Saturday, January 31, 2015

Free Indeed







As a child of God, we can dwell in His presence, through our connection with the sacrifice of His Son. We can also fellowship with Him and hear His voice (Revelation 3:20). We have access to the Most Holy Place any time day or night (Hebrews 4:16), and we can stand against Satan's wiles regardless of the circumstance in which we find our self (Psalm 139:8).

Circumstances from our past frequently disturb our daily life now. We have dreams, nightmares, fleeting memories or an ache in our soul, which we cannot explain. We fear facing these distant experiences and we do not realize that they will continue to haunt us until we uncover Satan's lie in the midst of them, and hear God's truth about them.

These memories continue to effect every moment of our life, even if we refuse to consciously think about them. They fuel our current emotions and cause us to over-react to a minor incident. We can unburden our soul of these negative emotions by allowing God to search our heart, to reveal to us our anxious thoughts, and to free us from Satan's bondage over our past (Psalm 139:23-24).

God's truth is our lamp and light and it searches our mind and emotions (Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 20:27). God's Spirit leads us into all truth (John 16:13). If we are open to facing the lies Satan planted in our past, and are willing to take the time to listen to God's truth about those experiences, He shall set us free indeed (John 8:36).( www.theophostic.com )

Prayer:
Father God, help us to sit quietly before You and to receive Your healing from the lies Satan planted in our past. Speak to us by Your Spirit to set us free from his bondage in our soul. We thank You for wanting us to walk in Your truth and for making this a possibility in our life. Heal us from the buried secrets of our past, which affect every moment of our life until we allow You to shed Your light on them, to share Your truth to us about them and to set us free.

Thought for the Day:
The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in every Believer and wants to set us free to serve and worship God in spirit and in truth. - Romans 8:11; John 4:24

Friday, January 30, 2015

God's Eternal Gifts

 

 

Salvation in Christ is a tremendous free gift, which includes many other gifts. Not only did Jesus save us from paying the penalty of our sins, but He also gave us eternal life and the right to live with Him in New Jerusalem (Romans 5:8, 6:23). This makes us children of almighty God and co-heirs with Jesus of all that our Father possesses (Ezekiel 36:25; Galatians 4:4, 5:19).

New Jerusalem is a city filled with many mansion-sized rooms and is a 1500-mile cube. Jesus went back to heaven in order to prepare this place, so that He can dwell physically throughout eternity with every authentic, Born Again Believer from all the ages (Hebrews 11:10-12:22; Revelation 3:12, 21:10). This city will come down from Heaven, and most likely be in the area of Jerusalem in the Middle East.

Until then, God gives us the gifts of Christ to dwell in us through His Holy Spirit (John 14:15-17), His Word to enlighten us (Psalm 119:105), and His Body of Believers to encourage us (1 Corinthians 12:27). God's Spirit speaks through an impression in our spirit to direct our every step through life, to comfort us and allow us to accomplish the work He created us to perform (Ephesians 2:10). We shall live as the bride of Christ forever (Isaiah 61:10; Revelation 21:9).

God provides for our every need (Psalm 55:22; 1 Peter 5:7; Philippians 4:19; 1 Peter 1:3), He liberally gives us His wisdom (James 1:5), and He comforts our soul through every trial in life, turning them around for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28). God collects our tears in a bottle and once His wrath is full, He will pour out His vengeance on a wicked earth full of those who rejected Him and persecuted His Saints (Psalm 56:8; Revelation 14:10).

Prayer:
Father God, You know how to give good gifts to those who ask You (James 1:17; Matthew 7:11). We are humbled by Your love for us now, and for Your provision for us even into eternity. You will restore to us the perfect environment, which You provided for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). We will have immortal bodies, a never-dying soul and our spirit's connection with You (1 Corinthians 15:53; Luke 16:19-31 - his body was in the grave, his soul and spirit experienced hell). Help us to bring as many people into this same right standing with You as we can possibly reach during our lifetime. Help us to be a city set on hill, which allows Your light to shine though us (Matthew 5:14-16).

Thought for the Day:
The Kingdom of God has nothing to do with carnal pursuits, but everything to do with living righteously in the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit. - Romans 14:17





Thursday, January 29, 2015

Our Heavenly Daddy





Living as a friend of God is so peaceful and satisfying (John 15:15). No matter what our lot in life, we are fulfilled, because the God of the universe loves us (John 3:16, 15:14). We are God's adopted children and He loves us so much that He did not spare His only begotten Son, but freely gave Him as the perfect sacrifice for our sins (Romans 8:32). We are co-heirs with Christ of the entire Kingdom of God.

If we strive each day to obtain the things of this world for our self and our family, we waste our time. A fire or an act of nature could destroy everything we worked so hard to attain. We were born with no earthly goods and we will die without them too. However, we can never lose Godliness and contentment, which are our two greatest assets for living a fulfilled life (1 Timothy 6:6-8; 1 Thessalonians 5:18).

God accepts us just the way we are and He has a perfect plan for our life (Ephesians 2:9-10). All condemnation and shame come from Satan's lies (Romans 8:1, 34). God will convict us of sin or discipline us when we stray from the straight and narrow path; but this is to protect us from the ravages of sin and the separation from His holiness, which sin causes (Matt 7:13-14; Romans chapters 5-8).

A daily quiet time with God allows us to immerse our spirit and soul in His Word. His promises comfort us, His prophecies inform us and His dealings in the lives of Biblical Saints encourage us. God's Words give us wisdom for living and fortitude to face life's trials. Godly contentment prevents life's stresses from killing us. Our Heavenly Daddy wants to pour His love, joy and peace over us like a waterfall.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You that we do not have to earn Your love or keep a list of do's and don'ts in order to please You. Give us a fresh filling of Your Spirit each day, so we can walk in Your Spirit and not fulfill the lusts of our flesh (Galatians 5:15-25). Draw us ever closer to Your loving heart and remind us to be still, so that we can experience You as our protective and generous Heavenly Daddy (Psalm 46:10). We give You praise, glory and honor for the multitude of blessings You pour out on us each and every day.

Thought for the Day:
Jesus willingly gave His life, so that we can be the friends and adopted children of our Heavenly Daddy. - Galatians 3:26

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Pampered Life





A visiting woman to our congregation said to me, "It is quite obvious that you have lived a pampered life." I was amazed that she would say that, but realized that since she does not know me, she was basing her assumption on the peace of God filling every cell in my body, soul and spirit - His peace, which transcends human understanding and shines from the inside out for all to see.

Through every trial, every physical infirmity and abuse, every physical and emotional rejection (1 Timothy 5:8; Malachi 2:14), and every moment of insecurity and fear through which I have lived, I have become a person who clings to and relies on Jesus Christ for my very life. I have not had a pampered life in the natural, but I can honestly agree with her that my Heavenly Father spoils me rotten.

Of course, many people endure hardships much greater than I have, and rise from them to live positive, productive lives without Christ; although, they are never completely fulfilled, because their spirit is still dead in sin. I owe the person that I am today to the sanctifying work of Christ in my life (Philippians 3:8). There is no good thing in me or in my character that did not come from God (Romans 7:18).

God replaced my melancholy personality with the fruit of His Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23); He taught me through experience that every trial is a seed for a miracle, which He will work out for my good (Romans 8:28); and He gave me the courage to trust in Him during times of abuse, abandonment and discouragement.

He showed me that my true identity is in Christ and not in my human personality and abilities (Colossians 1:27); He reminded me that we do not have to earn love, salvation or sanctification, because they are all free gifts from Him (Galatians 3:1-3); and twenty years ago, He gave me a wonderful husband who loves God more than he loves me, and loves me more than he loves himself. All things considered, I really am living a very pampered life!

Prayer:
Father God, I am humbled by Your love in my life. I am so glad that I have eternity to continue to sing praises to You for all that You have done, are doing and promise to do for me. Thank You for never leaving or forsaking me (Hebrews 13:5), and for teaching me to trust You in the good times and the bad, because You always turn everything around for my good (Romans 8:28). You shower me with blessings and prove to me all through the day that I am the apple of Your eye (Psalm 17:8; Zechariah 2:8) and that you cherish me as Your unique child (1 Peter 2:9). Help my testimony of Your goodness in my life to bring many to a saving knowledge of Your love in their life as well.

Thought for the Day:
God's presence in our life delights our soul - our thoughts, choices and feelings; heals our body; nurtures our spirit through each and every day that we dwell on this earth; and finally receives us unto Himself when we pass from this life to dwell in eternity with Him forever. - John 5:24







Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Perpetual Freedom





When we come to Christ, He immediately frees us from the snare of the flesh. Then, He puts His Spirit within us, so that we can inherit God's Kingdom as co-heirs with Christ (Ezekiel 36:25; Galatians 4:4, 5:19). By His grace, God forgives our sins; and as His children we surrender to His Spirit, who crucifies the desires of our flesh, and teaches us to live in and walk in His Spirit (Galatians 5:16-25).

We are filled with the Spirit's fruit and our entire personality and life change for the better (Galatians 5:22-23). Whom the Son sets free lives in perpetual freedom (John 8:36). Anyone who prefers to walk according to the dictates of our flesh is living in disobedience to God and will reap earthly destruction and eternal damnation (1 John 3:4; 2 Thessalonians 1:9).

As authentic Believers, it becomes normal to reject the dictates of our flesh, and to follow the Spirit instead. The more our intimacy with God increases, the less we would think of using our liberty in Christ as an occasion to sin. We prefer to walk in the Spirit, so that we reap God's blessings and please Him with our life (Galatians 5:13).

We cannot perfect our self by our human effort, but according to God's mercy. His Spirit helps us to walk in holiness and to inherit eternal life (Titus 3:3). The more we feed our spirit by Bible study, prayer, fellowship with other Saints and sitting in the presence of God, the stronger our spirit will grow and the more we will live in perpetual freedom (Romans 8:6-7).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for enabling us to walk toward perfection in holiness (1 Peter 1:16). We still make mistakes, but You always give us a choice and a way out of the temptation to sin (1 Corinthians 10:13). When we do fall, we do not allow Satan's condemnation to belittle us. Instead, we submit to the conviction of Your Holy Spirit and we respond in repentance for our sins (Romans 8:1-7). Eventually, sin grieves us and has no more dominion over us (Romans 6:14-18). Thank You for providing Jesus as our atoning sacrifice, as our Savior and as our Lord (1 John 2:2; Romans 10:9; Philippians 2:11).

Thought for the Day:
Living according to the dictates of our flesh is not profitable for us at all; but walking in the Spirit guarantees us a joyful, fulfilled life drenched in love and peace. - John 6:63; Romans 8:6




Monday, January 26, 2015

Loving our Spouse







The joining of two human beings as one is a very difficult prospect (Mark 10:8). The high divorce rate proves that this is often impossible to do. There are basic human needs in each person, some of which were never satisfied in childhood. We carry these needs with us our whole life, trying to find fulfillment for them, even in marriage. 
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs )

When two people marry, they take these needs into this new relationship. If they are incompatible needs or if one person insists on their own needs being met instead of their partner's, there will be conflict in the marriage. However, if the couple is willing to humble themselves and to prefer one another on a daily basis, a happy marriage is possible (Romans 12:10).

Ask your spouse what he/she needs to feel loved. They may not even realize their basic needs, but there is Christian help at the bookstore, counselor's office and online. Words are either power tools of encouragement or lethal weapons of destruction (Proverbs 18:21). It turns out that many people need verbal validation from their spouse to feel loved (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

Others need help with daily chores, which often overwhelm them (Galatians 6:2). Receiving a little love note or a simple gift during each day will help many other spouses to feel loved (1 Thessalonians 2:7-12). Having a meaningful, undistracted conversation, often accompanied by snuggle time, will do wonders for some other relationships (Hebrews 10:24).

The easiest tool to use to ensure peace and harmony in a relationship is to never insist on one's own way. Often, one person will have a need or idea they want to fulfill, but their spouse has a different idea of how to respond to this issue. Neither of you can agree with the other person's assessment, so there is an impasse or a violent argument.

As the popular song recommends, "The road is shorter when we meet in the middle." Rather than focusing on your own needs to the exclusion of your mate's needs, look at the issue from a third perspective. Brainstorm together about the problem or need until you find a solution that is agreeable to both of you. Rather than your Plan A, or your spouse's Plan B, agree on a Plan C that you both feel good about.


Prayer:
Father God, remind us that You joined us as man and woman for the purpose of serving You together with our lives. Help us to prefer one another and to share with each other what you are teaching us every day. In an impasse, remind us that You have a perfect will for this issue or activity in our life. Rather than insisting on our own way, we need to seek You together in order to find Your solution for the problem. We love You and lift You up as Lord and Savior of our life and our marriage.

Thought for the Day:
Today, there are some great resources to help us to maintain an equitable and successful marriage, starting with The Five Love Languages                      ( http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/ ).


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Overcoming Negative Thoughts and Emotions



At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came down to indwell mortal man. He has been here ever since. He is found in the spirit of every authentic Believer. Living according to the leading of God's Spirit, ensures that we will live a fulfilled life. Even in negative circumstances or discouraging trials, we know that God will work them out for our good (Romans 8:28).

God's Spirit helps us to discern which of our thoughts are lies from Satan, and which thoughts are of God. The next time you realize that there is a war going on in your mind, pull out Paul's measuring stick and compare your thoughts with it. Is it true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy? Think only about such things (Philippians 4:8).

Then, throw out all thoughts that do not measure up. When the peace of God, which transcends all earthly circumstances and human understanding, rules in our heart again, we are free of Satan's negative lies (Philippians 4:7). The Lord is always cheering for us, and the devil is always cheering against us; it is up to us to break the tie!      

When we lay aside our former desires for sin and allow God's Spirit to renew our mind, we put on the cloak of righteousness provided for us by Christ's sacrifice on the Cross (Ephesians 4:21-22). We live in holiness and truth in the likeness of God, laying aside all lies and deception from the devil (Ephesians 4:23-25). An attitude of gratitude to God ensures our success in overcoming every negative thought.

Prayer:
Father God, when we have a war going on in our mind, remind us take authority over Satan's kingdom of darkness by saying, “Lord, I thank You for taking authority over Satan in my life, and for revealing to me the root and origin of this lack of peace in my soul. Satan, I take authority over you and all of your demons. I put you and your demons in the hands of the true Lord Jesus Christ. You have no authority in my body, soul, or spirit, because they are bought by the blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary.”

Thought for the Day:
Sit quietly and wait for God to reveal the origin of the negative thoughts in your heart; journal as you listen, to remind you of what God tells you during your prayer time and to give you a future record for what He does in your life.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Enjoying God's Presence



  
Many people tell me that they feel like God left them. They no longer experience the presence and anointing of His Spirit in their life, and they miss that feeling. They want the union with God, which they had during their first experience with salvation. God promises never to leave us (Hebrews 13:5); therefore, in actuality, we leave Him. When we do, it is impossible to feel His presence.

We move away from God in many ways. Those who are Christians in name only will indulge their flesh with no remorse (2 Peter 2:20-22). Our lifestyle choices will often pull us away. False prophets lead others away and distract them from worshiping the one true God, (2 Peter 2:1-19). Some people in crisis pray for salvation, but then reject the Word of Life and turn from walking in righteousness (Romans 13:8-14; Ephesians 2:2).  

King David lost the awareness of God's presence one time too. When He walked away from purity and God's ways, He begged God to help him to overcome his evil heart. He entreated God to restore the joy of His salvation and to renew a Godly spirit in him (Psalm 51:10-12). If we walk in the Spirit, it is much harder to fulfill the desires of our flesh (Galatians 5:16-25). We lose the craving to be around sin or to take part in it.

We see the destruction that sin leads to and we want the blessings of God on our life instead (1 Peter 4:1-5). During the sanctifying process, even if an authentic Believer does not sense God's presence, we are still basking in His blessings. Once we begin walking in the Spirit all of the time, however, we always feel the presence of God. Even if God is silent, we enjoy His company, and we live a life of praise to His name.

Prayer:
Father God, through Your Spirit, You give us hope that we will live with You throughout eternity (Romans 8:22-25). Help us to walk as children of the Light, by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:8; Ephesians 5:8). We want to live in love, just as Christ did by offering Himself as a sacrifice for our sins (Ephesians 5:2; Philippians 3:16-18). Remind us to pray in the Spirit, so that our prayers will be effective (Romans 8:26-28). Thank You for giving us Your Spirit to live in us each and every day.

Thought for the Day:
If we abide in Christ, He abides in us in the same relationship as the branch and the vine, and together we will bear much fruit by His Spirit within us. - John 15:4



Friday, January 23, 2015

All Part of God's Plan






God's wrath over sin fated Jesus to a brutal crucifixion before the creation of the world (Revelation 13:8; 1 Peter 1:20). Jesus became sin for undeserving sinners like us (Isaiah 53:10). As we confess Him before our Father, He becomes our Lord (Philippians 2:11; Isaiah 53:11). His words of life bring us joy (John 15:11). He is our eternal life, and our fulfillment is in His presence both now and in eternity (Psalm 16:11).

When we come to the awesome revelation that not one thing occurs in our life that is not part of God's plan for us, we can relax and go with His flow and follow His directives during each situation, just like Jesus did (1Thessalonians 5:18). This absolute truth allows us to live in His perfect peace. Our joy is no longer affected by our circumstances, but simply by the presence of Christ within us (Colossians 1:27).

During our lifetime our thoughts, words or deeds may cause us to reap negative circumstances, but God even uses this to discipline and mature us as His Saints. The Lord is God, He made us, and we belong to Him (Psalm 100:3). He gave us Jesus as our Way, Truth and Life (Johan 14:6). God never leaves us, so our joy is always complete (Hebrews 13:5; John 15:11).

God calls His children to live with gratitude to Him in our heart in every situation, which life throws at us (James 1:2-5; Hebrews 12:3-13; 1 Peter 2:20-21). Due to God's goodness, mercy and everlasting truth, words of thanksgiving and praise fill all of our days (Psalm 100:5). This gives us continual victory. In our gratitude to Him, we sing songs of praise and we serve Him with His joy as our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

Prayer:
Father God, we always give thanks to You, in the name of Jesus, for everything in our life, even the negative aspects (Ephesians 5:20). You did, You do and You will always do so much for us, for which we thank You. Thank You that Jesus gave His body, broken for our redemption (Luke 22:19). Thank You for Your Holy Spirit, who keeps us from living on this earth as orphans (John 14:18). Thank You for Your presence in our life. We look forward to dwelling with You in eternity (John 17:3).

Thought for the Day:
We live in praise to God, because He promises that He will work out all things, even the negative aspects of our life, for our good. - Romans 8:28

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Our Future with Christ





As you know, Jesus is God; yet, He became a man to pay the penalty for our sins. He endured the cross by keeping His focus on the joy that awaited Him back in Heaven. We too can enjoy this same love and peace, as we keep our mind focused on Him (Isaiah 26:3). Through Christ, everything in the universe was created (Colossians 1:16). His everlasting joy can reside in our heart forever (Psalm 16:11).

God's gifts for us are free and include our ticket to Heaven through the forgiveness of our sin (Romans 6:23). We do not need to earn our own salvation or pay the penalty of our sins (Galatians 2:16). He completes the work in us, which He began on Calvary (Philippians 1:6). Jesus also perfects our faith, as He sits on His throne with God in Heaven (Hebrews 12:2).

God always gives us His grace to avoid temptation and to accomplish the works He created us to do (Ephesians 2:10; 2 Corinthians 9:8). All the grace we need in any and all circumstances are just a prayer away (2 Corinthians 9:8). He also supplies all of our financial, physical, mental and emotional needs in this earthly existence as we walk in His Spirit and obey His Word (Philippians 4:19).

We will all pass from life through death; however, angels escort authentic Believers to the presence of God (Luke 16:22). Our last breath on earth is followed by our next breath in Heaven. We will never sin or die again (Romans 8:21; 1 Corinthians 15:52-53). In eternity, we look forward to serving Christ and having the fullness of His character and divine nature complete in us (2 Corinthians 5:8; 1 John 3:2).

Prayer:
Father God, regardless of the pains and suffering that we endure on this earth, we are assured that You gave us an advocate in Christ (John 16:33; Hebrews 4:15). Thank You for sending Jesus to free us from our debt of sin and to help us to bear the pain of our current situation (2 Corinthians 4:17). We thank You that Christ is in us and is our hope of eternal glory with You (Colossians 1:27). We look forward with great joy to living as a co-heir with Christ of Your entire Kingdom (Romans 8:17).

Thought for the Day:
We will enjoy the presence of God for eternity and our joy will be exceedingly full. - Psalm 43:4; 1 Peter 3:18

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Forgiveness Sets Us Free


 


How do we forgive someone who hurt us? By hearing and following God's advice to love our enemies, to do good to those who hate us, to bless those who curse us and to pray for those who abuse us. When someone takes something from us, we give him/her more of what they want. We treat others the way we want them to treat us (Luke 6:27-31).

Forgiveness does not take the offender off the hook, but it does set us free (Romans 12:19).  Our fellowship with God is broken by unforgiveness and His blessings cannot freely flow into our life. With God’s help, we can gain freedom from Satan’s strongholds in our life as we readily forgive those who hurt us and walk in God's Truth.

We also learn to exhibit patience with other people who mistreat us, because we realize that their behavior comes from their wounded soul. Once we forgive those who hurt or offend us, the fruit from the root of bitterness ~ anger, anxiety, depression, irritability, meanness, pride, indulgence and doubt ~ are pulled out of our soul.

The Holy Spirit can then move into our spirit and plant the seed of His fruit in the place of our old carnal nature. As God's chosen people, His holy ones, we cooperate with God's Spirit and put on the cloak of love, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness and patience. We bear with one another and forgive each other, just as the Lord forgives us (Colossians 3:12-15).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us to put on Your love, because it binds everything together in perfect harmony. This allows the peace of Christ to rule in our heart, and we live in gratitude for all You do for us each day. Help the word of Christ to richly dwell in us. Whatever we do, in word or deed, we will perform it in Your name (Colossians 3:16-17). Once we find Your forgiveness for our self, we can give it to those who hurt us, and receive healing from the lies Satan planted in our wounded soul.

Thought for the Day:
Satan wants us to live in bondage to the law of sin and death, but Christ already freed us by the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. - Romans 7:22-8:3



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Self-confidence or God-confidence




There is nothing on this earth that I want more than to be filled through all of my being with all of the fullness of God, and to have the richest measure of His presence until I completely overflow with God Himself (Ephesians 3:19). This starts at Salvation when we receive all of God's fullness. He moves in by His Spirit with all of His glory and power.

I know that there is no way to contain more of God, because His fullness already abides in Believers; but I do want to experience a fuller awareness of His presence and leading. Too often, we are so full of our self, that we miss out on the fullness of God within us. The more we allow our flesh and self-confidence to dictate our life, the less we walk in the Spirit.

We need to surrender to God the self-assured part of our identity in order to trust Him. People with a high opinion of their assets have so much to overcome, but those who suffer with self-doubt and who lack self-esteem are closer to walking in the Spirit. The uncertain, timid person is already light years ahead of most people. Insecure people trust God more than those who are secure in their self.

What we need more than self-confidence in our human attributes is our confidence and identity in God. John advised us to decrease, so that Christ in us may increase (John 3:30). We gain our identity in who we are in Christ, not in who we are as a person. There is nothing, which God calls us to do, that we cannot accomplish, once we realize the extent of His power within us (Philippians 4:13).

If we list our human assets and talents, we discover the gifts God gave us. For instance, what are we good at? What positive character traits do we already have? These are the areas where God is already shining through us. We are His light in the world (Matthew 5:16). God lives in us, and we have all the power of the godhead working through us. Now, that fact will improve any self-image!

Prayer:
Father God, when we face challenges in life, which overwhelm our faith, we are tempted to roll up our sleeves and apply some human effort to the problem. We fail to realize our limited human resources. Remind us that the nation of Israel faced such an issue at the outskirts of Canaan, and felt like grasshoppers. They wandered in the wilderness, because they thought they had to rely on their human effort rather than on Yours. Give us the faith to follow the leading of Your Holy Spirit each moment of every day. 

Thought for the Day:
When we gain our identity from Christ in us, rather than from our human capabilities or insufficiencies, we accomplish everything, which God calls us to do.

Monday, January 19, 2015

God's Intervention





God knows the future, and will prepare us in so many ways for the unexpected occurrences in life. Sometimes, He even gives us an inner knowing about what lies ahead. Some people attribute this to moments of intuition. Others give themselves credit for exceptional wisdom and foresight. These events will happen much more often, if we testify to others about God's intervention in our life.

For instance, one lady told me that God warned her to slow down her car, and she narrowly missed being involved in an accident. Another woman told me that God prompted her to buy extra groceries; then she had enough food for her unexpected guests who showed up unannounced. A few months ago, I felt led to buy a black slip at the thrift store that I did not need; then on this week's trip to the thrift store, I found three dresses that needed that black slip.

Complaining will give us a life of drudgery, mishaps and more trials. Yet, gratitude to our Heavenly Father opens us up for more of God's blessings and joy in our life. One way to do this is to spend time alone with God throughout the day. Withdraw to the copy room at work, to the bathroom when the kids clamor for your attention and to the bedroom while everyone else is in the family room watching television.

Take a few moments to read God's Word and meditate on a verse, or to pray for your needs and the needs of your loved ones. Spend time praising God and quietly listening for His voice, by stilling your mind of your thoughts and allowing Him to speak His mind to you. Spend time all day long in worship to God for His intervention in your life.

Prayer:
Father God, You give us air to breathe, sun to warm us, food for energy, creation to delight us, work to challenge us and love from family and friends. We can never have enough time in this life to properly thank You for our salvation, our multitude of blessings and the provision You supply for all of our needs. Remind us to walk in Your Spirit, so that we will not submit to Satan or our flesh (Galatians 5:15-25). Help us to keep our focus on You, and to live a life of gratitude for Your continual intervention in our life.

Thought for the Day:
The past includes our histories; the unknown future is still one of life's mysteries; but what we have now is a present from God to be enjoyed and to spend in praise to Him for His involvement in our daily life.




Sunday, January 18, 2015

Surrendering to God's Love




A pure heart is the key to knowing God (Matthew 5:8). His love overwhelms us with its joy and peace. His perfect love slowly, but surely, casts out all of our fears (1 John 4:18). When we trust in Christ and keep God's Word, we become His dwelling place (John 14:23). He fills us through all of our being with all of His fullness (Ephesians 3:19).

As the Temple of the Holy Spirit, we experience more and more intimacy with the Trinity (1 Corinthians 3:16). The outer court of the temple is our body, the inner court is our soul and the Most Holy Place is our spirit, where the presence of God dwells and fills our soul and body. As we present our body to God, as a living sacrifice, we die to our self and the destructive lusts of life (Romans 12:1).

God's Spirit fills our soul with all of the characteristics of faith, hope and love. These are the greatest traits a person can possess (1 Corinthians 13:13). The more we walk in obedience to the directives of God's Spirit, the more our faith increases. Our obedience to Biblical standards comes as we grow in love for God (John 14:15). Then, our love and faith increase our hope in God.

God's love is wider, deeper and higher than any human emotion or any created thing (Ephesians 3:18; Romans 8:31-39). God's proven love for us, over the years of our relationship with Him, helps us to have more love for one another (John 13:34). Surrendering to God's love opens doors for us that we can only dream about, and brings fulfillment to our life in this sin-cursed world.

Prayer:
Father God, faith, hope and love are intertwined throughout our entire personality and relationship with You. They affect our lifestyle, and are the foundation of every other fruit of Your Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Teach us to surrender to Your love, and to allow Your light to shine through us, so that men will see our good works and give You the glory (Matthew 5:16). Perfect Your love in us and help us to bring You glory with our life (1 John 2:5).

Thought for the Day:
God is love and love is of God; everyone who loves is born again of the Spirit of God and knows God. - 1 John 1:7-8; Luke 10:27

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Changing Our Thought Patterns






From childhood, we are taught to take care of our self: dress, feed, play and make wise choices for our self. Therefore, learning to trust the Lord and His faithfulness takes a bit of getting used to (Ephesians 6:10). The process is called "renewing our mind." This is a continual progression of transformation, through which God's Spirit gives us the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; Romans 12:2).

By faith in Christ, we receive a new heart through the rebirthing of our spirit, which was formerly dead, due to the sin of the first Adam with Eve. The second Adam, Jesus Christ, became Emmanuel in order to guarantee salvation to whomever chooses to believe (John 3:16-18). God's Spirit teaches us to follow Jesus' example and to live as a new creation with sanctified priorities and goals in life (Philippians 2:5).

Jesus' emptied Himself of His heavenly glory and lived a life as a bondservant to our Father God (Luke 23:34; Matthew 20:28). He was even obedient to the point of suffering the horrendous torture and death at the hands of the Roman army (Matthew 26:39; John 5:30). God wants us to live in the power of His Spirit in order to do the works, which He created us to accomplish (Ephesians 2:10; Psalm 139:13).

God's Holy Spirit purges us of pride, selfishness, unforgiveness and all of the deeds and attitudes of the flesh, so that we can live by His direction and divine character (Galatians 5:16-25; 2 Peter 1:4-5). We aid in this process by renewing our mind with the Word of God. We begin focusing on eternal matters, ignoring the distractions provided by Satan and his minions and valuing eternal aspects rather than worldly gain (Ephesians 6:16).

Prayer:
Father God, we all experience the temptation to compromise our walk and to live a life of indulgence in the flesh. However, You gave us Jesus as our example. You also give us a way to avoid temptation and live a pure and holy life before You (1 Corinthians 10:13). Thank You for sending Jesus to pay the debt we owed for our sins, and for giving us Your Spirit to renew our mind with the mind of Christ, so that our thought patterns change from carnal ones to spiritual.

Thought for the Day:
Our Father God already gave us all the tools necessary to live a victorious life in Christ.- Romans 8:37; 1 Corinthians 15:57; Ephesians 6:13

Friday, January 16, 2015

More Valuable than Fine Gold





God never changes, and His Word is consistent as well (1 Samuel 15:29; 1 John 2:7; Psalm 55:19; Malachi 3:6). Hiding God's Word in our mind and seeking Him with our whole heart prevents us from sinning against Him. His statutes are more valuable to us than fine gold. We delight in His ways and give testimony of His provision in our life (Psalm 119:9-116). His Word is eternal and gives us life (Psalm 119:160).

The Old and New Testament are equally important (2 Peter 3:15-16). The still, small voice of God directs our daily activity as we bathe in His Word and seek His face (Isaiah 30:21). If we are Born Again, we do not practice a lifestyle of sin (1 John 3:4-9; Proverbs 3:11-18). Yet, if we refuse to surrender our life to God, and we continue to practice sin, we condemn our self to eternal destruction (John 3:18; 1 Corinthians 11:27-32).

We can trust that God will give us relief in our days of trouble, until He raptures us, or we pass from this sin-cursed world (Psalm 94:10-13). When we live within God's precepts, we enjoy a good conscience and a peaceful life (Psalm 119:7). If we teach our children to live according to God's Word, they have a better chance of remaining on the path of purity and blessings.

God's Spirit helps us to recall the scriptures, which we hide in our heart, and He leads us into His holy truth (John 14:26, 16:13; Psalm 119:11). He enables us to act upon what we learn, rather than being perpetual students and never walking in His ways (James 1:22-25). The Spirit gives us wisdom from God's inspired Word, as we regard His instruction and walk in His ways (Proverbs 20:32-36, James 1:5-8).

Prayer:
Father God, You bless those who refrain from the worldly paths of life, which lead to unrighteousness. You consecrate those who do not join in with those who have a penchant for mocking You and Your children (Psalm 1:1-2). Thank You for drawing us by Your Spirit and never letting us walk away from Your eternal love. We treasure the fine gold of Your Word, we enjoy spending time listening to Your voice and we depend upon the leading of Your Spirit with each new day.

Thought for the Day:
When we sink our roots deeper in the water of God's Word, we will live blessed, fruitful and prosperous lives. - Psalm 1:3

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Angels Watching Over Us






When we dwell in the secret place of the Most High God, we have angels assigned to us (Hebrews 1:14). God gives His angels charge over us, to guard us wherever we go; they even lift us up in their hands, if we are about to come to harm (Psalm 91:11-12; Luke 4:10). Our angels are continually in the presence of God and He gives them the ability to influence and to protect our life (Matthew 18:10).

Angels announced the birth of Christ to the shepherds (Luke 2:1-20). They even came to strengthen Jesus in His time of need on the mountain after His fast; and also, in the Garden of Gethsemane prior to His crucifixion (Matthew 4:6-11; Luke 22:43). Angels guarded Jesus' tomb after He rose, and they gave a message to the women who came to care for Jesus' body (John 20:11-12).

In modern times, people are enamored by angels. They pray to or talk to their angel, worship them, buy paintings of them to protect their home and wear little angel lapel pins as a good luck charm. This is not Biblical and is taking the ministry of angels way too far. This is giving our worship to angels, which belongs to God alone (Colossians 2:18).

Angels are created beings and existed prior to the creation of mankind (Job 38:4-7). There are various ranks of and purposes for angels. Some of them have no other purpose than to worship God around His throne, both day and night (Revelation 4:8). They shout for joy and praise God in His presence (Job 38:7; Revelation 5:11-12). They rejoice in heaven every time one sinner repents on earth (Luke 15:10).

Angels are messengers, and will also be used during the Great Tribulation to bring the gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue and people of the earth (Revelation 14:6; Matthew 24:31-35). When we die, angels carry us to the presence of God (Luke 16:22). However, human beings do not become an angel when we die. We are either a blood bought Saint in Heaven or we condemn our self to hell (John 3:18).

Angels are God's ministering spirits and they are an innumerable host (Hebrews 1:14, 12:22). Angels do not get married, and we will not be married in eternity either (Luke 20:36; Matthew 22:30). However, we are made lower than the angels, and they are guardians over God's Saints. They even carry our prayers to God in their hand (Hebrews 1:14, 2:6-13; Revelation 8:4).

Prayer:
Father God, Lucifer led a third of the angels to rebel against You (2 Peter 2:4). As a created being, he wanted to be equal to You, even though You already gave him great power (Isaiah 14:12-14; Jude 1:6). All of the angels are subject to Christ, who has all dominion and power both in Heaven and on earth (1 Peter 3: 21-22), because there are things, which angels do not understand (1 Peter 1:12). You are our only provider, protector, refuge and fortress. We put our trust in You, not in angels (Psalm 91:2). They simply do Your bidding and are not benevolent beings in their own right (Psalm 103:20). Thank You for directing our angels as You see fit.

Thought for the Day:
Do not forget to be hospitable to strangers, because some of them are angels in disguise. - Hebrews 13:2