What Stimulates Your Brain’s Neurons?

I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. —Psalm 122:1

Martin Lindstrom is one of the world’s best brand building experts. He is the author of the groundbreaking book: Buyology: The Truth and Lies About Why We Buy.  His research helps corporations like Coca-Cola, Nestle, and Red Bull to market their products so people will be motivated to buy them. Time Magazine called him one the “World’s 100 Most Influential People.”

This week I read about a fascinating experiment Lindstrom did using an MRI. This experiment lead him to the conclusion that smartphones have become akin to a best friend in the lives of many people. When the subjects of his experiment heard their phone ring, their brains “fired off” neurons in the area associated with feelings of love and compassion.   Lindstrom said, “It was as if they were in the presence of a girlfriend, boyfriend, or family member.”

It got me to thinking:  How many Christians have a closer relationship to their cellphones than they do to the Lord Jesus Christ. How many neurons in your brain associated with love get “fired off” about spending time with Jesus in prayer, Bible study, or going to church (Ps. 122:1)!

Jesus is a better friend than any smartphone! No one loves or cares for you more than Jesus.  If you pay more attention to your smartphone than you do to Jesus, your phone has become an idol in your life.

THANKSGIVING: CONFESSION AND CONVICTION

Thanksgiving:  A time for CONFESSION and CONVICTION

When I think of the many blessings of God in my life, I must CONFESS two things: (1) I am thankful for all the good things God has sent my way.  And (2) I’m thankful for all the things He wisely withheld from me.  Though I may not have all the things I would like to have, neither have I had to face all the things I would not want to face.

When you count your blessings, be sure to thank God for all the things you have missed as well as the blessings you have received.
I am also CONVICTED.  When I consider all God has done for me, I am convicted how little I have done for Him!  And what little I do for Him, I only do by the grace He has given me (1 Pet. 4:11). Every good thing in my life I owe to Him.  I have nothing to glory in.  Freely I have received—So I should also freely give (Mt. 10:8). As David prayed, “But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee” (1 Chron. 29:14).

Anyone who is truly thankful should (1) CONFESS he is not worthy of the least of God’s benefits (Gen. 32:10) and (2) be CONVICTED at how little he actually thanked the One who made it all possible.
God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one of them to say “thank you?

HELPING GOD

“We are labourers together with God…” 1 Cor. 3:9

“They went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working WITH THEM…” — Mark 16:20

God doesn’t work alone. God has chosen to do His work through men. What an awesome truth that we help God to accomplish His work.  Meroz was cursed “because they came not to the HELP of the Lord…” (Jud. 5:23).

While I was a college student at Midwestern, I remember hearing Dr. Paul Vanaman, one of my professors, tell about a time he was interviewed  by a local newspaper upon the completion of their new church building.  The reporter remarked, “Pastor Vanaman, the Lord has certainly built a beautiful facility here on this property.”  Dr. Vanaman responded, “You should have seen this property when God had it all by Himself.  There were only trees, bushes, weeds, and dirt.  It would still look like that if we never bought it.  Yes, God built up this church facility, but He needed some help. He didn’t do it alone. He did it through men working with Him.”

Amen!   Nothing much will change until we work with God to accomplish what He wants done (Rom. 10:13-15).  Ministries will never be started… buildings will never be built… missionaries will never be sent… souls will remain lost.

Let’s get to work and work with God.  We are His co-laborers!

Becoming More Like Christ

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image —1 Corinthians 3:18

When I behold the Lord Jesus Christ…

…as the ROCK, I will be steadfast.

…as the KING, I will be submissive.

…as the LAMB, I will be sacrificial.

…as the LIGHT, I will shine.

…as the BREAD, I will be satisfied.

…as the LION, I will be strong.

…as the TRUTH, I will be sure.

…as the WORD, I will be studious.

…as my GREAT HIGH PRIEST, I will be sympathetic.

…as the CAPTAIN, I will be a soldier.

…as the GOOD SHEPHERD, I will be safe.

as JUST, I will be sincere.

…as the AMEN, I will be confident.

…as the TRUE VINE, I will abide.

On a wall near the main entrance of the Alamo is a portrait with this inscription: “James Butler Bonham—no picture of him exists. This portrait is of his nephew, Major James Bonham, deceased, who greatly resembled his uncle. It is placed here by the family that people may know the appearance of the man who died for freedom.”

No literal portrait of Jesus exists either. But the likeness of Jesus should be seen in all who behold Him and follow Him.

KEEPING LOOKING UNTO JESUS!

Leave It With God

It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good. —1 Samuel 3:18

When young Samuel informed Eli that God was going to put an end to his family, how did Eli receive the bad news?  He said, “It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good.”

When Abishai and Joab were surrounded by enemies, Joab looked at the situation and said, “Let us play the men for our people and for the cities of our God: and the LORD do that which seemeth him good.” (2 Sam. 10:12).

These expressions reveal a willingness to leave the outcome of their situations with God, who will do what is best. Instead of dictating to God how He needs to resolve our problems, how much better to leave our difficult situations in God’s hands. After all, isn’t God “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20). When we know God as we should, we will pray, “I leave it to Thee, Lord.  Do what seemeth to Thee good.”

For example. Suppose you have a friend in some trouble.  You have a plan that will help him. However, in the meantime, he comes to you to borrow some money that will only give temporary relief. His need is not for money.  His request for money limits your ability to help.  His low thoughts cannot rise to what you are able to do for him.

Why doesn’t your friend “ask or think” more “worthy” of your ability?  Because he does not know you well enough!  He measures your willingness and ability to help by his own weak power to ask.  Thus it is when we don’t know God’s exceeding abundant power to give beyond anything we ask or think our prayers are weak and anemic.

I recently read the following prayer of a man who really knew God, and was aware of his own weaknesses:  “Lord, what wilt Thou?  Do not heed my requests if Thou seest they are not good.  Do not do, or give this, because I ask for it.  Withhold it, if Thou, who seest the end from the beginning, seest it will not be for my good.  I am so foolish and ignorant before Thee, and Thou art so wonderful, so wise, and so good. … Oh, that I may be filled with the knowledge of Thy will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding—that I may enjoy the perfect rest which that knowledge will give.”

HOW MANY OF OUR PRAYERS ARE LIKE THIS?

Leading from Redemption to Spiritual growth…