Set your mind on things above… Growing up in the church, this was something I commonly heard. But what does it mean to think about things above? Are we called to think about God? Or heaven? Our future in Him? Or is there more to it than that? Continue Reading
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. Continue Reading
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. Continue Reading
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? Continue Reading
“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. Continue Reading
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.” Continue Reading
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. Continue Reading
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. Continue Reading
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. Continue Reading
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. Continue Reading
Let me ask you a question: Was Jesus humble? Did He exhibit pride in any of His behavior? I think we can all agree that Jesus is our perfect example of true humility. Paul certainly agreed in his letter to the Philippians. He described Jesus as being humble and obedient “to the point of death.” Since we are called to follow Him, what can we learn about Jesus’ humility that we can apply to our lives today? Continue Reading
How do you see yourself? Are you worth it? These are questions our culture asks on a regular basis. My preschool daughters are constantly receiving messages through media about the importance of a strong self-esteem and how we should believe in ourselves. But is it scriptural to “believe in yourself?” Continue Reading
What is your perception of God? If you had to describe your Creator, what would you say? For many who don’t know Him, God seems distant. They will say things like, “God, if you’re out there…” But we know that He isn’t far away. He hears our prayers, knows our thoughts, and cares about the smallest details of our lives. He’s a good, good Father, and we are His beloved children. Continue Reading
Why do we worry so much? Honestly, I worry about the craziest things sometimes. I worry about my relationships, my safety, my finances, what to make for dinner… I seriously don’t know why I devote so much of my time and attention to worry. Well… maybe I do know. Worry is simply a lack of trust. Continue Reading
Today marks the first day of my 31-day writing challenge – 31 days of renewing your mind. Every October, bloggers come together and take on the challenge of writing for 31 days straight on one topic. (You can find out more about #write31days here.) Since I started blogging, I’ve watched Octobers come and go wishing I had the time to take on such a feat. Well, I’m not sure I have more time this year, but I certainly feel like God has placed a specific topic on my heart. And for that reason, I will take the challenge! Continue Reading