God’s Glorious Pursuit of Us

I am moved to tears of joy during the multitude of times that God “hugs” me all throughout the day. Several times each hour, He gives me a thought, reminds me of an event, and fills my garden with butterflies – thanks to my “gardening” angels who provided my flowers.

He constantly arranges the numbers on the clock to give me a message when I glance at it. Numbers have meanings that apply to our life. See this post: http://www.biblestudy.org/bibleref/meaning-of-numbers-in-bible/introduction.html

At other times, He causes a heart shaped leaf to flutter down at my feet, places a praying mantis on my window screen, or has a flower growing up through a crack in the sidewalk when I pass by. He loves each of us in our own way.

His hugs come in various sizes and shapes through music, nature, people, neighborhood happenings, work-related events, divine appointments that He arranges for us, etc. If we are too busy to notice, we miss these loving incidences that He planned just for us.

God pursues our love and attention all day long. We rarely recognize His hugs, however, because we are too busy focusing on the mundane tasks at work, home, church, community and in our social calendar. We live for our own dreams and goals instead of His (Ephesians 2:10).

If we pay attention, He enables us to hear and feel His presence in our life through His Spirit within us. We can experience the joy, peace and blessings of living, moving and having our being in him alone, and we actually notice His immense loving kindness (Acts 17:28).

Once Christ is our whole life, glorious times of intimacy with God’s Trinity are more and more frequent (Colossians 3:3-4). Of course, we do not neglect family, work, church and community outreach, but we accomplish all of this through God’s guidance.

Prayer:

Father God, we cannot fathom that You, the God of the entire universe, care about each and every one of us so intimately that You will give us meaningful hugs throughout the entire day and night. The immensity of Your love for us overwhelms us with joy and peace.

Remind us that You have a determined purpose and wondrous plans for the life of every one of Your dear children. We are extensions of Christ on this earth, because He abides within us (John 14:12). Help us to focus on spiritual matters rather than carnal, heavenly instead of earthly, and infinite thoughts and pursuits in the place of finite ones (Galatians 5:15-25).

Thought for the Day:

The goal of the Christian life is to do everything, even including what we eat and drink, for God’s glory and according to the direction of His Holy Spirit within us.

– 1 Corinthians 10:31; Galatians 5:25

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A Balanced Life

Negative emotions, such as depression, trigger a negative downward spiral that often makes us want to quit on life. Doctors are discovering a link between our soul’s emotions and the health of our bodily organs.

 

Our attitude about life reflects in our face, posture and body language. Also, when we suffer physical, mental or emotional trauma, the pain triggers reactions equally in our body and soul. This affects our passion, joy, peace, and interactions with other people, as well as our empathy for our self and others.

 

Negative emotions are stored in our body, if we do not release them in positive ways, such as: sharing with a trusted friend, journaling, and taking our disappointments, betrayal, broken promises, etc. to the Lord for His resolution, we will suffer.

 

Our illnesses and lack of nutrients reflect the chemical unbalance in our body. Even the cleanliness and organization of our car’s interior and exterior, our home and yard, etc. mirror the clutter present in our soul.

 

Our discernment, thoughts and emotions show us areas where we are neglecting our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs. We may be harboring shame, bitterness, anger, etc. and we need to forgive our self and others.

 

Our hormones, adrenalin, endorphins and cortisol are all affected by our negative thoughts and emotions, which causes physical depletion and imbalance. A lack of emotional support from our self and others actually damages our body and soul.

 

When our heart is feelings conflict with the analytical thoughts of our mind, we may feel confused, hopeless, depressed, anxious and stressed, etc., which also causes deficiencies in our body and soul – mind, emotions and choices.

 

Other people have their own needs and agenda. We cannot expect them to drop their priorities and meet our needs. The only way to really feel loved and accepted and provided for is to come to God. Then, joy, peace, contentment and fulfillment flood our soul.

 

Prayer:

Father God, teach us to come to You to ask for forgiveness of our sins, to daily trust in and rely on You, and to look to You and to our self to meet our needs, rather than to other people. This helps us to feel hopeful and refreshed on a daily basis. Remind us to love our self, so that we can love others according to the direction of Your Holy Spirit.

 

Help us to inventory and find the root cause of all of our negative emotions, to come to You for healing, and to reach outside of our self to minister to others as a source of joy for us. Help us to learn that we do not need to wait for others to approach us; we can reach out to them as Your Spirit leads us, even to people we do not know. We rejoice in the beauty of Your creation and the wisdom You give us to create beauty as well.

 

Thought for the Day:

A discrepancy between our body and soul causes illness both in our soul and in our body; when we stop criticizing our self, then forgive our self, and begin to consistently meet our own needs or to ask for help, then our body stops punishing us by attacking us with health issues.

 

Continual Filling of God’s Spirit

Theologians tell us that the Spirit of God has seven aspects. I did some research on this topic and found some interesting thoughts. They divide them into the Spirit…of the Lord, of Wisdom, of Understanding, of Counsel, of Strength, of Knowledge and of the Fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2; Exodus 31:3; John 14:17, 15:26, 16:13; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Ephesians 1:17).

 

Once we are Born Again (John 3:3), God’s Spirit abides within us (1 Corinthians 12:7), and gives us the mind of the Lord (1 Corinthians 2:16). The Spirit of the Lord is our witness that Christ abides within us (1 John 4:13; Ephesians 1:13-14), and He gives us God’s thoughts and power (Luke 11:11-13).

 

Without God’s Spirit in us, we are an empty shell (2 Timothy 3:5). God lights the candle of our spirit (Proverbs 20:7), and we are united for eternity with Him by His Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17). Our life is transformed, and we follow God’s plan for each moment of the day (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

We no longer rely on our human abilities and understanding, but we walk in the Spirit and are filled with His fruit (Galatians 5:15-25). We walk in God’s extraordinary plans for us (1 Corinthians 12:31). His love flows into, and then out of us, filling us with its fullness (Romans 5:5).

 

Paul exhorts us to allow God’s Spirit to fill us, so that we speak to ourselves in “psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in our heart to the Lord”. Paul makes it clear that we are continually filled through our entire being with God’s Spirit (Ephesians 5:18-19).

 

God’s Spirit is a spring of living water filing us from within and giving us gifts to use in our ministry for the Lord on earth (John 4:14; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11). His joy fills our soul – our thoughts, feelings and choices – (Acts 13:52), and we walk in the Spirit every moment of our life.

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to abide in Your presence continually, so that Your Spirit may prompt our thoughts, words and deeds to follow Your perfect plans for our life (Ephesians 2:10). We want to be transformed into Jesus’ image in all of our thoughts and actions. We enjoy Your company all through the day, and we love conversing with You and enjoying Your companionable silence as we wait on You.

 

By Your Spirit in us, You remove the idols in our life, which we seek and love more than You. One at a time, you cleanse us from sharing our affections with anyone other than You (Colossians 3:2-17). We come to the place where we trust in and rely on no one but You. We enjoy our intimate fellowship with You all through the day and night (John 15:4-5; 2 Corinthians 13:14).

 

Thought for the Day:

Fully depending on God alone, entering His rest (Hebrews 4:10), continually consulting Him in each moment of time (Proverbs 3:5-6), and waiting on Him to renew our strength (Isaiah 40:31), allows us to be continually filled with His Spirit.

 

Overcoming Negative Emotions

At times, we tend to discount our soul, and minimize our thoughts and feelings, or stuff them into the recesses of our subconscious mind. We hide from God’s Truth. We take cover behind a false facade to feel safe and to impress other people.

 

That is why taking a searching inventory of our whole being is a discipline worth cultivating. What negative emotions are fueling our thoughts and behavior; how is our body reacting to our circumstances; how are our unresolved inner conflicts affecting us and our relationships?

 

When we get to know our soul – our thoughts, emotions and choices – we discover what we are really hoping for, thinking about and feeling on the deepest levels. This helps us to better understand why we say and act in certain ways.

 

Journaling is a great tool to help us discover the root of our issues, and to ask God to help us resolve them. He offers us an intimate, personal relationship with Himself that starts at Salvation and lasts throughout eternity.

 

The challenge in receiving God’s care is for us to develop a deeper personal relationship with Him, at the same time that we get in touch with our own soul – our real, inner core and identity. God has a perfect plan for our whole life in body, spirit and soul.

 

Jesus is poised to deliver us from the bondage of every negative emotion and circumstance in our life, as He brings us astounding joy that is beyond words and full of His glory (1 Peter 1:8). As we humble our self and ask for their help, others are often ready, willing and able to come alongside of us and help.

 

Prayer partners aid us in carrying our burdens (Galatians 6:2). The strengths of our spouse, best friend, parents, workmate, extended family, etc. often help us to overcome our weaknesses; as does our union with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for sending Jesus to give us Your abundant life (John 10:10). You give us hope and peace and a life that is full of blessings, as we walk in Your ways and follow Your Spirit’s direction during each moment of it. Jesus is our life and our light through every trial that we ever face (John 1:4).

 

Thank You for forgiving our sins and allowing us to receive Jesus’ sacrifice for our redemption, so that we can continue to live in Him, with His presence in us. You grafted us to the Vine of Christ, and we are built up in Him as He strengthens our faith. We overflow with gratitude to You for Your plan, purpose and provision for our life (Colossians 2:6-7).

 

Thought for the Day:

As we abide in Christ with a heart full of praise and gratitude, He gives us purpose, meaning, peace and joy in this life now, as well as the hope and reassurance of eternity with Him in the new heaven and new earth. – 2 Peter 3:12-13

A Living Example of Christ

What type of an example are we? Are we an illustration of an authentic Believer, a carnal Christian, or a person still steeped in sin (1 John 1:8)? Do we pattern our life after Jesus and seek His Kingdom first, or are we wrapped up in our own goals and desires? (1 Thessalonians 1:7; Hebrews 10:26)

 

If we ask Him to, God will create a pure and holy heart in us, and draw us into a more intimate union with Him. He will teach us how to walk in His Spirit and how not to fulfill the passions of our carnal nature (Psalm 51:10; Galatians 5:15-25).

 

As we obey our Heavenly Father, we avoid all of the trials of our own-making caused by our choices outside of His will for us. If we walk in the Spirit, He will keep us in the center of God’s perfect plans (Ephesians 2:10), and we come to appreciate His presence within us.

 

As authentic Believers, we are called by God to live as an example of holiness and heavenly-minded pursuits. Paul guides us to live as an illustration of Godly conduct in thought, word, emotions, deeds, love, faith and purity (1 Timothy 4:12).

 

He also challenges us, even as we see spiritual maturity in our character and habits, to continue to mindfully engage in studying God’s Word, encouraging fellow Saints, and boldly proclaiming what Jesus did and is still doing for us (1 Timothy 4:13-15).

 

We live by faith in what we cannot see (Hebrews 6:1); and we do not rely on our own works (Ephesians 2:8-9). We trust the Trinity within us, and we focus on doing only the will of God (Ephesians 2:8-10). We look forward to our rewards in Heaven (Ephesians 2:7), rather than storing up earthly treasures (Luke 12:33).

 

When we wake up, we want Satan to quake in His boots, because He knows authentic Believers are a united army against his kingdom. We purpose in our heart, all day long, to focus on God first and only; then He will lead us to make a difference in our world (Matthew 5:14, 6:33).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we do not want to live for our self, pursuing our dreams, goals and plans. As pilgrims, sojourners and aliens on this earth, we know our life here is temporary and transitory. We want to focus on Your will and Kingdom instead (1 Peter 2:11; Hebrews 11:13). Using human reasoning and wisdom thwarts Your plans for us, so we ask for daily wisdom from above to guide our steps.

 

We know that moths and rust will destroy our earthly treasures, and we cannot take them with us into eternity; however, as You remind us to store up treasures in heaven, they will bless us forever (Mathew 6:19-20). Your steadfast love is more wonderful than words can express, and we appreciate Your peace and joy now and always.

 

Thought for the Day:

As we obey the Lord, and follow His plans for us to further His Kingdom, we live as benevolent and compassionate Saints, ready to share what we have with those in need, and storing up for our self a secure foundation for eternity, so we can obtain that which is actually our true life. – 1 Timothy 6:18-19

Victory over Deadly Distractions

How often do we allow life to distract us from walking in the center of God’s will for our life? If we do not continually consult Him each moment of the day (Proverbs 3:5-6), we will absolutely get sidetracked, and suffer the consequences of our negligence.

 

We end up disgruntled and pessimistic, with our mind on things of this world, rather than on God (Ephesians 4:29; Philippians 2:14-15).  We struggle with discontentment, and we are tempted to use retail therapy, extreme sports, binging on food, etc. in an attempt to mend our soul.

 

Jesus admonishes us to love our Lord God with our whole heart, soul and mind (Matthew 22:37-38). When we do this, there is no more room for our affections to wander in other directions. We enter God’s rest and find freedom in His love.

 

Taking a mental, emotional and physical inventory of what is going on with us throughout the day is a very healthy practice. We take care of our physical needs, bring our negative emotions to God for healing, and redirect our attention to God’s Spirit.

 

When we focus on the trials, we lose faith; but when we keep our eyes on Jesus, we are confident and full of peace and joy. He leads us through troubled waters, wild tempests, and dark trails that leave us hurting and bewildered, unless we keep our trust in Him.

 

Our Lord God is with us and in us every moment of our day. He is our Mighty Fortress who protects us, our strong Warrior who delivers us, and our Heavenly Father who delights in us. He actually rejoices over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for never abandoning us for even one minute of time. We rest in Your love, revel in Your peace, and find Your joy all throughout the day. Thank You for teaching us to recognize Your voice when You speak to us, so that we can abide in Your perfect will for our life.

 

We totally trust You to help us to have victory over deadly distractions and to teach us to avoid them, so that we do not reap destruction. Thank You for convicting us when we are wrong, and encouraging us when we are in the center of Your will. We are so grateful to You for your loving kindness, mercy, and grace that keep us in perfect unity with Your Trinity throughout our life.

 

Thought for the Day:

God is faithful to keep us on the straight and narrow path that leads us into His presence, to help us to understand His Truth, to walk in His ways, and to help us to lead others to the saving knowledge of His love and grace for us all.

 

 

 

The Heavenly Mysteries

Most of our relationship with God is a mystery (Ephesians 3:17). How can the three persons of the Trinity be only one God? How did Jesus raise from the dead and return to Heaven in physical form? How can the Trinity abide within us through Christ in us? (Colossians 1:27, Galatians 2:20)

 

Although these are mysteries, authentic Believers daily experience life with the actual presence of Christ in us, who brings with Him eternal life for all who believe in Him (Romans 8:10; Galatians 2:20, 4:19; 2 Corinthians 13:5).

 

Accessing His character and nature is only a prayer away. All of His love, compassion, wisdom, mercy, strength and power reside with Him in us as well. Trusting in anyone or anything other than Jesus Christ for salvation, now and in eternity, is useless.

 

Salvation comes by His name alone (Acts 4:12). Union with Christ brings the entire Godhead into our spirit too (Colossians 2:9). Jesus redeems us and also gives us His righteousness in exchange for our sin (2 Corinthians 5:21).

 

We die to sin and are raised to walk in a new life (Colossians 2:12). His Spirit sanctifies us from one stage of glory to the next (2 Corinthians 3:18), His joy is our constant strength (Nehemiah 8:10), and His love is unconditional and consuming.

 

Jesus is the sovereign ruler, not only of the universe, but also over our life. He is actually our whole life (Colossians 3:3-4), and nothing else ever truly satisfies us. As we submit to His will for each moment of our day, we live in freedom from fear and other negative emotions.

 

God works out every situation in our life, both trials and blessings, for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28). He walks in us through every minute of pain and trauma, encouraging us by His love, joy and peace, as He rejoices over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You that our fellowship is with You through Your Son (1 John 1:3). Israel is Your chosen nation, but we can never thank You enough for opening Your heart to the rest of the world as well (John 3:16-17). We are so grateful that You set us apart for Your glory both now and forevermore.

 

Your presence in Your people is a mystery that we accept by faith in Your faithfulness. We look forward to seeing Jesus face-to-face, and to spend eternity serving You and building up Your Kingdom. We look forward to escaping the confines, degradation and heartbreak of this world, and dwelling with You in Your Paradise for eternity (Luke 23:43).

 

Thought for the Day:

Focusing our mind on Christ in us allows us to rise above the limitations of this earthly existence, and to walk in the fullness of His divine presence every moment of every day.

– Ephesians 3:16-19, Amplified Bible