Praise the Name of Jesus

God’s Word encourages us to praise the name of the Lord, praise, which is due to Him. He created us to give Him praise each moment of our life. He has supernatural splendor, which is high above the standards of the world (Psalm 148:13).

 

Our life on this earth is not about us, not about amassing worldly goods, or rising to a standard of success that the world deems appropriate.

 

Our life here on earth is all about God’s purpose for us: to further His Kingdom in the earth. When we change our focus to God’s will for us, it also changes our attitude, negative emotions and physical, mental and emotional exhaustion.

 

We find our true rest in God alone. He restores our soul. He provides us with hope in this dry and thirsty land in which we live. He supplies us with eternal salvation, and our survival and identity depend on Him (Psalm 23:1-4, 62:5-6).

 

This salvation in not some future event, but starts the moment of our humble prayer as we repent of our sins that caused Jesus’ crucifixion and death, and call out to Him as we surrender our will to His.

 

We no longer focus on praying for our desires, but on ascertaining the desires of the Lord for our life. (Haggai 1:4) We offer our self as a willing vessel for Him to use as He sees fit in whatever geographical place or economic and standard of living that He provides for us (2 Timothy 2:19-21).

 

He alone is our rock, our sword and our shield. He is our fortress in times of trouble, our stronghold in which we shall never be shaken or overcome. We can trust in Him at all times and share with Him our cares and concerns, because He truly cares for us (Psalm 62:7-8; Hebrews 13:5; I Peter 5:7-9).

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to see that, unless our choices cause unpleasant consequences, everything that happens to us is part of Your plan, and that You plant a seed for a miracle in every trial that we experience. We can rejoice and feel joy even in the most dire of circumstances because we trust in Your goodness and grace.

 

We have no concept of how our life can help increase Your Kingdom until we fully surrender our self to You and watch as You use us in so many ways that we never thought possible. Through each trial, our intimacy with You, our spiritual discernment and our ability to hear the voice of Your Spirit leading us, grows from one stage of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

Thought for the Day:

Though we may not fully understand God’s ways, we can faithfully walk in His will, trust totally in Him, and stop depending our human reasoning, so that He can keep us in the center of His will as the apple of His eye. – Proverbs 3:5-6; Zachariah 2:8

 

Advertisements

Hope, Light and Love

Christmas is the season to spread God’s hope and joy. As His love resides within our heart, we can reach out even to the most undesirable person in our sphere of influence, in order to share with them God’s peace, which is centered in His promises and grace.

 

The lonely, desperate, addicted, destitute members of our society need to know that they matter, that someone genuinely cares about them. If we go the extra mile for them, our attitude and actions put a dent in the armor they use to protect themselves.

 

The world relegates these wounded individuals to a place of condemnation without any hope of salvation and redemption. Yet, as authentic Believers, we already experienced the restoration which God provides once we surrender our life to Him.

 

As examples of God’s love to these unfortunate individuals, we follow God’s direction to help them out of their “prison” of darkness, and to come into the glorious light of God’s will for their life.

 

When we do this, we often need to face our own need for more of God in our life. We accept His forgiveness of our current sins and His love for us, even when we are still sinners (Romans 5:8).

 

This allows us to surrender the vulnerable parts of our soul – our thoughts, emotions and choices – to Him that we often guard and keep hidden from even our closest family and friends. Our covetousness, discontentment and self-centeredness melt under the heat of God’s loving conviction.

 

God offers redemption, peace, joy and love to everyone – from the most successful to the least of those according to this world’s standards. He wants to shed His love in our life and restore each of us to a life in His light and hope.

 

Prayer:

Father God, in this hectic world of our own making, we are often so drained of energy and physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted that we have no desire to reach out to the needy all around us. We hide behind the television screen, our easy chair and an extra nap in order to have an excuse to ignore those who are less fortunate than we are.

 

Help us to focus on the poor and needy in our community so that You can use us to share the hope and truth that You communicate to us. Give us Your broken heart for the lost in our community and use us to reach out to them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, their only hope of salvation in this world and the next.

 

Thought for the Day:

Rather than demoting people, who feel judged and rejected with no real hope of restoration, to a place of eternal damnation, we can reach out to them through the love of God and give them in their hopelessness, the reality that they have a place in the Kingdom of God, if they will simply and humbly surrender to our Lord.

 

 

Learning to Trust

As new Believers, we often doubt that God has our best interest at heart. We still carry doubts and fears in our heart due to negative experiences and the bad report many give to God, because they do not understand His ways.

During our walk with Him over the years of our life, we see His consistent love and awesome provision for every area of our life. We learn that He is worthy of our faith, because He is always faithful.

We realize the freedom we receive when we cast our anxiety on His strong shoulders, we yoke up with Him as He helps us to carry our load of cares, and we look for the seed for a miracle that He places in the midst of every circumstance in our life.

As we trust in His Spirit’s direction through each moment of our day, we learn to affirmatively respond to His guidance and to expect to see the spiritual fruit of our labors.

We live a fulfilled life once we learn to obey the leading of His still, small voice within our spirit. He keeps us safe when our carnality would put us into harm’s way, and He provides for our needs when there is no human way that we could possibly attain them.

We end up rejoicing through each moment of our day, regardless of our circumstances. We pray and relinquish all anxiety to His care. Christ is our whole life and we live, move and enjoy our existence in Him (Acts 17:28; Colossians 3:3-4).

Prayer:

Father God, You are trustworthy and true and we honor You and give You all of the glory, which You deserve. Over the years of our walk with You our intimacy grows and we learn to fellowship with You in prayer and praise every moment of every day.

We want to walk in Your Spirit and stop fulfilling the desires of our flesh so that our walk with You on the straight and narrow road will be an example to others of the abundance of blessings You bestow on those who love and obey You. We love You with all of our heart and we rely on You to hide us under the feathers of Your wings.

Thought for the Day:

As we totally trust in Him and surrender to His love for us, God’s peace floods our soul – our thoughts, emotions and choices – and He guards our heart and mind the Jesus Christ.

– Philippians 4:4-7

A Good Marriage – Conflict Resolution

Choosing to get married is a daunting decision. It needs much prayer and thought – without the rose colored glasses. Yes, we love one another, but the flip side of love is hate, and that coin may flip without a moment’s notice.

 

While dating, we may have shared everything, never had much conflict, and enjoyed all the same things. Will this last a lifetime? People change; and our likes, dislikes, goals and priorities vacillate.

 

Will we maintain our connectivity when the disagreements arise? Will we don boxing gloves and insist on our own way, or will we work together to find a third alternative on which we can both agree?

 

Finding a mutually acceptable course of action increases our love for one another, and maintains harmony in our home and relationship. We put each other’s needs above our own; yet, we do not discount or sacrifice our needs in order to “get along.”

 

We calmly discuss our differences. When we realize that we are on the same side in our marriage, we will fight together to meet each other’s needs, rather than to fight against one another and insist on meeting our own needs at the sacrifice of our mate.

 

When we have a block of uninterrupted time, clearly communicating our needs, as well as understanding our partner’s needs, helps us to avoid spur of the moment conflict.

 

When our spouse brings up an infraction on our part to which they need resolution, we do not bring up our dirty laundry list of our needs unmet by them. This is not a competition, but an opportunity to increase our love for one another.

 

Once the offended partner feels that we really care, we can then take the opportunity to introduce our unmet needs into the conversation. They will be more open to resolving our issues once we affirm their need as valid.

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to pay attention to our spouse’s concerns, to validate their need for fulfillment, and then to work with them to change the way we relate to one another in that area. Remind us not to resort to name calling or disrespectful or disparaging comments during our conversation.

 

Help us to simply deal with the incident, and not to disparage their personality or negative habits. Give us the wisdom to see the issues from their perspective and not simply our own, and to value their feelings and opinions as valid and worthy of our attention. Remind us that respecting and valuing one another allows us to protect our relationship.

 

Thought for the Day:

We all have distinct needs and perspectives that are valid and need to be addressed, taken seriously and valued as viable in order to prevent anger, resentment and bitterness from clouding our love for one another.

 

Finding Freedom in Surrender – Tearing Down Walls of Partition

When God calls us to Himself, He does not want part of us, He wants all of us; and He gives us all of Himself. We have His Spirit within us as His down payment for all that He has in store for us.

 

Just as we do not see the wind, but we feel and see the effects of the wind, we do not see God, but we feel and see His presence in our life. We give up our fleshly pursuits and turn our mind to spiritual, Heavenly issues.

 

We lose nothing by surrendering to God, except the destructive forces of this world. In exchange, we gain eternity, which starts the moment of our salvation.

 

Our body may end up in the grave, but our soul and spirit never die. We simply pass from life on this earth to continue to dwell in the everlasting presence of God.

 

The more we surrender to God’s love, the more peace and joy we experience in our life, regardless of our circumstances. This occurs because we know from experience that God works out even the worst circumstances for our good (Romans 8:28).

 

We find others who share this same confidence in Christ, and we gain strength from one another. We encourage each other to let go of more of the world and not to rely on our human understanding.

 

Modern idols and overwhelming anxiety about the future cause negative thoughts and emotions to invade our soul, and force us to forfeit the rewards of totally surrendering to God.

 

A wise practice, which we can employ, is to journal our thoughts and emotions daily. We praise God for the positive feelings and seek His truth about the negative ones. Once we discover His truth, our soul returns to balance and His peace reigns in our heart once again (Galatians 5:1).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You prearranged that redemption by the blood of Jesus sets us free from the law of sin and death, which dictate the circumstances of this life. We cease from struggling, by attempting to control our life to keep our self safe; and instead, we trust You to care for us in every area of our life both now and in eternity. We walk by faith into our unknown future by trusting only in You.

 

You break down the walls of partition that keep us from enjoying the fullness of the life You have planned for us (Jeremiah 29:11; Numbers 6:25). Until we admit that we are powerless in and of our self to give up the worldly crutches on which we depend, we can never fully trust in You to help us to experience the freedom You provide for us.

 

Thought for the Day:
Surrendering from the battle – of addiction, anxiety, depression, anger, etc. – raging within our soul enables us to find freedom in God’s peace and joy; only then will we experience the fullness of the Son of God who loves us and gave Himself for us; and to find our true self-worth in our new identity in Christ.

 

Perseverance through Trials

The Christian life is filled with inconsistencies that make no human sense. To name a few: “we die so that we may live”, “give so that we will receive”, and “exult in tribulation”.

 

When seen from a spiritual perspective, however, we have an “ah-ha” moment, because these paradoxes suddenly make a great deal of sense. For instance, we die to our carnal nature, so that we gain eternal life, which starts the moment of our salvation.

 

We live with an open hand, giving to the truly poor and needy, and God blesses us abundantly in return. When considering rejoicing in persecution, trials and tribulation, let’s look more in depth at this alleged contradiction.

 

We commonly view life through our soul – our thoughts, emotions and resulting choices. This is a human perspective and is often misleading. When viewed from our spirit, however, this makes perfect sense (James 1:2-4).

 

God causes all of our negative experiences to work together for our good, if we will love Him and walk in His purpose for our life (Romans 8:28-31). Tribulation provides us with perseverance, confirmed Godly character and ultimately with hope during all future wounding experiences (Romans 5:3-5).

 

Compared to eternity and the glory which awaits us there through the sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Christ, our issues here on earth are miniscule; especially because they are building our faith, which is of greater worth than all the riches of this world (1 Peter 1:6-7; 2 Corinthians 4:17).

 

When we read in God’s Word about the trials experienced by Jesus, all the prophets, as well as the former Saints of God, we realize that what we experience is minimal compared to what they endured (Matthew 5:12).

 

As our spirit matures, we end up praising God for each new ordeal, because the nature of Christ, who abides within us and experiences the trouble with us, is revealed in us (1 Peter 1:8; Philippians 3:8).

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us that we do not need to protect our self, because You are present in our life to defend us. Heal our memories from our past that tie us down to those negative encounters we experienced, and that produce resentment, anger and unforgiveness. Reveal to us Your truth, that dispels all of the lies which Satan planted in our soul during our painful experiences in the past.

 

You give and You take away as You see fit, in order to protect us, provide for us and lead us in Your everlasting way (Job 1:21; Psalm 139:24). Once we stop allowing the circumstances in our life to determine how we think and feel, we can easily rejoice in Your goodness and maintain determined faith in Your faithfulness.

 

Thought for the Day:
Like Paul, we rejoice in our afflictions, because we realize that they make us perfect, so that we lack no good thing in this life. – James 1:3-5

 

Gods Spirit is the Wind Beneath Our Wings

In Christ, we live, move and have our being (Acts 17:28). His Spirit is the wind beneath our wings, and He helps us to reach new heights in our spiritual maturity.

 

God showers us with His peace, which transcends the superficial peace offered to us by worldly possessions and philosophies. God’s peace prevents our soul from suffering fear and unrest (John 14:27).

 

God’s Holy Spirit within us helps us to abide in His peace, so that the tribulation in this world does not diminish our serenity and joy. When we trust solely in God for our care and provision, He is able to meet all of our needs (Isaiah 26:3).

 

When we lose God’s peace, we know without a doubt that we are attempting to accomplish deeds in our own strength and possibly even according to our own will rather than God’s will.

 

We are often so overwhelmed by fear that we cannot follow God’s will in any given moment. Yet, as we learn to trust in Him and to follow His Spirit’s direction, we live more victoriously.

 

God uses us as a vessel for His glory and we make a difference in the lives He brings our way. Using holy boldness to follow the Spirit’s leading, we offer to pray for someone or to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

This causes us to walk in deep and abiding joy. God does not call us all to have great public ministries, but what He does call us to do is just as vital and important to the growth of His Kingdom.

 

We can rise above our initial reaction of fear by allowing God’s Spirit to inspire faith in us to obey God’s still small voice within our spirit.

 

Prayer:

Father God, You gave each of us gifts for your glory (Romans 12:6; 1 Timothy 6:17). You did not give them to us so we could use them, however. You gave them to us, so that You can use them through us! Help us to surrender totally to You so that You can use us to further Your Kingdom in our world.

 

We thank You for Your peace and joy as we walk in Your Spirit each moment of our day. Thank You too for using us to bring Your new life to everyone who is willing to come to You with an open and surrendered heart. We delight in You and are eternally grateful to You for adopting us into Your family.

 

Thought for the Day:

We are only consumed by our human nature if we refuse to allow God to reveal Christ in us according to His good pleasure. – Ephesians 1:9