If You’re Going to Speak Your Mind, Make Sure It’s Renewed

So here we are at the end of our journey. 31 days completed. Throughout the process of writing for this series, I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs. In all my research and planning, I found myself being personally challenged by the things God was laying on my heart to share. Having a renewed mind isn’t just a suggestion found in the Bible, it’s the very foundation of Christian living. You can’t truly live for God without surrendering your mind to Him. Renewing your mind is more than surrender, however. It requires action on our part. Yes, the Holy Spirit transforms us, and we have His power and guidance as we grow. But we are the ones who must make the effort to change our thinking. We have to be ready and willing to submit to the Holy Spirit, take every thought prisoner, and intentionally guard our minds against the schemes of the enemy. It’s a daily process of learning how to walk in our new God-given identities. We have the mind of Christ, but it’s up to us to use it.

Read More If You’re Going to Speak Your Mind, Make Sure It’s Renewed

Created for Love: Designed in the Image of Our Loving Father

Did you know you were created for love? In the beginning, God made man in His image. All was perfect. The garden was perfect, man was perfect, and God’s relationship with man was perfect. But then the enemy stepped in and deceived them into thinking that God was hiding something from them. He caused them to question God and His character, and in doing so, he managed to convince Eve to take a bite from the forbidden tree. The consequences of that decision were severe, to say the least.

Read More Created for Love: Designed in the Image of Our Loving Father
The Mind of Christ: United in Thought and Purpose | alyssajhoward.com

The Mind of Christ: United in Thought and Purpose

Are we united as Christians? It’s a simple question. Yes or no. But the truth is that it’s not necessarily that simple. Okay… maybe it is, and we just don’t like the answer. For one thing, a quick Google search reveals that we have over 34,000+ denominations. (My jaw actually dropped when I read this!) I understand the need to attend a church that views certain particulars of Scripture the way you do, but is this what Jesus wanted when He prayed in the garden that we would be united as believers? (John 17:20-23) Is this what Paul meant when he reminded us that we have the mind of Christ and that we should be united by this fact?

Read More The Mind of Christ: United in Thought and Purpose
His Strength in Our Weakness: Learning to Rely on God's Strength | alyssajhoward.com

His Strength in Our Weakness: Learning to Rely on God’s Strength

“Little ones to Him belong; they are weak but He is strong.” I remember learning these words to Jesus Loves Me as a child. (I can still remember the arm motions.) From an early age, I learned that even in my weakness, He is strong – a concept that I’m still working on putting into practice today. But I have learned one crucial detail in my adult years that goes beyond what I learned as a child. I may be weak, but God doesn’t intend on me living my life as a weak person. I can’t keep walking around declaring how weak I am; rather, I need to learn to be strong in Him.

Read More His Strength in Our Weakness: Learning to Rely on God’s Strength
Trials and Perseverance: A Lesson in Relying on God | alyssajhoward.com

Trials and Perseverance: A Lesson in Relying on God

Both trials and temptations give us a chance to grow. Every time we say ‘no’ to temptation, we grow stronger in our ability to do so. And the more we declare truth when the enemy tries to lie to us and deceive us, the better we are at recognizing His lies in the first place. Trials help us to grow as well, but they are much different from temptations. Trials must be endured, and unlike temptations, God doesn’t always provide a “way out.”

Read More Trials and Perseverance: A Lesson in Relying on God
Lies and Temptations: Understanding the Truth that You Lack Nothing in Christ | alyssajhoward.com

Lies and Temptations: Understanding the Truth that You Lack Nothing in Christ

Temptations. We all face them. Even Jesus faced His share of temptation. Throughout the Bible, we see people give in to temptation and others who remain strong. We see the repercussions of sin as well as the rewards for saying no to it. As Christians, we know and understand fully that sin is never good for us. It’s always better to say no to temptation. But unfortunately, the enemy likes to deceive us into thinking otherwise.

Read More Lies and Temptations: Understanding the Truth that You Lack Nothing in Christ

How to Make Your Thoughts Obey Christ (and why it’s important)

I’ve always been a worrier. I’ll admit it. My thoughts often get the best of me. Maybe it’s the fact that like to have everything planned out. I need to know what’s going to happen and when. And even though I say I like surprises, I actually don’t handle them well. Why? Because I’m a bit of a control freak. Yes, I said it. I, Alyssa J Howard, like to be in control.

Read More How to Make Your Thoughts Obey Christ (and why it’s important)
War of the Mind: The Real Battlefield | alyssajhoward.com

War of the Mind: The Real Battlefield

The New Testament reminds us quite often that we are in a battle. The enemy is a liar and his goal is to take you down. Now he certainly can’t steal you away from God, but he can hinder your walk. If you believe his lies, he can keep you from advancing the kingdom, living the call on your life, and from being all that God intended you to be here on earth. I truly believe this is why God calls us to renew our minds daily in Him. Because when all is said and done, the real battlefield – the place where we fight the enemy and his lies – occurs in the mind.

Read More War of the Mind: The Real Battlefield
New Identity: What the Bible Says About You (and what it doesn’t) | alyssajhoward.com

New Identity: What the Bible Says About You (and what it doesn’t)

Our new identity in Christ is something I am personally very passionate about. In our church today, I hear so many Christians speak poorly about themselves, and it truly saddens me. I must admit that I used to be one of them. I used to believe that I was a lowly, undeserving sinner. How could God possibly want me? How could He use someone like me? Weren’t there people out there who were more “qualified” in the eyes of God? And then I started learning about my identity as God’s child. You see, I used to be a sinner, but I’m not a sinner anymore. I’m a child of the living God. And if you’re a believer, the same is true of you.

Read More New Identity: What the Bible Says About You (and what it doesn’t)