Monday, June 30, 2014

Comfort for the Oppressed


God cares about the abused and the oppressed. He loves the mistreated, but He abhors our affliction. He gathers our tears in His bottle and records them in His journal (Psalm 56:8). He promises not to hide His face from us when we cry out to Him, and He champions our cause (Psalm 22:24, 140:12). He redeems the soul of the afflicted from deceit and violence, and our blood is precious in His sight (Psalm 72:14).

The Lord hates those who love violence and promises to punish them (Psalm 11:5; Zephaniah 1:9). He is wearied by the violence in homes and those who make excuses for divorcing their mate, whom they should be protecting (Malachi 2:16). God promises to lift up the distressed above those who try to hurt them and to deliver them from violent people (Psalm 18:48; Psalm 27:5-6). 

Even verbal abuse is dealt with when God inspires Solomon to write, “violence covers the mouth of the wicked” (Proverbs 10:6,11). Jesus equates anger without a cause as murder, and He speaks out against verbal abuse (Matthew 5:21-22). He makes things right and provides the afflicted with a refuge from oppression and trouble (Psalm 9:9; 103:6). He brings down the haughty evil person and saves the afflicted (2 Samuel 22:28).

God gives us hope and a secure future (Jeremiah 29:11). Our weeping may endure for the night, but God gives us joy in the morning (Psalm 30:5). Because we know the name of the Lord, we put our trust in Him. He will never forsake those who seek Him. We end up singing praises to His name for what He does for us and we tell everyone who will listen about what God did for us (Psalm 9:9-11).

Father God, even if we walk through the shadow of death, we have nothing to fear. You are with us and You give us support and protection, as well as correction if we are causing our own misfortune (Psalm 23:4). Even though the righteous may suffer many afflictions, You deliver us out of them all (Psalm 34:19). You order our steps, and even if we fall, we are never completely cast down, because You hold us up with Your hand (Ps 37:23-24). Remind us to bear one another burdens (Galatians 6:2) and to encourage each other in our times of distress (Hebrews 12:12).

Thought for the Day:
Jesus is our rock, fortress and deliverer in whom we can take refuge. He is our shield and the horn of our salvation, our stronghold. - Psalm 18:2

Sunday, June 29, 2014

In Constant Union with Christ


Here is a fun exercise for you. Whenever you remove produce from your grocery bag or eat the fruit from a vine, remember that you too are a branch on the Vine, producing similar fruit for God’s Kingdom. Let it remind you that we are as dependent on the Vine as the vegetable or fruit was, which you are preparing to eat.

God grafts us into the Vine of Christ when we humble our self and admit that we need Jesus as our Savior. We are reciprients of the work of Christ on Calvary’s cross. He is our Vine, and we are His branches. A vine takes the nutrients from the soil and sends them to the branches. Our Vine separates the nutrients from the compost of life and sends it directly to our spirit.

The branch does not walk off by itself, but is absolutely dependent on the Vine. All Born Again Believers have this same constant union with our Vine. Nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:31-39). The sap never, ever stops flowing into the branch. It provides everything we need for every moment of our life. This is the secret of our true success.

Branches participate in this process too. We have the leaves, which  take time to bask in the Son and collect the nutrients from His presence. We reflect His beauty and holiness to the world around us. If the branch gets the idea it does not need the Vine, it will wither and die. The Holy Spirit uses the fruit of the Vine, which grows in our life, to benefit those who need the life of Christ within us.

Father God, You are our Vinedresser. You protect us from disease, insect invaders and scorching trials, which Satan sends into our life. You provide the supplements we need to grow into vibrant branches on the Vine of Your Son. You make us fruitful (Galatians 5:22-23) in order to bless those You bring our way. Send people to pick the fruit You produce in our life and remind us to generously share Your work in our life with them.

Thought for the Day:
We abide in the Vine in total dependence. Apart from Him, we can do nothing. - John 15:5

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Struggles in Life


Why do we struggle so hard in life as a Christian? Isn’t God supposed to make a difference in our life? Where is He when we need him? Why does He let bad things happen to me and my family? Do you ever feel this way? You are not alone; many people do. In fact, even the Israelites, God’s chosen people, had a bone to pick with God now and then.

There are only two answers to these questions. It is really very simple. Are you seeking God so that He can bless your life while you live out your plans and goals? Are you entertaining sin in your life? Then God simply cannot bless you. The other answer is that you are experiencing a trial and God’s miracle is just around the corner.

The only way to experience the intimate love, the serene peace or the unlimited joy promised to us in the Bible is to live life God’s way. When we realize that we are living for our self, we repent of every sin and we wake up each morning entirely at God’s disposal. We apply for the job He directs us to take. We eat the foods He prompts us to eat.

We avoid the sin that He warns us is trying to tempt us. We humbly and sincerely ask, “Lord, lead me to do Your will each moment of this day.” Then we wait patiently, listening with our inner ear to His promptings in our spirit. This opens the windows of heaven’s blessings on our life. When we live in absolute surrender to God’s will, even trials and tragedies work out for our good (Romans 8:28).

We enjoy a constant flow of provision in body, soul and spirit; the guidance of the Holy Spirit; and an intimate relationship with Christ in us. We do not always have what we want, because God knows that it will not be good for us. However, we do have many more blessings in every area of our life than we deserve and shows us deeper levels of holiness and intimacy with Him.

Father God, reveal to us the areas of our life, which are not in one accord with Your will for our life. Lead us to deeper, higher and wider intimacy with You than we ever experienced before. Help us to realize that Your anointed Son lives in us and provides us with love, joy and peace in the midst of overwhelming circumstances. Thank You for giving Yourself so completely to us; and help us to totally surrender every area of our life to You.

Thought for the Day:
The only true need in our life is to depend upon God’s Spirit to keep us in the presence of God each moment of every day.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Intimate Communication with God


There is no relationship available in this life that is more precious and fulfilling than our union with Creator God. We abide in Christ, and He abides in us (John 15:4). We can live in abiding fellowship with Christ every moment of our life. We are much too occupied with busy work, which Satan supplies for us to do. Much of it is religious too, and we get sidetracked into thinking we are working for the Lord.

We are actually producing more human flesh, the stench of which makes God sick to His stomach (Revelation 3:16-18). We all have to earn a living in this world, but we can do our job by the power of God’s Spirit. This occurs as we submit each moment to God and listen to Him as He directs our steps (Proverbs 3:5-6). Our soul clings to Jesus and rests in Him all day and night, even as we sleep.

Heaven’s Joy lives in and through us. The goal is for us to bypass our brain and our natural inclinations in our soul, and to function instead from our inner life in our spirit where we abide with Christ. Close, personal contact with Christ is a necessity for authentic Christians. Once we connect with the Spirit of God, His fruit flows through our life. We have close fellowship with Christ through the Spirit.

A life of absolute surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the leadership of His Holy Spirit is one of abiding love, joy and peace. God can do with us as He sit us on a shelf, to use us at His banqueting table, to put us in the darkest mood or the foulest disease, or to send us to the far reaches of the world or right here at home.

No matter where we are, we are never alone. Christ lives in us and loves to hang out and enjoy our undistracted fellowship; and, sometimes, even our companionable silence. We not only set aside time each day to pray, but we pray without ceasing in unbroken communion with Him each moment of the day about everything that we are thinking and doing.

Father God, just as Jesus gave His life and death entirely to You, we desire to follow in His footsteps. We completely and absolutely surrender to Your will and we seek Your pleasure above all else. Our greatest joy is to live entirely for You. We have no will or interest apart from Your will for us. Lord, bring everything in our life in complete harmony with the Blessed Vine of Christ.

Thought for the Day:
Live in total consecration to the will of God for your life.
– Ephesians 2:10

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Spiritual Fruit I Would Choose

Did you ever notice that the fruit of the Spirit are all characteristics of a servant? If I were picking fruit, I would have chosen traits like perseverance, wisdom, courage and strength. These would come in handy in life more often than not. However, these are all qualities, which help us to serve our self. God, in His wisdom, chose humble attributes for us.

The fruit of the Spirit are: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Gentleness, Goodness, Meekness, Self-Control and Faith (Galatians 5:22-23). You can see how they would produce a very fine servant?

These traits mean:
Love – affection for others
Joy – exuberance about life
Peace – serenity
Patience – willingness to stick with it
Gentleness – compassion from the heart
Goodness – kindness that pervades our entire being
Faith – trust that God knows what He’s doing
Meekness – humility and service
Self-Control – guided by the Spirit

The Bible describes characteristics of the flesh, which are the opposite of God’s fruit: envy, strife, hatred, self-centeredness, criticism, worry, depression, pride, bitterness, complainers, quitters, backbiters, lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful, those who invent ways of doing evil, and people who put work and fun ahead of God (2 Timothy 3:2; Romans 1:30).

We can focus on replacing hatred with love, discontentment with peace, irritation with patience, criticism with gentleness, backbiting with goodness, worry with faith, pride with meekness, and depression with true joy, as we are controlled and guided by the Spirit of God.

Father God, thank You for Your fruit and for faithfully healing us of the wounds in our life, which cause us to exhibit negative, fleshly characteristics in our life. We always feel so repentant when we do. It is good for us to humble our self and to apologize to those we offend. Thank You also for Your gifts, which You give us for the common good of Your Body. A message of wisdom or knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, prophecy and preaching, discerning of spirits, tongues and interpretation of tongues. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit who distributes these gifts to each one as He sees fit (1 Corinthians 12:1-11).

Thought for the Day:
God always provides us with wisdom when we ask for it. - James 1:5


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Flowing from Our Union


God calls us to live as Spirit-filled Believers (Ephesians 5:18). This starts when we receive the Holy Spirit at salvation (Romans 8:9). A renewal of His fresh anointing in us each day allows rivers of life to flow from within us  (John 7:38). This Holy Ghost power enhances our life and empowers our ministry for God’s Kingdom.

Sin clogs the communication between us and God and it grieves the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). Therefore, we confess every sin, great and small, on a daily basis. The Spirit leads us to live a consecrated life and to put down addictions and vices, which cripple us. Even an unkind word, a fit of temper, an unscrupulous act or a little white lie are all things we deal with on occasion.

Staying confessed of our sins humbles our flesh and gives us greater victory over those sins the next time Satan tempts us with them. Humility allows us to willingly surrender our day for God’s purpose. Of course, we must go to work to earn a living, but we can do our job directed by God’s Spirit. This way, we accomplish more and are in the right place at the right time to live out God’s will for us.

We are branches on the Vine of Christ (John 15:5). Consider a branch. It does not work or stress or struggle. It simply rests in the vine. That is the life God prepared for us. We rest in Christ and His life flows through us and nurtures us. When we bear fruit for Christ, it does not separate us from Him, but flows from our union with Him.

Our ministry is not a drain or wearisome, but a natural outpouring of the nutrients from the Vine to the branch. Ministry does not rob us of time for prayer, but is the result of prayer and our union with the Vine. The Spirit strengthens us with might from within (Ephesians 3:16). He anoints us to accomplish God’s will for our day. He blesses us with perfect peace, rest, joy and strength.

Father God, as branches of the Vine we are absolutely dependant upon the life of Christ flowing through us. You are the Vinedresser and You prune us so that can bear more fruit (John 15:1; 15:8). You know just where to separate us from the aspects of our life that are dead wood and preventing our fruitfulness.

Thought for the Day:
The branch depends on the vine for everything.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Fathomless Tranquility


The life of the authentic Christian is one of complete dependence on God. This dependence develops a deep restfulness that permeates every area of our life. There is no reason to struggle and strive in life. When stress tries to overwhelm us, we can go to our solid Rock who is higher, stronger and more stable than we are and find rest for our soul (Psalm 61:2).

God gives us a firm footing on which to walk in this unstable world in which we live (Psalm 37:23; 40:2). He makes our path level so we do not stumble or fall (Isaiah 26:7). He guards our feet. It is not by strength that we prevail, but by the power of God in our life (1 Samuel 2:9). When we hide God’s Word in our heart, our feet do not slip as we work to increase the Kingdom of God by His Spirit’s direction (Psalm 37:31; 66:9).

We do not use obnoxious gimmicks in ministry, but we simply present the gospel in a kind manner to whomever will give us their time to listen. It is not our responsibility to make anyone believe. They come only as the Holy Spirit draws them (John 6:44). However, it is our responsibility to go into the entire world and to make disciples for Christ of anyone who wants the blessings and relationship we have with Him.

The Vine and branch is such a special, reciprical relationship mutually benefitting one another; and we rest in our union with the Vine. He is also the Potter, we are the clay; and we rest in His hands as He molds us into a vessel of His choosing. Another analogy is that He is the Head and we are His Body. Our body never moves unless our mind tells us to do so. This is the same as with our relationship with God.

We depend on God entirely for our every need. The deeper our union, the more we listen to His Spirit. We never move unless He directs. Our love for Him and our passion for winning the lost and growing His Body increases with each passing day. The days get sweeter and even in negative circumstances, we maintain the positive attitude, which faith provides.

Lord Jesus, we sit at Your feet and learn from you, just as Mary did when she chose the wiser part in your visit to Your friends’ home (Luke 10:39). We bask in the peace and rest, which increases in us as our knowledge of You and relationship with You increases. We give you all of our anxieties, because You care for us (1 Peter 5:7). Give us Your divine promises, love and abilities in order to affect a change in our world. 

Thought for the Day:
We rest in our relationship with God and move only as He directs.

Monday, June 23, 2014

No Longer a Sinner


We were all sinners at one time; but as Born Again Believers, that is in the past tense. That is no longer our spiritual identity. We are now saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8-9). God calls us Saints (Ephesians 2:19; Psalm 31:23). This word means “holy one.” If we call our self a sinner, we may focus on sin and fall into sin. If we realize that we are Saints, we will focus on holiness and live a life set apart for Christ.

Who we are is what determines what we do. If I am a miner, I will mine. If I am a seamstress, I will sew. If I am a mechanic, preacher, teacher, laborer, sales get the picture. Since I am a Saint, I will live a holy life unto the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:10). We may still fall to temptation and sin, but it is as a Saint not as a sinner, because we no longer live in a lifestyle of sin.

We often want to change our circumstances; however, God put them here for our edification, admonition and education. Do not struggle so hard against the areas of your life, which you do not like (Acts 26:14). God allows circumstances into our life, not to punish us, or to force us to do something we do not want to do, but to enlarge our borders (1 Chronicles 4:10) and to equip us to help others who come to us in their time of need (Luke 22:31-34).

God will create a clean heart in us (Psalm 51:10). We are coheirs with Christ and we inherit all of God’s promises with Him (Romans 8:17; Hebrews 6:12; 2 Peter 1:3-4). We can trust God to keep us in the palm of His hand and to continue to perfect us as His chosen priesthood and royal nation regardless of what is going on in our life (1 Peter 2:9; Isaiah 49:16).

Father God, teach us to live in the awareness of Your calling on our life (Ephesians 2:10), so that we can walk according to Your will for our life. Help us to accept with joy what You provide for us, the good, the bad and the ugly. You always supply what we really need, even if it is a trial. As we prove faithful over the little things, You will give us charge over much (Matthew 25:21-23). 

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

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Blessings of Relationship

The world in which we live has values, which they hold dear. People in our world judge each person according to their worldly standards. 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 cannot earn the world’s respect and admiration, although we will earn God’s 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 purpose for each of us too. It is up to us whether or not we fulfill His desire for our life (Ephesians 2:10). We may not reach world fame, but God will say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Our self-righteous attempts to please God with our natural efforts and accomplishments are worthless. They give off the terrible stench of human nature as we offer it to the Lord (Isaiah 64:6). It is not pleasing to Him, because He only accepts the sacrifices of those who rely only on the righteousness of Christ for their salvation (Romans 3:22). In God’s eyes, our good deeds are nothing more than dirty rags (Isaiah 64:6).

We cannot earn salvation or justification by our works (Titus 3:5-7). 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 possess His righteousness as our own (2 Corinthians 5:21). Then, we radiate the love and light of Christ to the world around us.

Father God, we live in Your joy and take pleasure in each moment of our relationship with You. Christ is our only life (Colossians 3:4). Remind us to allow You to use us to bring reconciliation to the world around us (2 Corinthians 5:11-21). Many people will reject our message and may even reject us. However, You will delight in our ways. Remind us to use all of the resources You have given us, not for our own advancement in life, but to further Your Kingdom in the earth (Luke 16:1-18).

Thought for the Day:
If I think I am somebody, then God is not everything to me; but when I realize that I am nothing, God becomes my all in all. That is when He fully reveals Himself to me.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Yielding to God's Holy Spirit


Christians today are far from the Biblical norm of what we should be. We have no concept of what life is like when it is controlled and guided by God’s Spirit. We take too active a role in our life and we make our own plans instead of checking with God about His plans for us (Ephesians 2:10). We get our self stuck up a tree or circling the same mountain in life and then we get discouraged and grow weary.

We end up grieving God’s Spirit (Ephesians 4:30) by our thoughts, words and deeds. We dishonor God’s name by walking with one foot in the world and one foot in the Spirit. We walk with diminished spiritual power because we focus more on the fleshly concerns in our life than on the spiritual and eternal.

We have so much self-confidence, self-centeredness, self-reliance and self-sufficiency that there is no room for God. We are like the foolish Galatians (Galatians 3:1-3) attempting to please God by our human efforts. This type of lifestyle comes from the flesh and the flesh stinks in the nostrils of God (Acts 8:22-24). God’s power is available to every Born Again is yours.

His Spirit wants to sanctify us and enable us to walk in God’s will every moment of every day. God continually eliminates our human strength, confounds our human wisdom and limits our human abilities in every area of life until we get tired of trying to live life apart from Him. We end up in complete shame and emptiness, lost and undone.

If we call on God’s mercy and grace, He cleanses us from all unrighteousness and helps us to walk in newness of life (1 John 1:9). This is when the blessings of God start to fall If you find yourself failing or discouraged or overwhelmed in life, you can be sure you are out of God’s will. Stop and pray. Center yourself in the mind of Christ and ask God for His direction. Then, yield to God’s Holy Spirit.

Father God, show us the futility of living life from our own wisdom and strength. Remind us to seek You first before we do anything, make any plans or set any goals. Allow us to see Your hand in every area of our life, to feel Your love overflowing in our heart, to have Your strength to accomplish everything that You calls us to do and to yield to Your Spirit each moment of the day.

Thought for the Day:
When God calls us to perform some function in His will, we find our self in the happiest place on earth.


Friday, June 20, 2014

The Power of the Trinity


The only way to have the power of God’s Spirit in our life is to spend time with God all throughout the day. Seek Him first before you make any decision and He will direct your steps (Proverbs 3:5-6). Serving God from our own self-effort is useless. God already planned works for us to do before we were ever born, and He wants us to function in them (Ephesians 2:10).

Sin breaks our fellowship with God. We do not have the spiritual support or power of the Trinity when we sin. If we attempt to use our flesh to perfect our flesh, we will certainly spin our wheels and end up frustrated. Every sin is from the flesh and widens the gap between God and us, because it grieves His Spirit. 

God’s Spirit is in the transforming business. The church at Pentecost started by the unction of the Holy Spirit and that is the only way we can function today too. We must be Spirit-led. The Spirit deals with one area of our life at a time. Negative emotions are a red flag to alert us to something wrong in our life. Take that negative emotion to God and ask Him to show you the real underlying cause of it. 

We may have a need that we can meet for our self. There is nothing wrong with this. Maybe we need to repent of sin, or ask for God’s healing if we are sick in body or soul, or change our focus about the issue or to realize that we are clinging to the flesh or serving an idol in our life. As we humble our self before the mighty hand of God, He will exalt us in His due time (James 4:10).

Father God, our human nature takes the path of least resistance. We do not want to do hard things. We want life handed to us and for everything to work out perfectly without any effort on our part. Life never works out perfectly. Our only hope of success is to draw near to You and submit to the working of Your Spirit within us. You give us both the desire and the power to serve You (Philippians 2:12-12).

Thought for the Day:
If we wait upon the Holy Spirit to come with His omnipotent will and anointed power, we will see great things happen by His hand in our own lives and in the life of our churches.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Growing in Christ


When we come to Christ for salvation, our desire to sin wanes over the next few weeks and months. In some people, it disappears completely right away. Others have sins that easily overcome their resolve to live a holy life; and it takes them longer to surrender those desires to the sanctifying work of God’s Spirit.

Eventually, we come to a place of total surrendered to God’s will. We are so tired of reaping the consequences of our decisions that we decide to trust God instead. We struggle to learn to pray, thinking we must use a specific formula, not knowing we can converse with Him as we do our best friend.

We gradually learn that Father God really does know best and that He has our best interest in His heart and will for our life (Jeremiah 29:11). Gradually, our thoughts turn more toward eternal, spiritual matters than to carnal, earthly issues. We view our problems from God’s perspective. We live to please Him rather than our self or someone else.

God’s everlasting arms and eternal grace lift us ever higher above the negative issues of life. Even in the most horrendous circumstances, we maintain a positive attitude and outlook by faith in Him. His thoughts become our thoughts and we perceive the issues of life from a Biblical worldview.

We abide in Christ and walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-25; Colossians 2:6), living according to the grace of God. We see His merciful hand in every area of our life. Our fears and doubts gradually subside and we adopt more and more of the mind and faith of Christ as our own (Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 2:16).

Father God, as joint heirs with Christ, we inherit all things that You prepared for us before the world ever began. You provided Adam and Eve with Paradise and wanted them to enjoy the blessings there forever. However, their pride and self-will fell to Satan’s temptations and they lost Paradise for us all. Thank You that Jesus died to redeem us and to restore to us everything Satan stole from Adam and Eve.

Thought for the Day:
No issue in life is really our problem to solve; it is merely an opportunity for God to prove His miraculous love for us.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Purpose for Our Life

God fearfully and wonderfully made each one of us and knit our body together in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:14). Most people forget that we are actually made from the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7). People rise from the dust and take many shapes and sizes. But like the mountains, our destiny is to rise into the Heavenlies.

God made each of us with various personalities, gifts, talents, assets and peculiarities. However, we all have one thing in common: we need Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. God has a plan for each of our lives, and once we come to Christ, He reveals it to us one moment at a time (Ephesians 2:10).

When they hear the Good News of the Gospel, some people indifferently walk away, others vehemently reject the message and sometimes even the messenger, then a few actually accept the sacrifice Christ made for all of us on Calvary’s cross. Aligning our life with the will of God brings us fulfilling love, peace and joy.

We live a more positive life, successful in all the areas that matter with family, friends and the necessities of life provided. We are able to share these blessings with those less fortunate than we are. We share with them the source of our faith too and encourage them to trust in Jesus completely for their present and future life.

Father God, reveal Your purpose for our life in such a way that we cannot possibly misunderstand or walk away from it. Give us Your wisdom and help us to follow Your Spirit when we have decisions to make. We seek You and Your strength, we seek Your presence continually (Psalm 105:4).

Thought for the Day:

Even Creation, which God made for mankind to enjoy, constantly honors the Lord and eagerly waits for the revealing of the Sons of God. – Revelation 4:11; Romans 8:19

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Looking Through God's Eyes

God is everywhere and in all things (Ephesians 4:6). His presence is around us, even when we do not pay attention to it. He lives IN us and is closer to us and knows us better than we know our own self. Yet, we spend most of the day ignoring Him. Those of us who are too self-reliant to depend on God, find our self in more trouble than we can handle.

With pride, comes our fall (Proverbs 16:18). God resists the proud, who are too self-sufficient to lean on Him (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5). We are drowning in our problems and continually have to face the fact that we can’t; but, God can. With humility comes more grace. As we submit to His direction with a humble heart, God draws near to us.

We all suffer in this life, but God always works everything out for our good (Romans 8:28). God uses our problems to show His glory (John 9:2-3). He reveals the issues of life to us from His perspective rather than our own earthly one, and we can deal with them through the power of the Holy Spirit within us. God actually cares about every aspect of our life.

Solomon told us to trust in the Lord with our whole heart, and not to depend on our human understanding. He advises us to seek the Lord with our entire being and to acknowledge God in whatever we are doing (Proverbs 3:5-6). We can to consult God about which direction to take, which decision to make, which person to speak to, what color to purchase and even what groceries to buy for that week. Father knows best.

Father God, our life on earth is a momentary affliction compared to the glories You prepared for us in Heaven. Your paths lead us through the sea, Your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen (Psalms 77:14, 19b). Give us the lens of Your mercy and grace in order to view our problems; so that we can have Your perspective on it all.

Thought for the Day:

God has an eternal perspective and He sees what is best for all of us throughout eternity, and not just for life on this earth.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Balancing the Soul and Spirit


Our spirit, the third entity of our existence (body, soul, spirit), is originally dead in sin, until we repent and come to Christ as our Savior. This starts a gradual process of total surrender to God’s will for our life. We no longer follow our heart, but listen to God’s Spirit instead (Jeremiah 17:9). The Spirit keeps us grounded and focused in comparison to the fickle and wayward emotions, which guided us in the past.

At salvation, Christ unites us with Himself in one Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17; John 17:11, 20-23). Then, God’s Spirit fills us with His fruit (Galatians 5:22-23). We have a more peaceful and secure life now. Our spirit is filled with love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, meekness, self-control and faith, regardless of the emotions presenting in our soul. We can take the emotional wounds of our soul to Christ and allow His Spirit to exchange them with His fruit through our spirit.

Sometimes we still allow our soul’s emotions to dominate over God’s spiritual fruit in our spirit and to dictate our behavior. This is a common human malady. One of the goals of our Christian walk, however, is to surrender our soul’s emotions to God and then to walk in the Spirit and to express the fruit of God’s Spirit. Our spirit is not angry or depressed, our soul is. It is not hypocritical to be joyful, even when we feel depressed, or to show love to someone we feel anger toward.

This is part of the higher calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14). We cannot produce the fruit of the Spirit, only God can, but we must choose to exhibit them rather than negative emotions. We do this by walking in the Spirit all day long. Our spirit is always exhibiting the nature of Christ, the fruit of God’s Spirit, and can overcome the negative feelings in our soul

Negative feelings are a direct sign that we are not taking care of our soul. We feed our body food all day long, and we study the Bible to feed our spirit, but our soul needs care too. We do this by paying attention to how we feel. Then, use the Serenity Prayer Principle. If you can fix the situation causing your soul stress, fix it. If not, then submit that need or feeling to God for Him to heal or to fulfill.

Father God, our spirit is eternal and connects with Your Spirit in our inner man (2 Corinthians 4:16), our true spiritual self. You deliver us from the power of darkness and open the door for us into the Kingdom of Your Son (Colossians 1:13). We are Your emissaries to the world in which we live. Your love flows like a river through us to those You place around us. Remind us that our self-life is dead and we no longer live, but Christ lives in and through us (Galatians 2:20).

Thought for the Day:
God cares for us abundantly more than we could ever ask or think (Ephesians 3:20-21). He will meet the needs in our soul.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Emotions of Our Soul

God made human beings as a trinity, much as He is. The soul is one of the most spectacular parts of this trinity (body, soul, spirit). The soul includes our thoughts, decisions and emotions. These aspects of the human life are amazing when you consider the depth and ramifications of each of them. Our mind is an impressive, intricate physical organ made up of chemical charges and cells, which store every single word and event that ever occurs in our life.

God gave us so many emotions. Each main emotion branches off into dozens of nuances. Take anger for instance. Anger can be expressed in tones from mild annoyance all the way to extreme and violent rage. Here are some other emotions, which come in between these two extremes:

Soft Anger 
Annoyed, Frustrated, Cross, Apathetic, Peeved, Irritated, Cranky, Crabby, Bored, Impatient, Critical, Cold, Displeased, Rankled, Detached, Indifferent

Medium Anger 
Angry, Mad, Offended, Antagonized, Bristling, Sarcastic, Aggravated, Arrogant, Indignant, Inflamed, Affronted, Resentful, Incensed, Exasperated, Riled up

Intense Anger
Hostile, Aggressive, Livid, Outraged, Furious, Belligerent, Hateful, Appalled, Bitter, Ranting, Raving, Contemptuous, Disgusted, Vengeful, Vindictive, Violent, Irate, Menacing, Seething, Vicious, Spiteful

See what I mean! Feelings are aroused by verbal and physical signals, which we receive from stimuli, such as photos, nature scenes, people, pets, etc all throughout our day. Even inanimate objects like a car, jet plane or places elicit emotions from our soul.

The problem is that we often base our choices and decision on feelings. They are transitory and temporary at best, but the selections we make because of how we feel affect us for the rest of our life. God replaces our negative responses with the fruit of His Spirit. He calls us to temper our emotional responses with spiritual direction from His Spirit.

Father God, we have emotions that are so intense at times that we do not know what to do with them. We erupt in a negative emotion or wallow in self-pity and depression because we feel so overwhelmed. Help us to submit our soul to You for sanctification and to come to Your Spirit to receive Your fruit (Galatians 5:22-23), the character of Christ, in place of our negative human emotions.

Thought for the Day:
God’s Spirit replaces our negative attributes with His positive fruit. - Galatians 5:22-23

For more info on other emotions, see this page: