Divided Loyalties

If we live life with one foot on the dock, and the other foot in the boat, we will end up getting dunked once the two move apart for any reason. The slightest turmoil in the water will cause us to lose our balance.


God says the lukewarm people – those who live with one foot in the world, and one in the church – make Him sick to His stomach! He would rather that we live up to our convictions and either follow Him wholeheartedly or not at all.


To live any other way is incomplete surrender, hypocritical and smears the name of Christ in front of the world. Even unbelievers know how Christians are supposed to act, and they lose respect for us and for God when we are hypocrites.


God calls us to live in complete surrender to Him; rather than living partly for Him, but mostly for our own plans and goals. When we seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, He will add to our life everything that we really need (Matthew 6:33).


At salvation, the Holy Spirit circumcises our soul – our mind, will and emotions, separating our fleshly carnal nature from our maturing spiritual nature (Galatians 5:25-25).


Change is an everyday occurrence in some area of our life; yet, at times it seems like transformation to the nature of Christ and conformation to the mind of Christ are painfully slow.


Our motto is, “Not I, but Christ” (Galatians 2:20, 29). Christ is our whole life (Colossians 3:3-4). We know the Trinity intimately and we obey God’s precepts (1 John 2:3).


We take joy in who we are becoming in Christ and we bloom and flourish where He plants us. God’s Spirit teaches us what to say, when to say it; how to act and what service to render to whom in His timing (1 Corinthians 2:13).


We flourish into the image of Christ who abides within us (2 Corinthians 3:18), grow in intimacy with Jesus and serve Him with our whole heart as we follow His Spirit’s plan for each moment of our day.



Father God, thank You for drawing us close to You and never letting us go, for revealing to us Your mercy and power, for allowing us to suffer for Your name’s sake, for conforming us to Christ’s death and for perfecting us until we attain the prize of Your high calling (Philippians 2:11-12, 3:10-14).


You give us Your inheritance when we bring glory and honor to You through our thoughts, words and actions (1 Peter 1:3-4). We are co-heirs with Christ in all He took back from Satan by His death on Calvary’s Cross. Regardless of our past and current circumstances, You give us a rewarding future in Your presence and Kingdom.


Thought for the Day:

Living with divided loyalties between the carnal and spiritual drains us mentally, physically, emotionally and financially; Jehovah is God, and there is no other.


The Mighty God We Serve

God formed us, the animals of the earth and the birds in the heavens, from the dust of the earth, breathed breath into our nostrils and we became a living soul (Genesis 2:7, 19).


He calls us to care for one another, to pay attention when we see another person in distress, and to listen with compassion and pray about what God would have us do to help them (Genesis 42:21).


He calls us to an ever-deepening union with Him. How can a human being on earth experience intimacy with a supreme being in heaven? What is the connection that allows this phenomenon to occur?


The common denominator is Jesus Christ. He is God in the flesh, who left His glorious home in heaven to take on the form of a human being, pay our sin debt and to make it possible for anyone who chooses to, to abide in the presence of the divine forever.


Jesus was, is and is to come. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He existed before there was time and He will rule and reign for eternity (John 1:1; 1 Corinthians 1:24). He is our ever-living, ever-loving Savior and Lord.


We are co-heirs with Him of the true riches of God’s Kingdom, and He fills our treasuries from His abundance. He existed before the fountains of the ocean depths, the celestial orbs, the firmament over the earth, and the terra firma of the earth (Job 15:7-8).


He gave boundaries to the oceans and they cannot cross those limits without His decree (Job 38:10-11; Psalm 104:6-9; Jeremiah 5:22); yet, He condescends to delight in us (John 1:2; Psalm 16:3).




Father God, we can rest in the fact that You really do love us and have a predetermined path for our life (Ephesians 2:10). It is on this path, chosen for us by You, that our trails cease to trouble us and diminish in frequency and intensity.


If we will respond humbly to Your call on our life, You manifest Your love for us in Your provision of Jesus to pay the penalty of our sin and to guarantee a place for us in Your Kingdom. We praise You for Your provision for us in all things.


Thought for the Day:

As we make the major emphasis of our life to know God, and Jesus whom He sent, we grow in our intimacy with the Trinity and experience eternal life now while we continue to dwell on this earth.






Keeping God’s Ways

In self-confidence, we become fools; simple-minded and thoughtless, not understanding the need to trust the Lord with every aspect of our life (Isaiah 32:6).


As we grow spiritually, God’s Spirit within us changes us from the inside out. We no longer focus on carnality and earthly treasures. Evil is detestable to us and truth and righteousness are our mainstay.


God unpuzzles life for us, when we take our instructions from Him rather than striving after our own plans and goals. Silver, gold and human knowledge cannot compare to the power and joy found in knowing God intimately (James 1:5).


When we walk uprightly in every area and relationship, God’s favor is on us. His fruit, abundance and kindness are better than any earthly treasure, because they endure through all of our trials (Proverbs 3:16; Matthew 6:33).


In God’s sovereign plan, He chooses which king reigns and the rulers that govern the earth (Daniel 2:21; Romans 13:1). Before the earth even existed, Jesus planned to take the government on His capable shoulders. He is the beginning and ending of all things (John 1:1, 1 Corinthians 1:24).


God truly loves those who love Him and who seek Him diligently (1 Samuel 2:30; Psalm 91:14; John 14:21). He is our inheritance and He showers us with His true riches and fills our bank accounts with abundant resources.



Father God, You gave us Your Word to encourage us to fully trust in Jesus and to dedicate our life to Your service in holiness and in unity with Your Spirit. Thank You for filling us with your presence and Your Spirit without reservation or limitation. We depend upon You for every moment of our day.


Use us for Your glory in the divine moments of our life. Help us to introduce others to a personal relationship with You. Anoint us to inspire, encourage and influence others as they grow in spiritual maturity and make You the center of their life as well. We live for the praise of Your name and for furthering Your Kingdom though our life.


Thought for the Day:

Blessed, joyful, fortunate and enviable are those who keep God’s ways and find their peace and joy in Him alone. – Psalm 119:1-2, 128:1-2; Luke 11:28


Fearing the Lord

There is an absence of the fear of (respect for) the Lord in today’s society.    Everyone is a god unto him/herself, and they make up their own rules for life as they go along. Or else, they create designer gods that fit their philosophy of life and which do not require anything from them.


God instructs and confides in those who fear Him. The path of those who reverence the Lord includes prosperity (Psalm 25:12-14). He stores up goodness for them that take refuge in Him (Psalm 31:19).


He delivers from famine and death all those whose hope is in His unfailing love (Psalm 33:18-19). He sends His angels to camp around those who fear Him and He delivers them in their times of trouble.


He is a refuge to them and they lack no good thing (Psalm 34:7-11). He provides food for them who remember his covenant forever (Psalm 111:5). He takes His delight in them (Psalm 147:11).


He speaks and His commands always comes to pass (Psalm 33:8-9). He puts a new song into our mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many unbelievers see why we sing to Him and then they put their trust in the Lord too and come to fear Him (Psalm 40:3)


God gives a heritage to those who fear His name (Psalm 61:5). His love for us is as high as the heavens are from the earth (Psalm 103:11). To those who obey His precepts and remember His covenant, His love is from everlasting to everlasting…in modern vernacular that is as far as infinity and beyond! (Psalm 103:17-18).



He is our help and our shield in times of danger (Psalm 115:11). When we fear Him and walk in His ways we are blessed, we eat the fruit of our labor and His blessings and prosperity are ours.  Even our family increases and is fruitful (Ps 128:1-4) and His mercy extends from generation to generation (Proverbs 1:50).



Father God, it does not make sense for us to be wise in our own eyes. If we fear You and shun evil, You will bring health to our body and nourish our bones (Proverbs 3:7-8). You   direct our ways.


You showed Your mighty power to the Israelites. They were so convicted of their unholiness in Your sight, and so fearful of Your awesome power, that they cower behind Moses. The wise will hear this message and learn from it (Matthew 7:24).


Thought for the Day:

God is the one who made the heavens, and we will fear Him and pray that all of our descendants will honor and revere Him. – Chronicles 16:25-26; Psalm 22:23


Rejoice Evermore

Rejoicing is not a natural response to hard times (James 1:2). We usually wallow in self-pity and complain to anyone who will listen. Rejoicing in spite of the circumstances takes a supernatural focus (1 Thessalonians 5:18).


Problems with our family, finances and friendships overwhelm us all at times. We are either just coming out of a trial, experiencing one right now, or about to go into one.
Life is never easy; if something can go wrong, it usually will. Satan delights in throwing up roadblocks in our way. He wanders the earth, looking for someone to devour; and then he gets permission from God to torment us (Job).


However, when we change our focus from the earthly to the spiritual, we realize that Christ in us is always greater than Satan and his demons who occupy this world (1 John 4:4).


This lowers our anxiety levels and reduces our irritation and the trauma of our trials. Rejoicing through life allows us to more easily surrender to God’s will and His solutions for our issues.


Rejoicing comes from a heart full of thanksgiving and praise to God for all He already did for us and for what we know He will continue to do for us.


As Paul rejoiced while in prison, we too can rejoice in our restricting circumstances (Act 16:25). God provides supernaturally once we relinquish our cares to Him (1 Peter 5:6-7). We pray, expecting Him to intervene in our negative situation.


He simply requires that we trust His timing and methods, and that we relinquish our specific expectations and accept His will for us.



Father God, teach us to rely on Your promises and to have faith in Your faithfulness. You provide us with an abundant life now as well as in eternity. You fill us with Your fruit and teach us to live in peace and joy regardless of our circumstances. Remind us to rely on You with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.


There is no way we can save our self. We must rely totally on Your goodness and ways for salvation, sanctification and our daily provision (Hebrews 6:1, 9:14). Remind us that You do not delight in sacrifices or religious acts of service; but prefer that we walk in the center of Your will, guided by Your Holy Spirit.


Thought for the Day:

God asks us to believe in, trust in and rely on Him alone; and when we do, our life changes for the better.



A Good Marriage – The Value of Intimacy

As humans, we value intimacy with both God and one another. In modern times, we even have “Girls (Boys/Parents) Night Out” to develop more intimacy with one another.


One way to develop more intimacy with our spouse is to take the time to gaze into one another’s eyes. This can be done all at once or in short segments all day long. The experts recommend a total of 15-20 minutes every single day.


This does not need to accompany physical touch or talking; and definitely should not be interrupted by distractions like text messages from work, family or friends, nor television or computer.


When we have time alone together, we can incorporate aspects we enjoy, as well as activities we never tried before. Take that first free dance class and see if it strikes a chord in both of you. Read a book together, walk on the beach or a nature trail, ride bikes or visit with your best friends.


Chat about your day when you reconnect each evening. Show compassion and laugh together about the humorous aspects of your day. Encourage one another through the challenges, and celebrate your successes together.


Over the years of marriage, develop insider jokes or statements that only the two of you understand. When appropriate, pull them out into the conversation and share that intimate moment of laughter and understanding.


Marital irritations will cause distress unless we change our focus about them. See these issues as endearing events that can be cherished, and they will bring about a feeling of comfort rather than irritation.


Instead of allowing disagreements to drive a wedge between you, remember that you are on the same side of life. Brainstorm to come up with an equitable solution that meets everyone’s needs. There is never just two side to any issue. The possibilities are virtually endless if we take the time to discover them.



Father God, help us to see our relationship with You in terms of intimacy. Teach us by Your Word and the examples of Saints of old to discover the intimacy that You prefer. Remind us to spend quality time with You: reading Your Word, fellowshipping with Your Spirit, meditating on Your precepts, praising Your goodness and majesty, and showing gratitude for Your provision.


Also teach us to enjoy the times of companionable silence in Your presence, not expecting You to speak, but just soaking up Your presence within us and in the world around us. Help us to notice the multitude of blessings You shower us with each and every day, and move us to break into spontaneous praise when we do.


Thought for the Day:
Intimacy is a vital part of every relationship; without it, our love will grow stale and lose its flavor.


A Lifestyle Worthy of Jesus’ Name

Paul admonishes us to serve the Lord as bond servants; and to please Him, rather than people. He recommends that we do God’s will from our soul – with our whole heart (Ephesian 6:6).


Our lifestyle is to be worthy of the name of Jesus, regardless of where we are or who is watching us. We put our whole spirit and soul into our work to further the faith in others; so they can believe the Good News of the gospel of Christ (Philippians 1:27).


As Believers in Christ, we serve together in unity of soul, sharing the love of God with a common bond and unified purpose (Philippians 2:2). We do everything for God’s glory, not our own (Colossians 3:23).


Our God of peace Himself completely sanctifies us until our entire body, soul and spirit are preserved blameless when Jesus returns for His beloved Bride (1 Thessalonians 5:23).


He uses His living and powerful Word as a double-edged sword to divide the very depths and marrow of our soul from our spirit. His Word helps us to discern the thoughts and intentions of our heart as He perfect us in thought, word and deed (Hebrews 4:12).


We thirst as a newborn baby for the pure milk of the Word, which helps us to grow into maturity from salvation (1 Peter 2:2). Our soul and spirit, made righteous by the blood of Christ, are grieved by the lawless words and deeds of those who dwell around us.


We live by faith, unwavering in our commitment to God, who takes pleasure in us when we do not shrink back into the world’s destructive philosophy and behavior (Hebrews 10:38-39; 1 Peter 2:11).



Father God, help us to turn sinners from the error of their ways; so their soul is saved from the second death, and their multitude of sins are covered by the blood of Christ, just as ours are (James 5:20). Help us to prosper in all things, even as our soul prospers, and to be healthy in body, soul and spirit (3 John 1:2).


Show those people, who are determined to follow the ways of the world, that the dainty and sumptuous carnal fruit, which their soul lusts after on this earth, will be lost to them in the world to come; and that they will lose their own soul in the process (Revelation 18:14). Help them to respond to Your Spirit now before it is too late for them to come to Christ.


Thought for the Day:

The hope we have in Christ Jesus is an anchor for our soul, giving us an indisputable and unfaltering hope that leads us into the very presence of God, behind the temple veil. – Hebrews 6:19


Walking a Tight Wire

I recently read that in this Laodicean church age, over 1500 Pastors leave the ministry every month. We have to ask our self what is the root cause of this malady?


What is the common denominator in each case? How may we help to prevent our Pastor from this discouragement? What can we do to give our Pastor continual support over the weeks, months and years of his ministry to our church?


Some Pastors leave the ministry because they are not called by God; others get discouraged by the carnality in the church – the constant bickering among the staff and members, and a lack of appreciation and support for their ministry.


The calling as a Pastor requires that the man walk along a tight wire stretched between two or more posts firmly stuck in the ground. These posts are fiercely guarded by different factions in the individual church, who all believe that their way is the best way.


The patient Pastor will listen to all sides of a disagreement and attempt to bring a consensus among the leadership and the members. The treacherous moment comes along when the opposing sides within the church are adamant that they are the only ones hearing from God and they want their own way.


Often these factions, which cannot agree with one another, all want the Pastor to pick sides and to help them to fulfill their own diverse vision for the church. Disgruntled people are quick to blame, but slow to be a part of the solution.


Many members will not tithe or serve; and this limits the church’s ability to win the lost and to fund missionaries and ministries that disciple new Believers. Yet, some who do tithe, try to control the church’s agenda.


Some people are very critical of the Pastor, maintaining impossible expectations of what they want him to accomplish. They forget that he is just one man, one part of the whole Body of which they too are a part.


He is a human being with feelings and concerns, ideals and commitments, integrity and love for all those God puts in his watch care. It is up to us, the congregation, to aid and to support him in his ministry.


The Godly Pastor is one who seeks the Lord as a deer that pants after the water brook. He spends hours in prayer, Bible research for his sermons, counseling and mentoring members and their families, administrative meetings, area Pastor meetings, leading the lost to Christ, births, weddings, funerals, hospital and nursing home visits, building and grounds upkeep,  community out-reach, and in-reach to members – especially to the shut-ins and church prospects, etc.


If he is wise, the Pastor will continue his education, maintain close family relationships, and develop hobbies and interests that distract his mind from the turmoil constantly popping up in the church membership. These distractions allow him to dispel any stress inherent in his ministry.


The spiritual Pastor leads people to Christ, disciples new Believers, mentors spiritual men, makes friends in city government to lead them to Christ, and goes the extra mile to maintain unity in the church.


Yet, the congregation often makes it impossible for these Saintly men to survive the continual onslaught from every direction at once, and so many Pastors get discouraged. Let’s make it our goal to encourage our Pastor today and every day all year long.



Father God, I lift up Your servants who are on the verge of being demolished by the sharp tongues, the constant criticism, the impossible expectations, and the lack of giving and serving members in the congregations to which You assigned them to lead (1 Timothy 1:18-19; 2 Timothy 1:5-8, 2:1-3). You know their heart and You see Satan’s attempts to rid the world of Your Bible preaching servants either by ill health, persecution or burn-out.


Some are quick to criticize Your servants, but You encourage us to submit to those who care for our soul (Romans 13:17). Give us a servant’s heart willing to help those who shepherd us. We pray that You will send men who will lift up the arms of their Pastor, just as Aaron and Hur supported Moses – to help him keep his victory rod raised while the spiritual battle rages all around us.


Thought for the Day:

A reciprocal relationship of leadership and congregation, serving side by side as one Body, will accomplish much on this earth for God’s Kingdom.

Healing from Trauma

Life is full of traumatic events, sometimes following one right after another or even occurring simultaneously. They overwhelm us, or at least discourage us, rob us of our peace and joy, and cause us to feel fear and insecurity.


Trauma leaves behind a residue of grief, melancholy and uncertainty. It erodes our self-reliance, and causes us to doubt our self and our abilities. We lose our rudder and we feel anxious and sometimes even hopeless.


Our soul feels as if it is navigating through fog, without light and clear direction. We fear the oncoming twists and turns in the road, possible traffic traveling in the opposite direction, or the occasional deer that may suddenly jump out in front of us.


Emotional intensity accompanying trauma is equally as debilitating. We come to a breaking point, the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back; and this is exactly where God wants us to end up. It is only in our times of brokenness that He can touch our deepest self.


God humbles us under His mighty hand (1 Peter 5:6; Psalm 136:12), draws us up to Himself and never lets us go. Our intimacy with Him increases, because our dependence is on Him rather than on our self. We realize that Christ is our whole life (Colossians 3:4).


We learn to take trauma in stride, realizing that in this world, we are guaranteed to have tribulation (John 16:33). We start to consider our trials as joyful occurrences, because we learn to trust God through them, and we see His miracles for us in them (James 1:2-8).


The light of God’s Son burns off the fog of trials and gives us clear direction and spiritual insight. He heals our wounds and gives us victory over our negative emotions and circumstances. Our faith in His love for us deepens and our joy and peace are everlasting.



Father God, You spoil Your children, especially when we keep our faith in You regardless of the trauma of our circumstances. We sail through trials effortlessly when we trust in You and walk in Your Spirit.  Remind us to start each day trusting in You, committing our day to You, not trusting in our human understanding and walking in Your Spirit through every moment.


We give You the praise and honor due to Your name, we surrender our cares to You, knowing that You actually care for us and work out everything – even the most traumatic circumstances for our good (Romans 8:28). You are our God and King and we live to serve You only.


Thought for the Day:

In the fog of trials, slow down and give the Son time to burn off the circumstances causing the fog in the first place.


Abiding in Christ

Christianity is not something that we do; it is who we are. We do not take it off like a cloak and put it back on again. Our walk with Christ in us is continual – regardless of the people, places or activities going on in our life.


If our Christianity is transitional and positional, it is not real; it is merely a phase or a stage on which we act out rules and regulation and certain behaviors, vernacular and endeavors.


We are never satisfied and we want more and better worldly goods. We are unthankful, and unappreciative. We take people for granted and abuse anyone with an opinion contrary to ours. We are self-absorbed, proud and rebellious to one extent or another.


On the other hand, authentic Christianity is a lifestyle, which encompasses every facet of our life. It influences our thoughts, feelings and choices and allows us to abide in Christ and walk according to the direction of His Spirit (Galatians 5:15-25).


We honor Christ with our life, appreciating everything that He supplies and does for us. We live in humble adoration of who He is as our Lord and King as He justifies our spirit, heals our soul and makes us whole.


We often confuse the soul and spirit in our thinking and understanding. They have two distinct functions in life, but both go into eternity with us.


At birth, the human spirit is dead in the sin that is passed on to us by Adam and Eve (Colossians 2:13). In death, we condemn our self to hell by our unbelief (John 3:18). Yet, at salvation, Christ rebirths our spirit and gives us His life in us both on earth and in heaven for eternity (Romans 8:10).



Father God, thank You that in both heaven and hell, our soul experiences what our body felt on earth, despite the fact that our mortal body is in the grave (Luke 16:19-31). The soul is our feelings, choices and thoughts. We have no need to fear anyone who may want to kill our body; because they are never able to kill our soul or spirit. Our biggest fear should be going into eternity in unbelief and experiencing hell for eternity (Matthew 10:28; 16:26).


Yet, we often ignore You, disparage You, mock You and even curse You. Thank You for forgiving our human pride and rebellion and giving us Your Son to pay the ransom for our sins, for opening Your arms wide to receive us and for loving us unconditionally all the days of our life.


Thought for the Day:

Our union with Christ is not a result of our works, but a completed work of Jesus’ death on Calvary’ cross; the same Holy Spirit that dwelt in Jesus during His life on earth continues working in the world around us through the life of each authentic Believer. – Ephesians 2:8-9; Galatians 4:6