With Christmas rapidly approaching, I'm reminded of a children's song, "Santa Clause is Coming to Town." The chorus says, "He knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he knows if you've been bad or good.." I'm by no means endorsing Santa. Yet it brings to mind something that deeply impacted me, after watching a specific online ministry broadcast. Something I already knew, but somehow, had vaguely disregarded awakened in my spirit. More importantly than Santa watching, Jesus is watching!
A scriptural reference to this is found in Mark 12:41-42 which says, "Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents." And we know that Jesus stopped and pointed out to everyone there, that this woman's offering was more abundant than all that had been given. Jesus was not only observing the amount they were giving, but He was also considering the way they gave. The attitude of the heart is extremely important. Pr. 21:2NIV "A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart." God is looking on our hearts in all that we do, to see our motive. Are we doing our service because we want others to see us and think we are holy? Do we give in the offering because 'we're expected to'? Is our worship done for the sake of others watching? What is the true motive of our heart?
In Revelation when Jesus spoke to the seven churches, the very first thing He says to them is, "I know your works.." He knew their works, because He had visited their church. He walked up and down their services, He listened to their conversations and their hearts were revealed to Him. If Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, then He's keeping an eye on us. He is paying attention to how we act in troublesome times, to our treatment of others, listening to our conversations, heeding our attitudes we have to the messages we receive from our Pastor. He's watching to see if we behave like He did because we love Him and want to, or if it's because we want to impress. Jesus is not just watching us when we're at church, but He's with us when we're home, at our job, at school, or where ever we may be.
Listen children of God, Hebrews 4:13 says, "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account." Reality set in for me today, God is with us, watching. No matter what we think, hide in our heart, speak, or conduct ourselves, God knows. And one day, very soon, just like the scripture says, we will give and account. I encourage you today to consider your attitude, your behavior, and your words. Are they glorifying the Lord? Colossians 3:17 "And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him."
We need to quit pretending we're one way, when our heart says another. Jesus is not only watching, but knows our heart. Make a decision today to practice the presence of God in every day life and activate Colossians 1:10. "That you may walk (live and conduct yourselves) in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him and desiring to please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing and increasing in and by the knowledge of God [with fuller, deeper, and clearer insight, acquaintance, and recognition]."
Have you ever looked at your life and wondered, 'why am I still dealing with this problem' and 'when will it ever stop'? It probably seems like day after day, month after month, even year after year, you are faced with the same adversity, and nothing ever changes. If you're ready for a change read on!
We have to stop cooperating with the devil. Quit believing his lies, cease from listening to the words of defeat echoing in our thoughts and come to the place of freedom and peace.
Rom. 12:1-2 NKJ "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."
#1) We need to present our bodies to God. Yielding the flesh to God, means we're in cooperation/agreement with Him. Submitting ourselves to God and His Word is a lifestyle that displays the attributes of God. It means we go to our local church, even when our body doesn't feel like it. Or although we're busy we make our attendance to church our priority, because the local church is God's priority. It means, we resist unrighteous or unholy actions. It's where we keep our conversation God like. That's presenting our body to God!
#2) We are to renew our mind by thinking the way He thinks. This is where we cast down any thoughts that's not God ordained. It's taking any opinion or a pondering and bringing them in line with the Word! That's making yourself think on things that are true, worthy of reverence, honorable, proper, whatever is just, pure, lovely and lovable, kind and winning, gracious, things of virtue and excellence, and anything worthy of praise. By that, we will begin to live/act/behave like the Word!
It won't matter how many times we quote the Word of God, if we're not exhibiting it everyday in our actions, the truth is, our mind is not renewed. Because a renewed person acts like it! Having a renewed mind, will make us a master over our situations, over our emotions, and even over the enemy. A mind that not renewed is immature, like a child, and is tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine. (Eph. 4:14)
Renewing the mind is a consistent process and will put you in the position of receiving from God wisdom and answers in the face of adversity and crisis.
So how can I get a renewed mind, you ask? First get into a good Faith, Word preaching church. Be faithful and committed to attend every service. Listen and then do what you're learning from the preached Word. Next as you continue to apply the Word to your daily living, remain constant in your personal Bible study. Reviewing the scriptures your Pastor has taught on. Then rejoice in the Lord.
Note: Having a renewed mind, does not mean you won't have fleshly desires - but what it does mean is that you won't run with them! Stay steady and faithful in the Word!
Pastors Michael & Ginny Gulotta
Pro. 11:25 "The generous soul will be made rich, And he who waters will also be watered himself."