Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before (Philippians 3:13)
The Apostle Paul got a hold of a revelation which was so precious to him, and he summed it up in the opening verse. The words “this” and “I do” in the King James are italicized, showing that they weren’t in the original manuscript. So, what Paul was actually saying was “I count not myself to “have apprehended but one thing: forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before “. He had learnt to forget the past and look forward. He had learnt to forget his old life as a Jew; he had learnt to look at the pictures of his new life in Christ. This was what kept Paul so far ahead of others.
We must learn to forget the past and look ahead. I believe that it’s been a great year for you so far, and I want to remind you of these precious words. It’s time to shake off thoughts of the past and look at the pictures God is showing you through His Word!
Forget about the past defeats you may have suffered, probably even this year. Reach forth and grab a hold of the pictures God’s Word has given you. He has declared you more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37), and says whatever you do will prosper (Psalm 1:3). There’s still time to accomplish supernatural things this year, if only you can catch this truth today!
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Philippians 4:8)
The mind is a vital part of the human make-up. It’s our storehouse of information, and it matters the kind of information you keep in it, for that can accelerate or retard your progress. Philippians 4:8 gives us a guide on how to control our minds and use it to process only the right information. Don’t waste your mind on carnal, unproductive thoughts, for the carnal mind is enmity against God (Romans 8:7).
The information you store in your mind tells alot about you. Just as a man who loves to study would have a library of books, or a music lover a collection of music or a florist a garden of lovely flowers, what you “collect” in your mind reflects what you’re most concerned about. This is why you’ve got to organise your mind and separate the wheat from the chaff.
Some things we store in our minds are just not worth keeping the bad news you heard on TV or read in the papers, the nasty words someone spoke to you in the rush hour traffic, or the gossip floating about in your office. Don’t retain these in your mind! Learn not to swallow every word you hear. Instead, throw out the trash. The same way you take out time to clean your house in order to get rid of dirt, you must also regularly clean out your mind with the Word and rid it of the wrong stuff.
The Lord Jesus said in John 15:3, “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” Paul also lets us know that the Lord sanctifies and cleanses His Church with the washing of water by the Word” (Ephesians 5:26). Study more of God’s Word! It will cleanse your mind of all the wrong thoughts of fear, failure, defeat, and lack, and fill you with God’s thoughts of success, abundance, prosperity and victory
He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions (Psalm 107: 20)
Our opening scripture lets us know that the Word of God heals and delivers. If you were sick and took time to meditate on the Word, the Word will produce healing in you. The Bible says in Proverbs 4:20-22, “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.” The word translated health above is the Hebrew word “marpe,” which means medicine.
The Word of God is medicine to your physical body; it will rejuvenate and revitalize you when you apply it to your life. The Word is alive and full of power; that means it’s active, operative and effective. Hence it doesn’t matter what the case is, if you would hear the Word and accept it, it would produce in you and for you the desired results. Not only is the Word the antidote for sickness and disease, it’s also the perfect recipe for success and prosperity: “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” (Joshua 1:8).
God has already sent His Word to address every situation you’ll ever face in life. He has sent His Word for your deliverance, healing, prosperity and spiritual advancement. It’s your responsibility to lay hold of His Word. The Word of God in your spirit and in your mouth will make you what it talks about. That’s what you need to be all that God wants you to be, and experience the divine transformation that’ll make you a wonder to your world.
The spirit of man [that factor in human personality which proceeds immediately from God]is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts (Proverbs 20:27 AMP)
The reason God wants you to nurture and develop your spirit after you’re born again is that it’s only through your spirit that you can make contact with Him. God doesn’t appeal to the human mind or the senses; He communicates and leads you through your spirit. When a man is born again, he receives the life and nature of God into his spirit. Therefore, the changes that are later observed in his soul and body are initiated from his spirit. The Bible says that the spirit of man is the candle of the Lord (Proverbs 20:27).
The light of God is not in your mind but in your spirit. Your spirit is where the Word of God illuminates (Psalm 18:28). The human spirit feeds on the Word of God. You need to constantly feed and nurture your heart with the Word of God. I’m not talking about the organ that pumps blood through your body but your human spirit which acts as the soil for the Word of God. No wonder the Lord Jesus said man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).
When your spirit is built and nourished by the Word, even your mind becomes productive, fruitful, renewed and completely void of the devil’s thoughts and ideas. The forces of life are domiciled in your spirit; you have to cultivate them! God’s life, character and nature are already deposited in your human spirit; you must spend time to cultivate and nurture your spirit by learning and meditating on the Word. 1 Peter 2:2 says that you should desire the sincere milk of the Word, for that is the nourishment for your recreated human spirit.
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me (John 5:39)
In the course of His discourse with the Jews one day, the Lord Jesus said to them: “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God” (Matthew 22:29). This means that the one who doesn’t know the Word of God will definitely make the wrong judgments and inevitably the wrong choices in life. That’s why He tells us in the opening scripture to “search the scriptures.” To `search’ means `to look thoroughly in order to find something’; it also means `to investigate so as to seek out answers.’
This implies some effort on the part of the one searching; it’s not a mere browsing over a subject, but a deliberate effort to seek out the truth from among several other facts. So, when the Master says to us “search the scriptures” you ought to know that it’s serious business. The Bible catalogues for us life-changing truths which you require to live to your maximum potential, but you’ve got to search them out. “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter” (Proverbs 25:2). There’re several great revelations in God’s Word and He wants His kids to search them out, for we are kings! He loves it when we diligently study His Word and unravel the marvellous truths He has reserved for us.
This should also let you know how to study your Bible. You’ve got to have a pen, a notepad, a dictionary and a good reference Bible, for searching the scriptures entails more than mere reading. It involves looking thoroughly and intently into the word to make spiritual discoveries that’ll catapult you into higher realms of glory. Make the quality decision to become an ardent student of the Word by searching carefully and diligently through the scriptures everyday. As you do this, the Holy Spirit will always be right there to guide you, and help you understand the Word and impart your spirit with the revelation of divine verities.
And seek the peace of the city and pray unto the Lord for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace (Jeremiah 29:7)
It’s imperative that you learn to take time out to pray for the nation where you live. It’s not enough to complain or grumble about what the Government is doing or not doing. You’re God’s agent of change in that nation; so, rise up to your calling. You have a responsibility to effect positive changes in the nation where you live, and a most effective way to achieve this is through prayer.
God told His people to pray for the nation where they were held in captivity, because their peace was tied to the peace of that nation. This should let you know how important it is to pray for your nation. The same thought was reiterated by the Apostle Paul in his letter to Timothy in 1 Timothy 2:1-2; “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” Even if you can’t find any reason to pray for your nation, do it as an act of commitment to God’s Word.
Someone has rightly said that “the only ingredient required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.” Too many people assume that someone else is praying for the country, instead of taking up the responsibility of causing positive changes through prayer. Don’t put the fate of your country in the hands of others; bear the responsibility as well. Learn to pray for your nation. I encourage you even now to set some time aside to pray for your nation today, and do this as often as you can.
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