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Daily Reading: Isaiah 48:12-50:11 ESV, Ephesians 4:17-32 ESV, Psalm 69:1-18 ESV, Proverbs 24:5-6 ESV

Daily Verse: “Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.” (Ephesians 4:17 ESV)

MATAIOTES (3153): “This word stresses emptiness as to results and is used of the mind which governs the manner of life of the Gentiles (Eph. 4:17).”[1]

Empty minds.

Paul doesn’t want the Ephesians to step back into their self-indulgent ways.  Futile thinking comes from aimless, empty minds.  Our actions come from our thoughts, awareness of what fills our minds helps us change what we do.  But if we slip back into our old thinking patterns, we will fall back into our old ways.

For years, I battled low self-esteem from internalizing lies and forming my life around them.  False thoughts such as, “No one cares about me,” or “No one listens to me,” caused me to create defense mechanisms and shut people out of my life.

Turning my life over to Jesus revealed the lies and helped me change my actions.  Instead of self-destructive behavior, I began to live a healthier lifestyle.

Full hearts.

Submitting my life to Jesus and giving Him access to my heart filled it with love like no other.  As I gave more of myself to Christ, the more He revealed to me.  And I began to realize that people care and listen to me.  Life changed as I began to receive God’s love.

But the minute a bond breaks, the devil attacks.  One night, at a social event, I shared how God exposed the lie about “No one listens to me” in my life.  Immediately after telling the story, one of the guests said, “Are you done? Because no one wants to hear what you have to say.”

Of course, the person meant the words as a joke, but the reply stung me for someone trying to overcome the lie.  Futile thoughts immediately came into my mind, but God’s love won the battle.  Jesus’s grace helped me forgive and let the statement go.

Keep your thoughts focused on Jesus by daily spending time with Him.  Read God’s word and apply it to your life.  Without a doubt, God will reveal futile thinking and fill your heart.

[1] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 158) Thomas Nelson

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