Saturday, March 17, 2018

God's Plans for our Benefit

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God gives His Saints His rest and safety in this world. We can lay down without fear. We are secure in our hope in Christ (Job 11:18-19). When we hope in the Lord, He arranges even the most difficult times for our benefit (Job 13:15).

The Lord takes pleasure in those who hope in His mercy (Psalm 147:11). He is our shield in times of affliction. He lifts up our head when we are depressed. God always hears us, although He is way up in His holy hill.

We can sleep in peace, because our Father God never naps or sleeps, and He faithfully sustains us (Psalm 121:4). Even if our circumstances are overwhelming, we have no need to fear them (Psalm 3:2-6). God has a perfect plan for our life.

These plans are for our advantage and they will not harm us, because they give us a hopeful future (Jeremiah 29:11). God works out all things, even the most negative aspects of life, for our good (Romans 8:28).

We always have access to Him by faith, and we rejoice in our hope in the glory of God. We even gain His glory through our trials, because we know that they ultimately produce hope in us, which never disappoints us.

Father God, remind us not to depend on any goodness within our self to earn our way to Heaven or to attempt to deserve Your love. Help us to use all of the resources, which You provide for us by Your Holy Spirit, rather than trusting in our human resources.

Our relationship with You is not for the sake of our advancement in this life, but to further Your Kingdom in the earth (Luke 16:1-18). Never allow us to pass up the opportunity to sing praises to Your holy name (Psalm 30:12), because You are so worthy of all of our glory, honor and praise.

Thought for the Day:
The Holy Spirit pours out the love of God in our hearts, because even when we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 
- Romans 5:2-7

Friday, March 16, 2018

A Blessed Life

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The needs of each person’s soul are different, but we all love to play. Fortunately, God abundantly gives us all good things to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17). However, there is a fine line between holiness and depravity.

God calls us to live in His freedom, and then He cautions us not to use our freedom as a pretense to sin; but to live instead as His righteous bondservants (1 Peter 2:16).  

Human beings often believe that there is no freedom in living a moral life. All they see is commandments that restrict their carnal inclinations. Their pride and rebellion prevent them from submitting totally to God.

Sin takes away our free will and keeps us under its spell. There is absolutely no freedom in slavery to sin. Fleshly indulgences are only enjoyable for a time, and we always reap destruction from them.

The dividends of living a depraved lifestyle come in the form of ill health, addictions, unmanageable circumstances, jail terms, broken relationships, poverty and eventually death without peace (Luke 21:34).

Living according to the dictates of sin, and Satan, the world, and our flesh will not bring us lasting fame, fortune, financial security or peace. It is only temporary at best. God's Word advises us to be filled with God's Spirit instead of sin (Ephesians 5:19).

I contend that true freedom only comes within the safe parameters of God's ethical boundaries. Jesus told us that Unbelievers are slaves to sin, and He reminded us that only He, the Son of God, can give us real freedom (John 8:34-37).

The Bible is our guide and authority throughout our life. Each page is full of wise counsel and promises of immediate help for us to succeed in living according to God's will for our life.

Father God, thank you for sending Jesus to give us abundant life, which fills us to overflowing (John 10:10, Amplified Bible). How totally pointless the pursuit of self-indulgence appears after we attain it, and what am emptiness and bitter taste of repulsion it leaves in our empty soul.

I have learned that there is no true happiness apart from You. I only experience completion in my life through my relationship with You. This is more fulfilling than any human relationship I ever enjoyed. Since You live within me, my bond with You is more intimate than any other.

Thought for the Day:
Paul gives us wise counsel on how to live, by telling us to be extremely careful in the choices that we make; he encourages us to use every opportunity, which God provides for us, to accomplish God's will for our life on this earth - an earth which is quickly deteriorating. 
- Ephesians 5:15-18


Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Devil Made Me Do It

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The Apostle Peter reminds us that Satan is not some cartoon character that has no power of persuasion. The truth is that the devil actually roams around on the earth looking for ways to make God's people fall into sin.

Peter also exhorts us to be alert and to take the devil's threat seriously (2 Corinthians 11:14; 1 Peter 5:8). My son was put into a compromising situation during a time when he was very vulnerable and disheartened.

He ended up giving in to Satan's temptation to indulge his flesh. He sinned against God, himself and his family. As a result he lost his home, family, integrity, moral testimony, and standing in his church community.

Thankfully, God's grace is restoring His blessings to my son little by little, but it is a long and frustrating road to travel as he reaps the consequences of falling into Satan's trap.

Another trick of the devil is to dredge up issues from our past - discouraging words spoken to us, negative experiences we survived, etc. - and Satan throws them up into our face time and time again to shame and depress us.

Satan whispers lies that run over and over in our mind until we exorcize them by the power of God's Word and Spirit. Our time of concentrated prayer allows God to reveal these lies to us, as well as God's truth that expels them from our memory and diminishes their effect in our life. (

Another ploy that the devil uses is to put ideas into our head that we think are ours. We often blindly follow them, and we reap the dire consequences of disobeying God (1 Chronicles 21:1).

God's forgiveness is immediate when we repent of our wayward ways, but we often end up reaping, for years to come, the price of what we sowed. God's Word is full of encouraging truth for us, and we are only secure in the center of God's Will. 
- Proverbs 14:26

Father God, if we seek You for the root cause of our negative emotions, You always give us the wisdom and discernment to recognize Satan's lies in our life. Help us to walk in the Spirit (Romans 5:15-25), to keep guard over our soul (Mark 8:35-36; 1 Peter 2:24-25; Proverbs 4:23), and to live in the center of Your will for us. If we draw near to You and resist the devil, he has to flee from us (James 4:7).

We believe in You and we surrender our life to You. You are always available to help us during our times of unbelief (Mark 9:24). We want to advance Your Kingdom on this earth and to serve You faithfully, until You return or until You bring us through the portal of death into Your presence. We look forward to receiving our eternal reward in Your eternal Kingdom.

Thought for the Day:
We are overcomers - Romans 8:37
We are good enough - 1 Corinthians 6:11
We have wisdom and intelligence - 
       1 Corinthians 2:16
We are acceptable - 2 Corinthians 3:5
We are chosen - Ephesians 1:42
We are forgiven and have no condemnation -            Romans 8:1-2; 1 John 1:9
We are children of our Father and co-heirs with          King Jesus - John 1:12; 1 John 3:1; 
      Romans 8:17

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

A Good Marriage - Little Foxes

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Small slights, broken promises, forgotten milestones in our relationship, focusing on our own career and interests rather than on our connection with one another, etc., are the little foxes that destroy our marriage.

Over time, they will etch away at the bond of love we used to have. They cause resentment, which often builds in our heart over the years of neglect and being taken for granted.

At times, this resentment grows on the back of our perfectionistic expectations. We forget that we are both human and imperfect at best. We lose patience with each other's foibles and peculiarities. We often get impatient with the small oversights that erode our confidence in one another.

My husband's favorite comment when he hurts my feelings is, "I didn't mean to hurt you. I didn't do it on purpose." That is usually the case. Unless we married a monster, the slights - the little foxes - are usually oversights instead of conscious decisions meant to hurt us.

In a good marriage, we honestly communicate our feelings with one another, using kind words, without using anger or a cold shoulder, which we use in an attempt to protect our self from more hurt (Proverbs 15:15).

We all fall short of perfection, and we should remember this when we are tempted to feel critical or wounded by our mate's offenses. Showing grace and mercy to one another is the better way to live.

This loving attitude prevents resentment and bitterness from growing between us. Of course, there are issues that arise in some marriages that can kill love.

I believe that trust is the foundation of love; therefore, infidelity - physical or emotional - is a major breach of our commitment to one another. We also grow apathetic in our marriage - ungrateful, thoughtless and unappreciative.

Our passion grows cold and we co-exist like roommates rather than as adoring spouses. This is not a death-toll to our relationship, however. With the Holy Spirit's help, we can always rekindle that spark of love and learn to cherish each other all over again.

Father God, help us to bathe one another and our marriage in prayer on a daily basis. Keep us faithful to our love for You and for one another. Remind us to be swift to hear and slow to speak with wrathful words (James 1:19-27). Give us Your wisdom in relating to our mate with Your Agape love that lasts a lifetime, rather than human love that wanes with the tides of life.

Even if we fail to honor our marriage vows, help us to forgive one another and to work out our differences as we allow You to re-spark our passion for one another. Fill us with the fruit of Your Spirit so that we can relate to one another with Godly compassion rather than human carnality.

Thought for the Day:
It is the "little foxes" that spoil the vine; therefore, we need to concentrate on preferring and pleasing one another, and viewing these marital slights through the eyes of God's Spirit - with forgiveness, mercy and grace. - Song of Solomon 2:15

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

An Enthusiastic Heart

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God’s Spirit and blessings are often blocked from our life, because of our lack of surrender to Him. We miss out on all that God planned for us before we were even born (Ephesians 2:10).

Due to trauma in our past, we make sure to maintain control of our life. We do not want someone else to tell us what to do, or to dictate the circumstances in which we live.

We fear that we will suffer too much pain and loss if we surrender completely to God. However, God loves us. He sanctifies us and He will also perfect us.

The quickest way to accomplish this is to develop an intimate relationship with Him. His plans for our life are for our good (Romans 8:28). All that God needs from us is an enthusiastic heart, and then He will do the rest (Philippians 2:12-13).

Mother Nature gives us a perfect picture of what it means to be totally surrendered to God. The flowers bloom where they are planted. The animals interact in the area of the world where God placed them. Even the bugs dutifully fulfill His destiny for them.

Yet we, as His creation also, ignore and neglect God most of time. Some of us remember to give Him a few moments of time before we fall asleep, and some even rise up early to give Him an hour of time prior to starting our day. Yet, this is not even close to totally surrendering to Him.

If we live in the moment, without regretting the past or fearing the future, God will fill us with His peace, which exceeds all of our expectations. He proves to us how gracious He is and that He plans to give us a future full of hope (Jeremiah 29:11).

Father God, even though You required that Jesus go to the cross, You shortened the time He normally would have hung there (Mark 15:44). You also shorten the time of our trials on earth, and You give us the grace to experience them with victory rather than defeat.

Thank You for giving us the faith and courage to face the future by granting that Your divine nature, which dwells in Christ, dwells in us through Your Holy Spirit. Jesus is our perfect example of a surrendered life. We completely yield our self to You, as He did, for You to use for Your glory.

Thought for the Day:
Thankfully, God facilitates our surrender to Him by freeing us from sin, calling us to Himself, providing for all of our needs, and helping us to trust in His faithfulness (Mark 9:24); then when we totally surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our life, God uses us for His glory.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Hoping in Reality

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Every day on this earth is only a shadow of what is to come, and it provides us with little hope to which to cling (1 Chronicles 29:15). Yet, without hope, life is impossible to live.

A hopeless existence crushes our soul, and affects our body and spirit as well (Job 17:15). The distresses of life are the result of Adam’s sin, passed on to us through our heritage from him.

Life is discouraging at best, unless we put our trust in Jesus Christ. Then, we see the fruition of our hope, and feel totally alive and blessed (Proverbs 13:12).

Even though we grieve in our trials on this earth, we rejoice in the fact that it is only for a little while – a vapor compared to eternity (James 4:13-14).

We can live in strength and courage without fear, because Christ in us fights for us against all of the negative aspects in our life (Joshua 10:25; John 5:6).

Death no longer has any sting for the Believer. Authentic Christians are aliens and pilgrims in this life (1 Peter 2:11), but angels escort us to heaven to receive our reward.

At the time of our death, we immediately pass from this earthly realm into the heaven realm. Jesus swallowed up death by His victory on Calvary’s cross.

Due to His victory, we have the hope of eternity and we can live life with a steadfast and immovable mind-set. This positive attitude enables us to succeed in our work for the Lord. Our labor of love for the Lord is never in vain (1 Corinthians 15:54-58).

Father God, many people say that You are no help to them in their times of trouble; but the truth is: You are our only hope (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). Our hope rests in You, because of Your victory over death and Your eternal salvation, which provides us with a living hope regardless of our circumstances in our life on this earth.

We look forward to spending the Millennium serving You, and then to rejoicing in You for eternity with all of Your Saints. Thank you for sending Jesus to suffer the death on the cross in our place, for taking up His life again in Your resurrection (John 10:17-18, 15:13), for coming for His Bride before the day that You pour out Your wrath on the earth, and for sending Him here again to set up Your Kingdom.

Thought for the Day:
In the face of the worse trial life throws at us, we never lose hope, because it is simply light and momentary affliction when compared to the incomparable, unseen weight of glory, which God has prepared for us in eternity. - 1 Corinthians 2:9

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Free from Sin's Bondage

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Jesus stated in a parable that the Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast that a woman mixed into a large bowl of flour until it is worked all through the dough. He points out that the leaven permeates every square inch of the dough.

Jesus also reminded the disciples at the Last Supper that He was offering His body as unleavened bread – a sinless offering for the atonement of our sins (Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24).

Then, He mentions that we should beware of the leaven in the teachings of false prophets (Matthew 6:11-12; Galatians 5:9). This allows preachers and teachers to take verses out of context, isolate them and make a false doctrine out of them.

Paul exhorts us to get rid of the old "yeast" in our life by removing the deeds of the flesh within us (1 Corinthians 5:7-8). He specifically noted the leaven of malice and wickedness.

Then he contrasted the bread without leaven, as the bread of sincerity and truth. He encourages us to live like a fresh batch of dough made without yeast - unleavened bread – without sin.

Yeast is good for bread when you want it to rise. However, it is a negative aspect when we relate the leaven to sin in our life. We do not want sin to permeate every square inch of our soul (Matthew 13:33-34).

If we live one moment at a time with our focus on Jesus and not on the circumstances and people around us (Isaiah 26:3), we can actually live free of sin's bondage for our entire lifetime.

Lord Jesus the type and shadow in the Old Testament that relates to actual events in the New Testament is amazing. Thank You for giving us confirmation of everything You anointed the authors to write.

Help us to live without the leaven of sin in our life. Remind us to sweep even the corners of our soul and flesh to remove the most infinitesimal sin from our life. We want to give You all of the honor and glory in everything we think, say and do.

Thought for the Day:
Jesus, our Passover Lamb, sacrificed His life for our sins (Romans 3:25; 1 Peter 1:19); therefore, the least we can do for Him is to make a clean sweep of all unrighteousness within our body and soul, in order to give the Holy Spirit a clean Temple, unspotted by the corruption of sin in our life, in which to dwell.