Saturday, May 31, 2014

Abiding in Christ

 

Most people just want to live a quiet, normal life. The real question is...what is normal? Jesus promised that in this world we are going to have tribulation, so we can count on experiencing trials. The only way to deal with them is to change our attitude about them. Each interruption to our normal schedule is actually an adventure in Christ and a potential miracle.

Happiness is not the absence of problems. Happiness is knowing God and walking in His precepts. We do not have to rely on another person to help us to make decisions, to feel happy or fulfilled or to be complete. We are already complete through Christ in us (Colossians 2:10). We can minister to our own needs as long as we do not get self-centered with it.

Abiding in Christ means to dwell in Him, to stay connected and to continue to walk by His Spirit’s direction each moment of our day. As we do, we are amazed at His character that is birthed within us, and His perspective on life, which becomes our own. We do not simply obey the dead letter of the law, but we have our Living Lord abiding within us.

At times, we slip back into the flesh. We may be tired, hurt, perplexed, anxious, overworked, unappreciated, neglected or emotionally wounded. We forget all about the Spirit and allowing Him to live and move in and through us. We strike out in the flesh to make the negative experiences go away. However, living in the flesh is unproductive and grieves God’s Spirit.

We need to ask anyone we hurt while we reacted in the flesh to forgive us. The flip side is important too, that we forgive those who hurt us. We do not erase the person’s behavior with forgiveness, but we free our self from the bondage that unforgiveness, bitterness and resentment cause in our own soul. Our healing is facilitated by forgiveness and frees us from past negative experiences.

Prayer:
Father God, You are the one constant in our life (Hebrews 13:8), and You never abandon or disown us (Hebrews 13:5). Your Spirit will give us wisdom in decisions, comfort in grief and direction to keep us in the center of Your daily will for us. You give us Your peace in the middle of horrendous physical and emotional tribulation. As we keep our mind on You, You abide in us and we abide in You (Isaiah 26:3). You heal our heart and give us Your lasting peace and joy.

Thought for the Day:

The same power that raised Jesus from the dead, abides in us. - Romans 8:11

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Prince of This World


 

There are spiritual forces of darkness in this world, which influence us every day (Ephesians 1:18-19). In these modern times, they are even able to use multi-media, technology and college professors. People and life’s circumstances are not really our problem. We are actually facing rulers, authorities and powers of evil and darkness (Ephesians 6:12). Jesus gave us an example of how to overcome with spiritual warfare.

When Satan came to tempt Jesus after 40 days and nights of fasting and prayer in the wilderness, the prince of this world found nothing He could use to tempt our Savior (John 14:30). Jesus had no connection to the things of this world. Clothes, food, friends, family, housing, transportation and land were the last things on Jesus’ mind (Matthew 8:20). His total focus lay in the spiritual, heavenly realm.

Some people, who claim they are Christians, receive more joy from earthly pleasures and conveniences than from spiritual endeavors. They take pleasure in the fellowship of God’s people and the benefits their soul – thoughts, choices and emotions – receives from church attendance. However, when it comes to giving and sacrifice, they turn a deaf ear and only attend church services one hour a week.

Jesus lived on this earth, but He dwelt in the Kingdom of God. He calls us all to join Him in His Kingdom mindset and reality. He wants us to place our affection on things above, not on things of this earth (Colossians 3:2). We find our life and joy only in our Messiah, Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:3). When we do, Satan has no power over us. His fiery darts find no mark in us, so they just bounce right off (Ephesians 6:16).

Prayer:
Father God, You teach us that gratification and convenience are not worthwhile goals on our list of priorities. Neither are items that money can buy. The only valuable focus in life is to follow after You as our first love, and to seek to do Your perfect will. To do anything less gives Satan a foothold into our life. Remind us to live soberly and to watch out for the wiles of the prince of this world (1 Peter 5:8).

Thought for the Day:
Satan’s deception blinds our eyes to the authority and divinity of Christ in us, who is our hope of a glorious eternity with God. – 2 Peter 1:4; Colossians 1:27

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Spiritual Power and Authority




The fruit of God’s Spirit in one’s life is the true indication of Salvation. We may have the outward manifestations of a religious life, but until Christ lives within us, nothing we do or do not do matters in eternity. Putting Jesus as our first priority and loving Him with all of our heart, guarantees that the Trinity will abide within us (John 14:21).

The Holy Spirit brings power with when He moves in, so we can do the works, which Jesus did. With the power of the Godhead resident within us, it is easy to put God’s Kingdom first in our life. So many people are helped and healed at our local expressions of Christ’s church, because we follow God’s mandate to pray for the sick in the powerful name of Jesus (James 5:14).

Christ gave Himself to us completely for the sake of the Father. His Kingdom comes into our life, so that in return, we too can function as a living sacrifice to Him (Romans 12:1-2). Christ becomes our whole life (Colossians 3:4). He lives in us, and we live by the faith of the Son of God, who loves us and gave Himself for us (Galatians 2:20).

Each new trial is actually a miracle waiting to happen. Even bad circumstances work out for our good. This realization allows us to walk in perfect peace and faith in God’s purpose for everything that occurs in our life. As we allow God’s Spirit to crucify our flesh, then the Son of God can live in and through us in all of His power and majesty.

After the Great Tribulation, Jesus will dominate every dominion, authority and power in Heaven and on earth. Then, He will give the Kingdom back to our Father (1 Corinthians 15:24). There is nothing we have in our life more precious than this power and authority, which Christ won for us on Calvary’s cross (Colossians 1:27; Ephesians 2:20).

Prayer:
Father God, You live IN us; therefore, You can never be distant or far away from us. We are the ones, which withdraw from You by distancing our focus and thoughts from You and putting them on worldly pursuits instead. Over the years of walking with You, I discovered that You do not always speak. Most of the time, You simply enjoy hanging out with us in companionable silence...loving on us from the inside out! 

Thought for the Day:
When we turn everything over to the Lordship of Christ in God, we learn to trust God completely and to have faith in His faithfulness.

– 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Why Forgiveness is the Best Option


Every person ever born deserves to go to hell. We can never be good enough to deserve a place with God in heaven. Earning our own forgiveness is out of the question. Disobedience brought sin into the world and only obedience to God’s Will can free us from its penalty. God’s mercy is from everlasting to everlasting (Psalm 103:17).

God does not expect us to arrive at perfection by our own efforts. He gives us both the desire and the power to live a righteous life (Philippians 2:12-13). We are human with our own distinct set of flaws and foibles. Our idiosyncrasies are no better or worse than any one else’s. Therefore, we have no reason to expect perfection from our self or from any other person.

However, God wants nothing less than our perfection in Christ. God is all about grace. He wants us to use mercy and grace when we deal with our self and others (Luke 6:36). God desires that we forgive our self and others as well (Ephesians 4:31, 32). We are all wounded souls attempting to survive in this world. Mercy is as important to God as justice.

The Pharisees attempted to please God by adding to His law. They believed that more rules were better. Jesus set them straight. God calls us to forgive each other, to show compassion and mercy in the same way that God forgave us through Christ (Ephesians 4:32). If we fail to comply, then we open the door to Satan. He works havoc in our life and defeats us at every turn.

If we fail to forgive, we also allow our enemies to persecute us (Matthew 18:34-35). We tie God’s hands with our unforgiveness and He cannot forgive us either (Matthew 6:14). We will prevent Satan from interfering in our life, if we choose to forgive (2 Corinthians 2:10-11). We will also allow God to forgive us. Forgive does not let the troublemaker off the hook, it puts them in God’s vengeful hands and sets us free (Romans 12:19).

Prayer:
Father God, when You ask us to forgive, you know that we are still hurting from the abuse inflicted on us by the perpetrator. Our feelings of unforgiveness allow the offender to control a part of our life. We will never forget the infraction, but forgiveness lessons the pain of it in our soul.

Thought for the Day:
Forgive as You have been forgiven. – Hebrews 10:17

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Yoke Fellows


In our former unsaved life, this world’s system drove us into a frantic pace. We lived for the week-end and filled our free time as full as our work day. Nothing really satisfied us, and we tried many avenues of adventure and recreation in order to find that activity, which would bring us contentment. We even tried God, but were turned off by some church members or the tragedy in this world.

Then, one day someone presented to us the gospel of Jesus Christ in such a way that it pierced like an arrow right into our heart. We knew without a doubt that the vacuum in our life could only be satisfied with a personal, intimate relationship with the God of the universe who created us in the first place. We see that complete surrender is the only key to a God-honoring, productive and fulfilling life.

We seek out the fellowship of other Believers. We no longer demand our own way, but we submit to God’s will and consult His plans for each moment of our day (Proverbs 3:5-6). This would be impossible, except for the fact that we are in Christ and Christ is in us. We are grafted onto the Vine of Christ and God is the vine dresser.

Jesus tells us to take His yoke upon us, because it is easy and light (Matthew 11:30). When we hook up with Christ in His yoke and move in tandem with Him, our day is more successful and we are more fulfilled. If we get out from under His yoke, or if we pull Him in our direction, we only end up frustrating our self and getting out of God’s will for us. As a yoke fellow with Jesus we have His peace and joy.

Prayer:
Father God, Your love for humanity knows no bounds; and yet, people fail to see Your heart. They read Your Word and see only Your justice and interpret that as malevolence. They think you are supposed to act according to human standards of love, permissiveness would be a better word. However, Your love is righteous and always just. Open the eyes of the unbelievers to see their need for Your love and protection.

Thought for the Day:
Freedom comes with surrender to the love of Christ resident within us.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Worry Wart



Worry has a way of robbing of us energy and blessings that are rightfully ours. It makes it clear to God that we do not trust Him. Most of what we worry about never happens; and if it does happen, most of the negative aspects we imagined never occur. It affects the attention we give to our task at hand and the people around us.

I never met anyone who changed their circumstance, the outcome of a circumstance or their future by worrying. Worry ruins our health and damages our emotions. It can even affect our relationships. Paul advises us not to be anxious about anything, but in everything and through prayerful requests make our concerns known to God (Philippians 4:6).

Then apply the Serenity Principle to the issue. Ask God for wisdom to know whether or not you can do anything about the matter; and if so, how to change it. If not, then change your focus about the problems, so that you can accept God’s will for you in them. We do not have to trust people, events or places; but we can trust God in all things. He has our best interest at heart.

When you are genuinely concerned about some matter, spend concentrated time in prayer about it. Journal how you are feeling and what you fear; and then jot down the outcome. Over time you will see how often you worry needlessly. Change your focus to doing God’s will for each moment of time. He promises to work all things out for your ultimate good (Romans 8:28).

Prayer:
Father God, teach us to trust You more and to worry less. Show us the futility of this habit and remind us that You have everything, even this matter, in Your control. Help us to think about all the times in the past when we worried needlessly and how You worked everything out for our good.

Thought for the Day:
Don’t let worry steal your peace and joy.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Love Lifted Me



Prior to our salvation, we lived life with one goal and focus…our self. We did what we wanted to do and what pleased our self. Even living a life in service to others was done to please our self, because it made us feel good about who we are and what we were accomplishing. Once we come to Christ, those carnal desires to please our self are still there.

This is called, the flesh. The flesh wants to have its own way and rebels against anything to the contrary. At first, Paul’s admonition to die daily is not only foreign, but also repulsive to us. We cringe from inflicting any hardship on our self. However, God gives us both the power and the desire to walk in His will for our life (Philippians 2:12-13). Desiring to please Him above all else, becomes our goal and focus.

It is interesting that the only areas of our life that God wants to change are those parts, which are harmful to us anyway. Hobbies, habits and hang-ups, which are sinful, are also destructive to our well-being. God replaces our selfish character with His divine character and our human nature with His divine nature, and we are much more fulfilled and at peace.

In living for our self, Satan made sure we were attracted to sin. He made it look enjoyable and used that to tempt us. In Christ, we no longer enjoy the same activities and many of them are actually abhorrent to us. We no longer see any value in them or why they had any appeal to us in the first place. We find more and more freedom in our service to God because His love lifts us higher and higher.

Prayer:
Father God, there is nothing this world has to offer that can take Your place in our life. We are never lonely again, because Your presence is with us and in us through every experience we will ever encounter. Our best interest is at the center of Your heart and You work out everything, even the worst sickness and the most dire of circumstances for our ultimate benefit. Thank You for Your love and direction in our life.

Thought for the Day:
God’s love lifted me.

 

 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

What is a Born Again Believer?



Prior to our salvation, we had a body and soul, but our spirit was dead in sin. As a Born Again Believer our spirit is now alive and contains the Spirit of God. We can enjoy constant quiet time within our spirit, regardless of what is occurring in our body or soul. With this regular fellowship, our soul abides in a state of peace, which causes our body to remain in better health and vitality.

This does not happen before we are Born Again. In God’s presence, we refresh our soul. Even if He remains silent, we enjoy the companionable silence of His friendship and lordship in our life. Regardless of our circumstances, we live in serenity in our spirit. As we focus on our connection with Christ in our spirit, He heals the negative feelings of our body and soul.

We look at life from a spiritual rather than an earthly viewpoint. We love Christ immensely; our soul draws nourishment from His existence in our life. His Word comes alive in our mind, His presence comforts our fears and His love pours over us like a waterfall as we keep our mind focused on Him (Isaiah 26:3). We do not need to see Him with our eyes, because we hear him with our inner ear (Matthew 11:14).

We feel His Spirit within us (Colossians 1:27). We float through life as the Spirit of God stirs the waters. We flow with the ebb and current of God’s will. People see God’s life-changing power within us. So many turn a deaf ear or blind eye, preferring to believe Satan’s lies. Others want our same experience, so we travail in birth pains with them. We desire to win people to Christ, so they can live in the love of God with us.

Prayer:
Father God, You are the author and finisher of our salvation. Jesus made this possible by His sacrifice on Calvary’s cross, and Your Spirit drew us to Your precious heart. Thank You for loving us, caring for us and helping us in our doubts and fears. We look to You to provide our daily bread and to lead us away from every temptation, which might bring dishonor to Your name.

Thought for the Day:
Taste and see that the Lord is good. – Psalm 34:9

 

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Power of a Spiritual Life




Jesus suffered agony in the garden when He felt the weight of our sin on His shoulders. Jesus, who knew no sin, mercifully gave His life to pay for us the penalty of our sins (2 Corinthians 5:21). He went all the way to the cross, because He came to earth with one purpose: to surrender His life for our salvation. God has a unique purpose for each one of us, as well (Ephesians 2:10).

Only through the death of our carnal nature do we learn the secret of living our life through our rebirth in Christ Jesus. Like Paul, we die to the world, Satan’s temptations and our human will and flesh daily (1 Corinthians 15:31). This way God’s Spirit can live His life through us. We wait on God, and He works out His intentions in us moment by moment throughout our life.

We owe Jesus all glory and honor for giving us our spiritual life. We are rooted and grounded in Him by faith (Colossians 2:7). Jesus gave us the perfect example of how to live on this earth. Even at an early age, He focused on God’s Kingdom (Luke 2:46). He trusted in, depended upon and lived and died by trusting in our Father. We can follow in His footsteps.

God’s fullness in our life will take us deeper and deeper into the power and wonder of His spiritual realm. As we cast our soul on Him and abandon our self completely to His love, He who lived in total surrender to our Father will impart His nature to us (2 Peter 1:4). We live our life in the power of the resurrected Lord who dwells within us.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You so much for preparing the perfect sacrifice for our sins by coming in the form of a person and dying on Calvary’s cross in our place. The fact that You raised Christ from the dead and to His throne in glory gives us so much hope and faith to know that You will bring us up from the grave and into Your glorious presence.

Thought for the Day:

To have the love, peace and joy we crave in our life, we simply surrender wholeheartedly to God. – Matthew 10:39

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Our Focus during the Disheartening Uncertainty of Life



Life has a way of throwing at us some unexpected, and sometimes horrific circumstances. We go to the doctor and the last thing we expect to hear is cancer. We call our parents and we find out one of them does not have long to live. The school calls and our child never arrived from the bus. At times like these, we feel insecure and fearful. We find our self thrown off center by this confusion and the looming catastrophe.

Our normal peaceful existence spins out of control. Each compartment of our life, which we meticulously created to provide us with security and a safe haven, suddenly tilts out of control. We hectically, yet unsuccessfully, try to manage the disruptive people and events in our life in an attempt to make us feel safe again. But this never helps. In fact, it usually increases our anxiety, when these people react to the turmoil our panic creates in their lives.

The only true help for us comes when we fix our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2). He spent considerable time each day in prayer (Mark 1:35). He did only what He saw our Father do (John 5:19). He lived in the moment and did not worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:33-35). He made sure to center his goals on the will of God for His life. He walked in the Spirit. This is how we too withstand the disheartening uncertainty of life.
 
God already clothed us with garments of salvation and arrayed us in robes of righteousness, which are even finer than those worn at a wedding (Isaiah 61:10). He gave us the words of the prayer that never fails: "Father, not my will, but yours be done" (Luke 22:42-43). When we surrender our will to His, then God can provide us with everything we need, even things we did not even realize that we wanted.

 
Prayer:
Father God, we are never comfortable when the fishbowl of our life gets turned upside down. We despise all of the demands and expectations other people have for us. We take one precarious step after another on the tightrope of life. Help us to focus on the equilibrium You give us to live each moment that we live, rather than focusing on the spinning details of our negative circumstances.

Thought for the Day:
When we trust God more and strive less, serenity seeps into every area of our life, no matter how the circumstances play out around us.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Separated Life


 
God gave His Church, His Bride, His Holy Habitation, the dynamite power of His Spirit who dwells within us. There is nothing that we cannot do. If we rely on our human resources, we will fail more often than not. If we walk in the Spirit, we will not need the lusts of the flesh to make us happy (Galatians 5:16-25). If we begin walking in the Spirit and then give up, we will live a miserable life.

Many Christians have no idea that at Salvation, the Holy Spirit comes to live in us (1 Corinthians 6:19). It is not a separate experience. We have the fullness of the Spirit dwelling in us from the moment that we believe only on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. We have daily fillings of His Spirit (Ephesians 5:18), but He is resident within us from the point of our salvation.

We do not want to grieve the Holy Spirit by entertaining sin in our life (Ephesians 4:30). We can occupy our time with religious activity, control our flesh and our sinful desires and meditate on God’s Word continually, but if our spirit is still dead in sin, none of this human activity reaps any benefit for us other than a more peaceful life on this earth.

All of our efforts reap no eternal reward for us because they are all done in the flesh. We give our human will the place of the Holy Spirit in our life (1 Corinthians 3:1). Let’s give up everything we hold dear in the natural world, which stands between our Living Lord and us, and walk in God’s Spirit each moment of the day. What we think we will lose will be returned to us in a way, which is a million times better.

Prayer:
Father God, help us not to attempt to perfect our self in the flesh, rather than submitting our will and our life to Your Spirit. We do not want to fail You in this life and end up reaping hell in the process. We prefer to serve You wholeheartedly and to give You the praise and the glory for all of the works, which Your Spirit leads us to accomplish for You.

Thought for the Day:
We gain no return on what we sacrifice in the flesh. So let’s lay down our human will, character, wisdom and efforts, and fully embrace the thoughts and works of Christ instead.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Our Faith Overcomes the World



Gold is a precious metal that will perish, even though it is refined by fire. Our faith has much more value than all the gold, silver or platinum in this world. Because God promised us before the beginning of time, we have the faith and hope to know that God has given us eternal life (Titus 1:2).

One component of our faith is to have faith without doubting (Matthew 21:21). Most people do not realize this, and not doubting is almost impossible to comply with. In frustration, Jesus reprimanded people, like Peter, for his doubt as He pulled him up out of the sea (Matthew 14:31). He also commended people for having faith without doubting (Matthew 15:28). God will always help our unbelief (Mark 9:23-25).

As we live one moment at a time, our faith grows. We place our faith in the fact that Jesus rose from the dead; because if He is still dead, then our preaching is useless. We are also false witnesses about God, since we testify that He raised Jesus from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:14-15). Jesus’ resurrection builds up our faith to know that He also forgives our sins and raises us from the dead as well (1 Corinthians 15:16-17).

Our faith enables us to build up the Kingdom of God. Prompted by our love for Him, we do the works, which He called us to do (Ephesians 2:10). Our hope in Him inspires our endurance in this sin-cursed world (1 Thessalonians 1:3). Everyone born again by the Spirit of God will overcome this world by our absolute faith in Christ in us (1 John 5:4).

God opens our eyes to see the spiritual realm of life. He turns us from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to His Kingdom of power. We flee from temptation and practice holiness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness (1 Timothy 6:11). When our faith in Christ is proven genuine, it results in our praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed (1 Peter 1:7).

Prayer:
Father God, we receive from You the forgiveness of all of our sins. You place us in the ranks of those who are sanctified by faith in Christ alone (Acts 26:18). You give us faith in tribulation and persecution and help us to encourage others in their distress (1 Thessalonians 3:7). Help us also to stand firm in our faith and to work with one another with joy (2 Corinthians 1:24).

Thought for the Day:
Our faith does not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power. – 1 Corinthians 2:5

Monday, May 19, 2014

Spiritual Ebb and Flow


 
God loves us even while we are still sinners, but He calls us to walk away from our sinful thoughts, words and deeds. Any goodness we attain by our human effort does not impress Him (Ephesians 2:8-9). We are a new person only because of Jesus’ work on Calvary’s cross (2 Corinthians 5:17). We only have two choices. We either believe for salvation or we fail to believe and condemn our self to Hell (John 3:18).

God’s Spirit conforms us through sanctification into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). He exchanges our humanity for God’s divine nature and His spiritual fruit (2 Peter 1:4; Galatians 5:22-23). We are an extension of the ministry of Christ on this earth. His sinless perfection enables us to live freely from sin and Satan’s temptations, as we depend on Him for our perfection.

God walks with us through life and sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). Do not wait to cry out to God only in times of helplessness; commune with God every moment of every day. When the intimacy of our communion ebbs, our only recourse is to draw closer to Him, not to walk further away. Satan will lie and tell us it was better back in the world. Don’t forget your past vulnerability without God.

The only time discouragement and disappointment enter our life is when we are trusting in our own strength or looking forward to the fulfillment of our own goals and aspirations, rather than relying on the Lord’s strength and anticipating His plans (2 Corinthians 1:21). God comforts us during times of grief and loss (Matthew 5:4). He gives us His desires in our heart (Psalm 37:4). He guides us by Christ’s life within us (Romans 5:10).

Prayer:
Father God, our relationship with sin ceased to exist once we came to love You with our whole heart (Luke 10:27). We are no longer separated from You, but we live in constant fellowship with You every moment of every day. Satan still uses sin to tempt us away from a life in union with Christ. We may fall into a momentary indiscretion, but we thank You that we no longer live in a lifestyle of sin (Romans 6:7,12,14).

Thought for the Day:
God’s grace frees us to walk in holiness by the power of the Holy Spirit within us.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

A Place of Repentance

 

Once we hear the gospel of Christ, a deliberate rejection of God’s path of righteousness will lead to our earthly sorrow and eternal ruin. God is sovereign and He will not be mocked (Acts 4:24). We see no value in the spiritual side of life, but live only for physical and emotional pleasures.

We focus on gratifying the body and we seek to find a soul mate with which to spend our life. We end up switching partners endlessly because no one meets our expectations. We show contempt for the abundance of God’s kindness, patience and tolerance of us, when we do not realize that God’s kindness is intended to bring us to this place of repentance (Romans 2:4).

However, if we come to realize that we are wrong and we cannot save our self. We enter God’s throne room and we repair our relationship with God through godly sorrow and contrition; we reap eternal life and earthly joys, which know no bounds. God provides all of our needs according to His glorious riches (Philippians 4:19).

He is our soul mate and He sticks closer to us than a brother (Proverbs 17:17, 18:24). He does not consider us his servants, but His friends (John 15:15). He fills our hearts with His love to overflowing and we share His love with everyone He brings our way. The fruit of His Spirit replaces the negative attributes in our soul, and we live in peace and freedom.

God blesses us abundantly, so that we have whatever we need at all times (2 Corinthians 9:8). This allows us to be faithful in the work of His Kingdom. The peace of God, which defies explanation, protects us emotionally and mentally, because Christ lives within us (Philippians 4:7).

Prayer:
Father God, with Your love within us and surrounding us we can come to a place of repentance and enjoy the bounty of Your blessings. Even when negative aspects of life try to overwhelm us, You are there to pull us up. You may not deliver us from the trial, but You give us the Rock of Christ to stand upon to weather every storm. There is nothing this earth can do to separate us from Your love.

Thought for the Day:
As we rely on the direction of God’s Spirit, we live a peaceful and abundant life.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Keep Vigilant Watch



In the process of moving from one house to another, my husband went back for yet another load of boxes. As he opened the house door, his arms encumbered with a teetering stack of our worldly treasures, he noticed a black racer snake paused just outside. In a flash, the racy reptile slipped between his feet and into the house.

Gently tossing the boxes into our vehicle, he hurried in hot pursuit of the sleek, slithering black ribbon. By this time the snake was scared out of his mind and his only thought was, “Get me out of here!” Through several rooms in the house, this awkward duo danced a duet, trying to outsmart one another.

Finally, with a stroke of genius, my husband opened the front door again and got behind the snake. The wary hunter paused for just a moment, eyeing up his options, then raced through the gaping opening in seconds and sought cover in the garden plants.

This detour in his plans and the adrenalin of his pursuit caused my husband to grab a drink of water and sit to rest in the only chair left in our house. Satan does this very thing in our lives. He lurks just outside the door to our soul – our mind, will and emotions, and waits for the narrowest opening to dart right in and cause havoc in our life.

He gives us a merry chase, taxing our spiritual power and exhausting our soul’s supply of energy. Without wisdom from above, he might get the upper hand; but if we seek God’s counsel, the Lord always shows us how to defeat the devil’s schemes (James 4:7). Even better, we can prevent his entrance by keeping a vigilant watch over the door to our soul (Proverbs 4:23).

Prayer:
Father God, if we wear the full armor You provided for us, polished and ready for battle, we can stand our ground, protected from the wily snares of the devil (Ephesians 6:13; 2 Timothy 2: 26). We have no need to fear, because Christ in us is greater than Satan and his hoard of demons (1 John 4:4). Jesus already won the victory over sin and death and His divinity abides in each one of us (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Thought for the Day:
As we submit to God, and resist the devil, he has to flee from us.
– James 4:7

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Great Divide



There is a great divide between Believers and unbelievers. We all share the same world, but we do not enjoy the same language or activities. Some who claim to be Christians not only live in the world, but are an integral part of its culture, goals and behavior. They praise Lord Calvert instead of Lord Jesus, and their behavior mars the name and character of Christ.

Where the Spirit of God dwells, there is no room for continual, habitual sin. He transforms each individual who truly surrenders to God. He gives us Holy Spirit make-overs and we are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). He leads us in the paths of righteousness for the sake of God’s name (Psalm 23:3). If God made no difference in your life, you are not Born Again.

I am not talking about a judgmental or “holier than thou” attitude. I am talking about not living like a hypocrite with one foot in the world and one foot in the church. Authentic, Born Again Believers have both feet firmly planted on the Rock of Christ. He makes a difference in us and we make a positive difference in the world around us.

That way, when our family and friends choose to reject us, we can be assured it is only because they feel the conviction of Christ in their life. They are puzzled and offended by the changes in our life, so they defend themselves and their behavior. The bright light of Christ in us irritates their choice to live in sin.

They attack us because they know in their heart that Jesus is the only way of salvation, and they are fighting God’s conviction of His truth. The Holy Spirit is working in their life, and we can pray that they will be humbled under the mighty hand of almighty God. This way, they too will enjoy His blessings, protection and provision just like we do.

Prayer:
Father God, we can revel in our relationship with You, not condemning others, but living in your peace before them. This way, they may see the difference, which You make in our life. You fill us with Your resurrection life. Though we are not perfect, the world around us cannot deny the change You make in our thoughts, actions and beliefs. We cling to, rely on and rest in You for our every need.

Thought for the Day:
Jesus took our shame and endured our pain to give us freedom in His life in us.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Moving Day



 

Moving from one home to another is a daunting task, even if you are young and energetic. Add a few years and an aging body and it can be almost impossible. This is when we rely on our friends and family for help, advice and back breaking labor. Even so, it seems that the more boxes we pack the more stuff there is to pack.

I always donate everything that is not absolutely necessary for my survival and enjoyment to a charity thrift store to prevent me from having to pack it.

On my most recent move the only things I could part with were four plastic pitchers and some old Tupperware. With all of the advice out there about plastics contributing to cancer in people, I bought glass instead. I would much rather be safe than sorry. I always pack all of my glass very carefully in mounds of towels and extra cardboard.

I did that with everything over a four month period; and yet, there was still occasion to take box after empty box back over to the former home to fill it up with even more “stuff!” I suppose pet supplies, gardening tools, along with the fact that I buy everything from medication to toiletries and cleaning supplies in bulk, had a great deal to do with that.

But, in the end, the job is complete, there is a new place for everything and everything is in its place. All is well with the world and I am back in my comfort zone. However, even when life settles down, there is always a hint of unrest in my soul, because my true home is in Heaven and my spirit so longs to go there, even now.

Prayer:
Father God, we thank You for giving citizenship in Heaven to anyone willing to humble their pride and submit their rebellion to you. You really do know so much more about how to succeed in this life than we do and your ways are always so much more perfect than our longest thought out plans. Remind us to seek You first in everything we do and say (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Thought for the Day:
Living in the Will of God is the happiest place on earth.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Our Solid Rock


 


Sometimes I feel like I am standing in quicksand on this earth. There is no solid footing around me, but just a sucking pit of decay. People in our neighborhood, workplace, the mall and the streets unleash the power of Satan into the world by living in sin. We reap the consequences of their sin, as well as our own (John 5:13). Sin gives Satan permission to work his evil, degradation and destruction in our life.

The antidote for this malaise is to walk away from sin and to live in holiness. God is faithful and He readily forgives a repentant heart (1 John 1:9). Righteous living releases the anointing of God in our life. It also prevents much of Satan’s influence in our world and his strongholds in our life. Christians may walk after the flesh in an occasional moment, but we do not walk in sin as a lifestyle (Galatians 5:16-25.)

Many people are under the false impression that sinners go to hell and good people go to heaven. In truth, authentic Born Again Believers go to heaven, and unbelievers condemn themselves to hell by their unbelief in the name of God’s one and only Son (John 3:18). Our eternal destination has nothing at all to do with our good works, but has everything to do with our total surrender to God.

We live a holy life because of our union with Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). We walk out of darkness and into the kingdom of light (Ephesians 5:8). The righteousness of Christ is our birthright as Born Again children of God. Christ is our whole life; a new life based on our relationship with Christ in us, our hope of eternal glory (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 1:27, 3:3-4). Christ lives in us, giving us a victorious life on this earth.

Prayer:
Father God, You are our safe place in a world that often frightens us. Christ is the solid Rock beneath our feet. He gives breathing room to our soul (Psalm 62:1-2). We no longer fear the quicksand of life, but we trust in Christ who is our impenetrable fortress. We lack no good thing in this life. We find our help and our glory in You. We trust You absolutely and we lay down our life for You all day long.

Thought for the Day:
Let God build your life on the sold Rock of Jesus Christ. - Mt. 7:24-27

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Falling Away from God




Many people reach a plateau in their walk with the Lord. The increasing highs, which transitioned us from sinner to saint, level off. We experience a dry time of struggle, questions and doubts. We attempt to substitute some facet of life in this world to mask or to try to improve this perceived loss in our life. Human success is very deceptive. It gives us a false sense of power and ability.

We stop patiently relying on God and we strike out on our own again. Like the Israelites we remember the provision of the world and forget the trials (Numbers 11:5). The prodigal son did this too. He ended up in the pigpen, until God humbled him enough for him to return to the Father’s house (Luke 15:17). Only the living water of life flowing from the throne of God can quench our interminable thirst (Revelations 22:1).


Satan sits by our ear and whispers convincing lies and doubts. Satan’s words have negative connotations. They tear down, discourage and condemn (1 Peter 5:8). Satan’s words bring bondage and criticism. However, we also have a spiritual ear, able to hear from God Himself (Matthew 11:15). Pay attention to the thoughts in your mind and change them to positive thoughts (Philippians 4:8).


God’s words are positive. Even His conviction brings repentance and does not make us feel despicable and dispirited. His words bring freedom to our soul and spirit. The closer to our deadline we get, the more our faith falters. God’s timing may be slower than we would like it to be, and we may get nervous and fearful. We forget that God always works out even the worse scenario for our ultimate benefit (Romans 8:28).


Prayer:
Father God, even when we view our future through a foggy window (1 Corinthians 13:12), and we have no idea why You are acting as You are, we can still trust You to give us the victory and to use us for Your purposes in the earth. Your Word is full of incidents where You used unconventional methods to bring about your desired results. We can always trust that no matter how bizarre the events get in our life, You are always there, right inside of us (Colossians 1:27), experiencing the trial right along with us.


Thought for the Day:
Remember God’s past victories in your life and draw faith from His provision and faithfulness for this new trial.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Death's Door to Heaven




Most people consider the day of our birth better than the day of our death; however, as Christians, the day of our death is better than the day of birth (Ecclesiastes 7:1). At birth, we begin the arduous journey in this life with all of its struggles and trials. As a child, unless we are born into an abusive family, we live in our own little world. Our imagination, our neighborhood or the woods are our playgrounds.

As we age, responsibility transfers from our parents to us. Without Christ, both life and death are daunting stages on this earth. We have little help in and no hope for our future. As authentic Christians, we have Christ within us, leading us to do the works, which God pre-ordained for us to accomplish (Ephesians 2:10). God’s peace and joy envelop us. We eagerly anticipate death’s door to heaven.

A new heaven and earth will replace this current one (2 Peter 3:7-10). New Jerusalem will descend from Heaven. Jesus is building this 1500-mile cube city of God, which includes many levels of large rooms (John 14:1-4). An innumerable congregation from every nation, all the angels, the elders and even the living animals will gather at the throne to worship our Father God and His perfect Lamb (Revelation 7:9-11; Isaiah 11:6-9).

God will restore Paradise to humanity (Luke 23:43), a perfect environment with a pure crystal river of life proceeding from the throne and a tree of life producing twelve different fruit every month for the healing of the nations. Night is no longer necessary and God will be our continual light. We shall serve Him and reign with Him for all eternity (Revelation 7:16-17, 21:4-5, 22:1-5).

Prayer:
Father God, the dead in Christ are blessed, because we rest from earth’s toils and the result of our life follows us (Revelation 14:13). We reign in an immortal body with You in Your everlasting Kingdom (Daniel 7:18; 1 Corinthians 15:44). We help you to love and govern the nations, and we will come from the four corners of the earth to worship you for eternity (Revelation 7:9-11).

Thought for the Day:
The entire creation of God travails over the decay, which sin brought to this world, and it waits for the revelation of the Sons of God. 
- Romans 8:19-22; 1 Corinthians 13:22

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Moving Those Mountains








It is so hard to overcome and to struggle through the issues we face in this world. We are forced out of our comfort zone and most of us despise change of any sort. The obstructive mountains loom before us. However, if we live in the moment, and not regret anything in the past or fear the unknown entities of the next moment, God will give us the grace to accomplish His will through each minute we live.

God’s Spirit abides in us and will not leave us for any reason (Deuteronomy 31:6). We can completely depend upon His mercy, grace, wisdom and strength to accomplish everything that is in His will for our life. If we strike out on our own without consulting God’s Will, that is just where we will remain – on our own. However, walking in the Spirit insures our success in every endeavor (Proverbs 3:5-6).

It is possible to live a joy-filled life, if we change the way we look at trials. They are actually an adventure in the Lord. If we look through our spiritual eyes of understanding, we will see His mighty hand removing every mountain that hinders us, even in the worst of situations, to give us a positive outcome (Romans 8:28). God works in us as we walk in the Spirit throughout the day. 

No one who waits for God’s direction will end up humiliated or defeated. Only those who refuse to walk in His Will shall experience shame and defeat. He shows His Saints His ways and He teaches us how to walk on His paths. We hope in Him every moment of every day (Psalm 25:3-5). We trust that His ultimate plan provides for our advantages. Our only true salvation is from the Lord (Jonah 2:9).


Prayer:
Father God, when our soul – our thoughts, decisions and feelings – feel fearful and weary, if we remember to focus on You, to seek Your face and to pray, You will hear us from Your Holy Hill. We no longer cling to human reason and resources. We no longer forsake Your loving kindness by rejecting Your invitation to live in You. We live in thanksgiving for who You are and all You do for us throughout our life (Jonah 2:7-9).



Thought for the Day:
There is no one like Our God. He is mighty in power and we revere Him. He is the true and might King over every single nation for all time. – Jeremiah 10:6-7