January 2023 Newsletter
by Pastor Mike Novotny
Recently, I was counseling a dear sister in the faith who had spent her whole life struggling with feelings of unworthiness. She served, helped, loved, worshiped, prayed, and believed, but her mind was still consumed by how unworthy she was. As I listened to the battle in her mind, an idea struck me:
Our mental alignment is off.
Has your car’s alignment ever been off? You let go of the wheel, and it starts to pull to the right or the left without any effort on your part.
That’s exactly what sin does to our headspace. It knocks our thoughts out of alignment with the truth so they pull toward half-truths and outright lies, most commonly dragging us into the ditches of pride or despair. My friend frequently struggled with the latter. I confess I struggle with the former.
How about you? Do your thoughts tend to …
- drift toward how bad/sinful/unreliable you are?
- drift toward how bad/sinful/unreliable others are?
Either way, it’s frustrating to realize that every time you take your hands off the wheel, your thoughts drift away from the truth.
That’s why God gave us his Word. The Bible is what keeps our brains in between the lines. Paul wrote, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). Our Father’s truth is what teaches us what is right and wrong (and how to be righteous if we’ve done wrong), correcting our thoughts like a rumble strip that alerts us to a dangerous drift.
I wish I could tell you it is a simple, three-step solution. It’s not. Sin runs too deep in your heart and mind for that, meaning that you’ll have to keep your hands on the wheel.
But the Word is useful for your day-to-day thought patterns. By starting or ending the day with the Word, the Spirit has the opportunity to check your pride if you’re strutting or build you up if you’re moping.
One day, when you see the Lord, you won’t have to fight false thoughts anymore. Until then, may the Spirit-inspired Word teach, rebuke, correct, and train you to align your mind with God’s life-giving truth.
Every person who connects with Time of Grace is at a different place in their spiritual journey. And thanks to the support of friends like you, they get just what they need to move forward in their relationship with God through teaching and resources that point them to his truth. You help touch hearts with the promises of God’s Word and bring people like Audrey closer to him.
Audrey shares …
“Thank you for the series on anxiety. I went through a period where I was hospitalized recently for a loss of interest in life. It’s so important to have content out there that is providing a Christ-centered take on tackling depression and anxiety.”
Thank you for helping speak truth into the tough, real-world issues people face so they can find comfort, strength, and hope in Jesus.
Win the battle for your mind!
Your mind is a battleground. And what’s at stake is the life Jesus promises you—one filled with peace, joy, truth, freedom, and power. That’s because the enemy knows that if he can gain a foothold in your thinking, then your beliefs, emotions, and behavior will follow.
But God has given you all you need to wage and win this battle of the mind, and we want to show you how by sending you the four-part Refocus resource bundle to help you transform your thought life.
- Pastor Mike’s book What’s Big Starts Small to help you overcome six detrimental threats to your thought life, based on Jesus’ parable of the sower.
- The What Was I Thinking? DVD series to help you turn your attention to what’s biblical, beautiful, and good for your soul.
- A 30-day workbook and journal from Dr. Bruce Becker called Bigger Faith to help you identify the lies of Satan, the world, and even the lies you tell yourself and point you to the truth of God’s Word instead.
- And a Bigger Faith bookmark to remind you of God’s truth.
Request your copies of the Refocus bundle as thanks for your gift to help reach more people with the good news of God’s grace through Time of Grace.
An easy way to fix your thoughts on Jesus
Looking for a way to fill your thoughts with Jesus thoughts, not the clutter of the day? Here’s an easy way to get started . . .
Subscribe to receive Time of Grace resources delivered in a daily email that features a video devotion, a written devotion, and links to relevant podcasts, books, or other pieces of encouragement.
This daily email provides a quick and easy way for you to center your day around your Savior. You can watch a devotion in the morning, listen to a podcast on your way to work, or read a devotion with your family at dinnertime. No matter how you use it, this daily email will help you fix your thoughts on Jesus.
Watch Time of Grace in February for Pastor Mike’s new series: ME on Team Jesus? When you consider that Jesus could have picked anyone to be on his team of disciples/friends, the people you see closest to our Savior are surprising, to say the least. This series reminds us that Jesus truly wants all people to know him, follow him, and spend forever with him, including you!
The first episode of ME on Team Jesus? is available to watch on February 5th with new episodes released each Sunday in February.
As I try to align my mind with God’s truth, I’ve noticed a few definite thought patterns. They’re called “patterns” because certain thoughts tend to repeat in certain people.
For whatever reason, I too often think:
- Happiness = impressing people
- A good day = a productive day
When I find myself frustrated or moody, it often goes back to these same ol’ lies. That’s when I have to preach God’s Word to myself:
- Mike, happiness = being with GOD (Psalm 23).
- Mike, a good day = a day that the Lord has made (Psalm 118).
Do you know which lies you tend to believe most often? Write them down and find a Bible passage to help you fight for what is true.
I am so grateful that God thinks of us way more often than we think of God.
There is no doubt, in our 90-mph world, that it is hard to slow down, breathe deeply, and fix our thoughts on Jesus. With all the rings, dings, beeps, and buzzes, it’s hard to focus on anything at all.
But where our thoughts of God are sporadic, his thoughts of us are constant. “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts …’ declares the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8). God’s thoughts are higher above our thoughts than the clouds are above our heads. They are perfect, pure, and always true.
And, because of Jesus, God’s thoughts of us are always good. “The Lord … will take great delight in you” (Zephaniah 3:17). What a thought!
I hope and pray that you are going to war against the lies of the enemy today. But no matter how many battles you win or lose, please remember that the victory is found not in your head but in Jesus’ pierced hands.
I probably don’t say this often enough, but thank you for helping Time of Grace plant the seeds of truth that can grow into big, beautiful thoughts in millions of minds—God is love! God is here! Through Jesus, God is yours and mine!