CCOG Newsletter

Weekly Updates

Reflections from Pastor Jennifer

"You have not so learned Christ," Paul told the Ephesian church. He was referring to the sins that were common to the Gentiles. They had a new example of right living - Jesus, the perfect, sinless One. For those who may have a difficult time believing that anger and Christlike nature can exist together, consider the incident in the Temple. Jesus saw that the money changers were being greedy and extorting those who just wanted to worship. John 2:12-17 records that Jesus became so angry that He took the time to make a whip in order to drive them all out of the Temple. He flipped the tables, and chastised the money changers for their greed. Jesus never sinned, not even in this moment of anger. He controlled Himself to the point that He was able to weave a whip. When you become angry, you can control yourself! Jesus shows us that is possible.

Winning the War in Your Mind

Our lives are always moving in the direction of our strongest thoughts. What we think shapes who we are.

You might read that and think I’m being an overly dramatic preacher using hyperbole to get your attention. But this is no exaggeration.

Our lives do follow the direction of our thoughts. The better we grasp that truth, the better equipped we’ll be to change the trajectory of our lives. But don’t take my word for it. Both the Bible and modern science provide evidence that this is true. So throughout this Bible Plan, we’ll unpack both Scripture and what we’ve learned from scientific research. Here’s a brief example of both:

In Philippians 4:8–9, the apostle Paul writes, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

In these three sentences Paul moves from

  • thought (“think about such things”) to
  • action (“put it into practice”) to
  • experience (“the God of peace will be with you”).

Paul tells us that our thoughts shape our lives.

In recent years, an entire discipline of modern psychology has developed called cognitive behavioral therapy. This breakthrough teaching reveals that many problems, from eating disorders to relational challenges, addictions, and even some forms of depression and anxiety, are rooted in faulty and negative patterns of thinking. Treating those problems begins with changing that thinking.

I don’t know about you, but when the Bible and modern psychology say the same thing, I want to know more.

What science is demonstrating today is what God told us through Solomon almost three thousand years ago: “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7 NKJV

So if both the Bible and modern science teach us that our lives are moving in the direction of our strongest thoughts, then we need to ask ourselves, “Do I like the direction my thoughts are taking me?”

If your answer is no, then maybe it’s time to change your thinking. Maybe it’s time to decide to change your mind so God can change your life.

If you’re skeptical, that’s okay. Believe me, I get it. We’ve all tried unsuccessfully to change bad habits and force our runaway trains of thought back onto the right tracks. But this time you’re not alone. You are about to discover that God will team up with you to transform your thinking.

With God’s help, you can transform your mind. You can stop believing the lies that hold you back. You can end the vicious cycle of thoughts that are destructive to you and others. You can allow God to renew your mind by saturating you with His unchanging truth.

I Didn't Think It Would Take This Long // GREATER // Dr. Dharius Daniels