Our Abiding Relationship with Christ

Sitting quietly before the Lord, and enjoying His companionable silence, as well as His words of wisdom, comfort and strength, is a spiritual discipline that I learn over the years of my walk with Him.

 

Soon after my initial experiences of sitting still before the Lord, I went to work at a fast food restaurant. Thankfully, my boss recognized my codependent identity, and she helped me to walk away from that bondage.

 

She pointed out to me that I am a person too. She reminded me that I could minister to my own needs, just like I minister to the needs of others. We are all sufficient, with Christ within us, to live as a whole, completed person (Colossians 2:10).

 

At this same time, my husband went through a dark night in his soul. He decided there was no option for us but divorce. I asked him for a separation instead, for the purpose of reconciliation, but he disagreed.

 

God had a purpose for me even in this, however. Thankfully, since I already learned to trust in my deep, abiding relationship with Christ, I started meeting my own needs. I knew that I could trust that God had a new chapter for my life even now.

 

Therefore, I was not overwhelmed by my husband’s defection – in fact, I kept believing that he would eventually decide to reconcile. I felt God telling me to move back home with my parents, until I could find a job and a suitable place to live.

 

Over the next 18 months, I walked in unity with Christ and I lived with the assurance that God loved me unconditionally (John 15:4; Romans 5:8). Apparently, God had a new plan for my life that did not include my former husband.

 

Even my three children, college students at this time, had their own lives now. They no longer needed a mother, and my nest was empty. However, God had a fulfilling plan in store for me as well.

 

I continued to follow His Spirit’s leading for each new day’s adventure. I looked forward to Him writing the new chapters of my life. I also learned to look for the seed for a miracle in every trial that I experience.

 

One night, the Spirit led me to help a girlfriend with her project at Books-a-Million bookstore, which helped to connect single people. There I met a pastor whose wife was divorcing him.

 

We had a great deal in common and hung out together or talked on the phone every day after that. He had young children, and I helped him to care for them, and to cook wholesome meals for them.

 

We soon realized that God wanted more for us than friendship. God took the ashes of our individual lives and forged from them a union of beauty and a harmonious pastoral ministry to His people

 

Prayer:

Father God, even when my husband’s schedule separates us for much of the time, and when I do not hear from my children for months on end, I still have Your abiding presence within me, which fills my soul and spirit. This brings fulfillment to me that no earthly relationship provides.

 

My unity with You is the foundation for me to live in Your rest. You are my life (Colossians 3:3-4). You are with me and in me through everything which the devil, the flesh and the world use to attempt to discourage and defeat me. In You, I am the victor over all of my circumstances.

 

Thought for the Day:

May our God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him alone, expecting nothing in return; so that you may overflow with hope by the power of His Holy Spirit.

– Romans 15:13

 

God Loved; therefore He Gave

A man once told his wife, “I love you in my own way.” She did not feel loved, however – nor cherished, or appreciated or valued. She felt like a slave who attended to her husband night and day. Her only thanks was to know she actually served God in every loving act.

 

Loving in a loveless situation is the best and highest calling God can give to us. The wounded individual, which we chose to yoke up with for life, needs us more than we need him/her. They may never love us as we need to be loved, but God does.

 

God is really good at loving us. His Word tells us that He loved, therefore He gave. What a simple way to express love: to give to the object of our affection. God gave us His most precious gift – the sacrifice of His only begotten Son.

 

If we are wise and humble enough to receive His gift, we will never perish, but we will share in His eternal life (John 3:16-18; Romans 3:23, 6:23). He chose us as His own children before He even created the world on which we live. He has a perfect plan for each of us (Ephesians 2:10).

 

From God’s viewpoint, we are elected and predestined for His purpose. We spin our wheels when we walk outside of His will for us. We may attain fame and fortune on this earth, but we will never be satisfied unless He is the center of our world (Colossians 3:3-4).

 

There are many issues in life that we do not like or understand; but we live by faith in God’s faithfulness, even when we do not comprehend His purpose or His ways (2 Corinthians 5:7). When life scares us, which it often does, we put our trust in Him alone (Psalm 56:3-4).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for giving us Your example of how to love others unconditionally, whether we ever reap what we sow or not. We give because we love You, not in order to receive. We trust in You with our whole heart, and we do not rely on our human understanding (Proverbs 3:5).

 

We seek Your will each moment of our day, and consult You before we make any plans at all; knowing that You will make our way smoother than if we try to live on our own (Proverbs 3:6). As we do, You fill us with Your hope, joy and peace that exceed our finite comprehension (Romans 15:13).

 

Thought for the Day:

We are always able to give without loving, but if we truly love, we will always give what the object of our affection wants and needs; sometimes, that unconditional love hurts us when we give it, but it always blesses the recipient of our love, and fills our heart with love and peace as we serve others for the Lord’s sake.

– Colossians 3:23-24

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Focusing on the Positive Improves our Health

Our brain has the God-given ability to change its neurons depending on our thoughts, choices and feelings. According to scientists, our habits, attitude and behavior weaken or strengthen the synaptic connections between those neurons.

 

Of course, a positive, joyful lifestyle provides us with a healthy body, soul and spirit.  On the other hand, pessimistic patterns keep us focused on the worst case scenario of what might happen. What thoughts, words and feeling fuel your actions?

 

The words we speak to our self, even silently, affect our health. Jesus promises that we will have tribulation as long as we live in this world (John 16:33). So bad times are inevitable. They say, “Don’t sweat the small stuff…everything is small stuff.”

 

A pessimistic reaction to life creates problems; and optimism hopes for what we do not yet see (Hebrews 11:1). With each passing trial, our faith in God’s faithfulness increases. We learn to lean into the trial rather than to fight it, and to trust God for a positive outcome.

 

When we pattern our attitude after the Serenity Prayer, we can focus on the moment at hand. This allows us to take a searching inventory of the true needs of our body, soul and spirit, in order to make wise, constructive choices. We pull the plug on stress and ensure a positive outcome.

 

Our past experiences color our current attitudes. Past failures make us fearful of the future. However, walking in the Spirit enables us to stay in the center of God’s will for our life. Each situation is different and needs a fresh, spiritual perspective.

 

Meditating on scripture, which applies to our current situation, strengthens our resolve, and gives us hope and guidance for each new day. Focusing on God’s blessings that come all day, every day, empowers us to utilize the strengths and talents He gives us throughout our life time.

 

Prayer;

Father God, remind us to see the joy of Your presence in every situation, regardless of how negative it appears in this moment (Philippians 4:4). We can journal each victory to build our faith each time we reread of Your divine interventions in our life. Remind us that these positive memories improve the health of our body, soul and spirit.

 

Thank You for giving us a new life, a new heart, and for making us a new creation. You change our melancholy mindset and perspective, and You help us to improve our health and happiness. Re-orientate our thoughts to include Your Word, which divides our soul and spirit and fosters positive attitudes (Hebrews 4:12).

 

Thought for the Day:

Regardless of the severity of the trials that we face, God’s Spirit re-orientates our vision toward more positive, success-centered, thought patterns; these spark optimistic attitudes and behavior, as they also improve our health by increasing the synaptic connections between our neurons.

 

 

From Death to Life

A while ago, my dear Mommy victoriously passed from death to life. She crossed the divide between life on this earth and eternity. She traded her worn out body for her immortal one. She will abide forever in the presence of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:8).

 

She no longer needs to suffer from the indignities of Alzheimers, or an irritable bowel, or the common cold. She is free from earthly illness, hurt, sorrow and the ties that bind us to this world. She joined the Saints in heaven in worshiping around God’s throne.

 

Her last breath on earth was immediately followed by her first breath in heaven. The moment her spirit and soul left her body, and her body went to the grave, she received her immortal body like Jesus had after His resurrection.

 

I feel no loss at all. I just have to wait a little while to see my Mommy again. I will spend eternity with her, as we serve King Jesus together, and I look forward to the day that I can join her in His presence.

 

Answering my prayers for her to be freed from the confines of her earthly body is one of the greatest gifts my Heavenly Father ever gave me. It ranks right up there with His gifts to me of my salvation and my dear husband, Kevin.

 

For the Believer in Christ, death is not the end, but the beginning of our true life in the glorious riches of the Kingdom of God. We graduate from the school of life to the grandeur of heaven, where we receive our rewards for obeying the Lord’s will for our life.

 

We are not rotting in the grave. He is our guide and our refuge, even in death (Psalm 48:14; Proverbs 14:32). The angels carry us to the presence of God in heaven (Luke 16:22). He raises us through death into a new life with Him (Luke 20:36).

 

God rejoices in the death of His Saints (Psalm 116:15), because we are in His presence now and for eternity. The day of our death is actually even better than the day of our birth (Ecclesiastes 7:1). We experience the exquisite pleasures of eternity with our Father God (Psalm 16:9-11).

 

Prayer:

Father God, I thank You for drawing us to Your heart during times of strain and sorrow, which accompany the death of our loved ones. I thank You that Your peace, which passes all human understanding, flows over us like a waterfall. You fill our heart with Your love and joy so fully that we feel no other emotion.

 

I ask that You help us to find our refuge under the shadow of Your wings, our strength in Your joy, and our comfort and clarity of thinking in Your wisdom, as You lead us beside the still waters and restore our soul (Psalm 23). We look forward to the day of our passing from this earthly life into eternity with You.

 

Thought for the Day:

Our last breath on earth is followed by our first breath in Heaven; and we will spend eternity with our loved ones, friends, acquaintances, and Born Again people from all over the world, in worshiping God around His throne.

From Death to Life

A while ago, my dear Mommy victoriously passed from death to life. She crossed the divide between life on this earth and eternity. She traded her worn out body for her immortal one. She will abide forever in the presence of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:8).

 

She no longer needs to suffer from the indignities of Alzheimers, or an irritable bowel, or the common cold. She is free from earthly illness, hurt, sorrow and the ties that bind us to this world. She joined the Saints in heaven in worshiping around God’s throne.

 

Her last breath on earth was immediately followed by her first breath in heaven. The moment her spirit and soul left her body, and her body went to the grave, she received her immortal body like Jesus had after His resurrection.

 

I feel no loss at all. I just have to wait a little while to see my Mommy again. I will spend eternity with her, as we serve King Jesus together, and I look forward to the day that I can join her in His presence.

 

Answering my prayers for her to be freed from the confines of her earthly body is one of the greatest gifts my Heavenly Father ever gave me. It ranks right up there with His gifts to me of my salvation and my dear husband, Kevin.

 

For the Believer in Christ, death is not the end, but the beginning of our true life in the glorious riches of the Kingdom of God. We graduate from the school of life to the grandeur of heaven, where we receive our rewards for obeying the Lord’s will for our life.

 

We are not rotting in the grave. He is our guide and our refuge, even in death (Psalm 48:14; Proverbs 14:32). The angels carry us to the presence of God in heaven (Luke 16:22). He raises us through death into a new life with Him (Luke 20:36).

 

God rejoices in the death of His Saints (Psalm 116:15), because we are in His presence now and for eternity. The day of our death is actually even better than the day of our birth (Ecclesiastes 7:1). We experience the exquisite pleasures of eternity with our Father God (Psalm 16:9-11).

 

Prayer:

Father God, I thank You for drawing us to Your heart during times of strain and sorrow, which accompany the death of our loved ones. I thank You that Your peace, which passes all human understanding, flows over us like a waterfall. You fill our heart with Your love and joy so fully that we feel no other emotion.

 

I ask that You help us to find our refuge under the shadow of Your wings, our strength in Your joy, and our comfort and clarity of thinking in Your wisdom, as You lead us beside the still waters and restore our soul (Psalm 23). We look forward to the day of our passing from this earthly life into eternity with You.

 

Thought for the Day:

Our last breath on earth is followed by our first breath in Heaven; and we will spend eternity with our loved ones, friends, acquaintances, and Born Again people from all over the world, in worshiping God around His throne.

One with the Trinity

God proves His love to us by the presence of Christ in us. What a privilege it is for us to be united with the Trinity by the Spirit. Jesus prayed that everyone who believes in Him would enter into this state of melding into one with Him (John 17:20-23).

 

We do not work for God; but we entirely surrender our body, soul and spirit so that He can live, move and dwell in us (Acts 17:28). Just as Jesus functioned as one with God, we too view our life as unified with Him.

 

If we walk in this unity every moment of our day, then others will see in us the evidence that God sent His Son to save them as well. There is no striving in this relationship, just righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).

 

We are not delusional to believe in our union with God. We have this same viewpoint that Jesus did. He had the divine nature of God abiding in Him through His virgin birth, and humbly used it to serve others in the name of our Heavenly Father (Philippians 2:5-7).

 

We are born in darkness and devastation, drenched in Adam’s sin; but God brings us into His glorious life through the sacrifice Jesus paid for us on Calvary’s cross. He gave His life so that we can enjoy freedom through Him.

 

Since we are one with the Trinity, who abides within us (1 Corinthians 6:17), do we really want to drag God’s Spirit into sin and sickness and degradation by our choices? No. Therefore, we live in Christ and cooperate with Him as He lives in and through us (Philippians 1:21).

 

Unless the Lord builds our house, we labor in vain trying to perfect our self (Psalm 127:1). He gives us the desire, and the ability to overcome sin, as well as negative setbacks and situations (Philippians 2:12-13). We cannot even fathom in our wildest imaginations the glory God prepared to share with us for eternity.

 

Prayer:

Father God, we love You with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength (Luke 10:27). We are rarely tempted by sin anymore, because we are truly Born Again by Your Spirit (1 John 3:6). Satan may weave circumstances to trap us; but You always gives us a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). We are forever grateful to You for Your love for us.

 

Thank You that the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:7-9), and that Your Spirit sanctifies us and guides us each moment of the day. Your Word is our guidepost with many examples of the consequences of choices. Keep us ever faithful to You, Your Word, Your Kingdom and Your Presence in us.

 

Thought for the Day:

In Christ we are a new creation; He gives us a new heart and writes a new song on our lips, and teaches us a new viewpoint with new goals and desires.

– 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ezekiel 36:26; Psalm 40:3; Ephesians 2:10

 

God proves His love to us by the presence of Christ in us. What a privilege it is for us to be united with the Trinity by the Spirit. Jesus prayed that everyone who believes in Him would enter into this state of melding into one with Him (John 17:20-23).

 

We do not work for God; but we entirely surrender our body, soul and spirit so that He can live, move and dwell in us (Acts 17:28). Just as Jesus functioned as one with God, we too view our life as unified with Him.

 

If we walk in this unity every moment of our day, then others will see in us the evidence that God sent His Son to save them as well. There is no striving in this relationship, just righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).

 

We are not delusional to believe in our union with God. We have this same viewpoint that Jesus did. He had the divine nature of God abiding in Him through His virgin birth, and humbly used it to serve others in the name of our Heavenly Father (Philippians 2:5-7).

 

We are born in darkness and devastation, drenched in Adam’s sin; but God brings us into His glorious life through the sacrifice Jesus paid for us on Calvary’s cross. He gave His life so that we can enjoy freedom through Him.

 

Since we are one with the Trinity, who abides within us (1 Corinthians 6:17), do we really want to drag God’s Spirit into sin and sickness and degradation by our choices? No. Therefore, we live in Christ and cooperate with Him as He lives in and through us (Philippians 1:21).

 

Unless the Lord builds our house, we labor in vain trying to perfect our self (Psalm 127:1). He gives us the desire, and the ability to overcome sin, as well as negative setbacks and situations (Philippians 2:12-13). We cannot even fathom in our wildest imaginations the glory God prepared to share with us for eternity.

 

Prayer:

Father God, we love You with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength (Luke 10:27). We are rarely tempted by sin anymore, because we are truly Born Again by Your Spirit (1 John 3:6). Satan may weave circumstances to trap us; but You always gives us a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). We are forever grateful to You for Your love for us.

 

Thank You that the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:7-9), and that Your Spirit sanctifies us and guides us each moment of the day. Your Word is our guidepost with many examples of the consequences of choices. Keep us ever faithful to You, Your Word, Your Kingdom and Your Presence in us.

 

Thought for the Day:

In Christ we are a new creation; He gives us a new heart and writes a new song on our lips, and teaches us a new viewpoint with new goals and desires.

– 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ezekiel 36:26; Psalm 40:3; Ephesians 2:10

Keys to Living a Productive Life

Here are some excellent keys to living a productive life: Each morning, our focus is not on our self, but on what Christ, who dwells in us, plans for the next moment of our life. We attempt to speak, choose and act according to His wishes rather than our own (Romans 8:14).

 

We come from the premise that God loves us, sets us free from sin’s bondage through Christ’s shed blood, delivers us from Satan’s lies, and buried our flesh in Christ as He hides us with Christ in Himself (Galatians 2:20).

 

God gives us the desire to serve at His good pleasure, and He gives us His wisdom and power to accomplish all that He calls us to do (Philippians 4:13). We are united with His death through baptism (Romans 6:4), and raised to walk in a new life (Colossians 2:12).

 

The Spirit, which raised Christ from the dead, also dwells in us (Romans 5:11). He breathes the breath of God’s life into our mortal bodies. Since we are Born Again by the Spirit of God, we are also joint heirs with Jesus of the Kingdom of God (1 John 4:15).

 

We are vessels of God’s Trinity with all of the power, wisdom and strength of the Godhead abiding in us (1 Corinthians 3:17-19, 6:15-20). We also dwell in God through Christ. He is our all in all, our whole life, and we surrender all for His use for His glory (1 Corinthians 15:28; Colossians 3:3-4).

 

God gives, and He takes away; yet, in either case, we bless the name of the Lord regardless of our circumstances (Job 1:21). We no longer suffer from condemnation, but are free to live, move and have our identity in Him alone (Romans 8:1-2; Acts 17:28).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You that we can live in union with You – knowing You on a personal basis, and enjoying Your presence within us throughout the day. Help us to walk in Your Spirit rather than by our human understanding (Galatians 5:15-25). We want to live as expressions of Your love, grace and faith in the world around us (1 John 4:16).

 

Remind us that we never meet a stranger, but simply potential friends and fellow heirs to Your Kingdom. Help us to let Your light within us shine into the darkness around us; as we lift Jesus higher, so He can draw everyone we meet to Himself (John 12:32). We want Your river of life (Revelation 22:1) to flow out of us and into anyone willing to surrender to You.

 

Thought for the Day:

As Jesus is, so are we in this world in which we live; therefore, we can walk in confidence through this life as ambassadors for Christ and emissaries for the Kingdom of God to which we belong. – John 17:20-23; 1 John 4:17