God’s Eternal Gifts

Salvation in Christ is a tremendous free gift, which includes many other gifts. Not only did Jesus save us from paying the penalty of our sins, but He also gave us eternal life and the right to live with Him in New Jerusalem (Romans 5:8, 6:23). This makes us children of almighty God and co-heirs with Jesus of all that our Father possesses (Ezekiel 36:25; Galatians 4:4, 5:19).

New Jerusalem is a city filled with many mansion-sized rooms and is a 1500-mile cube. Jesus went back to heaven in order to prepare this place, so that He can dwell physically throughout eternity with every authentic, Born Again Believer from all the ages (Hebrews 11:10-12:22; Revelation 3:12, 21:10). This city will come down from Heaven, and most likely be in the area of Jerusalem in the Middle East.

Until then, God gives us the gifts of Christ to dwell in us through His Holy Spirit (John 14:15-17), His Word to enlighten us (Psalm 119:105), and His Body of Believers to encourage us (1 Corinthians 12:27). God’s Spirit speaks through an impression in our spirit to direct our every step through life, to comfort us and allow us to accomplish the work He created us to perform (Ephesians 2:10). We shall live as the bride of Christ forever (Isaiah 61:10; Revelation 21:9).

God provides for our every need (Psalm 55:22; 1 Peter 5:7; Philippians 4:19; 1 Peter 1:3), He liberally gives us His wisdom (James 1:5), and He comforts our soul through every trial in life, turning them around for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28). God collects our tears in a bottle and once His wrath is full, He will pour out His vengeance on a wicked earth full of those who rejected Him and persecuted His Saints (Psalm 56:8; Revelation 14:10).

Prayer:
Father God, You know how to give good gifts to those who ask You (James 1:17; Matthew 7:11). We are humbled by Your love for us now, and for Your provision for us even into eternity. You will restore to us the perfect environment, which You provided for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). We will have immortal bodies, a never-dying soul and our spirit’s connection with You (1 Corinthians 15:53; Luke 16:19-31 – his body was in the grave, his soul and spirit experienced hell). Help us to bring as many people into this same right standing with You as we can possibly reach during our lifetime. Help us to be a city set on hill, which allows Your light to shine though us (Matthew 5:14-16).

Thought for the Day:
The Kingdom of God has nothing to do with carnal pursuits, but everything to do with living righteously in the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 14:17

Perpetual Freedom

When we come to Christ, He immediately frees us from the snare of the flesh. Then, He puts His Spirit within us, so that we can inherit God’s Kingdom as co-heirs with Christ (Ezekiel 36:25; Galatians 4:4, 5:19). By His grace, God forgives our sins; and as His children we surrender to His Spirit, who crucifies the desires of our flesh, and teaches us to live in and walk in His Spirit (Galatians 5:16-25).

We are filled with the Spirit’s fruit and our entire personality and life change for the better (Galatians 5:22-23). Whom the Son sets free lives in perpetual freedom (John 8:36). Anyone who prefers to walk according to the dictates of our flesh is living in disobedience to God and will reap earthly destruction and eternal damnation (1 John 3:4; 2 Thessalonians 1:9).

As authentic Believers, it becomes normal to reject the dictates of our flesh, and to follow the Spirit instead. The more our intimacy with God increases, the less we would think of using our liberty in Christ as an occasion to sin. We prefer to walk in the Spirit, so that we reap God’s blessings and please Him with our life (Galatians 5:13).

We cannot perfect our self by our human effort, but according to God’s mercy. His Spirit helps us to walk in holiness and to inherit eternal life (Titus 3:3). The more we feed our spirit by Bible study, prayer, fellowship with other Saints and sitting in the presence of God, the stronger our spirit will grow and the more we will live in perpetual freedom (Romans 8:6-7).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for enabling us to walk toward perfection in holiness (1 Peter 1:16). We still make mistakes, but You always give us a choice and a way out of the temptation to sin (1 Corinthians 10:13). When we do fall, we do not allow Satan’s condemnation to belittle us. Instead, we submit to the conviction of Your Holy Spirit and we respond in repentance for our sins (Romans 8:1-7). Eventually, sin grieves us and has no more dominion over us (Romans 6:14-18). Thank You for providing Jesus as our atoning sacrifice, as our Savior and as our Lord (1 John 2:2; Romans 10:9; Philippians 2:11).

Thought for the Day:
Living according to the dictates of our flesh is not profitable for us at all; but walking in the Spirit guarantees us a joyful, fulfilled life drenched in love and peace. – John 6:63; Romans 8:6

Loving Our Spouse

The joining of two human beings as one is a very difficult prospect (Mark 10:8). The high divorce rate proves that this is often impossible to do. There are basic human needs in each person, some of which were never satisfied in childhood. We carry these needs with us our whole life, trying to find fulfillment for them, even in marriage. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs )

When two people marry, they take these needs into this new relationship. If they are incompatible needs or if one person insists on their own needs being met instead of their partner’s, there will be conflict in the marriage. However, if the couple is willing to humble themselves and to prefer one another on a daily basis, a happy marriage is possible (Romans 12:10).

Ask your spouse what he/she needs to feel loved. They may not even realize their basic needs, but there is Christian help at the bookstore, counselor’s office and online. Words are either power tools of encouragement or lethal weapons of destruction (Proverbs 18:21). It turns out that many people need verbal validation from their spouse to feel loved (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

Others need help with daily chores, which often overwhelm them (Galatians 6:2). Receiving a little love note or a simple gift during each day will help many other spouses to feel loved (1 Thessalonians 2:7-12). Having a meaningful, undistracted conversation, often accompanied by snuggle time, will do wonders for some other relationships (Hebrews 10:24).

The easiest tool to use to ensure peace and harmony in a relationship is to never insist on one’s own way. Often, one person will have a need or idea they want to fulfill, but their spouse has a different idea of how to respond to this issue. Neither of you can agree with the other person’s assessment, so there is an impasse or a violent argument.

As the popular song recommends, “The road is shorter when we meet in the middle.” Rather than focusing on your own needs to the exclusion of your mate’s needs, look at the issue from a third perspective. Brainstorm together about the problem or need until you find a solution that is agreeable to both of you. Rather than your Plan A, or your spouse’s Plan B, agree on a Plan C that you both feel good about.
Prayer:
Father God, remind us that You joined us as man and woman for the purpose of serving You together with our lives. Help us to prefer one another and to share with each other what you are teaching us every day. In an impasse, remind us that You have a perfect will for this issue or activity in our life. Rather than insisting on our own way, we need to seek You together in order to find Your solution for the problem. We love You and lift You up as Lord and Savior of our life and our marriage.

Thought for the Day:
Today, there are some great resources to help us to maintain an equitable and successful marriage, starting with The Five Love Languages ( http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/ ).

Overcoming Negative Thoughts and Emotions

At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came down to indwell mortal man. He has been here ever since. He is found in the spirit of every authentic Believer. Living according to the leading of God’s Spirit, ensures that we will live a fulfilled life. Even in negative circumstances or discouraging trials, we know that God will work them out for our good (Romans 8:28).

God’s Spirit helps us to discern which of our thoughts are lies from Satan, and which thoughts are of God. The next time you realize that there is a war going on in your mind, pull out Paul’s measuring stick and compare your thoughts with it. Is it true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy? Think only about such things (Philippians 4:8).

Then, throw out all thoughts that do not measure up. When the peace of God, which transcends all earthly circumstances and human understanding, rules in our heart again, we are free of Satan’s negative lies (Philippians 4:7). The Lord is always cheering for us, and the devil is always cheering against us; it is up to us to break the tie!

When we lay aside our former desires for sin and allow God’s Spirit to renew our mind, we put on the cloak of righteousness provided for us by Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross (Ephesians 4:21-22). We live in holiness and truth in the likeness of God, laying aside all lies and deception from the devil (Ephesians 4:23-25). An attitude of gratitude to God ensures our success in overcoming every negative thought.

Prayer:
Father God, when we have a war going on in our mind, remind us take authority over Satan’s kingdom of darkness by saying, “Lord, I thank You for taking authority over Satan in my life, and for revealing to me the root and origin of this lack of peace in my soul. Satan, I take authority over you and all of your demons. I put you and your demons in the hands of the true Lord Jesus Christ. You have no authority in my body, soul, or spirit, because they are bought by the blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary.”

Thought for the Day:
Sit quietly and wait for God to reveal the origin of the negative thoughts in your heart; journal as you listen, to remind you of what God tells you during your prayer time and to give you a future record for what He does in your life.

Enjoying God’s Presence

Many people tell me that they feel like God left them. They no longer experience the presence and anointing of His Spirit in their life, and they miss that feeling. They want the union with God, which they had during their first experience with salvation. God promises never to leave us (Hebrews 13:5); therefore, in actuality, we leave Him. When we do, it is impossible to feel His presence.

We move away from God in many ways. Those who are Christians in name only will indulge their flesh with no remorse (2 Peter 2:20-22). Our lifestyle choices will often pull us away. False prophets lead others away and distract them from worshiping the one true God, (2 Peter 2:1-19). Some people in crisis pray for salvation, but then reject the Word of Life and turn from walking in righteousness (Romans 13:8-14; Ephesians 2:2).

King David lost God’s presence one time too. When He walked away from purity and God’s ways, He begged God to help him to overcome his evil heart. He entreated God to restore the joy of His salvation and to renew a Godly spirit in him (Psalm 51:10-12). If we walk in the Spirit, it is much harder to fulfill the desires of our flesh (Galatians 5:16-25). We lose the craving to be around sin or to take part in it.

We see the destruction that sin leads to and we want the blessings of God on our life instead (1 Peter 4:1-5). During the sanctifying process, even if an authentic Believer does not sense God’s presence, we are still basking in His blessings. Once we begin walking in the Spirit all of the time, however, we always feel the presence of God. Even if God is silent, we enjoy His company, and we live a life of praise to His name.

Prayer:
Father God, through Your Spirit, You give us hope that we will live with You throughout eternity (Romans 8:22-25). Help us to walk as children of the Light, by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:8; Ephesians 5:8). We want to live in love, just as Christ did by offering Himself as a sacrifice for our sins (Ephesians 5:2; Philippians 3:16-18). Remind us to pray in the Spirit, so that our prayers will be effective (Romans 8:26-28). Thank You for giving us Your Spirit to live in us each and every day.

Thought for the Day:
If we abide in Christ, He abides in us in the same relationship as the branch and the vine, and together we will bear much fruit by His Spirit with us. – John 15:4

All Part of God’s Plan

God’s wrath over sin fated Jesus to a brutal crucifixion before the creation of the world (Revelation 13:8; 1 Peter 1:20). Jesus became sin for undeserving sinners like us (Isaiah 53:10). As we confess Him before our Father, He becomes our Lord (Philippians 2:11; Isaiah 53:11). His words of life bring us joy (John 15:11). He is our eternal life, and our fulfillment is in His presence both now and in eternity (Psalm 16:11).

When we come to the awesome revelation that not one thing occurs in our life that is not part of God’s plan for us, we can relax and go with His flow and follow His directives during each situation, just like Jesus did (1Thessalonians 5:18). This absolute truth allows us to live in His perfect peace. Our joy is no longer affected by our circumstances, but simply by the presence of Christ within us (Colossians 1:27).

During our lifetime our thoughts, words or deeds may cause us to reap negative circumstances, but God even uses this to discipline and mature us as His Saints. The Lord is God, He made us, and we belong to Him (Psalm 100:3). He gave us Jesus as our Way, Truth and Life (Johan 14:6). God never leaves us, so our joy is always complete (Hebrews 13:5; John 15:11).

God calls His children to live with gratitude to Him in our heart in every situation, which life throws at us (James 1:2-5; Hebrews 12:3-13; 1 Peter 2:20-21). Due to God’s goodness, mercy and everlasting truth, words of thanksgiving and praise fill all of our days (Psalm 100:5). This gives us continual victory. In our gratitude to Him, we sing songs of praise and we serve Him with His joy as our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

Prayer:
Father God, we always give thanks to You, in the name of Jesus, for everything in our life, even the negative aspects (Ephesians 5:20). You did, You do and You will always do so much for us, for which we thank You. Thank You that Jesus gave His body, broken for our redemption (Luke 22:19). Thank You for Your Holy Spirit, who keeps us from living on this earth as orphans (John 14:18). Thank You for Your presence in our life. We look forward to dwelling with You in eternity (John 17:3).

Thought for the Day:
We live in praise to God, because He promises that He will work out all things, even the negative aspects of our life, for our good. – Romans 8:28

Our Future with Christ

As you know, Jesus is God; yet, He became a man to pay the penalty for our sins. He endured the cross by keeping His focus on the joy that awaited Him back in Heaven. We too can enjoy this same love and peace, as we keep our mind focused on Him (Isaiah 26:3). Through Christ, everything in the universe was created (Colossians 1:16). His everlasting joy can reside in our heart forever (Psalm 16:11).

God’s gifts for us are free and include our ticket to Heaven through the forgiveness of our sin (Romans 6:23). We do not need to earn our own salvation or pay the penalty of our sins (Galatians 2:16). He completes the work in us, which He began on Calvary (Philippians 1:6). Jesus also perfects our faith, as He sits on His throne with God in Heaven (Hebrews 12:2).

God always gives us His grace to avoid temptation and to accomplish the works He created us to do (Ephesians 2:10; 2 Corinthians 9:8). All the grace we need in any and all circumstances are just a prayer away (2 Corinthians 9:8). He also supplies all of our financial, physical, mental and emotional needs in this earthly existence as we walk in His Spirit and obey His Word (Philippians 4:19).

We will all pass from life through death; however, angels escort authentic Believers to the presence of God (Luke 16:22). Our last breath on earth is followed by our next breath in Heaven. We will never sin or die again (Romans 8:21; 1 Corinthians 15:52-53). In eternity, we look forward to serving Christ and having the fullness of His character and divine nature complete in us (2 Corinthians 5:8; 1 John 3:2).

Prayer:
Father God, regardless of the pains and suffering that we endure on this earth, we are assured that You gave us an advocate in Christ (John 16:33; Hebrews 4:15). Thank You for sending Jesus to free us from our debt of sin and to help us to bear the pain of our current situation (2 Corinthians 4:17). We thank You that Christ is in us and is our hope of eternal glory with You (Colossians 1:27). We look forward with great joy to living as a co-heir with Christ of Your entire Kingdom (Romans 8:17).

Thought for the Day:
We will enjoy the presence of God for eternity and our joy will be exceedingly full. – Psalm 43:4; 1 Peter 3:18