October 2 - 7
Monday, October 2 – “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” (Romans 8:5) It just makes sense. Whatever you set your mind on, that will be what you worship and serve. If you set your mind on money, you will worship and serve money. If you set your mind on an addiction, you will worship and serve your addiction. If you set your mind on God, you will worship and serve God. Nobody can argue with this logic. So, what it all really comes down to is this question: To what or who have you set your mind? No judgment. No condemnation. Just you getting real.
Tuesday, October 3 – “For by the grace given me I say to everyone of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” (Romans 12:3) All of us fall into this trap: We set our minds on ourselves and we worship and serve ourselves. You’re invited to confess that deep down you believe that the world would be a better place if everyone thought like you, looked like you and acted like you. This confession is your first step toward healing and wholeness. For you are also invited to confess that the burden of thinking of yourself more highly than you ought, is killing you.
Wednesday, October 4 – “So, then, if with Christ you’ve put all that puffed-up and childish religion behind you, why do you let yourselves be bullied by it? ‘Don’t touch this! Don’t taste that! Don’t go near this!’ Do you think things that are here today and gone tomorrow are worth that kind of attention? Such things sound impressive if said in a deep enough voice. They even give the illusion of being pious, humble and austere. But they’re just another way of showing off, making yourselves look important.” (Colossians 2:20-23) Religion is about what you do. A relationship with Jesus is about who you are. Don’t be so focused on the former, that you forget about the latter. The former is a focus on earthly things. The latter is a focus on things above.
Thursday, October 5 – “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” (Colossians 3:5) Let’s be honest, you deciding to “put to death” your earthly desires is a very good start. Yet, deciding is only a start. The next question is “How?” That’s where relationship comes into the picture. Through your faith in Jesus, the Holy Spirit will be with you, to guide you, direct you and teach you. And through your connection with other followers of Jesus, who are doing the exact same thing, friendships will be with you to support you and encourage you. You can’t “put to death” your earthly nature all by yourself. No matter how hard you try.
Friday, October 6 – “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33) This is where you’ve hit a wall. You believe that you have to be good, you have to overcome sin, you have to follow all the rules and you have to do everything right, before God will love you. When, in fact, the opposite is true. God already loves you. So, now you have been given the gift of living your life, as someone who is loved by God. You don’t do what you do, in order to be loved by God. You are loved by God, so you get to be who you are. All that you seek in this life is yours. All you need to do is live into God’s love for you.
Saturday, October 7 – “Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world – wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important – has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out – but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.” (1 John 2:15-17) As a follower of Jesus, you filter everything that you see and experience, here on earth, through the lens of eternity. This is your perspective. (If you’re a follower of Jesus and this isn’t your perspective, you now know what you’re going to focus on this weekend!) In other words, don’t sweat the small stuff. And everything is small stuff!