Category: <span>thoughts by Julie Cosgrove</span>

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives to rest and rejuvenate


Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening He went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, and all the people came early in the morning to hear Him at the temple  Luke 21:37-38

I’d never noticed it before. Perhaps I am the only one. But in the Scripture passage above it states that Jesus went to the Mount of Olives to rest and rejuvenate after each day of teaching to the crowds. It became His refuge

Now it makes sense that He would go there His last night on earth to pray and rededicate Himself for the torturous mission that lay ahead. It was the one place He’d often found peace. And that night, He needed it more than ever before.

Do you have a place of peace?

Perhaps it is the park down the block, or an off the beaten path stretch of beach. Maybe it is closer to home such as a bench in your garden, a soaking tub filled with bubble bath (and if you have kids, a locked door!), or a cozy chair draped with a prayer shawl.

Wherever your peace place is, go there.  Take a few deep breaths. God will meet you. Just as He met His Son on the night before the most important day of His ministry. We all need a break now and then.

By Julie Cosgrove
Used by Permission
From: https://wheredidyoufindgodtoday.com/

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Further Reading

•  Keep Yourselves in God’s Love

•  Peace or Panic?

•  Salvation Explained


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Have you ever had a spiritual high, only then to slide into the valley at lightning speed?  You  come home from a fabulous spirit-filled retreat and discover the water heater burst and flooded the house, or the entire family contracts the stomach virus, or you get an IRS audit notice in the mail. Why Lord? Couldn’t You have let me feel great for just a while longer?

Jesus understands. The same thing happened to Him:

At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.  Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.  And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

 At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness...” (Mark 1:9-12)

At once…bam. Why?

Perhaps because our faith is forged in trials.

Perhaps so His human pride wouldn’t swell.

Perhaps because God knows we cannot exist on emotional highs.

If there were not valleys, would we appreciate the mountain tops? Jesus never told us becoming a believer meant an easy road where the potholes would vanish. Far from it.

What comforts me is the last part of Mark 1:13

and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted  by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him. (Emphasis mine).

What have I learned?

First, God prepared Jesus. He gave Him the spiritual high, the encouragement, and the faith to head into the wilderness, knowing it was coming. He gave Him His purpose- You are My Son, with you I am well pleased. 

Second, God never left Him. He sent angels to minister to Him.

Because of His experience on earth as a human, Jesus understands the slippery slope off the mountain into the valley. He gets the fact that life is tough. He knows that evil can chip away  our armor of faith.

But He is God, too. He knows when those “Oops” are going to come for us. He will prepare us for them, and guide us through them. Even in the wilderness, we can find His blessings.

By Julie Cosgrove
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Further Reading

•  Pressing the RESET button on our lives 

•  Cling to the Lord

•  Salvation Explained


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It takes a Savior who sacrificed Himself for our transgressions to show us how to act.


“With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?”  Micah 6:6

God demands a sacrifice in order to forgive us. It’s not because He is some power-hungry being that wants to see humans suffer — just the opposite. By sacrificing something, God’s people looked beyond their own selfishness and learned compassion. If they could give to God, perhaps they’d learn to give to each other as well.

But as the people turned from Him, God made it clear that sacrificing material things out of traditional duty was not His original intent. They weren’t supposed to sacrifice their crops and animals to gain a ‘get out of jail free card’ for living sinful lives. So, through the prophets God tried to make it clear that He didn’t want their things. He wanted their hearts softened so they could once again learn to think of Him and of others before themselves. Micah tells the people, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (6:8).

Sometimes donating money out of our paycheck is an easier sacrifice. We can throw money at the project and let someone else do it. But to give up our self-centered, pride-filled, and judgmental human nature to serve God and others is a sacrifice. It is a lifestyle do-over. It takes commitment. It also takes a merciful God who can forgive us when we stumble. It takes a Savior who sacrificed Himself for our transgressions to show us how to act.

Dearest Lord, by your example teach us to be more just to others, knowing they are loved by you and are of worth in Your eyes. Let us prayerfully humble ourselves so we can be more open to serve. Instill in us a sense of compassion and mercy so we can truly love our neighbors. Help us to truly sacrifice the world’s ways for yours. Amen.

By Julie Cosgrove
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Further Reading

Making a Difference

•   How to Pray

•  Salvation Explained


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Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me! Isaiah 6:8


There is a contemporary hymn that asks, “Here I am Lord, Is it I, Lord?” I’ve felt that way at times. Wanting eagerly to do God’s will but not sure how. Inadequacy slips into my heart. With knitted brow I whisper, “Are You sure about this, God? Isn’t there someone else more qualified?” Perhaps you have felt this way as well.

One time, brand new to a city, my late husband and I joined a church. Three weeks in, the pastor said he felt God called me to be the Outreach Coordinator. I sucked in my breath. “I barely know where the super market is!” But I prayed about it and said yes. I told God, “You are going to have to help me.” He was faithful to do so. Over the next few months, outreach needs and opportunities dropped into my lap without me having to search for them. I knew I was ill-equipped to find them on my own. God’s hand was in the process from start to finish, and that gave me the confidence to proceed.

Perhaps you’ve heard the quote, “God doesn’t called the equipped, but equips the called.” I found that to be true. Isaiah wasn’t equipped. But he was willing to serve. So God ordered Isaiah’s tongue touched with a purifying coal to prepare him for the task at hand. God equipped Isaiah. He equipped me in that new city. He will do the same for you. All you need is a heart willing to serve.

Dear Father in Heaven, prepare me for the task You wish for me to accomplish, with Your help and guidance. Keep me from rushing ahead or taking the credit. Retain in me a servant’s heart and point it all back to You. I pray this through Your servant Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

By Julie Cosgrove
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Further Reading

We are Christ’s Ambassadors

Come Alongside – what it looks like to come alongside of people while Jesus draws them closer.

•  Salvation Explained


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“Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.“ Proverbs 1:5


Winston Churchill said, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak: courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” I find the second harder to do, especially in my prayer time. How about you?

I am often guilty of treating God like a celestial Santa Claus, bringing my lists of wants and expecting Him to fill them because I have been a good girl this year. I believe we should bring our desires, troubles, and even confessions to God. It takes courage and honesty to openly come before Him. He knows them anyway before we speak. Like the patient, loving, Abba Father He is, He takes time to listen, knowing there are things we need to get off our chest. God always listens to us. Wouldn’t it be prudent to return the favor?

If prayer is truly a conversation, then we should listen for His response instead of doing all the talking. Perhaps we could even let Him speak first. I have begun to incorporate this practice into my prayer time. I begin by being still, I listen and come into His presence with thanksgiving, as Psalm 100 states.

I am thankful my Lord is a loving God who cares and stops to hear my needs. I’m thankful He died on the cross so I can come to Him, and that I have life eternal. I am thankful for all the times He has heard and responded. Then I end my time with listening as well.

I believe our Lord always does respond. That may not be at the time we decide we can carve out a few minutes of reflection time. It may be later in the day, or the week, or the month. But His response will come, and as always, in perfect timing. Will we be listening? Or will we try to solve the problem ourselves, or be off on another task, or too occupied by worry to catch His response?

Dearest Father in Heaven, we can never thank you enough for all the goodness you bestow in your grace and mercy for us. Forgive us for the times we do not stop, sit and listen to your will, advice, correction, or answer. Help us to have the courage to come before your throne honestly with our needs, but then give us the faith and courage to be willing to listen, and then accept your response. Through Jesus’ name, amen.

By Julie Cosgrove
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https://wheredidyoufindgodtoday.com/

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Further Reading

The Importance of Knowing God

Hearing God’s Voice – a Study by Charles Stanley

•  Salvation Explained


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Like our bodies, our souls need regular nourishment to function.


“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”  Matthew 5:6

I was in the zone…typing away without losing my train of thought, editing as I went, the plot moving along.

After a while, a slight wooziness washed over me. My stomach growled. I sighed, pushed back my chair, and snatched a protein bar. Quick, easy to eat, no cooking or mess to clean. I chomped as I typed. That staved off the hunger for a while, but the sensation returned within a few hours.

Isn’t this often true of our spiritual lives? We are in such a rush, our concentration focused on the “doing” mode. We forget that, like our bodies, our souls need regular nourishment to function. A deep hunger for God niggles us. At first, we ignore it, but it doesn’t go away.

But what to feed it? We flip through a few highlighted verses in our Bibles, scan our bookshelves filled with devotionals and inspirational guides, even stare at the Biblical saying plaques on our walls. Still, the deep aching isn’t quite satisfied. We need real God-time. And Sunday is days away.

To fully digest what we read, see, and hear, we need to take it to the Father and let his Spirit feed our faith. Truly absorb his truth the way our stomach takes in nutrients. That requires undisturbed prayer time.

Spend quality time with God today. Don’t snack as you keep on “doing.” Instead, sit down, relax, and devour the full-plated goodness God wishes to provide. That’s the full meal deal. Talk about soul food!

Lord, I hunger for your presence in my life. Let me not ignore the need to spend daily time with you. Fill me to the brim with your goodness, wisdom, and mercy. Let it sustain me as I go through my day. Amen.

Reflect on how you want to deepen your walk with God, and especially your time in his Word.

By Julie Cosgrove
Used by Permission


Further Reading

•  Spiritual Oxygen: Are You Getting Enough?

How to be Filled with the Holy Spirit

•  Salvation Explained


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“As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way.”  Mark 1:2


For many people, this upcoming time of year is filled with decorations, music, parties, and shopping. But it is also Advent — a season where we can not only prepare our own hearts to celebrate the Christ child, but also help others prepare their hearts as well.

Scripture tells us that John the Baptist cried out passages from Isaiah about preparing the way of the Lord. He called the Israelites to return full heartedly to God, knowing another would soon come whose sandals he was unworthy to tie — Jesus, the Christ.

Perhaps we are not called to be John the Baptists. But we can spread the Christ-mass cheer in other ways. Smile with your eyes, over your mask, to the frazzled store clerk and call them by name if possible. They are often the brunt of many people’s frustration and selfish nature. We can treat them with dignity and care.

Be a friend to the poor. What if we take 10% of what we normally spend on gifts and give it to our church ministry programs? Maybe send Christmas cards with a Christian message to friends and family? Above all, let’s pray each morning that God will use us to shine the light of his love and joy in a dark world.

Lord Jesus, come. As we prepare our hearts for you, open them to receive others as well. Let your light shine through the pre-Christmas season’s hustle and hassles. Keep us focused on the main thing — celebrating you. Help us to point others towards you as well. Amen.

Throughout the day seek to glorify Jesus through your attitudes, sacrificial giving, or prayer.

By Julie Cosgrove
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Further Reading

Great Expectations for Christmas

Practicing the Presence of God

•  Salvation Explained


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If change bothers you, look to the One who never changes. Only things that are eternal remain the same


“I the Lord do not change”  Malachi 3:6

The register rang up $19.98. I handed the cashier a $20 bill. She asked, “Do you want change?”
I smiled. “Not really, but nothing stays the same does it?” We both laughed.

Oh, how we hate change…
Isn’t it strange that we so greatly resist, even dislike, change when life on earth is always changing?

Babies grow into toddlers, then to kids, then to teens, and hopefully into competent adults. Even then, our bodies continue to change. Our metabolism slows, our skin wrinkles, our bellies widen. Our joints ache, and our stamina lessens.

The seasons change, right? Temperatures dip, leaves turn colors, and rains pound, then maybe snow falls. Temps rise and the squiggly miraging heat on the pavement make us wilt and dream of cool streams and sandy beaches.

The moon waxes and wanes, tides ebb and flow, and rivers slowly carve out a new course. Flowers bloom, then wilt. Seeds push through the ground and grow into plants. Caterpillars turn into butterflies.

Political opinions change. Social standards change. Fashions change. So do relationships, friendships, and the desire to keep vows.

And still we resist…

If change bothers you, look to the One who never changes. Only things that are eternal remain the same:

God’s love
God’s grace
God’s mercy
Christ’s death that eradicates confessed sins.
The Holy Spirit’s guidance.

When you seek the things eternal and set your mind on the things that are above instead of earthly things, as Paul states in Colossians 3:2, you are going to change. Sorry, but it’s true. And that’s okay.

You will be less stressed. Less anxious. Less swayed by emotional ups and downs. Calmer, more at peace, and joyful. Things will have a positive reflection instead of a negative influence. Your posture will be more upright and your step lighter. Your burden will seem less heavy. People may even react to you differently.
Do you want change?

By Julie Cosgrove
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Further Reading

•   Stepping Into a Personal Revival
•   We Plan – God Directs
•  Salvation Explained


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“Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path” Proverbs 3:5&6

Maybe it’s a Texas thing, but often the same street has two different names. Several do in my section of town. You can be driving down the same street and suddenly you realize you aren’t on the same one as before. But, aren’t you? One block can make a difference

I sat at the traffic light, waiting it to turn green, and pondered a moment. There are other streets that stop, then start up again. You have to zig or zag a bit to find them again. We have a few of these in my neighborhood as well.

Isn’t that the way it often is on this road we call life? It is so easy to think we are heading in the right direction, on God’s path. Then something subtle changes. We look up and see signs telling us we are headed a new way, even if we did not realize anything had changed. How did we get here and how do we get on the right path again? Or, are we still on it and yet God has changed it in some way?

I have been concentrating on the car in front of me for several miles in traffic, sort of half-dazed, and missed my turn off, haven’t you? Or been deeply distracted by a song on the radio or my passenger’s conversation. Yes, easy then to see I’ve messed up and figure out how to turn around.

But life can be more subtle than that.

How can we know we are on the correct path, even if it seems to have changed names?

By letting someone else drive…

Jesus, take the wheel.

By Julie Cosgrove
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Further Reading

•   My Search for Inner Peace – by Eva Reinhart
•  Afraid of Being called a ‘Religious Fanatic” – Norm Brown’s story
•  Salvation Explained

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“Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.”  Luke 11:36

The morning sun peeked through the slats in my window blinds and landed on one of my potted plants. The leaves became almost transparent. I could see the veins, as if they were being X-rayed. Each vein not only provides nourishment and strength to the leaf but also helps to define its shape.

Are we not the same when Christ, the Light of the world, lives in us? His mercy and goodness shape us. His Word flows through us to strengthen us and nourish us. When Jesus’ light shines through our words, thoughts, and deeds, people see him in us. We almost become transparent.

There is something else I have noticed. If I let any dust settle on the plant leaves, the sunlight does not filter through as well. That hurts the plant and can prevent its leaves from growing strong and green. It may droop or wither.

If we let the dust and dirt of the world settle on us, it can dim Christ’s influence. We can droop under the weight and not receive the light we need daily. It can accumulate on us over time to where very little of Christ is shining through us.

It is important that we are regularly cleansed of our sins so we can shine brightly and attract others to his love. Then, what he is doing inside of us will not be in vain; rather, veins of mercy, grace, and love that strengthen and shape us will be easily seen by others.

Lord, cleanse me of the dirt from the world that settles on me each day. Help me to see your light and know you better and understand your love so that I can be free from the stains of the world and shine your light in every circumstance. Shine through me so that others may see you in me and desire to know you. Amen.

Continue to invite Christ to shine through you and to reveal any dust that might be settling on you.

By Julie Cosgrove
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FURTHER READING

The Old Apple Tree
1 Corinthians 13 – The Way of Love 

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: https://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/

 

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It still hangs in our family cabin — a plaque depicting a photograph of a sparrow perched on the fingertips of a hand containing birdseed. Underneath the picture are these words:

“Faith is not hope without proof, but trust without reservations.”

A few months ago, the theme of these devotionals was hope, and hope in God is a worthy thing. It boosts our faith, surely. But it doesn’t provide our reason to have faith. Trust does.
Until we trust what someone is saying, we don’t have any faith in their words. Let’s look at some familiar words from the Bible:

Jesus said, “Lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the age.”
Matthew 20:28

Do you trust that God will never leave you?

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners….” 1 Timothy 1:15

Do you trust He can save us from our sins?

I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die .…” John 11:25

Do you trust that Jesus Christ really offers eternal life?

Trust is the gasoline that fuels our faith along this journey called life. If our trust begins to diminish, our faith cannot function as well. We begin to sputter and slow down.

We need to fill up again and again. How do we do that? We study the Word and see how God has helped those written about in the Bible. We recall the times God has been there in the past, for us and our loved ones. We remember prayers answered and others’ testimonies. We think back to the times He felt as close as our breath. We declare our dependence on His Spirit.

Then, once again, we have no reservations. Our trust is renewed. Full speed ahead!

Heavenly Father, You are trustworthy. Help us to never have reservations when it comes to our faith in You, knowing that You did provide the proof of your unfailing love through the sacrifice of Your Son, our Savior on the cross and His ascent into glory. Amen.

By Julie Cosgrove
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Further Reading

•   The Almighty
•  Spiritual Oxygen: Are you getting it?
•  Salvation Explained

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Amid disquieting dreams in the night, when deep sleep falls on people, fear and trembling seized me and made all my bones shake. A spirit glided past my face, and the hair on my body stood on end.” Job 4:13-15

I’d stopped listening to the news. As a friend said about the local network’s way of covering the day’s events, “if it bleeds, it leads.” Hearing all of the bad news night after night made me want to lock my doors and never step outside again.

Amidst the sound bites and cyberspace blasts of all that is wrong with the world, it is easy to have a cowering attitude. But that is not the way Christ calls us to be. We are not to be ostriches burying our heads in the sand, nor cloister with other Christians safely in our pews. We need to see the problems of the world through the eyes of bold faith and then ask, “How can I help?”

Faith vanishes fear. Faith empowers us because we know God is in control and He will, as it states in Romans, work things out for the good for those who believe (8:28). Our relationship with God determines our view of the world. The author of the letter to the Hebrews stated, “God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?’” (13:5-6). We mustn’t let the troubles of the world paralyze His healing power and peace in our lives.

Holy Father God, dispel the power of fear’s grip, which can immobilize us from being Your hands and feet. Instead, instill in us a steadfast faith. Teach us to discern how we can help to bring truth and love to a hurting world. Remind us daily that You are in control so we need not fear or be anxious about what is happening around us. We pray this through Your Son, Jesus, who told us to fear not but to seek Your righteousness. Amen

By Julie Cosgrove
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Further Reading

•  Fear, Faith and Migraines by Dr. Muriel Larson
•  Why Worry Yourself Sick? – by Muriel Larson
•  Salvation Explained

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But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Exodus 9:16

When in comes to the Christian walk, there are three P’s:

Prayer
Power
Purpose

Prayer is the most powerful tool we have for fulfilling God’s purpose. When a car has a wobbly tire, it is hard to steer it straight. It keeps wanting to veer off. Prayer brings our mind, heart, and spirit in alignment with God the way a mechanic aligns the tires. It keeps us going in the right direction. Prayer is a privileged conversation with the Almighty, which requires listening as well as talking. It reminds us of God’s power when we humble ourselves and trust. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James 5:16b)

Power is an elusive thing, except when it comes to God. He has power over everything, yet He grants us the free will to accept it or not. Many people find this to be a stumbling block because they wish to retain power. But once a person experiences the power of God, they soon fall to their knees in awe, and their response is prayer. They discover a new purpose–letting go and letting God. They learn freedom is bliss inside boundaries. They are no longer tethered to the lie that they have to be in total control. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever. (Lord’s Prayer)

Purpose – most of us at one time or another ask ourselves what our purpose is in life, or if life itself has a purpose. The answer is found in our relationship with God. Job knew this even after he went through more calamities than a person should ever have to experience. He said, “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2). The Christian has two purposes, which Jesus stated all else rests upon–Love God, love neighbor. (Matthew 27:37-40). Neither is easily accomplished without the Holy Spirit’s guidance in our lives, giving it purpose.

The initial Scriptural quote from Exodus is concerning Pharoah and his hardened heart. I chose it as an encouragement. God has a purpose for everything and everyone. He used Pharoah to show His power not out of some ego stunt but to show His people, the Hebrews, that He was with them and would not forsake them. It was also to show Pharoah that he was not a god. His power was limited.

Today there is persecution in ways we have never experienced, and some say it will only get worse. Society will continue to crumble into chaos, morals will keep declining, and life will be further devaluated.

Fear not. God has the power and a purpose. We can seek that and receive it through prayer, bringing power and purpose to our lives and those of others.

God will never leave you empty.

By Julie Cosgrove
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Further Reading

•  Frank had a vision of a huge angel
•  Religion Causes Conflict and Strife– No Thanks!    by Gord Fleming
•  Salvation Explained

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But you try many medicines in vain; there is no healing for you. Jeremiah 46:11

A wise biblical scholar said his doctor put him on high blood pressure medications. The doctor told him his condition was hereditary, and there was no cure. However, to manage it and keep it from endangering his health, he only needed to take a pill each day.

The scholar related it to our human nature. We have inherited pride and sin from Adam. There is no cure on this side of heaven, but we do have a daily remedy for it. Jesus.

I take medicine daily, too. I might skip a day without any horrid ramifications, but if I skip two or three days, my health may be endangered. The same with my spiritual life. If I skip a day of prayer and Bible reading, I can get by. I may be a tad grumpy or negative. But if I go for too long without my “Jesus pill,” I can slip back into my old ways. Look for other things to bring me peace and joy, like comfort food, spending hours watching a TV series, or shopping for what I don’t need.

People self-medicate all the time. Some with alcohol, some with drugs or sex. Others with adrenaline rushes, money, or power. None of those things satisfy the soul. For our chronic human condition, there is only one thing. We need a Savior. He alone can help us manage what life throws at us without raising our “blood pressure.”

Christian, have you taken your medicine today?

Holy Lord, forgive me when I neglect to include you in my daily life. I need your merciful grace to help me control my human nature and its self-fulfilling tendencies. Remind me to take a good dose of your Word each day and allow your Spirit to fill me with your presence in prayer. For you alone can satisfy my soul. Amen.

Ask the Lord to show you where you “self-medicate” apart from his Spirit, and ask him to help you grow deeper in your relationship with him.

By Julie Cosgrove
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Further Reading

•  Pressing Your Reset Button
•  How to be fill with the Holy Spirit
•  Salvation Explained

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“A false witness will perish, but a careful listener will testify successfully.” Proverbs 21:28

Does it seem like people today are picking Bible verses like apples off a tree to prove their point of view?

Many are quoted out of context or misquoted all together.

Of course, using the Bible to justify opinions has long been a temptation. Ever read sermons from the South and the North during the American Civil War? Scribes in the Middle Ages were known to occasionally add verses or amend them. The early church elders argued for decades over which biblical interpretations were heretical and which were Spirit-breathed truth.

However, in spite of our humanness, the Word has remained the measure for our thoughts, actions, and beliefs as followers of Jesus. As a construction worker drops a plumb line down a wall to see if it is straight, a believer can use the Word of God to make sure she is still following the straight and narrow way.

So read the Word of God daily. Let Scripture be your guide for your thoughts, your mold for your beliefs, and the boundary for your behavior. Store Bible passages in your memory. Then, when you hear someone say something that seems a bit off kilter, you can compare their words with the verses you have learned and ingested.

Furthermore, The Holy Spirit is always there to give you the gift of discernment. Just as Paul and Silas knew to silence the soothsaying girl in Philippi (Acts 16), the Holy Spirit can steer you to measure what you hear and think against Scripture, not vice versa. Call upon Him before you speak. Then you can be assured that your witness is true and you will testify successfully.

Dearest Father God, lead us away from the temptation of trying to justify our actions with Scripture verses taken out of context. Let us instead be careful witnesses who lead others to Your Truth, through the guidance of Your Spirit and the examples of Your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

By Julie Cosgrove
Used by permission

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