A Building Made without Human Hands

David wanted to build God a proper house on this earth in which He could visit His people. David’s heart continually focused on God, and he realized that he lived in a palace and God still dwelt in a tent from Israel’s days in the wilderness (Acts 13:22).

As a man of war, David was disqualified from building this holy place (1 Chronicles 28:2-3). Yet, God allowed David to gather the materials and for his son Solomon to build this grand palace for the Lord.

When they completed the temple, God’s glory filled the Holiest Place and He spoke to His chosen people (2 Chronicles 5-7). His main request was that Israel repent of all sin and to live holy before Him.

Characteristically, Israel sinned before the Lord, and God did as He warned them that He would do. He anointed a warring country to destroy the temple and to take the people captive.

Yet, God allowed a faithful remnant of His people to eventually return to the chosen land. They were able to rebuild Jerusalem and a smaller temple. This actually grieved those who experienced the former glory, which they lost because of their sin (Ezra 3:12).

God’s plan all along was to build a house for Himself using living stones, acceptable to Him through our relationship with Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:4-12). We are His temple, and His Spirit dwells in our midst (1 Corinthians 3:16).

The building where the church meets is not holy nor is it God’s house. It is simply a place for Believers to actively worship God who dwells within us. God’s Spirit builds Believers together into a holy dwelling place for Him (Ephesians 2:22; Hebrew 3:6).

Heaven is God’s throne and the earth is His footstool. There is no temple grand enough for us to build for Him, which is more awesome than the myriad of galaxies, which He created (Isaiah 66:1; Genesis 1:1).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that our behavior is a reflection on You (Psalm 23:3, 1 Timothy 3:14-15). You are holy and You call us to be holy as well (1 Peter 1:16). You want us to have clean hands before we lift them up in worship to You (Psalm 24:1-6, 134:2).

Search the hidden recesses of our inner being and see if there is any wicked way in us, and lead us in Your everlasting way (Psalm 139:23-24). Heal us from the deep wounds inflicted on us by other people (Proverbs 18:8). Fill us instead by Your deep, spiritual riches (Proverbs 24:4).

Thought for the Day:
God never wanted to dwell in buildings made with human hands; but in the hearts of His People. – Acts 17:24

Living by Faith

At times, we make poor choices and allow them to define who we are, causing us to live in a downward spiral with one destructive choice after another. We put away our faith and shipwreck our life.

However, we can also hold on to our faith with a good conscience and to please the Lord (1 Timothy 1:19). We share our faith, have charity toward others and live in sober purity.

I am not referring to somber holiness without enjoying life, but sober and Biblical living in thoughts, words and conduct (1 Timothy 2:15, 4:12). Our ways please the Lord and we do not sin against Him or dishonor His holy name (Psalm 23:3).

We gain our self-image and fulfillment from His presence in our life and we follow His will for our career, relationships and all of our decisions.

If church leaders are responsible in their office and have boldness in their faith, following Biblical doctrines, they earn for themselves a commendation from the Lord (1 Timothy 3:13, 4:6; Titus 2:2).

They provide for their own family and cling to their first love and faith (1 Timothy 5:8, 12). They keep worldly riches in proper perspective, as a source of provision rather than to be coveted as their first priority (1 Timothy 6:10).

There is a temptation for all of us to allow seducing spirits to water down our faith through demonic doctrines. We compromise with sin and allow it to squeeze through the cracks in our faith.

For instance, we do not want unsaved friends and relatives condemned to eternal destruction, so we reject the truth of God’s Word that Jesus is the only way (1 Timothy 4:1).

God calls all of His children to run from ungodliness and to live in holiness, faith, love, patience and meekness; fighting the good fight against sin, the devil and the world; and sharing our sincere faith with others (1 Timothy 6:11-12; 2 Timothy 1:5, 2:22, 3:10).

Prayer:
Father God, the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached to the whole world, but it does not bear fruit in everyone, because it is not mixed with faith in some of those that hear it (Hebrews 4:2). They condemn themselves to hell by their own unbelief (John 3:18).

Help us to repent from our dead works and to believe in You by faith in the principles of the doctrine of Christ. Our heart’s desire is to press on into perfection and to come to the fullness of an intimate relationship with You now and throughout eternity (Hebrews 6:1).

Thought for the Day:
The holy Word of God makes us wise, helps us to understand our salvation which comes from Jesus Christ, and enables us to finish our course, which God planned for us before the beginning of time. – 2 Timothy 3:15, 4:7; Ephesians 2:10

God’s Wisdom

In this dark and fearful world it is so hard not to hyperventilate, not to allow our mind to fry with evil possibilities happening to us or our loved ones, and not to allow Satan to overwhelm us with his lies.

One way to escape the penchant we have as humans to think of the worst case scenarios is to live in the moment. This keeps our heart and mind free from worry for our safety and provision.

If we are fine in this one moment of time, we need not worry about the next moment. If we are not fine, we can seek God’s wisdom about how to deal with the negative aspects of this one moment of time (James 1:5).

When we acknowledge God first, we abide in His peace as He directs our steps (Proverbs 3:5-6). God promises that in this world we will have tribulation; but we can face it with joy, because He already overcame the world and He lives within us (John 16:33; 1 Peter 1:6).

This way Satan, the world and our human tendencies of the flesh do not control our life through desires, insecurities, anxiety and concerns; but we are submitted and totally surrendered to Christ in us.

As branches on the Vine, we receive the supply of all of our needs, and we depend upon His strength to keep us stable and productive during the storms of life (John 15:5).

As we keep our mind focused on Him, He floods each day with His peace and joy, regardless of any turmoil or suffering we experience (Isaiah 26:3). We know that everything He allows in our life is for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28).

The fruit of God’s Spirit, the very nature of God Himself, branch out from us in all directions (Galatians 5:22-23). Our nurture and provision come from God alone, regardless of our vocation or situation in life (Roman 8:28).

Prayer:
Father God, we cast all of our cares onto Your strong shoulders, because we know from experience that You care about us (1 Peter 5:7). Sometimes, circumstances make us feel that You do not care, or that You abandoned us, but often we are causing our own grief by our choices. We fail to consult You or to walk in Your Spirit, and we reap the consequences of our codependency and faulty thinking.

Remind us to keep track of all the times You answered our prayers. Rather than to take You and Your goodness for granted, we want to give You continual praise for all that You do for us each day. Help us not to get distracted by our busy life and our failure to keep our focus on You, so that we overlook the “hugs” You provide for us throughout the day.

Thought for the Day:
God’s wisdom from above is unpolluted by the world, agreeable, sympathetic, pleasant, full of compassion and fruitful, unbiased and genuine. – James 3:17

Split Personality

When we come to Christ, our spirit which was dead in sin, comes alive (Ephesians 2:5). We are Born Again and everything in us is made new (John 3:1-21; 2 Corinthians 5:17). The manifestation of this change takes years.

God convicts us in areas which are negatively affecting our witness for Him. We cannot judge others. We may think someone smokes too much; but God is more interested in deeper issues, which we cannot see.

In the beginning, we are partially surrendered to Christ. We hold back whole rooms in our soul, where we do not want God to go. We slam the doors shut and sometimes even lock them.

This is why we appear to our self and other people as a split personality. Part of us is sanctified and part of us is carnal and still caught in the web of sin.

The longer we walk with the Lord, the more willing we are to surrender more of our secret self to Him. We unlock some doors, but we protectively keep some of them closed or partially open.

We are not willing to live in total transparency before the Lord and our fellow Christians. With time, we learn to trust God’s kindness and mercy. We depend upon His grace above all else.

We come to live a surrendered life when we understand that it is not I, but Christ living in and through us (Galatians 2:20). Christ is our whole life and we want nothing else (Colossians 3:4).

Total surrender to Christ produces fruit in us from the Vine (John 15:5). We develop the habit of walking in stride with God’s Spirit (Galatians 5:15-25). We learn to think and speak by the Spirit too, reaping God’s rewards (1 Corinthians 2:13).

Prayer:
Father God, Your Spirit transforms us from a split personality into a totally new creation. We no longer desire carnality, but want only that which is spiritual in our life. We come to know Christ intimately and the power, strength and truth of His resurrection (Philippians 3:10). We grasp all that Christ provides for us (Philippians 3:12).

Thank You for transforming us into the likeness of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). Help us to live a life of whole-hearted devotion and worship to You in holiness and with eternal goals, priorities and values. We rely on You to walk with us through the perils of this life and to make us victors in all things (Romans 8:37).

Thought for the Day:
We bring glory to Jesus when we live in the fullness of His atonement and the redemption of His sacrifice, which He shared with us by His resurrection from the dead and ascension into Heaven. – 1 Peter 1:3-4

Darkness Hates the Light

Today’s news reported that a professor flunked a student for their Christian stance in a school project. The world hates the Light more and more violently nowadays, because it reveals the density of their darkness.

Since Christ lives in His Saints, the world hates us too (John 15:18). They say that we disturb their peace. In other words, just seeing our name or hearing our voice convicts them of their sin; so they despise us.

We do not even need to say a word, just our presence sets their teeth on edge and boils the acid in their stomach. They want to remove us from their presence in hopes of ignoring their own conscience.

They surround themselves with like-minded people; so they do not experience the intensity of conviction, which they feel when they are around us. They will even put space and distance between them and a family member who is filled with God’s Spirit.

God’s Light offends them because its brightness infringes on their comfort in their darkness. Their thoughts, opinions, values, goals and behavior deny Christ with every fiber of their being.

However, this does not negate the fact that He still exists. The unbeliever can kill every last Christian on the face of the earth, but creation will still scream His name and proclaim His glory (Romans 1:20).

In the end, their knee will bow along with everyone else on the earth, and in heaven and in hell (Philippians 2:10). Christ will prevail regardless of how much will power they exude in their attempt to stop Him.

Prayer:
Father God, those who love darkness want to hide their shameful thoughts and deeds from the Light (Job 24:16). Some of them left conservative paths to walk in their shady conduct (Proverbs 2:13). They live in deception and refuse to seek You in any way (Jeremiah 9:6).

Thank You for bringing us into the light of Your glory and teaching us to walk in Your Truth (John 3:21). We want nothing to do with the fruit of darkness (Ephesians 5:11-13). Help us to reach those in darkness who have a sincere desire for Your truth. For those hardened in their sin, strengthen their inner being to accept Christ through Your Spirit (Ephesians 3:16).

Thought for the Day:
Jesus is and always will be the King of all kings and Lord of all lords; the only way, truth and life; and the Light of the world.
– 1 Timothy 6:15; John 8:12, 14:6

Words are Precious

Words are very precious to me. I love to write, I love to learn new words and use them, and I love to read God’s Word. Last night, I inadvertently deleted several posts I had written for my blog.

I was devastated. I backed up my files four days before this, but I had a writing spurt between then and the catastrophe and the Holy Spirit helped me to write some inspired words. All lost.

I called my sons and between them, they did their best to recover my precious words. The files did not go to the recycle bin, or if they did, whatever happened to my computer wiped them out.

I also lost the Google Talk phone capability on my computer. This made me realize that if I felt this loss so deeply, I will be devastated if I ever lost the Word of God through persecution of the church in America.

At my age, I do not have a good memory anymore. Much of the Bible, which I memorized in the past is no longer in my conscious mind. I will not be able to fall back on that if the precious Word of God is taken from us.

Therefore, I purposed in my heart that I will go back to the verses that I could once recall at will and refresh my memory every night, because those words are stored in my subconscious mind.

As I reread them, I am easily recalling them into my conscious mind. Many of them were set to music by friends in my past, which makes it easier to remember them.

I want to make God’s Word a priority in my life, so if we ever lose the written, my spirit and soul can find nourishment from the words I hid in my heart (Psalm 119:11).

Prayer:
Father God, let us never take Your Word for granted. Our freedoms in America over all of these years lulled us into a sense of security that is no longer guaranteed. Many other countries across the globe lost their freedoms in small increments over time and we are losing them also. There is not a Christian nation left in our world today.

We look forward to Christ’s imminent return; but if You tarry any longer, America may fall into enemy hands and we may lose our hard won freedoms. Help us to hide Your Word in our hearts so that it will sustain us in our times of trials now and in the future.

Thought for the Day:
The Word of God speaks to our spirit and soul like no other words we could ever read or hear; it sustains us through every trial.
– Psalm 119:116

Healing from Trauma – Part 2

Healing from Trauma – Part 2

We all finally reach the point in life where we totally surrender to the will of God (Ephesians 2:10). The fears of the future no longer etch away at our faith, because God proves Himself faithful by His intervention in our current issues.

During times of relocation and restoration, God hides us under the shadow of His wings. We heal physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally (Psalm 63:7). His love sustains us.

God encourages us through long time friendships, as well as new friends who love us unconditionally as He does. He makes His presence known within us and we flourish under His gentle care.

We start to notice the seeds for a miracle, which God places in every trial. We learn to look beyond the momentary afflictions to the promises, which God gives us through His Word and His world (2 Corinthians 4:17; 2 Peter 1:4).

He teaches us that negative emotions are arrows pointing to a wound in our soul, which needs healing ( http://www.theophostic.com ). God’s Spirit continues replacing the negative aspects of our personality with His fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).

He gives us the mind of Christ, which puts more emphasis on the eternal than the temporal, more fulfillment from the spiritual than from the carnal, and makes us appreciate that our identity comes from Christ in us , not from our own strengths and accomplishments (Colossians 1:27).

We realized for the first time, that we really are already crucified with Christ, even though we still physically live on this earth. We are never truly abandoned to survive the trials of this life alone, because Christ gives us His faith and actually lives in and through us (Galatians 2:20).

God teaches us to rejoice in every situation and to float with the ebb and flow of life, because He is the Lord of all (1 Timothy 6:15). He proves to us that He will never leave or forsake us, regardless of the circumstances (Hebrews 13:5).

Surrendering to the love of God is how we can enjoy the peace of God, which floods our soul and transcends any human reasoning, as it guards our thoughts and emotions through the presence of Christ Jesus abiding within us (Philippians 4:4-7).

Prayer:
Father God, I am amazed that for even one moment I thought that I could save myself. I learned at 18 that You were the Savior of my spirit, but it took me thirty more years to learn that You are also Savior of our body and soul.

There is nothing this world can throw at us that will ever knock me down again, because nothing can ever separate us from Your love (Romans 8:35-39). With Your mercy and grace in our life, we can look forward to the miracle, which comes from every trial which we will ever experience.

Thought for the Day:
Worry is the toll we pay for traversing the trials of life without trusting in the Lord.