Loved and Forgiven

When we actually come face to face with God’s glory, we realize just how sinful we are. This encounter changes our very countenance, attitude, behavior, focus and prayer life (Exodus 34:35; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Ephesians 4:31-32).

We trust our life on earth to God’s perfect plan for us (Ephesians 2:10). We find fulfillment, peace and joy through His love and forgiveness (Romans 14:17). We keep our eyes on Jesus, regardless of our circumstances (Hebrews 12:1-2; Philippians 3:9).

We never pay back evil with more evil, and we do things in such a way that everyone can see we are filled with the honor, grace and love of God (Romans 12:17). We no longer condemn others, because we realize that we are sinners too.

We think and act with mercy, grace and compassion. We also realize the magnitude of God’s love for us, and we express His glory by allowing His love to flow through us to others.

The love of God is multi-dimensional with width, length, depth and height (Ephesians 3:17-19). It completely surrounds us in every way. There is no escaping the love of God.

We collapse into God’s waiting arms with the confidence that He will catch us and never, ever let us go (Hebrews 13:5). He abides in our spirit and makes a huge difference in our life both now and throughout eternity (Romans 8:11).

God does miraculous works for and through those who love Him and obey His Word (Deuteronomy 28:1-13; Hebrews 11:6). Our inheritance in His Kingdom is full of His glory (Acts 20:32).

When we flee from temptation and please God, we increase in the grace and knowledge of all that the Lord means to us (2 Timothy 2:22-24; 2 Peter 3:18). He is miraculous, amazing, magnificent and incomprehensible in human terms. He is the great I AM (John 4:26; 6:20; 8:24, 28, 58; 13:19; 18:5).

Father God, You are our peace and Christ is our very life (Ephesians 2:14; Colossians 3:4). Thank You for Your eternal covenant with Your Saints through the crucified body and shed blood of Jesus Christ. You are the great Shepherd and we feel so secure as Your people and the sheep of Your pasture (Psalm 100:3).

You equip us with every good thing, which we need to walk in Your perfect, pre-planned will for our life (Ephesians 2:10, 13:21; Philippians 1:6). You work out of us anything which displeases You, until we are holy in Your sight through our Lord, Jesus Christ. We will glorify You forever and ever (Hebrews 13:20-21).

Thought for the Day:
God never disciplines from anger or vindictiveness, but with the purpose of drawing us back to His love and forgiveness.

The Glory of the Lord

Each person of the Trinity is unique, with a special function and purpose; yet, equal in divinity and power. The Father is the personification of the Deity, the Son is the manifestation and the Spirit is the inspiration.

God’s Word describes Him manifesting His glory through thunder, lightning, loud trumpet blasts, angelic encounters, a cloud, flame of fire, dew, manna, and even a mighty rushing wind and other miracles (Exodus 16, 19:9, 16; 40:36, 38; Judges 6:37-38; 1 Kings 19:5-7; Acts 2:2, 12:7-11, John 5:1-15; Matthew 17:27).

Jesus is the radiance of God’s glory (Hebrews 1:3). I am told that this Hebrew word for glory is “kabod”, and literally means the tangible presence of the abundant riches, glory, splendor and honor of God.

Through Jesus, this multi-faceted glory abides within every authentic Believer (2 Corinthians 3:7-10). As we grow in our understanding of the reality of God’s glory, it helps us to enter His rest as it heals our soul (Hebrews 4:10).

The glory of the Lord depends upon holiness in order to manifest, and is the only entity, which will truly quench our spiritual hunger and thirst and increases our intimacy with our God and Savior (Psalm 92:12-14).

When, like Moses, we cry out to see God’s glory, He reveals to us His nature and character, personified in Jesus (Exodus 33:18, 34:6-7). Experiencing the glory of the Lord transforms our life into the precise image of His Son (2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 1:17-18; Galatians 1:15-16).

We repent of our sinful lifestyle (Romans 1:16, 3:23, 6:23; Ephesians 2:4-5), we depend on God to change us from one level of holiness to the next, and we draw nearer to God each moment of our day (Proverbs 3:5-6; 2 Corinthians 3:18).

Father God, Your Spirit brings us liberty from the presence, practice and power of sin through Your glory within us (2 Corinthians 3:17). As Your children, we are led by Your Spirit daily (Romans 8:14) and destined to future, eternal glory when we are like Jesus in every way (Romans 8:29-30).

We want our nature and countenance to reflect Your glory here on earth as well. Change us from the inside out, and make us clean so that we can be fitting vessels for Your glory (Matthew 23:25-26). We rest on your promises and look to You to create in us a clean heart and to fill us with Your divine nature (Psalm 51:10; 2 Peter 1:4).

Thought for the Day:
Experiencing the glory of the Lord causes us to get on our face before the Lord and to worship Him in spontaneous praise and humble thanksgiving throughout the day. – Exodus 34:8

Forgiveness is Our Most Powerful Weapon

The root of bitterness, which grows in our soul with each trauma we experience in life, causes trouble and defiles our life as well as many in our family, church and friendships (Hebrews 12:16).

However, once we are Born Again, we are able to commune with God through our spirit, which was originally dead is sin (Ephesians 2:1). We have the King of kings dwelling within us by His Spirit (Colossians 1:27).

The presence of the Trinity abiding in us helps us to forgive past hurts, and helps us to put our future hurts into proper perspective. Until we forgive our self and others, Satan gains the advantage over us (2 Corinthians 2:10-11).

If we refuse to forgive, we give Satan permission to control that part of our soul, and to inflict his demons on our body and spirit as well. Satan holds us captive as slaves to His lies through our thoughts and emotions.
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The fruit of the Holy Spirit cannot manifest in those areas of our soul, and we limit God’s Spirit from using us according to God’s will. Our human efforts, actions and self-righteousness gain us nothing. Once we forgive our self and others, all of this changes.

Although we continue to experience occasional oppression by the rulers, authorities, spiritual forces of evil and powers of darkness in this world, the blood of Jesus sets us free from the bondage of sin and death (Leviticus 17:11; Roman 8:2; Ephesians 6:12; Revelation 21:4).

Forgiveness is the most powerful weapon in our arsenal against Satan’s influence in our life. It takes the offender off our hook and puts that person squarely on God’s hook, where He promises to deal with that person in His way and timing (Romans 12:19).

Father God, please help us to break Satan’s bondage over our life by giving us the strength to forgive our self and others. Thank You for the blood of Christ, which paves our way to a victorious life. As we humble our self to You and resist the devil, he has to flee from our midst (James 4:7).

Then allow us to help those in our life who need love, acceptance, healing and restoration in their relationship with You. We present our self to You as a living sacrifice to do Your will for each moment of our day (Romans 12:1; Ephesians 2:10). Inspire and guide us by Your Spirit today and always.

Thought for the Day:
In Christ we have redemption through His blood and forgiveness for all of our sins, because of the riches of His mercy and grace toward us. – Ephesians 1:7

What about Sin?

People do not like to talk about sin. Satan shames us with remorse over our failings, making us feel like a failure for the wrong choices we made in the past. He heaps on condemnation, which cripples us and makes us feel unclean.

If we say we do not sin, we deceive our self (1 John 1:8). If we call our self a Christian, but continue to live in sin, we proclaim for the whole world to see that we do not have the Spirit of God in us (Romans 8:9; 1 John 1:6).

Other people relish their sin. They love the lusts of both the eye and the flesh. They rely on their pride in their life’s accomplishments to boost their self-esteem and confidence (Ephesians 5:3; 1 John 2:16).

Some even brag about and take pride in their sin and encourage others to partake in it too (Romans 1:32). They reap no benefit from this behavior for which they are eventually ashamed and which leads only to eternal death (Romans 6:21).

Sin is only fun for a season. It turns destructive in a hurry and wraps its tentacles around us until we drown in its mire (Psalm 119:133). We reap the consequences of our sins for years and grieve the Holy Spirit and thwart God’s blessings for our life.

Friendship with the world, and conformity to its sinful practices, makes us an enemy of God (James 4:4; Psalm 1:1). As sinners, we cannot inherit the Kingdom of God with Jesus (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

Jesus came to earth to take the sin of the whole world on His shoulders and to crucify it for all time through His bruised and bleeding body on the cross (1 Peter 2:24). So, if we humble our self and confess our sins to God, He is faithful and just to forgive us for them (1 John 1:9).

We all sin and miss the mark of God’s perfection (James 4:8). Therefore, God freely justifies us by His grace through the redemption, which comes by Jesus Christ (Romans 3:23-24). God chooses those who are spiritual in His Body to help redeem a fallen Saint from the clutches of sin (Galatians 6:1; Matthew 18:15).

Father God, teach us to discern the sin in our own life before we go judging someone else’s indiscretions (Matthew 7:3; 1 Peter 1:8). We give our self away when we try to hide our sin, because You always reveal the truth eventually (Luke 6:45; Numbers 32:23).

Enable us to overcome the sins relating to our earthly nature and to walk the straight and narrow road by Your Spirit (Psalm 25:6-7; Galatians 5:15-25; Colossians 3:5; Proverbs 10:9). Thank You both for Christ’s sacrifice for us and for His second appearing to bring us Your complete salvation in body, soul and spirit (Hebrews 9:28).

Thought for the Day:
God orders our steps according to His Word to keep us from living under the rule of sin over our life. – Psalm 119:133

The Effectual Power of Prayer

Many people use this acrostic as a simple reminder of the ingredients of prayer:

However, this guide is very limiting, because there is so much more to the vital ministry of prayer. Passionate prayer is effective and powerful, and reaps many benefits and rewards (James 5:16)

Prayer is not a formula; but a living, breathing power swirling through the cosmos and changing the face of both the physical and spiritual world (Daniel 10:11-21).

Prayer is our tool for communicating with God and for accessing the power of God in order to storm the gates of hell and to do business for God’s Kingdom (Matthew 16:17-19; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

Before we pray, we put on the armor of God, which prepares us to draw near to God, to stand strong and to resist Satan’s influence during our spiritual battle with his demonic forces (James 4:7-8).

We start with a relationship with God through Salvation, which guards our body, soul and spirit with the righteousness of God (Ephesians 6:10-12). We walk in the spirit, which gives us God’s supernatural peace and power and transcends human effort and reasoning (Zechariah 4:6).

The faith of the Son of God within us shields us from the devil’s fiery arrows when he fights back (Galatians 2:20). By praying the scriptures, we use the power of God’s Word as our sword to do actual spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:13-17).

Prayer changes the spiritual world, as well as the physical, mental and emotional world (Mark 9:29; Psalm 107:28-30; James 5:1-16; Philippians 4:6-7). It tears down spiritual strongholds, moves mountains and makes the crooked places straight; so pray without ceasing (Matthew 17:20; Isaiah 54:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

Father God, reveal to Your children the seriousness of our prayer ministry and the spiritual power You give to us during prayer. Help us to pray without ceasing in order to do spiritual warfare on behalf of our self and the people You bring to our mind.

Remind us to communicate with You during every moment of our day. Impress on us the importance of staying alert and praying persistently for unbelievers to come to Christ; as well as for all believers everywhere, including those in our church family and those persecuted Saints in other countries (Ephesians 6:18).

Thought for the Day:
“Prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for Satan.” – John Bunyan

Carried by the Angels

In life or in death, God gives His angels charge over us to safeguard us through every trial and affliction. They lift us up in their hands, protecting us and even preventing us from stubbing our toe (Psalm 91:11).

When we die, these powerful, supernatural beings escort our spirit and soul into eternity (Luke 16:22). We confidently know that to be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8).

Whenever we are afraid of life or of death, we can make a conscious effort to still our soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions – and to put our trust in God (Psalm 56:3).

Our Lord God is with us wherever we go in this life or in the next. This fact makes us strong and provides us with confidence and courage (Joshua 1:9).

We have no need to fear any entity, because God set His safeguards in place to care for us (Isaiah 40:10-13). As we keep our thoughts centered on Him, God keeps us in His perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3).

Even if something bad happens to us, God promises to bring good from it (Romans 8:28). Maybe that good is nothing more than for us to encourage someone else suffering right along with us.

Once we surrender our will to God’s will, we stop worrying about the headline news or what might happen a moment from now. We live in God’s rest in this one moment of time, knowing that God has a perfect plan for us in all of our future moments.

The Creator of the Universe lives within us by His Holy Spirit through our relationship with Jesus Christ. He has plans both for our life and the day of our death (Psalm 139; Ecclesiastes 7:1).

It encourages us to realize that our last breath on this earth is followed by our first breath in heaven, and that it is literally that quick.

Father God, we do not know our future or that of America; You did not mention America in Your Word. Israel is Your chosen nation, and these end times are about the salvation of Your nation, Your judgment on the nations who turned their back on You and casting Satan in the lake of fire for eternity.

Thank You for giving Your angels charge to carry us in their hands. As Your Saints and authentic Believers, we are Your Bride, Your Church and Your Body. You effectively care about and for each and every one of us now and always (1 Peter 5:7). We have no need to fear (Hebrews 13:5-6).

Thought for the Day:
God is our Father; and Father Knows Best. – Psalm 91

Negative Strongholds

God gave us a wide gamut of emotions, which signal to us the mood in which our spirit, soul and body exist. Joyful emotions arise from positive experiences, but also from a spiritual outlook on negative circumstances.

Negative emotions signal areas in our life, which need our attention along with prayer for God’s wisdom, direction and solutions. These emotions are not meant for expression, but as red flags to gain our attention.

They will destroy us if we ruminate on them or over react because of them. However, they can also apprise us of how life is affecting us and give us an opportunity to change our circumstances or to give the issues to God’s faithful care (1 Peter 5:7).

The most basic source of these negative emotion signal us of an unmet need for our body or soul – our thoughts and emotions. Once we discern their cause, we realize that we can meet our own need or trust God to care for that need.

Also, Satan’s lies will create negative emotions in the battleground of our mind. He whispers his lies and we believe them. These lies affect our feelings about our self, destroy our relationships with God and other people, and also fuel other negative emotions, which may even effect our physical, mental and emotional health.

We often have unrealistic expectations for God, people, places and situations in our life, which disappoint us when they fail to happen. This causes a myriad of negative emotions to bombard our soul, which often overwhelm us.

These inordinate expectations, pet peeves and stresses in our life are idols, because we exalt them above our trust in God (Colossians 3:5). We desire fulfillment in areas that are unhealthy for us or out of God’s timing or will for our life.

These adverse reactions to life can be both destructive and informative. The ultimate outcome depends on our attitude, spiritual maturity and the action, which we take because of them.

Father God, teach us to heed the warning of these negative emotions, so that we can meet our physical, mental and emotional needs in ways, which are pleasing to You; we can hear Your truth about Satan’s lies and either dispel them or change our focus about them; or we can surrender the idols in our life to You and wait on your timing and will or Your wisdom on dealing with the root cause of our negative emotions.

Remind us to schedule quiet times throughout our day, regardless of the amount of time we can make for them, so that we can take an inventory of our physical, mental and emotional health. Strengthen our inner being by Your Holy Spirit to hear Your wisdom from Christ in us in order to bear with, to change our focus about, or to deal with these issues. We trust You to care for us.

Thought for the Day:
Although we live in this earthly world, we exist in the spiritual realm; God gives us spiritual weapons to pull down strongholds, cast down Satan’s lies and anything else, which attempts to exalt itself against the Truth of God as God’s Spirit enables us to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. – 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Intimate Love

I used to think that romance movies were fairy tales and that no human being was capable of sustaining that much love. I was mistaken. My husband is like that and so much more, even after 20 years of marriage.

Yes, he does have too much on his mind sometimes and is preoccupied and neglectful. Yet, when he hugs me, there is warmth and nurturing in each caress; when he talks to me, he looks into my eyes.

He gives me focused attention every day, listens to me when I get his full attention first and loves me more than he loves himself (Ephesians 5:28-29). He also loves God more than he loves me, which is as it should be.

When he thinks of me throughout the day, he does or says something thoughtful and romantic. When he forgets, I snuggle with him in his big chair and he is always so welcoming and glad to see me.

Yet, his love for me cannot complete me. Only Christ is capable of that amount of intimacy (Colossians 2:10). Jesus lives inside of us, and there is no human relationship, which is that close.

God knows us better than we know our own self (Psalm 139). He fulfills us better than any person ever could. He gives us His abundant life now and for eternity (John 10:10). Our love is first and foremost for Him alone (Matthew 22:37-40).

When God comes to dwell in our spirit at salvation, He never, ever leaves or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5). A human being may change their mind about us and abandon us, but God never will.

God desires that we focus our attention on Him. So much so, that He actually feels jealous when we attempt to replace Him in our affections with another person, place, animal or thing (Exodus 34:14). He wants our undivided devotion.

God understands us and provides for our needs before we even realize we have them. A personal, intimate relationship with God through Christ by the Holy Spirit is the most fulfilling connection we can ever experience.

Father God, when we realize our need for You and confess our sins to You, You forgive us completely. In fact, You love us unconditionally, even while we are still sinners (2 Corinthians 5:21; Matthew 27:1-66; Romans 5:8). Thank You for renewing our human mind and giving us spiritual ears to discern Your voice (John 10:27-29; Romans 12:2).

Thank You for putting us in Your Body to give us caring, nurturing people who will cherish us like You do (Psalm 133:1). Yet, remind us to talk to You as our best friend, and to prove our love to You by keeping Your commandments (John 14:15, 23; 1 Peter 5:6-8).

Thank You also for giving us rest for our tired soul and loving us so sacrificially (Matt 11:28-30; John 3:16-17; Psalm 51:12-14). When we abide in Your presence as a branch on the vine, we enjoy Your intimate love each moment of our day (John 15:1-17).

Thought for the Day:
Developing an intimate personal relationship requires our time and attention; so, we cannot allow anything to rob us of our time with God, who is the most devoted lover of our soul. – Isaiah 38:17

Stand Firm in Our Liberty

The Liberty, which comes from Christ, sets us free from the penalty of sin, the power of sin and the presence of sin in our life (Galatians 5:1; Romans 6:14). We are truly free from ties to this earthly realm and given the power of the godhead in the spiritual realm (John 8:36).

We stand firm in our liberty through the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus and no longer allow the law of the spirit of sin and death to rob us our place of right-standing with God (Romans 8:2).

The truth of God’s Word continues to set us free from bondage to sin and makes us bond servants to the righteousness of Christ in us (John 6:18, 8:32). We reap the rewards of holiness and inherit eternal life (Romans 6:22).

We belong to the body of Christ, raised from the dead to bear fruit for God (Romans 7:4). His Spirit even gives us life in our mortal body (Romans 8:11) and heals our soul – our mind, will and emotions (Psalm 23:3).

Since this life is only temporary, and what is unseen is eternal, we focus on the unseen spiritual world, regardless of what occurs around us on this earth (2 Corinthians 4:18).

In this world we have tribulation and experience many negative events full of suffering; yet, the Lord delivers us out of them all (John 16:33; Psalm 34:19). He turns our sorrow into gladness and we dance before Him in joy (Psalm 30:11).

God gives us His eternal wisdom, which is pure, peaceful, gentle, reasonable, without hypocrisy, full of mercy and produces good fruit. We sow this seed of righteousness in peace and reap peace in return (James 3:17-18).

We walk in God’s love, which frees us from the condemnation of sin and gives us hope for an eternal future (Romans 8:1). We stop focusing on this world and the content of our life here and now. We dwell in the Spirit and interpret life through the Spirit (Galatians 5:15-25).

Father God, remind us that through Your wisdom and love we assist Your Body, meeting the needs of each member through serving in ministries in our local church family. We also reach out into our community; making a larger impact on our world by changing lives one at a time. As we serve those considered least in our world, we actually serve You (Matthew 25:31-46).

Remind us to maintain an eternal focus and not to pursue worldly gain during our lifetime, but to store up our treasures in heaven by walking in Your will for our life through each moment of our day (Matthew 6:19-21). We love You with all of our heart, soul, strength and mind and thank You for setting us free in the liberty, which only Christ can give (Luke 10:27).

Thought for the Day:
Through the perfect law of liberty, we serve God and the world around us by the direction of God’s Holy Spirit and in the perfect will of God for our life. – James 1:25; Galatians 5:13; 2 Corinthians 3:17

The End of All Things

God saw the end of this life as we know it before He ever created this world. We are all on His timetable and He has a perfect will for our life (Ephesians 2:10).

We can make our own plans and have our own dreams and goals; but if they are not according to God’s will, we will be frustrated in trying to make them happen (Psalm 2:4).

America plays no part in the overall scheme of the prophecy in the Bible about the end times. America falls from the status of a super power.

The Bible makes no statement about how this will happen: financial collapse, foreign take over from a country like China who owns our multi-trillion dollar debt to them, etc. There is much speculation, but the Bible is not specific.

Therefore, it is best to follow the sage advice of Proverbs 3:5. We trust in the Lord with all of our heart and we do not rely in any way on our human reasoning and understanding.

We make no plans of our own, but we acknowledge God in every moment of our day, and He directs our every step. We realize that we are not wise in our own thinking; so we honor the Lord and turn away from all evil (Proverbs 3:6-7).

As we do this every day, we can be assured that God will care for us regardless of what happens to us. We may lose every penny we save as they did in the depression; we may be put in jail for our faith in Christ; we may die from a terrorist’s attack.

We do not know what the next moment of time holds for us; but we do know that God is in the midst of it with us and He will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

Father God, even though You formed us in our mother’s womb, and recorded every day of our life before we were ever born, in Your estimation, the day of our death is better than the day of our birth, because it is precious in Your sight (Psalm 139:13-16; Ecclesiastes 7:1; Psalm 116:15).

Thank you for sending Your angels to carry us to Your heavenly presence, and for guiding us and providing us with Your refuge even in death (Luke 16:22; Psalm 48:14; Proverbs 14:32). There we will never die again, and we will live as your children forever (Luke 20:36). Therefore, we do not have to fear what anyone will do to our body; because You are with us even in death (Psalm 16:9-11).

Thought for the Day:
God lives within us and experiences with us everything that transpires in our life; He will sustain us from the inside out.