Sunday, December 31, 2017

God Loves and Cares for Us

Free stock photo of flowers, plant, flora, decor

Our Daddy God is a personal God, knowing us by name (Isaiah 43:1-2). He even knows the number of hairs on our head (Luke 12:7). We are the apple of His eye, and He provides for and protects us (Deuteronomy 32:10).

Due to our earthly father, we may be reticent about trusting God. Our earthly father may be traumatizing, aloof, demeaning, etc. However, our Daddy God is not like that at all. We can go to God for healing from the issues in our past, as well as our current relationships.

Our heavenly Father is always good to us, even when He disciplines us to keep us on His straight and narrow way. He does this to prevent us from reaping the devastation inherent on the broad way, because that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13-15).

God is not a genie in a bottle to grant our wishes, but He is our compassionate Daddy God, and He blesses us beyond our imagination when we walk in His ways and obey His precepts.

God calls us His friend (John 15:15). He enjoys our fellowship, our worship, our love and our adoration. He rejoices over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17).

The fatherless and widows experience God as their defender. He sets the lonely in families and leads prisoners to break forth into joyful singing (Psalm 68:5-6).

Our life improves exponentially as we totally trust God to be our caring Father (Mark 14:36). His love surpasses any human love we can ever experience, and He proves that love in multiple ways throughout our lifetime (Romans 8:15; Galatians 6:4).

Father God, we are the work of Your hands. We sit quietly in Your presence as you mold us as clay in a potter's hands (Isaiah 64:8). You care for creation as it trusts You for its daily needs, and You care about us even more (Matthew 6:26).

We can rely on You for our daily bread and all of our necessities. As authentic Believers, we have no need to live in fear; because as our Daddy God, You abundantly provide all of our needs according to Your glorious riches (Philippians 4:19; Romans 8:15; 2 Samuel 7:14; 2 Corinthians 6:18).

Thought for the Day:
We praise our Father God, who blesses us with every earthly and spiritual blessing, and predestined us as His adopted children to inherit, as coheirs with Christ, His eternal Kingdom. - Ephesians 1:3-5

Saturday, December 30, 2017

All That God Requires

dew, drops of water, green

Modern society fails to surrender their life to God because they think He requires too much of us. They do not want to relinquish their covetousness, pride, pet sins and humanistic ideals and goal to anyone.

However, God took on human form in order to pay our sin debt for us and to give us His everlasting life (John 3:16). All that He actually requires from us is to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with Him (Micah 6:8). He considers this as right, and it pleases Him.

We exchange our lofty opinion of our self for humility in Jesus (John 3:30), just as He humbled Himself and suffered death on a cross for us. We do not seek worldly acclaim for our accomplishments, and God's opinion of us is the only one that really matters.

God's Spirit takes all of the guesswork out of our decisions and gives us stability, fulfillment and composure. We adopt a faith-filled walk and mimic Jesus' life and mindset as our own.

As a child of God, we love righteousness (1 John 3:10). We do what is right and holy, rejecting carnal thoughts, practices and living. We learn to love our self and to love our neighbor (Mark 12:31).

Receiving God's mercy, we live with compassion and mercy toward others (James 2:13), rather than judgment and unforgiveness. We consider the needs of our mate, children, extended family and church family as well as our community and the world.

We find our worth in Christ and our esteem is derived from our unity with the Trinity. We burst forth in praise to God for all of His benefits and for saving us from eternal damnation, which we would have earned if we failed to believe in His grace towards us (John 3:18).

Father God, You reveal to us the completeness of Your love for us and You call us to totally trust our life to Your wisdom and power. We do this by entering Your rest and by following Your Spirit's guidance through each moment of our day. You call us to share Your love with those You bring into our life - both the lovable and the unlovable, regardless of their earthly stature or what we can gain from nurturing a relationship with them.

Thank You for ordering our steps and showing what is Your good and acceptable will for us. We decrease daily as You increase in our life. We put Your desires as foremost in our heart and mind. We seek justice and mercy all the days of our life. We give You all of the praise and glory, which You deserve.

Thought for the Day:
Everything that we have in this life comes from the Father of Lights who gives us all good things to enjoy, and He deserves all of our praise and glory for the benefits that He showers on us both day and night. 
- James 1:17; 1 Timothy 6:17

Friday, December 29, 2017

Unsung Heroes

Green Leafy Plant Starting to Grow on Beige Racks

The unsung heroes in the Christian world are the prayer warriors. No one knows the fervency and hours of prayer that we put into our ministry.

In fact, when I suggest to someone that prayer is the best ministry, especially in our later years, people tend to ignore me or discount what I am saying.

They treat prayer as an appendage to our Christian walk, they use prayer as a last resort in solving any trial, and they would rather perform a ministry that is more public and receives more acclaim in this world.

Much is said about the power of a "mother's prayer" for her children. The hours we spend on our knees in intercession for our children are only mentioned when one of our children returns to faith in God and service to our King of kings.

Children often think that they know better than their parents. Many of our children end up clinging to their pride and rebellion and never come back to the faith that we as parents teach them and exemplify for them throughout their lives.

God's Word exhorts us that if we train our children in the way that they should go, when they are old, they will never depart from it (Proverbs 22:6). Yet, God gives all of us a free will, and people die every day without having known the wonder of a personal relationship with our living Lord (John 3:18).

Of the thousands of people that Jesus ministered to and even fed during His earthly ministry, only 120 were in the upper room to receive His Spirit on the day of Pentecost.

People are often hard-hearted, self-willed and stubbornly cling to the ways of the world. Yet, the unsung heroes of our faith continue to dependably minister in intercession for the lost, the sick, the poor and the oppressed (2 Corinthians 1:11; Philippians 1:19). 

Father God, life holds no surprises to You. As we walk in Your love, we pray without ceasing, enter Your rest and delight in Your ways. Our committed walk unfolds before us in one accord with Your perfect will for each one of us. Even if we end up in a foreign country, in jail, in the hospital or in the nursing home, we completely surrender to Your will, because You have a ministry for us there, including that of a prayer warrior.

We want to trust in Your protection of us each day of our life. You are with us and Your Spirit will guide and direct us no matter where we live, or with whom we live, or even if we live alone. Your faithfulness gives us the faith to cross the river into the promised land of a life spent with You. We enter into this intimate union with You that is perfect and eternal. We maintain our faith in Your faithfulness, and we trust You in every area of our life.

Thought for the Day:
When we surrender our life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ we enter the realm of abundant life, which He promises to every Authentic Believer; we have the ear of God, so we can step up into this role as a prayer warrior, and exponentially increase our effect on the Kingdom of God. 
- John 10:10; 1 John 5:14-15

Thursday, December 28, 2017

A Channel of God's Love

 White and Yellow Flower With Green Stems

As we intermingle with family, co-workers, neighbors and strangers, we have an occasion to live out God's Holy Word. While we learn to prefer others over our self, the nine fruit of God's Holy Spirit develop in us (Galatians 5:22-23).

Living as a channel of God's Agape love improves our relationships. This makes us, not only a cherished friend, but also a conduit for God to love others through us. We simply keep our focus on Him and not our self.

Good advice that is hard to follow is James' advice to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to express anger (James 1:9). However, the more information we garner concerning the facts and perspective of the person we are communicating with, the less likely we are to over-react negatively.

God's Word is not very complimentary when speaking about the human tongue. James describes it as restless, evil and full of deadly poison. We tend to slay one another with critical remarks, and we hurt one another with our angry words.

When we gossip, we cause discord in our relationships as well as in other relationships as the gossip spreads, grows out of proportion and eventually loses all credibility due to embellishments and people changing the facts.

Personality clashes or differences in perspectives, goals and philosophy of life, bring out the worst in us all. We are focused more on our self than on God and His purpose for our relationships.

We can always rely on God to improve our connections with Him and others in our life. As we surrender to His transforming power within us, He reveals our pride, condescension, and our lofty opinion of our self. He also reveals to us our negative attitudes and woundedness.

Then, if we are willing to cooperate with Him, He heals us from the inside out and helps us to exhibit kindness, goodness, self-control, patience and the full gamut of God's spiritual fruit.

Father God, You want to use our tongue to bring unity in our relationships, to plan blessings to share with others, and to heal our body and soul (Proverbs 12:18). Inspire us to live a more spiritual life and to grow in our intimacy with You: to make You the priority of our life, to live in the center of Your will for us, and to accomplish the work You created us to do (Ephesians 2:10).

When we rely on You for all of our needs, our relationships improve, we learn to humble our pride, and we stop looking down on others to build up our self. Then, You can heal us from our negative attitudes and poor self-esteem. We look to Jesus as the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-3) to lead us in Your peace, joy and love; and we cooperate with Your Spirit as He exchanges our carnality with His fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).

Thought for the Day:
God guards our tongue if we live a life surrendered to Him; His strength in us is made perfect in our weakness, and His power rests on those who walk in His ways. - 2 Corinthians 12:9

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

God's Benefits and Blessings

Green Heart Shape Leaf

Creating lists, planning ahead on our calendar, and making appointments for the future is important in order to stay organized and to keep from double-booking appointments. However, if we rely on this practice to order our steps, we often miss God's timing and direction.

God's Spirit rarely reveals God's future plans for our life, but He daily leads us in each moment of time right in the center of God's will; if we take the time to listen with our "spiritual ears" (Matthew 11:15), and if we follow God's guidance for each chore, activity or silent quiet time.

We spend our time singing to the Lord a new song from the depths of our heart (Psalm 96:1). The lyrics do not need to rhyme and the tune can be familiar or inspired by God's Spirit.

Thanking God for His benefits and His marvelous deeds among the nations will occupy our thoughts and fill our mouth with His praise. He is worthy of our tribute, and He deserves our honor and esteem (Psalm 96:2-4).

We also praise Him for creation and for including us in His family. His splendor, majesty, strength and glory are ours as we spend time in His presence (Psalm 96:5-6).

God is worthy of our praise and our obedience. We prove our love to Him by obeying His precepts and direction (John 14:15). God miraculously opened the Red Sea for the Israelite to cross over and escape the Egyptian army; yet they did not have the faith to obey Him and enter the Promised Land.

Even though the nation disobeyed His will for them, God still fed them during their wandering in the wilderness. He kept their clothes and shoes from wearing out. He even gave them water from a rock (Exodus). He provides for us in much the same way.

As we trust God with every facet of our life, He faithfully intervenes in so many ways. When we walk in His will, we reap the benefits of our obedience and we enjoy His blessings and the filling of His presence and Spirit within us.

Father God, we lift up our eyes to You, focus our thoughts on You and walk in Your ways every moment of every day. We do the works, which You preordained for us to accomplish with our life (Ephesians 2:10). When we exchange the stresses of our to-do lists for obedience to Your Spirit, our body responds in health and our soul experiences Your peace and joy.

You are our hope in a hopeless world, Your presence is the greatest gift we could ever ask for, and You shower us with Your lovingkindness each moment of our day. Help us to share Your Gospel of hope with everyone we meet, so that they too can share in Your benevolent love and blessings.

Thought for the Day:
Living in the moment guarantees that we will not miss the little "hugs" that God gives us every single day - a cardinal on a snowy day, a flower growing in an empty lot, the last rose to bloom even though it is out of season, the significance of the order of the numbers on a clock, a sale on an item that we really needed but could not afford, etc.; these are just a few ways that God shares His love with us.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Nightmares in the Daytime

 Green Leaf Tree

Nightmares occur in the daytime too - even when we are wide awake. The problem with this is that we cannot rouse from our slumber and dispel them as merely a figment of our imagination. They are as real as the sun's rising and setting every day.

In the midst of the nightmare of our trauma, it seems that God just does not understand or care enough to deliver us from them. We lose a loved one, our job, home, earthly treasures, financial security, health, family, best friend, etc.

We feel anxious, distracted, paralyzed and hopeless, as well as discouraged, forlorn, numb and depressed. We need a Savior to rescue us from the realities of life on this sin-cursed earth.

In our human reality, we dream of the sun rising to dispel this darkness that surrounds us. We attempt to drum up the faith to believe that God is greater than our circumstances, and that He actually notices that we need help.

In our spiritual reality, Creator God has a perfect will for us in this dysfunctional world. His victorious power in our life motivates and activates us to walk in His ways (Philippians 2:12-13). We walk in His plans for our life (Ephesians 2:10).

Abiding in His perfect will is the happiest place on earth (Jeremiah 29:11). Our meager plans pale in comparison to His goals for our life. Our total submission to His will is all we need to live in peace and joy.

In His timing, God rescues us from our carnality and allows patience to do her perfect work in us (James 1:4-8). He forgives our stubborn penchant to sin and transforms us by His Spirit, so that we will honor Him all the days of our life.

As long as we trust in Him and keep our mind focused on Him, God fights our battles for us, restores our peace, showers us with joy, and builds our faith in His faithfulness, even in the most impossible of situations.

Father God, thank You for allowing us to live as the temple of Your Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16). This enables us to walk through the fire, like the three Hebrew children, without being burned or even gathering the smell of smoke on our clothing - in other words, there is no lingering side effects from the trauma we experience on this earth (Isaiah 43:2-3). You teach us compassion and build our faith in You by these fiery trials.

Even when we lose everything we own - displaced and homeless, and are forced to start all over again - You walk with us and in us. When we are suffering, weak and traumatized, You never fail to help us to recover, replace and even sometimes restore what we lost. Thank You for Your everlasting protection and provision for us in every moment of our need.

Thought for the Day:

God cares about every aspect of our life - even the little things that we hesitate to bother Him with; His faithfulness and power are just waiting for us to humble our self before Him, admit that we need Him, and call on Him for redemption regardless of the situation. 

Making the World Go Around

 Free stock photo of abstract, plant, green, water plant

It takes all kinds of personalities to make a well-rounded world. God joins our life with others who have weaknesses who need our strengths, and who have strengths that will aid us in overcoming our weaknesses.

If someone has a different philosophy about life or a differing viewpoint, we believe that our way is better and their way is wrong. We attempt to change others to our way of thinking and feeling, and feel angry when they resist our efforts.

Intellectuals often disdain emotional people, because they cannot relate to these emotions. Others feel these emotion too, but have too much pride to admit to it, since they see emotions as a weakness.

Intellectuals enjoy the realm of thinking, ideas, analysis, a sound mind, etc. Emotions are too messy and demanding for them. They resent what they interpret as an attempt to control them, rather than to see the emotional display as a cry for help.

Idea people do not consider an emotional person's needs as valid and legitimate. They cannot validate the emotional person's requests, because they usually see no value in them, are irritated by them and feel trapped and restricted by them.

Thinkers build walls around their heart and resist the emotions expressed by intimate friends and family members. They get the feeling of being overwhelmed and even wounded by the intensity of any emotional outburst.

What intellectuals do not realize is that they are just as guilty of trying to control life through analysis, as emotional people are to use their passions to feel safe in life.

A great balance between the two starts when we respect each other and both use emotive insight and intelligent thought processes to direct our conversations, life choices and behavior. We start to see value and balance in wisely using both our mind and emotions.

Father God, You created our emotions and You ordained that emotional people will often take liberty in using words and expressing emotions. As passionate people, they get angry as easily as they laugh and bubble over with enthusiasm about life. They pray with sentiment, their compassion is based on their life experiences and empathy for others, and they deeply feel other people's needs.

You created thinkers because we need intellectual people in the world too. Yet, it is difficult for an intellectual to stop hiding behind their need for orderliness and literal facts. They do not want to admit their needs and vulnerability, or even that they feel emotional at all, because they fear being hurt more than they already are. You sent Jesus to break down the walls of separation between intellectual and emotional people, because He was both. Due to His sacrifice, we are all allowed to enter Your Kingdom as co-heirs with Christ.

Thought for the Day:
God puts opposites together to balance us out, and to bring harmony to our life and to the world. This helps us to grow mentally, emotionally and spiritually as we learn to appreciate one another rather than to insist that one viewpoint is right and the other is wrong.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Aligning our Perspective

 Free stock photo of light, dawn, landscape, mountains

Very few people appreciate change. Change disrupts our normal schedules and instigates in us the fear of the unknown. The transitions in our lifetime, including aging, family tragedies, vocational insecurity, cultural and technological changes, etc., all cause anxiety and stress to dominate our soul - our thoughts, feelings and choices.

However, change is an inevitable part of life on this sin-cursed globe. We can either hide from it, attempt to avoid it, get depressed over it or accept it. Acceptance with joyful thoughts and attitudes makes transitions easier (James 1:2-4).

God has plans for us in every stage of our life, and they may not include all or even part of the relationships and aspects of our former schedule and lifestyle. He plants a seed for a miracle in every trial and change. He is working out His ways for His purpose and His glory.

With Christ in us, we can grow old gracefully, face trials triumphantly, and accept disappointment and trauma with faith in God's faithfulness. As we change our focus about our expectations in life, we find transitions easier to traverse.

God's Spirit within us infuses every moment of our day and night with assurance and enthusiasm. He aligns our perspective with God's will for us. This enables us to ignore the ideals of the world, which are manifested in every commercial and billboard, and the lifestyle of many of our friends and family.

People love to be noticed, paid attention to and listened to, affirmed and validated, valued and appreciated, etc. This includes children, teens, young adults, middle-aged people and seniors. However, many of us get overlooked in life, and this wounds us deeply.

The Holy Spirit helps us to identify the lies, which the devil inflicted us with, from conception to the present day. He reveals to us God's Truth to replace these negative thoughts and feelings. God's love transforms our negative attitude to a positive one (Philippians 4:8).

Father God, we mature in our spirit as Your Spirit replaces our carnal concepts with the mind of Christ, Your divine nature and Your spiritual fruit. We get more and more comfortable with who we are in You. We are drawn less by the aspects of this world and more by Heavenly concepts, goals and endeavors.

You always value us and keep us in Your plain sight. We love and accept our self because You abide within us. You calm our soul with Your peace, heal our body with Your grace and inspire our spirit with Your will. Make us a magnet of Your love to draw others to the joy of their salvation, so that they also may enjoy Your benefits and mercy (Psalm 103:2).

Thought for the Day:
Loving who we are in Christ, through all the seasons of life, infects our soul and spirit with positive thoughts, emotions and choices; this enables us to resist the standards of the world and builds up our confidence to face life with Christ in us.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Satan's Deception

Pink Petaled Flower during Daytime

Satan steals, kills and destroys (John 10:10). His purpose is to divide and conquer. If he can destroy marriages, he will also destroy the family and eventually the church. He declares war on couples who realize that Jesus is our whole life and who attempt to serve God together (Colossians 3:3-4).

If the devil cannot stop us from serving God and contributing to the growth of God's Kingdom, then he will use busyness, over-commitment at work or with our children, negative emotions and even apathy to dissuade our spiritual focus and fervor.

If he succeeds at conquering a marriage, or our spiritual focus, he can destroy our testimony and use our poor example to dissuade others from coming to Christ. He divides us and conquers our influence in our world.

Demonic intervention will also stir up in us a dissatisfaction with our relationship with our spouse, our best friends and our church family. We end up critical, Pharisaical, resentful, and eventually bitter (Matthew 23:4-12).

Human pride is one of the devil's greatest tools. He deceives and disillusions us about the importance of our spiritual opinions and beliefs. We stop seeing things from someone else's perspective and we insist on our own way. We end up acting in hurtful ways rather than exhibiting the fruit of God's Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

We are not obligated to pay any attention to the devil's deception. In fact, if we develop a deeper intimacy with Christ in us, His strength within us will enable us to resist the devil until He flees from us (1 John 4:3-5).

Father God, the only hope we have against submitting to the perfect storm of deception and temptation that Satan weaves into our lives is to walk in Your Spirit (Galatians 5:15-25). As we draw near to You, You will give us wisdom and discernment that will expose the devil's plans, as well as the spiritual strength to resist him until he flees from us (James 4:7).

We know without a doubt that Christ in us is stronger than the devil and his demons (Romans 8:31). We have seen You defeat him in our life time and again. We trust that as we walk in obedience to You, You will continue to set us free from his influence and interference in our life.

Thought for the Day:
Satan is the master of deception; he convinced many angels to rebel against God, Adam and Eve to disobey the one commandment that God gave them, and he makes sin seem pleasant to us; His goal is to wear down our devotion to God.

Friday, December 22, 2017

A Good Marriage - A Love that Lasts

 Fog Covered Mountains during Daytime

Most young women dream about the fairy tale wedding and marriage, only to find themselves disillusioned, resentful and unforgiving within the first year (Hebrews 12:15). We attempt to use our human resources to get our mate's attention and end up even more frustrated and angry.

In premarital counseling, we need to explain to hopeful couples that marital happiness takes work and that their covenant and commitment to one another is for a lifetime. We can also mention that God has a plan for their marriage and will help them to overcome the inevitable challenges and disappointments.

We put on our best behavior while dating, and then let our true inner self escape those confines once we say, "I do." This relaxed atmosphere is actually a good thing, because we get to fall in love again with our unfiltered selves.

However, sometimes this backfires and we end up resenting the unveiled version of our mate. We miss the charming persona and dislike many of the mannerisms of the real person.

We do not appreciate each other anymore; and sometimes, we do not even feel love for our mate. We slip more into the self-centered realm rather than focusing on our mate's needs and perspective and attempting to discover and accept why they act the way they do.

We can avoid this miserable existence by submitting our mate to the Lord in prayer, and then to concentrate on the issues about which God is dealing with us.

This allows God's Spirit to humble us, as He works in and through us. This also enables our intimacy in our relationship with both God and our mate to grow. We mature spiritually and our appreciation of our mate improves.

Working with each other to resolve our issues and to find a Plan C that we can both agree with, will bless us in our soul and spirit and influence the health of our body.

Father God, remind us that Your joy is more lasting than any happiness that the world can offer to us through relationships, work, hobbies, children, etc. Help us to focus on what attracted us to our mate and why we covenanted to dwell together for our lifetime. With You as the focus of our marriage, we have the grace to allow one another to be our true inner self.

Remind us to pray together about our inevitable conflicts, to love one another with Your unconditional, Agape love, and to work together to store up our treasure in heaven, rather than here on the earth (Matthew 6:20). Reveal Your plans to us for our marriage, because having a complementary ministry goal that we work at together will also bring us closer together as a couple.  

Thought for the Day:
As we invest our time, emotion, effort and love into our relationship with our mate, God will give us His anointed ideas on how to show love according to each other's Love Language.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Quietness and Confidence

 Mountain Filled With Snow Under Blue Sky during Daytime

Our confidence in life comes from our relationship with God. If we have no relationship with God, we must rely on our human abilities to bolster our confidence. Let's face it, most of us deal with life through our carnal nature.

We access wisdom to face the daily issues through our spirit ad soul, however, our Child-like nature directs our thoughts and feelings most of the time. God adjusts our soul by interjecting thoughts and feelings to dispel the fears and insecurities from our past.

This is often only "skin deep", however. Our true feelings from the past are still pushed down in our subconscious mind. They affect us every minute of our life, even if we do not recognize them in our conscious mind.

If we are truly Born Again, God's Spirit helps us to access the subconscious issues that influence our choices and attitude. We sit at Jesus' feet and He reveals Satan's lies that are creating our fears.

As we continue to seek God about these thoughts, God's Truth sets us free (John 8:32). In the quietness, God builds our confidence by healing us from these past wounds and by proving His love to us.

We listen with our spiritual ears (Matthew 11:15), realizing that worry only adds to our negative emotions (Luke 12:25-31). We walk in His light, which dispels the darkness and floods our soul with His everlasting Peace and Joy (John 15:7).

This eliminates much of our stress and anxiety. We yoke up with Jesus, learn from Him, and cast our cares on His broad shoulders. This way He helps us to carry our heavy load of daily issues as they arise (Matthew 11:25-30).

Father God, remind us that to abide in Your confidence and quietness, we must enter Your rest and allow You to heal our body, soul and spirit from the inside out. You have made a record in Your journal of everything that ever happens to us as well as how we respond to those events.

You will bring us healing for the negative circumstances, and help us to turn our joy and praise to You for the positive events, which we experience in our lifetime. Thank you for leading us out of the hectic, merciless rat-race, which we call "life", and for bringing us into Your glorious Kingdom here and now, as well as for eternity.

Thought for the Day:
Trusting in God's love and maintaining our faith in His faithfulness will ensure that our quietness will produce in us the confidence that God has everything - even the most negative of circumstances - under His control.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Life and Death in the Power of the Tongue

Red and Pin Rosebuds

God, as our authority and Creator, holds the decision of life and death in His hands. He has supreme power over our existence on this earth, and He knows our choices before we are ever born.

When we hear God's Spirit's direction for each moment of our day and follow in total obedience, we walk in God's love and provision. He cares about every facet of our life.

God's Word teaches us that there is the power of life and death in our words (Proverbs 18:21). Multiple medical studies and trials prove this Biblical concept is true.

Our thoughts, words and deeds are influenced by our beliefs. As we trust God for a positive outcome to our trials, we walk in victory and healing in both body and soul - our thoughts, choice and feelings.

Our natural illnesses are often exacerbated by our mindset. Depression causes physical illness, and positive thoughts give us an abundance of health.

Our thoughts are so powerful that they can actually cause, contribute to or impede the healing of our physical symptoms. Negative thoughts may increase our symptoms and positive ones may eliminate our hopeless bondage to disease.

At times our organs, including our mind, may need a medication or supplement, because our body quit producing it or our environment no longer provides it.

Sometimes, a doctor will prescribe an unnecessary prevention or intervention that will cause more issues than our current malady. Doctors are not infallible, and most of them only treat symptoms and not the cause of our problems. Getting a second opinion is always wise.

Availing our self to medical help is not a lack of faith and should not produce any shame or self-recrimination. We can trust God in these instances as well as in total healing for our diseases.

God does not always heal our body or soul supernaturally. He told Paul that His grace would help him to bear his infirmity. Paul told Timothy to drink a little wine to help his stomach issues.

God brings healing in His timing and way - even if He chooses to take us home to His glorious presence. Adopting the belief that God cares about everything in our life, will go a long way in preventing and healing any illnesses caused by the imperfect world in which we live.

Father God, You created our body and soul so intricately that they actually influence each other. Help us to coordinate our body and soul in such a way that we can walk in more health on this sin-cursed planet. Remind us that You have our best interest in Your heart, and You want to provide all of our needs with Your glorious riches (Philippians 4:19).

We do not want to walk in spiritual pride or ignorance of what our body needs; but neither do we want to allow medical practitioners to take Your place in our life. Teach us to pay attention to our body, and to adjust our therapies according to how we are feeling and how Your Spirit is guiding us.

Thoughts for the Day:
If we try everything humanly possible to heal some issue, and find no relief, then discouragement may set in and cause even more symptoms through worry and anxiety; trusting God to bring healing in His timing and way is part of the healing process and inspires positive, healing thoughts.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Heart of God

Free stock photo of dawn, landscape, mountains, sunset

My husband recently found out that I am normal; yet, I knew it all along. A medical report stated:

"People with mirror-touch synaesthesia are known to experience the same sensations when they see others being hurt. A new study by British psychologists now provides evidence that a significant minority of healthy people can also experience pain when seeing or hearing about others’ injuries."

That's me! Hubby used to call me he calls me synaesthesia. I call it the "heart of God". I am glad that God showed him this article, so he will dwell with me with more understanding.

God allows individuals to actually feel the pain that other people feel in order to prompt us to pray for them with not only sympathy, but also with real compassionate empathy - as one who has personally suffered much (Romans 12:14-16).

I cannot watch the crucifixion portrayed on screen, or hear about it in a sermon without feeling the pain that Jesus felt. I cannot hear the News on TV without feeling the pain of those who are suffering.

Of course, I do not experience the intensity of the physical pain the actual victim is experiencing; and I usually shrink up inside myself and push back on the pain, to keep it from penetrating my body as well as my soul.

I usually cry and grieve over their negative experiences as if I was suffering right along with them. I end up exhausted from the spiritual intensity of this experience; and I feel like a Mac truck ran over me.

I use God's gift as an opportunity to pray for those who are in the midst of persecution, tragedy, abortion, job loss, medical procedures, suffering, trauma, storms, car wrecks, etc. I LOVE to pray, and I consider this a privilege granted to me by our Heavenly Daddy.

Coupling this attitude of prayer with my melancholy personality, I often portray a negative aura. Many people look at me and think that I am worried or stressed or having some personal crisis.

They are shocked when they enquire after my well-being, and I cheerfully say, "I'm good. Thank you for asking." Most people think that I am unwilling to share my burden with them.

Yet the truth is, sometimes I am carrying the burdens of my brothers and sisters in Christ, a perfect stranger, all of the aborted babies, victims of human trafficking, those in the hospital and nursing homes, etc. They just caught me in the middle of my intercession.

I always turn my burdens into prayer, and cast all of these cares on God. He truly cares for us more than I could ever humanly care for those whose pain I actually feel. God hears us when we pray, and He often allows us to see the fruit of our prayers.

I believe that God gave me a blessing to be able to compassionately intercede for those who are suffering in any way. Due to the evil inherent on this earth, I pray without ceasing. I implore the Lord not only for the suffering of all of those around me, but I also pray for guidance for each moment of my life.

Father God, I love the privilege of sharing the burdens of Your heart. People like me prove to the world that You are not disinterested, calloused or immune to the suffering in this world. You care deeply for every individual and what we are suffering in this imperfect earth, which is full of insensitive people who are stripped of their conscience and even enjoy making other people suffer.

Remind us that many of these evil people are simply acting out the pain that they feel from the persecution in their past. They are attempting to alleviate their suffering imposed on them by those who were supposed to protect them. We trust that You will soon return and deal out vengeance on all of those who willfully imposed suffering on their innocent victims.

Thought for the Day:
Daily pray for victims of tragedy, abuse and neglect all over this world; and pray for Jesus to come soon and establish His rule over the nations of the world.

Monday, December 18, 2017

The Performance is Over

beautiful, environment, field

Throughout our life, we experience issues that make a lasting impression on us. They invade our mind with observations, our heart with emotion, our body with health or illnesses, and they influence our choices in so many ways.

Confessing our faults to the Lord, reaching out to the unlovable, and forgiving those who break our heart will make a huge, positive difference in our life. This allows God to heal us from the inside out.

Satan plants seeds of doubt along the path of our life, and these lies make a huge impact on our soul. We can pray, read God's Word and memorize scripture; but even so, our humanity believes the worst.

Only as we persevere in quiet prayer, listening to the words in our soul that keep us in bondage, do we find God's peace about our issues from the past. God's truth sets us free from every deceptive web the devil weaves around us (John 8:32).

As we submit to God's Spirit, He replaces our negative characteristics and beliefs with His fruit (Galatians 5:22-23). God's glory shines out from our spirit and lights up our whole world.

Total surrender to God's love and provision is the key to a fulfilled life. We let go of our works for God and allow Him to use our spirit, soul and body for His glory.

We stop performing our own human works and we enter God's rest (Hebrews 4:10-11) as we allow Him to work in and through us. We walk in a calm confidence that God has everything under His control.

God first loved us, and loves us still while we are yet sinners (Romans 5:8). He has a plan and purpose for our life and His Spirit directs us each moment of the day with God's ultimate goals in mind.

Father God, We serve You because we love You more than life itself. However, we often attempt to walk in Your ways through our own human strength and wisdom. We drop off to a troubled sleep each night, concerned about the outcome of tomorrow's challenges. If we will truly submit to Your will for each moment, and let tomorrow worry about itself (Matthew 6:25-34), then we will enjoy Your love, peace and joy now and for eternity.

As we fulfill Your purpose for us, we reflect Your glory to the world around us. We draw closer to Your presence within us as we enjoy an intimate relationship with You. We live in joyful communication with You throughout the day, and we rejoice when we see the fruit of our spiritual labors.

Thought for the Day:
God births new life out of the pain we experience in this world, and He brings hope to our heart, health to our body, and strength to our spirit as we willingly serve Him with every fiber of our being.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Our True Identity

Body of Water during Dawn

We struggle all of our life with our self-worth. We try to value our contribution to society, but well-meaning people diminish our efforts by speaking their truth about us with unkind, disparaging words.

We crumble under their criticism, ridicule and rejection. Their opinion matters to us, even if we do not know them very well, or they do not know the real us at all. We end up basing our identity on their assessment of who we are.

People come and go in our life - some take us for granted and others rarely take the time to know us for who we really are inside. They make snap judgments about us, and we foolishly accept their opinion of our nature as truth.

God's Holy Word is filled with His promises that help us to abolish Satan's lies, a well-meaning person's insults, and our own feelings of inferiority and insecurity. When Christ abides within us, we are no longer inadequate, insecure or inferior.

God's opinion of us is the only one that truly matters. In Christ, we are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). We benefit from His redemptive work on Calvary's cross, as well as His Spirit's sanctification of our soul (1 Corinthians 6:11).

Covered with the armor of Christ (Ephesians 6:10-18), we withstand every onslaught from the world, the devil and our flesh when they attempt to discourage us. We do not allow these entities to nullify our commitment to God or to drain our energy to serve the Lord with gladness (Psalm 100:2).

As we resist these attempts to sidetrack our faith, we march ahead with the Army of God's Saints in the miracle of our forgiven sins and in God's chosen path for us (Isaiah 44:24; Jeremiah 1:5).

We prove our love for God by obeying His precepts (John 14:15) and following His will for our life. His endless, steadfast, unconditional love victoriously sees us through every moment of our day, regardless of our circumstances.

Father God, as our faith in Your faithfulness increases over our lifetime of trials and traumas, Your Spirit helps us to uncover and replace Satan's lies, as well as to discover Your truth about who we are now and during the buried memories of our past. Your truth withstands the winds of adversity we encounter, and You make us more than conquerors (Romans 8:31-39).

Your love frees us from sin, and makes us: valued, good enough, affirmed, sealed by Your Spirit, and so much more. We are Your workmanship, whom You created. We submit to You as You do good works through us every moment of the day (Ephesians 2:10; 1 Corinthians 1:2). Teach us to construct our identity on Christ in us, rather than on our accomplishments and good works. Give us the desire to live a Christ-centered life rather than a selfish life based on our desires, dreams and goals.

Thought for the Day:
We are who God says we are: His chosen children, His holy priesthood, His heirs with Christ of His entire, eternal Kingdom; He enables us to walk by His Spirit's direction each moment of the day, to enjoy the fellowship of His Son, and to garner our power from our intimate relationship with Him.