#BacktotheBible

Isn’t this an adorable picture?

By far the practice of reading the bible through each year will do more than anything else to enhance your prayer life, activate your meditation or thought life, and . . .

motivate your worship life.

http://unsplash.com/@samanthasophia

“This book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from  this book” John Bunyan (Author of Pilgrim’s Progress)

“A glory gilds the sacred page,
Majestic like the sun;
It gives a light to every age;
It gives, but borrows none.

The Spirit breathes upon the Word
And brings the truth to sight;
Precepts and promises afford
A sanctifying light.” – William Cowper

http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/g/l/glorygil.htm

Discerning The Messages in Our Heads

Listen to Dan Allender’s podcast regarding how to discern the voices in our heads (see below).

In my book Embracing Your Identity in Christ: Renouncing Lies and Foolish Strategies, I wrote:

“An interpretation war has existed since the time the ancient serpent tempted Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. After the fall, this interpretation war grew much more complex as people did not turn to God for meaning and answers to life’s basic questions. There is a real battle that rages in the heart of every Christian. It is an interpretation war about his or her identity. This is where the world and the devil seek to kill, steal, and destroy us. This is where the interpretation war takes place each and every day.

One’s central condemning thought (CCT) is furnished readily by evil to interpret painful events in our lives. It offers an explanation for why there was relational damage, and it can trigger an autonomous vow to never let it happen again. An identity built on a condemning thought can rule a Christian for many years, instead of the gospel. This is because our default mode is to overcome condemnation by self-improvement efforts to prove the lie is a lie. One’s CCT triggers a personal strategy of Christian performance that leads to patterns of burnout, surrender, and repeat performances. Why are we so vulnerable to this? Simply put: we tend to base our sense of our identities upon our Christian performance, rather than resting on the performance of another— namely, Jesus Christ’s perfect thirty-three-year life of righteousness.”

Here is another resource to consider how to discern the messages in our heads; namely, Dan Allender’s short video: https://theallendercenter.org/resources/video/discerning-the-voices/

Staying Warmly Present

On the present moment

“Never, in peace or war, commit your virtue or your happiness to the future. Happy work is best done by the man who takes his long-term plans somewhat lightly and works from moment to moment “as to the Lord.” It is only our daily bread that we are encouraged to ask for. The present is the only time in which any duty can be done or any grace received.”

From The Weight of Glory
Compiled in Words to Live By

The Weight of Glory: And Other Addresses. Copyright © 1949, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright renewed © 1976, revised 1980 C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Words to Live By: A Guide for the Merely Christian. Copyright © 2007 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

 

 

 

 

https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/cs-lewis-daily/today

Four Seasons of Spiritual Formation

https://www.amazon.com/author/robert_davis_smart

Our identity, besides being one of the most precious things to prevent from theft, crisis, or loss, is extremely important to God. The Father has given his children an identity in Christ that will shape us on our journey to heaven. If in the process of identity formation we ignore what God says concerning our identity, then we may expect confusion in other seasons of spiritual formation. four-seasons-chart_print

Just after birth, a child is given an identity. Identity formation, however, is a longer process. When Jesus Christ was approximately thirty years of age the Father spoke of his identity at his baptism just before entering fully into his calling. In the same way, identity in Christ ought to precede our calling to Christ. It is at this important season of identity that Satan challenges each of us, as he did our Lord. The devil’s first attacks on our Lord were aimed at his identity: “If you are the Son of God.”

The evil trinity—the world, the flesh, and the devil—is seeking to kill and destroy us in each season of spiritual formation. In the spring they confuse our identity, in the summer our calling, in the autumn our intentionality, and in the winter our legacy. The world escorts us to the pit; the flesh entices us to fall in; and the devil pushes us over the edge. “The pit,” as it were, represents a dark and slimy collection of lies, condemning thoughts, and foolish strategies designed to confuse and distort our identity formation.

Start a spiritual formation group on your campus or in your church this Fall by ordering a book designed for each season. See the following link https://www.amazon.com/Robert-Davis-Smart/e/B005SXVJI6/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

An Identity Group is the first of four spiritual formation groups designed to shape us into the likeness of Jesus Christ. It assumes that you have to begin here before asking the next three major questions of the Christian life: Where’s my place (calling)? How do I steward all my gifts, resources, and efforts with intentionality in the light of eternity (intentionality)? What inheritance, testament, and benediction do I leave behind as I prepare to cross the river of death in order to gain eternity (legacy)?