Satisfied in Jesus

As we mature spiritually, we walk in godliness with contentment and receive a great advantage both in this world and the next (1 Timothy 6:6-7).

 

Like Paul, we learn contentment regardless of the circumstances in which we find our self – deprived and in want, or pleasant and blessed (Philippians 4:11-13).

 

Contentment drives out striving and stress and teaches us to find our satisfaction in Christ alone. It also prevents us from neglecting our walk with the Lord, or living at ease in Zion (Amos 6:1).

 

We enter God’s rest and abide there even when life threatens to overwhelm us (Hebrews 13:5). Striving causes contention and competition; however, God calls us to live at peace with everyone (Romans 12:18).

 

We have not seen with our human eyes, or heard with our natural ears, or imagined in our finite mind what God prepared both now and in eternity for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9).

 

He promises us our daily bread and everything we need in order to survive in this world. He clothes the lilies of the field and feeds the birds of the air and loves us and provides for us just as richly.

 

Prayer:

Father God, teach us to look for Your hand of provision for us in our daily walk and to live in contentment. We thank You for giving us everything we need to fulfill Your will for our life (Ephesians 2:10).

 

Bring us to a place where we cease from our carnal striving and where we set our affection on things above and not here on this earth (Colossians 3:2-17). Give us the divine mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16), create in us a clean heart, and renew a holy and purposeful spirit in us (Psalm 51:10).

 

Thought for the Day:

God gives us all good thing to enjoy – every good and perfect gift, which we need as we dwell with Him in contentment and thanksgiving. – Philippians 4:6

 

God Truly Cares for Us

Deep thinkers, mystics, scientists, authors and poets all try to pinpoint the origin and meaning of life, but they reject the truth of God’s Word. Then they come up with theories they cannot prove, even by their own laws.

 

Many people find fulfillment in their career, children, mate, church ministries, world travel, a new home, a sporty car, completing a “bucket list”, serving in a charity, getting involved in local politics, triumphing in a career, delving into alternative spiritual activities – which deviate from the traditional Christian world view.

 

This fulfillment may last for years, but as we age, we lose interest in these pursuits, because they do not really provide us with lasting fulfillment. Our human plans often operate on impulses, and are otherwise the results of us reasoning things out.

 

We are never quite able, however, apart from Christ, to come to understand the complete truth about life (2 Timothy 3:6-7). The wisdom and power of a nurtured life come only from the unconditional love of our crucified Christ (1 Corinthians 23-24).

 

Boasting in our own knowledge and human abilities is useless and quite humorous (1 Corinthians 4:7, 5:6). Looking above our human wisdom to Jesus, who is our only true source of wisdom and joy, is the way to bear lasting fruit in our life (John 15:11).

 

Making Jesus the center of our focus and submitting to God’s Spirit within us allows the Trinity to sanctify our carnality and nurture Christ’s divinity within us (Galatians 2:20).

 

We die to our self more each day, relinquishing our earthly pursuits in favor of spiritual maturity. Our soul – our thoughts, decisions and feelings – prospers, which allows our body and spirit to prosper as well (John 3:1:2; 1 Corinthians 15:31).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for the opportunity to share in the peace and glory of Christ in us. We face the trials of each day with hope and optimism, because we know that there is a seed for a miracle within each one (Hebrews 12:2-3). Remind us to stop relying on our human talents and to depend solely on You, finding out what You are doing in our life and joining You (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

Clearly reveal to us that trusting in our self is useless and we end up humiliated and feeling hopeless. It is only as we walk away from evil and wholeheartedly embrace Christ in us, that health returns to our body and nourishes our bones (Proverbs 3:7-8). Reveal the truth to us that as we choose Your will over our own will we grow deeper in our union with Christ abiding within us. Jesus is all we really need to succeed in this life (1 John 3:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

Thought for the Day:

In our times of trouble, we cast our cares on God, because He truly cares for us (1 Peter 5:7); He gives us His peace in exchange for our worries (Philippians 4:6, 7; 1 Peter 5:7; John 14:27); and when Satan plagues us with guilt over our past, Jesus removes condemnation for those who trust in Him (Romans 8:1);.

 

The God of Second Chances

 

 

At the end of this age – the age of the Gentiles, or the Church Age as it is also called – we will meet Jesus in the air and attend our wedding feast to our best friend, brother, co-heir, Savior and King.

 

At this time, the Jews will receive a second chance to come to Christ by faith. The 144,000 (or two sets of 144,000, depending on your Biblical interpretation) will go out into the nations of the world and share the gospel of Christ with His chosen people.

 

Many will come to faith in Christ, but many will continue to stubbornly reject Him and His cleansing work on Calvary’s cross. They will blindly follow the anti-Christ and continue to live in strong delusion.

 

God always gives us second chances and this is just one example of His mercy, patience and grace to all men of every nation, tribe and tongue. As we humbly recognize our need for a Savior, we call on Him and He answers us.

 

He shows us great and mighty things, which we never before dreamed were possible (Jeremiah 33:3). Eventually all Believers will rule and reign with Jesus for eternity (2 Timothy 2:12).

 

God’s Spirit does His sanctifying work in us and we mature slowly until we completely surrender our self and our plans for our life, and embrace God’s perfect will for us instead.

 

Once we experience the joys of living under the shadow of His wings, we will wonder why we stubbornly clung to our puny human goals and standards.

 

We will question our sanity for resisting His unconditional love for so much of our life. We readily exchange our broken life for His eternal life; and we will reap the benefits of His great love, protection and will for us, both individually and corporately as His adopted children.

 

Prayer:

Father God, when we finally submit to Your plans for our life, we will flourish under Your direction and finally walk in Your ways (Ephesians 2:10). Under Your guidance, we will change our world one person at a time.

 

Keep us ever vigilant to walk in Your Spirit each moment of the day so that we do not miss Your divine appointments for us to share Your life and Your Word with those You bring our way. Remind us that even when we fail, You give us second chances through Your mercy and grace.

 

Thought for the Day:

We may never be world famous or have this world’s goods, but we will be a child of the King and have an abundance of every good and perfect gift which comes from our Father above. – James 1:17

 

Light Dawns Like a Flood

When we find great delight in the law of the Lord, God blesses us for fearing Him and obeying His Word. Our children will be prosperous and blessed forever, because of our love for and fear of the Lord.

 

When we live in grace, compassion and righteous living, we have wealth and riches greater than what this world has to offer to us. Even in troubling times, light and freedom comes to the upright in spirit, soul and body.

 

When we are generous and lend freely, conducting our business with honesty and righteousness, light dawns for us like a flood in the face of darkness. We will never be shaken if we trust only in the Lord.

 

We live in peace and joy and do not fear bad news, because our trust is in the Lord and we are not shaken. People are astounded at our character in the face of adversity and our reputation grows.

 

We trust in God without wavering regardless of our circumstances. The most debilitating of issues drives our roots deeper in Christ as we walk in faith in His faithfulness.

 

Our heart is secure because we know that Christ in us will triumph over anyone that comes against us. We share with the poor and live with true religion, rather than vain rituals (James 1:27; 1 John 4:4).

 

Those who wish us harm will be utterly disappointed because God always blesses His righteous ones who give their heart, mind, soul and body to His service and who walk by His Spirit each moment of the day (Psalm 112: all).

 

Prayer:
Father God, You will receive all the glory for the creation, salvation and glorification of all the Saints on that glorious day when we see You face to face. All we have to give You apart from what Christ works in our life, is all of the love, praise and glory due Your name.

 

Our difficulties set the stage for Your miracles. The greater the miracle, the more impossible the solution, but with You all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). If we feel inferior or inadequate, You remind us that we are children of the King, and that You will never leave us or forsake us (Ephesians 2:6; Hebrews 13:5; Philippians 4:13).

 

Thought for the Day:

If we humble our self, God will not need to humiliate us; God gives us His wisdom when we lack understanding. – James 1:5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fearless in the Face of Adversity

Fear is one human malady that plagues everyone. Even the most macho man fears something or someone. The most independent woman has fears – even if she buried them in her subconscious mind.

 

Fortunately, Jesus died and overcame our fears for us. He gave us His Spirit to abide in us and bring to us His power love and a stable mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

 

Our Savior generously gives us wisdom when we need it, which dispels our fears (1 Corinthians 1:30; James 1:5). We slip right out of the depression, caused by Satan’s lies to our mind, when we focus on God’s love, kindness, faithfulness and compassion (Lamentations 3:21-23).

 

God gives each of us a measure of faith to fulfill His will for our life (Romans 12:3). Christ is the strength of our life (Psalm 27:1; Daniel 11:32), and we can accomplish His will because He dwells within us (Galatians 2:20).

 

We no longer feel that we are “not enough”, because we know that we can live up to God’s expectations of us through Christ in us (2 Corinthians 5:21). God is always in our corner, so we do not need to concern our self with people who may not approve of us or accept us as we are (Romans 8:31).

 

We shed the shroud of bondage, which Satan and the world wrap around us and we enter the liberty of the Saints of God (2 Corinthians 3:17). Refusing to accept the devil’s condemnation, we walk in the victory of Christ in us (Romans 8:1).

 

This gives us hope to face tomorrow, which we know from experience is filled with unknown catastrophes and issues. We no longer fear the future or allow anxiety to consume our soul when we cast all of our worries on Jesus, who eternally cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You calm the confusion in our life by placing in our spirit the Author of peace and the knowledge provided by His indwelling Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:12, 14:33). Jesus already overcame the trials and tribulation of this life, and His presence in our life gives us Your victory in every trial (Romans 8:37; John 16:33).

 

Thank You that Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law of sin and death by giving us Your Spirit of life (Galatians 3:13-14). Remind us that we can find true contentment only through our service to You, regardless of our circumstances (Philippians 4:11). We spend our days singing praises to Your name.

 

Thought for the Day:

Life’s set-backs and roadblocks try our faith and make our dependence on God stronger than our reliance on our human strengths and wisdom, because His infinite ways are higher than our finite plans and goals.

 

Storing Up Treasures

If you want to lose weight, there is one sure way…do not work (Genesis 3:17-19; 2 Thessalonians 3:10). If we do not work, we do not eat, except those few staples that the government provides for the unemployed.

 

In today’s society, usually both parents work and daycare and after-school programs care for their children. They choose this lifestyle in order to succeed in their careers and to give their children the material possessions, which they always wanted and never had as children.

 

They rely on their human abilities to provide for their needs as well as their wants – rarely realizing that God is actually providing them with the will, desire, ability and health to earn a living.

 

During the Exodus wandering, God gave the Israelites small, round wafers to eat that tasted like coriander seeds and honey. These wafers sustained them and came fresh each new morning (Exodus 16:14, 31).

 

They could not save any for the next day (Palm 78:2-25); they had to trust God for His daily provision. Jesus tells us that we too can trust God for our daily provision (Matthew 6:11).

 

This does not mean that we do not work, but we may not really need to work so incessantly, while neglecting to give our spouse and children the time and attention they need from us more than “things.”

 

We often work to store up for ourselves earthly treasures that end up rusting or eaten by moths (Matthew 6:19); rather than working toward personal relationships and heavenly riches instead. Following God’s will for us is the one sure way to succeed in every area of this life.

 

Prayer:

Father God, at the end of their life, many people record through letter or verbal admission that they wished they worked less and spent more time with their family. The shock of the empty nest and their children’s pursuit of their own life and family come as a huge surprise. We yearn for a more personal relationship with our family as we had with our parents, but today’s children are too busy for their parents.

 

We attempt to cajole them or make them feel guilty for ignoring us, but this only drives them further away. Remind us to follow the leading of Your Spirit and to maintain a relationship with them that will be a blessing rather than a drain. Give us eyes to see their personal needs and how we can step in and fill the gap to give them more personal time with us and with their family.

 

Thought for the Day:

The bottom line in this life will be how we spent our time loving our family, friends, neighbors, church family and community; responding to the divine appointments that God provides for us each week to walk in His will and sharing our blessings with others as God gives us an abundance of all things.

 

The Spirit-Controlled Life

We humans believe that to stay safe, we must stay in control. However, over the years, life teaches us that control is simply an illusion. We are killing our self physically, spiritually, mentally, relationally and emotionally by attempting to maintain control over the people, places and events in our life.

 

A phlegmatic personality has more of a chance of survival, because they roll with the punches, which Satan, life and evil people throw at us. Cholerics are the worse at trying to control everything, making lists and feeling like they are always responsible.

 

Melancholics over-react to life, getting easily hurt and emotional over what happens to them. Sanguines laugh in the face of adversity and refuse to take life seriously, often shirking their responsibility.

 

The Spirit-guided personality is the only one that truly survives in the reality of this world. We realize that we are only foreigners and travelers through this life, without any real investment in it.

 

We keep our focus on King Jesus and furthering His Kingdom on the earth rather than on our own goals and agenda. We do not attempt to feather our nest to make life comfortable, or go out on a limb to create new challenges for our self, or allow life to crush us or refuse to take life seriously.

 

We simply live in tune with God’s Spirit and gain His perspective on what happens around us. Availing our self to God’s divine appointments, we find more success in our daily endeavors.

 

We see the hand of God leading us, and His heart comforting us and using us to comfort others in the same way (2 Corinthians 1:3-5). His wisdom helps us to see things from His infinite perspective rather than from our limited, finite, human way to view events and personalities.

 

Prayer:

Father God, Jesus told us that we shall indisputably have tribulation in this world (John 16:33). You promised that You would never give us more than You can handle, but You often allow crushing circumstances to occur in our life to drive us to our knees and to help us to surrender complete control over to You. When we surrender control to You, we no longer make our own plans and ask You to bless them; but we do only that which we see You doing, just like Jesus did (John 5:19).

 

Once we are broken and spilled out, we are finally empty of our human effort. Help us to plug into Your Spirit in order to find true success in all of our endeavors. That way, even when we beg You to remove a burden or trial from us, and You see the need for us to walk through it, we can trust in You rather than to lean on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6)

 

Thought for the Day:

Feeling out of control is a terrifying place to live; yet, we are never really in control of anything in this world of shifting paradigms, governmental decisions and views, as well as technological advancements; trusting in Jesus and hiding under the shadow of His wings gives us the most safety and possibilities in this sin-cursed world.

 

Fulfilled Parenting

Parents today find it hard to compete with electronic media for their teenager’s attention. When their children were younger, the parents used the television to occupy them, as they stirred ground beef into “hamburger helper”, did chores around the house or took a quick nap on the couch in the TV room.

 

The interactive activities of days past are a forgotten art in the two-career family. Parents are just too busy or tired or burnt out to interact much with their children. Then, they miss this intimate communication when their children are adults.

 

I was blessed to be able to stay home with our children and to homeschool them while we traveled around the eastern USA for four years.

 

We did crafts by recycling empty bottles, cans, boxes and other containers. The surrounding nature enabled us to developed abstract and landscape art projects. We combed the sale racks at art supply and discount retail stores for new craft ideas.

 

We frequented garage sales, played board and card games every evening after our dinner and devotion time. Before bed every night, we had story time with a variety of Christian literature, we memorized scripture to hide in our heart, and we sang to the accompaniment of my meager guitar skills.

 

During holidays we volunteered in soup kitchens and provided meals to the homeless and disadvantaged in our community. We even encouraged our children to give one of their cherished toys of their choosing to a disadvantaged children and youth, or they spent part of their allowance and savings from birthday gifts to buy something new and special for a child they knew who had nothing.

 

During the four years we traveled around the eastern USA in a camper, we had such fun exploring each new area in which we parked our camper for the night, week-end, week or month as my husband ministered God’s Word in local churches.

 

I researched activities in each locality where we parked; and we took field trips to area museums, businesses, factories, libraries, scouting troops, sports teams, etc.

 

We did science activities with the flora and fauna of each new parking spot – learning firsthand the geography, agriculture and industry of each area of our country.

 

My children thrived by sharing with one another the interesting tidbits they read in their text books each day – virtually teaching one another new concepts and ideas.

 

One son learned to play the drums by using practice pads donated by a loving brother in Christ. Our other son grew adept at engineering a natural gym in surrounding wooded lots.

 

Our daughter improved on my inept baking skills and enjoyed baking, as well as sewing her own clothes, drawing and painting, and making crafts to give as “thank you” gifts to church members who took a personal interest in our children.

 

Generous church members around the country shared their swimming pools, took us on trips to theme parks and bought them individual toys and science project kits for their enjoyment.

 

One dear sister-in-Christ made each of my children a “big mouth” puppet of their own The puppets sported real clothing and shoes from local thrift stores. Our children learned to write their own scripts and to personalize Bible stories with their puppets.

 

They used a stage their dad and grandfather made for them from PVC pipes and curtains. For each performance, they put the stage together, used it in each new congregation where their dad ministered, and then took it apart and stored it under a bed.

 

When the children reach high school age, we sold our camper, settled in one city and put our children in public school. After a long, hard up-hill climb, the area school board president learned to appreciate the dedication to learning, disciplined behavior and self-learning skills our homeschooled children developed over the years.

 

Each child thrived with straight A’s in every subject and excelled in each class, resulting in them all graduating with scholarships for college. God truly blessed me with my three children and these memorable experiences to cherish in my golden years.

 

Prayer:

Father God, teach young parents today to take an active role in their children’s lives – even if it is simply participating with and observing their dance, music, sports and art endeavors through school or extra-curricular activities. Remind us to teach them the scriptures, to encourage them to participate as active members of the Body of Christ, to live our lives before them as Godly examples and to relate to them as Christian family, friends and Saints of God.

 

Allow them to overcome Satan’s strongholds as they age beyond our parental influence and to make a way in their own life to impart their faith in Christ to their children as well. Help us to forgive easily and to apologize when we grieve their soul and disobey Your will in front of them. Remind us that this will teach them about their vulnerability, culpability and need for humility in their own walk with You. Help us to live as a praise to You and an example of Your glory in this earth.

 

Thought for the Day:

Raising children is a daunting task; but listening, supporting and being present in their lives is an easy way to stay connected throughout their lifetime.

 

 

God’s Unconditional Love

God’s unconditional love is just that – supernatural and unconditional. He loves the whole world starting with Adam and Eve and continuing on until the last person is born on this earth.

 

He sent His only begotten Son to pay the penalty of our wrong choices and to redeem us from a destiny in hell. He saved us from reaping what we sowed and is giving us what we do not deserve.

 

In exchange, we can do nothing less than to give Him our whole body, soul and spirit to use as He pre-ordained for us to function in life before the beginning of time (Ephesians 2:10).

 

Living in the center of God’s perfect will for us is the happiest place on earth. We flourish, even in a different and distant world from what we are used to.

 

We make new friends, fit into a whole new Christian family and find our fulfillment through our service to Him each and every day. In the remotest jungles of Africa, the bustling cities around the globe or even in a small, rural village in the USA, we find our purpose for living.

 

We walk in His ways and do not grieve His Spirit by our behavior and attitude. He grafts us into the Vine of Christ and we produce the fruit of His Spirit as we submit to His life flowing through us.

 

Without Him, we wither and die; we get pruned and cast in to the fire. With Him, we flourish under His direction and we make a difference in our world regardless of the size, place or status of our secular existence.

 

Prayer:

Father God, we thrive under Your direction and we enjoy Your gifts and blessings. You send us little hugs throughout the day. We simply need to pay attention to see and appreciate them. You walk in us and with us through every trial and temptation and You make us victors as we accomplish all things through Your presence in our life.

 

We give You all of the praise and glory due to Your name; we walk in Your ways, so we will not sin against You; and we stay on Your straight and narrow path, so we do not bring shame on Your name.

 

Thought for the Day:

Regardless of the ups and downs of life, God keeps us on a level path because of our enemies; He pours out His unconditional love on us every moment of every day.

 

Fullness of Joy

In the presence of God is the only spot on this earth where the fullness of joy resides. He offers us pleasures that last throughout eternity (Psalm 16:11; 139: 23-24).

 

We often look for natural, human experiences with God, but His ways are so much higher than ours. God enjoys sitting with us in silence; no revelations, no rushing wind, no mighty supernatural gifts deposited in our life. Just golden silence in the presence of our King Jesus.

 

At other times, we need a notebook to keep track of all the ideas He imparts to us during these intimate times of devotion.

 

We may make a to-do list for our day, or a prayer list of people He wants us to lift up in our prayers that day, or people we need to forgive or those from whom we need to ask forgiveness.

 

Only as we deliberately enter the recesses within our own soul, and only as we conquer the clutter in our life and thoughts, and empty our self of selfish ambition and attitudes, can we hope to discover His presence in our life.

 

However, the amount of clutter in our soul leaves no room for Him to make His presence known to us. God will give us a plan to straighten up the inner and the outer clutter in our life.

 

Listening to God with our undivided attention in these times of aloneness is the key to growing spiritually. We find that we look forward to our times alone with God.

 

Prayer:

Father God, when we abide in You, negative emotions such as fear, confusion, distress, distrust, and dread no longer fill every recess of our soul. We learn to trust in You regardless of the natural events taking place around us. We sit with awe-filled wonder at the magnificence of Your will and way in our life.

 

Give us this day only that which we need to serve You; and teach us to wait patiently on You for each new day, hour and moment that You give us to attend to You with our whole heart. We release our negative emotions to You and receive from You the cry of Your heart instead.

 

Thought for the Day:

Ephesians 3:16-19 (Amplified Bible)…“ May God grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality]. 17 May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love, 18 That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God’s devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it]; 19 [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being]]unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!