Wednesday, February 21, 2018

God's Sabbath Rest

Green Grass Field and Green Tress during Day Time

God invites us to enter with Him into His Sabbath rest. He offers us a place under the shadow of His wings to escape the hectic pace of our lifestyle.

When we realize that our true identity comes from our relationship with God, and that His opinion of us is all that really matters, we blossom wherever He plants us.

We live as a praise and honor to His name rather than our own name. We yoke up with Jesus, and our lot in life becomes easier and lighter (Matthew 11:30). We enjoy a deeper intimacy with Him as our yoke-fellow.

If we commit to step aside for a few minutes several times during the busyness of our day, we can experience this rejuvenating rest. We take time to breathe deeply, to enter into God's presence, and to focus on Him and His will for the next moment of our life.

Our soul experiences peace that transcends human capabilities, our spirit grows stronger through our connection to His influence, and our body heals of many of its diseases.

As we mature in the Lord, we make more time to spend segments of rest in His presence, and to focus our entire being on Him (Psalm 46:10). We bless Him for who He is and for His abundant love for us.

This time can be just a few moments or an extended period. Then, we abide in God's rest as His Spirit directs the remainder of our day; and we follow along with His plans instead of our own.

Father God, help us not to give Satan a foothold into our life by allowing his thoughts to infiltrate our soul - our thoughts, decisions and emotions. We do not want to unwittingly open a door into our soul for him to take advantage of us, to side-track us and to destroy our witness for You.

Reveal his lies to us so that we can combat them with Your Truth.  Strengthen us in our spirit as we respond to Your will for each moment of our life. Now and always, we want to serve at the pleasure of our King Jesus, following Your will for our life and living in Your Sabbath rest each moment of our day.  

Thought for the Day:
Once we learn to abide in God's Sabbath rest, rather than pursuing meaningless activities in life, we find peace and joy and live in the power and anointing of abiding in the center of God's will.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Adoption into God's Family

Gray Pathway Surrounded by Green Tress

The world has always been full of lonely people, lost in the sea of humanity, feeling unimportant, unfulfilled and never good enough. The people who are born on the earth in any one year increases this sorrowful fact.

We live, work, attend church and have hobbies with other people; yet, we rarely connect with anyone with more than a superficial acquaintance.

Even married couples drift apart over the years; and feel lonelier than they did when they were single, because they once expected to find in their mate a friend for life.

God recognized our human need for belonging when He created Eve for Adam. The two of them enjoyed a continual unity with God when He walked in the garden of Paradise with them in the cool of the evening (Genesis 3:8).

Some personality types do not need human bonding as much as other types. Melancholies love to be alone with peace and quiet all around them. Yet, Sanguines and Phlegmatics enjoy human interaction and Cholerics need people to help them to carry out their many plans.

God adopted us into His family as co-heirs with Jesus. He gave us His Body of Christ to help to fill that need for fellowship and belonging; however, many churches are an organization, void of real connectedness.

When we take the time to think about it, we realize that there are tens of thousands of new Believers in Jesus every day. Eternity will be filled with fellow Christ-followers who will live to serve King Jesus together in the closest bond available on this earth.

Father God, You are our living Creator, Savior, Comforter, our everything; and You meet all of our needs all of the time. We lack no good thing, because You provide all of our spiritual, physical, mental and emotional needs each moment of our day. Our relationship with You meets all of our intimacy needs; and we revel in Your abundant grace and unconditional love.

Thank you for adopting us into Your family and giving us Your assurance of security and belonging both now and throughout eternity. We so appreciate Jesus' sacrifice to give us this blessing by laying down His life for us all. We give You all of our love, focus and praise and make Your will our priority for each of our days.

Thought for the Day:
God loves the Israelite nation and made a covenant with Abraham to care for His extended family through all generations; God's faithfulness to Israel all of these years proves that His devotion to us never ends either.

Monday, February 19, 2018

A Friend in Jesus

daylight, environment, forest

Once we admit that we are a sinner, we accept Jesus' sacrifice on Calvary's cross as the payment for our sins, and we surrender to the Holy Spirit's sanctification process in our life, we have a wonderful friend in Jesus.

As our friend, Jesus bore the penalty of our sins for us, and He sent His Spirit to comfort us in all of our griefs in this sin-cursed world. Ours is the privilege of bringing every issue in our life to God who cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).

If we attempt to earn our own salvation (Philippians 2:12-13), solve our own problems and make our own riches and success in this life, we needlessly forfeit the grace of God to provide these needs for us.

If we do not totally trust in God as our benevolent Father, we bear the pain and loss of peace in our trials. We have no need to suffer from discouragement or to feel overwhelmed, because Jesus within us experiences and shares our sorrows with us.

Well acquainted with our weakness, foibles and idiosyncrasies, God never judges us, but unconditionally and eternally loves us as we submit to His will for our life. He is our Father God (Exodus 15:2), and He cares about us (Psalm 55:22).

God made an eternal, unbreakable covenant with all those who will believe in Jesus as our Savior. We have a free will and are capable of walking away from Him as an apostate (Hebrews 6:4-8), but God will never, ever leave us or give up on us (2 Chronicles 15:7; Hebrew 12:1-3; Mark 10:26, Philippians 3:7-14; Leviticus 26:11).

Father God, You provide us with the endless. spiritual heritage of Your entire Kingdom as co-heirs with Jesus. We are connected to Your divine presence by Your Spirit within us. We have no need to feel alone, abandoned, discouraged or forlorn, because Your presence in us fills us with hope and a purpose (Psalm 16:11; Ephesians 2:10).

Thank You for giving us a place in Your family and securing our fellowship with Your Saints through all generations, nations, tribes and tongues. We are never alone and we are always encouraged by our unity with You in our soul and spirit. You give us Your joy and peace regardless of the horrendous circumstances which we may suffer.

Thought for the Day:
When the malaise of our circumstances engulfs us, we can remember that we are a part of the Body of Christ, which secures our unity with the presence of Christ in our life, granted to us by His shed blood on Calvary's cross.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The Simplicity of Eternal Life

Free stock photo of sea, landscape, nature, beach

Eternal life is really a simple concept to understand. We experience it from the moment that we accept Jesus as our Savior and King.

I am not disputing the fact that our body will one day go to the grave, but at the same time our soul and spirit go to be with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8).

The blessing of Eternal Life is embodied in knowing God and Jesus Christ whom He sent (John 17:3). This concept is foreign to us when we first hear about it.

When we first consider surrendering our life to God, we hesitate, because we do not want anyone else controlling our life. The concept of God makes no sense to the human mind.

There is no tangible proof that God exists. Therefore, we reject the idea of the Trinity, and we feel sorry for the "chumps" that are duped by what we consider as brainwashing.

We feel superior to Christians, because we trust in our human understanding rather than living by faith in the Son of God who loves us and gave Himself for us (Galatians 2:20).

If we ever decide to take a chance on God, we eventually come to realize that He personally knew each one of us before He ever created the earth for us (Roman 8:29; Ephesians 1:4; Jeremiah 1:5; Psalm 139:15).

Even Creation reveals God to us (Romans 1:20). When we come to know Him intimately, we grow in grace and peace (John 17:3; 2 Peter 1:2-3). He provides us with the resources, skill and wisdom that we need for successfully living in His will (Hebrews 8:11-12).

Father God, the deeper our relationship with You grows, the more we realize how sufficiently You meet all of our needs. Many times, I will struggle with a stuck zipper, hard clasp, tightly closed bottle, creating a new recipe, buying an item that I really need, etc. However, as soon as I pray, You come to my rescue as the good, good Father that You are.

The stubborn element easily releases, the recipe floods my mind, or I find that needed item on sale. You care about every single detail of our life. After a short while, we actually learn to delight in personally knowing You. We live a life, which is free from the slavery of sin and its degradation (Jeremiah 9:23-24; 1 Corinthians 2:2; Galatians 6:14). Like Saints of old, we rejoice in knowing You and reveling in Your unconditional love (Philippians 3:10; 1 John 4:7-8).

Thought for the Day:
God provides His Saints with an abundant understanding of Himself, as well as an interactive and individual relationship with Him that is full of spiritual fruit, holy living and faith in God's faithfulness.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Living in Harmony with God's Spirit

Water Falls Surrounding Green Grass during Daytime

When we stop consulting with the Lord concerning His plans for each moment of our day, our schedule can get out of hand. Our soul is scattered in too many directions: we have too much on our mind, our heart is troubled, and our choices are self-defeating (Proverbs 3:5-6).

When this occurs, our first line of defense is the Word of God. From its verses we obtain comfort, direction, encouragement and reasons to praise our God. He is our peace and He breaks down every wall between us and His will (Ephesians 2:14).

We, who are God's treasured creation (Deuteronomy 7:6), find our joy, refuge and hope in the shadow of His wings (Psalm 57:1, 63:7, 91:4). He is impartial, sovereign, and blameless. He daily supplies our needed provisions when we walk in the light of His presence within us (Psalm 89:15).

When we get caught up in our own plans, God patiently waits for us to return to Him. If we linger in this twilight zone of carnality, God faithfully calls us back into harmony with Himself. He will even lovingly discipline us, if we continue in our disobedience (Psalm 23:4).

Trials are not always the result of God disciplining us. Life in this imperfect world provides traumatic circumstances to infiltrate our schedule. If our life is on track with God's will, however, He works out every issue for our benefit (Romans 8:28).

Our belief in Jesus' sacrifice on Calvary's cross, which paid our debt and set us free from the ravages of a life full of debauchery, also provides us with the indwelling Holy Spirit, who guides and comforts us through the trials we experience on this sin-cursed earth.

Father God, thank You that Jesus' death is enough to bring us into Your family as co-heirs with Him for all of eternity. Your mercy and grace comfort us through each trial that we face, and Your love and hope restore our troubled soul during those times that we experience hardships and tribulation (Psalm 23:3).

When we live in harmony with You, You give us green pastures and still waters to luxuriously refresh us and to bountifully provide all of our needs. Even in the valley of the shadow of death, we have nothing to fear, because You abide within us by Your Holy Spirit. Our cup of blessings overflow due to Your abundant goodness to Your Saints. We look forward to dwelling with You in New Jerusalem for eternity (Psalm 23).

Thought for the Day:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end; in fact, they are new every single morning; His faithfulness to His Saints is sure and true, and we hope in Him because He is our provision, our shield and our peace.
- Lamentations 3:22-24

Friday, February 16, 2018

A Good Marriage - Changing Our Attitude

blur, close-up, dew

Our attitude toward our spouse must come from a fresh perspective each new morning. We cannot hold each other in bondage to our mistakes in our recent or past choices.

Seeing one another as Jesus sees us - as perfect in Him - helps us to forgive and let live. Sure, we still have carnality at the root of our personality, but we are growing out of that mindset as God's Spirit transforms us with the mind of Christ.

Personal adjustments are often required to have a good marriage. Rather than insisting on our own way, we work together to find a third alternative, with which we can both find fulfillment.

Soon we will automatically work toward finding Plan C rather than pushing to do things our way. We start to notice more of our mate's positive characteristics; in fact, some of them drew us to our loved one in the beginning of our courtship.

Sometimes, over the years of our marriage, we grow to resent some of the characteristics that we initially admired. We falsely interpret our mate's motive as controlling, weak, irritating, manipulative, etc.

This is rarely the case. Our mate did not change; our attitude about these character traits switched. If we look at our mate with fresh eyes, we see that God put us together in order to allow our strengths to help one another's weaknesses.

Planning frequent play time together as a couple will enhance our relationship and improve our perspective of one another. We learn to laugh together again, to appreciate each other, to listen quietly and compassionately to our individual fears and concerns, and to admire and cherish each other.

Mutual love and cherishing will change our attitude about one another. We enjoy each other's company again and learn to appreciate each other's strengths, as we humble our self while interacting with our mate.

Father God, help us to develop good will toward one another rather than to feed the resentment and hurt feelings that we have nursed over the years. Help us to interpret each other's behavior as caring and nurturing rather than as controlling and manipulative. We bring our hurt to You for healing as we reach out to each other with Your Agape love.

Remind us that rather than focusing on what we perceive as our mate's fault, we can learn to see them for what they really are and focus on our own faults instead. You will help us to meet our needs that we used to expect our mate to meet, and to allow Your Spirit to change our negative traits with His fruit. This will help us to grow in spiritual maturity, responsible reactions from our soul, and effectual effort from our body as we grow together into one flesh.

Thought for the Day:
As we develop our sense of wonder and joy with the little blessings in life, we will begin to reap the larger benefits that God has in store for us as individuals and as a couple.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

God in the Details

Trees Under Blue Sky during Daytime

You have heard it said that some people ”wear many hats". This implies that they have several "irons in the fire" - they are involved in many different aspects in their ministry, hobbies, vocation or as a stay-at-home parent.

Well, I wear many different gloves! I am part owner of a café, and I am a "jack of all trades." Therefore, I wear many gloves. For instance, I continually wear gloves if I have an open wound on my fingers or hand.

On top of that, I add kitchen gloves when I wash the dishes. When I prep food for the cook, I wear food prep gloves to prevent contact between my hands and the food.

I continually switch back and forth between food prep gloves and dish washing gloves all day long. Although we switch menu and food products when lunch time rolls around, my protocol is still the same - switching gloves with each new task.

When I make the soup of the day, I am not required to wear gloves, since the items that I chop and prepare will be cooked. Another respite from changing gloves is when we can use tongs to retrieve products for certain menu items.

Also, we are required to use different chopping surfaces for different types of food. The government requires that we use one for pork, another one for chicken, a separate one for beef and a completely different surface for vegetables.

My routine is often laughable because I continually switch both gloves and chopping boards. However, one good thing that never changes is the dedicated, positive and efficient staff with which I work.

We all love each other and really care about one another. We help each other out, cover for each other and do one another's job during breaks when we have the time. This makes the demands of running a restaurant more enjoyable.

Father God, we are so glad that You are in the details of our life. Thank You for showing us the humor in the tedious tasks that make up the majority of our day. Use us for Your glory in every situation in which we are involved. Let our light shine in such a way that others will see our works and give You all of the glory.

We thank You for Your love, care and provision for us from Your glorious riches (Psalm 55:22; Philippians 4:19). We live in continual worship with each of Your Saints of Your holiness, benevolence, protection and intimacy. We give you all of the praise and glory that is due to Your name.

Thought for the Day:
People who wear too many different hats (or gloves) often succumb to fatigue, stress and physical ailments; doing one thing, and doing it well is actually the best way to live.