Monthly Archives: October 2012

Do yourself a favor – Do not remove your own plank

“How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank the plank in your own eye….” (see Matthew 7:4 – 5).

With good intentions, many of us read this passage of scripture and then start to work on the plank in our eyes. Because we cannot see, we blindly start fumbling and fooling around with our eyes and do more damage to that very part that is often described as the gateway that is able to fill our being with light (see Matthew 6:22). See, since Jesus is the light of the world and we can only see light and fill our being with light through our eyes, it becomes clear that the eye can be used as a metaphor for the mind. Hence, Jesus is the light that brightens (or renews) our eyes (mind) so that our inner being (heart) is filled with light. And when our inner being (heart) is filled with light (Jesus), what comes out of us cannot defile (see Mark 7: 20 – 21) for Jesus is undefiled.

To ensure we do not fool ourselves by thinking we do not have any specks or planks, a good definition for specks and planks are as follows: the plank is any barrier that stops the light (the Word) from reaching and staying in our eyes (mind); anything that takes our focus off God. The speck is anything that stops the Word (Jesus) from reaching and illuminating (or having victory) specific areas of our life. So you see, we all have specks and planks!

Now, should we attempt to fix the problem specks and planks on our own? No! While we can choose to remove them ourselves, we find that we have gouged a huge hole in our eye so that it is now no longer able to receive God’s light. By going solo, we lose parts of our minds to our own devices (ways of thinking) and glory in ourselves for a job well done. What is now blocking the light of God is no longer a problem we know is there (speck or plank), but something we often cannot see – pride. Although our eyes are no longer irritated, the issue is now that our eyes have become dim of the light of God because we are so full of our own ‘light’; we are full of ourselves.

Therefore, the only way we should ever remove that specks and planks in our eyes is by humbly surrendering ourselves to the doctor (the plank remover) who is able to do His job gently, lovingly, and skillfully .

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: The only way we can solve the problems in our lives without creating more problems is by submitting them to God. Anything other than this is sifting out a gnat and then proceeding to swallow a camel (see Matthew 23:24)

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I think I feel – You could be your own worst enemy!

Oh I think this; Oh I feel that! Just because we think it does not make it the truth, and just because we feel it does not make it real. And just because a friend agrees with it does not confirm it. Since what we feel stems from how we think, it stands to reason that we can change how we feel by changing how we think. The scripture gives credence to this by letting us now that ‘as a man thinks in his heart, so is he’ (Proverbs 3:27). So what kind of men or women are we? Does what we think line up with the Word? If whatever we are thinking does not line up with truth (the Word), then it is a lie! This lie in turn creates fantasy (untrue) emotions that lead us to speak lie-based words and take lie-based actions. We start living a lie-based life that keeps us in bondage – for only the truth brings freedom.

Since words create worlds and words come from thoughts, it is best to create a world of life and truth by inclining our ears to God’s word instead of creating a world of lies and death by acting on our own thoughts and feelings, even if they are supported by the world – which they most likely will be.

Yes, we all have our own thoughts and feeling and we will always have opinions. Yet, we must scrutinize them against the perfect law of liberty (the Word) when they come. If they do not jive with the Word, we must surrender them to God in humility for they are fear-based lies from the father of lies (Satan) who is most likely plaguing on our past experiences, fears, and insecurities.

Should we find that our thoughts never jive with the Word, it’s a sure sign to us to surrender our hearts, spend more time with Him in Word and prayer, and give up our control for His control. When we do this, our thoughts will begin to reflect more of his thoughts.

Remember, His thoughts towards us are good; always to prosper us and to give us a future and a hope (see Jeremiah 29:11).

Lightbulb MomentWhile our thoughts tend to be motivated by a mixture of good (love, hope) and evil (fear, pride, selfishness) and leads to foolishness at best, God’s thoughts are motivated by agape love and always lead to life.   

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Fast-Forward Your Mission – Stay on God’s sling-shot

Our minds can be so focused on achieving the task God has assigned to us that we miss out on the blessings of God on our journey. If we find ourselves having no joy while doing God’s work, it is most likely because we have reverted to doing things in our own power and in our own way rather than relying on God’s power and God’s way. But are we not meant to be partners with God? Do we not have a part to play? Is faith without works not dead? It certainly is! Yet, God wants us to do what he wants us to do, how he wants us to do it – His way. A sure way of critiquing whether we have begun doing things in our own power is to examine the principles we are following. See, the truth is that God will never violate His own principles; therefore God’s way will not violate His principles.

The scripture highlights this in the book of Samuel where David answered God’s voice to take out the Amalekites who had attacked Ziklag and captured his family. Although on a god-sent mission that had deep personal implications, David did not fail to follow the principle of ‘loving your neighbor’. Instead of understandably rushing off to accomplish his mission, he paused to give aid to a distressed man on his journey (see 1 Samuel 30:11-13). As it turned out, this man had valuable information about the Amalekites that helped David achieve his mission faster. Note that David did not know who this man was or the information he had prior to loving him by giving him aid, yet, without this man, David might have spent days in search of his family.  Thus we see that, God honored David by fast-forwarding his mission and reuniting him with his family when David honored God by putting God’s principles first in his life.

Lightbulb MomentIn Christ, the seeming drawbacks to our mission are simply the pullback of the sling-shot that God uses to propel us towards our destiny.

To be successful, we must resist our tendency to get off the sling-shot in its pullback motion but learn to wait for the acceleration that is surely to follow. We must allow God to complete what He has started for He who has promised is faithful!

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Adversity – Why Me?

Adversity is a bridge we will all have to cross in this life. King David reminds us of this when he says ‘many are the afflictions of the righteous’. Jesus confirms it by saying ‘in this world you will have trials and tribulations. The truth is that we do not have to look for adversity before adversity finds us. As long as we live in this world, we are a target of Satan – the god of this world (see 2 Corinthians 4:4); the god of adversity.

Yet, Jesus prays to God not to take us away from this world. So does that mean He delights in our adversity? No! He died on that cross so as to overcome the god of adversity, thereby overcoming all the adversity we could ever go through. What He wants us to learn is how to overcome the bridge of adversity in Him so we may help others who are in bondage to cross over into freedom. He wants us to be salt and light while triumphing over every conceivable snare of bondage.

So how do we do this? Rather than concentrate on the snares of the bondage and certain death that exists below our feet, we ought to focus our eyes on the freedom and life that awaits us on the other side of the bridge. You see, when we cast our eyes upon Jesus, the trials and tribulations of this world do not much matter, and the seemingly insurmountable issues lose their power and diminish in size in comparison to the glory of God. Our eagerness to claim our prize grows and we begin to sprint past our adversity into safety. When we cast our eyes upon Jesus, love overcomes fear, faith overcomes doubt, and life overcomes death.

Lightbulb MomentAdversity is simply a bridge towards glory and greatness.

So next time you come across that bridge, keep your head up, avoid looking down below at the scary bondage of your circumstance, and run towards the victory that awaits you on the other side. Do not say why me, for you already know why. It is you because the god of this world does not like you. Just remember this:

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all – Psalm 34:19

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world – John 16:33

Lightbulb MomentDo not be overcome by adversity (evil), but overcome adversity with God (good)

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What Matters Most in Life

What matters most is love. Without it, everything we do is empty and pointless. Even if we can move mountains, without love we are nothing (see 1 Corinthians 13:2). If love is so important, then why do we not show it more often? Its easy to say ‘I love you’, but we are warned to love in deed and in truth rather than in word or in tongue (see 1 John 3:18). See, true love requires action and expects nothing in return.

Failure in life is doing all that you think will make you a success and then realizing none of it mattered. Since what matters most is love, how are you showing it to your loved ones? If the ones you care for passed away today, would they have known your love or would they have only known about your love?

If there is someone you need to call, write, send flowers to, or reconcile with, do it today without delay!

Lightbulb Moment Sow love today like there is no tomorrow, and your tomorrow will be filled with love

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Food for Thought – The Excellence of Knowledge

The excellence of knowledge is that wisdom gives life to those who have it (see Ecclesiastes 7:12). Lets face it, there is no shortage of info out there. Simply click a button and voila, knowledge at our fingertips! And since knowledge is power, the more we have of it and can apply, the better off we are right? Not necessarily, for knowledge when misapplied is power misused!

Just as a buttering knife in the hands of a nutter becomes a destructive weapon, so does knowledge in the hands of a person devoid of wisdom. And since the bible tells us that Jesus became our wisdom (see 1 Corinthians 1:30), we can say that the application of knowledge without the help of God (wisdom) is foolishness (the opposite of wisdom) and leads to death (the opposite of life).

Therefore, it is possible to be extremely knowledgeable and still be extremely foolish; to know much scripture without it ever yielding fruit. This is why knowledge alone should not impress us much!

Lightbulb Moment Without God, all Knowledge is misapplied. Thus, Knowledge – God = Foolishness

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