Saturday, August 31, 2013

Reciprical Relationship

We do not have to arouse an inordinate amount of faith within us, in order to survive the issues of life. As we keep our focus on each current moment, we will live by God’s Spirit through every second of our day. If we can abide in Christ in each instant, then we can put all of our moments together and end up abiding in faith in Christ all day long. Every time a sin or a disturbing event threatens to rob us of our peace, we remind our self that we are safely abiding in Christ.

As we abide in Christ, He replaces our carnal nature with His Spirit’s fruit and His character (2 Corinthians 3:18). Christ in us leads us to a life of complete surrender and undivided commitment to God. We lay down our goals, self-will and pride. God alone is our King, and He rules over every area of our life according to His will. He exerts His power, overcomes our enemies and provides us with His anointing to accomplish His service. His contentment, peace and joy permeate our soul by His Spirit.

When people are in our presence, they see Jesus instead of us (Acts 6:8-9). We live moment by moment by the faith of the Son of God, who loves us and sacrificed Himself for us (Ephesians 5:1-2). We readily forsake this world and the flesh in order to gain the excellency of Christ and to live in Him (Philippians 3:8-9). The power of His divine life within us works in this present moment and also extends into the next moment, until we walk in His Spirit throughout the entire day.

We live in a reciprocal relationship with Christ, receiving and restoring all that Adam lost in his fall. We abide in Him, and His words abide in us (John 15:7). As we give to others what Christ gives to us, we receive even more – whether it is encouragement, money or time. As we empty our life for Christ, His divine fullness heals us. He replaces our thoughts and feelings with His fruit as we abide in the Vine (John 15:4).

If we are too full of our self, there is no room for God’s divine life to fill us. Humbling our pride is the first step to a fulfilled life. There are many examples in Jesus’ parables, which teach us to forsake what we are and what we possess in order to seek His treasure. We lose our temporal life, so we will find eternal life in Him. We leave the many to seek the One. We count everything as lost in order to know Christ more fully (Philippians 3:8).

Father God, once we repent and walk away from our sin, we enter into Your plan of salvation through true conversion. It is impossible for us to conquer sin on our own; however, the power of Christ in us, removes from us all desire to sin (Galatians 5:16, 25). We hunger and thirst after You and request that You give us a clean heart and to purge us of anything thwarting our intimate relationship with You (Matthew 5:6). We are no longer slaves to sin, but slaves to Your righteousness (Romans 6:18).

Thought for the Day:
Rather than to work for God, we depend on the Holy Spirit to do the works of God in and through our life. – Ephesians 2:8-10

Friday, August 30, 2013

God's Ultimate Plan

Through Adam, God formed humanity in His image and likeness, as His ultimate creation in the Garden of Eden. Sin cast us down from our lofty position; and instead, required that we toil in the earth for our sustenance. However, the divine Christ took the form of a human being to redeem mankind for eternity. Now, He works in our life until we willingly surrender our carnal flesh for mortification by His Spirit, until we realize that we are dead, and our life is now hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).

When we consider Jesus’ prayer in the Garden, prior to Judas’ betrayal, we can assume that He dreaded the horrendous coming events, which God required of Him. He begged God multiple times to allow the cup to pass from Him. Whether He feared the torture and crucifixion, or the bounty of God’s wrath, the debt of our sin or His separation from our Father for that period of time, we do not know. However, it is clear that Jesus felt apprehensive and craved His disciples’ support and prayer at that time.

We all know the end of the story. Jesus triumphed over sin and death. This same powerful Christ lives within us, with all the dynamic authority of His resurrection. He delivers every authentic Born Again Believer from any situation, which life throws at us, even death (Roman 8:11-23). Once the dynamite power of Christ moves into our spirit, we connect to the victory of the perfect union with Christ in us. We are now heirs with Jesus of all the glory due to Him, not because we are worthy, but because of what He did for us through Calvary’s cross (Romans 6:5).

Our humanity is dead, because we are crucified with Christ; yet Christ lives in and through us (Galatians 2:20). We are conformed to the likeness of His death through baptism, and then raised to walk in the freshness of new life in Him. We excel in His Kingdom work through His divine life within us. As Christ consecrates our spirit, soul and body to His service, we abide in Him as our righteousness, our salvation, our sanctification, our serenity, our sanctuary and our sufficiency.

Although all of creation awaits the revelation of the sons of God for its redemption (Romans 8:19), we currently abide in Christ with all the power of the triune Godhead residing within us. Yet, we live as prisoners to our negative emotions, our fleshly lusts, the lure of the world and the wiles of Satan and his minions. The reality of Jesus as the Lord of our life needs to sink into our soul until we eat, sleep, breathe and see it more clearly than any truth we have ever learned. Then we will walk in this reality with all the power of the triune Godhead within us (Mark 16:17-18).

Lord Jesus, You draw us into a closer union and fellowship with You through each passing day. We yield in unconditional surrender in order to partake of Your divine nature, unconditional salvation and victorious life. We desire nothing less then perfect conformity to Your nature and to be filled through all of our being with all the fullness of Your spiritual power (Ephesians 3:19). We rely on You to bring us into a deeper and more intimate abiding in Your presence within us, until we lay down our will and walk in Your will instead.

Thought for the Day:
When the storms of life shake our peace and our faith in our Rock, Jesus Christ, we can blame our self-efforts for this malady; however, we find abundant faith to meet any turmoil, when we trust only in our Savior and Lord. – Galatians 3:1-3

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Not of Our Self

Our human plans often operate on impulses, and are otherwise the results of us reasoning things out with our finite mind. However, we are never quite able, apart from Christ, to come to understand the complete truth about life (2 Timothy 3:6-7). Deep thinkers, mystics, scientists, authors and poets all try to pinpoint the origin and meaning of life, but they reject the truth of God’s Word. Then they come up with theories they cannot prove, even by their own laws. The wisdom and power of life come only from the crucified Christ (1 Corinthians 23-24).

We cannot boast in our own knowledge or abilities (1 Corinthians 4:7; 5:6). Neither can we dwell on the negative aspects of our life. We look above and beyond everything to Jesus who is our wisdom and our joy (John 15:11). In order to live daily in God’s joy, we develop the habit of making Jesus the center of our focus. We submit to God’s Spirit as He crucifies our carnal humanity, and we exalt Christ’s divinity within us (Galatians 2:20). Once we reach this place of dying to our self, our soul truly prospers (1 Corinthians 15:31; 3 John 1:2).

We share in Christ’s peace and glory as we face our cross each day (Hebrews 12:2-3). We continually and totally depend upon, confide in and seek the Lord concerning all of our thoughts, feelings, instincts and leadings. We never rely on our own suspicions or perceptions. In everything we do, we identify the leading of God’s Spirit first, we are acquainted with His Word about the issues or events, and we submit our will to His (Proverbs 3:5-6). Then, God guides us and straightens out any uphill paths that may be in our way.

We never trust in our self or entertain an exalted opinion of our self (Ephesians 2:8-10). We respect the Lord and walk away from anything that we sense is evil. All Biblical advice brings health to our body and nourishment to our bones (Proverbs 3:7-8). When we choose the will of God over our own will and we grow steadily in our union with Christ, we grow more like Him with each passing day (2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 John 3:2). Jesus is all we need (Colossians 3:11).

God gives us His wisdom when we lack understanding (James 1:5). If we feel inferior or inadequate, He reminds us that we are children of the King, and He will never leave us or forsake us (Ephesians 2:6; Hebrews 13:5; Philippians 4:13). If Satan plagues us with guilt over our past, Jesus removes condemnation for those who trust in Him (Romans 8:1). In our times of trouble, we cast our cares on Him who cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). Christ in us gives us peace in exchange for our worries (Philippians 4:6, 7; 1 Peter 5:7; John 14:27).

Father God, You will receive all the glory for the creation, salvation and glorification of all the Saints on that glorious day when we see You face to face. All we have to give You apart from what Christ works in our life, is the love, praise and glory due Your name. Our difficulties set the stage for Your miracles. The more impossible the solution, the greater the miracle; but with You all things are possible
(Matthew 19:26).
Thought for the Day:
If we humble our self, God will not need to humiliate us. – Matthew 21:44

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

God Transforms and Establishes Us In Him

We receive Christ as our Savior and Lord, but then we have no idea what to do with Him. Paul tells us to walk in Him, to sink our roots into Him and to be built up in Him. In this way, we are established in our faith and abound in Him for every good work (Colossians 2:6-7). This has nothing to do with the exercise of self-discipline (Galatians 3:1-3). It has everything to do with the grace and mercy of God. Our only command is to believe (John 3:16-18). Yet, God even helps us in our unbelief (Mark 9:23-25).

There are impediments to belief. Our guilt, our penchant toward sin, our carnal flesh, our pride and willfulness, our fears and doubts all plague us. They build a wall around our spiritual growth. Slowly, over the years, God cleanses us from all unrighteousness and demolishes these walls (1 John 1:7-9). He builds up our faith by allowing trials to cleanse us from our deepest fears and insecurities. He whittles away at our pride, and allows us to experience humiliation until we are humbled.

We come to realize that we did not earn our salvation and neither can we earn our sanctification (Galatians 3:1-3). We do not deserve Christ, but He loved us even while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). God empties us of our self and fills us with all of His fullness (Ephesians 3:19). Jesus leads us into a walk of intimate fellowship with Himself. If we sit in His presence and empty our mind of all thoughts and stress, He pours His love over us like a waterfall, until we are saturated with His affection and care.

God fills us with His joy, holiness and spiritual fruit as we come to a place of abiding in His presence each moment of the day (Romans 15:13; Galatians 5:22-23). It is no longer we who live, but Christ who lives in and through us (Galatians 2:20). He holds us securely in His everlasting arms. We can depend on Him for all of our needs and the strength and wisdom to walk in His will moment by moment throughout the day. We walk in confidence as His Spirit directs our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).

If we are in Christ, we lack no good thing (Psalm 34:10). He lives the Christian life through us. Due to His presence, we deny our flesh, obey His Spirit’s direction and study His Word to show our self approved and not ashamed (2 Timothy 2:15). We realize that nothing is impossible to those who believe in God (Luke 1:37). Our life depends upon every Word that ensues from His mouth (Matthew & Luke 4:4). God grafts us into the Vine (Jesus) so that we partake of His divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).

Father God, even in our times of remorse and despair, You remind us that we are Your beloved children. You breathe hope, peace and joy into our soul regardless of our circumstances (Jeremiah 29:11). You accomplish Your wondrous work in us and for us, as You work all things out for our good (Romans 8:28). We rejoice in Your divinity within us and we thank You for Your presence forevermore (1 Peter 1:4). As our thoughts permanently dwell on You, Your living Word transforms our life into the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). 

Thought for the Day:
We can thoroughly depend upon Christ to fulfill His promises to us, both now on this earth and also in eternity.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Comfort for the Abused and Oppressed


God cares about the abused and the oppressed. He does not look down upon the mistreated, but He abhors their affliction. He gathers their tears in His bottle and records them in His journal (Psalm 56:8). He promises not to hide His face from them when they cry out to Him, and He champions their cause (Psalm 22:24, 140:12). He redeems the soul of the afflicted from deceit and violence. Their blood is precious in His sight (Psalm 72:14). God promises to lift up the distressed above those who try to hurt them and to deliver them from violent people (Psalm 18:48).

The Lord hates those who love violence and promises to punish them (Psalm 11:5; Zephaniah 1:9). He is wearied by the violence in homes and those who make excuses for divorcing their mate, whom they should be protecting (Malachi 2:16). God even despises verbal abuse, and proved it when He inspired Solomon to write, “violence covers the mouth of the wicked” (Proverbs 10:6,11). Jesus equates anger without a cause to murder, and He also speaks out against verbal abuse (Matthew 5:21-22).

There is comfort in belonging to Christ, comfort in His love and fellowship with His Spirit. His comfort makes us tenderhearted, compassionate, single-minded and in one accord with other Believers (Philippians 2:1-2). God gives them hope and a secure future (Jeremiah 29:11). God tells the church to bear one another burdens and to comfort each other (Galatians 6:2). God makes things right and provides the afflicted with a refuge from oppression and trouble (Psalm 9:9; 103:6). He brings down the haughty, evil person and saves the afflicted from their troubles (2 Samuel 22:28).

Father God, You comfort the downcast in our affliction (2 Corinthians 1:4, 7:6). You call each of us to encourage one another and to bear one another’s burdens (2 Corinthians 7:7).  By doing this, we actually fulfill Your law (Galatians 6:2). You call the strong to overlook the failings of the weak, and not to hold it against them (Romans 15:1). We love our neighbor with the same intensity that we love our self (Galatians 5:14).

Thought for the Day:
We encourage each other in our times of distress. - Hebrews 12:12

Monday, August 26, 2013

A Living Witness


Sinners are helplessly drawn into sin, and can do nothing else (2 Corinthians 4:3-4). We cannot expect them to act any other way (Luke 23:34). Their spirit is dead in sin. Satan uses all the tools in his arsenal to deceive them and blind their eyes to God’s Truth. They need a Savior. God puts us in their lives to develop witnessing relationships with them (1 Corinthians 9:22). We serve them, as Christ served His disciples; in order to win some of them to Christ (1 Corinthians 9:19).

We are a poor witness to the unsaved, as long as we dabble in the same deception and sinful practices that they do. We also get sidetracked in ceaseless religious activities that actually prevent us from doing God’s will. It is only when we walk in obedience and the power of God’s Spirit that we can hope to make an impression on anyone for God. When they see God’s power manifested in our life, and they see answers to our prayers, they will want to draw away from a sinful lifestyle and rest in God along with us (Mathew 11:28-29; Isaiah 11:10).

They will cease their works, as we have rested from ours, because they too will enter into the rest of the Lord (Hebrews 4:10). They will abide in Him, live in His abundant life, and live a life of praise for all that the Lord is, as well as for all of His benefits (John 10:10; Psalm 103:2). They will also achieve holiness through their relationship with Christ rather than by adherence to the law. When we abide in Christ, He brings rest to our soul. We depend upon His peace within us through every obstacle we experience in life.

When we are immersed in Christ, we serve Him effortlessly, because we work, not through our own efforts, but by His Spirit within us. We are dead, and our life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). Therefore, when Jesus works in us, He does His works through us. He changes lives by using our body, soul and spirit. We do not need to strive to endeavor to live by Jesus’ example, because He lives His life through us. We make no effort except to enter His rest (Hebrews 4:10).

We do not attempt to accomplish a great feat or crusade for Christ, because that would defeat His will for our life, unless He leads us in that direction. We simply obey His Spirit moment by moment throughout the day. He sprouts the fruit of His Spirit in us, and we share them with all those He leads us to speak to or to visit. We are not saying the words, but He is speaking them through. We are a lifeless glove, and He is the hand that controls our movement.

Lord Jesus, once we come to You for salvation, You live in us and love our whole world through us. We follow Your Spirit and You use us to pour out Your forgiveness, love, patience and gentleness on those You bring into our life. Our neighborhood, family, job and acquaintances are our mission field. Remind us that Christianity is a relationship with You, not a religious tradition (Acts 17:25). It is not only about attending a church once a week, but also about surrendering to Your Lordship in our life. As long as our soul is at rest in You, we no longer need to strive to perform religious works (Philippians 1:6). Christ is all and is in all (Colossians 3:11).

Thought for the Day:
Cultural Christians give Christianity a bad name, because they keep one foot in the world; and simply dabble in the faith, rather than immersing themselves in the Living Word.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Does God Hate?


It is amazing to see that God feels the same emotions that He gave to human beings. He experiences all of them from joy to love, and even hate. God is very concerned about His people walking in the ungodly ways of the world. He hates the sin of the world, because it is unrighteous and it ruins our health spiritual, physical and in our mind, will and emotions (Leviticus 20:23). He knows that worshipping any other God will ultimately disappoint us; therefore He abhors it when we put any person, place, activity or thing ahead of Him in our heart (Leviticus 26:30).

When anyone provokes God’s children to sin, God hates them (Deuteronomy 32:19). He says it is better for a millstone to be around their neck (Luke 17:2). God abhors the wicked that boast of their sin and encourage the covetous, as well as the wicked that love violence and all workers of iniquity. He considers them fools. They will not be able to stand in His sight (Psalm 10:3, 11:5, 5:5). He especially hates those who deceive or murder the innocent (Psalm 5:6).

Israel vexed the Lord so often that it was only His promise to Abraham that kept Him from destroying the whole nation more than once (Psalm 78:59). They ignited His anger over and over; so much so that He acually abhorred His own inheritance (Pslam 106:40). He took away His tabernacle, destroyed the places of the assembly and caused the solemn feasts and sabbaths to be forgotten in Israel, because He despised their kings and priests (Lamentations 2:6). God drove Israel out of His house due to their wickedness, and He hated their princes (Hosea 9:15).

God has even been known to hate individual people. It seems unreasonable for Him to do that; but He knows the end from the beginning, and He knows the hearts of mankind (Isaiah 46:10; Jeremiah 17:10). Esau was one of those God hated (Romans 9:13). Esau’s god was his belly. He sold his birthright for a bowl of lentil stew (Genesis 25:29-34). So God destroyed Esau’s heritage (Malachi 1:3).

God also destroys those who plot against His Saints. He puts them to shame because He despises them (Psalm 53:5). He warns against prostitues, because He abohors those who fall under their spell (Proverbs 22:14). There are seven things, which God really despises: the proud, liars, murders of innocent people, a heart that plans wicked scemes, mischief makers, a false witness and those who sow discord in His Body (Proverbs 6:16-19). That just about covers the spectrum of sin.

Father God, You despise anything and anyone that will harm Your beloved Saints. You are jealous over us and You want to keep us and protect us from all harm (Exodus 20:5). Sin is the most harmful habit anyone can embrace. Therefore, You abhor whatever will lead us into temptation. We thank You for sending Your only begotten Son to pay the penalty of our sin, and to set us free from Satan’s clutches, the flesh and the world (Romans 5:6-10).

Thought for the Day:
God forgives every sinner who repents. – John 3:16



Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Quiet Place of Holiness


Fear and worry tend to infiltrate the soul of every human being at one time or another. We all share the penchant for trying to control our circumstances to keep us safe. We fear the future and cling to the past. What if all the orange trees in Florida feared losing their fruit, so they clung to the oranges? We would miss a whole year of orange juice, and the fruit would just sour and rot in a few weeks. There is no reason to allow fear or worry to dictate our mood; we will only sour and decay our soul if we do.

Instead, we can still and quiet our soul by keeping a journal of the things that bother us (Psalm 131:2). This allows our soul to let off steam and rid itself of any dangerous, pent up negative emotions. The Lord tells the righteous that it will be well with us, for we shall enjoy the fruit of our labor (Isaiah 3:10). As we yield our self to faith, worship and obedience, He works His mighty works in and instead of us. We are the glove, but He is the hand.

An attraction to the world causes us to slip into debauchery of our body and soul and leads to physical sickness and mental illness. On top of this it is sin, which causes spiritual sickness too. Dabbling in the world does us no good in any way. Sin is only enjoyable for a short time. It causes us to miss the joys of serving in God’s Kingdom. It forces us to reap the consequences of our behavior for the rest of our life, as well as in eternity (Hebrews 11:25).

Even the good things in life can become the enemy of the will of God for our life. Many of us are so preoccupied with living life that we forget that we are dead, and that Christ now lives His life instead of us. We are too busy to slow down and abide in Christ, and we frustrate the plan of God for our life (Ephesians 2:8-10). God’s work is delayed by our obstruction of His will. However, in His will, we accomplish much more than we do by living life according to our will and in our own strength.

God calls us to be still and to acknowledge that He is God (Psalm 46:10). We sit in blessed silence and still our racing soul. As we wait upon the Lord, we stand against anything deterring us from seeking God. He brings peace to our soul and fills us with His joy as our strength (Isaiah 40:31; Nehemiah 8:10). We abide in Christ and enter into His rest while we wait on His direction (Hebrews 4:10; Proverbs 3:5-6); then, we walk in obedience to His will moment by moment throughout the day (Deuteronomy 28:2).

Father God, You can work through us only when we cease from our human labors and enter into Your rest (Hebrews 4:10). You give us both the desire and the power to accomplish Your will in our life (Philippians 2:12-13). We relish Your divine presence within us and we desire nothing more than to walk in Your power through each moment of our day at work, at home, in the community and in church services. We want nothing more than to abide in Your presence and to be led by Your Spirit and to watch Jesus work through us during each moment of the day.

Thought for the Day:
May our soul yield its thoughts, choices and emotions to the direction of God's divine Spirit one moment at a time.

Friday, August 23, 2013

It's Not Your Normal Beatitudes


Faith and works are opposites. We prove our faith by our works, but we cannot work to build up our faith (James 2:17). Exercising our faith brings us patience, until patience does her work of perfection in us (James 1:3-4). Everything in the spiritual life begins and ends with Christ. He authors as well as completes our faith, because He took our shame and conquered sin death. Now He sits in His rightful place on His throne at the right hand of God (Hebrews 12:2).

We always view the Beatitudes as attributes that Jesus requires of us in order for us to inherit His blessings. We look discouragingly at the long inventory, and abandon any hope of ever reaching such holy heights in spirituality. However, Christ in us turns the remarks of His message into a declaration of His work in our life, rather than an itemized list of accomplishments to which we should aspire (Matthew 5:1-12). Look at the Beatitudes from God’s perspective rather than from ours. 

As long as we live in pride, the eyes of our understanding are glazed over by our arrogance (Ephesians 1:18). We cannot understand God’s Word. Only when Christ reveals to us how poor in spirit we actually are, do we have any hope of inheriting the Kingdom of God. Realizing our depravity, we call on Christ to save us. We mourn our hopelessness and He comforts us with His salvation. Only by admitting our sinful state of corruption may we inherit the earth.

We live our life sanctified by His Spirit, hungering and thirsting after more and more righteousness until He satisfies our longing and fills our famished soul (Psalm 107:9). God shows us His mercy, as we are merciful to fellow sinners, and forgives us as we forgive others (Acts 17:11). When we submit to God, He guarantees that we will see Him, because He cleanses our heart from sin. Due to the work of Christ in our life, the Lord of peace allows His children to act as blessed peacemakers.

Even if we are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, Christ in us bears the pain and gives us the inheritance of His Kingdom as our own. Faith connects us to the reality of God’s Spirit, and His Spirit assures us of His faithfulness. We live by faith in the Son of God, because He loves us and gave Himself as a ransom for our sins (Ephesians 5:2). The Kingdom of Heaven is not about the carnal pursuits of eating and drinking, but about seeking His Spirit’s righteousness, peace and joy (Romans 14:17).

Father God, if our identity is wrapped up in our performance, we are slaves to society. We work our self into a frenzy to acquire success and this world’s goods. We work like slaves to secure a retirement that may never come. We run on a treadmill that leads to an endless road of hectic activity. As authentic Born Again Christians, You place Your boundless fullness in our human spirit. We ask You to use our body, soul and spirit for Your glory.

Thought for the Day:
It is time to stop taking God’s love for granted (Romans 5:8), and to start loving others with eternal, sacrificial love rather than only through impatient tolerance (John 13:34).


Thursday, August 22, 2013

His Exact Relica


Our union with Christ involves our spirit, soul and body. They unite us in vision and purpose with Christ. Through this union, God expresses His heart through us in sympathy for the hardships of others, in patience in tribulation, and in devotion in Bible study, prayer and fellowship with other Saints of God. Consequently, God fulfills through us His purpose for us in the earth. In this manner, the union between the Creator and the created, the divine and the human, the eternal and the temporal is complete (Colossians 2:10).

Learning about the works of God often causes us to focus our attention outwardly. We see God on His throne in Heaven, but we see our self as struggling alone in life in need of His divine help. Some people say we are nothing but marionettes, forced to serve as the Divine Manipulator dictates. However, we are more like a glove. He exactly fills us, and we are perfectly molded and fitted to His character and nature. Then, when He moves within us, we move as His exact replica on the earth.

At times, we may also visualize Jesus walking beside us, instead of Him living within us. We fail to grasp the true picture of the finished work of Jesus within us. We focus on Christ on the cross, but we disregard the fact that the risen Lord dwells within our spirit. We clearly see that Christ redeemed us from sin by the cross; however, we forget about the fact that this same Jesus dwells within us and works out His purposes in us and instead of us.

Jesus justifies our spirit; sanctifies, inspires and directs our soul; and eventually He will glorify our body. Christ does this by using our body, soul and spirit to do His work in the earth. Jesus speaks the oracles of God through our voice (1 Peter 4:11). He heals a sick body through the laying on of our hands (Mark 1:41; 6:5; 5:3; 7:32, 33; 8:23, 25; 16:18; James 5:15). He sees a need and meets it through the resources He provides for us (1 John 3:17). He will even raise the dead, cleanse the leper and cast out devils in and instead us (Matthew 10:8).

Jesus is the expression of God’s glory and the exact image of God’s being (Hebrews 1:3). We freely receive from Him. Then, instead of us, He uses our body, soul and spirit to freely give to those in need around us (Matthew 10:8). Christ in us has limitless resources to accomplish His will for each life. We fail to access this power when we deviate from God’s will for each moment of our day. We submit our human will to Christ’s divine will, knowing that it is only through the submission of our will to His, that we can actually succeed in anything we endeavor.

Father God, harmony in our relationship with You increases as we live in union with Christ. This guarantees that more accord abides between our will and Your will. We soon find that our purpose is to do nothing more in life than to step aside and allow Christ to work instead of us. Your will flows from a combination of Your divine love and wisdom. You consume us with Your nature, which is the fruit of Your Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, meekness, self-control and faith (Galatians 5:22-23). Help us to lay down our plans and expectations and use us for Your purposes each moment of our day.

Thought for the Day:
It is only as we walk in union with Christ within us, by the direction of His Holy Spirit, that we experience the gifts and fruit of His Spirit functioning through us and making us shining stars to shed His light in the dark, lost world around us. – Colossians 1:27; Philippians 2:15


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

God's Broken Heart

  • Multicolored Heart Stock Photo

    During the wilderness journey, Israel continually ran from God, even when God provided for them and proved Himself to them over and over. God healed them, showed His gracious love to them and protected them even in captivity. God eventually freed them from captivity, and gave them water, food, a pillar of fire to keep them warm in the desert night and a cloud to keep them cool from the burning desert sun during the day. Their clothing never wore out even when they rebelled and they had to wander in the wilderness for forty years (Hosea 11:1-4; Deuteronomy 29:5).

    God never provoked Israel to wrath and He gave us His example so we could parent our own children by His example. God is righteous and just. He disciplines us, as He wants us to discipline our own children, with mercy and truth (Ephesians 6:4). God also gives us a free will to allow us to choose whether or not to serve Him with our life. Daily, He draws us to Himself; however, we can reject His love and live life our own way if we want to do so. It is our choice.

    God is our Father, not a dictator. He never takes delight in the destruction of the wicked, but He does take delight in the death of His Saints (Ezekiel 18:23; Psalm 116:15). Those concepts are just the opposite to our human way of thinking. We want the perpetrators in our life to suffer as much as they make us suffer, and we grieve ceaselessly when our loved ones die. If we were to realize that God wants to give us His heart, we would start to feel as He does.

    We would do all we could to win the wicked to Christ; and we would celebrate rather than mourn, when our dear ones graduate from the school of life and go to their reward in Heaven to live with King Jesus. God adopted us into His family and He laid down His life for us; yet, we walk away from His precepts. Our disobedience breaks God’s heart, because it declares our rebellion and our rejection of His will and ways. We often act as if He is a cruel taskmaster instead of our loving God and Savior.

    Not long after God created mankind, He regretted His actions, because of the wild behavior going on in this world (Genesis 6:5-6). Each sinful act broke His heart. We all break God’s heart every time we sin. Not only because it defies His holiness, but also because He sees how sin destroys us as well. God’s remedy for this penchant of ours was to become one of us. He gave His life as a ransom for everyone willing to humbly surrender his or her life to Him (2 Peter 3:9). His heart is full of love for each one of us.

    Father God, You always love those who love You. If we diligently seek You, we will always find You (Proverbs 8:17). When we call upon You, You are always near. You desire that the wicked will forsake their thoughts and  ways, and turn to You. You will have compassion on them and abundantly pardon them (Isaiah 55:6-7). You are merciful and loving in all of Your ways and we give you the glory and honor due Your name.

    Thought for the Day:
    Don't be in a hurry to change your circumstances. Sit in God's presence and learn from Him through them. When God is ready, He will change them for you.



    Tuesday, August 20, 2013

    Purpose in Prayer

    Communicating with God is called prayer. It is one of the most misunderstood disciplines of the faith. Most people use prayer to request, command, dictate, and order God to do their bidding according to their human will. Then they wonder why their prayers never get answered! Some use it as a last resort, or as a lifeline during a time of emergency. Conversely, a few realize that pray is the expression of our love and devotion to our Heavenly Father.

    Prayer is actually God’s love language. He delights in communing with His Saints (Psalm 37:4). Prayer is our continual connection to receive wisdom, direction and encouragement from the throne of God. Once we realize that all things are possible in our relationship with God (Matthew 1:26), our faith and trust in Him grows. Our continual communication with God throughout the day blesses Him and connects us to His Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:17). We pray in humility, wanting His will in all things (Matthew 6:10).

    Surrendering our will, goals and ambitions to His will for our life comes easily after a while. We stop requesting carnal blessings and we spend more time praising Him in prayer than we do in making requests for our own needs and desires. We love Him with all of our mind, heart, soul and strength (Mark 12:30), and He meets all of our needs according to His glorious riches (Philippians 4:19).

    Jesus taught His disciples the key elements of prayer through what we title, “The Lord’s Prayer”:

    1. We acknowledge our relationship:
    “Our Father, who are in Heaven…”

    2. We glorify His name:
    “Hallowed be Thy name…”

    3. We affirm His Kingdom and we pray for His will:
    “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven…”

    4. We request His provision for our day:
    “Give us this day our daily bread…”

    5. We confess our sins, as we daily forgive the slights of others against us:
    “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who trespass against us…”

    6. We applause His attributes, and we recognize His Kingdom and His amazing power and majesty:
    “For Thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.”

    God looks forward to opportunities to bless those who seek Him (2 Chronicles 16:9, Psalm 34:15, Proverbs 15:3; Amos 9:8; 1 Peter 3:12; Ephesians 3:20).