We all have moments that remind us of our need to shape up. It might be a quick walk up a flight of stairs that leaves us winded or a day of yard work that leaves us sore, but the message is loud and clear, “You’re out of shape!”
How you ever noticed how easy it is to get out of shape? It takes no effort at all! Getting out of shape is a piece of cake (or more literally, lots of cake)! Getting into shape is what takes work. It requires discipline and commitment.
Just as our bodies easily get out of shape, so do our minds. Bad thinking habits, bad input, and mental inactivity leave us with flabby, weak, wearying and wicked thoughts. And when our thinking “goes south,” so does our life.
Take a look at what God says about the importance of shaped-up thinking:
“Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.” — Proverbs 4:23 (TEV)
” … fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable … And the God of peace will be with you.” – Philippians 4:8, 9
The Bible says that our “life is shaped by our thoughts.” To “shape” something is “to form it; to determine the nature of something.”
Everyday the quality of our lives, relationships and work is determined by what we allow to go on in our heads. Who and what we are, how we act and react is shaped by our thoughts.
The equations are simple:
Good thinking = good shape.
Bad thinking = bad shape.
Since our lives are shaped by our thoughts, we ought to regularly inspect who and what we allow to shape our thoughts. We need to pay close attention to who and what we permit to “get into our heads.” We need to establish some ground rules that govern the influences that have impact on our thinking.
Sadly, very few people think about their thinking habits. They don’t understand that the quality of their lives would be significantly improved if they trained their brain more carefully and controlled the input to their minds more conscientiously.
Take some time and think about the shape of your thinking. What is shaping your thoughts and how are your thoughts shaping your life? Make the commitment to shape up your mental habits and health. You’ll be blessed as you do!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
Fear and insecurities can overtake our lives. Too often we relinquish our confidence and life purpose to the grip of these emotions. But we were not created to live a life like that. As the verse above states, God has plans for us. It’s time we reclaim our purpose and confidence and put on our brave.
Remember that “brave” is not the absence of fear but the ability to overcome it. While it might seem difficult at first to believe we have that ability, “BELIEVE” is actually the first step in putting on our brave. But it’s not about believing in your own ability. Faith in yourself is very limiting and won’t get you very far. But faith in God is limitless and will take you well beyond what you could ever imagine.
Take a step of faith today and believe God is who He says He is – your provider. Believe that He loves you and has a purpose and plan for your life. Believe that He will overcome any fear and insecurities in your life as He provides you with more and more confidence….Godfidence.
Ask God to help you take that first step of faith to believe He is who He says is – your provider. Ask Him to step into your life and overcome the fears and insecurities that may be stifling you.
If this is your first time to take such a step of faith, pray this prayer (Next Step).
FROM THE FATHER’S HEART My child, My Father anointed Me for such a time as this. I came to bring beauty from ashes, to turn mourning to song, and to grant freedom from captivity. Give Me all of your ashes, all your hurts. That’s why I’m here. Where sin has ravaged your life, I will restore. Where despair has left you wounded, I will heal. I am the oil of gladness. I have abundant joy for you, My child!
A GRATEFUL RESPONSE You visited my heart where only bitter sadness lived. Where years of pain had stripped away its immunity, You came as the oil of gladness, offering healing and restoration. You soothed the weary places and brought new hope to me. I find my joy in You, Lord.
God never wastes the scraps of our lives, but fashions something beautiful out of each piece.
October 26The Council at Jerusalem Makes a Decree Acts 15; Psalms 119:9-11; Proverbs 21:3 And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question. So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, describing the conversion of the Gentiles; and they caused great joy to all the brethren. And when they had come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders; and they reported all things that God had done with them. But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.” Now the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter. And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: “Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.” Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many miracles and wonders God had worked through them among the Gentiles. And after they had become silent, James answered, saying, “Men and brethren, listen to me: Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written: ‘After this I will returnAnd will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down;I will rebuild its ruins,And I will set it up;So that the rest of mankind may seek the LORD,Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name,Says the LORD who does all these things.’ “Known to God from eternity are all His works. Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood. For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.” Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, namely, Judas who was also named Barsabas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren. They wrote this letter by them:The apostles, the elders, and the brethren,To the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia:Greetings. Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, “You must be circumcised and keep the law”-to whom we gave no such commandment- it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth. For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell. So when they were sent off, they came to Antioch; and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the letter. When they had read it, they rejoiced over its encouragement. Now Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets also, exhorted and strengthened the brethren with many words. And after they had stayed there for a time, they were sent back with greetings from the brethren to the apostles. However, it seemed good to Silas to remain there. Paul and Barnabas also remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also. Then after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing.” Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark. But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work. Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God. And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.Acts 15WORSHIPHow can a young man cleanse his way?By taking heed according to Your word.With my whole heart I have sought You;Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!Your word I have hidden in my heart,That I might not sin against You.Psalm 119:9-11WISDOMTo do righteousness and justiceIs more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.Proverbs 21:3