June 23

Today's Bible Readings
     Deuteronomy 28:20-68
     Psalms 119:25-48
     Isaiah 55
     Matthew 3
''For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)
It has been said, ''You are what you eat." But this is not entirely so. You are also what you think. Your body is affected by what you eat, but your body is not all of you. It is only the temporary house in which you live. According to verse 7, there are really only two ways for you to think - the righteous way and the unrighteous way. Tell me what you think about, and I will tell you what you are, because you are what you think.
            Now I'm not sure that is entirely true. If I were indeed what I think about, then when I was a teenager,  I would  have been a girl, because that is primarily what I thought about. I think you know that what we mean is that, as you focus and concentrate within your mind, your thoughts will take you to righteousness or unrighteousness. For example, a thief is a thief because he thinks like a thief; a liar is a liar because he thinks like a liar. That is why Proverbs 23:7 tells us, ''for as he thinks in his heart, so is he."
The battle is a battle of the mind.It is the will of God that we be continually renewed in the mind. ''I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."  (Romans 12:1-2)
            At the Resurrection, we will have bodies of flesh and bone, but without sin, like the glorified body of our risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Until the Lord releases us from these houses of clay, we are to present our bodies as a ''living sacrifice, holy acceptable to God which is our reasonable service." This cannot be accomplished apart from ''the renewing of your mind." To renew your mind means to forsake unrighteous thoughts and become righteous in all of your thinking. By applying our hearts and minds to the Scriptures with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, our hearts and minds become renewed and begin to think God's thoughts and to have the mind of Christ. If you have been saved by grace through faith, the Holy Spirit indwells you. Therefore, let the Word of God and the indwelling Holy Spirit motivate your every thought. Remember, you are what you think.
            Focus your prayers today on the United ArabEmirates. These seven Emirates have a population of almost 2.7 million souls, or perhaps even more with the expatriate workers who are there. In one generation, these states have moved from deep poverty to fabulous wealth. They are 65% Muslim and less than 10% Christian. We need to pray for the believers here because when they openly share their faith, it is not unusual for them to be arrested and imprisoned. Pray for courage, wisdom, and an atmosphere in which the Gospel can be shared freely.
''No erudition, no purity of diction, no width of mental outlook, no flowers of eloquence, no grace of person can atone for lack of fire. Prayer ascends by fire. Flame gives prayer access as well as wings, acceptance as well as energy. There is no incense without fire; no prayer without flame."
E. M. Bounds