August 22

Today's Bible Reading
            I Samuel 14
            Romans 12
            Jeremiah 51
            Psalms 30
“For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” (Romans 12:3)
             Much has been said, in our modem culture, about positive thinking; in fact, there is a whole body of theology that teaches a health and wealth approach to life.  Some people believe that if you simply think in a positive manner, that everything will be prosperous in your life.  They would say that you will always be what you think you are. This results in a “name it and claim it”, or a “profess it and possess it” type of attitude toward life. Are you really always what you think you are? I would strongly disagree with that philosophy.  Your health and time of death is in the will of the sovereign God. But I do believe that you are what you think.
            Your daily victory or defeat will depend on your mental response to your circumstances. The correct answer is never “fine under the circumstances”; we must rise above the circumstances with thoughts focused on Him. There are many who think much too lowly of themselves. As a Child of God, you must not think too lowly of yourself, because you are a new creation in Christ, an ambassador for Christ. You have become, actually, a new kind of species because of Jesus Christ in your life. You have become the “righteousness of God in Him”. (II Corinthians 5:17-21) Don't you know that you belong to the aristocracy of Heaven? You are a spiritual prince or princess. You belong to the King of Kings. You are a child of the sovereign God of the universe, so you need to think like the spiritual aristocrat that you are. You are a part of God's nobility.
            You must also realize, however, that you have an old sinful nature; therefore, Paul tells us not to think of ourselves more highlythan we ought to think. He also said, “For I know that in me, that is in my flesh, nothing good dwells.” (Romans 7:18) In other words, the New Birth, in itself, does not change or perfect the flesh. The flesh is there until we are carried home to be with the Lord. It is carnal, and there is no escaping it until death or until the Rapture of the Church, when we shall be changed “in the twinkling of an eye.” Therefore, if you are to be a effective child of God in this sin-cursed world, you must keep the fleshly nature under control and bring it into subjection to the will of God, or else be disqualified as Christ's ambassador. (I Corinthians 9:27)
            One of the most important things you do is think. Your thinking can be profitable or futile. You are the master of your thoughts: you think by choice. You can think good or you can think evil - the choice is yours. You cannot think both good and evil simultaneously any more than you can travel east and west at the same time. Every thought must be brought into subjection to the mind of Christ. This means focusing and meditating on the Word of God with the illumination of God's Spirit. This will form the mind of Christ in you; therefore, you can think like a spiritual pauper, or you can realize your wonderful position in Christ, focus on His Word, and enjoy the benefits of Sonship. Remember, you are somebody…a new kind of species in Christ. Remember, you are what you think! The battle is in the mind. 
            As you continue to consider Bangladesh, remember that there is constant strife and jealousy among these tribes and especially as the Bengali population explosion moves into their territory. Pray for God to give protection and a spirit of compassion and forgiveness to these peoples, that they may be subject to the cultivation of the Gospel.