Surviving Lonliness

When we lose a loved one, our job, our home, our church family or a beloved pet, depression often hinders our mind from seeing any joy in life. We wallow in self-pity and hide under the covers, nursing our wounds. Of course, we have a right to grieve, and it is very healthy for us to do so; but we often carry it way too far. We may even turn to addictions to erase our pain.

We can choose to be lonely, or we can choose to reach out. A smile will change our whole attitude. Of course, a fake smile will wear thin and tears will often wash it away. The smile must come from our heart; therefore we need to think of something or someone that honestly makes us happy. The fact that Jesus saved us for eternity always puts a smile on my face.

Serving in our church family puts a song in our heart and a smile in our steps. Reading our Bible and other spiritual books, listening to praise music or watching inspirational movies and testimonies will also help to bring us up from the pit of depression. In addition, we can return to a previous interest, start a new hobby or get together with former, cherished friends. Making new memories and meeting wholesome new friends can also change our life.

Often our friends are too shy to reach out, or do not know what to say or how to help us. So, please communicate how you feel, return calls, invite people over for dinner or go out with the crowd and get lost in it. Some former friends may drift out of your life, but let them go. God has new friends for you just around the corner. Trust in Him to see you through this trying time and to bring you safely to His eternal joy.

Prayer:
Father God, You always use the negative aspects of our life for our good (Romans 8:28). We may not see anything positive at this time, but in hindsight, it becomes very clear that You had a purpose in it all (Proverbs 5:21). We often want the answers now, but You have Your very own time and way to meet all of our needs (Proverbs 3:5-6). Remind us that rather than doing all of the talking during our times of prayer, that we need to listen in order to hear Your voice.

Thought for the Day:
Jesus comforts us with the consolation He received from our Father; and we can turn around and comfort others with the same reassurance He gives to us in our time of need. – 2 Corinthians 1:4

My Last Post !!!

One of these days, I will post my last devotion on this blog. I will no longer be here on earth, but I will be enjoying the treasures of Heaven. God will wipe away every negative emotion in my soul and heal all of my diseases (Revelation 21:4). I will worship around the throne with the angels and the host of Saints who went on before me (Revelation 4:8-11).

The glory of God will light the expanse of Heaven, brighter and warmer than the sun (Revelation 21:23, 22:5). I will see the river of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne, with the tree of life on both sides of the river for the healing of the nations (Revelation 22:1-2). I will saunter through the heavenly tabernacle (Hebrews 8:5).

Eventually, the Lord will return to the earth with His Saints to destroy Satan and his pitiful army, which he gathers in the valley of Megiddo to attempt to war with God again (Revelation 16:14, 19:7-21). Jesus will defeat them with one word (Revelation 19:15; Zechariah 12:1-9). Then, Christ will make a new heaven and a new earth and we will dwell as the wife of King Jesus in the city of New Jerusalem (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1-3, 10-27; 22:14; 10:10-27).

Prayer:
Father God, the fact that You count us worthy to worship the Lamb for eternity is more than our mind can comprehend (Revelation 7:9; Luke 21:36). In New Jerusalem, there will be no need for a temple, for You and the Lamb are our temple (Revelation 21:22). However, only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will be able to dwell there with You for time without end (Revelation 21:27).

Thought for the Day:
No eye has seen, no ear has heard, nor has the full impact dawned on the heart of any human being of just how awesome Heaven will be for those who love God. – 1 Corinthians 2:9

How Satan’s Temptations Influence Us

Satan uses three aspects of our human life to tempt us into sin. The lusts aroused by what we see, the lusts of our human flesh, our pride and our rebellion against authority. Study the way Satan tempted Biblical characters such as Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:6), Jonah, Moses and even Jesus (Matthew 4:3). He appealed to fleshly gratification, power and recognition and self-interest.

 

Attempting to fulfill the lusts of our flesh always causes our moral demise and allures us from following God’s will for our life (Galatians 5:16-25). Satan is subtle and very good at what He does. In fact, at the end of the Millennium, God looses Satan from his chains in hell so he can attempt to deceive those born during the thousand year reign of Jesus Christ right here on the earth with us (Revelation 20:7).

 

Satan convinces people who lived in the presence of Christ during the Millennium, just as he did when Jesus lived on the earth for 33 years.

He blinds their eyes and deafens their ears and appeals to the lust of their eyes and flesh, as well as to their pride and rebellious nature. As we follow after God and obey His will for our life (Ephesians 2:10), it is much easier to discern Satan’s deception from the start.

 

Only God and His Kingdom will last forever (1 John 2:15-17). If we recognize that this world is passing away and everything in it, then we can put into perspective the fiery darts of temptation from our #1 enemy. Relinquish all lust, pride and rebellion to Christ. Only those who depend solely on Christ as their life (Colossians 3:4) will believe to the end and be saved.

 

Prayer:

Father God, when Satan tempted Jesus, he found no flesh in Him that He could appeal to. He tried, but Jesus was so united with You that He rose above Satan’s carnal appeals. Jesus also used Your Word to defeat the enemy. Remind us to drench our life with Your scriptures so that we too can withstand the enemy when he comes like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).

 

Thought for the Day:

Cling to the vine of Christ and draw your fulfillment from Him rather than from your flesh, the world or the devil. – John 15:5

Don’t Fix the Fix

Born as a person who wants to please, I am devastated when I realize that I often fell short of my goal. I have always striven for perfection in myself in order to find favor with others. After I came to Christ, my housemate shared with me these key verses that taught me not to stress over reaching perfection (Galatians 3:1-3).

It took me another ten years to come to understand the full meaning of this and how to actually let go and let God. The first step was to recognize that I was one of the world’s best Codependents, and that God wanted to set me free from that bondage. It was a revelation to me to realize that I did not have to solve all of the problems of the world and then feel like a martyr because I neglected myself in the process.

We often solve a person’s problems for them, which thwarts the hand of God in their life. We rob them of a blessing and we force God to have to produce another trial for them to overcome in order to strengthen their faith. It has been said, “Do not fix the fix that God has fixed to fixed someone; or God will just have to fix another fix to fix them!” We cause them to needlessly suffer another trial.

The foolish Galatians (3:1-3) were trying to perfect their life after receiving salvation as a free gift. They thought they had to earn their sanctification. God calls us to enter into His rest (Hebrews 4:10) and to leave our perfection to Him! We do not earn salvation or sanctification, because it is GOD that is working in us and giving us both the desire and the power to live a holy life (Philippians 2:12-13).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us to accept our privileges as Your children and heirs. Christ in us is an ever-present reality that we often ignore. Teach us to tap into the amazing spiritual power that You provide for us, and to walk in Your ways every step of our day. Thank you for becoming a man and paying our sin debt and giving us the victory over both sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Thought for the Day:
Do not fill your day with ceaseless activity, but walk in the power of God’s Spirit and reap both productivity and fulfillment.

The Prince of This World

There are spiritual forces of darkness in this world, which influence us every day (Ephesians 1:18-19). In these modern times, they are even able to use multi-media, technology and college professors. People and life’s circumstances are not really our problem. We are actually facing rulers, authorities and powers of evil and darkness (Ephesians 6:12). Jesus gave us an example of how to overcome with spiritual warfare.

 

When Satan came to tempt Jesus after 40 days and nights of fasting and prayer in the wilderness, the prince of this world found nothing He could use to tempt our Savior (John 14:30). Jesus had no connection to the things of this world. Clothes, food, friends, family, housing, transportation and land were the last things on Jesus’ mind (Matthew 8:20). His total focus lay in the spiritual, heavenly realm.

 

Some people, who claim they are Christians, receive more joy from earthly pleasures and conveniences than from spiritual endeavors. They take pleasure in the fellowship of God’s people and the benefits their soul – thoughts, choices and emotions – receives from church attendance. However, when it comes to giving and sacrifice, they turn a deaf ear and only attend church services one hour a week.

 

Jesus lived on this earth, but He dwelt in the Kingdom of God. He calls us all to join Him in His Kingdom mindset and reality. He wants us to place our affection on things above, not on things of this earth (Colossians 3:2). We find our life and joy only in our Messiah, Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:3). When we do, Satan has no power over us. His fiery darts find no mark in us, so they just bounce right off (Ephesians 6:16).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You teach us that gratification and convenience are not worthwhile goals on our list of priorities. Neither are items that money can buy. The only valuable focus in life is to follow after You as our first love, and to seek to do Your perfect will. To do anything less gives Satan a foothold into our life. Remind us to live soberly and to watch out for the wiles of the prince of this world (1 Peter 5:8).

 

Thought for the Day:

Satan’s deception blinds our eyes to the authority and divinity of Christ in us, who is our hope of a glorious eternity with God. – 2 Peter 1:4; Colossians 1:27

The Power of a Spiritual Life

Jesus suffered agony in the garden when He felt the weight of our sin on His heart; however, He came to earth with one purpose: to surrender His life for our salvation. God has a unique purpose for each of us, as well (Ephesians 2:10). We wait on God, and He works out His intentions in us moment by moment throughout our life. By His promises, we partake in the divine nature of Christ (2 Peter 1:4).

 

Only through the death of our carnal nature do we learn the secret of living our life through our rebirth in Christ Jesus. Like Paul, we die daily to our flesh, our will and Satan’s temptations (1 Corinthians 15:31), so that God’s Spirit can live His life through us. We are rooted and grounded in Him by faith (Ephesians 3:17). We owe Jesus all glory and honor for giving us our spiritual life. 

 

Jesus gave us the perfect example of how to live on this earth. Even at an early age, He focused on God’s Kingdom (Luke 2:46). He trusted in, depended upon and lived and died with His total focus on our Father. We can follow in His footsteps. He who knew no sin mercifully gave His life to pay the penalty of our sins (2 Corinthians 5:21). Making Himself helpless in the hands of His persecutors, Jesus honored God.

 

God’s fullness in our life will take us deeper and deeper into the power and wonder of His spiritual realm. As we cast our soul – our thoughts, decisions and feelings – on Him, and totally abandon our self to His love, He who lived in total surrender to our Father will impart His divine nature to us (2 Peter 1:4).We live our life in the power of the resurrected Lord who dwells within us.

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You so much for preparing the perfect sacrifice for our sins by coming in the form of a man and dying on Calvary’s cross in our place (Philippians 2:8). The fact that You raised Christ from the dead and to His throne in glory gives us so much hope and faith to know that You will bring us up from the grave and into Your glorious presence.

 

Thought for the Day:

To have the love, peace and joy we crave in our life, we simply surrender wholeheartedly to God. – Matthew 10:39

A New Life in Christ

In this world, people are very touchy about what we say to them. They think that we are trying to proselytize them, if we even mention anything about God or Christ. We are simply living out who we are, and they accuse us of judging them. Of course, if they would join us, they would understand that Jesus is not our hobby or our crutch. Christ is our very life (Colossians 3:4).

We are not trying to impose our beliefs on anyone. We are just living out the truth of God’s Word. We do not condemn their behavior or their person, but offer them the opportunity to trust Christ and to enjoy the wondrous life He provides for His children (Ephesians 4:13). When we repent and believe in Christ (Mark 1:15), we no longer live as part of this world, even though we still live in it (John 17:16).

We no longer attempt to earn His acceptance by our performance to His standards. We are already accepted in His beloved family, by faith and not by works (Ephesians 1:6, 2:8-10). God placed the weight of the vilest sin upon His own shoulders and He paid our penalty for us. We accept Christ’s atoning work for our salvation, and then choose to live in total surrender to God’s will.

Jesus freed us from deprivation, degradation and devastation in this life. He allows us to walk in a new life in Him (Romans 6:4). His anointing in us and through us breaks the yoke of bondage to sin and deception (Isaiah 10:27). His Spirit enables us to obey God’s will, by living in and through us (Galatians 2:20). Let us seek His direction for our life and not allow earthly concerns to sway us from His ways (Luke 9:57-62, 14:26-33).

Prayer:
Father God, true surrender to You always supercedes our natural devotion to job, family or friends. We forsake all for you (Luke 14:33). We know without a doubt that You will meet the needs of our family and friends as we focus on Your will for our life. Keep us from failing to totally surrender to You, and enable us to experience the fullness of Your love for us.

Thought for the Day:
God listens to and understands our prayers and knows exactly how to answer them.

The High Praises

As we praise the Lord, we exalt Him and bless His name each moment of our day, for as long as we live and then on into eternity. He is great and so worthy of all of our adoration. His greatness is incomprehensible to our finite mind (Psalm 145:1-3). His name will endure for eternity and every generation will know Him as Lord (Psalm 135:13).

Everyone that has breath praises Him in worship, in nature, with musical instruments and with dancing (Psalm 150:1-6). Each generation will communicate His works to the next, and they will declare His mighty acts to each individual, as well as to the nations, which He blesses (Psalm 145:4-6, 21).

Therefore, we should sing praises to the Lord our God, while we live (Psalm 146:1-2). The Lord longs to be gracious to His people. He makes every effort to show compassion to us. He is the God of justice and mercy, and we are blessed if we wait for His timing in everything we say and do (Isaiah 30:18). Singing His praises is good and beautiful.

God is the stability of all times, and we can trust in Him. He is a wealth of wisdom, provision and deliverance to those who put all of their faith in Him. Honoring the Lord is the key to receiving this treasure (Isaiah 33:6). We praise Him for His great mercy, which He gave us through His new birth; and for His living hope, which He provided through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (Psalm 147:1).

Prayer:
Father God, we bless You, because You hear our prayers. You are our strength and protection. Our soul trusts in You, because You are always ready to help us. Our heart exceedingly rejoices in the beauty of Your holiness and we give thanks to You in continual praises (Psalm 28:6-7). You are enthroned between the angels and You alone are the God over every kingdom and nation of this earth, which You created (Isaiah 37:16).

Thought for the Day:
The high praises of God are in our mouth, and His Holy Word is in our hands, as we hide it within our heart. – Psalm 119:11, 149:6; Hebrews 4:12

It Really is Your Choice

Jesus Christ provided for a way for us to enjoy the glories of Heaven (John 6:44; Acts 4:12, 16:30-31). He is the only way for us to receive redemption. That is why Christians are always sharing the good news of the Gospel of Christ. We may get on someone’s nerves, but we share God’s Truth for their benefit, not our own. We are already Born Again and our place in Heaven is already reserved.

What about your place in Heaven? Have you repented of your sins and asked Jesus to be your personal Savior (John 3:16)? Have you surrendered your life to His redeeming grace and realized the benefits of living in His family now and forever? There are multiple ways to enter eternity, but only one leads to Heaven; all the rest lead to hell (John 3:18).

Satan is very cunning. He appears as an angel of light and he perverts God’s truth to his own advantage. He wants to take Jesus’ place as King of the universe. He already rebelled against God and lost his place in heaven (Isaiah 14:12-14). Now he is the “god” of this world and he wants to stay that way (2 Corinthians 4:4). He fills the world with his lies in order to take as many people to hell with him as he can (John 8:44; Romans 1:25).

If you reject Jesus as your Savior and remain as an unbeliever, living in unbelief and sinful pursuits, you will never see God (Revelation 21:7-8). If you admit that you are a sinner, regret your sinful lifestyle, choose to live according to Biblical principles, ask Jesus to cover you with His precious blood, and place your faith in God’s faithfulness, you will enjoy the blessings as a co-heir with Jesus of God’s Kingdom (Romans 8:17).

Prayer:
Father God, I come to You in Jesus’ name to acknowledge that I am a sinner. I am as grieved over my past lifestyle as You are. I want to turn from a life of sin and self-reliance, and live according to Your Biblical principles.

Thank You for sending Jesus to die for me and to pay the penalty of my sin debt to You. I believe that You raised Jesus from the dead and that He now sits at Your right hand. I want to take advantage of Your grace and to live a life of purity and truth.

I will serve You in gratitude for the many blessings You provide for me throughout my lifetime. In Jesus’ name and for His glory. Amen.

Thought for the Day:
Once we place our full trust in Him and His promises, God keeps us in His hands and never forsakes us. – John 6:37, 10:28-29; Hebrews 13:5

The Lord of the Dance

When the Holy Spirit abides in us, He desires to develop His fruit in our life (Galatians 5:22-23). He cannot force us to live a fruitful life; therefore, He wants us to allow Him to flow in and through us. Our surrender enters us into a dance of joy with the Lord of the dance, and we sing songs to our Lord day and night (Psalm 149:3; Ephesians 5:19).

We sway with Him to the music He places in our heart, getting lost in the melody of His love and dedicating our life to His service. We praise Him with the tambourines and the dance (Psalm 150:4). Twirling in harmony with His melody (Psalm 149:3), we dance in joy because of His peace and provision (Jeremiah 31:4). There is always a time to dance (Ecclesiastes 3:4).

Those who seek the Lord lack nothing that we need to prosper in this life (Psalm 34:10). The Lord is our light and protection, and He gives us His kindness and respect. He withholds no good thing from those who walk in Holiness before Him (Psalm 84:11). As we submit to God and allow His peace to rule in our heart, He will make our way prosperous (Job 22:21).

God never allows His righteous ones to go hungry (Proverbs 10:3). When life devastates us, our heart loses its hope, but Jesus turns our mourning into dancing (Lamentations 5:15; Psalm 31:11). Then, we can once again praise Him with musical instruments and dance before Him in joy (Psalm 150:4, 149:3; 2 Samuel 6:14). God delights in the praises and love of His Saints (Zephaniah 3:17).

Prayer:
Father God, there is no need for us to live in fear and anxiety about what we need, because You know everything about us, and You graciously and generously supply all of our needs (Philippians 4:19; Matthew 6:31-32). You provide for us and protect us all of the days of our life (Psalm 84:11). You give us all good things to enjoy (Matthew 7:11). Teach us to dance with You, especially when life gets too hard to handle.

Thought for the Day:
Our Father in Heaven gives us whatever we ask, if we keep His commandments and do what pleases Him. – 1 John 3:22