Living in the Center of God’s Will

Creation is a constant confirmation of the existence of God (Romans 1:20). Nature never toils or spins, but is provided for by God’s constant vigil over it. God cares even more for humanity than for the environment (Matthew 6:25-34; Psalm 19:1-3). We are united with God as a branch on the Vine, a separate entity, but useless alone. We would perish without our relationship to the Vine. In our connection, we live as one with Him, in the same way that nature dwells in harmony with God (Psalm 65:9-13).

God loves us so much that He died to take for us the punishment of our sins. He desires an intimate relationship with all of those who will worship Him in Spirit and without hypocrisy (John 4:24). Even when we are counted worthy to suffer as Jesus did (Acts 5:41), we can look to Him. In every circumstance, He has a higher purpose in it for us and for His Kingdom. As we live in the center of God’s will with the exhibition of our contentment and commitment, we bring Him joy.

With our focus on God, we live in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3). This means that we no longer concern our self with life in this carnal world; but instead, we focus on eternal matters each day of our life. What is God’s purpose in where we live, work, shop, attend church and function in this life? We hear from the mind of God each moment of the day and look for His intention in every opportunity, roadblock and trial we experience.

We no longer have any desires apart from those God gives us. We find no terror in adversity, no joy in sin and no concern over decisions made by those who rule over us. We trust only in God’s will in all things, because He is in ultimate control (Ezekiel 38:4; Romans 13:1). As we walk in God’s will, we rest from worry and stress, because we have assurance that God knew it would occur before He created the world (Ephesians 1:4; Romans 8:29). This allows us to walk in His power (2 Peter 1:3).

Prayer:
Father God, You never command us to make our own light shine, but simply instruct us to allow Your light in us to shine in such a way that everyone will see Christ in us and glorify You (Matthew 5:16). We live in Your light in this world; and sometimes, we never even need to say a Word. Of course, the ultimate rebuke in these verses is not to hide our light under the bushel basket of human effort and worldly gain, but always to walk in Your ways, by Your Spirit’s direction and energy.

Thought for the Day:
Nothing is ever too hard for Christ within us. – Jeremiah 32:17, 27

Authentic Devotion

God calls us to a place of authentic devotion. He desires worshippers who sincerely come to Him through His spirit (John 4:24). He honors those who love Him by keeping His Word (John 14:15). He always provides a way to escape temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). God promises that, as we humble our self before Him and resist temptation, Satan will have to flee from us (James 4:7-8). We abandon our heavy burden of self-imposed labor; and, instead, enter into God’s rest (Matthew 11:28; Hebrews 4:10).

God is always faithful and He keeps His promises (1 Thessalonians 5:24). We have no need to waiver in our faith, because He is worthy of our trust. He desires nothing less than our whole-hearted devotion to Him in every area of our life. God does not wink at sin; He is appalled by it. He cannot look upon, nor dwell where sin resides (Psalm 5:4). We grieve the Holy Spirit with every compromise we make in our life (Ephesians 4:30-31). Therefore, do not break God’s heart by sinning.

In our modern society, we spend more time serving God on our own terms, than in obeying God’s direction. We rely more on our self-effort than on God’s strength within us. We also grieve Him when we plan our life to the minute and have no time for fellowship with other Believers or even reserve a few moments for Him in daily devotion. We frantically pray for God’s blessing on our plans as we rush from one event to another throughout the day.

Instead, God wants us to yoke up with His Spirit and do only those works, which He prepared for us before we were even born (Ephesians 2:10). In this way, we find rest for our mind and heart, which are wearied by the demands of the world (Matthew 11:28; Hebrews 4:10). It is only as we return to the center of God’s will that we find complete rest. In this place of quiet confidence, we find our strength (Isaiah 30:15). He is always present to help the humble that depend only on Him (Isaiah 5 7:15).

Prayer:
Father God, You love us with Your everlasting love and draw us with Your kindness (Jeremiah 31:3). You offer us a place of repose, a resting place for the weary to find solace (Isaiah 28:12). The righteousness of Christ in us offers us peace and brings with it the quiet confidence we need to face the issues of life (Isaiah 32:17). Therefore, we walk in the Spirit, so that our soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions – can find rest in the Lord, who is always good to us (Psalm 116:7).

Thought for the Day:
We remain calm and do not lose heart, when we circumspectly walk by the direction of God’s Spirit. – Isaiah 7:4; Ephesians 5:15-20

Our Glorious Future

Everyone knows that life on this earth is but a vapor in time (James 4:14). Many do not want to live this short life in the miserable clutches of sin (Romans 7:24). They recognize their limitations and gladly come to Jesus for his wisdom, mercy and strength (2 Chronicles 16:9). When we fully surrender to Christ, He impacts our assets, lifestyle, possessions and relationships by directing our decisions through the leading of His Spirit (John 16:13). His peace and joy permeate every nuance of our life.

Our sin nature passes away at Salvation and we are a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). We relinquish the world and grasp onto the freedom in body, soul and spirit, for which Jesus apprehended us (Philippians 3:12). When we live and move and have our being in Christ, we no longer exist in condemnation and sin (Acts 17:28; Romans 8:1). Christ in us is our hope of attaining a glorious future (Colossians 1:27). We can even share this hope with our family and friends (Jeremiah 29:11).

The Law of Sin and Death, under which we formerly struggled, is replaced by the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus (Romans 7:22-25, 8:2). We forgive our self for our shortcomings, because God already forgave us (Romans 5:8). Rather than living with a carnal mind, we focus on spiritual and eternal aspects (2 Corinthians 4:18; Romans 8:6). We renew our mind and take our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Philippians 4:8-9). Sin no longer appeals to us in any way (James 4:1; Galatians 5:17).

Our true identity, value and purpose in this life are only realized as we look to Jesus for our worth. Every achievement in this world will burn up as wood, hay and stubble (1 Corinthians 3:12). However, no one can take away from us the fact that God adopted us as co-heirs with Jesus Christ (Romans 8:15-17). God works out every catastrophe in our life for our good, as well as rewards us with an eternal heritage. At the same time, His Spirit conforms us into the image of Christ (Romans 8:28-29).

Prayer:
Father God, you spoil Your children and always provide what is best for us. Many people blame You for the effects of sin in this world. They curse You for the death of their loved ones and for spoiling their wealth. However, You adopt into Your family those who surrender to You. You work everything out for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28). Everything You allow into our life comes from Your sacrificial love for us. You ultimately give us safety and provision (Luke 12:28-38).

Thought for the Day:
We know without a doubt that when we leave this earthly realm, the angels will escort us to our glorious future in the presence of the Lord. – 2 Corinthians 5:8

Entering God’s Rest

Wait on the Lord

When we enter our rest in Christ (Hebrews 4:10), we do not cease from activity, but enter a state of perfect tranquility as we perform only those works, which God prepared for us before we were born (Ephesians 2:10). We live, move and have our being in Christ (Acts 17:28); therefore we live in mental, emotional and physical harmony with His divine will. We discover His will by quieting our soul and listening through ceaseless prayer to His voice in our spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

Ignoring human reasoning, we live in the Spirit rather than in the flesh (Galatians 5:16,25). Our labor ceases to be work because we carry out the will of God and work in the power of God’s Spirit. Our employment is no longer for our employer, but for our Holy God. We give our employer our very best efforts, because we serving a Higher Power. God holds us up and inspires our weary labors. We do not bear our burdens alone. He gives us joy in our work.

We think only about concepts, which are true, gracious, honest, authentic, undeniable and courteous. We focus on the best rather than the worst scenarios, on the beautiful instead of the ugly and on good news, which deserves praise, rather on evil and damning information. As we put Biblical principles into practice, God works out everything for our good in peace and harmony (Philippians 4:8; Romans 8:28). Buried with Christ, we are alive in God (Acts 17:11).

Functioning with clarity of mind, rather than thoughts fueled by panic and anxiety, we prosper. The Bible is no longer a closed book to us. We understand its precepts and its words are life to our spirit and soul. When a carnal desire or thought disturbs our peace, we know that from anywhere on the earth we can run to the Rock of Christ. He is our towering Rock of safety (Psalm 61:2). It is better to wait on God than to manufacture any solution from our flesh (Matthew 6:28:30; Psalm 37:3; Isaiah 30:7).

Prayer:
Father God, we are pressed within and without by adversity, but not crushed or broken. We are confused and do not understand why life treats us as it does, but we trust in You. We are abandoned and abused, but you never leave or forsake us. Life shoves us down, but by Your Spirit we get up and keep on serving you. We are persecuted and ridiculed, but You use it to show Your Power through our suffering. We face fears within and without, but You, our living Lord, keep us safe always. Even when we die, we live on eternally with you (2 Corinthians 4:8-12).

Thought for the Day:
Our troubles will soon be:18 over, but our joys in the Lord will last forever. – 2 Corinthians 4

Salt and Light

God made His Saints as salt and light in our world (Matthew 5:13-16). As light, we reveal the hidden wounds in a sinner’s life; and as salt, we create a thirst in their soul. Sinners resent being reminded of their sin, and despise those who keep them accountable. Unbelievers often criticize Christians when we tell them the truth. As ungodliness increases with the growing apostasy in our world (2 Timothy 3:12-13), these people attempt to extinguish our light in order to hide their darkness.

When salt sits in the box, it clumps together and loses its usefulness (Matthew 5:13). It is only as we allow Jesus to pour us out, that we are any good to His Kingdom. Speaking God’s truth will season, cleanse, heal, preserve and prevent decay in the life of those who will listen and believe. Hopefully, those whose thirst we amplify will want to quench it with Living Water (John 7:37-39), which only comes through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ (Mark 1:14-15).

Salt also enhances sweetness, such as bringing out the natural sweetness of melons. Expecting Christians to be sweet as pie, sinners resent the salty truth of God’s word. It is actually those preachers who dilute and sugar-coat the gospel of Christ that steer people in the wrong direction. They falsely imply that life in Christ is all about health, wealth and success. They disguise sin, calling it a weakness or saying it is biologically predestined; therefore, Jesus accepts it.

These lies lead people down the eternal path to destruction, rather than the narrow way of truth. Eternal joy comes from living in the presence of God for eternity. Although Authentic Believers all over the world are persecuted more and more, just like Jesus was during His lifetime (John 15:20), we are not deterred from sharing the truth of God’s Word. We do not merely listen to the Word and deceive our self, but we also obey God’s Word is Spirit and sincerity (James 1:22-24).

Prayer:
Father God, Your Word is truth and shall never pass away (John 17:17). Help us to be lights, which shine into this dark world, illuminating the way for whosoever will to come to salvation in Jesus’ name (Revelation 22:17). Until we walk in and share Your Truth, it simply remains a thought in our mind and does no good for anyone (2 Timothy 3:7). Your Spirit leads us into all truth (John 16:13). Give us the courage to continue to share it.

Thought for the Day:
The power of Christ working in us can accomplish more than we could ever imagine. – Ephesians 3:20

Enveloped in Love

The most comforting news that I have ever heard is that the soul of Born Again Believers – our thoughts, choices and emotions – are totally enveloped in the love of Jesus Christ both now and throughout eternity (Psalm 125:2). He is in us and we are in Him in God (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:3). We are in the world, but not part of the world (John 17:14-19). We live life separated from what is evil, but immersed in what is good, righteous and holy.

Love, in the person of Jesus Christ, is our focus. He is our only true life (Colossians 3:4). Our whole life is centered in God, whether we carpool the children, grocery shop, read our Bible, fellowship with Believers or put in a multitude of hours at work. We do not live to shop, to care for our family or to advance at work, but to do the will of our Father God in and through these opportunities, which He provides for us (Hebrews 8:10).

The beauty of faith in Christ is that once Christ returns, even nature will return to its original glory (Romans 8:22). We live in harmony with God through His Spirit. Our purpose in this life is to reconcile with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, anyone who will believe in Him. It is not our responsibility to convince them, but simply to share God’s Truth as it pertains to our own life.

The choice is theirs, as it was ours, whether or not to believe. We can share the gospel on our social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, ect. Then, those who read our words may realize that they need Jesus too. If we have the mind to do so, we can fellowship via the Internet, in the comfort of our own home, with Saints from all over the world.

A Godly life profits us in every area of our existence – body, soul and spirit (1 Timothy 4:8). We do not exist through our own efforts and resources, but through the power of God’s mighty Spirit who dwells within us. Through Him, we accomplish every action, which God designed for us to do before we were ever born (Ephesians 2:8-10). God works in us and through us, giving us both the desire and the power to accomplish everything for His pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13).

Prayer:
Father God, You give us the opportunity to harmonize with nature in our worship of You (Psalms 148:3-5). You give us Your power from on high as we wait in Your presence (Luke 24:29); and then we go forth into all the earth, informing everyone who will listen that You want to envelop them in Your love too. We thank You for the privilege of living, moving and having our entire existence in You (Acts 17:28). We vow to share Your love with everyone You bring into our day.

Thought for the Day:
God’s love gave us the fruit of His Spirit to provide us with His divine nature in this life on earth, which victoriously sees us through every circumstance we may encounter. – Galatians 5:22-23

Long-Range Dividends

There are times in our life when Christians might pursue the lusts of the flesh and step outside of their fellowship of God. They eat the bread of idleness and wickedness (Proverbs 31:27, 4:17). Then they reap the bread of affliction and adversity (1 Kings 22:27; Isaiah 30:20). As a result, they end up eating the bitter bread of the tears and sorrows of the mourner (Psalm 80:5, 127:2; Hosea 9:4). There are consequences of our sins, even as Believers.

Sin robs us, and it always inflicts negative, long-range dividends on us. God promises to chastize those whom He loves. We can rejoice when this happens, because it proves that we are sons and not without God’s Spirit within us (Hebrews 12:7). Actually, we learn to forgive others because He first forgave us. Jesus taught His disciples to forgive seven times seventy (Matthew 18:21-23). This is not a limiting number, but shows the limitless love and forgiveness God has for us.

When we come to Christ through salvation, we no longer live life our way, because we are now dead and hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). We are dead and burried with Him, but also raised in Him to a whole new life (Romans 6:4). Jesus took our sin nature and nailed it to the cross, paying the penalty of our sins for us. Now, Christ lives through us and we express His righteousness in our lives (Romans 3:14). We no longer live for our self, but for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:15).

Jesus is the source of our spiritual life. Christ in us unites us with the Kingdom of God, which gives us light and love, even in the darkest trial we may traverse in this world (1 Chronicles 16:34). The will of God should set the course for our life and determine the choices we make (Ephesians 2:10). We live in union with the Father, Son and Spirit (John 10:30). Christ in us is our hope of living in glory with God both now and throughout eternity (Colossians 1:27).

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, the entire world was created through You (Ephesians 3:9), and only in Jesus does anything exist. You hold everything together (Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:17). This proves that You are not far from any one of us; especially if we live, move and have our existence in You (Acts 17:27-28). We learn to love, because You first loved us enough to suffer and die for us (1 John 4:19). You died, but You live again both in heaven and in all of Your Saints. This is the most convincing evidence that You are our God.

Thought for the Day:
When we love the basest person on earth; we are, in fact, loving Christ. – Matthew 25:31-46