Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I'm Dying to Go to Heaven

We often say, "I'm dying … to go to the mall" (or for some ice cream, or for a new dress, etc). No one ever says, "I'm dying to go to Heaven."

When we are ill, regardless of our age, we spend exorbitant amounts of money and time devoted to living. We applaud one another, saying, "She fought hard to live."

When a person decides to allow their body to die, we say, "Oh, he just gave up" or "She had no more will to live." We view life as the ultimate prize to be battled for above all else.

Yet, death is a Christian's privilege (Philippians 1:21). The death of God's Saints is precious in His sight (Psalm 116:15). We leave this temporal realm and enter into His eternal realm forever.

God made all of the intricate parts of our body, knitting them together in our mother's womb. Our body, soul and spirit are wondrously complex and God's workmanship in us is marvelous (Psalm 139:13-15).

Since God does not dwell in time, He saw us before we were ever born and laid out every moment of our life before we even lived one day of it (Psalm 139:16).

God views the day of our death as better than the day of our birth (Ecclesiastes 7:1). He sends us an angel escort to bring our soul and spirit into His presence (Luke 16:22).

His Saints will never die again, but live eternally in the same respect as the angels. We are children of the Living God, raised from death into true life (Luke 20:36).

God is our guide through death and forever and ever (Psalm 48:14). Even in death, He gives the righteous His refuge (Proverbs 14:32). When we die, our real life is just beginning.

Father God, remind us that when we are ill, rather than dreading death or fighting it, our body, soul and spirit can be filled with joy. You do not leave us in the grave. You allow us to experience the joys of life, and then bring us into the peace and joy of Your eternal presence (Psalm 16:9-11).

We can confidently say that when we leave this mortal body, we shall be in Your glorious presence (2 Corinthians 5:8). We simply fold up this earthly tent, and then our soul and spirit go to Your house (2 Corinthians 5:1). Thank You, that at the coming of Your Son, we will leave our corruptible body behind and put on our immortal body to serve You for eternity (1 Corinthians 15:53-54).

Thought for the Day:
God is a refuge for the poor and oppressed in our times of trouble; we trust in Him because He never forsakes anyone who humbly seeks Him, not even in death. - Psalm 9:9-10

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Living in God's Purpose

God knows our every weakness; yet He calls us as part of His Kingdom. He created us for His purpose and enables us to fulfill His will for our life (Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 2:12-13).

We may have addictions, desires or goals for our life, which thwart God's purpose for us. Godly sorrow over our sin humbles us and enables us to come to repentance by faith (Isaiah 53:4; 1 John 1:9).

Without repentance, we live in darkness, alone and empty, regardless of how much we fill our life with people, places and things. Only in God do we find true fulfillment.

When we walk in the Spirit, we accomplish greater works than Christ did during His time on the earth (John 14:12). He was one man, and we are His Body - with Believers all over the world for generations past and future.

As a corporate Body, Christ accomplishes His greater works through us. If we walk according to the direction of God's Spirit each moment of our day, we will influence the growth of God's Kingdom in ways we will not even realize until we enter eternity.

As we fully surrender our life to Christ in us, we grow in our intimacy with Him. His Holy Spirit in us will complete His work in and through us. We can walk with confidence in God's purpose for our life.

Father God, when we refuse to humble our self before Your mighty hand, we will suffer the humiliation of living outside of Your Kingdom, possible for eternity. It is our choice (James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:6). Help us to change our attitude and not to neglect the great salvation, which Christ's sacrifice on Calvary's cross granted to us (Hebrews 2:3).

Remind us to walk in Your will, and not to fill our life with chaotic and hurried activities, which deplete our energy and grieve Your Spirit (Ephesians 2:10; Ephesians 4:30). We give You all of the praise and the glory for everything, which we accomplish on this earth, because without Christ in us, we can do nothing (John 15:5).

Thought for the Day:
God looks on the inward heart, rather than our outward performance; yet, when we walk in faith, we are led by His Spirit to accomplish the works He created us to do. 
- 1 Samuel 16:7; James 2:14-26; Ephesians 2:10

Monday, September 28, 2015

Forgiveness and Boundaries

Human beings tend to suffer in silence. We fear rejection and criticism, so we internalize our thoughts and feelings rather than confiding in one another.

Inner voices, which do not line up with God's Word, are lies from Satan Himself. The only way to dispel His lies is by hearing and then speaking God's truth (Philippians 4:8; 1 Timothy 4:1).

Once we receive our forgiveness from God through repentance and faith in exchange for our sins, then God receives us as His own precious children (1 John 3:2).

Like Jesus we forgive those who harm us. If they are repentant, we allow them back into our heart. If they refuse to repent, then we forgive them for our sake, but keep them at a distance.

Even though we forgive them, we do not condone their behavior toward us, and we certainly never allow them any opportunities to harm us again.

We derive our self-worth through Christ in us, rather than through our own achievements. This way our esteem does not depend upon people, circumstances or meeting our goals.

It depends on God's faithfulness and the presence of Christ abiding within us. We are secure in who we are through Christ. We live the life to which He calls us (Ephesians 2:10).

This way too, we have no need to attempt to manipulate and control the behavior of others in order to make our self feel better, safer or more secure.

Father God, people do tend to maliciously use us, but You encourage us to love them with Your agape love and to forgive them and pray for them (Matthew 5:44). However, we can also be wise as snakes and gentle as doves in our dealings with them (Matthew 10:16).

We point them to Your love for them, but we never again allow them to take advantage of us or to use us for their evil gain. Their opinion of us does not matter anymore, because our identity and our good name come from You (Proverbs 22:1; Psalm 52:9).

Thought for the Day:
No one is more deceived than the person who will not admit that he or she is wrong; but we can forgive them anyway and erect boundaries to keep them from harming us again.