What Are Your Motives?

The dictionary defines a Motive as, “a reason for doing something, especially something that is hidden or not obvious.” As humans, we all have motives for doing things. Some of our motives are clearly recognizable to ourselves while others may seem honorable on the surface but have an underlying tinge of deceit. They can be for evil, or they can be for good.

The Bible has much to say about our hearts, thoughts, and motives. In Proverbs 16:2-3 it says, “All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the spirits. Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established.”

Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Because we are visual by nature, we tend to look at actions as the sum total of both the act and the motive. Yet, the Bible clearly lets us know that God looks at the motive behind all of our actions. He looks directly to the intentions of our heart.

In Proverbs, it states our ways always appear to be honorable and authentic to us, however, the Lord always weighs our actions with our spirits.

Again, in Hebrews 4:12 we see the word of God further explained in “The Message” version, “God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey.”

Let us make sure that our interactions and actions towards others are coming from a motive that is pure and honors God. We can never escape His word concerning these matters.

This is Leslie Eaddy Brooks, Think About It!

It’s All In The Genes

Recently, I have been intrigued and curious as to the role of our genes and DNA in the development of our personalities and character traits. I’m sure we have all heard the comments, “You act just like your mother,” or “You act just like your father.”

According to opentestbc.ca,

  • “Personality is not determined by any single gene, but rather by the actions of many genes working together.”
  • “Overall, genetics has more influence than parents do on shaping our personality.”

It appears that my genes, that I inherit from both of my parents has more of an influence on shaping my personality. I began to think about this in spiritual terms.

The Bible says in Romans 5:12-19

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way, death came to all people, because all sinned— 13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come. 15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! 18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

In spiritual terms, we were born into sin. Sin was a part of our spiritual make-up. Sin, for the most part, determined our personality. It was in the genes. Just as the sin-nature entered into the world thru the disobedience of one man, Adam, God sent His son, Jesus to be the appeasement for our sin.

Because God made a way for us to escape the penalty of sin by being born again, we now have a new nature, a righteous nature thru the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We have a new way of being and a new way of behaving. We can now boldly declare we act just like our Father!

This is Leslie Eaddy Brooks, Think About It!

I Can See Clearly Now!

Numbers are important in the Bible. There are several scriptures throughout the Bible that speak of various numbers. The number seven (7) was taught that it was the number of completions. God created the heavens and the earth in six (6) days and on the seventh day, He rested.

Throughout the book of Revelations, there are countless references to specific numbers of such things as angels, cities, tribes, and kings.

One number that I think no one reading this blog will ever forget is 2020. The year 2020 was momentous, not only to me, but to the entire world. 2020 was a year that caused the whole world to pause, take a deep breath, reexamine, reflect, pivot, and redefine what it meant to have a sense of normality.

Suddenly, life as we knew it was changing. Now, it was no longer safe to shake hands hug, or congregate. In America, churches, restaurants, schools, gyms, and everything we held dear, and in some cases, took for granted, had suddenly become dangerous places to interact with people. Masks became a part of our daily existence. Places of employment found themselves meeting online. School lessons were now done through the internet.

Families were forced to hibernate from their extended family and loved ones for fear of inflicting this new sickness on them that could end their lives. Because nothing takes God by surprise, I began to think about why God allowed this to happen.

Was this something God was allowing to get the world’s attention. What was He trying to say to us? As I began to ponder the meaning behind these events, a scripture that continued to come to mind is found in II Chronicles 7:14. It reads,

14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

As the world slowly thaws from what has become a life-changing event, may we as the church tune our ears to what God is continually speaking to His called-out people, “The Church!”

God wants us to clearly see and precisely hear what his is saying to His people. 2020 was definitely a year to get our attention. Are we listening??

This is Leslie Eaddy Brooks. Think About It!

Forgiveness and Reconciliation

Merriam-Webster defines Forgiveness as to cease to feel resentment against (an offender): Pardon; to give up resentment of or claim to requital.

Reconciliation is defined as to restore friendly relations between; to cause to coexist in harmony; make or show to be compatible; to bring into agreement or harmony; to reconsecrate

In her blog, “Forgiveness Does Not Equal Reconciliation”, Anna Smith writes,

“Forgiveness for past wrongs does not guarantee a future relationship set up exactly like the past relationship. Forgiveness does not equal total reconciliation. When we are dealing with people who have sinned against us, we should long for true reconciliation. But we also need to realize that sometimes, in this world of sin and woe, reconciliation is not always possible, or it might be possible later but not now. Reconciliation might not be possible because you can cancel the debt against someone (forgive them) but YOU CANNOT FORCE THEM TO RECONCILE WITH YOU. True, actual reconciliation requires that both parties are actively working for the good of the other person and the good of the relationship. You can forgive people, but you cannot force them to make that effort. And if they won’t, you don’t have to go on pretending that this is a good, healthy, reconciled relationship.”

There are countless scriptures in the Bible that discuss forgiveness. I John 1:9 states,

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Also, Mark 11:25 it states, “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

God forgives our sins and also, He wants to be in a “relationship” with us. As we saw from the earlier writing by Ann Smith, true reconciliation requires BOTH parties to actively work for the good of the relationship. Now that God has forgiven our sins, He wants us to have a relationship with him.

Forgiveness is not the end of the road!

II Corinthians 5:17-19 says,

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”

God has forgiven us and reconciled us to Himself. Likewise, He has committed us to the world to reconcile it back to Him! We are on Assignment! Take your assignment seriously!

This is Leslie Eaddy Brooks, Think About It.

Introduction, Appetite, and Abuse

Recently, I was reflecting on my weight-loss journey to better understand the process of how people come to lose focus, thus losing control of handling vices. For many, this is a touchy subject, but one that I believe is necessary in order to see victory in other areas of their lives.

Whenever it comes to overcoming vices such as drugs, alcohol or other types of addictions, we need to gain a biblical perspective.

The Bible says in James 1: 12-15,

12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. 13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”

I John 2: 15-17 states,

15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Fatheris not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”

I Corinthians 6: 12-13 states,

12 I can do anything I want to if Christ has not said no, but some of these things aren’t good for me. Even if I am allowed to do them, I’ll refuse to if I think they might get such a grip on me that I can’t easily stop when I want to. 13 For instance, take the matter of eating. God has given us an appetite for food and stomachs to digest it. But that doesn’t mean we should eat more than we need. Don’t think of eating as important because someday God will do away with both stomachs and food.

But sexual sin is never right: our bodies were not made for that but for the Lord, and the Lord wants to fill our bodies with himself.”

What the enemy does is first, introduce us to something that brings pleasure to us. It could be food, drugs, alcohol, sex, or any other vice. Next, we acquire an appetite for that thing. For me, food was something I enjoyed very much. Like most of us, we have those favorite dishes that we or others make. The issue occurs when we use food or anything else as a coping mechanism. This is where abuse occurs. ANYTHING that is not being used in its proper context is ABUSE.

As we saw earlier in James Chapter 1, each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

This is why Paul declares in I Corinthians 9:27,

“But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”

It is important for us to recognize any triggers in our lives that cause us to resort to food or vices. Commit those things to God and allow Him to bring about the necessary disciplines to overcome them, or in the case of food, allow Him to help us not continue to be a slave to our appetites.

This is Leslie Eaddy Brooks, Think about It.