Salvation by Grace Through Faith...Plus Nothing

Monday, December 28, 2015 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Check this teaching about God's plan of salvation on Firm Foundation, Share it with you friends and loved ones.

Click here to visit for this and other lessons and conversations.


A Quick Lesson from Photography: Quality Produces Focus in Your Life

Saturday, December 26, 2015 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

There is something in photography called "Depth of Field."  It is something that pro-level photographers know how to use and something casual photographers usually know nothing about.  It's basically about selective focus.  For 2016, it will be important to selectively focus. A lesser quality lens focuses on everything, all the time. A good quality lens lets you select your focus point on whatever is most  important.

For 2016, allow Jesus Christ, the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit to develop the kind of quality in your life that allows you to focus on what is important... and defocus everything else.  #Focus #Defocus ~ Bryan Hudson


See the Powerful film "War Room" at New Covenant Church, Dec 31 at 7:00pm. FREE ADMISSION!

Saturday, December 26, 2015 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Come see the powerful film "War Room" at New Covenant Church, on New Year's Eve, December 31 at 7:00pm. FREE ADMISSION! Get your free ticket at


Celebrating Jesus...Serving Our Community! | Report on 2015 Community Christmas Celebration and Outreach

Tuesday, December 22, 2015 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

The dates of December 10-22, 2015 were days of sharing the love of Christ. Hundreds of people were blessed with gifts, Christian literature, prayers, and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ! This was our 25th Community Christmas Celebration!

This year we ministered to over 600 incarcerated women and their families. We partnered with Friends Fellowship Prison Ministry to serve women at Indiana Women's Prison, Rockville Prison, and Craine House transitional facility. We also served individuals and families from our community at a special luncheon and Christmas program at New Covenant Church.

TESTIMONY OF GOD'S FAITHFULNESS: On December 5, we placed a large order for Pastor's Hudson newest devotional book, "RENEW" to give to over 600 people in our community and in prisons. I was told that there was "no way" I could have it by the 16th (as I was originally informed). The lady said not even to expect it before Christmas. Prayed about it and believed God to have it by the 16th. Shipment showed up December 10!

We were able to deliver 550 copies of the book along with 33 cases of Dermasil lotion to Indiana Women's Prison on December 15.

On December 17, we collaborated with a few other ministries to bless 550 women at Indiana Women's Prison with personal items, snacks, Christian literature, and a copy of my book. The ladies came in groups by dorm units. We met them with gifts, words of blessing, warm greetings, and "Merry Christmas!" The prison superintendent, also a believer in Christ, joined us! Thank a to Chaplain Epps for her valuable work at IWP (Photos and videos not allowed in prison )

Photo from the December 15 gift prep day Indiana Women's Prison. 550 of my books were distributed along with gifts and toiletries to each incarcerated woman from New Covenant Church and collaborating ministries. I believe that every lady will be blessed by Jesus Christ, empowered, and transformed by the Bible-based content of the book "Renew: Principles of Change for Better Life!" Thank you Chaplain Epps for your valuable work at IWP! 

Below is a slideshow video of the Luncheon and Celebration on Saturday, December 19 featuring a presentation by New Covenant Church children, and message by Jonathan Hudson, message by Pastor Bryan Hudson, and giving of food boxes and gifts.

On December 22, two families were treated to a shoe shopping spree.

This Community Christmas Outreach continues the legacy of compassion for people shown by Gaynell Hudson, who directed the Share ministry of New Covenant Church until her homegoing in August of 2003. 

Below is a brief video reflecting on 25 years of community service and our founder, Gaynell Hudson.


Thanks to the Share Committee of New Covenant Church, to all of the volunteers who labored in love to make this event possible! 
Share Committee members: Candase Cornett (Director), H.B. Hudson, Vera & Dennis Gibson, Harriet Berry, Rhonda Davis, Bertha Fields and Dennis & Joycell Ingram

Thanks to: Lilly Endowment, Inc., Chaplain Delores Epps & Friends Fellowship Prison Ministry, Freetown Village, Vision Communications, Walter Smith


Firm Foundation Conversation #102, “The Power of Prayer and CommunityAction"

Wednesday, December 09, 2015 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Had an outstanding conservation with Pastor James William Jackson​! The topic was “The Power of Prayer and Community Action"

View this 30 minute conversation at the Firm Foundation Conversations website,

Be sure to bookmark the page to enjoy future conversations and inspirational lessons.


Keeping Safe in God's Love

Wednesday, December 09, 2015 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Jude 20-21, But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.

The Book of Jude is the last epistle (letter) before the book of Revelation. Jude spoke about many perils and deceptive people/circumstances occurring in both his day and the future (our day.)

Notice the instructions at the conclusion of his letter, which are as relevant today as ever.

1. Build your faith through praying in and through the Holy Spirit.

2. Trust the mercy of Christ to cover shortcomings.

3. Live in the power of eternal life (which you received at the New Birth and will carry you forward and protect you against forces of defeat and darkness).

4. Living in this faith and grace will keep you safe in God's love.


Flexibility: The Key to New and Greater Purposes

Wednesday, December 02, 2015 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Matthew 9:16 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”

New cloth (not yet shrunken by washing) and old cloth should not be sewn together. New wine (unfermented grape juice) should not be put into old, inflexible containers.

Understanding conditions is important. Being flexible and willing to change and adapt throughout life is also important.  The cloths represented conditions and the new wine/wineskins represented change and flexibility/inflexibility.

The science and logic behind what Jesus said is easy to understand. What is more difficult is to pay attention to the changing conditions and dynamics of our lives and activities. In context, Jesus talked about conditions in His day in which religious leaders, like the Pharisees, who resisted Christ and the then-emerging Kingdom of God. Like old stiff wineskin containers, their inflexibility to the expanding "new wine" of God's purpose was unacceptable.

Today, we must evaluate our conditions, and our hearts, to determine what things, if any, may prevent us from being containers of "new wine" –– in whatever ways this may be applicable to our lives.


Reflections on All Things Beautiful: Gaynell Hudson––My Mother

Sunday, November 29, 2015 Bryan Hudson 4 Comments

Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT) Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end

[NOTE: This is a repost, on my birthday, an of article originally published on 8/21/13 on the tenth anniversary of my mother's homegoing]

Today I reflect on, and celebrate, the life of my mother, Gaynell Hudson. Ten years ago today she exited time in order to enter eternity. She departed from among us to embrace her Savior and Lord.

Of course, everyone's mother is special for all the same reasons. But Gaynell Hudson was special for a lot of other reasons. Because we labored together, along with my dad, Horace Bryan Hudson, in the ministry for 24 years until her passing in 2003, I understood her motivations. I embraced her theology and philosophy of service to all people. I'm not alone in embracing this understanding, though I knew it best.

We shared a special bond as members of what I sometimes think of as "OCS," the Only Child's Society. My mother was the only child of William & Essie Hayden, who were regionally renown Gospel singers. My grandmother, Essie, who passed when my mother was only 17 years old and just finishing school at the famed Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis. Essie Hayden was a pianist of extraordinary ability and acclaim. My mother was also a gifted pianist, singer, and songwriter.

She was a stay-at-home mom, which was more feasible in those days. She poured everything she had into me–– and she had a lot! I discovered she had artistic ability. My mother possessed profound insight and high intelligence. She read thousands of pages of books per year, especially after her conversion to Christ. Most of all, she helped people...all the time. She helped all kinds of people, all the time, with a brand of "tough love" that made a positive and lasting impact. I've watched her speak to young men–fierce looking young men–and hold their attention. She is fondly remembered around our church for looking people in the eyes and saying, "You be encouraged, this too will pass!" Followed by a loving embrace and hug that could last minutes. I've seen adults begin to look like (and likely, feel like) children unburdened by troubles, if only for a few moments, while in her embrace.

What many did not understand was the source of her powers of empathy and connectedness to people. She looked at nearly everything from a higher perspective or purpose. And she did not suffer liars, cheats, and people with questionable motives! She could rebuke as sternly as she would warmly embrace. Her life shaped her character.

Before and after the death of her mother, and while her father worked jobs and sang tenor with Gospel groups, my mother was in the "care" of people who were not altogether caring. She never told me the details of those days, but always became grieved when reflecting on it. This experience fueled her strong sense of justice, injustice, and zero tolerance for the mistreatment of vulnerable people.

The death of her mother only magnified her pain as a 17 year old young woman. Before she came to Christ, she internalized her pain. Her marriage to Horace Bryan Hudson, brought stability to a destabilized life. Bryan (as people called him) and Gaynell were two young adults, each outstanding in his and her own way. Into that union, I was born and in time it became clear that I would be the only one. My mother transformed her pain, harnessed her empathy, exercised her extraordinary intelligence, and cultivated her interest in all things beautiful into occasions of discovery for her only son.

At the little apartment in Barrington Heights on Indy's southeast side, we did everything from read, sing, talk about current events, play games, listen to symphonic music, jazz music, and gospel music. Sometimes we imagined the symphony instruments and played them in pantomime. We danced, looked at photos from around the world in magazines, and watched television together––what (thankfully!) little we had in those days (three channels broadcast from 5am to 12 midnight only!). I especially remember being required to sit still and respectfully listen to the President of the United States whenever he gave a major address on television. I still do that today.

We rarely moved around town, especially outside of our black "section" of town, since she did not have a car to drive while dad was at work, or I was at school. Despite that, I remember my world as a very large place full of big ideas, interesting people, and lots to do—though in reality our world on Perkins Court was very small.

One day, as a six or seven year old, I proposed to build a rocket, complete with diagrams and a materials list. I remember my parents taking me seriously and encouraging me that all things are possible. But for some strange reason, I never received the Roman candles I requested to build the first stage of the rocket!

In my late teens, my mother became of follower of Christ, and she directed all of her energy towards helping other people experience "all things beautiful," beginning with Christ. She completely understood, and identified with the Only Begotten Son Jesus and His singular focus on teaching the Word and saving lives. Gaynell Hudson, my mother, was fully committed to serving God and people. This is the greatest gift I received and lesson I learned from her. This continues to be the basis of my motivations.

In a world of facades, excuses, superficiality, and small mindedness, Gaynell Hudson was a model of authenticity, consistency, hope, and faith.

The worse day of my life occurred on an evening in 1982 or 1983 (I don't try too hard to remember). Following a midweek Bible Study, my wife had left but returned to our meeting place to tell me that my parents were involved in an accident a short distance from our meeting place (no cell phones in those days). She was driving home down 34th Street, just east of what is now called Dr. Andrew Brown Street. When we drove back to the location. The accident scene involved two vehicles with parts strewn across the street and the cars smashed into a heap. I learned later that it was a head-on collision. After I parked my car and we walked over to their car, I saw my injured parents. Dad was out of the car dazed, but mom was still in the car with broken bones and conscious. Mom said, "Don't worry," and she began thanking God through her pain. Reflecting on it, I know she was also thinking how all this was affecting me––always thinking about others. For a short time, I blamed myself for holding service that night. They were not wearing seat belts...few of us did in those days, though we buckled up thereafter.

The experience of assisting my parents in their recovery, driving them to doctors and orthopedic specialists before either of them were allowed to drive, and assisting with my mother's rehabilitation from many broken bones including facial bones (which eventually resulted in her losing sight in one eye), was the most rewarding time of my life at that time. Not only did I have the privilege of helping the people who gave me life, I fully came to understand the great power of personal sacrifice, empathy and serving. I learned that pity is useless. Love and availability are everything. Dad mended quicker than my mother since his injuries were less severe.

Because I was in full time ministry, I moved my "office" to my parents' house. I learned to balance time with my wife and children, ministry responsibilities, and how to serve my congregation, community and my parents effectively and efficiently. Looking back, I suppose all that was "hard." It may have seemed hard to some. But it seemed easy to me because there is nothing more significant one can do than serving, especially your own parents. It is amazing what can be accomplished when we choose not to make excuses and refuse to fear hardship or service as an unwelcome imposition in our lives.

During that time, and for years afterwards, as mom coped with effects of her injuries years earlier, I watched her continue to do what I had always seen her do: Enjoy all things beautiful, love God, and serve others. Even when she experienced kidney failure and the onset of cancer, she continue to serve people, teach Bible study 12noon on Wednesdays, join attend Saturday morning prayer just after her dialysis treatment, spend time with each of her grandchildren, and more. She lived a full life of 65 years, howbeit physically challenged.

For some 15 years we ministered together at nursing homes. Mom would play the piano and sing followed by a Bible lesson from me, and we both prayed for the people. She served on prayer lines for national ministries and ministered at the women's prison in Indy and mentored young women. She began a Community Christmas outreach that continues to this day.

As a husband, father, pastor, educator, and consultant, I live the lessons learned from Gaynell Hudson everyday. I am Gaynell Hudson's son. I am honored to celebrate her life by how I live my life.

What is unfortunate, and even tragic, today is that we seem to be a society and a popular church culture (as distinct from Christ's church) that has come to value things other than sincerity, authenticity and service. Some of what I see is barely recognizable as biblical, Christlike, and efficacious. Our culture is high on style, but low on substance. Yet God continues His work through abounding grace. His Kingdom is advancing.

Gaynell Hudson is long gone, but her son is here. And many others of her "children" are here too. I believe we can make and have made a difference. I believe the values and godly practices of my mother are timeless and transcendent.

I continue to look for all things beautiful and useful to honoring God and helping people!


How to Get Unstuck and Go to a Place Called "Forward"

Wednesday, November 18, 2015 Bryan Hudson 1 Comments

@Bryan Hudson |

Exodus 14:14, “The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace." And the LORD said to Moses, "Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward.”

Have you ever felt like you did not know where to go or what to do? A better question might be: “When was the last time you felt that way?” 

Beware of feelings. Feelings are not final reality. I have been on flights that were so smooth that it did not feel like we were moving. However, 18 inches from my window seat there was pandemonium going on outside at 35,000 feet, traveling at 550 miles per hour, with sub zero temperature air and very low oxygen. So, my feeling could not define the reality.

I have been on merry-go-rounds where everything was moving and I was only going in a circle. One day, a guy saw me with my Apple earphones and remarked that I must have enjoyed my music. That was how he felt. In fact, I was listening to the text of a scholarly article.

Feelings and emotionalism are such a problem until people today can’t embrace reality because feeling a certain way. I am so glad that the most important people in my life operate on reality more than feelings: My family, my attorney, my pilot, my doctors, my pastor, my close friends, and more.

Some folk should just admit it: "I don’t walk by faith. I walk by sight, feelings and emotions." Admit it, then repent of it and let the message of this article help you!

Forward defined: To cause to proceed or progress toward a goal. To cause to go or be taken from one place or condition to another. 

For you, there is a place called “Forward." For Israel, their “Forward” was something called the “Promised Land.”  The people of Israel did not possess a map of the Promised Land.  This was more of a promise of something greater than their present condition in Egypt.

We are people full of ideas and dreams.  Our thoughts create a sense of hope. We have the amazing ability to place an image in our mind's eye and construct a good or bad reality around it. 

Feeling “stuck” is not uncommon. We all have that feeling from time to time.  Israel certainly felt that way as they were staring at an impassable body of water in from of them, with an Egyptian army bearing down on them from behind. 

You can be sure that the Egyptians were not coming to help them, they were coming on orders from Pharaoh to slaughter God's people. We can hardly imagine how the people must have felt in that moment. But God knew how move Moses and the people out of that feeling and change their reality.

The good news is this: We serve a God who is never stuck and never has to wonder what He will do next! We serve a God who knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). 

In that moment of extreme crisis God did two things for His chosen People: 

1. He placed a "pillar of fire" between His people and the pursuing Egyptian army.  By this, the people knew they were not alone. 

2. God told Moses to tell the people to “Go forward.” This didn't make any sense because of the Red Sea in front of them, but it was an opportunity to trust the Lord in a very special way.

You don’t have to be concerned about things that don’t make sense to you. You only need to embrace what God is saying today (not only what He said in the past). You only need to focus on His word, His promises, and the spiritual principles that govern you and your circumstances. 

Look for a pillar of fire in your life and circumstances. 

Your "pillar of fire" is not a miraculous sign (we don't look for signs Matthew 16:4). It is something you know God has done for you. Your pillar of fire something already present in your life that may have been overshadowed by your present challenges.

You might be enjoying extended years of life because of God’s healing power. That’s a pillar of fire for you. You might have the blessing of people who love you and continue to support you every day of your life. That’s a pillar of fire for you. 
It is something that removes any doubt that God is with you and continues to keep the enemy from overtaking you.

Today, God is still saying, “Go forward.” 

Forward is the only direction in which God is moving. 

You can go forward even when you are forced to stand still. Forward is a place to which God leads people of purpose and destiny. Forward is a place that stretches your faith and exercises your prayer life. Forward is the place and the direction the vision takes you.

How is this? We can always go forward because “forward” is not a direction, it is a mindset, a sense of purpose, and promise from God. 


Inspiration Image | Habakkuk 2:14

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


The Rest of God: Use the Power of Another. Ride the Wave.

Monday, November 09, 2015 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

My latest teaching: "The Rest of God: Use the Power of Another. Ride the Wave." 

Hebrews 4:9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.

Matthew 11:28, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29) "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30) "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

What we see today is not just a weariness of body, but of soul and spirit. Jesus said He will give rest to those who “labor” and are “heavy laden.” The Hebrews' writer reminds us, “There remains a rest for the people of God.” We should work, but we should not labor. Work becomes labor when you do or carry more than your can, more than you should without the help and strength of God, the Holy Spirit, who is also called our Comforter and Helper!


R - Return to God. Use the power of Another
E - Expect renewal through being refreshed in the Lord
S - See the new way God is showing you. Rely less on your own strength and more on the Lord’s strength.
T - Testify to the goodness of God. Tell someone about the goodness of God in your life


Looking Forward. Holding The Rope.

Thursday, November 05, 2015 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Watch the Message, "Looking Forward. Holding the Rope."
Scriptures and main points shown below. 
("Hope The Rope" explained at 41:35)

All of your breakthroughs and blessings are in front or you. This is no time to stand still or look backwards. Discover and continue in your “race” and finish every endeavor strong!

We'll use four key words related to looking forward: Head, Hear, Hope, and Hold


Hebrews 2:1, Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 

Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”.....17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Philippians 3:12 NKJV 12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule,[b] let us be of the same mind.

Philippians 3:12 NLT I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. 15 Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. 16 But we must hold on to the progress we have already made.

Affirmations of Hope and Faith for Looking Forward

1. I have not attained all, not perfect: Thank God for what He has done and for what I have, but I'm not stopping now. Wise people think all they say, fools say all they think. 

2. I Press on: Know that the hard times are preparation for better days. Don't stand still. The current of these times and of this world is flowing in a negative direction. If I stop, I won't stand still, I'll go backwards. The best way around it is through it.

3. I Take hold on that for which Christ took hold of me: Taking firm grasp of my purpose, my responsibilities, and my relationships. Fulfill your purpose and potential, like Peyton Manning. Give value. In terms of serving, be an asset, not a liability.

4. I do one thing: If you try to chase two rabbits, both will escape. Do one thing at the time and do it well. Focus like a laser beam when necessary. Keep my mind stayed on Christ. What calls you to action? When do you feel most competitive or most inspired?

5. I forget what is behind: Forgive, forget, and move on. Give as little energy as possible to what might get me discouraged. "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity". Albert Einstein

6. I reach forward: If you aspire to go anywhere else, to be anything more, you need to look away from your present circumstances and focus on the future that inspires and energizes you. Don’t mistake activity for achievement.

7. I receive the prize: "If you have the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed." David Viscott.  Always look ahead, try to run through the line, not just run up to it and stop

8. I live up: Look like, sound like and act like a child of the King. When it comes to getting quality, there are no shortcuts. "If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life." Abraham Maslow

9. I join with others: Work together. A team will always outperform an individual. “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Isaac Newton

10. I follow examples: "Approve of things that are excellent." (Rom. 2:8)  Follow purpose, not only "big" things. Paul said, "Those who seem to be something added nothing to me." Galatians 2:6

11. I live according to pattern: Trust God's wisdom and instructions. Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together. Vincent van Gogh

Ephesians 4:15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.




Wednesday, November 04, 2015 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


Firm Foundation Video Bible Study, "No More Fear" | Recorded from Periscope Live Stream

Tuesday, November 03, 2015 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

I've been using Periscope to share Bible Studies to a diverse audience. Follow me on Twitter and Periscope to receive notifications on upcoming live streams. My Twitter name is @BryanHudson

Also sharing webcasts on FirmFoundationTV.

Have a great day!


RENEW | Day 30 • Reflections on Change for a Better Life

Friday, October 30, 2015 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Joshua 1:8, This Book of the Law [the Word of God]  shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Congratulations! You’ve reached the conclusion of this devotional book, but not the end of your journey. Use this final day to review the principles you have learned and the decisions you’ve taken. 

Wrapping Up

• Look over your daily notes and comments.
• Pray, asking God for wisdom and a plan to follow through on what your have gained.
• Think about people you can help grow stronger or find new life in Christ. Share the RENEW book with another person.
• Praise God and celebrate His goodness in your life!

Use the link below or send me an email with your testimony about how this book and devotional process has blessed you.

~ Pastor Bryan Hudson

Online Form: My Testimony of Change and a Better Life


RENEW | Day 29 • The Mind of Christ: Thinking on a Higher Level

Thursday, October 29, 2015 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Jesus asked His disciples a question they could not answer from their intellect alone.

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?” 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.

Most of the disciples could only compare Jesus with people they could think about, like John the Baptist or Elijah. However, Peter reached beyond his intellect to receive information from God. This was an example of having the Mind of Christ.
The only person who can tell us about God is the Spirit of God.

1 Corinthians 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.

If we live only by what is familiar, we will be unable to handle the greater challenges and opportunities of life. Operating in the Mind of Christ is the single most important factor to understand the ways of God and living in consistent victory.

What is the mind of Christ?
The mind of Christ represents special grace to share in the thoughts, plans and motives of God. Having the Mind of Christ is one of the benefits of being a Christian. He who is joined to the
Lord is one spirit with Him. (1 Corinthians 6:17)

This is the reason that the task of renewing the mind is so essential. We cannot have the mind of Christ apart from renewing our mind. When we learn to think on a higher level, we will be able to live on a higher level.

Reflection Question: What are two examples of the mind of Christ active in your life?


RENEW | Day 28 • Established Thoughts, Established Life

Wednesday, October 28, 2015 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments


Philippians 4:8, Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

Commit your works to the LORD, and your thoughts will be established. (Proverbs 16:3)

Thinking works like a thermostat. You set the temperature and the device signals the HVAC to turn on and distribute either heating or cooling. More than any other factor, how we think regulates our environment and either stabilizes or destabilizes our lives.

Factors that affect us have two sources: Extrinsic and Intrinsic. Extrinsic means, “Coming from the outside of something.” Intrinsic means, “Belonging to the essential nature of a thing: occurring as a natural part of something.”

Circumstances like your work environment, economic state, or actions of other people are all extrinsic factors that you cannot always control. Thinking is an intrinsic factor that you can entirely control. I once heard a person say, “When you change, your circumstances will change.” I did not agree with the statement until I considered the power of thinking and living in the presence of God.

“Commitment” happens first in the heart. According to Proverbs, commitment leads to established thoughts. Combining instructions from Philippians and Proverbs, it is easy to see the benefits of thinking positively.

Reflection Question: What extrinsic factors can you control or change to support better thinking? Key insight I gained today:


RENEW | Day 27 • Ears to Hear, Part Four, “Types of Listening that Lead to Hearing”

Tuesday, October 27, 2015 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

NOTE: Excerpt from "Renew: Principles of Change for a Better Life." Get the ebook or book 

“For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you and why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:2-3)

Critical Listening • The word “critical” is defined as, “exhibiting the spirit of one who looks for and points out faults and defects.” Communication often fails because of critical listening that is more concerned about finding faults than in understanding the content and meaning of the message. Critical listeners are not motivated to learn and grow. Critical listeners often develop a self-righteous attitude that seeks to obtain or maintain a superior position. At the same time, such persons are often frustrated with others for not listening to them. 

Active Listening • Active listening allows us to hear without the limitations of passive, convenient, or critical listening. This should be our goal. “Active” is defined as: “Not waiting to be acted upon. Prepared to apply what is heard and act on it—regardless of the circumstances.”

James 1:25 says, “But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”

Active listeners always hear because they are prepared to do what they have heard. According to James, such persons are “blessed” in their efforts. People who rise to positions of authority and responsibility are usually those who have learned to be active listeners. People of strong faith have learned how to listen to God, meditate on the Word of God and allow the Holy Spirit to lead them in every endeavor of life. Again, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” (Romans 10:17)

Reflection Question: What are 1-2 ways that you are going to practice active listening? 


RENEW | Day 26 • Ears to Hear, Part Three, “Types of Listening That Lead to Hearing”

Monday, October 26, 2015 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Hebrews 2:1, Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.

What measure of hearing do you use? That is, to what degree do you open your mind and heart to hear instruction and direction? There are four ways in which all of us choose to listen, which affects how we hear.

Passive Listening • Passive means, “not active, but acted upon.” Passive people are generally sluggish and disengaged—believing that “whatever will be, will be.” Passive listeners only “perk up” when something is said that has the promise of easing their burdens or bringing more comfort into their lives.

A passive listener is the kind of person who ignores the importance of changing the oil in his automobile every 3000-5000 miles. Passive listeners tend to take action when trouble arises. Passive listeners tend not to act until they are acted upon. Passive listeners labor under a great number of self-inflicted problems.

Convenient Listening • Convenient is defined as, “Situated within easy reach.” The convenient listener only applies his heart to hear when the information or task is within easy reach. The best things in life are not usually within easy reach. We should not live with a sense of entitlement. We should live with a sense of purpose and responsibility.

Jesus says something that sounds strange on first hearing, “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force” (John 11:12). 

He was not talking about physical violence in this text. He was talking about being willing to take action. We call it being “proactive.” Convenient listeners do not embrace this approach to life.

Reflection Question: What areas of passive or convenient listening need to be corrected? 


RENEW | Day 25 • Ears to Hear, Part Two, “The Benefits of Hearing”

Sunday, October 25, 2015 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Mark 4:23-25, “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” And He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.” 

  • How you hear will determine the quality of your life.
  • How you hear will determine your level of authority and responsibility in life.
  • How you hear will determine the measure of God’s anointing on your life
Hearing determines aptitude (ability). “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Jesus said we must have “ears to hear.” This indicates our willingness to hear instruction and direction. Many people fall short before they ever get started because they are not willing to hear, not willing to make a commitment to excellence, and not willing to move out of familiar territory.

Jesus never forced people to listen to Him or follow Him. He invited people to participate with Him and receive the blessing of God. Many times, Jesus began a teaching with the statement “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” This was His invitation to people who were serious. He proceeded to teach and afterwards waited for a response. Many of the people walked away, others were bewildered, but some lingered and inquired further of the things Jesus taught. These were the people who received the most from what he said. It was true then and is true now.

Jesus invites everyone to hear and know Him, but He lets our decision to hear determine the degree of understanding and fruitfulness we experience.

“And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him--the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day." (John 12:47-48)

A lack of hearing, or hearing the wrong things, will hamper your ability to walk in the full blessing and opportunities of life. For example, those who want to become medical doctors must spend countless hours hearing and reflecting upon what they have heard in the context of medicine. Simply being in the classroom passively listening won't do. You certainly don't want a doctor who was not paying attention while in school! In reality, any profession, task, or endeavor requires a full commitment to having “ears to hear.” These are the people who excel in life and in fellowship with God.

Reflection Question: What have you missed for lack of hearing?


RENEW | Day 24 • Ears to Hear, Part One, “Take Heed What & How You Hear”

Saturday, October 24, 2015 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Mark 4:23-25, “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” And He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”

I once preached a message in which I used 1 Peter 4:12 as my text which reads, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you.” In the message, I stressed the importance of understanding that trials and tests are a normal part of life, according to 1 Peter 4:12, thus we should not consider challenges a “strange” thing.

The message seemed to be well received with many people nodding their heads in approval saying, “Amen, Amen!” I felt assured that my audience understood the message. Soon after the service concluded, one of my parishioners asked to speak with me. She shared, “Pastor, pray for me. What I have been dealing with is so doesn’t make sense.” I asked her if she had understood the part of the message that addressed not considering “fiery trials” to be something “strange.” She said that she listened to the entire message. I thought to myself, “You were listening to the message, but did not hear the Word.” I encouraged her to listen to a recording of the message and review the Scriptures to have “ears to hear.”

Listening and hearing are not always the same thing. The fact is many people do not hear—not just in church, but in many areas of life. Listening is a natural, physical ability. Hearing must be cultivated through training one’s heart and mind to focus on what is being said and take it seriously.

Romans 10:17 says, Faith itself comes by hearing; “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” Listening is the act that leads to hearing when we focus our hearts on the Lord. When you hear Father God it brings a special type of confidence that we call faith.

Reflection Question: What do you need to start “hearing” that you've only been listening to? 


RENEW | Day 23 • The Life-Changing Power of Solitude

Friday, October 23, 2015 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

NOTE: Excerpt from "Renew: Principles of Change for a Better Life." Get the ebook or book and Join In this 30-Day Devotional

1 Samuel 62:5, My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him.

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 horses”--therefore you shall flee! And, “We will ride on swift horses”--therefore those who pursue you shall be swift! 

Confusion, nervousness, instability, and distraction are common problems among people today – including Christians. We have become a non-stop, noisy, and distracted society. We pay a high price for neglecting solitude in the presence of God.

Our lives become ordered by the pace and practice of this world and not by God. We experience bewilderment, disorientation, and random thoughts – like a machine that is operated outside of its tolerances. We become prone to misunderstanding people and purposes because of a lack of personal, inward focus. We feed on noise and clamor – becoming addicted to confusion and preferring it over quiet.

Jesus gave us the perfect example of human existence according to divine order. His entire ministry was birthed and sustained out of the crucible of solitude and silence – He could know His Father’s direction no other way. His preparedness to minister and the level of anointing upon Him was in direct proportion to His solitary time with the Father and with His own thoughts. Jesus lived a life of devotion to God interspersed with periods of ministering to others – not the reverse. Jesus began His ministry in the wilderness, in solitude, gaining strength for what lie ahead. When Satan came to tempt Him, he was at His strongest point, not His weakest point.

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35)

“Because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, [Jesus] said to [his disciples], ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.” (Mark 6:31-32)

“Jesus constantly sought solitude from the time of his baptism up to the Garden of Gethsemane, when He even went apart from those he took there to watch with him. It is solitude alone that opens the possibility of a radical relationship to God that can withstand all external events up to and beyond death.” (Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines)

Jesus was not driven by the needs of people, but by the purpose of God. Because of this Jesus gained the power to meet the needs of people in a dramatic, miraculous fashion. If He labored with people more than spent time with God, he would not have been as successful, and neither are we. Because Jesus spent time with God, His times of public ministry were dramatic and miraculous. He got more done in a shorter period of time.

Matthew 12:19, He will not quarrel nor cry out, nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. (”...neither shall any man hear his voice above the street noise” NAS)

Reflection Question: What is your plan for solitude with God?


If you were blessed by this or any other lesson during the RENEW devotional, feel free to share your insights and testimony with me using the "My Testimony" link below.