Friday, June 30, 2017

God Enables Us

Free stock photo of nature, forest, trees, woods

We so often overwhelm our spirit, soul and body by working for God. We spin our wheels, fall off the tracks or experience one road block after another in our attempt to accomplish these good works for Him.

If we discover that the task we have at hand is draining us of our physical, emotional and/or mental resources, then we need to questions whether or not God called us to perform it.

God's energy, wisdom and strength work within us to enable us to accomplish everything which He calls us to do (Colossians 1:29). Sometimes, we ignore His help and push ahead of His timing in accomplishing His will.

If we walk in the center of God's will, we have the power of Christ in us, which God exerted in and through Jesus at the resurrection (Ephesians 1:19-20). The Greek word in this passage is the same one from which we get our word dynamite.

Explosive power and might are just waiting for us to tap into them and to allow them to fuel our obedience to God's will for each moment of our day. The key to walking in this power is to receive from God's Spirit, His clear direction for what He wants us to do.

Then, we focus all of our emotional, metal and spiritual energy into achieving God's plan as we walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:15-25). We promote and build the Kingdom of God on the earth, one person and one task at a time.

We take up our cross daily by yoking up with Jesus, who helps to carry our load and gives us His anointing from within us to do all that God has planned for our day (Matthew 11:30; Luke 9:23).

Prayer:
Father God, You often intervene in the events of our life in order that we may avoid a catastrophe, which would negatively impact our life and the lives of others we know. We are aware of some of these events, but some of them we will never realize until eternity. We thank You for all of Your care for us as a loving Daddy and eternal Friend.

We thank You for Your angels who watch over and protect us from events in this world that often frighten us. We accomplish Your will for each moment of our life once we come to understand that we live better by Your power, which is at work in us (Philippians 4:13). Thank You for saving and comforting us each and every day of our life.

Thought for the Day:
The presence of the Trinity within us brings us deliverance and healing to our body, soul and spirit and we abide in His rest forever as we stand in awe of His marvelous creation, bountiful provision and perfection of our spirit and soul as we walk in His ways.



Thursday, June 29, 2017

A Major Overhaul

2 Grey and Black Birds

God's plan for us included that we receive eternal life by recognizing the truth of who Jesus is. It is only when we fully embrace Him in our life that our spirit, dead in sin, can receive new life (1 John 5:11-13).

If we confess our sins and fully embrace and submit to Christ, then we have eternal life. It is all a matter of our choices. Our selection at these crossroads either condemn us to hell or free us to believe on Jesus and receive everlasting life (John 3:18).

We prove to our self, to the world and to God that we are sincere in our faith when we resist the drain on our soul by our flesh, the devil, and the draw of the world; and instead, obey His commandments (1 John 2:3-5, 3:9, 3:14, 3:18, 4:9).

God calls us to cooperate with the major overhaul of His Spirit in our life, so that He can call us His children. We have faith in His sacrifice for us through the redemption in His shed blood (Romans 3:25).

This change in our soul - our thoughts, choices and feelings - is not accomplished by self-effort and trying harder. Without Christ as our salvation, we will continually fall short of God's glory (Romans 3:23).

With Christ abiding within us, however, we receive God's blessings as His free gift to everyone who believes (Romans 6:23). God's Spirit transforms us and removes our sins - past, current and future - from His consciousness forever (Acts 3:19).

With this sanctification comes constant blessings in our life as we change our focus from the earthly aspects to the spiritual realm. We lose our affinity for the ideals and lusts of the visible and gain more of a respect and passion for the invisible attributes of life with God.

Prayer:
Father God, by You all things were created (Colossians 1:16; John 1:3; Col 1:17; 2 Corinthians 5:17). In You, our life is made complete (Colossians 1:28, 2:10). As we surrender to Your will for our life and walk in Your truth by the guidance of Your Holy Spirit, we have everything we need to live a fulfilled life now as well as in eternity.

We thank You for the abundance You provide for us in this life, as well as in the next. We rejoice in trials and tribulation because You walk in us and with us through them all. We surrender our carnal, sin nature to You and walk in Your Spirit each moment of the day. When we do, we reap the rewards of our inheritance with Christ in You (Galatians 5:15 -25; Colossians 3:3).

Thought for the Day:
Including our mate in our process of sanctifying changes, allows them to enjoy a more intimate relationship with us and gives them more of a valuable part in our life.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Relying Totally on God

Trees in Park

God causes us to rise up with eagle’s wings so that we can escape the confines of this natural world (Isaiah 40:31). From within our spirit, rivers of living water flow; they are straight from the throne of God (John 7:38).

Apart from God, we have no righteousness, peace or joy (John 15:5). He saved us, not on our own merit of good works, but according to His mercy (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:4-5).

As we fellowship in His sufferings, we also share in His presence and in His glory (Philippians 3:10). His life flows through our life and brings a holy contentment that transcends worldly trials and tribulation (Philippians 4:12).

It is healthy to mourn our losses, but joy comes as we hold God's hand through it all (Psalm 30:5). God calls us to completely surrender to Him, to trust in His wisdom and to have faith in His faithfulness to His Saints (Job 11:13-15; Proverbs 3:5-6).

He rarely operates as we expect or desire, but our Father always knows what is best. Relying totally on God provides the most peaceful existence for us. Living in the center of His will is the happiest place on earth.

If we allow our focus in life to center on the natural aspects, our spirit will not grow, and our body and soul will suffer deprivation as well. Yet, if we focus on the spiritual aspects of our life in Christ, He works out everything for our good (Romans 8:28).

God also works out His excellence in us, using patience to do her perfect work. Patience is a choice; we choose to wait on God and to trust in His goodness to us.

This attitude provides us with a much healthier life in our body, soul and spirit. We think only about positive, trustworthy and praiseworthy aspects of our life, and leave the rest up to God (Philippians 4:8).

Prayer:
Father God, You give us comfort in our tribulation in this world so that You can comfort others through us (2 Corinthians 1:4). If we trust in our own abilities and wealth, we will fail; but as we step aside and allow You to bless others through us, we will prosper as well (Proverbs 11:28).

Remind us to keep our focus on Your Kingdom and to use the gifts and talents that You provide for us to walk in Your ways, obey Your directives and live in Your will for each moment of every day. You are worthy of all honor and glory and praise and we keep our mind focused on You throughout our day and night.

Thought for the Day:
If we primarily focus on fleshly, carnal aspects of life – even positive things such as our job, church, family and hobbies - they become idols; if we focus on religious aspects of life, we grow self-righteous and judgmental; yet, if we carry our spirituality into every detail of our daily life, we find joy that is beyond human description. - Colossians 3:17



Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Balance and Equanimity - Breaking the Tyranny of Oppression and Stress

White Daisy in Grass


We often view our self as a helpless victim of life. We wallow in self-pity and feel out of control all of the time. We use defenses such as anger or depression - repressed anger; and at times, completely give up and waste away uselessly.

Other people pull themselves up by their boot strap and plod along determinedly with harmful fight or flight adrenaline boosting their emotions to dangerously heightened levels.

Others vacillate between grouchy annoyance and vengeful fury. We can easily escalate to high levels of rage in our attempt to intimidate people or situations in order to force them to really listen to us.

Yet, there is a happy medium between these two extremes: turning our life over to God's control and living submissively to His will. We cannot control life's circumstances or the people with which we have to live, worship, work and associate.

The only entity which we can control is our own soul - our own thoughts, feelings and choices. We do not have to live under the oppression of stressful thoughts and beliefs, or a warped sense of reality perceived through the filter of Satan's lies.

Our beliefs control our thoughts, emotions, motives and actions. As we inventory what we believe, we can change our behavior by changing our erroneous viewpoints. 

Once we balance our focus concerning some event or person, we free our thoughts and emotions, and increase our sense of peace and equilibrium. We entertain more patience, kindness, understanding and grace toward people and even toward our own self.

We end the tyranny of earthly possibilities and concerns and keep our focus on spiritual certainty. We stop allowing the bothersome ideals of the visible realm of life to distract us from the realities of the invisible realm of God's plans for us.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us to use the wisdom of the Serenity Prayer to bring more balance and equanimity and a sense of well-being to our life. Validate our self-esteem and affirm our self-worth when we gain our perspective about our identity from our relationship with You and not from our own works or other people.

Teach us to be present with our self in each moment of time, to take frequent searching inventories of our thoughts and feelings and to cast aside the lies Satan uses to place wedges between our relationship with our self, other people or You. The devil, our flesh and the world attempt to pull us away from an abiding sense of inner peace, love, joy and serenity, which we gain only from our worship of You.

Thought for the Day:
Take an inventory of your common thoughts and beliefs, and line them up with the reality of God's Word; if God said it, that settles it and we can believe it.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Walking in the Center of God's Will for Us

Sunset over Snow Covered Mountains


Prayer is the most important ministry God can call us to perform. Jesus prayed while He lived on earth, and He continues to intercede for us even now (Hebrews 7:24-25).

As we clothe our self with the righteousness and divinity of Jesus, we will stop making the needs of our carnal flesh a priority in our life (Romans 13:14).

Putting on the armor of God, we can stand firm in the face of both adversity and temptation (Ephesians 6:11). God's Spirit gives us both the desire and the ability to submit to God and to resist the lies of Satan's deception (Philippians 2:12-13; James 4:7).

Living in the center of God's will for each moment of our life, we live in obedience and reap the benefits of a life hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3-4). We earn God's pleasure with our faith (Hebrews 11:6).

Living out God's purpose and walking in His plans for our life without negative emotions and unrealistic expectations (John 10:27-28), we allow Him the opportunity to work in and through us.

Enjoying the four dimensions of God's love for us, we rejoice that nothing can ever separate us from His unconditional love (Romans 8:35-39). He has a perfect and fulfilling life all ready for us.

Prayer:
Father God, we thank you for loving us unconditionally and guiding us to walk in Your will through each moment of our day. The precious blood of Jesus bought the possibility of our relationship with You (John 17:23), and for this we are eternally grateful.

Help us to walk in Your ways, to obey Your Words and to never take for granted the atoning sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross for us. Direct Your Saints to live in harmony, so that other people will see our love for one another and believe in You as well.

Thought for the Day:
Looking to other people to meet our needs is a burden that they cannot carry and is an unhealthy practice for us to adopt. We are capable of meeting our own needs and trusting God to open the doors we need to meet them.


Sunday, June 25, 2017

God's Blessings

Red Cluster Petal Flower Field during Sunset 


Some preachers continually speak about God providing earthly blessings to His people. They declare that God wants us to have health, wealth and success.

Other preachers declare that we will not always be blessed in this life. They both refer to blessings in this earthly realm and forget to share with us about the eternal blessings God has in store for us.

God does want us to enjoy the temporal blessings, which He provides for us; but they are not always guaranteed. In fact, God will also bless us with trials and tribulation (Matthew 5:11; John 16:33).

Tribulation is a part of everyone's life - even a Christian. Jesus was tortured and crucified. John was in prison and beheaded (Matt 11:2-6, 14:10). God gave Paul grace to deal with his thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Blessings are gifts from God, which come in all shapes and fashions. Many make us feel fortunate and happy; yet, sometimes, these blessings appear hidden in misfortune and tribulation.

Our attitude about them is what makes the difference. People are amazed when we find joy in our tribulation. Our testimony may be the only source of saving grace for someone suffering similar circumstances.

If we rejoice always (James 1:2; Philippians 4:4), then we view even the most horrendous trial as a blessing from God (Genesis 50:20). He walks through it with us and in us, providing for our needs and using us as a light in the darkness around us (Psalm 23; Philippians 4:19).

Prayer:
Father God, You do all things beautifully in Your timing and way. You are rarely early, and usually come through for us at the very last earthly minute. I am so glad that You brought me to the place of total surrender to You and Your will in all things. Remind me to be still, to acknowledge You as God, and to allow You to work out everything for my good (Psalm 46:10; Romans 8:28).

When I remember what happened when Sara gave her maid to her husband - the Muslim world was born and they have been fighting Your son of promise ever since – this prevents me from inventing my own solutions to my problems and it spurs me to desire to walk in Your Spirit moment by moment throughout the day.

Thought for the Day:
When God is silent, He is simply enjoying our companionable silence; so be still and know that He is God and has everything under His control.
– Psalm 115:3, 46:10, 16:9; Zechariah 4:6


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Maintaining Inner Peace


God created Paradise for us to dwell in forever; however, Adam and Eve listened to Satan's lies and reaped suffering, death and destruction for all of mankind throughout the ages.

Ever since that time, people try to control life's hardships in one way or another. The issue with this is that we cannot control reality. We can avoid certain trials only by walking by the direction of God's Holy Spirit.

We can also avoid some suffering by taking a searching inventory of our emotions throughout the day and taking all negative emotions to God in prayer for Him to help us to find a resolution for the problems, to sanctify our attitude and to maintain our inner peace.

We can also follow the wisdom of the Serenity Prayer and learn to flow with reality and submit to God when there is nothing He leads us to do in order to correct the situation.

We step out of the prison of our negative circumstances when we learn to praise God for them, in them and through them. We follow James' example and count them as opportunities to trust God with joy in our heart (James 1:2-18).

We check on our perspective on any incident in our past that is coloring our response to the current situation. We can change our focus about the situation and replace our negative thoughts and emotions with positive ones that are centered on God's Truth (Philippians 4:8).

Prayer:
Father God, help us to look at life from Your outlook, from a spiritual perspective rather than an earthly or carnal one. If we live in denial of a situation, or argue with others involved in the situation, or blame You for what life throws at us, we spin our wheels and lose the battle every time.

If, however, we listen to Your Holy Spirit and accept each incident with joy in our heart and faith in Your faithfulness, we avoid unnecessary pain and suffering in our body, soul and spirit. Help us not to inwardly or outwardly complain about one another's idiosyncrasies, habits and peculiarities; but to accept one another in love as Your unique creation.

Thought for the Day:
As we totally trust in and submit to God through all of our circumstances, He helps us to sustain His peace in our heart and to maintain equilibrium in our thoughts, emotions, words and actions.





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Friday, June 23, 2017

Guided by God's Spirit

Free stock photo of landscape, water, boats, mountain



If God is interested in what we eat and drink, (1 Corinthians 10: 31), He is certainly also interested in what we do and when we do it, even it is merely what we eat for dinner.

Following God's will during every decision He calls us to make insures our success in that endeavor. When we finish one task, we pray about what to do next.

Praying without ceasing for God’s direction for each moment of our day allows the Holy Spirit to guide and direct our steps. Then, we can ask His help in whatever He directs us to do.

The Serenity Prayer is very popular among self-help groups, but it is a blue print for walking in the wisdom of Proverbs 3:5-6. It teaches us that we can hear God’s desire for every situation in our life.

It also teaches us that if we cannot deal with our circumstances as they arise, we can put them in God’s capable hands before we go on to the next moment.

This practice keeps us from borrowing trouble from tomorrow ad from worrying about the future. We experience each moment fully and deliberately with thought, prayer and purpose.

If we can do something to change our situation, we do it. If we cannot affect the issues, we turn them completely over to God.

We give everything about the matter over to God, as well as all of the natural consequences of those issues. Then, we go about our day in the peace of God that passes all human understanding.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for giving us the wisdom to know what situations we can change, and which to leave in Your hands. Give us the strength to deal with the issues that You reveal are our responsibility, and help us to turn the rest over to You. We ask You to help us to develop an attitude of acceptance about them.

If we cannot change them, then we will praise You for them, in them, and through them, even for the negative things. By doing this, we will end up walking in complete serenity and in the dynamic power of Your Holy Spirit. We pray that You will fill us through all of our being with all of Your fullness, and that we may have the richest measure of Your presence and become a body, which is completely filled with Your Trinity (Ephesians 3:19, Amplified).

Thought for the Day:
Serenity Prayer: “Father, grant me the patience to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”  


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Holy Contentment

Image result for Wallpaper Nature

Our life in Christ has nothing to do with the wisdom of the world. In fact, much of what we do defies nature, scientific laws and worldly expectations.

Therefore, some of our friends, relatives, associates and neighbors will reject us over our beliefs and actions (Psalm 14:2-3). They are consumed with their self-important life and cannot conceive of why we would believe the precepts of what they consider an archaic religion (Proverbs 3:7).

Yet, we are not alone. Jesus lived a misunderstood life as well (Luke 23:11). If we renounce the truth of God that we know to please other people or to fit in to society, we will pay the penalty of a compromised soul.

If we search the world to find something or someone else to bring us fulfillment, we fall short of the glory of God. God does not only call us to worship Him with our mind and understanding, but in spirit and in truth as well (John 4:23-24).

God reveals His truth to us as we seek Him with our whole heart (Jeremiah 29:13; 1 Corinthians 2:10). Our life becomes a Bible for others to read (2 Corinthians 3:2).

Satan wants us to believe that we are hopeless sinners, unable to rise up to partake in holy living. The truth is that when God moved in, He imparted His divine nature to us as well (2 Peter 1:4).

We are Saints of God (Romans 1:7). We walk as children of the Light, and we give no place to the flesh (Ephesians 5:8; Galatians 5:16, 25). We trade our heavy load of selfishness and sin for His yoke, which is easy and light (Matthew 11:30).

Prayer:
Father God, teach us to accept one another and to encourage each other in Your love (Romans 15:7). Unite us with one another by Your Spirit within us (Ephesians 4:13). Remind us that eternal life is knowing You in an intimate and personal way (John 17:3).

We do not need to wait for eternity to have this relationship, but to trust only in Christ for our salvation now in this life. Remind us that we can bear fruit for Your Kingdom as we abide in You, obey Your Word and walk in Your Spirit (John 15:5; Ephesians 2:10; Galatians 5:15-25).

Thought for the Day:
God's' love for us knows no bounds, and it fills us to overflowing with appreciation and wonder; we gain holy contentment when we realize who we are in Christ and we develop a grateful attitude for what God provides for us.










Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Good Marriage - Key Ingredients - Part 2

Image result for Wallpaper Nature

God usually puts opposites together; in fact, He created us so that opposites attract one another. I used to consider this a huge trick and I failed to see the wisdom or humor in this conundrum.

Over the years, however, I saw the reason behind this attraction. God knows that our individual strengths can compensate for our mate's weaknesses, in the same way that their strengths counterbalance our failings.

We lean on one another rather than insist on our own way or compete with each other. We forgive each other's idiosyncrasies that drive us crazy and look for ways to appreciate our differences.

I have yet to meet a mind reader, with the exception of my husband and younger son. They seem to be able to know what I am thinking prior to me saying anything about it.

Yet, we do not want to assume that anyone has this talent on a continual basis. We acknowledge character traits that we respect in one another, and focus and dote on those personality differences that we find attractive and that we really appreciate.

We all forget what we have been told at one time or another; so it is important to clearly and patiently communicate during our quality time together what we are needing, thinking and feeling until our need is met.

Making a schedule for date nights is often a necessity in our busy lifestyle. This does not diminish the romance of the occasion, but it actually proves to one another that we care and that we consider each other worthy of our time and effort.

We can also spend time together on spontaneous picnics, movie nights and sitting on the porch swing together, etc. These are very romantic times of sharing and also worth our whole-hearted commitment to make each other feel special and cherished.

Prayer:
Father God, teach us to cherish one another and to appreciate all that we mean to one another and what we do for each other. Help us to be grateful for our mate and to realize why You brought us together. We want to serve You with our time individually and as a couple.

Remind us to pray together and to share with each other what we are learning in Your Word. We desire to be Godly examples to each other and to our family, neighbors, associates and friends. Help us to prioritize our time and to keep our focus on You, to follow the guidance of Your Spirit and to walk in Your will for each moment of our day and night.

Thought for the Day:

When we love God more than we love our self or our mate, He helps us to love both our self and our mate more sincerely and fully.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A Good Marriage - Key Ingredients

 Free stock photo of light, water, abstract, blur



We often hear or read about the idea that friends make the best mate for our life. In the 44 years of marriage that I experienced so far in my lifetime, I have to agree with this wisdom.

There is one downfall to this concept, however. We often end up taking our friends for granted, neglecting our relationship when our life gets busy, and letting down our guard with one another until we treat each other with less respect and cherishing love than is healthy for our marriage.

The only way to keep the spark of love and interest alive in our marriage is to appreciate each other and to spend time together. Attending church services together, working together in a ministry, riding together to appointments and chatting along the way.

We can participate in hobbies that we are both interested in doing with our time; make an effort to share laughter every day; trust one another with our secret fears, hopes and joys; and cherish our relationship above all others.

We forgive each other for shortcomings, inconsideration, grouchy exchanges, perceived slights and failures to keep promises. Hoarding hurt feelings blocks the flow of love between two people, but forgiveness is God's divine ingredient for living happily ever after.

Expectations are a part of marriage. We are all human with individual desires, and we only have one mate to help us to fulfill those needs. Be willing to help your mate meet his/her needs.

Healthy couples never insist on their own way, but we express our requests clearly, expect to be taken seriously and trust that our mate will cheerfully help us to complete whatever task in which we are involved.

Sharing moments of intimacy, meaningful looks, a wink or a smile across the room, frequently expressing the words "I love you"; connecting physically during the day with a phone call, email, text or love note hidden in an obvious place, and a frequent kiss or hug are all ideas that will keep the spark alive between us.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that serving one another in love enables us to remember that we are both equally important in our marriage. When there is discord, help us to look for solutions within our self and our attitude and behavior, rather than to try to impose our opinions on one another.

Keep us aware that our body language is very expressive, sometimes more so than the words we use. Inspire us to make the effort to brainstorm together to find a solution with which we can both agree on, in order to keep the peace in our home through every season of life. This will make both of us feel "heard", considered and cherished.

Thought for the Day:
Whenever two people live together, there is always conflict; but it is how we handle that conflict that allows us to pull together rather than to pull apart.