October 2017 Student Newsletter

Words from the Director
Russell Haffner
Russell Haffner (Director)

As Christians we sometimes have a single-minded interest in our actions (James 2:18). However, we would be well served to spend some time focused on the source of those actions. Proverbs 4:23 says, "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." Matthew 15:18 adds, "But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart."

In the Bible the word "heart" is often used to describe the mind which would include the intellect, will and emotion. Therefore, the key to growing closer to God begins in the human mind and our thinking process. Romans 12:2 teaches, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." The devil wants to fill our minds with evil, but we need to fill our minds with good. Basically, we need to fill our minds with God. What should we think about?

We Should Think About God's Works

Our minds are filled with awe when we consider the works of God. In Psalm 8:3-4 the Psalmist wrote, "When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?" We can’t help but feel reverence when we consider the things He has done. It is almost overwhelming to consider the amazing world God has created. Genesis 1:1-3 says,

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light."

We Should Think About God's Ways

The Psalmist wrote, "I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways" (Psalm 119:15). We can't help but feel humbled when we consider some of the characteristics of our God such as longsuffering, holiness and justice.

  • Longsuffering
    • 2 Peter 3:9 states, "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
  • Holiness
    • In Exodus 15:11 we see, "Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?"
    • Psalm 99:9 says, "Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at His holy hill; for the LORD our God is holy."
    • Isaiah 6:3 tells us, "And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory."
    • 1 Peter 1:15 adds, "But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation."
  • Justice
    • Psalm 7:8-9 exclaims, "The LORD shall judge the people: judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me. Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins."
    • Psalm 119:137 says, "Righteous art thou, O LORD, and upright are thy judgments."
    • In Romans 2:2 Paul wrote, "But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things."

We Should Think About God's Word

The word of God challenges us. Psalm 119:97 states, "O how I love thy law! it is my meditation all the day."

  • God’s word challenges us to love our enemies. Matthew 5:44 commands, "But 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."
  • God’s word challenges us to avoid lust. Peter wrote, "Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul" (1 Peter 2:11).
  • God’s word challenges us to control our tongues. Psalm 34:13 teaches, "Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile." James 1:26 adds, "If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain."
  • God’s word challenges us to control our attitude. Ephesians 4:31 says, "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice."


We need a deeper appreciation for God’s greatness. Exodus 3:13-14 reports,

"And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you."

This is an amazing expression. God chose to call Himself, "I AM." He emphasized His eternal nature with no beginning or end. Notice He does not say, "I am God." Instead He emphasizes the fact that He Is! In other words, He is all things and He supplies all of our needs. He is wisdom, power, justice, grace, mercy, goodness, glory, holiness, perfection and on and on. He is the great I AM!

Let us fill our hearts thinking about our God. Let us think about His Works, His Ways and His Word. Most importantly, let our thoughts move us to action. Let our thoughts move us to obedience. For as we learn in Proverbs 23:7, as a man thinks in his heart, so is he!


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