Entertaining Idols

If we obsess over some issue in our life, this issue blocks our view of God and blinds us to the presence of Christ in our life.

 

We make an idol of the negative emotion we are consumed by and see nothing but this and other negative emotions.  This situation rules our life.

 

We are overcome by our trials and tribulations and lose our connection to God’s Spirit within us. Anything other than God that commands our attention proves we are not dead in that area of our flesh.

 

God often gives us trials to reveal that we still carry idols around with us, and that they are taking His place in our life (2 Corinthians 3:18). The more we surrender these idols on the altar of God, the freer our life becomes.

 

When we step outside of God’s will for us, surrendering to Him is the only factor which can restore our spirit and soul (Psalm 23:3). Then, God grace and mercy victoriously and tenderly transport us through every trial and temptation.

 

We gradually grow to realize that our humanity is dead to this world and that Christ’s divinity takes supremacy within us (Colossians 3:3). We want nothing more than to please Him with our life.

 

Eventually, our days are consumed by following God’s Spirit’s direction. We live in praise to His glorious name and His bountiful deeds toward meeting our every need.

 

The Spirit of Christ unifies us with the Trinity, and this union cannot be dissolved or separated in any way; although idols grieve God’s Spirit and break our intimate fellowship with Him.

 

When we live and walk in God’s divine presence, the issues of life no longer overwhelm us (John 16:33). We safely hide under the shadow of His wing (Psalm 17:8).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we each possess our own individual and personal distinction, even though You abide within every Believer. Our union with You, as the personal, living, omnipresent Lord can never be broken. Help us never to allow some idol of negative emotions to block You from our view or to draw us away from Your intimate presence.

 

Allow us to feel Your love, peace and joy flowing over us like a waterfall, refreshing our spirit, soul and body in this world that often frightens and overwhelms us. Remind us that Christ in us is a reality, and we can function in Your will through every moment of our day.

 

Thought for the Day:

Our vital union in Christ is begun in regeneration and completed through sanctification; in conversion we are declared justified and in sanctification we prove our perseverance towards righteousness.

 

 

Eternal Springs of Life

 

Jesus Christ lived in meager circumstances on this earth, died a horrendous crucifixion for our sins, raised triumphantly over death and ascended into heaven with an immortal body.

 

With this same Christ abiding within us, Authentic Christians share in His suffering, fellowship in His presence, are led by His Spirit, experience His power and pass from death to eternal life instantly (Romans 8:9-10; John 14:16-17).

 

His living water within us never dries up (John 7:38-39). It waters the garden of our life as a never ending spring (Isaiah 58:11). This water quenches our thirst and provides us with eternal life (John 4:14).

 

God planned each step of our life before we were ever born. Nothing takes Him by surprise and He has a perfect plan for each one of us (Ephesians 2:10). Even on a dry and dusty road, off the beaten path, He provides us with a brook to nourish and revive us (Psalm 110:7).

 

This spring flows from the throne of God and the Lamb in heaven and forms a river with the tree of life on either side of it, bearing a different fruit every month and having leaves that heal the nations (Revelation 22:1-2). Every living creature and a multitude of fish dwell by and in the river of God (Ezekiel 47:9).

 

We joy in the God of our salvation and drink from the springs which our salvation provides for us (Isaiah 12:3; John 4:10). Our salvation in Christ gives us the right to enter the gates to the city of God, drink from the eternal river of life and to partake of the tree of life (Revelation 22:14).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for providing us with the same Spirit which the disciples received on the day of Pentecost. He baptizes all believers into one Body, regardless of race, creed or social standing (Galatians 3:3; 1 Corinthians 12:13). We belong to You because of Your Spirit within us (Ephesians 1:13-14, 4:30). You fill and seal us with the gift of Your Spirit, which You sent once Jesus rose into heaven (Ephesians 1:13-14).

 

Thank You that Your Spirit provides us with His fruit and gifts and transforms our carnal nature into Christ’s divine nature from one stage of glory to the next (1 Corinthians 12:7-11). You provide riches for those who love You (1 Corinthians 2:9-10), and You shower us with every spiritual blessing from Your throne (Ephesians 1:3).

 

Thought for the Day:

God provides us with everything we need to walk each moment of the day under the direction and control of His Spirit, so that we effectually perform the works which He created us to do. – Ephesians 2:10; Galatians 5:25

God’s Kingdom Within Us

God gives us His salvation, so that we might share in His divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). Before we came to Christ, our spirit was dead in our sins, but Jesus delivered us from eternal damnation in hell (Ephesians 2:5).

 

He provides pardon for our sins, comfort in our affliction, strength to overcome adversity, the promise of a glorious resurrection, and life everlasting with Christ and all of the Saints.

 

Jesus spoke the words of God so that we can obey them and believe that God sent Him (John 17:8). When we choose to love Christ and to keep His statutes, He comes to make His home in us (John 14:23).

 

In our union with Jesus, we live in His divine nature and His divine nature lives in and through us (2 Peter 1:4). Since Christ dwells in our spirit, we become one Spirit with Him (1 Corinthians 6:17).

 

Through His divine power, God gave us everything we need to live a godly life (2 Peter 1:3). Although we live physically in this earthly realm, the reality of our life is that we live in the Kingdom of God (Luke 17:21).

 

We no longer view our life from a temporal standpoint, but from an eternal perspective. We live as partakers of Christ’s holiness as He puts His mind within us (Hebrews 12:10; 1 Corinthians 2:16).

 

The Father is in Jesus, Jesus is in the Father and we are in Jesus; therefore we are also in union with the Father (John 14:20-23, 17:21-23). The best part about life is that God loves us and shows Himself to us (John 14:21).

 

Prayer:

Father God, our attitudes about life and eternity change once we come to Christ in salvation. You created our new self to exist with the purity and holiness of Christ (Ephesians 4:23-24). Each day we come a little closer to complete unity in the faith and in our knowledge of Jesus, which will also eventually bring us to the full stature of the maturity of Christ in us (Ephesians 4:13).

 

Because of Your promises, we look forward to Your new heaven and new earth where righteousness dwells forever (2 Peter 3:13). We long for the day when there is no more sighing or suffering, where complete unity occurs between nature and mankind, and where Your Body is ready, willing and able to serve You.

 

Thought for the Day:

Just as Jesus was fully human with God’s divine nature fully abiding in and through Him, we are fully human with Christ’s divine nature fully abiding in and through us.

When One Side Wins

When one side “wins” an argument, both sides lose. The person or group that was not allowed to make their point, or who did not have the opportunity to make their point, feels dejected and frustrated and unable to affect their own life.

 

This effects their relationship and attitude about the “winning” side. They may forgive, but they still feel discounted and misunderstood. They withdraw from the relationship both emotionally and possibly also physically, even if just a little bit.

 

The sad point of this scenario is that this is so unnecessary. There does not have to be a winner and a loser in an argument. There can be a discussion, which leads to a mutually acceptable solution.

 

This way everybody wins! No one person or group “gets their way”, but they find an equally impartial solution that meets everyone’s needs.

 

When we each have a need and our own solution, but we cannot agree on either one, we can pray or brainstorm together and find a third alternative that we both like.

 

We can do some research, ask advice from other people, read some articles on the topic, go to a counselor if necessary, and find a third alternative that both sides agree upon.

 

Then everyone is happy, everyone feels heard and valued, and everyone wins. In our society, we have a two party system and we tend to be black-and-white thinkers.

 

There is no room or tolerance for any gray areas that may require that we think outside of our little box, to experiment, and to consider the good of the group rather than for our self alone.

 

The only area that is not up for compromise is our belief in and devotion to God. We follow His Spirit’s direction in every area of our life and we stand firm on the Word of God alone.

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to be more interested in serving others than our self, putting the needs of others in the same degree of importance in our life as our own needs. Remind us not to neglect our self, but to honor others as our self.

 

You have a perfect will and way for our life and it is our responsibility to hear from Your Spirit in every aspect of our life (Ephesians 2:10; Proverbs 3:5-6). We draw near to You, refuse to allow Satan to wreak havoc in our life and we allow You to direct our paths (James 4:7).

 

Thought for the Day:

Once we purify the desires of our soul by obeying God’s truth, we develop a genuine love for others, we love each other deeply and we maintain a pure heart for God to use in His service.

– 1 Peter 1:22

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hope in God Alone

If we look at the responsibilities of our life as a huge chunk, we will feel overwhelmed and discouraged. We may want to go back to bed and stay there until Christ returns, we may get drunk and drown our sorrows and fears, or we may vegetate in front of the TV and eat unhealthy snacks.

 

We end up worsening our issues because they are still there after our unsuccessful attempt to self-medicate. Life is still happening all around us. Time still marches on.

 

When we fully surrender our life to Christ, His Spirit moves into our spirit. The entire Trinity abides in us and empowers us to make a difference in our life and in our world.

 

God plants seeds for a miracle in every trial. Trouble is actually an adventure when we view it with our spiritual eyes. God makes everything, even the most horrendous issues, turn out for our good (Romans 8:28).

 

We just need a positive attitude and faith in His faithfulness to see God’s blessings in our circumstances. A sense of humor helps as well. We can laugh in the face of Satan’s calamities and even chuckle over our own failings or social blunders.

 

Keeping fit, eating fresh and organic foods, simplifying our life, daily reading God’s Word, fellowshipping with other Saints, serving our family members and our church family and community, and walking in God’s Spirit restores our body to symmetry, our soul to confidence and hope, and our spirit to strength and rejuvenation.

 

Think of something in your life that you can thank God for and focus on it – flowers in the garden, a rainbow in the sky, pets, children, a safe home, clothes to wear, food to eat, air to breathe, ears to hear, eyes to see, and other things that we usually take for granted.

 

This new focus and attitude reduces our stress, lowers physical and psychiatric drains on us and improves our optimism about life. We surround our self with spiritually minded people, activities and atmosphere. We listen to praise music and participate in praising God with every breath we breathe.

 

Prayer:

Father God, You are our provision, and we hope in You alone (Lamentations 3:24). We know that You will raise us from the dead and take us home with You for eternity (Acts 24:15). You justify us and give us Your peace and grace (Romans 5:1-3). When we hope in You we are never disappointed, because You show us Your plan for our life (Romans 5:5).

 

By the help of Your Holy Spirit, we rejoice in Your hope and are filled with Your joy and peace as we maintain our belief in You (Romans 12:12, 15:13). Even when we see nothing in our life to hope in, we eagerly and perseveringly wait in hope to see the salvation of our God (Romans 8:24-25). We look forward to our blessed hope – the glorious appearing of Your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13-14).

 

Thought for the Day:

Christ in us gives us the hope of sharing in His glory; and as He and God our Father, who loves us and consoles us with everlasting hope and grace, always comfort our hearts and establish us in their peace, they guide us in our good words and works.

– Colossians 1:27-28; 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17; 1 Peter 1:13-14; Hebrews 6:19-20, 7:19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walking in the Spirit

Does God actually talk to us? Is it an audible voice, an inner voice, an impression or feeling or thought in our mind? How can we hear God’s voice?

 

We start by developing a physical “closet” in which to meet with God: Under the tree in the garden, a path where we are walking or jogging all alone, a chair in our home where we are uninterrupted, the spare bedroom, the attic or basement, or an actual closet space in our home.

 

We go there with our journal and nothing else. No Bible, music, TV or radio. Just a chair and some breathing room without any distractions. We spend time here for thirty minutes to an hour any time during every day and we journal whatever comes to our mind.

 

At first, it may be lists of things we need to do. Go ahead and jot these ideas in the journal. When we write them down, we clear them from our mind and quiet those “voices” in our head.

 

Then we may think of Bible verses, a movie clip, a conversation or some event we had in the past; jot it down in the journal. Again it clears our mind of this inner clutter.

 

Write down concerns or problems as a prayer to the Lord. Then we spend some time praising God for who He is and what He already did in our life. We think of His goodness and grace, and we overflow with gratitude toward Him.

 

Next is the hard part, which gets easier with practice… LISTENING. With a cleared mind, we listen with our inner, spiritual ear in our spirit to any words the Holy Spirit may whisper to us (1 King 19:12).

 

We heed and obey His directives and enjoy His comfort and encouragement every moment of every day of our life (Galatians 5:25). We live with His praises on our lips and His peace in our heart. We eventually learn to pray without ceasing throughout the day (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

 

Prayer:

Father God, teach us to walk by Your Spirit step-by-step. We may falter as we mature from crawling to walking and then running, but we are soon sprinting through life by the direction of Your Spirit, in obedience to Your Word and under the guidance of Your peace.

 

Help us to yield our life to You, to walk away from the deeds of the flesh (Galatians 5:15-25) and to allow Your peace, which transcends human reasoning, to guide our hearts through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7). Fill us with Your fruit and wisdom; and teach us to do only Your will in every circumstance (Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 2:10).

 

Thought for the Day:

We encourage others by offering to pray for them, showing them love even when they are unloving toward us and sharing a testimony of God’s love – sometimes without even using words.

 

 

No Longer a Sinner – God’s Seed in Us

In reality, nothing good comes from our flesh. It is only Christ in us who works in and through us to produce lasting fruit (Romans 7:18; Philippians 2:12-13). The roots of the Spirit ground us and the Vine provides for us.

 

As Born Again Believers, we are born of God and partakers of the divine nature of Christ (2 Peter 1:4). When Christ dwells in us, He gives us the power to conquer temptation and sin (1 Corinthians 10:13).

 

We do not continue in a lifestyle of sin, because His seed remains in us (1 John 3:9). His Spirit empowers us and makes us more than conquerors (Romans 8:37). We are conduits for His work through our life.

 

Sin no longer controls us because His Spirit dwells within us and conforms us to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 6:18). Christ sets us free from the law of sin and death (John 8:36; Romans 8:1-2).

 

Therefore, we grieve the heart of God when we wallow in sin and give in to temptation and the flesh. We deny His power within us and we give Satan the attention that God deserves.

 

We waste our lives and fail to live up to God’s best for us. When we take the wide road to destruction, we end up with little to show for a lifetime of living. We reap few rewards in heaven, because we rarely served Him with our life.

 

Yet, if we walk in His will each moment of the day, we accomplish His work in the earth and make a lasting contribution to His Kingdom. We reap rewards for each act of obedience and earn crowns that we can cast at Jesus’ feet (Revelation 4:10-11).

 

We cast our crowns, because we realize that we do not deserve them. Everything we accomplish on the earth is the result of His Spirit’s work in and through us, and we have no bragging rights (Ephesians 2:8-9)

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for Your Spirit who calls to our spirit and empowers us to walk in Your will each day of our life (Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 2:12-13). Help us to walk in Your Spirit so we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:15-25). The more our carnality decreases, the more You encompass our life. We walk in increasing increments of spirituality, and sin no longer tempts us. We have no desire for this world’s enticements.

 

You provide for our every need abundantly more than we even expect, and we give You all the praise and glory for every good thing in our life (James 1:17). We spend our days singing praises to You as we go about meeting only Your expectations in our life. As we listen to Your Spirit, You always work out everything for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28).

 

Thought for the Day:

If we keep living a lifestyle of sin without conviction and repentance, this is proof that we are not born of God; we remain in the flesh and our spirit is still dead in sin; once we know God, His sanctifying power causes us to gradually lose our desire to keep on sinning. – Ephesians 2:1; 1 John 2:29, 3:6