QUARTERLY JOURNAL
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Having a Godly Mindset vs. a Worldy Mindset

     Through this article, I hope to establish some concrete difference between a Godly Mindset and Carnal Mindset because understanding the difference may shed light upon which one you are operating through and what results you can expect. Scripture tells us in Romans 8:6-8 KJV – “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”

     To be carnally minded, means that you are led by your impulses, passions, and desires. A carnally minded person caters to the wants of their flesh in this world, instead of being led by the Holy Spirit that we received after accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior. Since human intellect is so limited in its reasoning, it fails to recognize the Spirit of God. To have it simply put, when you operate through a carnal mindset, you are basically saying that your own human effort is sufficient, and God’s wisdom is insufficient for whatever issues you may be experiencing. Because of this, we usually come to our own demise, because we relied on our own understanding. To have a spiritual mindset means you are being led by the Holy Spirit instead of worldly reasoning and guidance. A spiritually minded person is satisfied with God’s perfect will for their life alone, due to their intimate relationship with God.

     The outcome of a spiritual mind is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control of the Spirit because the Holy Spirit is the strength that produces these spiritual fruits. Because sanctification is an ongoing process, the spiritual mindset is something we can achieve through the work and transformation the Holy Spirit is doing within us. The Holy Spirit equips us with everything we need to overcome every temptation and trial when we allow Him to do so. That is why it is necessary for us to examine our thought life, checking out every thought to make sure it lines up with the Word of God because that’s where the true battle lies. His Word gives us the tools to do so as shown in 2 Corinthians 10:5 KJV – “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 

     Being spiritually minded means our outcome will not be based on carnal thinking, such as facts and figures, which are highly concentrated in human reasoning, faulty to natural expectation; but rather operating through a mindset that is based on the truth of God’s Word and having supernatural expectations that come from a heavenly realm. As shown in Romans 12: 2 KJV – “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will”.

 

Submitted By Sis. Sydney Johnson



How to Properly Respond to Cruelty and People that Do Not Like You

“I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you”

 Matthew 5:44 KJV

     God tells us to love our enemies and bless those that curse us. Our Father commands us to do good to those who hate us. God also tells us to pray for those who despise, disrespect, or mistreat us and see us as unqualified or unworthy of being treated better. Imagine praying the best for someone who treats you worse and considers you beneath them. Our God’s command is absolutely the antithesis of today’s ideologies. On August 28, 1963, the late Dr. Martin Luther King gave a speech while at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. where he said that ‘he had a dream that one day the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners would be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.’  Nearly 4 years later, on May 8, 1967, Dr. King confessed that his ‘dream had turned into a nightmare.’ It is just not in man’s nature to ask God to bless someone who harasses, annoys, causes trouble persistently or is oppressive in their treatment of people. It just does not come naturally for us to easily change the way that we feel about someone we dislike. If we dislike a person, we can pray for hours but when we get up off our knees, many times, we still struggle with the same dislikes and attitudes that we had about people before we got on our knees to pray. It is extremely difficult for us to love people that we do not even like, but God is ultimately after a change in our mind, behavior, and attitudes.  The Lord knows our human nature (John 2:24).  Yet, God still expects us to turn the other cheek if someone strikes us and allow them to strike the other side of our face too (Matt 5:39).

     A Godly lifestyle seems to be difficult for human nature, especially for people that the Lord commands to be strong, bold, and unmovable (1 Corinthians 15:58). Our human nature seems to tell us that if someone takes our shirt, we should take it back. If someone violates our rights, many of us believe that we ought to have the right to take them to court even if we both go to the same church (1 Corinthians 6:1-7). But God says, “If someone does you wrong, don’t try to pay them back by hurting them…” (Romans 12:17). Not only does God say not to hate a thief when he steals because he is hungry (Proverbs 6:30), but God goes even further and says that if someone takes our shirt we should give them our coat as (Luke 6:29).

     It seems like an impossible lifestyle for anyone to live especially in today’s world. Actually, if the truth be told, this lifestyle is virtually unheard of in many societies today. Most of us probably know no one that lives this way, but God commands us to adopt this type of life as a pattern for our everyday Christian walk. We proclaim it, but can we really live it? We say that we want to be like Jesus, but can we really pass the test of living the life that Jesus lived? Jesus gave us a pattern of how to live on this earth in this wicked world, but the question is can we meet the challenge that the Lord has set before us? We say that we want to live like Jesus but the real question we need to ask ourselves honestly, is that true? Jesus Christ set a high standard for living. Jesus was slapped in the face by strangers (John 18:22). Are we ready to let someone slap us in the face, let alone strangers? Jesus was spit on (Matthew 26:67). Are we ready to allow people to spit on us? They cursed and scolded Jesus Christ. They took a stick and kept hitting him on the head with it (Mark 15:19). Not only would many of us not allow anyone to curse or scold us in public but if anyone tried to hit us with a stick then someone may need to call the police to stop us from beating our offenders to death. The Prophet Isaiah says in Isaiah 53:2-10 that there was nothing special or impressive about the way Jesus looked. In modern times, people would have tried to avoid including Jesus in the camera shot. There was nothing about Jesus that would cause anyone to like him. He did not have the kind of looks that would have made anyone interested in him. As a matter of fact, people made fun of him, and even his friends left him. According to the Prophet Isaiah, Jesus was a man who suffered a lot of pain and sickness. We treated him like someone of no importance, like someone people will not even look at but turn away from in disgust. Even his own disciple Peter, who later became Apostle Peter, denied Jesus three times (Matt 26:69-75, John 18:15-27, Luke 22:54-57). The fact is that Jesus took our suffering on himself.

      Jesus bore our pain. God was punishing Him for what we did. He was crushed because of our guilt. He took the punishment that we deserved. Maybe we should look at those who suffer in poverty and sickness and keep in mind that could easily have been us, but God’s loving grace and mercy has brought us peace. We were healed because of the pain that the Lord suffered for us. We are the wretched filthy rags. We are the liars, thieves, fornicators, adulterers, murderers, gossips, idolaters and abusers. None of us are any good; Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Psalm 53:3 KJV). We are the ones that wandered away like sheep and had gone our own way. Yet the Father put all our wickedness, treachery, and guilt on His only begotten son Jesus. We were adopted (Ephesians 1:5) but Jesus Christ was God’s only offspring and God placed our disobedience on His own innocent son. He was treated badly for you and me, but He never protested. He said nothing, like a lamb being led away to be killed. He was like a sheep that makes no sound as its wool is being cut off. He never opened His mouth to defend Himself. He was taken away by force and judged unfairly. The people of His time did not even notice that He was killed. But He was put to death for my sin and your sin because we are God’s people and He died for us. He did no wrong to anyone. He never even told a lie, but He was buried among the wicked rich people and the Father was pleased with this humble servant who suffered such pain. He was a broken man for our sakes.

     The truth is that through our own power many of us may never be like Jesus as some of us claim we want to be. His standard for holy living is like no other that has ever lived on earth. That is unfortunate for many of us because God actually has something special for those who choose to live a lifestyle like Jesus Christ. King David alludes to it in 2 Samuel 16:12. God discusses it with Hagar in Genesis 16:9-13. Abigail warns David not to do anything that will keep him from getting it in 1 Samuel 25:30-31. Shimei showed that he disliked King David by being cruel and harsh to King David in 2 Samuel 16:5-13. Sarai showed that she disliked Hagar by being cruel and harsh to Hagar in Genesis 16:1-13 and again in Genesis 29:9-21. Nabal showed that he disliked King David by being cruel and harsh to King David in 1 Samuel 25:10-11. In the face of this dislike, hatred and cruelty God’s expectation for the responses from these people in these stories was the same. Go back, submit to those in authority or do not do anything that will make you guilty of wrongdoing. God told Hagar to go back and submit herself to the harshness of Sarai, Gen 16:9. Eventually, God told Abraham to send Hagar and her son Ishmael away, Genesis 21:10-12. Abigail warned King David that Nabal’s cruelty was a trap, and that David should not do anything that would jeopardize the blessings that God had in store for him (1 Sam 25:31). Despite Nabal’s cruelty, King David left Nabal without causing any harm to him. King David asked his servant Abishai to not do any harm to Shimei and let Shimei get his frustration out on David by cursing him out. All these responses to dislike, cruelty and hatred are pictures of the characteristics of Jesus Christ. Hagar could have gone back to Sarai with ill will on her mind because of Saria’s harsh attitude. Who knows what Hagar would have slipped into Sarai’s coffee or tea the next morning? Who knows what Abishai could have done to Shimei if King David gave the order? Who knows what David would have done to Nabal had Abigail not warned him about not doing anything negatively in response to Nabal’s cruelty? Who knows what would have happened to America if Dr. King had ascribed to violence as a retaliatory measure to the country’s hatred of Black folks? Thank the Lord that Our God is just, and He hears our cries when we are afflicted.

     Many times, the obstacles we encounter, the challenges we face, and our own failures are used by the Lord to break us down to where He can use us as He sees fit. God never turns away from a broken spirit and a crushed heart (Psalm 51:17 KJV). Sometimes the way that God goes about crushing the heart is not pleasant, but it is effective (2 Chronicles 33:10-11).  If God is willing to hear us when we are guilty then He most certainly will hear us when we are innocent (Psalm 17:3).  Apostle Peter says that it is God’s will that we live righteously and when we do good it silences the discussions of foolish people (1 Pet 2:15). We still need to keep in mind that God may not hear us when we do wrong (1 Samuel 28:6 KJV) but God does hear us when we live right (Psalm 34:17-19).  We have to be confident in believing that our Father will hear us when we go to Him (1 John 5:14-15). Hagar experienced cruelty, dislike, resentment, and hatred but God heard her cries (Genesis 16:13).  Hagar’s son Ishmael was treated cruelly and experienced resentment and hatred, but God heard the cries of Hagar’s son Ishmael (Genesis 21:17-18). Even after Ishmael had mocked Sarah’s son Isaac and Ishmael’s banishment seemed justified in Sarah’s eyes, the Lord still heard the cries of scorned Ishmael. God saw Nabal’s rude and dismissive behavior towards David and the Lord avenged His child (1 Samuel 25:39). God promises to avenge the afflictions of His children, “And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily” (Luke 18:7-8). Who knows, maybe God will return good to us for some of the bad things people do to us or say about us (2 Samuel 16:12).

 

Submitted By Trustee Stanley Ridley



Let’s Give Thanks

Enter into his grates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with Praise, be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

Psalm 100:4

There is so much to be grateful for and so much to thank God for.  Every day is a gift from God and my heart is filled with overwhelming thankfulness.  Giving thanks to God will positively impact our lives. When I reflect on His blessings it gives me great joy and peace.  As Christians we should develop an attitude of being thankful. Giving thanks to God keeps our hearts in a right relationship with Him and saves us from a host of harmful emotions and attitudes that will rob us of the peace God wants us to experience.  Giving thanks to God for His mercy and kindness is a blessing and a privilege. It shifts our attitude and makes us more aware of God’s activity in our lives. It humbles us and allows us to see just how great our God truly is! Here are 19 glorious reasons to give thanks to our Lord every day.

  1. Give Thanks to the Lord because He’s given us the greatest gift.
  2. Give Thanks to the Lord for the undeserved Gift of Salvation
  3. Give Thanks to the Lord for His precious word
  4. Give Thanks to the Lord for His Mercy, Love, and Faithfulness
  5. Give Thanks to the Lord that nothing will ever separate us from Him
  6. Give Thanks to the Lord that someday we will see Him face to face
  7. Give Thanks to the Lord for making us like Christ
  8. Give Thanks to the Lord that He’ll fulfill His plans for us
  9. Give Thanks to the Lord for His abundant goodness
  10. Give Thanks to the Lord for His daily provision
  11. Give Thanks to the Lord for His constant protection
  12. Give Thanks to the Lord for His constant guidance
  13. Give Thanks to the Lord that He hears our prayers
  14. Give Thanks to the Lord for our families and friends
  15. Give Thanks to the Lord for every good gift
  16. Give Thanks to the Lord for health and strength
  17. Give Thanks to the Lord that He causes all things to work for our good
  18. Give Thanks to the Lord for His promises to our children
  19. We should Give Thanks to the Lord because it honors Him

When you think of what the Lord has done for you, reflect on the lyrics to this song:

Give thanks with a grateful heart

Give thanks to the Holy One

Give thanks because He’s given

Jesus Christ, His Son

And now let the weak say I am strong

Let the poor say I am rich

Because of what the Lord has done for us

Give thanks

 
Submitted By Sis. Lisa Ridley