Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Plague of Loneliness

Too often, a person is devastated by divorce, or tired of the single life, and they will cling to the first person who shows them kindness and love. These "saviors" are often wolves in sheep's clothing and prey on vulnerable divorcees in order to take advantage of their earthly resources, robbing them of their life's savings, car, home and worldly goods.

This disheartens the single person and leaves the divorcee devastated, wounded and disillusioned all over again. Pay attention to every red flag that pops up during your interaction with any new person in your life. How do they respond in a crisis? What is their emotional personality – do they react in anger or do they stuff their emotions?

Are you really compatible with this person, or are you just lonely and not wanting to live alone? It is far better to live alone than to shackle yourself to someone out of the will of God (Proverbs 21:9, 25:24; Proverbs 17:1). Be involved with this new person. Spend time around his/her family and friends. Do they act the same way around them that they do around you?

Are their words, actions and personality, which they are projecting to you, the same around people who know them well? What expressions do you see in their face and body language? What hint of exasperation, meanness or controlling is in their voice inflections and words? If you feel any caution in your soul or spirit about this person, keep the relationship casual.

Wait on the Lord’s direction. He may move you on to someone new. Spend time alone with God and allow Him to be your best friend and the Lover of your soul (Isaiah 54:5; Proverbs 18:24). Develop a friendship and genuine caring relationship with any potential mate, or your new marriage may not weather life’s storms, and it could end in divorce.

Father God, loneliness often drives both single people and divorcees into an unwise marriage. They are as unhappy in this marriage as they were as a single person or in their first marriage. Remind us that loneliness is a choice, not a state of being. We can join group activities to cultivate joy in our life. Help us to send our roots down deeper in our relationship with You instead of looking for love in all the wrong places. We need to wait on You, because You have a perfect plan for our life (Ephesians 2:10).

Thought for the Day:
We can find fulfillment through service to God, His church and our community instead of rebounding or settling, and expecting the illusion of a perfect marriage to eradicate our feelings of loneliness and a lack of contentment.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Freedom from Strongholds

When Satan tempts us with a fleeting thought, we have two choices: we can ignore and dismiss it or entertain and dwell on it. If we dismiss it, we are free from its bondage. If we entertain it, we are in danger of falling under its oppression; and those who are not Born Again risk the possibility of possession by demonic beings (2 Peter 2:18-19).

It only takes 3-6 weeks to develop both good and bad habits. These habits develop a stronghold in our soul, and often in our body as well. Breaking negative habits is often a difficult and expensive endeavor. Even if we push these negative habits into our subconscious mind and stop them for a season, current events may trigger these old feelings and habits again.

We will revert back to them as a form of comfort, rebellion or a desire to be in control of some aspect of our life. Each time these habits resurface, they deepen the scars in our soul, and it is increasingly more difficult to extricate our self from them (2 Peter 2:20). Life triggers issues from our past and we respond to current conflict with unhealthy behavior patterns.

We can completely escape from the strongholds of these habits only as we surrender them to God for healing and allow Him to guide us to resolve the inner conflicts, which connect us to them. If we repent of our sins and relinquish control of our life to Jesus Christ, He will slowly replace the negative aspects of our personality and soul with His divine nature and spiritual fruit (2 Peter 1:4; Galatians 2:22-23; Ephesians 4:13).

Father God, Jesus Christ, our Prince of Peace, is our only hope and solution for freedom from this sin-cursed world. Help us to put on our new self in Christ and to walk in Your true righteousness and holiness
(Ephesians 4:24). We look forward to being like Christ when He returns (1 John 3:2). People today close their ears to Your Truth, deceive others as they are deceived, and seek solutions for their problems apart from You (Jeremiah 6:10-14). However, You always give strength to Your people and bless us with peace regardless of the circumstances we encounter in life (Psalm 29:11).

Thought for the Day:
Only those who surrender their life to the Prince of Peace will ever experience true peace in this life and in the next.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Our God in the Valleys


We often confuse a temptation, and the verses dealing with it, with trials and tribulation. People quote the verse that God does not tempt us and use it to mean that God does not allow overbearing tribulation and trials in the life of an authentic Believer (James 1:13). They insist that trials are an attack of our archenemy - the devil.

However, temptation is an allurement to sin, and tribulation is a negative circumstance through which we are forced to live. There is a difference. Some preachers and teachers attribute all adversity in our life to Satan and his minions. However, even if Satan does cause the difficulties, he can only function with God's permission (Job 1:8, 2:3).

Although God does not tempt us, God does ultimately allow trials, tribulation and rejection in our life (James 1:13; James 1:2; 1 Peter 1:6; Romans 12:12). The key to entering the depth of intimacy with God, which we all desire, is how we handle difficulties. If we lose our joy and peace when life tilts out of our control, then we are trusting in our self, and in our misconception that God will not allow His people to suffer.

God does allow tribulation and persecution in order to prove His love for us as He did for Job, or to teach us that He always walks through tribulation with us and turns everything around for our eventual good ( Acts 14:22; John 16:33; Romans 8:28, 35-37). He is our God even in the valleys of life. He teaches us to view life as He sees it, temporary and fleeting, and He instructs us not to trust in this world for our fulfillment (James 4:14).

Those who suffer most in this life learn the best that we rejoice in God's presence and not in His presents, which He provides for us. Everything He gives us can disappear in smoke, but no one and nothing can take His presence away from us (Romans 8:38-39). The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away, but God’s Saints bless the Lord either way (Job 1:21).

Father God, we can put all of our trust in You because You are the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). You live within us and go through every trial and rejection with us, encouraging us from the inside out. No matter what we lost yesterday, we find Your mercy and grace with each new morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). Whatever You allow to be taken away from us, You replace with more intimacy with You.

Thought for the Day:
Every trial is a seed for a miracle that God has planned for our life.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Battle of the Ages

The Battle of the Ages is Satan’s attempt to annihilate the Messiah, so that he could remain as ruler of this world (Genesis 3:15; Revelation 12:1-6). Jesus came from the seed of Abraham, and Satan tried to stop Israel throughout the ages. Thanks to President Harry Truman, God returned part of the land to Israel, which He promised to their forefathers. The figurative fig tree has blossomed ever since.

The symbolism in Revelation, chapter twelve shows Israel as the woman clothed in the sun. She is the mortal enemy of Satan. Jesus is the child delivered by this woman from the seed of Abraham. The fiery red dragon is Satan. The seven heads, ten horns, and seven diadems of this dragon depict Satan’s dominion over seven past worldly kingdoms, ten future kingdoms, and the seven members of the revised Roman Empire, the modern day European Union.

World War II was acclaimed as the war to end all wars, and so it should have been after the destruction and degradation to human life that accompanied that war. The Korean War and multiple modern wars ensued after that one, however. The world will also see another war, which is described in Ezekiel 38-39.

This entails the Middle East and Russia attacking Israel, and the stage is set for that war even now. With no remaining world allies, Israel will stand alone, only to see the salvation of their God once again. Thankfully, in God’s economy, He does have a war planned that will definitely end all wars. It is the Battle of Armageddon. 

With the armies of the world gathered in the valley of Megiddo, Satan will attempt once again to gain ascendancy over God; yet God defeats them with one word and ends the battle of the, as well as all human conflict forever (Revelation 19:11-16, 21:4). King Jesus will take His throne and rule and reign on earth forever (Matthew 25:31).

Father God, it is so wonderful to read Daniel, Ezekiel and Revelation and to understand Your timetable for humanity and the culmination of all things. We thank You for Your grace and mercy to save us from eternal damnation in the flames of hell with Satan and his demonic forces (Revelation 20:10). We pray that people whom we know and love will be strengthened by Your Spirit’s power in their inner being, so that Christ may dwell in their hearts through faith (Ephesians 3:16). We look forward to spending eternity with them all in Your presence.

Thought for the Day:
Satan was able to bruise the heel of the woman’s seed, Jesus, at the crucifixion; but the seed of the woman will crush Satan’s head at the end of the Millennium. - Revelation 12:7-8

Friday, March 27, 2015

Worthy of Our Love

Authentic Christians are so in love with God that things in this world lose their appeal. As we contemplate His goodness, the memories warm our heart. We burst out in joyful songs because of His righteous treatment of us. He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and great in loving kindness. He is good to us all and all of His works are full of His tender mercy (Psalm 145:7-9).

God is the Lord of hosts of angels and His magnificence fills our hearts with respect and awe (Isaiah 8:13). As we read about His work through the ages, we realize that His thoughts and methods are much higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). Sometimes they do not make sense to our finite, human mind; however, hindsight always gives us a glimpse of His wisdom.

We trust in God’s loyal love and rejoice in the salvation that Christ's redemption provides for us. We sing of the benevolent and bountiful ways in which He deals with us (Psalm 13:5-6). He hears our prayers and is our shield from danger and our strength to deal with life's unpleasant experiences. Our heart trusts in His goodness, because of the ways He always works out everything for our good (Psalm 28:6 Romans 8:28).

We cannot help but to rejoice in God's bountiful provision and give Him continual thanks night and day for all that He does for us (Psalm 28:7). God is high and lofty above the earth and lives in a high and holy place with our Lord Jesus Christ. Our Father inhabits eternity, yet cares enough to revive the spirit of the depressed and to forgive the heart of the contrite (Isaiah 57:15).

Father God, heaven is Your throne and our earth is Your footstool. You made all of these things by Your wisdom, understanding and power, or they would never have come into existence (Jeremiah 10:12, 51:15; Isaiah 66:1-2). You are the one and only, true living god, our eternal King. The earth and nations tremble at Your righteous anger, and many come to You in repentance (Jeremiah 10:10).

Thought for the Day:
God is always nearby and never far from any one of us, even though He fills both the heaven and the earth. - Jeremiah 23:23-24