• Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.

  • Any good that I can do, let me do it now.

  • Pray without ceasing. Give thanks always.

  • Hope in God. An anchor for the soul.

  • Even a single candle can make a difference in the darkness.

Anchor

User-friendly devotionals with audio

  • The Mindset of Christ

    A compilation

    Audio length: 12:48
    Download Audio (11.7MB)

    “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”—Romans 15:5–61

    How can we hope to achieve to any degree the mindset of Christ? We are not divine in nature as He is, and we are constantly engaged in a battle of spirit against the flesh. Though our hearts are willing, the flesh overcomes all too often, and we find ourselves in a perpetual state of reaching beyond our grasp.

    Jesus is our example. As a man on earth, He professed no ability or agenda of His own, but lived exclusively to fulfill the will of His Father. He did this in unequivocal obedience to His Father and utter dependency on Him. This was not a passive dependence by any means, but one in which He took on the very nature of a servant and living every day in active obedience within the context of complete dependence.

    To have the mindset of Christ is to be skeptical of any sense of self-sufficiency, and to realize that Christ in us is our strength, our sustenance, our wisdom, and our righteousness. Jesus died and rose again so that, having removed our guilt, He might occupy that place in our lives as Lord to direct and empower us. This means that His will trumps our comfort and convenience on every level. Obedience to Him, though seemingly costly at times, will always yield the deep satisfaction our hearts look for.

    The likeness of Christ is not brought about by imitation but derivation, as Paul says, “I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”2 God has exemplified in Jesus Christ the mind, attitude, and disposition that characterize the Christian life. If we are going to please God and find the fulfillment we are intended to have, then we need to acquire the mindset of Christ. This does not mean making all the right moves at all the right times. Acquiring the mindset of Christ is to live in a loving relationship of dependence on Him and obedience to Him, just as He lived with His Father.—Brett McBride

    Becoming like Jesus

    Being a Christian means doing what we can to be like Jesus. We will never be perfect and without sin as Jesus was, of course, because we have our human nature to contend with. But as Jesus’ followers we are to try to resemble Him in the way we live our lives and interact with others.

    To “be like Jesus” means trying to live according to Jesus’ teachings and example. It means applying our faith to the everyday events of our lives. It means doing our best to align our thoughts, our attitudes, and our reactions with His. It means looking to Jesus’ instruction and example before drawing conclusions or making decisions. It means pausing from our own activities and thought processes in order to enter into His Spirit, so He can guide us, live in us, and work through us. It means following in the footsteps of the Master, doing our best to be like Jesus in every area of our lives.

    Being like Jesus goes deeper. It’s more than merely copying His “style.” It involves Jesus living in us, and us living in Him. He told His followers, “Abide in Me, and I in you. ... I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”3 To be a fruitful Christian is to live in Jesus and to allow Him to live in us.

    We partake of Jesus’ divine nature through developing and maintaining a deep relationship with Him, absorbing and applying His Word, and looking to Him for guidance and instruction. When we do these things, our thoughts and actions will be aligned with His. The apostle Paul talked about having the “mind of Christ,”4 which implies thinking, reacting, and acting like Jesus would.

    The more we “abide in Jesus,” the more of our nature we relinquish and the more of His nature we take on, the more His thoughts, attitudes, actions and reactions will become our own. We will take on more of His characteristics, more of His love, kindness, meekness, and all the other fruits of the Spirit.5We will become more like Him.—Peter Amsterdam

    Interfacing with God

    Through the Holy Spirit, God has made us “partakers of the divine nature”6 so that we can have all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Himself. Think of the human mind as a computer, and the Holy Spirit as a sort of anti-virus program that can be uploaded to the human hard drive. Once the program is uploaded, that “mind” can then affect all the computer’s systems, taking out harmful applications and replacing them with good, functional applications.

    Continuing the analogy, the mind of Christ rewrites our hard drives so that we are capable of understanding, or interfacing with, God Himself. We gain new desires and qualities, like humility,7 compassion8 and other godly “fruit.”9 We have a new purpose that is aligned with His10 and we can see clearly the reality before us that this world is temporal and flawed, and that we are meant for an eternal world.11

    Once we are saved, the Holy Spirit comes to the believer, filling him or her with understanding and hope of a future inheritance, which is a glorified existence.12 “Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”13

    Finally, having the mind of Christ is not something that is reserved only for “perfect” people. Any and every believer has access to the mind of Christ through faith. However, we also still have the old mind. … Our minds need to be consistently renewed, moving away from the mind of the flesh and into the mind of Christ.14

    Ultimately, all who have the mind of Christ, those who belong to God, will be sanctified, or changed by the new program that has been installed by the Holy Spirit.15 The process unfolds over a lifetime, and God is faithful to bring it to completion.16From Compelling Truth17

    The mindset of a servant

    “Whoever wants to become great must be a servant, and whoever wants to be first must be a slave”—these are the words of Jesus to His disciples.18 Our Savior and Lord not only said this, He lived it. He washed the feet of His disciples—even the one who would betray Him. Afterwards, He said to them all, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”19

    The image of Jesus at the feet of His disciples sets a powerful counter-cultural precedent for us. It models humility before our eyes—one of the hallmarks of the Christian life. But what does humility mean for us as we live here and now? …

    In our relationships with one another, we are to have the same mindset as Christ—who came not to be served but to serve. We are to exercise humility toward those in our churches, small groups, families, and neighborhoods. When we count others as more significant than ourselves and serve one another in this way, the church functions as God designed.

    Ultimately, humility means surrendering control to God. To live as if you are in control breeds anxiety. But as you humbly recognize that God is in control and you are not, you will have peace as you walk with Him—regardless of your circumstances. How freeing!

    Christ is our ultimate example of humility, “who, being in very natureGod, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”20 The God of the universe came not with a scepter but with a towel. He washed the dusty, callused feet of his disciples—one of them His enemy. And if the King of heaven can serve in such a way, so can we.

    The Holy Spirit is within us, working humility in our hearts so that we might live like Christ. With His help, we can practice humility. We can be realistic about our weaknesses, vulnerabilities, and hang-ups. At the same time, we can be realistic about the greatness of our God. If we follow Him, He promises that we “will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.”21 The earthly treasures of this life will certainly perish, but the reward that Jesus has for His humble, faithful servants never will.—From Leading the Way22

    Published on Anchor May 2022. Read by Gabriel Garcia Valdivieso.
    Music by John Listen.


    1 NIV.

    2 Galatians 2:20.

    3 John 15:4–5 ESV.

    4 1 Corinthians 2:16.

    5 Galatians 5:22–23.

    6 2 Peter 1:4.

    7 Philippians 2:5–8.

    8 Matthew 9:36.

    9 Galatians 5:22–23.

    10 Luke 19:10.

    11 1 John 2:15–17.

    12 Colossians 1:27.

    13 Romans 5:2.

    14 Romans 12:2.

    15 Hebrews 10:10, 14.

    16 Philippians 1:6.

    18 See Matthew 20:26–27.

    19 John 13:15.

    20 Philippians 2:6–7.

    21 1 Peter 5:4.

  • May 13 When Past Hurts Still Hurt
  • May 10 Are You Trying to Be Perfect?
  • May 9 What Being Image Bearers Means
  • May 6 Our Thankfulness Is a Light to a Suffering World
  • May 3 Of Inestimable Worth
  • May 2 Trust Jesus in Troublous Times
  • Apr 29 What to Do When You’re Not OK
  • Apr 28 Tender Mercies
  • Apr 25 Following in His Footsteps
   

Directors’ Corner

News, writings and thoughts from TFI Directors

  • Life Essentials—Communication

    Besides Jesus, who makes everything better when He is a part of our daily lives, there is a very important element that permeates pretty much everything we do—communication. This essential medium comes in many forms, and sometimes we even use it without being aware of it. Everyone communicates with others in some way, and yet it is one of our greatest challenges to understand what others are communicating to us and how to help others understand what we are trying to convey to them.

    We communicate through virtually everything we do. We use “body language,” which includes such things as a wink, a nod, our facial expressions, and the positioning of our bodies. There’s also speech, reading, writing, sign language, and many different kinds of signs that encourage, instruct, or warn people. We communicate through the tone of our voice, our choice of words, or even our lack of speech. We also communicate our intentions through our actions.

    While our communications with God don’t usually involve many of the more visible forms of communication, He does speak to us through His Word, coupled with the Holy Spirit, or through His still small voice in our hearts. He also communicates with us through His creation and many other touches of His love through others that can help us to comprehend His love for us. So, God communicates with us as well.

    Science has found that we communicate in ways that our conscious mind may not recognize. This type of communication is beginning to be more recognized as real because equipment exists that is so sensitive that it can detect it. Our brains are wired to both project and receive such communications, but our conscious minds may only vaguely sense them or may not pick them up at all, especially when we are preoccupied with other things.

    Many people have experienced what some call premonitions or intuition or gut feelings that communicate messages to us or seem to nudge us to do things that we can’t give a logical reason for doing. They just feel right. We also communicate through prayer or hearing the Lord’s voice whispering in our hearts.

    We use these many forms of communication in our interactions with others, from the simplest business transactions at a store or an office, to simple greetings to strangers on the street, to acts of politeness that communicate respect and acknowledgment of the value of another human being, to friendships, casual and more long-term; to deep, lifelong relationships with a spouse or other relatives that grow and develop, sometimes over many decades. When we fail to remain engaged and committed to meaningful communication in our relationships with others, those relationships begin to falter, become confusing, grow familiar, or can even fade away.

    Words are one of our most common forms of communication, but we cannot always rely on words alone to understand what is being communicated. In today’s world, communication has become increasingly complex, and much of it is much less likely to be done in person.

    We use many different mediums for communication, such as email, social media, phone, text, chat, or online meetings where we see people on screens, etc. Often, we can find ourselves attempting to decipher the meaning of the other person’s quick email or text, or wondering if there is a deeper meaning when we can’t see the person’s face or body language or look in their eyes to fully understand their intent. Such communications don’t provide the opportunity to see the other person on a fuller level that includes their interactions with others.

    We often have little more than glimpses of the full person, and this can sometimes lead to us reading things into what others say that may be inaccurate or completely wrong. We assume that we understand what someone’s intent or motives are, but sadly, the limited personal interactions can cause us to misunderstand what they are trying to express.

    Someone recently told me that they believe one of the most wonderful things about heaven will be to be able to fully understand each other’s thoughts and feelings. The Bible indicates that nothing will be hid in heaven, and we will fully understand others and be fully understood by them.

    Understanding and being understood is a powerful manifestation of the Lord’s love for us. In hard times, it can be tremendously comforting to remember that Jesus really does understand us completely. He knows us and loves us as we are. He reaches out to communicate His love for us, and that creates within us a desire to grow and develop. We sometimes get things backwards; we think Jesus is going to love us more because we’re changing or doing all the right things. The truth is that He loves us just as we are. As we grow in our confidence in His tremendous love, it motivates us to do what we can to please Him.

    Learning to communicate with one another effectively is crucial to relationships, and it’s not something we learn quickly. It can take a lifetime of practice and trial and error. And we all need to learn to have patience with each other as we grow in our sincere, heartfelt desire to understand and support one another.

    Years ago, I had a secretary who had an especially difficult time communicating things in a way that others understood clearly. Later, this person said that what had really clicked for them and helped them to improve in their communication skills was something the Lord had inspired me to tell them. I’d said, “If you want to truly communicate with others, it’s not enough that you use words that express to you what you want to communicate. You have to think in terms of the other person’s perspective. You need to strive to find the words that will enable those you are communicating with to clearly grasp what you want to communicate.”

    That may sound pretty obvious, but it can be a genuine challenge to enact because it requires understanding the other person, which takes time, effort, and the humility to ask questions and listen. What a word or concept might mean to one person, based on their personality, past experiences, culture, relationship with Jesus, etc., can be very different from what it means to you.

    We all have a variety of relationships with people—relatives, friends, business associates, and so on—where we need to develop our skill in the art of communication. I think marriage provides a very clear example of how important communication is. We can read books and articles on the internet that explain in general terms that your spouse is like this or that because he or she is a male or a female.

    Based on that, there is further explanation about how they may generally think and feel, and therefore it’s advisable to treat them in this way or that way. But we know there is no standard or rule that fits every man or woman. There are some tendencies that may be more prominent among men or among women, but we know that every human being needs to be loved and valued, and the innate need for connection with God’s Spirit is present in all people.

    We can only get to know others well when we take the time to see beneath the surface. To do that, we have to develop trust and openness between ourselves and them. A big part of that is learning to have mutual respect for one another. To have effective communication, we need to see others without preconceived opinions.

    There is no substitute for investing the time to listen to and learn more about anyone with whom you want to build a meaningful connection. Good communication takes time, and in many cases the process is speeded up when you’re going through difficulties and challenges together.

    The communication principles that make a good marriage relationship are fundamentally the same as those that build lasting friendships, effective working relationships, and even forge new relationships. Connection with others shapes our lives and theirs. Lack of connection with others, on the other hand, is often a major factor in mental illness, anger issues, violent behavior, depression, substance abuse, and so many ills that seem to be happening in epidemic proportions today.

    Communication takes time, and we need to be patient and persevere. Our human nature so often wants everything over and done with, so that we can enjoy the benefits as quickly as possible. Yet, so many times, especially with communication, there aren’t quick fixes. We have to persevere.

    I believe Jesus made relationships to be this way to help us avoid familiarity, and to help us see that any relationship requires regular attention. It may at times take a concerted effort to remember the value that open and honest communication can bring to our lives. With the Lord’s help, we can regain the joy and richness that a relationship was built on.

    Sometimes I find myself frustrated with some of these long-term growth processes, like communication. I’m tempted to think, “Why couldn’t I just get the hang of it from the beginning? Why can’t I just do the right actions and get the point and move on to other important things?”

    However, like so many things in this life, it’s a process that takes time to develop. Learning to provide that for others is part of how we can love them, respect them, and in turn, be much more effective in our work and relationships.

    This life is an adventure of learning. We have to mature, and that takes thinking more about others than ourselves, in order to discover the great joy, satisfaction, and contentment that comes from loving others.

    The basic mechanics of persuasion may come more naturally to some than to others. The core skills of communicating can be developed through experience or through other methods, such as books, classes, and mentoring, as is true with virtually any skill in this life. But it’s important to remember that even the most skilled person in this or any other area still has to consider what 1 Corinthians 13 so aptly expresses. Without the Lord’s love being the motivation for their use, all those skills fall far short of their most important potential to exemplify the love of God to a world in need of hope, and to provide a reminder of what will continue on long after this temporal world has fallen into dust. Communicating effectively is a very valuable tool to have. Let’s all use it to the full to benefit as many as we can.

     

  • May 10 Jesus—His Life and Message: The Death of Jesus (Part 4)
  • Apr 26 Jesus—His Life and Message: The Death of Jesus (Part 3)
  • Apr 19 Jesus—His Life and Message: The Death of Jesus (Part 2)
  • Apr 12 The Glory of Easter!—Part 2
  • Apr 5 The Glory of Easter!—Part 1
  • Mar 29 Jesus—His Life and Message: The Death of Jesus (Part 1)
  • Mar 15 Jesus—His Life and Message: Jesus Before Herod
  • Mar 1 Jesus—His Life and Message: The Trial Before Pilate
  • Feb 15 Jesus—His Life and Message: Gethsemane (Part 3)
   

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  • Our fundamental beliefs are generally in accordance with those held by Christians the world over; we also embrace some untraditional doctrines. Our application of the foundation principle of God’s Law of Love that Jesus taught—to love God, and to love our neighbor as ourselves, which He said fulfills “all the law and the prophets”—is a defining feature of our lives and our faith.

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  • The primary goal of the Family International is to improve the quality of life of others by sharing the life-giving message of love, hope, and salvation found in God’s Word. We believe that God's love—applied on a practical level to our daily lives—is the key to resolving many of society's problems, even in the complex and fast-paced world of today. Through imparting the hope and guidance found in the Bible’s teachings, we believe that we can work toward building a better world—changing the world, one heart at a time.

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  • Spiritual solutions

    We apply spiritual principles to everyday challenges to overcome obstacles, resolve conflict, maximize potential, and heal hearts. We seek to share our spiritual wealth and knowledge with others.

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Better Days Ahead
Faith-boosters for meeting the challenging times we are living in.
The Heart of It All: Foundations of Christian Theology
A book compiled from a series of articles covering the basics of Christian doctrine.
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Applying the teachings of the Bible to our daily lives and decisions.

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