I Lived Life My Way

So many humans are so proud of the fact that they lived life their way, until they face eternity without a Savior. This is when they realize that they condemned themselves to eternity in hell due to their unbelief (John 3:18).

 

Their pride and rebellion demanded that they live life by their own effort, and that they pull themselves up by their bootstraps every time life slapped them down.

 

They compromise with their flesh, the world and the devil to get what they want; and they refuse to submit to God’s Spirit or to live according to His Biblical mandates.

 

The saddest part about this lifestyle is that they miss out on God’s multitude of blessings all of their life. They do without His fruit and the power and wisdom of His Holy Spirit, which enters us at the moment of our salvation.

 

Those of us, who do surrender totally to God, enjoy His rest for our soul on a daily basis (Matthew 11:28-29). We take up God’s yoke and He helps us to bear all of our burdens. He enables us to live victoriously through every trial we encounter.

 

We actually abide in Christ as He abides within us by His Spirit. We enjoy the fruit of God’s Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), and are complete in Christ. Dwelling in God’s rest, we receive enduring fulfillment and intimate, continual fellowship with the King of the Universe.

 

Surrendering our carnality and depravity to God allows us to reap His righteousness and to enjoy the benefits of abiding under the shadow of His wings through all of life’s calamities (Psalm 91:1).

 

Christ reigns supreme in every area of our life and we enjoy His care and management as we surrender to Him in every area of our life. We live in undivided commitment to our King Jesus with our whole body, soul and spirit.

 

Prayer:

Father God, we want to further Your Kingdom in this earth without any thought of gain for our self. We rest in Your love and abide continually in Your presence.  Your yoke is easy, and Your burden is light, because they are both designed to lighten our load of cares. We are joint heirs with Jesus of all that is Yours (Romans 8:17).

 

In Your heart, we find safety, victory, peace and complete rest for our soul. You accept us as we are and encourage us to surrender to the healing power that comes from Your Holy Spirit. Remind us to obey Your directives each moment of our day and to walk in fulfillment through Your Spirit.

 

Thought for the Day:

As we fully trust in God, He supplies all of our needs according to His glorious riches and He fills our soul with gladness, regardless of the things which we suffer on this earth. – Philippians 4:19; Psalm 4:7

 

When Bad Times Roll In

Most of us feel discouraged when God does not answer our prayers as we expect Him to come through for us. Many will reject Him and discard their faith, and some will even apostatize.

 

We wonder….were these people ever truly saved to begin with, or were they simply convicted of their need for a savior, but were never converted?

 

President Kennedy said it best, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” As authentic Believers, we do not ask what God can do for us, but what we can do for our Father God.

 

We are ready, willing and able to serve King Jesus each moment of our day.  We submit to His will for us, rather than to dictate to Him what we desire for Him to do for us.

 

In the garden, Jesus taught us to ask, “If it is possible…” but He finished with, “Not my will, but Yours be done.” This keeps us from discouragement and from listening to Satan’s lies if what we want disintegrates and dissolves before our eyes.

 

God is the Master Potter, and we are clay in His capable hands. He crafts our life into a thing of beauty. In order for this to occur, we often get dizzy from spinning on the Potter’s wheel, or bruised from the pounding to remove the “air bubbles” from within our soul, or cured in an oven with excessive, purifying heat.

 

This process hurts while it is happening, but molds us into a vessel of honor – a person of beauty within and without (Isaiah 29:16). God’s Spirit transforms us into the divine nature of God with the mind of Christ to guide us when the bad times of life roll in.

 

Prayer:

Father God, You provide us with the mind of Christ and He sculpts us into a new creation fit for Your Kingdom. If we believe in Jesus as our Savior (John 3:16-17), we do not condemn our self (John 3:18), but give our self the opportunity to dwell in Your Kingdom for all of eternity (Romans 14:22).

 

You give us a spiritual rebirth and give us possession with Christ over all that He won back from Satan on Calvary’s cross. You give us authority over spiritual warfare, and power over the wiles and schemes of the devil. Fill us with Your Spirit and cause Him to lead us in the center of Your will for our life, which is the happiest place on earth.

 

Thought for the Day:

At the very moment of our salvation, God gives us a seat in the Heavenlies with Christ and we grow in the grace and knowledge of God from that point forward until we bear fruit 100-fold and walk in the leading of God’s Spirit each moment of our day.      

 

 

 

Filled with Peace

 

Authentic Christians look forward to the day that the government of this world order will finally rest on Jesus’ shoulders (Isaiah 9:6). In the meantime, we survive in this chaotic life by keeping our focus steadfastly fixed on Christ (Isaiah 26:3).

 

We totally trust Him with our future, as we follow the leading of His Spirit each moment of our day. We watch in amazement as He accomplishes so much through us (Isaiah 26:12).

 

God’s love is unfailing and is not affected by the trying circumstances we encounter during our day; and His covenant of peace and compassion is never removed (Isaiah 54:10).

 

When trials wear us down, and we are weary and heavy-hearted, we can yoke up with Jesus and He will help us to carry our weighty load. We live in His peace and rest regardless of the issues we face (Matthew 11:28-30; John 16:33).

 

When we start and end our day in God’s joy and peace, we receive His encouragement all through the day (Isaiah 55:12; John 14:27). By obediently accomplishing those works, which He created us to perform, we prove our faith in God (James 2:1-24).

 

Living to honor God with every aspect of our life, we no longer live for earthly pleasures. His righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit are the treasures that we seek now (Romans 14:17).

 

God is orderly, as is evidenced in creation all around us. He brings peace into our life that transcends anything this world offers to us (1 Corinthians 14:33; 2 Thessalonians 3:16; Philippians 4:7).

 

Prayer:

Father God, as we totally trust in Your love and provision for us, Your presence in our life fills us with hope, joy and peace by the power of Your Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13). Remind us not to allow anxiety to disturb our peace, but with thanksgiving to present our requests to You (Philippians 4:6).

 

Then we know that our body will not be affected by stress or fear and we shall prosper just as our soul prospers (3 John 1:2). Allow Your light and life within us to draw people to You, as we make You and Your Kingdom our priority in life.

 

Thought for the Day:
God not only receives pleasure from our life, but He makes sure that we also receive the approval of the people in our life that we serve in His name. – Romans 14:18

Borrowing Trouble

Many times our biggest cause of anxiety and stress in our life is that we borrow trouble from tomorrow (Matthew 6:34). These are issues that may not even happen, but are simply the result of our overly active imagination.

 

We live in fear and frustration because our anticipation of what “may happen” dictates to our soul – our thoughts, feelings and choices. Satan interjects his lies into our mind, and we end up totally stressed out.

 

Nothing on earth is ever easy. From opening a child-proof bottle to making life-changing decisions, the answer or solution is often hard or even impossible to attain.

 

Spiritual battles are always occurring all around us (Ephesians 6). They are relentlessly sent by Satan to discourage and dishearten us – to cause us to give up, to sin or to hide under the blankets on our bed until our body gives up.

 

The truth is that God’s plans and provision for us are always on time and just what we need. If we make an effort to look for the seeds for a miracle hidden in every trial, our faith increases.

 

God desires to draw us into an increasingly intimate relationship with Himself. He loves us so much that He took on the form of a human being and died a horrendous death in our place.

 

Disappointment will bombard us, until our trust in and perception of God’s love increases (1 John 4:4). As we give Him more of our self with each passing day, Christ in us becomes our whole life (Colossians 3:3-4).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we desire a deeper, continual infilling of Your Spirit into our body, soul and spirit. The more intimacy that we allow our self to develop with You, the less the trials of this life affect us. We walk in faith through those things, which we do not see; trusting that You are working out all things for our good (Romans 8:28). We desire to see You clearly and to joyfully walk through our lifetime without fear.

 

We pray that You will use us, just as You pre-ordained before we were ever born. Stop us from rushing headlong into some ministry or good work in Your name; and instead teach us to follow Your Spirit in every aspect of our life – even as simple as what we eat and drink (Proverbs 3:5-6; 1 Corinthians 10:31).

 

Thought for the Day:

Walking in the Spirit gets easier as we listen for His still, small voice, follow His peace in our heart, and obey His promptings -even if they do not make any human sense at all.

 

 

God Fulfills Us

Complete fulfillment cannot come to us through a person, place, pet, event or thing. Total, satisfying fulfillment comes only from God.

 

The reason for this is that God created us as a triune being, just as He is triune. God is Father, Son and Spirit. We are body, spirit and soul – our feelings, thoughts and choices. No one person can satisfy all of these aspects for us, because they are not capable.

 

Many people will tire of their mate after an extended period of marriage. The work to keep the relationship fresh is too much of a burden. We get bored with each other, wounded by our mate’s behavior, or tired of being neglected, ignored or taken for granted.

 

We find someone else who actually appreciates us and enjoys spending time with us, and we are ready to jump ship. The problem with this action is that in a short time, we will feel the same way about this new person that we felt about our former mate.

 

We will even miss things about our former mate that this new person fails to fulfill in us. Some people change mates constantly looking for the “one” who is their perfect soul mate. This will never happen.

 

The reason this is impossible is that we are all human, and our real hunger is spiritual and divine. We can get close by choosing a compatible mate, but only Jesus fulfills every aspect of our being (Ephesians 3:16-19, Amplified Bible).

 

Humans crave to give and receive love and respect on a deep level in our soul and spirit. This is too tall of an order for any one person to supply for us; but Jesus is out perfect lover (Isaiah 54:5; 2 Corinthians 11:2).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we have a deep need for love and affirmation – an ache caused by loneliness, fear, depression and shame from the past. We find our completion with peace, love, joy and security only under the shelter of Your wings (Psalm 91:4). Remind us not to despise the mate that You gave us and not to forsake them when our soul is sick and searching for fulfillment that can only come through You.

 

Help us to realize that the wounds from our past will prevent us from finding satisfaction in anyone other than Jesus. Keep us from rebounding from one relationship to another in an attempt to find the perfect person that will complete us. This unhealthy practice only serves to damage us all the more and to drive the pain of the past deeper into our subconscious mind. Help us to stay pure and to walk in Your holiness.

 

Thought for the Day:

When we live our life attempting to fill our emotional needs through people, places, events, pets or things, we prolong our hunger for love and acceptance and end up spinning our wheels; yet, when we go to God for our fulfillment, He fills our entire being with all of His fullness. – Ephesians 3:16-19, Amplified Bible

 

 

 

We Live in Hope

Most people in today’s society walk around in the dark, but they do not know it. They do not fear the Lord, obey His voice, trust in His name or rely on Him (Isaiah 50:10).

 

They face life without hope, living with uncertainty and a heavy load of care. They are not experiencing the conscious blessings of the Lord in their life.

 

Authentic Believers have these same trials and adversity; yet, we do not live without hope, and we walk in the Light, even as Jesus is in the light and is the Light of the world (1 John 1:5-7).

 

Walking in the Truth of God’s Word, we follow His Spirit’s direction each moment of the day, even if we are experiencing darkness all around us.

 

We walk by faith, not by sight – in Biblical discernment rather than our human knowledge and feelings (2 Corinthians 5:7). The peace and joy of the Lord reign supreme in our soul and calms the troubled thoughts and emotions within us.

 

Jesus is God’s Son, His Word and He is God who came to dwell among us on this earth (John 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:16; Philippians 2:7). His sinless perfection abides within us and stirs us to love and good works (Hebrews 10:23-25).

 

As a human being, He learned obedience to God through the things that He suffered (Hebrews 4:15). As God, He had the power to resurrect all of us from spiritual death (Hebrews 7:25).

 

He now abides within us as our brother, future husband, co-heir to God’s Kingdom and friend (John 15:13-15). He always knows and understands exactly how we feel and what we are experiencing in this sin-cursed world.

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for giving us Your Spirit, who brings to us the reality of the revelation of our relationship with You. He will guide us into all truth and perfect us with the mind and nature of Christ. He also comforts us during times of distress and leads us each moment of every day to walk in the works, which You have called us to perform.

 

Use us as a magnifying glass to amplify You to the world around us. Make us examples of Christ and help us to live as examples of His gospel story as He lives within us. We dedicate our life to You as holy vessels of honor, and we choose to follow You all the days of our life.

 

Thought for the Day:

The love of Christ within us enables us to live in hope and to shed the bonds of discouragement, which attempt to rob us of the love, peace and joy of our Lord.

 

The Way of Holiness

Righteous living is the fruit of a heart set on living in holiness before God (Matthew 5:6). Our spirit vitally needs holiness for our fulfillment. An authentic Believer shrinks from carnal behavior, which our soul – our mind, will and emotions – often pursues.

 

If we foolishly attempt to perfect our self, we are counterproductive (Galatians 3:1-3). We live a legalistic, carnal, unnurturing, critical and condemning life, which keeps us in the constant state of shame and disappointment.

 

However, through God’s work of regeneration through salvation, and His sanctification process, His Spirit conforms our soul into the purity and the divinity of Christ Jesus, our Lord (Ephesians 2:8-9; Matthew 5:8).

 

God’s light within us shines out into the world (Matthew 5:16; 1 John 1:7). Through His mercy and grace we perform the works of God, which He planned specifically for us before we were even born (Ephesians 2:10).

 

We walk in the Spirit and no longer fulfill the lusts of our flesh, the world or the devil (Galatians 5:15-25; 1 John 2:1). We serve the Lord with gladness and we run and are not weary (Psalm 100:2; Isaiah 40:31).

 

We are zealous for the priorities which God places in our heart and there is no rival for our affections between earthly and spiritual ideals and activities. Christ is our whole life (Colossians 3:3-4)

 

God heals us and brings unity with His Spirit and among our body, soul and spirit (3 John 1:2). We live in wholeness, and lose the fragmented feeling that robs us of our peace and joy.

 

Prayer:

Father God, Your grace in our spirit perfects our soul until we walk in Your Son’s righteousness that He exchanged for our sin on Calvary’s cross. We still have the same personality, but Your Spirit transforms the negative aspects with Your fruit.

 

We throw all of our cares on Your capable shoulders and yoke up with You so that You can help us to carry our burdens in life. We trust You with our health, wealth and spiritual success in this life, including our relationships with family, friends, co-workers, church family, neighbors and associates. You are worthy of all of our trust and praise.

 

Thought for the Day:

Holiness is not only achievable, it is also the normal state of existence for the authentic Christian; we simply die daily to the seeds of sin that take root in our heart and pluck them up before they can grow into a plant, flower and then bear fruit.

 

The Witness of God’s Spirit

If sin still appeals to our flesh, we have not made the total decision to convert to God’s way of thinking. We want to retain part of our carnality for a variety of reasons, which all lead to opening the door of our life to Satan’s destructive forces.

 

Why would we do that to our self? Simply because we have not tasted of the fullness of Christ that is possible for every authentic Believer.

 

There are moments in our life where God’s Spirit convicts us of sin. How we respond to these defining moments make a huge difference in our spiritual maturity.

 

If we continue in sin, we forfeit God’s forgiveness, grieve the Holy Spirit and remain spiritual pigmies in the sight of God. We may be clinging to unforgiveness toward someone, or may be nurturing resentment for wrongs done to us.

 

Once we realized that we walked in depravity and gave more worship to the creature rather than the creator (Roman 1:25), and once we fully experience the fullness of God’s forgiveness for us, we are able to forgive others.

 

We feel God’s love flowing over us like a waterfall and we share that love with those God plants in our life. His love for us inspires us to fulfill His calling and purpose on our life.

 

We rejoice in the God of our salvation (Habakkuk 3:18) and we intercede for those God brings to our mind. We prayer walk through our neighborhood and lift up our neighbors to God to execute His regenerating work in their life.

 

We share a smile, an act of kindness, an encouraging word, or we meet a financial need in someone’s life in the name of Jesus (Matthew 10:42). We “share the gospel at all times, and only if it is necessary do we use words.”

 

Prayer:

Father God, once we experience the witness of Christ’s Spirit abiding in us; we realize that we want a more intimate daily relationship with You. We spend our days praising, adoring and thanking You for Your mercy and provision for us.

 

You transform our soul through Your sanctifying process and we live to honor You and to perform Your will for our life, rather than our will. Christ is our whole life, and we no longer care about nor are we tempted by the draw of our flesh, this world or the devil; but we long to give You the glory due to Your name through our thoughts, words and actions.

 

Thought for the Day:

Once we choose to trust God completely with our life, accept His forgiveness for our sins, decide not to make provision for our flesh anymore and to forgive those who despitefully used us (Luke 6:28), we enter a deeper walk with the Lord.

 

 

The Rest of God

God makes us lie down in green pastures (Psalm 23:2). It is hard to eat when we are lying down, so this verse puzzled me. Recently, I heard this verse from the IC Bible, “He makes me rest in green pastures.”

 

Resting makes more sense to me…we are not eating, we are luxuriating in the green fields of a thick carpet of grass. Resting restores our soul (Psalm 23:3). Lying flat during the day, even for 10 or 15 minutes, is therapeutic to our body; chilling out also gives our soul a time of rest.

 

Resting is a daily requirement in order to maintain a peaceful existence through the trials of life. Stress will damage or even kill our body; rest strengthens and restores us in body, spirit and soul – our mind, will and emotions (3 John 1:2).

 

Stress makes us grouchy, touchy and even angry. Satan uses stress to injure us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, and to ruin our testimony before others of the love of God for us all.

 

God’s rest replaces our internal “batteries”. We have more energy to overcome life’s threats and to perform those works, which God created for us to perform, before we were even born (Ephesians 2:10).

 

As we mature in the Lord, we make time to spend segments of rest in His presence and to focus our entire being on Him (Psalm 46:10). We bless Him for who He is and for His abundant love for us.

 

This time can be just a few moments or an extended period. Then, we abide in God’s rest as His Spirit directs the remainder of our day; as we follow along with His plans instead of our own.

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us that we are Your Temple – a dwelling place made without human hands. Show us areas of our life where we are failing You, and give us Your wisdom to redirect our energies into Your pursuits rather than into our own. As we wait on You, we often discover that much of what we desire to accomplish comes from Your Holy Spirit, but is misguided by the flesh, the world and the devil.

 

Help us not to give Satan a foothold into our life by allowing his thoughts to infiltrate our soul – our thoughts, decisions and emotions. We do not want to unwittingly open a door into our soul for him to take advantage of us and to destroy our witness for You. Reveal his lies to us so that we can combat them with Your Truth.

 

Thought for the Day:

Once we learn to abide in God’s rest, rather than pursuing meaningless activities in life, we find our self living powerfully in the center of God’s will.

 

The Accuser

God gives every created being a choice, and Satan chose to revolt. When Satan rebelled against God, he was cast from the mountain of God (Ezekiel 28:16).

 

God knew that Satan would want more than his exalted position as an archangel; therefore, He provided Jesus, before the foundation of the world, to be our sacrificial lamb and die in our place (Revelation 13:8).

 

In the Garden of Eden, Satan successfully played his hand against Adam and won authority over this earthly realm. Now, he reigns supreme; but only as he is given permission by God (Job 1:6-7).

 

The devil roams the earth seeking those as gullible as Adam and Eve – those willing to buy into his lies and destruction (1 Peter 5:8). His whole purpose is to accuse and prosecute the righteous before God (Revelation 12:9-10).

 

He attempts to keep us in bondage to His temptations and lies, and to cause us to make lethal decisions concerning our time and our energy. Thankfully, God did not leave us defenseless.

 

He gave us His Son Jesus Christ as our advocate, our High Priest who defends and protects us from Satan’s wiles and his fiery darts of accusation and temptation.

 

Christ in us is greater than Satan and his mighty army of demons. Jesus gives us victory over any power and influence that Satan exhibits toward us (Revelation 12:11).

 

We are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us (Romans 8:31-39). None of Satan’s accusations are valid when compared to the blood of our unblemished sacrificial Lamb.

 

God provides us with His Spirit and power to share the love of Christ with the dying world around us (Acts 1:8). We never meet a stranger, but simply a potential friend and fellow member of the Body of Christ (Revelation 12:13-17).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for giving us an advocate and for protecting us from Satan’s destruction. Your discipline is painful for the moment, but bears for us the peaceful fruit of righteousness (Isaiah 32:17). Help us to live as testimonies for the love and care You give to us every moment of every day (Matthew 10:39).

 

Let our light so shine that others will see Your works in our life and give You the glory (Matthew 5:16). Lead us in level paths because of our enemies, which attempt to derail us from Your will for our life (Psalm 27:11). Thank You for preparing a feast for us in the presence of our enemies and for taking away from us the shame of Satan’s accusations and replacing them with the fruit of Your righteousness (Philippians 1:11).

 

Thought for the Day:
Humanistic morality may prevent us from the affliction of a jail sentence, but only believing in Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary’s cross and trusting our life to Him will keep us from spending eternity in the agony of hell.