DAY #14: The Conflict of Flesh Versus the Spirit – by Mn. Corey J. Jones, M. Div. | June 21-Day Firm Foundation Devotional: “Renewing the Mind”


June 21-Day Firm Foundation Devotional: “Renewing the Mind”
DAY #14:  The Conflict of Flesh Versus the Spirit 



Today’s Lesson by Min. Corey J. Jones

In Chapter 8 of Winning the Battle for Your Mind: A Biblical Approach to Renewing Your Mind, Pastor Hudson, does an excellent job of explaining how our minds are a battlefield. Imagine a tug of war, except instead of the competition being horizontal, it is vertical. On one side, your spirit is striving to pull you upward toward God; on the other side, your flesh is striving to pull you into sin, death, hell, and the grave.

It is essential that we feed our inner man (spirit). Renewing our minds is the key to victorious living and winning the battle for our mind. Since we can have both holy thoughts and sinful thoughts, we must read and meditate on the Word of God, which is our guiding truth. Scripture is the measure by which we can evaluate our mind, will, and emotions.
2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us, "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

To do so, there are spiritual disciplines that will establish and improve our effectiveness in taking captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. Dr. Hudson described how prolonged periods of failing to pray, worship, or receive the Word result in the flesh nature gaining strength, leading to ungodly thoughts and/or feelings of despair.

To aid in ensuring that you do not lapse in any of those activities, one must practice self-awareness. Understand that the enemy is sneaky and strives to use things like fatigue, isolation, lack of devotion, and even idle time to present opportunities for the flesh. Walking in the spirit is a daily task. When paired with self-awareness and intentionality, we grow through essential spiritual disciplines, and we will be victorious!

REFLECTION QUESTIONS:

1. What are your go-to scriptures for combating temptation?

2. How often do you spend time with God Daily?

3. Do you have specific prayer times in your weekly routine?

4. Which spiritual discipline would you like to improve upon?


ACTION ITEMS (What I will do with what I have learned):


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DAY #13: Practice Solitude, Slow Down, Stop the Noise | June 21-Day Firm Foundation Devotional: “Renewing Your Mind”


June 21-Day Firm Foundation Devotional: “Renewing the Mind”
DAY #13: Practice Solitude, Slow Down, Stop the Noise


Devotional reading from “Winning the Battle for Your Mind,” Chapter Six ~ Transformed by the Renewing of Your Mind
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Today’s Lesson

Isaiah 30:15, For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.“  But you would not, 16] and you said, “No, for we will flee on horse”--therefore you shall flee! And, “We will ride on swift horses”--therefore those who pursue you shall be swift!

We live in a noisy world. This noise pervades and invades every space, including our minds.

When I received Jesus as Lord and Savior on July 8, 1978, the first thing I noticed was that the noise in my head stopped. That noise seemed like a combination of static, thoughts of self-hatred, voices, and random sounds. When the Spirit of Christ entered my life that noise ceased.
Today, as Christ followers, we deal with a different type of noise. It is the noise of all the things that are irrelevant, self-condemning, distracting, troubling and more. The difference between the “noise” in my life then and now is that I can deal with it –– if I choose to do so.

1 Corinthians 3:17 reads, “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” There will be no noise when the Spirit of the Lord is in control.

Let me suggest that you discover SOLITUDE if you have not already discovered it. Jesus practiced solitude regularly as part of His lifestyle. You will notice that He would send people away to go into solitude and pray. (Matthew 14:23; Mark 6:46–47; John 6:15). The Apostle Paul began his ministry in solitude for about three years. (Galatians 1:11–20)

Our Scripture text today, speaks of God advising His people as follows: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” 

But they were too “busy” to take God's advice. Their response: “But you would not, and you said, ‘No, for we will flee on horses’--therefore you shall flee!”

Rather than slow down, they went faster. The thing with noise and busy-ness is this: It never helps you, it only overcomes and defeats you. “...therefore those who pursue you shall be swift!”

Slow down. Get alone with God. Stop the noise in His presence. Practicing solitude is a discipline of a renewed mind.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: 

1. What is solitude and do you practice it?

2. What good things happen when you slow down and get alone with God?


ACTION ITEMS (What I will do with what I have learned):


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DAY #12: Be A Next Level Thinker | June 21-Day Firm Foundation Devotional: “Renewing Your Mind”


Firm Foundation Inspiration Minute #122
DAY #12 of Renewing Your Mind Devotional:  
“Be A Next Level Thinker”  


Devotional reading from“Winning the Battle for Your Mind,” Chapter Two ~ A Biblical View of Human Nature
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OR LISTEN BELOW


Listen to My Message From Sunday, June 9, 2024


Today's Lesson (written):

1 Cor. 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For "Who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

The mind of Christ represents grace to share in the thoughts, plans and motives of God.

Paul identifies two kinds of people. Locate yourself:

There is the person who is pneumatikos. Pneuma is the word for Spirit. The person who is pneumatikos is sensitive to the Spirit and whose life is guided by the Spirit.
Pneuma is that which makes a man different from the rest of creation.

In 1 Cor. 2:14 Paul speaks of the man who is psuchikos. He lives as if there was nothing beyond physical life and there were no needs other than material needs, whose values are all physical and material. A man like that cannot understand spiritual things.

This is why the work of renewing the mind is so essential. We cannot have the mind of Christ apart from renewing our mind.

Jesus' Disciples only searched their minds for the answer

Peter went into next level thinking

Matthew 16:13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” 14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Peter had the Mind of Christ - Next Level Thinking

16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS:

1. What is the Mind of Christ?

2. What does next level thinking look like to you?


ACTION ITEMS (What I will do with what I have learned):

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via Zoom with Min. Corey J. Jones, M.Div.




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DAY #11: Triumph Over Bad Thinking & Feeling | June 21-Day Firm Foundation Devotional: “Renewing the Mind”


June 21-Day Firm Foundation Devotional: “Renewing the Mind”
DAY #11: Triumph Over Bad Thinking & Feeling


Devotional reading from “Winning the Battle for Your Mind,” Chapter Four ~ Problems We Have With Our Minds
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Today’s Lesson

Corinthians 2:14, Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

There are many types of problems that are rooted in our behaviors and thinking. It is important not to underestimate the grace and wisdom of God when facing difficulties. This is not to exclude getting help from others, but to encourage us to never leave God outside of the problems we face. 

Being transformed by the renewing of the mind brings victory over many types of problems that come from how we think. Expect freedom and mastery over the following problems:

Heaviness: A depressed feeling caused by thinking on bad situations, having regrets, reviewing mistakes or dwelling on relationships that have gone sour.

Evil thoughts: Sinful thoughts of all types including sexual fantasies, malice or dishonest schemes

Vain imaginations: Completely useless thinking such as wondering what it would be like to live one’s life as another person.

Envy/Jealousy: Being grieved at the success of others or becoming too possessive of others.

Comparisons: Making value judgments about yourself based upon what others have or have not done.

Fear: Living in expectation of danger and harm

Distractions: Getting easily side-tracked from important tasks by unimportant issues and events.

Presumption: Prematurely forming opinions or judgments about people and situations

Pride of opinion: Unwilling to listen or accept correction and direction from others

For each of these problems, there is grace from God to help us overcome.

EXERCISE: 

Do a search of Scripture to find passages, stories, and texts that speak to your challenges. Also use the “Search” feature for this blog to look for resources.

ADVICE: ALWAYS be willing to reach out for help from competent persons such as pastors, counselors, and mental health professionals.

ACTION ITEMS (What I will do with what I have learned):


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The Masterpiece Mindset, Part Two: Next Level Thinking




LISTEN TO PODCAST


Mark 12:30, And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. 31"And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these.”

What does it means to love God with all your mind? The sense of this text is that Jesus is talking about loving God with your entire being. But it is interesting that he said we love God with our soul AND mind. Isn’t the mind part of the soul? Yes. But this word “mind” used here specifically speaks to thinking.

The NT Greek word is: διάνοια (dianoia)

The mind as a faculty of understanding, feeling, desiring, understanding

“A thinking over,” a way of thinking and feeling; thoughts, either good or bad

Jesus will take you into Next Level if you want to go!



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