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.”Hebrews 11:25

If you’re going to be good at anything if you’re going to have long-term gain you’ve got to accept short-term pain. Anybody who’s ever played sports knows this. To end up in a championship game, you’ve got to work hard and practice for long hours.

But it’s not just true in sports. It’s true in finances and in relationships. I have a good marriage, It didn’t come easy. To make your marriage work, you’ve got to work at it, just like anything else in life.

Many of your problems come from your inability to delay gratification. Society teaches you to say, “I want everything, and I want it now. And I want it to be free and easy.” But life doesn’t work like that!

To experience long-term gain, you have to make a choice, like Moses did: “He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin” (Hebrews 11:25).

He chose to be mistreated to endure the short-term pain for the long-term gain of doing the right thing.

Pain is part of life. And if you choose to do the hard thing right now and put in the effort to learn and grow, to become strong and mature, then later in life you will benefit from it.

For example, some people are benefiting right now from decisions they made earlier in life not to spend more than they made to save, tithe, and honor God. They’re benefiting many years later because they were disciplined and did the hard thing first.

When you choose the short-term pain like Moses did, you’ll see God deliver you so that you can enjoy the long-term reward.

Focus On Pleasing God, Not People

“Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts. 1Thessalonians 2:4

God made you to be you. He didn’t make you to be what your parents want you to be. He didn’t make you to be what your spouse, boss, or friends want you to be.

God wants you to be exactly who he created you to be. That means you have to refuse to be defined by others.

Hebrews 11:24 says, “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter”

Moses had an identity crisis. He was born a Hebrew slave but raised as Egyptian royalty, the grandson of Pharaoh. When he grew up, he had two choices: He could pretend to be Pharaoh’s grandson for the rest of his life and live with luxury, fame, and power.

Or he could admit who he really was: a Jew. If he did, his family would kick him out to live with slaves the rest of his life. He would be disgraced and humiliated and live a life of pain and drudgery.

Which would you choose?

Most people today are living lies. They’re trying to be people they’re not. But Moses refused to live a lie because he was a man of integrity. Against all kinds of peer pressure, he insisted on being who God made him to be.

Here’s my question for you: Who are you letting determine your identity?

Some of you have parents who died years ago, but you’re still trying to live up to their expectations. Some of you are hanging on to what your ex’s said to you, and you’re trying to prove that person wrong. Some of you are trying to keep up with what the culture says you should be.

But the Bible says this: “Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts” (1 Thessalonians 2:4).

Choose to be who God made you to be. Simply say, “I resolve to no longer let other people press me into their mold. I’m going to do what God wants me to do and fulfill the plan he has for my life not somebody else’s plan for my life.”

Friends, that is real success in life. God wants you to be exactly who he created you to be and nothing more.

To Be Your Best, Give God Your Best

“Fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:6-7

When Timothy joined Paul on his missionary journey, Timothy was still a very young man. Paul sent him to a city called Ephesus to help start and lead a church. Even though Timothy struggled with fear, God used him.

Here are three lessons you can learn from Timothy about how to fulfill God’s calling on your life.

Develop the gifts God gave you.
The Bible says, “Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but be an example for the believers in your speech, your conduct, your love, faith, and purity . . . Do not neglect the spiritual gift that is in you . . . Practice these things and devote yourself to them, in order that your progress may be seen by all” (1 Timothy 4:12, 14-15).

Paul also told Timothy to “fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:6-7).

As a believer, you have a lifelong responsibility to develop the talents and gifts God has given you.

Refuse to be distracted.
Paul tells Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:16, “Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you”.

It’s easy to get sidetracked by a desire to build your business, your family, your career, or your savings. And many people waste countless hours of their lives on the Internet and on their phones. As a follower of Jesus, you’ve got to keep the most important things in focus so you can fulfill your calling.

Give God your very best.
The Bible says, “Run your best in the race of faith, and win eternal life for yourself; for it was to this life that God called you” (1 Timothy 6:12). God has called you to a specific task, and it can only be accomplished when you give it the best of your time, effort, gifts, and focus.

Paul says about Timothy, “I have no one else like Timothy” (Philippians 2:20). Can you imagine a greater epitaph? There was no one else in the world like Timothy. He was focused. He was committed to the call of God on his life. Nobody could distract or discourage him, and he gave God his best.

As you give God your best and follow his calling, God will bring out the best in you too.

It’s Never Too Late To Follow God’s Call

“Now here I am, eighty-five years old. I am still as strong today as I was the day Moses sent me out, and I am just as ready to fight now as I was then. So give me the mountain country the LORD promised me that day long ago.” Joshua 14:10-12

It’s never too late to follow God’s calling on your life.

After Joshua sent 12 spies into the Promised Land, they returned and reported that the land was too hard a place for God’s people to settle. And because of their unbelief, the Israelites wandered around in the desert for another 40 years. An entire generation died because they did not believe in God’s promises. But Caleb and Joshua believed, so they got to live.

When the Israelites returned to the Promised Land 40 years later, Caleb said, “Now here I am, eighty-five years old. I am still as strong today as I was the day Moses sent me out, and I am just as ready to fight now as I was then. So give me the mountain country the LORD promised me that day long ago” (Joshua 14:10-12).

“Give me the mountain country” I love that! The land Caleb wanted was full of giants and cities fortified with great walls. He was saying to God, “Give me the biggest assignment. Give me the hardest city. Give me the place with the biggest giants. Give me the mountain regions. I don’t want some easy place. I know I’m 85 years old, but I’ve still got it in me to do great things for you.”

If you’re an older adult, you may think it’s time to hang it up. I’m telling you, it’s time to get it down and dust it off! Do you think God is going to let you live 30 more years just to play golf?

Here’s a word that’s not in the Bible: retirement. You may stop working, but you keep serving the Lord. You have more wisdom and experience now than when you were younger, and God is not going to waste that.

At the age of 85, Caleb began the greatest mission of his life. Moses was 80 when God called him to set God’s people free. Abraham was 79 when he received God’s call.

If you are in the Caleb generation, please believe that it’s never too late to start on your life calling. The best is yet to come!

Follow God’s Call, Despite The Naysayers

“Why is the LORD taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and our little ones will be carried off as plunder! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?” Numbers 14:3

The Bible says in Numbers 14:2-3, “Their voices rose in a great chorus of protest against Moses and Aaron. ‘If only we had died in Egypt, or even here in the wilderness!’ they complained. ‘Why is the LORD taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and our little ones will be carried off as plunder! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?’”

When faced with difficult circumstances, the Israelites decided they preferred captivity in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land. Rather than doing what God had called them to do, they wanted to go back to their old way of life.

But one of their leaders, Caleb, had uncommon courage. He decided he was going to face their challenges with God’s help, even if he was scared. He was willing to reject negative advice to follow God’s calling.

In fact, Caleb didn’t just receive negative advice; he was also physically threatened. Numbers 14:10 says, “The whole community began to talk about stoning Joshua and Caleb. Then the glorious presence of the LORD appeared to all the Israelites at the Tabernacle”.

God’s presence saved Caleb and Joshua. That will happen in your life too.

When you go after God’s calling in your life, you’ll always come across naysayers. So make the decision now to reject negative advice. And count on God’s presence to see you through.

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