Our Abba Father

Our Father God is kind, generous and loving (1 John 4:8). Paul called Him “Abba Father” (Romans 8:15), which means “Daddy”. We have this intimate relationship with God that is sweeter than the best of human fathers. I grew up in an abusive home. My bipolar father never got treatment and took his mood swings out on my mother, brothers and me. I was afraid of Father God in my early days of faith. I viewed Him as the terrifying, smoky vision presented as the wizard of Oz.

One day, as I entered God’s courts in praise and prayer, God reminded me about the little man behind the curtain in Oz, who actually controlled that smoking mask. God showed me that He is not a terrifying being, or selfish ruler of the universe, but the caring God who actually helps us to have faith and hope, and who provided our salvation through Christ. We enter His throne room without fear, and with confidence that He hears our prayers and works in our behalf (Hebrews 4:16; Ephesians 3:12; 1 John 5:14).

Our Father God gives us an effectual, abundant life now, as well as later in heaven. He provides us with a myriad of blessings each and every day. He does not lead us into temptation (Matthew 6:13); but with each temptations presented to us by Satan or the world, God gives us a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). He provides us with an abundant supply, safety and security as we look to Him to provide (James 4:2; Psalm 91). He gives us victory through Christ in us (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Satan accuses and torments us, but God gives every authentic Born Again Believer our identity in Christ as His beloved child (Revelation 12:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17). We are free from sin, and we are raised in Christ to live a new life, which is directed by God’s Spirit (Romans 6:4,10; Romans 8:14). We are God’s children and we fix our hope on Him as He perfects us (1 John 3:2-3). Every good and perfect gift in this life comes from Him (James 1:17). God abundantly meets all of our needs (Philippians 4:6,19).

Prayer:
Father God,
Thank you for renewing our mind and for perfecting us in holiness (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18). Remind us to walk in Your Spirit, so we do not fulfill the desires of our flesh (Galatians 5:16-25), because our flesh is dead and buried with Christ in baptism (Colossians 3:3; Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12). Help us to shed Your light from within us on all of humanity around us, because they are dying in darkness and sin (Romans 5:8).

Thought for the Day:
What we do in the flesh does not make us who we are in the Spirit. God will transform our flesh to walk in newness of life.

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Our Futile Self-Life

Our Futile Self-Life

In our finite existence, we experience many areas of life, which are extremely painful and almost impossible to survive. However, with God, all things are possible (Luke 18:27). So, when God dwells in us, we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37), and we can accomplish whatever He calls us to do (Ephesians 2:10). Outside of His anointing, we are powerless and our efforts are futile (John 15:5). We reap no lasting value from all of our earnest, but frantic works for God.

In truth, God does not expect us to succeed apart from Him. As Paul declares, we often concede to sin when we actually want to walk in holiness. We cannot even achieve many of the spiritual goals we set for our self (Romans 7:15-24). There is no shame in this. The shame comes when we persist in living for God from our own self-efforts. We continually fall short, and we live in disgrace and depression because of our failures.

Our attitudes influence our body, soul and spirit. Criticism, gossip, self-pity, depression, anger and bitterness all strongly impact our soul, which in turn affects our body and spirit. Once we realize the futility of attempting holiness on our own, we can sigh in relief and stop disparaging and demeaning our character or someone else’s failings (Proverbs 15:4, 18:21). Living a holy life is impossible for us, but more than possible for Christ in us (Colossians 1:27).

Our part is to guard our body, soul and spirit and to live in surrender to God’s will (Proverbs 4:23; Proverbs 3:5-6). As we meditate on God’s precepts and guard what we focus on, we will mirror His Word and delight in His Truth (Psalm 119:15-16). We are all lost and undone on our own, but Christ is victorious in and through us. When we come to the end of our self-efforts and completely surrender to God’s Spirit and Lordship, then God can actually use us for His glory.

Prayer:
Father God, we know that Your power is manifest only in our helplessness. As we daily surrender to Your will, You conquer our self-life and fleshly carnality. We are in Your care and You live out Your will in our surrendered life. We are strengthened by Your might in our inner core (Ephesians 3:14-21). Holiness and consecration bring revival in us and in Your church, so help us to deepen our union with You in all things.

Thought for the Day:
It is only as we realize our utter human hopelessness, and depend entirely on God, that He can use us for His glory.

The Praise of Our Lips

The Word of Truth, which is the gospel of Christ, allows us to trust in Jesus for our salvation. Having believed, we are sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the deposit, which guarantees our inheritance (Romans 8:17). We are God’s possession, and He redeemed us to the praise of His glory (Ephesians 1:13-14). When Father God looks at us, He no longer sees sin; but instead, He sees the blood of Jesus, which cleanses us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:7-9; Romans 8:1).

We are free from sin for eternity and accepted in God’s Beloved (Ephesians 1:6). This truth prompts us to live in praise to His name (Psalm 119:171). We have so much for which to bless Him. We speak of His unending glory and power until everyone we know understand God’s mighty deeds and glorious Kingdom. When we praise His name, the angels and creatures on earth and in the heavens join us (Revelation 5:13). If we fail to praise Him, the rocks will cry out in praise in our place (Luke 19:40).

We know that God spoke a word and created us, as well as all of creation (Hebrews 11:3; Psalm 33:6). His dominion over the earth is from everlasting to everlasting (Psalm 145:10-13). Yet, we humans are too smart for our own good. We take the credit for all that we have and we deny God’s existence (Psalm 148:1-6). Yet, it is in the Lord that we should trust, rather than in our human abilities. As we seek Him before we do anything, He will show us where to go and what to do (Proverbs 3:5:7).

God showers us with His loving kindness (Psalm 147:11). He is our tower, fortress and shield. He delivers the humble when we take refuge in Him (Psalm 144:2; 147:6). Apart from Jesus we can do nothing (John 15:5). However, when we believe in, hope in and trust in Jesus, we are more than conquerors over the flesh, the devil and world (Romans 8:37). We live in His presence with contentment and joy. We mirror His image to the world around us, and He gives us victory and hope (1 Corinthians 15:57-58).

Prayer:
Father God, thanks to Jesus, Satan has no influence over our thoughts, words or deeds. The blood of Your Lamb redeemed us (1 Peter 1:19). We have a multitude of reasons to praise You. It will take a lifetime to express to You the reasons for the joy You give to us. We live each moment with Your praises on our lips. We tell everyone who will listen that You love us so much that, even while we were still sinners, you died for us (Romans 5:6-8).

Thought for the Day:
God’s praise is continually on our lips. – Psalm 34:1; Hebrews 13:15

Demons Believe and Tremble

To believe in God is not enough. Even the demons believe and tremble (James 2:19). In these modern times, much of God’s army is slumbering in apathy and ineffectiveness. The persecuted church worldwide understands the true nature of Christianity. No hypocrites attend those churches, because they have to lay their life down for Christ every day. Will casual Christians ever arise from their spiritual siesta and allow God’s Spirit to set them on fire?

Few Believers actually focus solely on God’s will for them (Ephesians 2:10). These dedicated individuals listen to His Spirit’s prompting and obey His voice all day long. They reside in the moment with total righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). Having no reservations, they share Christ’s gospel with anyone who will listen, at any time of the day or night. They use any form of media possible to communicate God’s love to the world (2 Timothy 4:2).

Devoting their life to prayer, these authentic Believers walk in the Spirit and deny the flesh (Galatians 5:15-25). They are effective and accomplish much for God’s Kingdom (James 5:16). They understand that Jesus died to pay the price of every sin, for every sinner, for all of time (1 Peter 3:18, 22); and that His Spirit remains alive and united with His immortal body at the right hand of our Father. Now, all angels, authorities and powers are subject to Jesus (1 Peter 3:18, 22).

Jesus raises us to walk in this powerful new life, which God prepared for us (Ephesians 2:10). Through salvation, our carnal nature dies and is buried with Christ in baptism (Colossians 2:12; Romans 6:4). Jesus, who is our whole reason for living, hides our humanity with Him in God. We live with Jesus in glory, even now on this earth (Colossians 3:3-4). Since Jesus lives in us, His precious and powerful name gives us His authority, so that all powers and principalities are subject to us as well (Luke 10:17).

Prayer:
Father God, we are Your blood-bought children and we trust in Your faithfulness. You rescued us from hell’s fire and You freely give us all things to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17). Satan’s only power over us comes from our unbelief. He is our accuser (Revelation 12:9-11). Some of Your children forget all about the victory You won for us on Calvary’s cross (1 Corinthians 15:55-57). They lose their freedom, which Jesus gave His life for us to enjoy. Remind them of Your love for us; so they will seek first Your Kingdom (Matthew 6:33) and set their mind on the eternal, infinite aspects of life (Colossians 3:2).

Thought for the Day:
We are forever redeemed from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light through Jesus Christ. – 1 Peter 1:18-19

Sent Forth by the Spirit

God set the earth in motion and created it for human beings to occupy until He comes (Luke 19:13). He has a plan and purpose for all of this. It is not some random explosion of gas, quirk of fate or a trick by the ethereal cosmos. God is gathering to Himself all those who love Him. When Jesus ascended into Heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to comfort and guide us (John 14:26, 16:13). As we await Christ’s return, His Spirit leads us to the areas of life where we are needed most (Acts 13:4).

God is the Master Architect and He uses us as living stones to build His earthly Temple (1 Peter 2:4-6). He shows us His will for each moment of our day. He may call you to work in a secular job in order to share the Gospel of Christ with those you come in contact with every day; or He may call you to pastor, evangelize, teach, preach or to start churches (1 Corinthians 12:28). He empowers us all to accomplish His purpose for each of our days (Philippians 2:12-13).

Some teach that a parked car cannot be steered; so, we need to be moving for the Spirit to direct us. This is false theology. Christ lives in us by His Spirit (Romans 8:9-11). We wait on God’s direction each morning and walk only by His Spirit throughout the day. We live in the moment without regret over the past or fear of the future. This prevents us from functioning by human effort and producing carnal works for God.

It is easy to hear God each moment of the day, if we are in constant communication with Him (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Only the heart that is empty of ambition, pride and rebellion can accomplish the works of God. Large, famous and wealthy are not necessarily signs of God’s blessings (Revelation 3:17). God is love; and those who walk in His love by the direction of His Spirit, live in His will and receive His true and eternal blessings (1 John 4:8).

Prayer:
Father God, teach us not to live according to the ways of the world, but by the direction of Your Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:12). You save us by the power of the cross, sanctify us by the power of Christ’s blood, and then conform us to the image of Christ by Your Spirit (Romans 8:29). Create a clean heart in us and help us to abide in Christ and to follow Your Spirit’s guidance every moment of every day in which we live on this earth. We look forward to living with You in glory.

Thought for the Day:
If God reveals to you that your self-will, self-centeredness, self-exaltation and self-life are controlling you, do not be afraid to completely surrender to God’s Spirit, because He will conform you to the image of Christ.

God in the Darkest Hour

Our human will drives us to retain control of our life and to live as we choose, rather than to live in submission to anyone else. We often feel the need to manage our own life, as well as the life of all those who have influence over our existence in any way. We do not want anyone to disturb the orderly peace we create in our sphere of reality. If anyone tries to disrupt our serenity, we fight them with our whole being.

In reality, we can never attain any amount of true peace through our own vigilance over the order of our life. Our only victory is in submission to God. He teaches us to respond in kindness to those who attempt to abuse us, because we rest in the fact that God will use all of our trials for His glory. When the situation is impossible to bear, we can remove our self from an unsafe or unsavory situation. There, we wait on God to work out everything for our benefit (Romans 8:28).

There is absolutely no reason to divorce another person, even for sexual infidelity. God allows divorce in this case because of uncleanness; but if possible, we simply move out in order to have some space and protection from the situation. God desires reconciliation in every case, where both parties submit to one another and do His will. However, if one person does not want to reconcile, God will always protect His Saints in their darkest hour.

God will influence the offender’s decisions, but He will never force His will on them. He has unconditional patience, giving the hardened person plenty of time to repent and to reconcile. Even Believers, who are imprisoned for their faith and unable to escape, find that He sustains them from the inside out. He gives us His supernatural comfort and joy in our darkest hour, which surpasses all of the horrifying circumstances, which we are forced to experience (Philippians 4:6-8).

Prayer:
Father God, teach us to submit to You rather than to attempt to control our own life. Help us to bear the unsavory circumstances we encounter in this life and to be a witness for You through it all. We will walk by Your Spirit on the narrow road to Heaven. Through Christ in us, help us to influence this generation, which is walking on a wide road that leads to destruction. Use us in our sphere of influence to point people to Jesus, so they will choose to end their life of abuse, addictions, divorce and devastation.

Thought for the Day:
Authentic Christians live in quietness and confidence, which is our strength; and we dwell in peace and safety forever, regardless of our circumstances. – Isaiah 30:15, 32:17-18

A Willing Heart

Mother Nature gives us a perfect picture of what it means to be totally surrendered to God. The flowers bloom where they are planted. The animals interact in the area of the world where God placed them. Even the bugs dutifully fulfill their destiny. God’s Spirit and blessings are often blocked in our human life, however, because of our lack of surrender to Him. We miss out on all that God planned for us before we were even born (Ephesians 2:10).

Each of us is the Temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16), but we do not allow Him to feel at home in us. We are so caught up in our own agenda, that we spin our wheels and get nowhere fast. We ignore and neglect God most of time. Some of us remember to give Him a few moments of time before we fall asleep, and some even rise up to give Him an hour of time prior to starting our day. Yet, this is not even close to totally surrendering to Him.

We are too used to maintaining control of our life. We do not want someone else to tell us what to do or to dictate the circumstances in which we live. We fear that we will suffer too much pain and loss if we surrender completely to God. We live in anxiety, fearing that He may send us to darkest Africa or coldest Alaska! Thankfully, God facilitates our surrender by freeing us from sin, calling us to Himself, providing all of our needs and helping us to trust in His faithfulness (Mark 9:24).

God sanctifies us and He will also perfect us, but it takes complete surrender to His plans for our life. God requires a willing heart. Then He will do the rest (Philippians 2:12-13). If we live in the moment, without regretting the past or fearing the future, God will fill us with peace, which exceeds our human understanding. He proves to us how gracious He is and that He plans to give us a future full of hope (Jeremiah 29:11). Jesus is our perfect example of a surrendered life.

Prayer:
Father God, even though You required that Jesus go through the cross, You shortened the time He normally would have hung there (Mark 15:44). You also shorten the time of our trials on earth, and You give us the grace to experience them with victory rather than defeat. You give us the faith and courage to face the future by granting that Your divine nature, which dwelled in Christ, dwells in us through Your Holy Spirit. We believe, and You help our unbelief (Mark 9:24). We completely yield our self to You to use for Your glory.

Thought for the Day:
When we totally surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our life, God uses us for His Glory.