Stages of Salvation

Our Daddy God created us in His own image as a triune being – body, soul and spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23). He calls us to live in constant praise to Him for His renewed mercy for us with each new morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).

 

Salvation comes in stages and starts with a regenerated spirit, continues with a lifetime of sanctification in the soul – our mind, emotions and choices – and ends up with glorification of the body – an immortal body – when we see Jesus face to face.

 

When we come to understand that the power of God resides in us once we totally surrender to His saving work in us, we live in more victory regardless of the circumstances that we face in life (2 Peter 1:3). We consult God each moment of our day (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

God has a purpose for each life in which He readily reveals Himself (Ephesians 1:11). As we totally depend upon Him, He continually supplies us with His guidance and provision to carry out His purposes for us (Ephesians 1:9; Philippians 2:12-13).

 

If we walk in the darkness of self and sin, we stumble and fail in our attempts to serve Him (John 11:10). Our union with the Trinity allows us to shed the shackles of the negative consequence of our sin nature and to surrender to God’s love (1 Corinthians 1:30).

 

His abundant love is everlasting (Psalm 25:6; Jeremiah 31:3). We live victoriously with the life of Christ flowing through us by His Spirit (John 15:1, 5). This allows us to live a fruitful life that furthers God’s Kingdom and brings us ultimate fulfillment (John 15:8).

 

Prayer:
Father God, as we make every effort to walk in peace with You, You promise to renew our soul and to make us blameless and spotless at Your coming (2 Peter 3:14). As we abide in You throughout the day, Your wisdom, grace, love and peace manifest in our life and out into the world around us. We walk out of the bondage to carnality and into the glorious freedom of the sons of God (Romans 8:21).

 

Through our union with You, You provide us with a dedicated life full of the wisdom, strength and Godly conviction, which we need to further Your Kingdom in our world. We look forward to the day when we can also walk in Your power, so You can make a true difference in others through our life. As we walk in the light of Christ, we find fulfillment in living out Your will for our life (1 John 1:7).

 

Thought for the Day:

When Jesus is our center and God is the focus of our life, we seek to do His will in our home, vocation, community, church, and extended family; our perseverance in our walk with God into complete maturity in Christ, guarantees that we will not stop short of His glorious riches, which He prepared for us before time began.

– Romans 9:23; James 1:4; Ephesians 2:10; Matthew 6:33; Colossians 3:3-4

 

 

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Freedom from Codependence

The need to please others is a curse from Satan. We want to be loved, and we look in all of the wrong places to get it. When we are disappointed, we turn to our addictions to anesthetize our pain. This makes us spiritually, physically, mentally, financially and emotionally ill.

 

We gain freedom from codependence by promoting intimacy in our life with God, our mate, our children, our extended family, our church family and our best friends. Unity in our relationships frees us from our perceived need to deny our self in order to gain their love.

 

Instead, we freely live in love as we bless others. We seek God’s Kingdom and His will as our main focal point for our day, and God provides abundantly for all of our needs (Matthew 6:33). We can do everything, which God calls us to do through Christ in us (Philippians 4:13).

 

We receive our advice from God’s Word, our direction from His Holy Spirit through prayer, and we make our choices by seeking God first (Matthew 6:33). As our worship of Him, we do what He designed for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).

 

We also learn patience in trials, because patience perfects us (James 1:3-4). Living for God allows His Spirit to cleanse us from all unrighteousness in our spirit, soul and body. The blood of Christ in us courses through our entire being and promotes health and well-being.

 

As we walk in the light of Christ, we find fulfillment in living out His will for our life (1 John 1:7). God’s wisdom, grace, love and supernatural abilities reside within us in Jesus Christ and are always available to meet all of our needs as we walk in God’s will for us (1 Corinthians 1:30).

 

Undistracted devotion to God allows us to tap into all of His power and majesty in order to live our life as Elijah and Enoch did, who never saw death, but walked with God; and we will steadily grow into complete maturity in Christ (James 1:4).

 

Prayer:

Father God, teach us to have Your compassion on the world around us – to empathize with their pain, to rejoice with them in their successes, to minister to all of their needs, and to lead them to faith in Christ. We do not need to deprive our self for the sake of others, but we can learn to minister to our own needs at the same time that we care for those to whom You call us to serve.

 

We want to walk more intimately with You, so that everything that we think, say and do is ultimately birthed from Your Spirit within us. You have a divine purpose for our life on this earth (Ephesians 2:10), and we only want to walk in Your truth and on Your path for us. We are here to serve at Your pleasure and to promote Your Kingdom in our world.

 

Thought for the Day:

God’s Spirit fills us, promotes our wise choices and brings us spiritual and often physical success and fruit from our labors. We consult the Lord before we do or say anything, and He leads us on His chosen path for us.

– Proverbs 3:5-6; Ephesians 2:10; Colossians 3:3-4

 

 

 

 

 

The Missing Ingredient

 

God wants to provide for each and every one of us right here and now, as well as in eternity. His free gift of salvation is given to everyone who chooses to believe, without regard to color, age, race, financial status and ethnic background (Romans 1:16; John 3:16-18).

 

Our righteous God reveals a fulfilled life in His love to those who elect to reject the counsel of our pride and rebellion, and who have faith in His faithfulness (Romans 1:16-17). He cares about all of our concerns (Proverbs 12:25; Philippians 4:6-8), and works on our behalf throughout our lifetime.

 

As humans, we are so engrossed in our soul – the thoughts of our mind, our fleshly choices, and the tyrant of our emotions – that we fail to realize that our spirit is dead within us (Ephesians 2:1). We instinctively know there is a missing ingredient, but we try to fill it with all the wrong choices.

 

We lack motivation, we blame others for our failures, and we waste time on trivial pursuits. Refusing to believe anything, which does not make sense to our human understanding, we reject God’s Truth. We even perverted the Serenity Prayer to relate to the “god of our own understanding.”

 

As fallen humanity, we are so blinded by our pride and rebellion to the Truth of God’s Word that we miss out on His blessings. We strive for perfection, and then get depressed when we miss the mark. We aim to please others or our self and reject the plan of our holy God.

 

The fact is that through God’s love for us, we can conquer every negative aspect in this life (Romans 8:37-39). We can accomplish any task preordained for us by God (Ephesians 2:10), because Christ in us gives us His strength to do so (Philippians 4:13).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You freely give every blessing to those who put their trust in You. You infuse us with Your joy, which is our strength to live a fulfilled life in this sin-cursed world. We yearn for Your coming…soon and very soon. Even creation cries out for the revelation of Your sons, so that You will restore the former glory of Paradise to the earth.

 

Thank You for moving by Your Spirit in my life and giving me the faith of Your Son, Jesus Christ, so that I can believe in You (Galatians 2:20). Thank You for showering me with Your love every moment of my day and teaching me to follow the direction of Your Spirit through each one of them. Dwelling in the center of Your will is the happiest place on earth.

 

Thought for the Day:

Regardless of our feelings of living a fulfilled or an unfulfilled life, we get easily bored with the mundane process of one day flowing into the next, and we stop caring about living; it is only as we see the hand of God’s will unfolding throughout our lifetime that we find true inner peace and joy that make each new day fresh and exciting.

Law or Liberty

Many of us are driven by the need to keep the “letter” of the law (2 Corinthians 3:4-6), to please others, to save the world from itself, etc. This leads to codependent behavior that is actually a curse, and the opposite of obedience to God’s will for us.

 

We say “yes” to every request made of us, and then we find our self without enough time in our life to do what is important – seeking first God and His Kingdom. Martha, the sister of Mary and Lazarus, did this. She was very busy doing what she “should” do.

 

Resentment built up in her heart, and she came to Jesus to complain that her sister was sitting at His feet and listening to His words, rather than helping her to prepare a meal for everyone. She failed to see what Jesus wanted her to do, and He corrected her (Luke 10:42).

 

We often look for support and satisfaction in all the wrong places. Contentment comes from having the peace and joy of the Lord inside of us, and radiating to the world around us. If we fail to live in the moment, we struggle with the past and fear the future.

 

If we feel negative emotions, we can take them to the Lord to discover their root, and to use the Serenity Prayer to either fix them, or to leave them in God’s capable hands (2 Peter 1:3). Then we look around at nature, people we love, and all of the blessings God gave us.

 

This allows contentment to seep into our soul, to replace the negative emotions drowning us in their hopelessness, and to make our choices from a positive position of love, grace, humility and obedience to God’s Spirit each moment of our day.

 

Prayer:

Father God, we want to live from the standpoint of gratefulness for your supply (Matthew 6:31-32), of appreciation for Your salvation and complete redemption, of acceptance of our life as it is. We look to You – the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2) – rather than to focus on our earthly needs, wants and desires. Our greatest desire is to allow Your infinite focus to govern our mind, instead of our finite perspective (Matthew 6:19-34).

 

Help us to walk in Your perfect love and liberty (James 1:25), rather than by the letter of the law. The letter requires of us what we ought to do; while liberty encourages us to accomplish what Your Spirit directs us to do. Remind us of all which we have to be grateful for in our life, and to give You unending praise for Your protection and provision for us.

 

Thought for the Day:

When negative emotions assail us, we can pause to look around us in this moment of time at all that God already provided for us, to simplify our life of clutter inside our soul and in our home and schedule, to live a life of gratitude rather than regret and anxiety, to encourage those whom God brings into our life, to make time to enjoy our family, vocation and friends, and to always focus on the positive.

– Philippians 4:6-8, 19; Hebrews 13:5; 2 Corinthians 9:8

 

Overcoming Habitual Habits

Prior to coming to Christ, we determined our daily routine by our priorities. We valued, worked toward and pursued anything that would assist us in reaching our goals. We did good deeds for others, but we wanted the praise.

 

We formed habits, as we trained our thoughts, attitudes, words and actions to respond and react in certain ways to the challenges and trials of life. We are used to living independently of any restraints or parameters on our behavior (Romans 8:7-8).

 

Developing these habits, helped us survive day in and day out. Living by our human reasoning, and working to please our self and to secure our future, we focused on our success and made sure we came out on top (Romans 1:25; 2 Corinthians 5:15).

 

However, when the Spirit of God comes into our life, He encourages us to entirely shift our mind-set, and to allow Him to put to death the carnal deeds of our flesh, so that we can live an abundant life now and throughout eternity (Romans 8:13-14).

 

This sets up a dichotomy in our life, which causes a tug-of-war within our soul (Romans 7:14 – 8:12). Some of the former fleshly traits, alien to God’s ways, want to maintain the status quo and to continue to influence our thoughts, words and behavior, so that we can retain control.

 

The tie-breaker is God’s Spirit. He resurrects our spirit, which was formerly dead in sin (Ephesians 2:5). Our spirit is Born Again (Colossians 3:3). Then, God’s Spirit crucifies our old nature with Christ, and we partake in the divine nature of Christ (2 Peter 1:4).

 

The fruit of the Spirit replace our former carnal character (Galatians 5:22-23). We no longer live independently, but in dependence on God’s love and will, developing new and healthier habits. Each day we walk in more and more freedom as we gain victory over the flesh.

 

Prayer:

Father God, teach us to abide in Your Spirit and to daily follow Your desires for our life (Galatians 5:16-26). Remind us that we overcome the deeds of our flesh by renewing our mind and surrendering our life to Christ who abides within us (Romans 12:2; Mark 10:28-29).

 

Thank You for Your saving faith, which is a gift to us from Your mercy and love, and comes from Your Holy Spirit who influences and transforms us. You draw us to Your heart and You renovate every aspect of our life by Your Spirit. This free gift is priceless, and we thank You for the sacrifice Jesus paid for our eternal life (Ephesians 2:8).

 

Thought for the Day:

When we totally surrender our life to Christ, we experience habit modification; as we lay down our independent and willful tendencies on a daily basis, and obey the will of God instead, we willingly submit our old fleshly habits to the work of God’s Spirit within us.

– Matthew 16:24-26; Romans 8:12-13

 

 

 

Life’s Purpose

This world is made up of all types of people: different personalities, body shapes, facial structure, hair and eye color, hopes, dreams, goals, reality, etc. We sometimes feel like we are hopelessly spinning our wheels.

 

When we continually suffer rejection, disappointment, abuse, abandonment, unrealized dreams and goals, etc. it makes our soul – our thoughts, emotions and choices – sick. This makes our body and spirit sick as well (Proverbs 13:12).

 

Dreamers have many creative ideas, but rarely follow through with any of them. This type of person is easily distracted, they have little ambition or fortitude, and they waste time and money pursuing unrealistic goals (Proverbs 12:24).

 

They resent authority, despise wise council and discipline (Proverbs 1:7), and they want to do everything their own way (Isaiah 53:6). They have many dreams and a plethora of words, but their life is empty (Ecclesiastes 5:7).

 

Dreamers want the glory without the work involved to get there – a “get rich quick” scheme. They often sabotage their own plans before they can bear fruit, due to their impatience and fear of success.

 

That is also why, that when they get what they want in order to pursue their dream, they never follow through; they usually move on to pursue a new dream right away (Ecclesiastes 7:18).

 

We all need direction in our life, a God-inspired vision, which directs our steps each day (Proverbs 29:18). A single focal point with plenty of elbow grease will see success, as we inch toward the prize for the calling of God on our life (Philippians 3:14).

 

When we seek God’s plan for our life, we avoid distractions and extreme over-reactions to life. We leave a legacy behind for others to build upon, and we see the results of our labor when we arrive in heaven and meet the people who are fruit of our efforts (Proverbs 12:24).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we are part of the masses, but You desire for us to individually make a difference in our world. Give us Your holy boldness to avoid the distractions and extremes that this world encourages, and sometimes even requires for success. Walking in Your will for our individual life is our whole goal and purpose for living.

 

We want to live in moderation, simple lives without encumbrances from Satan and the world. As we walk according to Your principles for our life, we can reach out to others in Your name. Teach us to do the hard work required to further Your Kingdom, and give us Your stamina. We know that we can accomplish everything You call us to do through Christ who abides within us (Philippians 4:13).

 

Thought for the Day:

God proves Himself to us so that people will revere Him, and everything that He ordains will last for eternity;  He calls us to do nothing out of selfish ambition and vain conceit, but to do only that which we see and hear our Father God inspiring us to accomplish.

– Ecclesiastes 3:14; Philippians 2:3, John 5:19

 

 

 

 

An Abiding Relationship

Jesus walked this earth for thirty-three years and was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3-12). He knows how we feel and can relate to our experiences (Hebrews 2:18). He learned obedience through the things which He suffered.

 

Through all of His suffering, He also walked in abiding peace, serenity of mind, calm dignity, obedience to God’s will for His life, and was controlled by God’s Spirit. He focused on the joy set before Him, even enduring the cross for our sake (Hebrews 12:2).

 

He had this attitude and formed these habits, because He spent time alone communing with our Father God (Luke 5:16). He never spoke or accomplished anything that He did not feel directed by God to say or do (John 5:19).

 

Growing in grace and favor with God and man is something which Jesus accomplished with His life, and we can too (Luke 2:52). He did not depend on the good opinion of others, nor did He allow their demoralizing scorn define His opinion of Himself (Isaiah 53:3).

 

This same Christ abides within our spirit, influencing us to emulate His example. As we live in total surrender to Him, then His holiness, faithfulness, compassion and grace manifest through us. This provides us with a good conscience, and a holy walk (1 Timothy 1:19).

 

God designed His Word to work like fire to consume our lusts, like a hammer to break bondages we allow in our life, and like a sword to divide our soul and spirit (Jeremiah 23:29; Hebrews 4:12). He promises to finish the work He began in us (Philippians 1:6-7).

 

God’s Spirit faithfully keeps our whole spirit, soul and body blameless until He returns. He is the author and finisher of our faith, and the promises of His Word strengthen us with His joy (1 Corinthians 1:8; Hebrews 12:12; Isaiah 41:10).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for our abiding relationship with Your Trinity. You never withdraw from us; but it is our sin which grieves Your Spirit and breaks our fellowship with You. We want to walk in Your ways and to please You all the days of our life.

 

Your joy is our strength through the devastating events in our life, which force us to our knees in prayer. Your joy is greater than human happiness, and it transcends all of the negative emotions created by our responses to our circumstances. Help us to walk in Your ways and to delight in Your paths.

 

Thought for the Day:

The Bible exposes our innermost thoughts and desires and cleanses us from all unrighteousness; focusing on our spiritual walk, listening to the Spirit and following His lead on a minute-by-minute basis, enables us to find eternal success, earthly fulfillment and people who admire our walk and want to follow us as we follow Christ.

– Hebrews 4:12; 1 John 1: 9; 1 Corinthians 11:1