set your affection

January 7, 2021

I may have addressed this subject in a previous blog, but it is worth mentioning it again.

Several months ago, before the onset of Covid 19 and the drama of the Presidential election, I believe the Lord spoke something to me.  It is found in Colossians 3:2:

“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”

I never realized the importance of that message to me until so many people became terrified by the onset of Covid 19.  Then later the drama that surrounded the Presidential election.  So much to become fearful about.

The previous scripture is just as important. Colossians 3: 1 “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God.”

The word, affection, is the Greek word phroneo, which means to exercise the mind.  To set means to make a determined decision to do something.  In this case, to exercise your mind.

As I see it, we have two things we can do when we face situations that can make us fearful, depressed, anxious or worried.  You can spend your time in fear, worrying about something which will ruin your whole day. Or you can exercise your mind on the things above and not on the things here on earth.

It reminds me of what we read in Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech your therefore, brethren (fellow believers), by the mercies of God that you present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Instead of worrying or being fearful about the things happening on this earth, discipline yourself, like a bodily decision to exercise, only this time your mind, to take that energy you use to worry or be fearful and read the Word of God, which will strengthened your knowledge of God.

The Word of God tells us that all forms of fear whether being afraid, worry, depression or anxiety is nothing more than a spirit. II Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us the spirit of fear…”

Setting your affection, exercising your mind, starts with a decision and continues with a discipline.  II Corinth. 10:3-5 tells us that though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh.  We are in a war and the battle takes place in the mind.  

II Corinth. 10:5 tells us that we have the power to cast down imaginations (those pictures we paint in our minds); to bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

We need to remember are lives are hid in Christ.  We need to remember we are seated in heavenly places in Jesus Christ.  We have been given the power to rebuke those spirits of fear.

Where are your thoughts today?  Covid 19 or the election?  How about exercising your mind on the thoughts that in agreement with the Word of God.

When a bad thought comes into your mind that produces fear, take it captive, then speak what the Word of God says about your situation.  Make it a habit to set, to exercise your mind on what the God says and not what that spirit of fear is trying to accomplish in your life.  

- Pastor Jim

Please Hurry

january 14, 2021

A word that we see several times in the Word of God is the word, patience.  It is one thing I am learning to experience.

The dictionary defines the word patience as calm endurance. To be patient by definition means enduring pain, trouble, etc., without complaining; calmly tolerating delay; persevering.

I have learned to wait but to be honest, I have not done it calmly.

The other day we waited at the bank drive thru for 17 minutes.  It was excruciating for me.  Another day we waited in a line at the car wash.  This time my wife decided to time it.  All the while I was complaining about the wait.  It was less than 10 minutes.  

I understand we sometimes must wait our turn, but staying calm is the part I am learning.

As believers we need to understand that patience is a quality we need to experience.  According to James 1:4 “But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfectly and fully developed.”

Patience is something we must all experience as believers if we are going to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.  Trusting in God’s timing versus our timing is a learning process.

We complain if we don’t get our prayers answered right away. Or we wonder why God doesn’t heal us immediately. Or why God didn’t allow something to happen according to our plans or desires.

There are stories in the Bible put there to encourage us to have patience.  We read about Biblical characters such as Joseph.  He had a dream that his family would bow down to him in reverence and honor.  When would that happen?  Tomorrow?  Maybe next week or even a year?

Why didn’t it happen the way that Joseph thought it would happen?  Thrown into a pit.  Sold into slavery then thrown into prison and supposedly forgotten.  What he dreamed did not take place in a year but many years.

How about Saul of Tarsus?  He had a drastic encounter with Jesus, blinded than healed.  Ok God let’s get started with my mission.  According to Paul, he separated himself, going into a secluded place for over 13 years.

How long have you been waiting for a God-given dream to happen?  How come God didn’t answer your prayers yet?  Why didn’t what you expect to happen, happen?

Could we be learning to be patient.  If everything happened when you wanted it to happen and to happen the way you expected it to happen why would you need faith?  If you don’t see that Word of God, you have been confessing over your life happening right now why would you need to trust God?

God doesn’t operate on our timetable or by our methods.  We are to trust in the Lord and wait upon the Lord which may require more time than what you have planned.

Faith believes regardless of the time it may take to be fulfilled in your life.  

As you stand in patience, you are being fully and completely developed.  We are going to have to learn to calmly endure.  Your trust and faith in God and His Word will grow and become stronger.  So stop telling God to please hurry.  You don’t want to be half-matured but fully and completely matured.

- Pastor Jim

on the right front

January 21, 2021

I have always been fascinated by the historic accounts of famous battles, either on land, sea or the air.  

One the most important things to know is where your enemy is located.  During the world wars it was essential to locate the enemy.  In World War I they used blimps to fly over the area to locate the position of the enemy.  They needed to find the “front”. That is where the most concentration of enemy troops were located. That is where you wanted to send your forces to oppose the enemy.

In World War II they used what was called “spotter” aircraft, whose mission was to photograph the enemy’s positions.  In the Pacific, aircraft would search diligently to locate the enemy naval task forces in order to launch an aerial assault on those enemy ships.

Bottom line, you need to know where your enemy is located in order to oppose and defeat them.

Today there are a lot of people angry with the political situation in our country today.  They see the opposition as their enemies.  That anger may result in violence and destruction.

To the true believer in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we will face opposition to what we believe.  Just like in natural war we need to know where our enemy is located.  The key is that we are not in a natural war and we can not use natural weapons to defeat the enemy.

First of all our enemy is not people.  It is the forces that are influencing and managing those people.  The Bible tells us in Ephesians 6 who is our real enemy.

Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

We don’t battle against flesh and blood. The battle “front” is not a person or persons.  This is a warfare in the spirit realm.  Being angry and desiring to inflict physical harm on someone will not defeat our enemy.  You are on the wrong front.

We also need to understand that the weapons necessary to defeat the enemy on the proper front are not of human design.  Guns, swords, bombs or our fists will not have any impact on this enemy.

II Corinthians 10:3-4 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (man- made), but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.”

Ephesians 6:13-18 describes the weapons we need to use in spiritual warfare.

Ephesians 6:11 tells us to put on the whole armor of God.  

To defeat the real enemy, the ones who are behind the person or persons, we need to use God’s defensive and offensive weapons.

Then and only then, will we be able to be fighting on the proper front.  The Word of God tells us who are enemy is and where we can locate him.  On the proper front we can defeat our enemy and win the battle.

Make sure you know who and where your enemy is and use the proper weapons. Then we will be what Romans 8:37 says we can be, “more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

- Pastor Jim