“Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes” (Ephesians 4:23 NLT).
For instance, you can say, “I need to love my spouse more,” but that isn’t going to work. You can’t fight your way into a feeling. You must change the way you think about your spouse, about your kids, about the rest of your family. That will change the way you feel, which will then change the way you act. The Bible says, “Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes” (Ephesians 4:23 NLT).
The battle for sin, the battle to deal with those defects in your life that you don’t like, starts in your mind. If you want to change anything in your behavior or anything in your emotions, you start with your thoughts and your attitude.
The renewal of your mind is related to the word “repentance.” I know repentance is a dirty word for a lot of people. They think it means something bad, something they don’t really want to do, something painful. They think of a guy standing on a street corner with a sign that says, “Repent! The world’s about to end!”
Repentance is about more than changing your behavior. It is about changing your mind and learning to think differently. “Repent” simply means to make a mental U-turn.
You turn from guilt to forgiveness. You turn from frustration to freedom, from darkness to light, from hatred and bitterness to love.
You may also need to change the way you think about God. He’s not mad at you; he’s mad about you! You’re deeply flawed, but you’re deeply loved.
Start with your mind, and change the way you think about your relationships, the economy, the world, and your past, present, and future. Changing the way you think will then affect your emotions and your behavior.
MEET ME in early morning splendor. I eagerly await you here. In the stillness of this holy time with Me, I renew your strength and saturate you with Peace. While others turn over for extra sleep or anxiously tune in to the latest news, you commune with the Creator of the universe. I have awakened in your heart strong desire to know Me. This longing originated in Me, though it now burns brightly in you. When you seek My Face in response to My Love-call, both of us are blessed. This is a deep mystery,
designed more for your enjoyment than for your understanding. I am not a dour God who discourages pleasure. I delight in your enjoyment of everything that is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable. Think on these things, and My Light in you will shine brighter day by day.
But those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They willsoar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
ISAIAH 40 : 31
One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.
PSALM 27 : 4
Finally, brothers, 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.
PHILIPPIANS 4 : 8
God Says You’re Lovable
God says you’re lovable. This is so important because you can’t fulfill God’s commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself” until you believe this. If you don’t feel lovable, you can’t love anybody else.
Our verse today says a couple things about God’s love for us.
God loves you consistently — He doesn’t love you one day and not the next. He doesn’t love you on your good days and not on your bad days. God is 100% consistent in his love for you.
God loves you unconditionally — He says, “I will always love you and it is unconditional. You don’t earn it.” He doesn’t say, “I love you if you’re good, or if you do these things, or because you look this way or you do these things.”
You never have to wake up in the morning and say, “God, are you going to love me today? Did I read my Bible enough? Did I pray enough?” He loves you consistently no matter who you are or what you do.
What is the result when you really understand this? Daniel 10:19 says “God loves you, so don’t let anything worry you or frighten you.” When I don’t have to worry or be afraid of anything, then I am free to give love to everyone around me.