The Righteousness of Christ in Us

If we feast on a diet of junk food for our body, soul and spirit, our faith gets weaker, and we reap the lack of nutrition in which we willfully partake.

 

Confusion reigns in our thoughts, and haste wreaks havoc in our emotions. Trivia bombards our nervous system with stress, and we drown in too many details of which to keep track.

 

Rushing through life, without noticing God’s many blessings for us during our day, deprives us of joy that would otherwise flood our soul.

 

We use social media and texting to keep up with family and friends, more than we talk to God. Making an adjustment in our thought processes, habits and routine, helps us to switch our focus from the temporal to the spiritual.

 

Jesus came to earth and lived as a carpenter’s son, a big brother to his half-siblings, and an upstanding citizen of His community. He experienced the exact same trials and temptations that we face in our life; yet, without sin (Hebrews 4:15).

 

When Jesus died, as the perfect, sacrificial Lamb of God, He took our sins and nailed them to Calvary’s cross. In exchange, He gave us His righteousness  – His right standing with God (2 Corinthians 5:21).

 

When we realize our need for Jesus, repent of our sins, and call on Him to save us, our spirit, once dead in sin, is Born Again. Jesus moves into our spirit by His Spirit (John 16:7).

 

He floods our soul – our thoughts, emotions and will – with faith in His faithfulness, peace that surpasses all human reasoning, abundant joy that cannot be explained (1 Peter 1:8), and His unconditional love.

 

Prayer:

Father God, teach us that rather than allowing our to-do-list to dictate our life, You prefer that we submit to the direction of Your Spirit to guide us each moment of the day, according to Your will for us. We lay down our fears and insecurities at Your feet, and we ask You to fill us with Your Spirit.

 

You are not seeking perfect people with a faultless lifestyle. You want courageous overcomers that will totally trust You, and who are willing to surrender to Your power in our life. You work in us and through us to reach the dying world all around us. We want to walk in Your ways and to perform only Your will for our life.

 

Thought for the Day:

As God’s Spirit sanctifies our soul, we learn to let go of the stress and demands of this life, as we enter His rest, regardless of our circumstances (Isaiah 32:17).

God’s Divine Purposes

God’s Word encourages us to get excited when we experience another trial. We are either in a trial, just coming out of a trial, or about to go into a trial (James 1:2-8).

 

Rejoicing in misfortune is so foreign to our human way of thinking. It is one of the Bible’s most puzzling paradoxes; although, most paradoxes are puzzling to our human mind.

 

Consider that we must die like a seed planted in good ground, so that we can live; we must give, so that we can receive; we must be last, so that we may be first, etc.

 

God has His purpose intertwined in each of our trials. He uses the most frustrating, as well as the most devastating events in our life to mold our character into Christ’s divine nature and to work out everything for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28; 2 Peter 1:4).

 

As we sit alone in God’s presence (Psalm 16:8-11), He brings balance into our life. He redirects our penchant to be too busy for our own good, and He changes our perspective and focus about tragic and intrusive issues.

 

During times of solitude, we write in our prayer journal. Jotting out our prayers helps us to find God’s perspective about the positive and negative issues that we face each day.

 

As we put our thoughts on paper, we see more clearly what our subconscious mind is focusing on, and what is causing the negative emotions that plague our soul.

 

This helps us to empty our thoughts and emotions of pent up stress and grief, to restore a positive outlook on our life, and to better cope with the tribulation, which threatens to overcome us.

 

God’s Holy Spirit helps us to know the will of God and to have the peace of God, so there is no more lunacy and stress warring in our mind!  Doesn’t that sound wonderful?

 

Prayer:

Father God, the carnal mind is enmity against You, because it is not subject to Your laws (Romans 8:7). If we live as carnal beings, then envy, strife, and divisions are common among us. Help us not to follow after the carnal thoughts, which fight against Your Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:3).

 

Teach us to walk by Your Spirit, and to be led by Your Spirit moment by moment throughout the day. Remind us that performing good deeds is a worthwhile quest (Romans 2:8-9), but only when they are performed in balance with Your will for our life.

 

Thought for the Day:

As we learn to censor our thoughts, we stop Satan from using them to subject us to His deception; and we cooperate with God’s Spirit as He gives us the mind of Christ.

 

Living without Stress

Events from our past will cause us stress in our current life. Our issues that never got resolved will negatively influence our life now. Our negative thoughts and emotions will also harm our health.

 

Our current family and vocational situation may add to our stress. Our goals, dreams and desires may put us in a stressful situation in our attempt to fulfill them. Even the daily news spews out excessive amounts of stress.

 

Stress puts us in an unnatural state where all of our bodily functions are effected. Our immune system is compromised, and our organs are required to work harder than God designed them to function. We get sick easier and more often.

 

Finding a balance in our thoughts, words and actions will help us to stop the stress, and we feel healthier and more at peace. Stress in our life is not normal. Stress is a killer and has no place in our life.

 

In contrast, the peace that God gives us, is far superior to anything our world has to offer (John 14:27). Jesus encourages us not to permit our heart to be troubled or afraid (John 14:1).

 

As we allow the peace of Christ to rule in our soul- our thoughts, feelings and choices – God give us His rest. We yoke up with Him and do only what His Holy Spirit leads us to do, which calms our soul and allows our breathing to slow to an even pace (Matthew 11:28-30; Colossians 3:15).

 

Stress is released out of our soul, because the Lord is our Helper. Therefore, we have no need to fear the future or concern our self with what others may think of us or do to us (Hebrews 13:5-6; Romans 8:38-39). When we are afraid, we can put all of our trust in the Lord (Psalm 56:3).

 

Prayer:

Father God, stress weighs down our soul, but encouragement from You and Your Saints cheers us up (Proverbs 12:25). As we walk in humility before You, You lift us up in due time. We put all of our faith in You, because You prove to us Your faithfulness over and over throughout our lifetime (1 Peter 5:6).

 

When we feel anxiety rise in our heart, we give it to You in prayer, because we know that the devil desires to render us unable to serve You with our life here on earth (1 Peter 5:7-8; Philippians 4:6-7). Your correction and leadership take away our fear of failure and comfort us in all of our times of need (Psalm 23:4).

 

Thought for the Day:

As we cast all of our cares on our Savior, He sustains us and never allows His authentic Believers to be shaken; the Lord of peace Himself gives us peace all of the time and in every way, as we consult Him in all of our ways, because He abides within us.

– Psalm 55:22; 2 Thessalonians 3:16; Proverbs 3:5-6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Set Apart for God

As authentic Believers we are a holy people, unique, peculiar, set apart for God. God calls us to walk in holiness (1 Thessalonians 4:7). With Christ abiding in us, we can accomplish this feat.

 

We are in this world, not of our own choosing, but because of God’s plan for us (Ephesians 2:10). However, we are not part of this world (John 17:16). We walk in God’s will by communing with Him all day long (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

We do not need to kneel, or to be in our prayer closet – our war room – but we seek God’s will as we live out each moment of our day. As we walk in His ways and follow His Spirit’s direction, we grow in His wisdom and favor (Luke 2:52).

 

We balance our life, in order to rid our life of distractions and over-commitments that sidetrack us and rob us of the joy of living in the center of God’s will.

 

God’s Word encourages us to guard against allowing worldliness to divert us from following after God’s purpose for our life (Ephesians 5:15-16). He always gives us wisdom as we seek Him to order our day (James 1:5).

 

Jesus ascended into Heaven so that His Spirit could take His place in our life (John 16:7). The Holy Spirit is our comforter and our guide (John 14:26). He leads and we follow.

 

God uses His Spirit to sanctify us, as well. He continually works in our life, until the day that Jesus returns for His pure Bride without a spot or wrinkle (Philippians 1:5; Ephesians 5:27).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we commit our life to Your service. We want nothing more out of this life than to worship You in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24). You are the hand, and we are the glove. We are lifeless without You within us, using us for Your purpose and for Your glory.

 

We want to live worthy of Your calling on our life (Ephesians 4:1; Colossians 1:10); so that when we see you face-to-face, we will hear You say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Our life is for Your glory, not for our own advancement financially or professionally. We thank You for all that You provide for us.

 

Thought for the Day:

God puts fresh wind in our sails in order for us to have the energy and anointing to accomplish all that He planned for us to do before the foundation of the earth.

– Psalm 51:10-12; Ephesians 2:10

 

 

 

 

Living, Moving and Experiencing Life in Christ

Wherever the Spirit of God leads us, He is there with us. If we are wise enough to listen to His guidance, He works in us and through us. We live, move and experience life, not through our human reasoning, but through Christ in us (Galatians 2:20).

 

We are more than enough, because Christ abides within us. Jesus is our Living Water and our Bread of Life. We have no lack, because He supplies all of our needs from His glorious riches (John 4:10, 6:35, 7:37-39; Philippians 4:19).

 

Our self-life died with Jesus on Calvary’s cross, and we now abide in Him as He dwells in us. We live, move and experience life through His eyes and by His direction (Acts 17:28).

 

God uses us in our vocation, our neighborhood, our family, our community, our church family, etc., in order to achieve His will in us and through us. We are actually living in God’s Kingdom right now.

 

God’s Kingdom is righteousness, peace and joy, which comes to us when we walk in the Spirit (Mark 1:15; Romans 14:17). We function in the spiritual realm when we walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:15-25).

 

We rejoice as we see Christ in us pour out His life through us to a lost and dying world. The issues in this life, which we used to think were so important, fade away and lose their meaning in our life.

 

We are ambassadors for God’s Kingdom, sharing the Gospel of Christ at every opportunity that God provides for us; so that He can make His appeal to them, and love the world through us (2 Corinthians 5:20).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You are our all sufficiency. Without You, we have nothing, with You we contain everything we need for a life filled with joy and peace, regardless of the circumstances in our life. Thank You for allowing Your rivers of living water to flow out of us to a dry and thirsty people living all around us (John 7:37-39).

 

Use us for Your glory each moment of our life and let Your light shine out of us as a beacon to our family, friends, and community all around us. Remind us that as Your holy temple, with Christ dwelling in us by Your Holy Spirit, we can view our world as You see it, not to fulfill our desires and goals, but to further Your Kingdom on this earth.

 

Thought for the Day:

We can look to God and hear His voice through each moment of our life – doing His will, walking in accordance with His Spirit and sharing His love and His Gospel with everyone we meet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inspired by God

At Salvation, Jesus makes us a new creation. Our old nature, habits, abusive language, negative actions, thoughts and emotions slowly fade away as God’s Spirit changes us from one stage of glory to the next (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

We get so impatient when our carnality rises up and we make a mistake, hurt a friend or embarrass our self. It is hard to accept our humanity. However, God loved us while we were still sinners (Romans 8:5), so we can accept our self as well – just as we are.

 

God wants us to praise Him for our “hurts, habits and hang-ups” that prove that we are human. As we surrender these areas to Him, His Spirit makes all things new (2 Corinthians 5:17).

 

He who started a good work in us will finish it, day by day until Jesus returns for His bride (Philippians 1:6). He makes us a blessing regardless of our faults. We are His Temple (1 Corinthians 6:19), and He is perfecting us as the Bride of Christ without any spot or wrinkle (Ephesians 5:27).

 

Just like He did for Job (Job 42:10), God restores to us what Satan stole from us – our childhood, youth, resources, family, health, vocation, etc. Through our trials, Christ is manifested in us and through us. We are uniquely His.

 

Jesus was a man; He worked as a carpenter’s son most of His life. Yet, even though He was also God, He learned obedience through what He suffered (Hebrews 5:8).

 

He begged our Father to release Him from carrying our sins to the terrible crucifixion and death on the cross (Matthew 26:39), but set an example for us all, by willingly doing our Father’s will in all things.

 

Jesus abides in us by His Spirit. His divinity dwells in us along with our humanity. This gives us the same opportunity that Jesus had to live, move and have our being in the Spirit (Acts 17:28).

 

This fact allows us to stop trying to be good; and instead, to focus on Christ in us. We rejoice in the God of our salvation (Habakkuk 3:18). Through Christ in us, we are already redeemed. Our ticket to heaven is already paid for by His blood.

 

Prayer:

Father God, teach us to focus on Christ in us rather than our own foibles and idiosyncrasies (Colossians 1:27). Remind us that Your Spirit transforms us into the image of Christ in our thinking, feelings, and actions. They are now inspired by You (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

Please use our weaknesses as an example of what a Spirit-filled Believer looks and acts like. Our humility, grace and dependence on You alone, motivates others to follow us as we follow Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). Allow us to bring many others to heaven with us.

 

Thought for the Day:

We do not earn our status in the Son; He already guaranteed that position by sacrificing His life in our place.

 

 

 

Maintaining Control is Illusive and Futile

A person with a controlling attitude gets that way due to abusive, insecure and fearful circumstances in their past. If our current relationships and lifestyle provide us with security, we are much less controlling.

 

However, if we continue to live in uncertain situations or are not confident in the love of those in our life, we will attempt to keep our self safe by using control.

 

Controlling parents often produce controlling adult children. Controllers use manipulation, guilt, persuasive words, belittling, bargaining, etc. to attempt to keep our self safe.

 

We are endeavoring to escape from the pain of our past, but in reality we are reaping more pain for our future. We do not believe that we deserve good things to happen to us.

 

Our attempt to control our life, and the people in it, produces the opposite effect that we are trying to achieve. Rather than to feel more love, we push people away and actually receive less love.

 

Maybe we did not feel loved by our parents, we experienced mental, emotional or physical abuse in some form, and/or we were constantly criticized and made to feel that we never measured up.

 

We felt betrayed by people that we trusted, and we continually formed relationships with abusing or distant people. We never developed a sense of security, trust, or felt unconditionally loved.

 

Our peers may have rejected, ridiculed or bullied us. We choose a mate that is physically, emotionally or mentally abusive or unavailable, or one who is easy to manipulate, or one who has unrealistic expectations of us that we try to live up to.

 

Our personality may lend to more introspection and sensitivity, so that we are easily hurt or offended. We see the glass as half empty, we lose hope and expect bad things to happen to us, and we have little or no self-esteem or self-worth.

 

People are human. We do our best, and no one can expect us to do more than our best. Rather than controlling others, we can develop the habit of agreeing to disagree, or to come up with a third option on which we can both agree.

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for teaching us that the only way to break this cycle of fear and insecurity is to realize that our worth is in Christ; and that He is the lover of our soul, our provider, our security and our champion against all of life’s troubles and trials.

 

Remind us that attempting to control others and circumstances is futile and illusive. Help us to do our best, and to allow others to do their best. Teach us to give them the benefit of the doubt, and the freedom to be the person that You made them to be with all of their foibles and idiosyncrasies.

 

Thought for the Day:

What we once thought was important may eventually be inconsequential when compared to what God provides for us; we learn not to rely on our human reasoning or abilities, and to give others the freedom to fail or to let us down, because now we are relying on Jesus to meet all of our needs. – Philippians 3:7-9

 

 

 

 

Life is Like a Movie

A movie making crew is a very intricate patchwork of grips, producer, executive producer, line producer, production assistant, production manager, assistant production manager, unit manager, location manager, assistant location manager, location production assistant, production coordinator, first assistant director, second assistant director, casting director, camera operator, first assistant camera operator, second assistant camera operator, and the list goes on and on and on.

 

I see now why they call it a “production.” Making a move is a huge production. A few years ago, I had the privilege to visit my older son, Michael, when he worked on a film crew.

 

He set up scenes, adjusted sound and lighting, trouble shot the technical difficulties and equipment malfunctions, made sure there was food and a mountain of bottled water constantly available for the actors, to name only a few of his duties.

 

My admiration for him definitely increased as I watched his calm, cool demeanor making the events of filming flow so smoothly that it looked like a puzzle fitly joining together.

 

This evening, I was enjoying this memory once again; and my mind quickly switched to Creation when the Trinity created our universe, mankind and every living creature and beautiful rock formation and sandy beach available on this earth for our enjoyment.

 

What a huge production that was, orchestrated and directed by our Father God, who is infinitely creative. He is the producer of the events of time from creation to the end time events – soon to play out on the earth.

 

Right on time, God became a man and sacrificed Himself for our salvation. As the star of the show, Jesus exchanged our sin for His righteousness, and He paid the debt that we owed for our transgressions.

 

God does not need anyone to help Him, but He graciously created a place for all of us on His crew, as He unfolds the panorama of events leading to His eternal Kingdom coming to this earth with New Jerusalem, His four-square city, as the hub of all activity (Revelation 21:2).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for Your sacrificial love for all of humanity that You bestowed on us even while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). As we watch the movie of our life played out over the years of our existence, we are amazed at the millions of ways that You shower us with Your love, peace and joy.

 

We want to serve You now and for all eternity in the very center of Your will. We thank You for Your Holy Spirit that guides us each moment of the day to fulfill Your plan and purpose for our life. We are so excited to be part of Your family, Your Kingdom and Christ’s Body and Bride. All we can say now is, “Maranatha” – even so, come, Lord Jesus (1 Corinthians 16:22).

 

Thought for the Day:

It takes dozens of people to make a movie, but only one Supreme Being to create the universe and all that it contains.

 

 

 

 

 

Life is Like a Movie

 

A movie making crew is a very intricate patchwork of grips, producer, executive producer, line producer, production assistant, production manager, assistant production manager, unit manager, location manager, assistant location manager, location production assistant, production coordinator, first assistant director, second assistant director, casting director, camera operator, first assistant camera operator, second assistant camera operator, and the list goes on and on and on.

 

I see now why they call it a “production.” Making a move is a huge production. A few years ago, I had the privilege to visit my older son, Michael, when he worked on a film crew.

 

He set up scenes, adjusted sound and lighting, trouble shot the technical difficulties and equipment malfunctions, made sure there was food and a mountain of bottled water constantly available for the actors, to name only a few of his duties.

 

My admiration for him definitely increased as I watched his calm, cool demeanor making the events of filming flow so smoothly that it looked like a puzzle fitly joining together.

 

This evening, I was enjoying this memory once again; and my mind quickly switched to Creation when the Trinity created our universe, mankind and every living creature and beautiful rock formation and sandy beach available on this earth for our enjoyment.

 

What a huge production that was, orchestrated and directed by our Father God, who is infinitely creative. He is the producer of the events of time from creation to the end time events – soon to play out on the earth.

 

Right on time, God became a man and sacrificed Himself for our salvation. As the star of the show, Jesus exchanged our sin for His righteousness, and He paid the debt that we owed for our transgressions.

 

God does not need anyone to help Him, but He graciously created a place for all of us on His crew, as He unfolds the panorama of events leading to His eternal Kingdom coming to this earth with New Jerusalem, His four-square city, as the hub of all activity (Revelation 21:2).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for Your sacrificial love for all of humanity that You bestowed on us even while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). As we watch the movie of our life played out over the years of our existence, we are amazed at the millions of ways that You shower us with Your love, peace and joy.

 

We want to serve You now and for all eternity in the very center of Your will. We thank You for Your Holy Spirit that guides us each moment of the day to fulfill Your plan and purpose for our life. We are so excited to be part of Your family, Your Kingdom and Christ’s Body and Bride. All we can say now is, “Maranatha” – even so, come, Lord Jesus (1 Corinthians 16:22).

 

Thought for the Day:

It takes dozens of people to make a movie, but only one Supreme Being to create the universe and all that it contains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit

Jesus showed His concern about the issue of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. The writers of all four gospels give us this account. This shows me that His words about this topic really impressed the apostles (Matthew 12:31-32; Mark 3: 28-30; Luke 12:10; John 20:19-24).

 

The great concern over blaspheming the Holy Spirit is that it is the only unpardonable sin (Mark 3:29). In the context of this verse, Jesus just healed a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute (Matthew 12:22-23).

 

The Pharisees knew that Jesus possessed power they did not hold, and they were jealous of His anointing. Therefore, wanting to take the focus off Christ, they accused Him of using Satan’s power to heal the man.

 

This ludicrous comment proved their inconsistent spiritual mindset. Why would Satan cast out his own demon? This is when Jesus made it clear that giving Satan credit for the work of God’s Spirit is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:28).

 

This has always been true (Matthew 12:32). Some people have tasted the things of God and then decide to reject Christ; but some go one step further and blaspheme His name, discount His deity, and attribute his works to Satan.

 

God turns these apostates over to a reprobate mind (Romans 1:28; 1 Timothy 4:1). They dedicate their life to harsh criticism of the Christian world and Biblical beliefs; therefore, sadly, they will spend their eternity in perpetual damnation for rejecting Jesus Christ as their Savior (John 3:18).

 

Prayer:

Father God, Your love, wisdom, power, authority, righteousness and justice are above reproach; yet, the humanistic mind rejects You and Your Word. They accuse the Biblical writers of being male chauvinists, and they say the Bible is an archaic book of fairytales, with errors and inconsistencies.

 

Your authentic Believers know, without a doubt and from experience, that Your Word is true, powerful and sharper than a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). There is life in every anointed Word. Thank You for working out circumstances in our life so that we accepted rather than rejected the work of Christ in our life (John 3:16-17).

 

Thought for the Day:

Those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit, and who give Satan credit for God’s work, are apostates, and do not get another chance to repent; sadly, after their death, they will face God’s judgment for rejecting the sacrifice that Jesus made for them on Calvary’s cross.

– Hebrews 9:27; John 3:18

 

 

 

A Good Marriage – Exhibiting Kindness

Kindness is one of the fruit of the Spirit. Random act of kindness is one of the mantras of today’s society. When we hear this, we usually transfer our focus to the general public around us.

 

Yet, showing kindness to those in our own household is the best place to start. Then, we move on to our church family, our workplace, social media, the market place, the doctor’s office, heavy traffic, etc.

 

Kindness is a very hard mannerism to develop; but once we do, this characteristic is a permanent one. We may have lapses in showing kindness due to weariness, frustration, anger, disappointment, broken promises, etc.

 

This is to be expected, and accepted with tolerance and understanding; especially if we or our loved one lapses from kindness into irritation for a few moments or for a longer period of time.

 

First, we check our own attitude and behavior, and see if we are causing the mean-spirited words or actions of our mate. It is better if we honestly share how we feel with one another rather than to hide behind anger or silence.

 

Facing our distrust and confessing our woundedness will promote unity and intimacy in our relationships. Devotion and commitment to each other is the cornerstone of any good marriage.

 

These characteristics help us to bear with each other with patience, and to show love and compassion for their trials, even when they mistreat us in the process.

 

Reminding our self about why we fell in love will help to rekindle that spark that brought us together. It helps us to focus on longevity, and to overlook temporary set-backs in our day-to-day interactions.

 

Making a list of what we appreciate about one another is a good way to keep our focus on the positive aspects for the long run, rather than to allow present circumstances to drive a wedge between us.

 

Prayer:

Father God, create in us a clean heart, and renew a sound mind and attitude within our soul. Help us to walk in Your Spirit, especially when our spouse slips back into the flesh. Remind us to express our appreciation to one another on a card, poem, email, text or even verbally. Help us to develop the humility we need to confess our faults to one another, and to prefer each other over our self.

 

Draw us to Your heart and help us to see one another with Your eyes of compassion. Help us to have mercy that is new every morning and not to carry grudges and anger over into the next day (Ephesians 4:26). Your Spirit is transforming us with the mind of Christ and we can view each other as You see us, forgiving each other, even while we are still upset with one another (Romans 5:8).

 

Thought for the Day:

Through Christ in us, we can refuse to take words and behavior personally, but to give our slights and our hurt to Him; so that He can transform our emotions into empathy and grace for one another in our times of need.