Thursday, May 24, 2018

Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit

White Daisy Flower

Jesus showed His concern about the issue of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. The writers of all four gospels give us this account. This shows me that His words about this topic really impressed the apostles (Matthew 12:31-32; Mark 3: 28-30; Luke 12:10; John 20:19-24).

The great concern over blaspheming the Holy Spirit is that it is the only unpardonable sin (Mark 3:29). In the context of this verse, Jesus just healed a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute (Matthew 12:22-23).

The Pharisees knew that Jesus possessed power they did not hold, and they were jealous of His anointing. Therefore, wanting to take the focus off Christ, they accused Him of using Satan's power to heal the man.

This ludicrous comment proved their inconsistent spiritual mindset. Why would Satan cast out his own demon? This is when Jesus made it clear that giving Satan credit for the work of God's Spirit is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:28).

This has always been true (Matthew 12:32). Some people have tasted the things of God and then decide to reject Christ; but some go one step further and blaspheme His name, discount His deity, and attribute his works to Satan.

God turns these apostates over to a reprobate mind (Romans 1:28; 1 Timothy 4:1). They dedicate their life to harsh criticism of the Christian world and Biblical beliefs; therefore, sadly, they will spend their eternity in perpetual damnation for rejecting Jesus Christ as their Savior (John 3:18).

Father God, Your love, wisdom, power, authority, righteousness and justice are above reproach; yet, the humanistic mind rejects You and Your Word. They accuse the Biblical writers of being male chauvinists, and they say the Bible is an archaic book of fairytales, with errors and inconsistencies.

Your authentic Believers know, without a doubt and from experience, that Your Word is true, powerful and sharper than a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). There is life in every anointed Word. Thank You for working out circumstances in our life so that we accepted rather than rejected the work of Christ in our life (John 3:16-17).

Thought for the Day:
Those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit, and who give Satan credit for God's work, are apostates, and do not get another chance to repent; sadly, after their death, they will face God's judgment for rejecting the sacrifice that Jesus made for them on Calvary's cross.
- Hebrews 9:27; John 3:18


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

A Good Marriage - Manifesting Kindness

Gray Bench on Park

Kindness is one of the fruit of the Spirit. Random act of kindness is one of the mantras of today's society. When we hear this, we usually transfer our focus to the general public around us.

Yet, showing kindness to those in our own household is the best place to start. Then, we move on to our church family, our workplace, social media, the market place, the doctor's office, heavy traffic, etc.

Kindness is a very hard mannerism to develop; but once we do, this characteristic is a permanent one. We may have lapses in showing kindness due to weariness, frustration, anger, disappointment, broken promises, etc.

This is to be expected, and accepted with tolerance and understanding; especially if we or our loved one lapses from kindness into irritation for a few moments or for a longer period of time.

First, we check our own attitude and behavior, and see if we are causing the mean-spirited words or actions of our mate. It is better if we honestly share how we feel with one another rather than to hide behind anger or silence.

Facing our distrust and confessing our woundedness will promote unity and intimacy in our relationships. Devotion and commitment to each other is the cornerstone of any good marriage.

These characteristics help us to bear with each other with patience, and to show love and compassion for their trials, even when they mistreat us in the process.

Reminding our self about why we fell in love will help to rekindle that spark that brought us together. It helps us to focus on longevity, and to overlook temporary set-backs in our day-to-day interactions.

Making a list of what we appreciate about one another is a good way to keep our focus on the positive aspects for the long run, rather than to allow present circumstances to drive a wedge between us.

Father God, create in us a clean heart, and renew a sound mind and attitude within our soul. Help us to walk in Your Spirit, especially when our spouse slips back into the flesh. Remind us to express our appreciation to one another on a card, poem, email, text or even verbally. Help us to develop the humility we need to confess our faults to one another, and to prefer each other over our self.

Draw us to Your heart and help us to see one another with Your eyes of compassion. Help us to have mercy that is new every morning and not to carry grudges and anger over into the next day (Ephesians 4:26). Your Spirit is transforming us with the mind of Christ and we can view each other as You see us, forgiving each other, even while we are still upset with one another (Romans 5:8).
Thought for the Day:
Through Christ in us, we can refuse to take words and behavior personally, but to give our slights and our hurt to Him; so that He can transform our emotions into empathy and grace for one another in our times of need.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

All Things are Made New

Free stock photo of wood, dawn, landscape, nature

We are never more fulfilled than when we are walking closest to God through Christ in us. God changes our nature from carnal, earthly flesh to one full of purity, Godliness and spirituality (2 Corinthians 3:18).

He gives us a way out of every future temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). He walks with us every moment of every day, giving us His strength to go through every trail and to deliver us through it (Philippians 2:12-13).

God knows everything about each of us. We were not hidden from His sight, even when we were formed in the dark, secret place of our mother's womb (Psalm 139:13-14).

He knitted our bones and organs together in the confines of the womb. Before we were ever born, He designed all of our days and He keeps a record of each one of them in His book (Psalm 139:16).

The Lord God interlaced all of the intricate parts of our spirit, soul and body in our mother's womb. From the hairs on our head to our complex internal organs, He created us all as unique individuals.

We are awesomely and amazingly made. Our individual cells, our DNA, our physical organs, our thoughts and our emotions are all the correct mixture of chemicals, which keep them all working together so perfectly.

God loves us with an eternal love, which never ends (Lamentations 3:22). He is merciful even to the wicked, who misjudge Him and use His name in vain (Ephesians 2:4).

With our mind focused on God, we walk in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3). Our deepest affections are reserved just for Him. Daily, we enter His rest and luxuriate in His loving presence.

Father God, we thank You for the vastness of Your wisdom that is more numerous than the sands of the sea. You are with us during each new day and Your mercy is new every single morning (Lamentations 3:23). We are a new creation, sanctified with the mind and divine nature of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Investigate our motives and discern the intentions of our soul. Analyze our soul, and point out the areas where Satan can tempt us. See if there are any sinful tendencies in us and direct us in Your eternal ways. Keep us holy and acceptable to You always (Psalm 139:23-24).

Thought of the Day:
For authentic Born Again Believers, God brings to light the mysteries, which He hid from the time He created all things; when we surrender our life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ we enter the realm of abundant life, which He promises to those who love Him. - Ephesians 3:9, John 10:10

Monday, May 21, 2018

Wings Like a Dove

Close Up Photo of Red Rose

Life bombards us with circumstances beyond our control. Each time we find a place of rest, something or someone beyond our influence interrupts our serenity.

We often believe that we have to maintain power over every aspect of our life in order to remain safe. Sometimes, we respond to adversity by fighting back or by grumbling and complaining.

In resorting to this negative behavior, we actually lose our peace altogether (1 Corinthians 2:5). Worry takes our mind off the here and now, and keeps it either as a prisoner of the past or trapped in an imagined, and improbable future.

Psychiatrists say worry can also cause anxiety, apathy, headaches, decreases in our immune system, increases in blood pressure, insomnia, and even bad habits such as grinding teeth and biting nails.

When our heart is in anguish within us, when the terrors of death assault us, when we are trembling with fears that attack us, and when the horrors of life overwhelm us, we want to run far away and hide.

We want to snuggle under our covers and sleep our life away. We wish we had wings like a dove, so that we could fly away and be at rest. We long for a place of shelter far from the tempest of issues and emotions that are currently storming our life (Psalm 55:4-8).

Since it is often impractical to hide, sleep or fly away, we can patiently accept each circumstance as a new challenge to our faith, and an exciting adventure planned for us by our precious Lord.

God’s power manifests in our weakest moments. We can actually boast about how weak we are; because then, instead of showing off our own power and abilities, we live as a demonstration of Christ's power from within us (2 Corinthians 12:9).

We can follow Paul’s example and learn to be content in whatever state in which we find our self (Philippians 4:11-13). As we dwell in this secret place of the Most High, He will lead us, guide us and make all things work out for our good (Romans 8:28).

God is always with us, working on our behalf. He is all we need. We all have our individual idiosyncrasies, hang-ups and flaws. God loves us regardless of our brokenness and fears (Romans 5:8).  He uses them for His glory (2 Corinthians 12:10).

The less we have, the more we depend upon God (2 Corinthians 3:5-6). If we draw our security from the Son Himself, instead of some weak reflection, which the world offers us, our inner rest will last for eternity.

Father God, we may experience discomfort now and then from a fiery trial, a disappointing loss or a daunting challenge; but we will always have Your Sonshine, which never fades away. When we trust in You, we will never experience the depression of hopes dashed against the cold reality of a fading life.

We will rest in the solid constancy of Your never-changing Son, because You never fail us nor forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5-8). Jesus constantly makes intercession to You for us during every moment of our life (Hebrews 7:25; Romans 8:34). Satan may bombard us with doubt and anxiety; but if we look to You for our salvation, Your perfect love will cast out all of our fear (1 John 4:18).

Thought for the Day:
Difficulties come in life, but when we are weak, then Christ in us is strong for us; He is constant, and always shares His love and wisdom with us regardless of our circumstances.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Forgiveness is Ours

Close-Up Photography of Yellow Flowers

Jesus bore our sins in His body on Calvary's cross. This allows us to die to sin's allure; and to live in His righteousness.

We are made holy by the blood of Christ. His wounds heal us in body, soul and spirit (Hebrews 13:12; 1 Peter 2:24). By the blood of Jesus, we now have the power to overcome the flesh, the world, and the devil with his lies (Revelation 12:11).

The blood of Christ allows God to draw close to us, and us to Him (Ephesians 2:13). Jesus shed His blood for us as part of the New Testament relationship between God and mankind (Luke 22:20; Matthew 26:28).

Jesus' life in us is by the power of His blood (Leviticus 17:11). He did once and for all what the High Priests could not do for Israel when they sacrificed the blood of animals according to the Old Testament law (Exodus 12:22).

God does not judge our righteousness by looking at our human effort, our degree of morality, or our religious activity. He forgives us only because we accept the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on the cross (Leviticus 17:11; Matthew 26:28).

If we say that we have no sin, we are lying to our self. However, if we confess our sins, God faithfully and justly forgives us and allows us to walk in His light (1 John 1:7-9).

Thankfully, Jesus died that grievous death to pay for us the penalty of our sins. Without his shed blood, we would have no forgiveness for our sins and no spiritual life in us at all (Hebrews 9:22; John 6:53).

His blood cleanses our evil conscience from sin and gives us access to the holy presence of God (Hebrews 9:14; 1 John 1:7). It also brings us healing (Isaiah 53:5), protection for our family (Exodus 12:13) and blessings to our children (Job 1:5).

Father God, You designed our body so that our blood carries oxygen and nutrients to every cell in it; therefore, if the body is deprived of blood, it dies physically. You also provided us with Jesus' shed blood, or we never would have received forgiveness for our sins (Hebrews 9:22). Sadly, anyone who deprives him/herself of the sanctifying work of Jesus’ blood remains eternally dead spiritually.

Thank You that Jesus’ finished work on Calvary cleanses us from all unrighteousness and fights the infection of sin that tries to infiltrate our spirit. It also provides us with a multitude of blessings. Unfortunately, we often overlook or fail to value them; so please remind us to be grateful for all that You do for us.

Thought for the Day:
For Salvation, we believe with our heart, and we confess with our mouth that Jesus died to pay the penalty of our sins; He is now our Risen Lord, and by the blood of Jesus, we have boldness to enter the presence of God at any time.
- Hebrews 10:19; Romans 10:10

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Yet Not I, But Christ

Cluster Waterfalls Surrounded With Trees

The devil used to be our father (John 8:44). Now, through Christ in us, we are acceptable to God - a living sacrifice to Him, that does not need to be ashamed (Romans 12:1; 2 Timothy 2:15).

Jesus is our all in all; He is our life (Colossians 3:11; Colossians 3:4). His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). Through Him, we can accomplish every good work, which He designed for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).

As we work out our own salvation, it is God who gives us the desire and the wisdom to complete this feat. He effectively works out our salvation in us, through His presence in our life (Philippians 2:12-13).

At salvation, we are crucified with Christ, nevertheless we are still human. Yet, we do not live our life according to our human reasoning, but through Christ, who abides in us and lives in and through us (Galatians 2:20).

The life that we now live as a human being is lived by the faith of Jesus, who loves us and gave His life for us (John 3:16-17). We do not need to give our self another moment of our attention.

We can totally focus on Christ in us and follow the leading of His Spirit each moment of our day. When we do this, He will take care of all of our needs by giving us His wisdom and power to solve every issue, as He provides for us (Matthew 6:33; 1 Peter 5:7).

There is no need to work for God (Ephesians 2:7-8), but simply to allow Him to work through us, in order to accomplish His will for us each and every day (Ephesians 2:10).

Every authentic Believer has a spot in the Kingdom of God in which to serve at the pleasure of our King Jesus. Jesus, through God's Spirit in us, gradually transforms us into holy, pure, blameless and perfect vessels for His use.

Father God, thank You for taking us, the "walking dead" who were in bondage to depravity and sin, and giving us Your new life. You made it possible that Christ is not only with us, but abiding in us as well (Galatians 2:20). That is such a glorious mystery.

We are so grateful to You that this is a fact that we can believe, and on which we can count. We pray that You use us as a magnifying glass, so that when people look at us, they see Christ in us, rather than us. We do not want any glory for what You accomplish through our life. We only want more intimacy with You.

Thought for the Day:
Through Jesus' sacrifice for us on Calvary's cross, God brought our spirit from the grave into glory with Jesus, and allowed us to sit with him in the heavenly realm; therefore, we are no longer satisfied with living in and focusing on this earthly realm, because there is true freedom only in Christ and His Kingdom. 
- 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 2:6

Friday, May 18, 2018

Living Outside of God's Will


Whenever we live outside of God’s will, incalculable anguish and desolation are inevitable both in this life, as well as in the next. As we pray without ceasing all through the day, God's Spirit is ever present to instruct us.

He gives us the advantage of having the opportunity to live in His joy and peace on earth and for eternity. Those who refuse His offer choose to spend eternity suffering more than they are ever hurting now (John 3:18).

Sometimes, people give up trying to discern God's voice after only making a few attempts to follow His will. They are frustrated, because they somehow cannot hear His directions.

Others do not even try to consult God for His plans (Proverbs 3:5-6), because they are afraid that they will miss out on some illusory yearning that they counted on satisfying (Ecclesiastes 5:1).

If only they had waited a little longer and walked with God a little further, the effort of their obedience would bring more lasting rewards than they are expecting to receive without Him (1 Samuel 13:13).

God's blessings always exceed our expectations and desires. They are abundantly more amazing than anything that we could ever request from Him or imagine in our mind.

We may not know ahead of time where God is leading us, or what the outcome may be; but as long as we know and trust Him, we can freely follow Him and His will for each moment of our day.

God's blessings are always much better and more fulfilling than anything we can provide for our self. Once we totally surrender to God, even the angels is heaven rejoice for us (Luke 15:10).

Father God, help us to take our eyes off the results of our efforts, and to realize that obedience is what You are looking for from us. Help us to love You with a heart of full devotion, not distracted by the temptation of worldly pleasure, praise, glory or earthly benefits.

We want to do Your will in everything that we think, say and do during each and every day of our life. We give You the glory for every positive consequence we receive from our efforts in life, and we return back to You, all of the praise that we receive.

Thought for the Day:
God gives His presence to us, so that we may have the faith to give our self totally to Him.