March 14, 2010

The washcloth I use to do the dishes gets absolutely filthy.  Poor thing.  Dried up spaghetti sauce, hardened ketchup and barbecue sauce (ick), strands of Ramen noodles clinging to the side of the bowl, and the washcloth has to tackle it all.  It sounds a little funny to have to wash a washcloth, but it definitely needs done.  I can think of only one thing that should be washed more often than that washcloth.  My mind.

Our minds soak up everything we expose them to.  Whatever we watch, read, or listen to gets sucked into our brains like a vortex, affecting our thoughts, feelings, and desires.  Man do those things get dirty.  Where’s a good brainwasher when you need one?

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed through the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2 NIV).  Ah ha!  A good mind renewal sounds perfect.  But how exactly do we let our minds be renewed?  Philippians 4:8 commands us to focus our minds on whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things! (NIV)

We have a tendency to allow ourselves to be slaves to our sinful nature by what we choose to fill our minds with.  Instead of starving our sinful nature, we choose to fuel it.  When we try under our own power to change, we inevitably fail.

But God’s Word has the answer.  Instead of trying to simply remove our sinful thoughts and actions, we should focus on replacing them with what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable.  I can think of no better way to fill my mind with God-honoring thoughts than by studying the Word, the ultimate truth.

It’s time to undo your thinking.  Wash your mind with the Word.  By allowing the Holy Spirit to work in your life, you can be renewed from the inside out.  If anything is excellent or praiseworthy, studying the Bible daily most certainly is.

Have you had a good brainwash lately?

Nick B

Post tags: ,

There your heart will be also

March 7, 2010


If the picture has you enticed, then you absolutely HAVE to watch this rap from New Hope Church in Hawaii about tithing.  Come on, you know you want to…

Everybody watch?  Good.  Now first thinks first, that was quite possibly the best thing ever! Kudos to those guys for not only remembering the classics like “Hammer Time” and “Running Man” but also being up to date with a little “Walk it Out.”  Very impressive.

Now that you’re all done giggling, let me share my take on the basic message that was being shared.

A line towards the end of the rap said, “Where’s your heart?  Just follow the cash.  I’m storing up mine in a Heavenly stash.”  This of course is based off of one of Jesus’ teachings during the sermon on the mount: For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…No one can serve two masters.  Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other (Matthew 6:21,24 NIV).

Many people think that this teaching applies only to the Donald Trump’s of the world: greedy traders on Wall Street and selfish CEO’s who put their wallet before God.  However, what Jesus said applies to regular people like you and me, too.

No one can serve two masters.  There are many things besides money that we can put before God.  Sometimes I get too busy with homework and tv that my evening just gets away from me, and before I know it I don’t have time for my daily prayer time and Bible study.  What are the effects of this?

There your heart will be also.  I sometimes end up caring more about getting perfect grades and about Jim and Pam’s wedding than about what God might be trying to do with my life.

Who has been your master this week?  Who have you been serving with your time, talents, and love?  Have you been too busy with friends, school, or a significant other to spend any time with God?  We cannot serve both God and ourselves.  The Lord has given us all gifts, and He intends for us to use our gifts to serve Him, to serve others, and to build up His Kingdom (Romans 12:6-8).

How can you serve God today?  Who do you know that is in need of a few moments of your time?

Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15 NIV).

In Christ,

Nick B

Post tags: , ,

New Devotions Upcoming!

March 6, 2010

Howdy, TFF fans!

My name is Nick (not the bass player), and on behalf of Third From First I will be contributing some devotions. I am a Riverside ’07 alum along with Steve, Mike, and Andrew, a fan of Christian rock, and a lover of all things pasta. I will be drawing from my personal experiences and Bible study time when posting. I will try to post weekly or biweekly, so check back on Sundays. Comments are always welcome. Keep up your prayers for the TFF ministry!

God bless,

Nick B (not the bass player)

Post tags: