Living in God’s Purpose

God knows our every weakness; yet He calls us as part of His Kingdom. He created us for His purpose and enables us to fulfill His will for our life (Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 2:12-13).

We may have addictions, desires or goals for our life, which thwart God’s purpose for us. Godly sorrow over our sin humbles us and enables us to come to repentance by faith (Isaiah 53:4; 1 John 1:9).

Without repentance, we live in darkness, alone and empty, regardless of how much we fill our life with people, places and things. Only in God do we find true fulfillment.

When we walk in the Spirit, we accomplish greater works than Christ did during His time on the earth (John 14:12). He was one man, and we are His Body – with Believers all over the world for generations past and future.

As a corporate Body, Christ accomplishes His greater works through us. If we walk according to the direction of God’s Spirit each moment of our day, we will influence the growth of God’s Kingdom in ways we will not even realize until we enter eternity.

As we fully surrender our life to Christ in us, we grow in our intimacy with Him. His Holy Spirit in us will complete His work in and through us. We can walk with confidence in God’s purpose for our life.

Prayer:
Father God, when we refuse to humble our self before Your mighty hand, we will suffer the humiliation of living outside of Your Kingdom, possible for eternity. It is our choice (James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:6). Help us to change our attitude and not to neglect the great salvation, which Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary’s cross granted to us (Hebrews 2:3).

Remind us to walk in Your will, and not to fill our life with chaotic and hurried activities, which deplete our energy and grieve Your Spirit (Ephesians 2:10; Ephesians 4:30). We give You all of the praise and the glory for everything, which we accomplish on this earth, because without Christ in us, we can do nothing (John 15:5).

Thought for the Day:
God looks on the inward heart, rather than our outward performance; yet, when we walk in faith, we are led by His Spirit to accomplish the works He created us to do.

– 1 Samuel 16:7; James 2:14-26; Ephesians 2:10

Forgiveness and Boundaries

Human beings tend to suffer in silence. We fear rejection and criticism, so we internalize our thoughts and feelings rather than confiding in one another.

Inner voices, which do not line up with God’s Word, are lies from Satan Himself. The only way to dispel His lies is by speaking God’s truth (Philippians 4:8; 1 Timothy 4:1).
( http://www.theophostic.com )

Once we receive our forgiveness from God through repentance and faith in exchange for our sins, then God receives us as His own precious children (1 John 3:2).

We have Jesus’ example in order to forgive those who harm us. If they are repentant, we allow them back into our heart. If they refuse to repent, then we forgive them for our sake, but keep them at a distance.

Even though we forgive them, we do not condone their behavior toward us, and we certainly never allow them any opportunities to harm us again.

We derive our self-worth through Christ in us, rather than through our own achievements. This way our esteem does not depend upon people, circumstances or meeting our goals.

It depends on God’s faithfulness and the presence of Christ abiding within us. We are secure in who we are through Christ. We live the life to which He calls us (Ephesians 2:10).

This way too, we have no need to attempt to manipulate and control the behavior of others in order to make our self feel better, safer or more secure.

Prayer:
Father God, people do tend to maliciously use us, but You encourage us to love them with Your agape love and to forgive them and pray for them (Matthew 5:44). However, we can also be wise as snakes and gentle as doves in our dealings with them (Matthew 10:16).

We point them to Your love for them, but we never again allow them to take advantage of us or to use us for their evil gain. Their opinion of us does not matter anymore, because our identity and our good name come from You (Proverbs 22:1; Psalm 52:9).

Thought for the Day:
No one is more deceived than the person who will not admit that he or she is wrong; but we can forgive them anyway and erect boundaries to keep them from harming us again.

Our True Reality in Christ

There is no need for us to frequent the “self-help” shelf at the library or bookstore, because the Holy Spirit is changing us through His sanctifying process, until we come to the fullness of Christ in us (2 Corinthians 3:18).

When we come to the end of our self, God’s Holy Spirit, who dwells in us, becomes our comforter, guide, wisdom, encourager and the voice of Christ, who also dwells in us by His Spirit, as our way, truth and life (Colossians 3:4; John 14:6).

Christ in us is not a separate entity from who we are. He is as much of an integral part of us as He is to our Father God (John 17:21). Living in the center of God’s will is the happiest place on earth.

We surrender the control of our life over to God, because to think that we actually have any control over our life is ludicrous! Life happens and is always out of our control.

Just as Jesus did nothing of Himself, we follow His example. We die to our self and trust only in God. We live in union as one person with Christ in us. He is our whole life (Colossians 3:4).

The sooner we come to this place of total surrender to the will of God, content in the circumstance which He provides (Philippians 4:11), the freer and more joyfully we experience each day, captivated by His Spirit and His will.

As we decrease in our desires and control over our life, He will increase His control and put His desires in our heart (John 3:30; Psalm 37:4). Christ in us is our only true reality now and in eternity.

We are dead, and He now lives in and through us (Colossians 4:3-4). There are no formulas to follow, no effort on our part, no striving or quoting Bible verse, which can make this happen.

We simply surrender all to Him by letting go of our anxiety, negative emotions and idols, which imprison us, and letting God have His way in our life.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for revealing to us that this life in not about us; it is totally and abundantly about You in us (Colossians 1:27). You free us from bondage to the devil, the world and the flesh; and You allow us to walk intimately with Your Trinity abiding within us (Galatians 5:15-25).

Surrendering to Your rest is the only step we need to take to enter into this union life with You (Hebrews 4:10-11). We stop our stress, strain and list-making and follow Your Spirit during each moment of our day. When we walk in the center of Your will we find true peace, joy and rest in Your Spirit (Romans 14:17).

Thought for the Day:
It is no longer I, but Christ who lives in me, because we are unified as one being; He is the head and I am the body, which He uses for His glory. – Colossians 3:3-4

Experiencing God’s Presence

There is no place on earth more fulfilling than living in God’s presence. He reveals to us the path of life, fills us with His joy and gives us pleasures, which last for an eternity (Psalm 16:11).

His presence abides in us and He gives us His rest (Exodus 33:14). We continually commune with Him through prayer (Psalm 145:18-19). When we draw near to Him, He comes closer to us (James 4:8).

At times, we do not sense His presence, but He is always near to us, living within us (Genesis 28:16). We find Him if we take the time to seek Him with our whole heart and soul (Deuteronomy 4:29).

Regardless of our behavior, His graciousness, compassion, attention, mercy and love accompany the presence of God in our life; although our sins will break His heart and grieve His Spirit (2 Kings 13:23; 1 Thessalonians 5:19).

Brokenhearted people find soothing comfort in God’s presence; and, in our humility, He will save us from every one of our afflictions (Psalm 34:18-19).

God’s goodness is magnanimous to those who submit to Him. Words fail to describe what He has planned for those who trust Him (Psalm 31:19-20).

As our refuge and strength, God keeps us safe from every enemy, from strife and from gossips (Psalm 46:1). His plans are not evil, and He intends for us to prosper in Him (Jeremiah 29:11).

Prayer:
Father God, create a clean heart in us, and help us to refresh our commitment to You. We thank You for not casting us away from Your presence or removing Your Spirit from within us when we fall into sin (Psalm 51:10-11).

We come into Your presence with gratitude for all that You do for us, and we shout joyfully in praises to You. You are our great King, our Savior and God (Psalm 95:2-3).

Thought for the Day:
We joyfully serve the Lord and dwell in His presence with a continual song in our heart and on our lips. – Psalm 100:2

Temple of God – Personal

As the temple of God, we are blessed that God lives within us, walks among us and calls us as His own unique people (2 Corinthians 6:16; 1 Peter 2:9).

As we maintain our confidence and hope in Him, which is our delight, we are actually God’s house (Hebrews 3:6), a fact, which I find amazing!

We rarely appreciate how wondrous it is to actually be the holy temple of God, with His Holy Spirit dwelling within us. Nothing is allowed to destroy us or they ultimately will be destroyed by God (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).

In Christ, we are co-workers in God’s service; we are his field of ministry and His building made without human hands (1 Corinthians 3:9; 2 Corinthians 5:1). We cannot earn any of this by our works (Ephesians 2:8-9).

We no longer belong to our self, nor do we depend on our self or live according to our own plans (1 Corinthians 6:19). We spend each moment of every day walking according to the direction of God’s Holy Spirit (John 15:4).

Jesus entwines us together as His Body, until we are so united that we rise as spiritual stones to corporately become His spiritual Temple as well, and God abides with us forever (1 Peter 2:5; Ephesians 2:21-22).

Christ, as the Son of God, is faithful to provide for and to protect us as God’s house (Hebrews 3:6). He calls us to live healthy lives, free from addictions and excesses, with our thoughts focused on His Word (Proverbs 15:30; Philippians 4:8).

This maximizes our effectiveness for His Kingdom. We bring Him glory even in our infirmities, which He allows into our life (John 9:2-3). He uses us as living stones for His Temple, His called out ones (1 Peter 2:4-6, 9).
Prayer:
Father God, there is not one thought, idea or desire, which we have as human beings, which amounts to anything worthy of You. Yet, You have a perfect plan for each life, which You decided upon before we were ever born (Ephesians 2:10).

Remind us to walk in Your Spirit, so that we do not fulfill the lusts of our flesh and end up living under the dominion of the god of this world – the devil. Help us to see that nothing good dwells in our self-efforts (Romans 7:17-18).

We are hopeless without Your presence dwelling in our spirit; but, when we abide in You, we have no lack in our body, soul or spirit (Philippians 4:19). Thank you for fashioning us into Your Temple for Your dwelling place.

Thought for the Day:
Walking in the Spirit as God’s Temple does not give us spiritual pride or place us above anyone else, but is merely humble reliance only on God’s love, mercy, strength, wisdom and direction – one moment at a time.

Temple of God – Symbolic

Many pieces of furniture in the Temple are wooden (our carnal nature) overladen with gold (God’s nature). The others are either pure gold or bronze – which denote the need for sanctification.

The Temple’s construction symbolically relates to our spirit, soul and body (1 Kings 8:10-11; 2 Chronicles 5:13-14). God fearfully and awesomely created us in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:4, 13).

The Holy of Holies denotes our spirit, and the Holy Place to our renewed life in Christ. The wooden supports to the hidden aspects of our human soul, the Inner Court to the acknowledge parts of our soul, and the Outer Court to our body.

Once our spirit is Born Again, the Spirit of God abides in our spirit, which is the Holy of Holies. We are in union with the Trinity in our spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17; Colossians 1:27; Galatians 2:20).

God turns our heart of hardened stone into a new heart of supple flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). God grants to our spirit His supernatural agape love, Godly wisdom and spiritual thought processes along with His power to do all that He calls us to do (Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 4:13).

God takes up residence in our spirit and makes us a new creation (John 14:23). The Trinity also works in our soul – our thoughts, will and feelings.

Our union life with God combines our spirit and soul with His Spirit and will. We no longer live isolated in this world, but are part of God’s family with His Spirit united with our spirit (Ephesians 2:19-22).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for allowing us to operate as Your dwelling place on this earth, so that You can affect the world around us by Your Holy Spirit. Teach us to live by Your Spirit, so that we do not hinder Your work by living by our fleshly, carnal, human understanding and desires.

We love how the Temple of Solomon is such an example of our life in the Spirit (Ephesians 2:21-22). Remind us to serve You in Your house within us (Revelation 1:6, 5:10). We have no need to rely on our self, because we can do all things through Christ who dwells within us (Philippians 4:13).

Thought for the Day:
We live a life filled within our spirit with God’s Spirit abiding in us, and we radiate His presence out to the world around us. – 1 Corinthians 3:16

Temple of God – Application

God gave specific instructions for the construction of both the Tabernacle in the wilderness and the Temple built by Solomon. Interestingly, the individual items in the Temple relate to our walk and calling in Christ.

As Born Again Believers, we are the Temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16; John 2:21 Psalm 139:14). We are the church of the Living God, who is our pillar and the foundation of all truth (1Timothy 3:15).

We start with the door of the Temple. We cannot enter God’s holy place without first coming through the door of Jesus Christ (John 10:7, 9). He is our way, truth and life; and no one comes to God except through Jesus (John 14:6).

Next is the slaughter on the brazen altar (Exodus 39:39). An innocent, unblemished animal is sacrificed for sin, just as Jesus is our ultimate sacrifice (1 Peter 1:19).

With Christ’s blood on our hands, we come to wash at the laver, which typifies washing in the water of God’s Word (Ephesians 5:26). Once we are cleansed from our sins, we can enter the Holy Place.

We grow in our relationship with God in the Holy Place. We learn to pray at the altar of incense (Exodus 35:15; Revelation 8:4). We come to the candlestick, for light in this dark and dying world (2 Chronicles 4:7).

We also feast on God’s Word, and with Jesus who is our bread of life (Exodus 25:30; John 6:25-59; Matthew 4:4). Jesus gave His life for us to open up our fellowship with God in all of His glory (1 John 5:20; Hebrews 9:3).

As we mature in our walk with God, we can enter into the Holy of Holies. This symbolizes our spirit and is the place of God’s very presence in our life.

The clay tables of the Ten Commandments is housed in the Ark of the Covenant. This is covered by the Mercy Seat, giving us full access to God’s mercy and grace, as well as His presence residing between the wings of the two cherubim (Exodus 25:17; Hebrews 9:5).

Prayer:
Father God, if we enter the Most Holy Places in your temple with any sin hidden or blatant in our life, we will “die” in Your presence (Leviticus 16:2-34).

Remind us about the stages of Your tabernacle and that we can only enter into Your presence through Jesus who is our door, our sacrifice, our cleanser, our bread of life and our high priest.

Thought for the Day:
It is only as we cleanse our sins by the blood of Jesus and dedicate our life to Him, regardless of our vocation, that we can survive in the presence of our holy God.

No Help for Us in God

Throughout the ages, scoffers and God-haters say that there is no help for us in God (Psalm 3:2). They deny His part in creation and they belittle the testimonies of His provision in the lives of His Saints.

However, those who are genuinely seeking for real answers in life find true solace in the everlasting arms of the Lord (Deuteronomy 33:27). He is our shield against the arrows of the devil (Psalm 91), surrounding us on all sides with His protection (Psalm 3:3).

When we faithfully shout praises to the Lord, with all of our trust and might, His answers are so miraculous that they thunder down from His holy mountain (Psalm 3:4).

We bask in His presence and enjoy all of His blessings (John 15:9; Psalm 103:2). Even in dire and frightening circumstances, we trust in Him with all of our heart (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Since God is our only salvation, we have no fear as we trust in Him. We stretch out on our bed in solace and enjoy sweet sleep, waking with energy, confidence and stability (Psalm 3:5; Proverbs 3:24).

Regardless of the circumstances, we stand firm on our Rock, fearless in any time of danger, or financial and relational loss, or just in our daily life. We plant our fist squarely in the face of the enemy (Isaiah 17:10; Psalm 3:6).

We are confident that true and timely help always comes to us from our Father God (Psalm 3:8). He clothes us with salvation and holiness, as we continually delight in Him (Isaiah 61:10).

The Lord is our strength and defense (Isaiah 12:2). When we walk in His truth and obey His Word, our peace is like a river and His benefits overwhelm us like the waves of the sea (Isaiah 48:18).

Prayer:
Father God, even in times of discouragement, when feelings of uselessness and hopelessness threaten to overwhelm us, our reward is in Your hand and You liberally supply us with all of our needs (Isaiah 49:4; Romans 8:28). We will continually rejoice in You, as our Lord, and find our joy in You, as our Savior (Habakkuk 3:18).

Although people persist in ridiculing us for our faith in You, and they look at us incredulously and mock and insult us, and sometime even take advantage of us in our weakness, we pray that You will draw them to Your bleeding side (Psalm 17:11, 22:7-8).

Thought for the Day:
A person’s animosity towards Christians is often birthed from conviction, and our Godly response to them may help them to surrender to God’s unconditional love.

I GIVE UP

“I can’t!” and “I quit!” are two powerful statements. They denote a desire and decision to stop trying in our human efforts. They lead us to realize that we can, only in Christ (Philippians 4:13).

They help us to die to our self and to rise to walk in the new life, which God has planned for us (Mark 8:34-35; Ephesians 2:10). His peace in our spirit confirms His will, and His joy is our strength (Philippians 4:7; Psalm 28:7).

We are dead, and our life is now hidden with Christ in God. Christ is our whole life (Colossians 3:3-4). We empty our self of all of our plans, goals and dreams, and live according to God’s counsel (Ephesians 4:11).

God changed us from sinners to Saints, His adopted children who will inherit His Kingdom. All that is His, now belongs to us as well (1 John 3:2; Ephesians 1:5; Galatians 3:26). We are no longer strangers and aliens, but we belong in God’s family (Ephesians 2:19).

The Christian life involves much less striving than many Believers think. There is no need for us to use our humanity to accomplish anything in the Spirit (Ephesians 2:8-9).

We walk in the Spirit and exhibit His fruit in our character (Galatians 5:15-25). This enables us to trust in the Lord with every fiber of our being and not to depend on our human reasoning at all (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Jesus died for our salvation from sin and eternal death (John 3:16 -18). Offering our life to His service in our vocation and calling is our daily commitment to Him in return.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for validating our worth through Your presence in our life. You set us free to live, move and have our being in You (Acts 17:28). Your mercy and love granted us forgiveness while we were still sinners (Romans 8:5), so that we in turn can forgive our self and others who wrong us during our lifetime (Matthew 6:14).

Teach us to discern the difference between the carnal or satanic voices and Your voice in our mind; so You can lead us throughout our day. Remind us not to expect certain results when we obey Your promptings, because Your ways are so much higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Thought for the Day:
We do not allow success or problems to approve or negate God’s will for us, because we may not see the eternal plan, which God accomplished through us regardless of the results. – 1 Peter 4:12

Let Me Tell You, Gentlemen

If you think that your marriage is good, or even perfect, that may be because all of your needs are met by your good and faithful wife. Have you ever asked her what she thinks about your marriage?

You may be surprised to find out that she is so busy caring for you and the home and children, that she has no time to fulfill her needs. She may have longings in her soul that are not realized; so make the time to discover her needs and help her to accomplish them.

You may criticize her for her irritability, insecurity, jealousy, rage, discouragement, etc., and view these negative emotions as separate from your behavior. They very well may have an outside source; but you could help to relieve them, even if your behavior and attitude are not causing them.

Do you ignore her when she talks to you, and only listen to her with half an ear? Do you take all of her needs seriously and ask her how you can help her? Do you provide her with a stable living environment full of cherishing, nurturing and acceptance?

She may need an hour to soak in the tub, some help with the dishes or bathing the children, a night alone to read or watch a movie in the sanctity of your bedroom, or a special date night. Take charge and give her that time.

Make sure that you inundate her with continual focused attention; date nights which you help to plan; and little gifts, notes, cards, emails and phone calls to let her know that she is not only in your heart but in your mind as well.

Never take her for granted. Bless her with words, which affirm your appreciation of her, but back the words up with actions too. Celebrate her successes along with her and show her your care and concern when she is discouraged or ill.

If she works outside of the home too, help her with the household chores and make sure all of your children have assigned duties, so that the whole family cooperates to keep your home clean, harmonious and running smoothly.

Never allow your children to speak to your wife with disrespect, and model this respect by your behavior. Find a church to attend with your family, have daily devotions with them all and disciple them in Biblical truth to help them to withstand the devil’s temptations.

Prayer:
Father God, You created the husband to serve as a role model in his family as he patterns his behavior and attitude after Your character and nature (Galatians 5:15-25; 2 Peter 1:4). Help him to consider the needs of his wife and children above his own (Ephesians 5:25). Yet, give him the boldness to express his needs as well, so his family can uplift him as he supports them.

Meld the husband and wife in such unity that they provide a positive and cohesive home for their children. This will give more security to the children and reduce rebellion in them as well. Remind us that You are the reason we are alive on this earth, and that serving You as a family is the greatest privilege, which life affords us.

Thought for the Day:
There is nothing, which happens in a marriage that cannot be resolved, if both mates will prefer one another, exhibit patience during a disagreement, join forces during a trial and spend time enjoying one another’s company.