Thursday, October 31, 2013

Freedom from Within


Those of us, who focus on the natural aspects of our earthly existence, live a very limited life. We live in physical bondage to the flesh, the world and the devil. Bad habits and sinful thoughts caused us to live independently from God. However, those who focus on the spiritual aspects of life here and in eternity, reap the benefits of living by God’s Spirit (Romans 8:5). We still function in this physical world, but we do not focus on things pertaining to the flesh.

Our weapons for spiritual warfare are not carnal, but divinely powerful against speculation and prideful beliefs that were ingrained in us from birth (2 Timothy 2:23). They may become strongholds in us, which come against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:5). However, by God’s Spirit, we are able to coral our thoughts until they come into submission to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). God’s Spirit makes us a new creation in Christ, by His redemptive work on Calvary’s cross (2 Corinthians 5:17).  

The longer we fellowship with the iniquity in the world, the more it takes a toll on us (2 Peter 2:8). Our spirit is grieved, our emotions are drained, our thoughts are cluttered, and we may even be tempted to join in with the ungodly behavior around us (Matthew 24:12). The only way to survive living in this world is to preserve our faith in God, and our standards of conviction. If we compromise even a little bit, to go along in order to get along, Satan has us right where he wants us.

Jesus destroys the satanic strongholds in our life one by one. He teaches us new habits and turns our negative thinking into acceptable, lovely and pure thoughts (Philippians 4:8). He reveals all the lies, which Satan planted in our subconscious mind, and which formerly controlled our decisions and emotions. This allows us to hear God’s truth about each one of them, so He can replace them with the beauty of His truth (John 8:32).

We live in the world, but we guard against being part of the world (2 Timothy 1:13-14). As God frees us from satanic lies, we are able to live a healthy life apart from the influence of this world. As we surrender all to Him, He enables us to supernaturally accomplish greater works than He did on this earth (John 14:12). He draws us closer to Himself and never lets us go. He is our Savior and Lord, but He is also our fellow heir, brother and friend (Isaiah 43:11; 2 Peter 3:18; Romans 8:17; Hebrews 2:10-18; John 15:12-15).

Father God, You are the most significant person in our life. We want to please You in all things and to bring You glory by our thoughts, words and deeds. Remind us that being unequally yoked in marriage, work and friendships with unbelievers just does not work for Believers (2 Corinthians 6:14). Help us to exist as the pure temple of Your Holy Spirit and to live righteously in the midst of this unrighteous world (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

Thought for the Day:
Light has no fellowship with darkness. - Ephesians 5:11

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Plan for Success


God has a successful plan for every person ever born (Ephesians 2:10). The problem occurs when we follow our own goals and pursue our own desires, or those planned for us by other well-meaning people in our life (Isaiah 53:6). We run further and harder through the rat race of life, getting lost somewhere along the course, unable to find our way. Then, Jesus stands next to us, offers us His nail-scarred hand and leads us in the path of righteousness for His name’s sake (Psalm 23:3).

This is the exact spot where our life turns around for the better. Jesus comes into our life and removes our negative emotions and our fears and insecurities a little at a time. He does not perfect us all at once, but like the layers of the onion, He peels them back one section at a time. As He gets closer to our core, the layers of our flesh and carnality disappear until all that is left is Christ in us, who gives us the hope of eternity in His glory (Colossians 2:27).

God rescues us from a life of degradation and sin and lifts us up upon the Rock of Christ (Psalm 18:2). Once we admit we need a Savior, and let go of all of our plans for our own life, God makes a success of us, no matter what our calling is. As long as we obey the direction of His Spirit moment by moment throughout the day, He delivers us from our past and gives us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11). However, nothing less than complete surrender will do.

As long as we interject our own plans, God cannot help us. He allows us to flounder around on our own, until we yell, “I quit!” Once we lay down our life and die to the desires of our flesh, then God’s Spirit can labor in us on our behalf. He miraculously works out everything for our good (Romans 8:28), until we wonder why it took us so long to submit to His will. Our sacrifice and the fear of surrender seem inconsequential now, compared to the glory that He sets before us (1 Peter 1:8).

His love pours over us like a waterfall, once we sit still in His presence and worship His name. We can depend on Him for all of our needs (Matthew 6:33). As we joyfully consent to His loving kindness, God frees us from the weight of our past and the fear of the future. He walks within us through every trial life brings our way. We will never be worthy of His love (Galatians 3:1-3), but He loves us unconditionally (Romans 5:8). As our Heavenly Daddy, He will never allow His righteous to be shaken (Isaiah 54:10).

Father God, You love us with the same love You gave Your only begotten Son, Jesus (John 15:9-10). In our union with You, through Christ (Colossians 3:3), we have no need to fear the unexpected upsets life brings our way. We deeply abide in Your love for eternity. Jesus died to make us one with You. You give us Your Spirit to reside within us. You make us a temple for Your Spirit. He is our comforter and guide through life. He transforms us until we express Your divine nature to the world around us. You teach us to live as good stewards of Your provision and to meet needs in Your name with those around us.

Thought for the Day:
Jesus gave us His example of how to abide in the Father’s love. – John 17:22

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Living Dead

As human beings we have a living body and soul, but our spirit is dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1-5). We are actually the living dead. However, God’s Spirit of life in Christ Jesus rebirths our spirit when we come to Him for salvation (Romans 8:2). Then, we are totally alive for the first time. He makes us complete in body, soul and spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:17). The harder we follow after Christ now, the quicker His Spirit performs our sanctification process (Psalm 63:8).
We cannot enter into the purest of love relationships available to every Authentic Believer without death to our self-centered behavior and desires. We lay our life on the altar of God’s heavenly temple, and we totally surrender our plans, goals and purpose to His. We abide in Christ as a branch grafted to the True Vine (John 15:4). It takes a while for our carnal flesh to die completely; but from the first day of our salvation, Christ totally frees us from the life of the living dead.

We do not need to wait for eternity in order to experience our deepest union with Christ. God’s Spirit continually crucifies our sinful humanity (Romans 6:13, 12:1). Our capacity for closeness with Christ starts at the moment of our salvation. It grows as we sit at His feet and learn from Him (Luke 10:25-37). As we yield to the work of God’s Spirit in us, we move into an enviable spiritual life. This new life in Christ also enhances our body and soul – our mind, choices and emotions.

The life of Christ within us takes full possession of our entire being (Colossians 3:3-4). We trust God every moment of the day. God’s Spirit inspires our thoughts, emotions, decisions and actions, as we wait on Him (Psalm 27:14). The life of Christ within us flows through us and produces fruit for the Kingdom of God (John 15:8). We trust in His timing and wait for His direction. We walk in awareness of His divine appointments, which God provides for us in order to boldly share His life with others.

Father God, help us to stop surrendering our life to our flesh’s control by our lack of diligent vigil, by our unbelief and by assenting to allowing it to overthrow Your authority in our life. Remind us that our self-life no longer has any control over us. Through our life in You, we are free from the desires of our flesh. Fill us with Your divine life through Christ in us, who is our hope of glory both now and for eternity (Colossians 1:27).

Thought for the Day:
As we work in the vocation in which God calls us, we trust Him to provide for all of our physical, mental, emotional, financial and spiritual needs.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Hidden with Christ in God


Living a life hidden with Christ in God is a lonely life, because there are few people in this world who aspire to be that united with God. It takes a commitment to shed the cares of this world and to grasp a life devoted to furthering God’s Kingdom in this world. We are indivisibly one with the only true God. We do not walk according to the flesh, but after the Spirit (Galatians 5:16,25). We traverse a deeply spiritual walk, because Christ is our whole life (Colossians 3:3-4).

We are all individual members of the worldwide family of God throughout the ages, as well as the current Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27). Jesus displays His attributes in and through us. He manifests Himself to the world through His Body. He is all and in all (Colossians 1:17). We live in this world, but we are not a part of it (John 15:19). The world rejected Christ and rejects us, as well; however, this holds no significance to us.

We seek the lost; and we lead those who are willing, those whom the Spirit is drawing, to a union with and a deeper walk in Christ. His Spirit rains on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45), because He wants to draw everyone to Himself. He is a mighty God who holds the universe together, and He is a gentle God who cares about the lilies of the field, the birds of the air and the number of hairs on our head (Matthew 6:25-34).

The earth is His footstool (Acts 7:49); yet, He came to earth as one of us, to redeem us from the penalty of our sins (John 3:16). He provides for all of our needs, by His glorious riches (Philippians 4:19). He is our total sufficiency (2 Corinthians 9:8). As we seek first His Kingdom, He provides us with everything we need (Matthew 6:33). He gives us abundance, and He see us lack; but He teaches us contentment in both (Philippians 4:12).

Our food is to do the will of our Father (John 4:34). He watches over us and listens to our prayers (1 Peter 3:12). Even when we are afraid, we can put our trust in Him (Psalm 56:3-4). There is nothing life can bring against us that Christ in us cannot handle (Philippians 4:13). He keeps His promises and through them He gives us His divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). As we take up our cross daily (Luke 9:23), His life shines through us to the world around us.

Lord Jesus, You vanquished sin and death by your victory on Calvary’s cross. You are now our Victory and we walk in You. Eternal life is to know You in an intimate relationship provided for us through Your Spirit. We are united with you as one being (John 17:21-23). As You are, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17). You express Yourself through Your Body as we live, move and have our being in You (Acts 17:28). You are our pearl of great price and we treasure our relationship with You (Matthew 13:44-46).

Thought for the Day:
Knowing God does not involve religious activity or pious attitudes; it is simply abiding in Him.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Closer than a Brother


King David experienced every type of mental and physical anguish that we do. He worked out his feelings through writing his psalms. Now, David’s words give us solace too. David expressed the full gamut of human pain, as well as the consolation, which the Lord constantly provided for him. The only time the joy of the Lord flees from us is when we languish in our illnesses, sorrow and petty concerns, rather than looking to God in them.

In the dark places of life, we want a friend who will stick closer to us than a brother. The Body of Christ provides just such comfort for us, as well as Christ who dwells within our spirit. The presence of Jesus, “Emanuel”, which means “God with us” (Matthew 1:23), fills each of us. His solace permeates our soul – our mind, decisions and emotions – to the extent to which we allow Him full reign and control over our life. God gives us His peace as He comforts our trouble soul (John 14:27). We are a reflection of Him in the earth.

The joy of the Lord is our constant strength (Nehemiah 8:10). We no longer entertain any anxiety in our soul about our life. We take no thought about the fundamental needs of food and shelter. God cares for His children, just as He cares for the birds and lilies. As we seek God’s purpose for our life and walk in His ways, we have His guarantee that He will provide for us (Matthew 6:25-33). Even if we wander in the desert of life, God sends clouds for shade, fire to keep us warm, manna and quail to eat and shoes and garments, which never wear out (Exodus).

God’s grace provides for our every need and is sufficient for us (2 Corinthians 12:9). He works out all things, even the most difficult of events, for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28). These difficulties work His character into our soul and prove to us that He is worthy of our praise and trust. Jesus is our bread of life (John 6:35), and He is our all sufficiency (2 Corinthians 9:8). Jesus fills every chamber in our body, soul and spirit with His peace, love and comfort.

Father God, our faith increases with every verse of scripture on which we meditate, every moment we spend in abiding in Christ within us (Colossians 1:27) as well as every time we turn to You in our weakness. We surrender the control of our life to You, we take no thought for what tomorrow may hold and we forgive our self for the sins of our past. Remind us that any negative emotions signals an area of our life, which we did not yet surrender to Your Lordship in our life. We look to You for your love, peace and joy, which comes to us through the presence of Your Holy Spirit in our life (Romans 14:17).

Thought for the Day:
Hope prophesies that God is always with us no matter what circumstance we encounter. – Psalm 139:7-14; Proverbs 18:24

Saturday, October 26, 2013

I Don't Want to be a Christian!

The word Christian was a compliment and came from the concept of Christ-followers (Acts 11:26). However, I am starting to like the title "Born Agains" better. Sadly this title denotes more of a commitment, authenticity and unique peculiarity (1 Peter 2:9) than most people portray who call themselves Christians in today's society. Christianity is often sorrowfully synonymous with hypocrites. The dead works of most “Christians” give God a bad reputation.

The name of Christ is defamed due to the behavior of His so-called followers, most of whom He does not even know (Matthew 7:21-23). They do not represent the life and works of Christ in their life. When we Christians rely on our human strength and goodness, we constantly fall into sin. We break the heart of God with every act of compromise we perform. Even if we follow our heart, we sin, because the heart is dreadfully wicked and deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9).

In addition, humanistic people in the world have a false concept of who Christ is and what He teaches. They call authentic Christians hypocrites, because they consider Him a cool dude who preached love, acceptance and tolerance, when the opposite is actually true (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). They also call people hypocrites who uncompromisingly live according to Biblical principles.

God’s Word tells us to beware of the traditions of men and of rejecting the truth of Christ (Colossians 2:8; Acts 17:11). God sends us trials to bring us to the end of our self. We look in the mirror and we do not even recognize the weary face looking back at us. That is when God offers us His peace and His joy as our strength (Philippians 4:7; Psalm 28:7). Through the trials of life, Born Again Believers learn that we are not as invincible as we once thought we were!

No one can make it in life all alone; no one is an island; we need our Savior. We learn compassion, empathy and sympathy through the things, which we suffer. This makes us a better friend and Christian. Persevering in our faith in God’s faithfulness helps us to traverse every trial with proven character (Romans 5:3-5). We come out of the fire as pure gold (1 Peter 1:7-17). When our soul enters God’s rest we realize that our spirit is united with His and He is our very life (Hebrews 4:10; Colossians 3:4).

Father God, break our heart when we sin. Cause us to feel the pain that our disobedience causes You. Rend our soul until we cry out in anguish and throw our self on Your mercy and grace. Our failures are simply the result of our disobedience to You. In our weakness, call us to look to You and rely on Your strength. In our doubts, teach us to believe. Lead us into Your truth and cause us to know Your mercy and loving kindness every morning (Psalm 92:2, 143:8; Lamentations 3:22-23).

Thought for the Day:
God offers us His vast resources, once we finally run out of all of our human assets.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Value of Riches

Most human beings look at riches from a different light than the Bible talks about them. We want to get rich quick, without any effort. It does happen for some. They win the lottery or receive an inheritance or make money in the stock market. Some people do well until the interest rates fall, or they lose their family and friends because greed over the money forces them to part ways. The money only lasts for a lifetime, if that long; and in the scheme of eternity, that is a very short time.

In fact, gold in heaven is so common that God paved the streets with it (Revelation 21:21). Jesus said that we can buy gold from Him, so we can be rich for eternity; however, it is gold that is formed in us though our trials (2 Timothy 2:12). We can also buy white cloth from Him with our righteous deeds, to use for our wedding dress. If we do not have any righteous deeds, we will appear naked and ashamed at our wedding feast between Christ and us (Revelations 15:16).

Loving money traps us with all kinds of evil, some of which causes us to stop serving God (1 Timothy 6:10). Our life does not consist only of the abundance of things, which we possess (Luke 12:15). Otherwise, possessions end up possessing us. Riches tend to bring us more misery than blessings (James 5:1-5; 1 Timothy 6:10). The only good thing about having money is that we can share it with those in need (1 John 3:17). Truly, Godly riches outshine anything this world has to offer. 

We cannot serve God and money at the same time, because they both require all of our time (Luke 16:13; 1 Timothy 6:10). Jesus calls us to repent and to live a zealous life for Him (Revelation 3:18-19). God is a righteous God and He corrects and disciplines those He loves (Proverbs 3:11-12). We gain wisdom in life by realizing what a totally awesome Lord and Savior we have in Jesus Christ (Proverbs 2:1-11, 9:10). He is the fountain of life, and the light of the world (Psalm 36:9).

Father God, it does not matter if we have worldly riches, because You see to it that every person, who is faithful to You, will abound with blessings (Proverbs 28:20). You exalt the one who is lowly (James 1:9-11). We do not want to gather earthly treasures, because moths and rust will just destroy them, and thieves will steal them (Matthew 6:19-21). We do not need to build an empire on this earth (Isaiah 5:8), because You already prepared a mansion for us in heaven (John 14:2).

Thought for the Day:
Our life does not consist of what we possess. – Luke 12:15:21

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Not By Might


Sin is resident in our humanity, and no good thing comes from this flesh (Romans 7:18). We cannot walk in the Spirit while bogged down in our flesh. No amount of claiming God’s promises, poetic mottos and no programs or college degrees can benefit our walk with Christ apart from God’s Spirit. We have no value or holiness of our own, but only that which comes from our faith in God through Christ (Philippians 3:7-9).

Therefore, when we finally come to the place where we can count our personal achievements as useless, we will gain a deepening, personal relationship with Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:8). As we come to know Christ intimately, we live our life with an attitude of expectancy. We start experiencing His resurrection power in our life. We cheerfully lay down our goals, dreams and aspirations daily in order to apprehend more of Jesus (Philippians 3:10-12).

We give up our confidence in our self, as well as the control of our life, by surrendering to His love and grace. In this way, we walk in the Spirit, and we no longer fulfill the desires, and ambitions of our flesh (Galatians 5:16, 25). Christ manifests His divine nature through our spirit, by the grace and promises of God (2 Peter 1:4). We walk daily in His holiness and live for the furtherance of His Kingdom.

We cease from our human effort and enter into His rest (Hebrews 4:10). We give Him complete control of each moment of our day. We hunger and thirst for more of Him, and nothing else will satisfy us. God does a complete work in us, bringing us from one stage of glory to the next (2 Corinthians 3:18). Our humanity is dead and hidden with Christ in God. Christ becomes our whole life (Colossians 3:3-4).

The Lord views our life in relation to eternity. Our finite mind and our narrow perspective do not limit Him. He has mighty feats to accomplish through us as we focus our life on Him. When we leave this earthly realm, we pass from death to everlasting live. Nothing is lost and everything is gained in Christ. We need not fear death or what life has in store for us, because nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:31-39).

Father God, we can do nothing worthwhile outside of the work of Your Spirit in and through us. In our job, home, community, church or hobbies, we only succeed when we accomplish Your works that You created for us to do before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 2:8-10). You know who we really are deep down inside or our soul, and You love us unconditionally. We have no need to fear what any person could do to us, because You are our strength and our song (2 Timothy 1:7; Psalm 118:14).

Thought for the Day:
Fear has no place in the heart of an authentic Believer, because the Author of our faith dwells in our heart.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Possessing Divine Power

Salvation provides our divine union, but the secret of receiving spiritual power, which is resident within us, is to surrender our all to Christ and to be still as we wait on God. The fact that we abide in Christ, and that He abides in us, is the impetus for our whole life of service to Him. This fact motivates us through His divine life within us, and humbles us to serve our Living King as Christ sanctifies us for Himself.

God wants nothing less than complete consecration of our life to Him by laying down our goals and dreams, and daily taking up His cross. We do this by submitting every talent and physical resource we posses to the direction of God’s Spirit. We also see the reality of our union with Christ as we read His Word, and this makes us desire more of God, to enter a deeper spiritual realm and to take full possession of the power of the divine Christ within us.

This is our joyous, high calling in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14), and causes disenchantment with our human existence. The fuel for our union with Christ is prayer. Prayer enables us to walk in spiritual harmony with Christ in us. It opens communication with our Father and allows His Spirit to lead us in obedience to God’s will for our life. Prayer also expresses the pleading of our heart for oneness with the triune Godhead.

Prayer articulates the yearning of our soul to grow into the fullness of the stature of Christ (Ephesians 4:13). Daily, we confess our sins and ask for His absolution. This deeper union gives us more power in our prayers and ministry. We do not use prayer as a means to gain spiritual gifts for our self, but for the purpose of blessing the world around us. We enter the realm of effective, fervent prayer, which avails much (James 5:16).

If we dare to pray without first having this union with Christ, we end up spewing ineffectual words, which fall on deaf ears (John 9:31). However, as we abide in the Vine, the power of the Vine extends into us as His branches. We are one with the Father through the Son, hidden in God with Christ who is our life (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:3-4). We ultimately reap the rewards of our patient vigil of waiting on God’s will.

Father God, You answer our questions and provide for our needs as we spend time with You in prayer (Matthew 6:33). You make us one with Your Son by Your Spirit. We abide in Him and He abides in You, so that we can also flourish in our union with You (John 17:21). Teach us to pray according to Your will, so that we can ask for what we need in order to do Your work on this earth, and it shall be done for us (John 15:7).

Thought for the Day:
Attentive prayer is our greatest means of abiding more closely to our Maker’s heart.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Trouble with Thoughts

The first negative thought that enters our mind is usually from Satan. He inserts his two cents worth into our mind before we can even hear from God. We often focus on some person causing us issues, when it is really Satan’s intrusion (Ephesians 6:12-18). If we react to his temptation or believe his lies as truth, he has us crippled. He can manipulate us any way he wishes. According to Jesus’ example, we combat Satan’s interference by standing on the truth in God’s Word. 

Many people are confused by their emotions; however, negative emotions are actually little roadmaps to idols in our life, which God wants to remove. As we fix our eyes on Jesus and stand on the truth of God’s promises, we walk in the victory of the joy of the Lord, through whatever life brings our way (James 1:2-4). As we fulfill God’s calling for our day, He works all things out for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28; Matthew 6:33)

Taking a daily inventory of our thoughts allows us to keep watch over our soul – our mind, will and emotions. What we think in our mind also affects our feelings and decisions. So, if we journal our thoughts and feelings every day, it will help us to diffuse them and to prevent them from building up and exploding all over everyone else. This will also avert anxiety, paranoia and aggravation from feeding on our thoughts and exacerbating them.

God promises that there is a seed of joy hidden within every trail and temptation, and He will reveal it to us if we wait on Him (James 1:2). He also uses trouble to mature our faith, so we have everything we need to live a Godly life (James 1:4). We overcome each temptation with the power of God’s Spirit, because He always provides us with a way to resist (1 Corinthians 13:10). Trials stop bothering us after a while too. We learn from experience that God has a purpose for each one. 

People, places and things often irritate us and cause us to take our eyes off Jesus. If negative emotions influence our decisions, we make mistakes and live to regret them. We tend to take life into our own hands rather than to walk in obedience to God’s Spirit. As we surrender control over our life to Christ in us, we experience God’s victory. If we avail our self of His constant presence in our life (Hebrews 13:5), His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Father God, remind us that our attitude about the issues in this life will often influence our thoughts, which influence our emotions and actions. We can slip into a downward spiral from which it may take days to break free. We cannot change anyone else, but we can change our focus about our times of trouble and count it all joy. We need to remember that nothing is too difficult for You (Jeremiah 32:17). Christ in us provides us with Your abundance as we abide in You (Colossians 1:27).

Thought for the Day:
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” - Psalm 23:4 (NIV)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Freedom from the Law


The law is necessary to bring us to the realization that we can never keep it; therefore, we need our Savior, Jesus Christ. As long as we insist on working FOR God, we are like the foolish Galatians (3:1-3). We attempt to please God in our own strength and effort. But our best efforts are only filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). We cannot earn God’s favor by our works (Ephesians 2:8-10).

We come to realize, that as Born Again Believers we are no longer separated from God, but we are one with both the Father and the Son (John 17:11, 21-23). We live and move and have our being only in Him and not in people, places or things. We no longer chase after our way of life or pursue our goals, ambitions and desires. We live only for Christ, just as He lived only for our Father.

We are hidden, in union with Christ in God. Christ is our only way, truth and life (Colossians 3:3-4; John 14:6). God and Christ have a divergence in manifestation, with Christ being Emmanuel, the physical form of Father God. They are also different in person, with God as the Father and Jesus as the Son. However, Jesus states that they are united as one. Then He goes one step further and prays for us to be one in them as well.

Christ, who dwells in us by His Spirit, actually does unite us with them as one (John 17:11, 21-23). Our old, fleshly human nature is dead and buried (Colossians 1:10-12). Now, everything about us is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). When our old nature, our flesh manifests itself in us this is simply a demonstration of Satan’s pitiful effort to pull us back under his dominion.

However, Christ in us is greater than Satan who rules in this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). When we stand firm in the power of Christ’s might (Ephesians 6:10), we withstand the devil and his demons, and he no longer blinds our eyes to God’s truth. We are no longer slaves to sin or under the law of sin and death. We are set free by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2).

Father God, We totally surrender our self to You. When we abide in You, You abide in us (John 15:4), and the stronger our faith in His faithfulness grows. Give us a continued desire for You and an ever increasing hunger to feast on Your Word. When Jesus gave His life on the cross, He took our sin and nailed it to the cross, giving us His righteousness in exchange (2 Corinthians 5:21). Your raised us to walk in a new life, as an expression of Christ in the earth.

Thought for the Day:
God calls us to do greater works than Jesus did, because His Spirit abides within each one of us. - John 14:12



Sunday, October 20, 2013

Part 1 - Is Satan Real?

Satan is not the little man in a red suit with a pointy tail and pitchfork, but he certainly is real. God created him as an angel of mighty power. Yet, this was not enough for him. He led a rebellion of angels against God and he lost (Isaiah 14). He only won the distinction of “ruler” of this world (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11), “spirit” of this world (1 Corinthians 2:12), the prince of the “power” of the air (Ephesians 2:2), the “enemy” (Matthew 13:25,28,39) and the “god” of this age (2 Corinthians 4:4), but his end is to be bound up in the lake of fire forever (Revelation 20:10)

Satan inspires humans to seek gratification, ambition, status and the riches of this world to the detriment of our relationship with God and our family. He encourages us to enable others, boast in pride, take what we want, give in to the desires of our flesh, and make life miserable for everyone around us (1 John 2:16). He whispers lies into our mind, and we react to them with accusations, unforgiveness, bitterness, spitefulness and revenge.

Satan keeps us living in fear, so that we abandon our responsibilities, thwart our blessings from God, and escape into the fantasy of addictions. Self-indulgence becomes our motive behind our every action. Self-preservation causes us to build walls around our heart, which makes us run when confronted or easily angered to keep people away. He condemns us until we hide behind masks, because we are afraid of people seeing who we really are. (Matthew 4:1; Mark 1:13; Luke 4:2; 1 Corinthians 7:5; 1 Thessalonians 3:5)

Satan loves to make us blame God for all the ills in the world. He gives us foul names to call Him and encourages us to disrespect Him and diminish Him in the eyes of others. He encourages us to believe His lies as the truth, and to consider the truth of God’s Word as the lies (2 Thessalonians 2:11). He undermines God’s purpose in our lives. He keeps us in turmoil and causes us to fear God. God never tempts us to sin; however, Satan’s favorite pastime is tempting us to indulge in our favorite transgression (James 1:13-14).

The last thing Satan wants us to realize is that although we live in the world, we do not have to live as part of the world (John 17:11,14,16). He encourages us to fit in with the crowd, and to covet our neighbor’s wife and goods (Exodus 20:17). Spiritual warfare is very real and constant, but Satan would rather make you believe it does not exist (Ephesians 6:10-20). He tempted Jesus on the mount three times, but Jesus contradicted every word Satan spoke by using the Word of God (Matthew 4:1-11). We can follow in Jesus footsteps.

Lord Jesus, You were tempted in every area that Satan tempts us (Hebrews 4:15), with the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life (1 John 2:16). Yet, You remained faithful. We too can stand against the wiles of the devil by the dynamite power of the indwelling Trinity within us (Colossians 1:27). I’m glad that Satan does not have Your powers of omnipresence, omnipotence and omniscience. He’s impotent at best and his only weapon is deception. Keep us from believing his lies, because You rule and reign forever and ever. Amen.

Thought for the Day:
Every Christian battles with the Adamic nature, sin nature, self-nature, human nature, the "old man" or "old self" (Romans 6:6; Ephesians 4:22; Colossians 3:9); but God is able to deliver us and will continue to deliver us as we submit to Him. – 2 Corinthians 1:10

Saturday, October 19, 2013

True Happiness

There is not a person on earth that does not crave happiness. We explore many different venues to provide us with happiness, only to find that they are ultimately empty shells of promise. We change our circumstances often, trying to find happiness. We blame our unhappiness on the people, places and things in our life. Then, we eventually turn to addictions in an attempt to fill our needs, or to anesthetize the pain of not finding it.

In this materialistic world, we believe the commercials, soap operas and sitcoms. We endeavor to recreate what we see there. We desire instant gratification and we do not want to work for success. We lack self-control and we want everything handed to us. Eventually, we end up crushed, disillusioned, hopeless and depressed. Our body and soul are sick and we wallow in self-pity and misery.

What is true happiness and where does it come from? True happiness cannot be bought, traded, measured or obtained in this world. True happiness is found only in Jesus Christ. He teaches us contentment and He provides for all of our needs. He gives us victory in the spiritual warfare that pervades our life on this earth (Ephesians 6:10-20). He gives us His glorious joy, which defies human logic (1 Peter 1:7-9; Acts 2:28).

Our happiness has its foundation in our salvation (Luke 10:20). Even in times of mourning, He turns our sorrow to joy (John 16:20; Psalm 51:12). The more we put our trust in God, the happier our life becomes (Psalm 32:21). As our heart trusts only in Him, we are secure in Christ as our strength, protection and provision. He helps us to succeed, and this fills our heart with songs of joyous praise (Psalm 28:7). The more we seek Him, the more our heart rejoices (Psalm 105:3).

God’s Words in the Bible also give us peace in this world of unrest. Jesus already overcame the world, and He lives in us; therefore we can live with cheerful optimism (Colossians 1:27; John 16:33). We are happy when we follow God’s will for our life and obey His precepts (Psalm 94:12). As we trust Him to work out all things, even the negative aspects of life, for our good, we find true and abundant happiness (Proverbs 16:20; Romans 8:28).

Lord Jesus, thank You for coming to earth as a man to save me from my sinful lifestyle. Teach me to know You (John 17:3). Bring me into a right relationship with You (Psalm 51:10). Forgive me for all of my faults and failures (James 5:16). Birth Your nature in me (2 Peter 1:4). I believe in You and I want to live my life for You (Acts 16:31). When I am afraid to give control of my life over to you, teach me to trust in Your faithfulness (Jeremiah 29:11). I want to believe in You, but please assure me and rid me of my doubts (Mark 9:24). Lead me into a deeper union with You throughout the rest of my life (1 Corinthians 6:17).

Thought for the Day:
Happiness does not depend on material possessions, circumstances or relationships, because it only comes from our deep union with Jesus Christ. – John 17:22