Friday, January 31, 2014

Are you Pious or Divine?


 

There is a huge difference between living a pious life and living a divine life. Let me count the ways! A pious person is one who came under conviction for their sin, confessed their sin to Christ and prayed to receive Him into their life. Then they walked away from that time of prayer and continued in their sinful lifestyle. Although they attend church, they did not submit to the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit of God, nor did they totally surrender their life to God.

Satanic strongholds in our life keep us struggling in our walk with the Lord, but we may also be hindered because we do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Conversion starts our conformity into the image of Christ. His Spirit renews our mind and changes our behavior daily. If after a few months, you are the same person you were before praying for Jesus to be your Savior, then you are not converted; you are not born again; you are not saved.

Believing is not enough (James 2:19). There are many examples of good people in the Bible who thought they were Born Again, but they never had a relationship with God (Matthew 7:21, 25:11; Luke 6:46, 13:25). If we say that we are saved, but our life is not transformed, then we are religious, but not divine. One way to tell if you are saved is because divine, Born Again people cannot live in habitual sin (1 John 2:3-6, James 1:12-16, 1 John 3:7-10).

Divine people come under conviction for their sin, confess their sin to Christ and pray to receive Him into their life. Then they walk away from their sinful lifestyle to walk in the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit of God. They live in total surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and serve God daily, because the power of sin in their life is broken (Romans 8:1-2). As a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), they are now controlled by the nature of Christ within them (2 Peter 1:4).

Prayer:
Father God, You will save us, if we completely surrender control of our life over to you. If there is an unholy soul tie keeping us addicted to sin, we are giving Satan permission to wreak havoc in our life through our lack of willingness to surrender that area of our life to You. I do not want to live my life as a slave to myself, sin or Satan (John 8:34). I ask You to forgive and save me completely in body, soul and spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23). I relinquish my sinful nature to You and dedicate my life to You. I submit my life to Your Holy Spirit to live within me, to change me from the inside out and to direct me moment by moment throughout the day. Convict me of anything, which might take Your place in my heart.

Thought for the Day:
Do not try to retain control of any part of your life; surrender it all to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

United as One






In today’s society, too many people take their marriage vows too lightly. They join, not until death, but until their mate no longer makes them happy or is too demanding. There is no patience or unconditional love and no compromise, only self-centeredness. When God gave Eve to Adam, He decided, this is good (Genesis 2:23). The two became one flesh. God intended for no one to tear this union apart for any reason; because when we marry, we are united as one flesh (Genesis 2:24).

God knew that human beings need one another; therefore, He also created each of us to fit together, united as one Body (Ephesians 4:6). United with one another in Christ, we are one Body with one Head and one Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13). We work together to serve our Living God with all of our heart, mind and strength (Luke 10:27). We live a life of prayer and faith and walk in peace with one another by the power, anointing and leading of God’s Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5; John 14:26; (Romans 12:18).


United as one with God’s Spirit takes all of the obligation, pressure and duty out of obedience. If we walk in the Spirit, we automatically refrain from fulfilling the desires of our flesh (Galatians 5:16, 25). We do not follow God out of fear or compulsion, but out of love and a desire to please Him and thank Him for all He did and continues to do for us (Philemon 1:14). Worship and service to God are spontaneous and sincere. There is nothing stilted or sterilized in our relationship with God.


Communication is not a monologue, but a conversation with our spouse and our Heavenly Father. Prayer goes along with reading God’s Word, which acts as a mirror to our soul, and a lamp for our feet (James 1:23-25; Psalm 119:105). We receive God’ grace and mercy to live for Him and with our spouse, and to recover from the harsh realities of life (Titus 3:5-6). The Holy Spirit is our helper, our comforter and our guide (John 14:26, 16:3). God seals us and unites as one with His Spirit forever (Ephesians 1:13).


Prayer:
Father God, thank You for sending Your Spirit to live within us to guide us and unite us with You and Your Body. We have the same relationship with You that a husband and wife enjoy: intimate, unified, joyful and peaceful. Help us to be as committed to our mate and Your Body as You are to us. Give us strength to walk in Your ways (Habakkuk 3:19). Keep us as the apple of Your eye (Psalm 17:8).

Thought for the Day:
Our union with God’s Spirit unites us as one with God, His Body and our mate.

 

 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Job Well Done



The world in which we live has values, which they hold dear. People in our world judge each person according to their secular social status. However, if we live in order to be accepted and esteemed in this worldly system, we end up as an abomination to God (Luke 16:14-15). If we follow Biblical admonitions, we may not earn the world’s respect and admiration; however, we will earn God’s acceptance and pleasure (Ephesians 1:6).

There are a few people, like Mother Teresa, who honor God and also manage to earn the world’s respect. She gave up her life for the indigent and abused, making their life better in any way she could. God gave her a gift, and she responded to His call for her life. God has a special plan and purpose for each one of us too (Ephesians 2:10). God gave us a free will to accept or to reject His plans for our life. No one may notice, but He will.

We cannot please God through self-righteous attempts with natural efforts and accomplishments. It has the terrible stench of human nature as we offer it to the Lord (Isaiah 64:6). It is an abomination to Him, because He only accepts the sacrifices of those who rely only on Christ’s righteousness for their salvation (Romans 3:22). We cannot earn salvation or justification by our works (Titus 3:5-7:Romans 2:8-9). In God’s eyes, our good deeds are nothing more than putrid rags (Isaiah 64:6).

However, Jesus gives us His holiness as a free gift in exchange for our humanity. He took our sin and nailed it to the cross, triumphing over both sin and death (Colossians 2:14; 1 Corinthians 15:57). We trust in Christ alone and walk in His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). We do the works, which He called us to do before we were ever born (Romans 2:10). We radiate the love and light of Christ to the world around us. We may not receive world fame, but God will say to us, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

Prayer:
Father God, we live in Your joy and take pleasure in each moment of our service to You. Christ is our only life (Colossians 3:4), out of which we share His reconciliation with anyone willing to listen to Your gospel truth (2 Corinthians 5:11-21). Many people will reject Your message and may even reject us. However, You will delight in our ways. Remind us not to depend upon any goodness within our self, but to use all of the resources You provide for us through Your Spirit; not for our own advancement in life, but to further Your Kingdom in the earth (Luke 16:1-18).

Thought for the Day:
Living in union with Christ brings a multitude of blessings to the life of all of His Saints.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

As He Is, So Are We





 

As Jesus is now, in the glories of heaven, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17). The implied personification of those words is greater than mortal man can comprehend! However, when we realize that Christ dwells within us, it makes much more sense. The mystique evaporates, and we see a concept that is very possible and plausible. God gave us eternal life through His Son (John 3:16). Those in whom the Son dwells have His life manifesting in and through us (1 John 5:12).

God is love (1 John 4:8). When we walk in God, we walk in His love (2 John 1:6). Not that we deserve it, but He freely lavishes it upon those who come to Him through Christ in Salvation. It takes time for us to actually believe that His unreserved love is really ours. We still fear the pain, which the world threatens us with each day of our life. This pain is similar to what we already experienced prior to salvation, the deprivation and abuse from which we could not escape.

Living in the world of sin and hate, which often frightens us, we do not readily experience unconditional love. However, as we grow in Christ we gradually come to experience the fullness of God’s unrestricted love toward us. Some recognize it at the moment of salvation; some take months or years to fully comprehend His encompassing love, due to some trauma from our past. Once we learn to completely trust His love, however, it casts out all of our fears (1 John 4:18).

The beauty of God’s love is that it walks with us, step-by-step throughout life, buffering us from the deep wounds that Satan freely tormented us with before we were covered by the saving blood of the Lamb. Eventually God’s love so fills our soul that there is no more room for negative emotions. There is no way for Satan fiery darts of fear to pierce our heart, because the love of God deflects them instantly. We are now free to share this love with the world around us. As He is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17).

Prayer:
Father God, from the moment of our salvation, we believe in the name of the Your Son, Jesus, and we know that we have Your eternal life (1 John 5:11-13). We also know that we will walk in assured confidence through the gates of death to the Day of Judgment (Matthew 12:36), because You paid the debt we owe for all of our sins. Your character manifests in us now, through the fruit of Your Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), and replicates in and through our life, until we reflect Your divine nature to the world around us.

Thought for the Day:
As the Body of Christ, we confidently do greater works together, because God’s divine nature abides in each one of us (John 14:12). As He is, so are we in the world (1 John 4:17).

Monday, January 27, 2014

Divine Providence








Have you ever entertained the concept that God actually placed you in the home in which He wanted you to live? God preordained us to live in a certain sphere and stratum of society. Whether your parents were wealthy, drunkards, benevolent, poor, hard working, sluggards, belittling, educated, illiterate, angry, carefree, abusive, gave you up for adoption or anything in between, God chose them for you in order to mold you into the person He needs you to be (Ephesians 2:8-10).

As a result, we can live with bitterness and feelings of inequality, or a snobbish better-than-though attitude, or we can submit to God’s wisdom, forgive our parents for their shortcomings and allow God to use us as He sees fit. This concept is proven when we view the life of Jesus. Born in a stable, driven from his kin by a crazed ruler, trained as a carpenter, unmarried and childless, falsely accused, tortured and crucified, Jesus submitted to His destiny and fulfilled God’s will all within the vicinity of His birthplace.


As we age into adulthood, God steers us in the direction in which we should go. If we rebel and go our own way, we suffer from our estrangement from His plan. We may use religion, sports, food, debauchery or work to fill the empty void in our life, but nothing truly satisfies us. However, if we walk in God’s divine plan, we reap the blessings of an obedient and surrendered life. Jesus obeyed all the way to Calvary’s cross, and reaped Kingship in the glories of heaven.
 
God’s design supplies us with divine riches also, both within and without and now and in eternity. Every plan God has for us is for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28). Even the darkest, most dangerous prison is a palace when we dwell in the divine presence of our immortal God. He may strip us of every earthly comfort and close acquaintance for the purpose of removing our reliance on human prospects; but He does so in order to draw us closer to His immortal presence.


Prayer:
Father God, we see Joseph as a perfect example of someone sold into slavery by his brothers, which You used to reposition Joseph to ultimately save his family from famine. Even in prison, Paul wrote many sacred works, which sustain our soul today. Regardless of our circumstances, if we follow the leading of Your Spirit, You will provide for and sustain us both in times of abundance and in times of lack (Philippians 4:11-13). We embrace Your wise and holy ways and cling to Your kind and caring heart for our strength through all of life’s circumstances. Lead us in Your will and put us in the right place at the right time to fulfill Your desires for our life.

Thought for the Day:
God crucifies the first Adam within us until He sees the rebirth of the second Adam, the man Christ Jesus. – 1 Corinthians 15:45

 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Remember Who You Are



 

Our own free will is the only entity preventing Jesus Christ from living in and through us. Even after salvation, our soul can choose to walk according to the flesh, rather than according to God’s Spirit. However, we no longer have any need to wallow in the degradation of sin, which leads to the pit of destruction (Psalm 40:2). We are permanently set free from sin by the power of God in our life (Romans 6:18). Our humanity is dead and buried with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).

We are raised with Christ by the glory of our Father to walk in a brand new life (Romans 6:4). We no longer need to live as a doormat or to allow our self to be abused. We can move if we are tormented, and pray for God to deliver our loved one. However, if we are safe, then Christ in us will love that putrid drunk, annoying child, demented senior, irritating neighbor, cruel parent or selfish spouse through us. It is impossible to do this in our human strength.

We are able to meet our own needs and look to our Father to supply them, but we must allow Christ to love this impossible person through us. Born Again Believers are crucified with Christ (Romans 2:20). Christ is our whole life now, and nothing else really matters (Colossians 3:4). However, we no longer have to live according to the flesh; we can permanently walk in the Spirit, controlled and guided by Him in everything we think, say, feel and do (Galatians 5:16-26, Amplified Bible).

The real power over sin is to realize who we are in Christ. All the attributes of the triune Godhead – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – are resident within our Born Again spirit. God makes His everlasting dwelling place in our spirit. We have the holy character of Christ occupying our soul. The divine love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, meekness, self-control and faith of Jesus Christ are manifested through our soul every moment of every day for the rest of our life. Remember to Whom you belong.

Prayer:
Father God, You call us Saints. That is our position in Christ. Christ in us makes us holy and acceptable to You. You want to love the lost and dying world through us. We simply need to decide to allow You to express Yourself through us. We no longer have to figure anything out. We just need to live and move and have our entire being in You (Acts 17:28; Romans 8:1), at the same time that You live in and through us (Colossians 1:27). You immerse us in Your life and love. We wait on Your direction and follow the leading of Your Holy Spirit to allow you to accomplish Your will in the earth, just as Jesus performed Your will when He walked upon the earth (John 5:19,30).

Thought for the Day:
Allow God’s perfect love to flow through your every thought, word and deed.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Focused Desire



 

Trials of life may overwhelm our body and soul, but God is our strength and He fights our battles. Unbelievers, without a personal relationship with God, will perish. However, God is always close to those who love Him. We never tire of telling people about His many blessings. There is no one in heaven or earth that we desire more than God (Psalm 73:25-28). It is better to live one day in God’s presence than thousands in any other place.

None of us are perfect; but every day that we live, we have more of the Holy Spirit's fruit replacing our fleshly characteristics (Galatians 5:22-23). I would rather be a janitor in God’s house, than to live as royalty in the palace of the wicked. God is our light and our protection. He gives us grace to partake in His glory. He never withholds any good thing from those who walk in His truth. We are privileged to trust in the Lord God, who alone does wondrous things (Psalm 72:18, 84:10-12).

I am learning that the more we walk in the Spirit the less flesh we have, and the easier it is to walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16,25). I want to live all the days of my life to the praise and the glory of God’s name. If there is one ounce of hypocrisy in me, I thank my friends and family for pointing out specific areas, actions or words that tarnish my testimony for my Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, I prefer constructive criticism to unearned praise.

As we mature, we exalt Christ, walk in the light of His presence and turn from the wicked darkness of this world. We rejoice in His name and we are glad to live in His righteous ways (Psalm 89:15-16). Jesus satisfies us in the morning with His loyal love and inspires us to sing joyful songs to Him all day long (Psalm 90:14). His favor rests on us and He directs and establishes the works of our hands (Psalm 90:17). Blessed be the name of our God forever and ever (Psalm 89:52).

Prayer:
Dear Lord, we daily sing to You. We erupt in joyfully shouts, because You are the Rock of our salvation. We come before Your presence with thanksgiving and we shout to You in joy (Psalm 95:1-2). We sing a brand new song to You with words from our heart, and we bless Your holy name. Day after day, we proclaim the good news of Your gospel to anyone who will listen. We declare Your marvelous works throughout all of the nations of the world (Psalm 96:1-3).

Thought for the Day:
One day, the whole earth will be filled with God’s glory. - Psalm 82:19

 

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Joy of Abiding




Paul told us to count trials as a joyous occasion, but he did not say to be happy that we are suffering (James 1:2-8). When we patiently submit to God’s will in our trials, however, and allow Him to replace our negative human characteristics with the fruit of His Spirit, then we see His intended outcome from our trials (1 Thessalonians 5:18). When we abide in the shelter of God’s wings, we rejoice in the Lord’s perfecting work in our life (Psalm 91:4; Philippians 4:4).

As we rejoice in the Lord, we will not stress about the problems, or strain over the issues we face. We will remain in the peace of God, which transcends all human understanding (Philippians 4:7). Our absorption in the joy of the Lord will eradicate much of the suffering of our trials. We actually grow closer to God through each test, because He sustains us through them all and increases our compassion for fellow sufferers.

Trials draw us closer to the triune God within us. We count it all joy to be worthy to be included in the ranks of those who suffer for the sake of the Gospel of Christ. Like Paul and Silas, we will sing God’s praises through them (Acts 16:16-40). The God of creation, the God of salvation, the God of eternity dwells within our spirit and affects our righteousness, peace and joy as we abide in Him through our suffering (Romans 14:17; Galatians 5:25).

When we see God’s hand of salvation through our trials, we gain more trust in His faithfulness and love. As we spend time alone with God, we start to listen to His still, small voice and walk in His Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 1 Kings 19:11-13). This reduces the number of lessons, which we have to learn the hard way. The more we learn from each particular trial, the fewer trials we will have to endure in the future. We learn to abide in our tower of strength, our Rock and our refuge, especially in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1).

Prayer:
Father God, if we look anywhere but to You in times of trouble, we will end up completely disappointed. If we trust in our own resources in times of difficulty, we are doomed to discontentment and despair. It often takes You longer to deliver us from the negative circumstances in our life than we expect or desire; however, the closer we walk with You through them, the quicker we learn our lessons, the sooner Your work is done in our soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions – and the closer we grow in our union with You. Thank You for being our God in the valleys, as well as on the mountaintop (Psalm 23).

Thought for the Day:
It is so much better to trust in the Lord than to put our confidence in people, places and things. - Micah 7:5; Psalm 118:5,8

 

 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Benefits of Holy Living




God breathed the breath of life into Adam and he was born in body, soul and spirit (Genesis 2:7). God’s perfect design included all of us living in total union with Him in the Garden of Paradise. There was only one commandment Adam had to keep, and his pride would not allow him to remain faithful. Adam’s sin separated all of us from God. In fact, when Adam sinned, his spirit died. Now we are all born in this same sinful state with a dead spirit within us.

That is why human beings crave spirituality, dabble in the occult, seek Nirvana and go on holy pilgrimages. We are trying to reconnect with the Divine and to experience the rebirth of our spirit. Only those who trust in Jesus, turn from their wicked ways, and are Born Again in spirit will have eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord (1 John 5:11-12). We dwell in total union with God, live and move and have our being in Christ, and are led by God’s Spirit all the days of our life (Colossians 3:3-4; Acts 17:28; Galatians 5:16, 25).

Jesus was connected to God in Spirit throughout His lifetime (Johan 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:16; John 4:24). Since God was His actual Father, Jesus was not born with the curse of Adam’s sin on His life (Luke 2:11). However, He still lived in this sin-cursed world. His soul – thoughts, choices and emotions – was influenced by the carnality in the world around Him. His soul had to grow in wisdom and his body in stature, and it was His choice to grow in favor with both God and man (Colossians 2:3; Luke 2:52).

Before He created the world, God designed the plan to redeem man back to Himself by taking on the form of man and sacrificing Himself to pay the penalty of our sins. The Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, willingly laid down His life for us. He freely gives us His eternal life both now and throughout eternity. When our spirit is Born Again, we are united with Christ, we find our true identity in Christ and we connect with God once and for all time.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, You suffered in life just as we do (Hebrews 2:14-18). You became a man, so that in You, we can live as You (2 Corinthians 5:21). Your Spirit exchanges our carnal humanity with Your righteousness. We have Your life dwelling within us (1 John 5:12). We grow in wisdom and stature by Your sanctifying process in our soul. We thank You for dying in our place and giving us Your eternal life now and forever. Teach us to have eternal values as we live in this world. Show us the reality of our union with You, so that we can reap the benefits of holy living both now and in eternity.

Thought for the Day:
Our human body will go to the grave, but our soul and spirit will never die. - John 11:25-26

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Never Grow Up!



 

Do you ever get tired of adult responsibilities? In Christ, we never “grow up”. You are His child, totally dependent upon our Father God’s divine power for everything pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3-4). This is not an ethereal metaphor, but a simple, sensible and sincere relationship. As God’s children, we fully realize in spirit, body and soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions – that only He can sustain our life. He calls us to share in His glory and virtue.

God does not remove our free will, but simply loves us so much that we joyfully submit to His desires. We soon realize that we are totally incapable of supplying what we truly want and need from life. In total surrender to His will and ways, we find complete fulfillment that transcends anything this world, the devil or the flesh have to offer. We shed our molting skin of flesh and walk in newness of life by God’s Spirit (Galatians 5:16,25).

We can fully trust our Father God. We serve the God of nations, and there is no one like Him (Psalm 33:12; Jeremiah 10:6; 1 Samuel 2:2). He is greater than every one else (2 Chronicles 2:5). He is the God of angel armies (Malachi 2:16). He gives us rest all around us (2 Chronicles 20:30; Joshua 21:44; 2 Samuel 7:1). History proves the words of scripture, which diagram God’s hand in the lives of mankind throughout the ages. There is not one reason for us to distrust Him.

When we come into union with our Father God through salvation, His will becomes our will, His choices become our choices, and the objects of His love become the objects of our love. We exhibit His divine nature in us, as our old human nature diminishes, because it is dead and buried with Christ in God. Jesus Christ is our whole life (Colossians 3:3-4). This union through Christ inseparably binds us together in union with our Father and His.

Prayer:
Father God, we will rejoice in You, even if life throws at us one catastrophe after another (Habakkuk 3:17). You give Your angels charge over us, to protect us wherever we are and to keep us from harm (Psalm 91:11-12). If darkness dares to surround us, You come as our Light (Micah 7:8). Whenever we fall, You are right there to pick us up again (Psalm 37:24; Proverbs 24:16). No one can ever separate us from Your love (Romans 8:35). We praise You and give You all of the honor and glory due Your name (Psalm 29:2, 96:8).

Thought for the Day:
Our Father God may put us flat on our back, but it is only so that we will finally look up into His loving face.

 

 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Cure for the Brevity of Life




God made us and we no longer belong to our self. We are His people and He is our God. He is our Shepherd and we are the sheep of His pasture. The Lord calls the whole earth to shout joyfully to Him. We worship Him with gladness and come into His presence with joyful singing, because of all of the benefits He provides as we serve Him. We enter the gates of heaven with thanksgiving and we dance in His courts with praise (Psalm 100:1-4).

We give Him thanks and bless His name, because He is so good to us, and His loving kindness endures throughout eternity (Psalm 100:4-5). In the big scheme of eternity, our life lasts about as long as a shadow, which fades and disappears. However, God always was and always will be. Every generation knows who He is, even if they try to ignore or blaspheme Him. He laid the foundations of the earth and created every galaxy in the sky (Psalm 102:11-12).

His throne is established in heaven and His kingdom rules over all. His angels bless Him and are mighty in strength; they obey His voice and do His bidding. God lives and remains the same forever (Psalm 102:25-27). God formed us from the dust of the earth, and our days are as short as that of a blade of grass, which is here today and withers tomorrow. We flourish like a flower in the field when the wind ruffles its petals, and then we vanish. No one even remembers that we were here (Psalm 103:14-16).

If we choose to deny God’s name, we wear out like a garment of clothing, which He creates and then discards. Every created thing will perish, and only God will endure forever. However, His loving kindness never ends, and He lavishes it on those who fear Him. He even sheds His righteousness on those who keep His covenant and remember His precepts, as well as on their children and their children’s children (Psalm 103:14-18). He is worthy of all of our praise.

Prayer:
Lord God, we, Your servants, bless Your name and attempt to follow Your will in every area of life. We bless You with our thoughts, choices and feelings (Psalm 103:19-22). May Your glory endure forever and may You find joy in all of Your works (Psalm 104:31). I will sing praises to You for as along as I live. May the meditation of my heart be pleasing to You. You bring me so much joy (Psalm 104:33-34). So be exalted, O God, above the heavens and may Your glory be exalted above all the earth (Psalm 108:5).

Thought for the Day:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; All who practice His commandments have a good understanding. – Psalm 111:10 


 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Living in the Depths of God's Love




When we experience the true depths of God’s love poured out on our life, it is a simple thing to share that love with others; not only in spiritual matters, but in physical matters as well. When you clean someone’s home, fix them a meal, repair their car, take their children for an afternoon so they can relax together, or any other practical help, this is as much an expression of God’s love as quoting a Bible verse to them.

This love does not come from a natural heart, which drives us like a slave to serve mankind. Instead, it is born from the heart of God and motives us by God’s Spirit to serve only where He calls us (John 14:15). Take Jesus’ life for an example. He walked past human need every day and only stopped to minister when He heard our Father direct Him to do so (John 5:1-18). The more time we spend listening to God’s Spirit, the more harmony we have with His will.

The more we live in harmony with God’s will, the more His love, rather than our carnal impulses, motivates our actions. We walk in peace and serve in His love rather than out of human compulsion for the need. We serve in deep abiding joy rather than obligation or obsession, and we fulfill the law of God each moment of the day (Galatians 6:2). We are no longer a human doer, but a spirit-filled follower of Jesus Christ.

Living in the love and will of God is the happiest place on earth. This existence brings us ultimate fulfillment and completion. We live our life through intimate union with Him and in the expression of His divine nature, which places in our soul the fruit of His Spirit who lives within us (Galatians 5:22-23). His love is the true inspiration of our soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions. Our will is in complete union with His will.

Prayer:
Father God, as we walk by the direction of Your Spirit, we do not fulfill the humanistic desires of our carnal flesh
(Galatians 5:16, 25). Teach us to replace our self-centered life with a Christ-centered life by relinquishing our will, goals, desires and opinions to Yours, though the daily ministry of Your sanctification. Remind us to submit to Your growth process through the trials You bring into our life; so that our suffering will be replaced by the joy of experiencing Your presence in them. We love without reward, because our motivation is to live in union with Your will.

Thought for the Day:

There is no intimate union with God without a life lived in prayerful communication with Him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

True Rest








Our human will drives us to stay in control of our life and to live it as we choose, rather than in submission to any created or divine being. We feel the need to manage our life and the life of all of those who have influence over our existence in any way. We do not want anyone, who could possibly disturb the orderly peace we create in our sphere of reality, to have the control. If anyone tries to disrupt our peace, we reject or fight them with every ounce of effort we can muster.

However, true rest comes from submitting to God’s will for our life. In reality, we could never attain the amount of peace through our own vigilance over the order of our life. Our true victory is in responding in kindness to those who attempt to abuse us and to rely heavily on the hand of God to use every trial for His glory. When the situation is impossible to bear, we do not have to remain in an unsafe or unsavory situation, and we can remove our self to an alternate space to await God’s will in the situation.

There is absolutely never any reason to divorce our self from any person or situation; but if possible, we simply reposition our self in order to have some space and protection from the situation. We wait on God to move in the circumstance and to work it all out for our benefit (Romans 8:28). He often takes His time in these issues, giving the other party plenty of time to repent and come to their senses. He will influence their decisions, but He will never force His will on them.

Regardless of their choices, God will always protect His Saints, even to the point of death. Even those Believers, imprisoned for their faith and unable to escape, find that He sustains them from the inside out. He gives them His supernatural comfort and joy, which surpasses all of our horrifying circumstances they are forced to experience (Philippians 4:6-8). They live in victory and in praise for the honor and glory of our Savior’s name: Jesus.

Prayer:
Father God, we start dying to self by denying our flesh in simple areas, such as that second piece of cake; then we soon develop less of a desire for carnal appetites and more of a desire to live in submission to Your will. We start this walk of total dependence on You by developing quiet times in our daily schedule in order to sit in Your presence. Even in Your silence, we can still pray as You bring people to our mind. Ultimately, we spend our time in praise for who You are and all that You do for us. We reap intimacy with You and have fewer areas in our life, on which the devil can feed.

Thought for the Day:
We live in quietness and confidence, which is our strength; and we dwell in peace and safety forever. – Isaiah 30:15, 32:17-18

 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Victories and Delights




Jesus Christ is our whole life (Colossians 3:3-4). He lives in us and wants to accomplish our Father’s work through our life, so that He can do greater works than He did alone (John 14:12). When we rely on our own accomplishments and talents, we miss the whole point of our life in Christ. God can even overcome our inabilities with His glorious abilities within us. As we submit our life to Him, He puts us in the right place at the right time to live in the center of His will.

We are joined with Christ and with His Body, the church, in one Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17). His divinity steadily replaces our humanity. We abide in Him and the fruit of His Spirit replace our carnality (Galatians 5:22-23). We rest in Him and enjoy all of the fullness of the divine Trinity in our life. We trust in His faithfulness, regardless of the circumstances in our life. He uses us to accomplish His works and He brings us total fulfillment (Ephesians 2:10).

We no longer rely on what our heart advises us to do, or what our soul’s emotions feel is the best course for our life, or what our family, friends, the world, the flesh or the devil determine for our day (Jeremiah 17:9). We rely on God’s Word to feed us, and God’s Spirit to lead us (Matthew 4:4). We live in God’s will for each moment and soon find that our only desire is to accomplish His purposes for our life (Isaiah 26:12).

Christ unites us with Himself in an intimate and integral relationship, which lasts for eternity. Especially in times of anguish, we can cleave to the Lord with our whole heart (Acts 11:23). We are complete in Him (Colossians 2:10). We no longer have responsibility for our life, because Christ in us is ready to take over at the moment of our salvation. We simply yield to Him and He births His righteousness within us (Titus 3:5), leads us by His Spirit (Galatians 5:16,25) and turns all of our sins and sorrows into victories and delights.

Prayer:
Father God, our soul is capable of becoming distress and discouraged (Psalm 42:5). The Psalmists consistently illustrate the need for our soul to praise You, who are the only One who can truly encourage our soul (Psalm 42:6 & 11; 3:1, 104:1). May the eyes of our heart be enlightened in order that we may comprehend the hope, in which You called us to live; so that we can enjoy the riches of our glorious inheritance with You and Your holy people (Ephesians 1:18).

Thought for the Day:
The Lord lives in us as our might Savior. He rejoices over us with great gladness; with His unconditional love, He calms all of our fears. He is so pleased in us that He rejoices with a new song. – Zephaniah 3:17

 

Friday, January 17, 2014

When Our Children Reject Us



 


When my daughter grew into a young woman, she distanced herself from me for sharing Jesus and Bible verses with her and some of her friends. She believed that I was trying to convert them and this offended her. She stopped contacting me and eventually told me to stop contacting her. People ask me all the time how I can possibly deal with my daughter’s rejection of me.

I remind these caring people that my trust and hope is in God. My spirit is Born Again and Christ in me helps my human soul. My soul – my thoughts, emotions and choices – misses fellowship with my only daughter. However, my spirit rejoices, because she realizes my strong commitment to Christ.

One day she will comprehend that I live my life according to all of the teachings of Christ, not just the popular ones. For the glory of God, I imparted to my children the wisdom of Biblical precepts and knowledge (Proverbs 22:6; Deuteronomy 4:9; 6:6-9).  I know that one day they will all be encouraged and strengthened by these same convictions, which I cling to.

God has a plan for each of our children. God fills our quiver with them and then shows us in which direction to aim them as arrows into the future (Psalm 127:4-5; Proverbs 29:17). Paul commended Timothy because he shared the same faith as his mother and grandmother (2 Timothy 1:5). My younger son already shares and lives by Biblical faith. I look forward to the day when my daughter and my older son come to faith in Christ as well (2 Timothy 3:14-15).

Prayer:
Father God, we surrender our children to Your care and Your purposes for their life. Teach our children by Your Spirit and impart Your wisdom and peace into their lives (Isaiah 54:13). We release them into Your care, protection, direction and provision (Psalm 127:3–5). Humble them until they exalt You in their life. Protect them in the palm of Your hand and draw them to Your bleeding heart by Your sacrificial love.

Thought for the Day:
Children are a gift from God; they are a reward from Him. – Psalm 127:3

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Pictures of God



 

God is so indescribable that Biblical writers used the best words they could find to depict Him in human terms. He is: a soldier (Exodus 15:3), a husband (Jeremiah 31:32), a true friend (Jeremiah 30:17), a savior (Isaiah 45:15), a caring shepherd (Psalm 23:1), a deliverer (Psalm 18:2), our good master (Psalm 123:2), our king (Psalm 10:16), a nurturing father (Psalm 89:26), a righteous judge (James 4:12) and so much more.

God is high and lifted up. He is larger than life and the train of His robe is all that will fit in His temple. His voice sounds like a thunderous waterfall or a loud trumpet; and it sends tremors throughout the earth (Revelation 14:2; Isaiah 6:1-4). God is exalted over every nation at the same time that He sits on His glorious throne in heaven. There is no God like Jehovah; yet, He is concerned with the affairs of our life on this earth (Psalm 113:4-6).

He puts a hunger in our soul for fellowship with Him, so that we will seek Him, reach out for Him and find Him. He is not far from any one of us. Once we surrender our will to His, we live, move and have our existence in Him as His children (Acts 17:27-28). God even provides for the creatures in nature. They store up His provision, which they receive from His open hand, and it satisfies them. By His Spirit He renews the earth and everything in it (Psalm 104:27-30).

No one can escape God’s presence. His influence reaches from heaven to hell, and from the seas to the mountains. He guides us no matter where we are dwelling. He turns our darkness into light (Psalm 139:7-12; Amos 9:2-4). Our God has always existed and He is coming back to the earth in order to rule and reign over mankind. There will be no more dying, sorrow, stress or depression under His leadership, as there is under the human leadership we suffer with now (Isaiah 35:10, 51:11).

Prayer:
Father God, You have always existed, and You are coming to rule in eternity. Even when our mortal body passes away, we will see You in our immortal body. Our heart yearns for that moment, in which we will see You face-to-face. We hope that it comes very soon (Job 19:25-27). Even now in our sin cursed world, You cause us to lie down in peace and You give us safety (Psalm 4:8). When we face trials and trouble, You are our stronghold and our refuge. Those who live in Your name and trust in Your faithfulness will never be forsaken (Deuteronomy 31:6-8).

Thought for the Day:
God keeps His eyes on us - not to harm us, but for our good. - Amos 9:4