Friday, May 9, 2014

40 Day Challenge - Draw Closer to God & Your Hubby (Day 12: FOCUS!)

Yesterday was a doozy. My sister explained to me that it was easy to follow, but so mind boggling she had to read it more than once. Yup. I'm soooooo with ya. Thankfully I planned for that in my 40 day schedule, so today instead of trying to wrap your brain around a thick passage, you have a task. BUT not before reviewing: Paul's point in Romans 12:1-2 is that we consume our thoughts with the mercies of God so that we give our lives to Christ joyfully. He has given us SO MUCH, that we don't deserve. That way we can boast in no one else but Him and praise HIS Holy Name. In order to stay on track (or not be conformed to the things of this world) we must constantly renew our mind according to Scripture.

What are the mercies of God?

  • The power of God revealed through Christ on the cross! While we were still sinners He died for us! 
  • It is through faith alone in Christ alone that we are saved. We can boast in nothing, but in HIS saving grace.
  • Through Jesus Christ (our safe haven) we are standing in His grace, and because of HIS work, we can never lose it.
  • We were once enemies of God, but through our mediator Jesus Christ, we are justified and are no longer slaves to sin! Our old self was crucified with Christ and we are new in HIM.
  • We have a new husband and we are under a new covenant: Jesus Christ.
  • There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus!
  • We are so deep in our sin that Paul gives us zero hope in salvation unless God did something for us: He gave us Jesus and He drew us to Him. Why? FOR HIS GLORY.
  • If God does all the work, why do we minister? He told us too and how can one believe if they've never heard? Plant the seeds, God provides the growth. 
  • God is faithful to His Word. He will not forget His elect. Not even the Israelites.
You have to understand God's GREATNESS in order to serve better. We cannot effectively serve our husbands, our children, our church family, without understanding HIM. The only thing He's asking of us is our life. We are a living sacrifice ready to express the worth of God and all He is for us in Jesus. That starts with focusing our minds, and renewing it according to Scripture.

THAT'S the gist of Romans 12:1-2 and the entire purpose of this challenge. To direct our thoughts to Christ and have renewed hope and purpose. It's so difficult for women to focus our minds on one task at a time because we are born multitaskers. One of my favorite ecards states this truth very well...
Multitasking is fantastic when we're trying to manage a household, but it's not so great while praying and worshiping. I'll be praying and all of the sudden thinking about the dirty dishes in the sink. Or I'll be singing a worship song and then writing a to-do list for the errands I must run after my daughters nap. I know I'm not alone in finding it difficult to focus my mind. I find it terribly frustrating at times. 

So I've come up with some ways to help myself focus and today you need to do the same. How are you going to stop and consider the wondrous works of God? How are you going to become a living sacrifice, not conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewal of your mind? How are you going to determine the will of God in your life?

Here's a few things on my list:
  • Thankful Journal
  • Prayer Journal (Writing forces me to focus.)
  • Song Playlist 
  • Milton Vincent's book: A Gospel Primer 
  • Arthur Bennett's book of prayers: The Valley of Vision
  • When I read the Bible and find a character trait of God, I write it down on a master list with the corresponding Scripture. So far my list includes: God is a jealous God. He is merciful. Omniscient. Preeminent. (&etc.) That way when it comes time to praise Him for His wondrous works I use Scripture to help me.
  • Pray using Scripture (I promise to show you what I mean here.)
Thankfully God has given us a tool to help us: His Word and a Helper. I'll be spending a few days sharing what our pastor has taught us that's helped me tremendously. Stay tuned. In the mean time spend today coming up with activities that will help you focus on HIM.

None of that will make sense if you ignore...
  • Day 1 - The Gospel
  • Day 2 - Stop & Consider the Wondrous Works of God
  • Day 3 - Trust in God's Sovereignty
  • Day 4 - Using Music to Focus Our Hearts & Minds on God 
  • Day 5 - Sanctify Me
  • Day 6 - Memorize Proverbs 3:5-6
  • Day 7 - Deny Self
  • Day 8 - Pray
  • Day 9 - What is Your Purpose?
  • Day 10 - Your Innermost Desires
  • Day 11 - Living Sacrifice, Spiritual Worship, Renewal of Mind
I'm so glad you decided to join me.

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