Are You A Canal Christian?

"Wise people are careful and stay out of trouble,
but fools are careless and quick to act."
Proverbs 14:16

READ Proverbs 14:1-35

SITUATION Each proverb in this section was written to capture interest through contrast. Each one highlights the life of the wise and righteous person in contrast to life of the foolish and the wicked.

OBSERVATION If we choose to live by God's standards, we will be righteous. But is we choose to live by our own standards, we will be wicked and will face God's wrath.

INSPIRATION The natural man is spiritually dead, separated from God. He has neither the presence of God in His life nor the knowledge of God's ways. He has learned to live his life independently of God. Essentially, this is what constitute the 'flesh.' His mind has been conformed to this world. The brain, which is physical and part of the body, functions like a computer. The mind is the programmer. The body picks up the data from the world through its five senses. The mind chooses and interprets the data, and he brain stores it. The emotions are essentially a product of how the mind chooses to think and interpret life's events.

When we are born again, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in our life. Because we are now spiritually alive and united with Christ, we have the mind of Christ. We have become partakers of the divine nature. However, nobody pushed the clear button in the computer. The brain is still programmed to live independently of God...

The battle is for the mind: "For the flesh sets its desire against the spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another" (Galatians 5:17). God has given us the responsibility to choose. The carnal Christian chooses to walk according to the flesh. What governs his behavior are the old habit patterns and thoughts that were programmed over time. The spiritually defeated Christian fails to put on the armor of God, and ends of paying attention to deceiving spirits. The spiritual man has crucified the flesh and put on the armor of God; he chooses to think upon that which is true.

We are to be renewed in the spirit of our minds (Ephesians 4:23). The Holy Spirit discloses the mind of Christ. We must choose to no longer be conformed to this world. We are to be diligent to present ourselves approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). When we do, we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. We choose to think the truth and the Holy Spirit enables our thoughts and renews our minds with the logos. Then the peace of Christ rules in our hearts and minds. We let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts by letting the word of Christ richly dwell in us (Colossians 3:15-16). We are now equipped to discern (From Walking in the Light by Neil Anderson)

APPLICATION Do you have a quick temper? Do you respond selfishly to others? Reread this chapter substituting the word "I" for the subject in the sentences that deal with righteousness ("I strengthen my family...I live a good life...I am a truthful witness"). With each statement, ask, "Is this true of me?" When you answer no, look for way to make it true.

EXPLORATION Wisdom -- 1 Kings 3:6-9; 12; Psalm 119:97-104; Proverbs 1:23-28; 2: 3-6, 9-10, Ecclesiastes 8:1; Luke 2:40; James 1:5.

The Devotional Bible - Experiencing the Heart of Jesus, Max Lucado General Editor, New Century Version, Thomas Nelson Publishers

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