Complete Freedom

 

black and blue butterfly on brown rocks

God’s Word calls us to walk in His wisdom, and to make the most of each moment of our day, because the days are evil. He cautions us not to act foolishly, but to understand and to follow His will for our life (Ephesians 2:10, 5:15-17).

 

God fills us with His Holy Spirit, in order for us to avoid carnal desires and temptations. It is a known fact that even people who reach the pinnacle of fame, fortune and worldly success are disappointed in these shallow rewards.

 

They give us the illusion of freedom, but hinder us with further discontentment instead. The graveyards all over the world are full of people who died in misery, even after gaining every advantage, which this life has to offer.

 

We weigh down our heart with uncontrolled sin and the anxieties of life; which close in on us slowly and unexpectedly like a steel trap (Luke 21:34). However, when we are filled with God’s Spirit, we walk carefully through this life (Ephesians 5:15-19).

 

There is a battle going on in the spiritual realm, a conflict between holiness and debauchery. Some people reject morality as legalism and restrictions; while others realize that the only true freedom comes within the safe parameters of moral boundaries

 

We do not need to live a life of sin in order to be free, because anyone who sins is a slave to that sin. No one who is a slave to sin has a permanent place in God’s family; only as we allow Him to adopt us into His family, do we find true freedom and our forever home (John 8:34-36).

 

For authentic Believers, the words of Christ richly dwell in us, and we teach and exhort each other with His wisdom, as we sing with gratitude filling our soul, and we make music in our heart to our Lord (Ephesians 5:18-19; Colossians 3:16).

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us that as we take no thought for tomorrow, we can fully enjoy the moment in which we are now abiding (Matthew 6:25-34). Help us to make our goal in life to be led by Your Spirit, and to do only the things which You direct us to do. Teach us to discover Your will for our life and to walk in it.

 

Show us that the Lord Jesus Christ is not only our brother, but also our very best friend on this earth. Your Trinity sustains us, encourages us, exhorts us, and develops us more fully than any human relationship that we can ever experience, because You live within us. Your eternal life is something that we can enjoy every day, and we look to You to make this fact real to us a little more each day.

 

Thought for the Day:

Sin makes us subservient to itself, and there is no freedom in slavery; immorality is only enjoyable for a time and then the dividends of sin come in the form of ill health, addiction, unmanageable circumstances, jail terms, poverty, broken relationships, and eventually eternal death without peace; yet, when Jesus sets us free, we are completely free.

– John 8:37

 

God Blesses our Sons and Daughters

lush grass field photo during golden hour

 

The hardest “job” and ministry in the world is motherhood. We carry our child for nine months, giving them sustenance from our own body. Then, labor and delivery can take hours, or even days, depending on complications.

 

When our toddler falls, we rush to their side to make sure they are not hurt; when our preschooler scrapes a knee, we supply a cleanser, ointment and a bandage, which we carefully stock for just such an occasion.

 

As young sportsmen and women, they open themselves up to broken bones, internal wounds and head injuries, but we nurse them back to health. Then, as teens, the dangers multiply as they learn to drive and fling themselves out into the flow of traffic.

 

Choosing a mate and starting a family, our child is in danger of a broken heart, a miserable relationship, or the loss of their loved one. Yet, our mother’s heart keeps beating through every ordeal, and we cry our self to sleep at even the thought of our little lamb suffering pain or injury.

 

With our finite abilities, we cannot really protect our children in the trials of life. However, as we turn them over to God in prayer, He puts His angels in charge over them, and gives them the opportunity to run into the shelter of His wings (Psalm 91). He blesses our offspring into thousands of future generations (Exodus 34:7).

 

Tragically, many of our children reject the God of their youth, and they suffer needless tragedies in this sin-cursed world. They do not heed the counsel of their parents, or Biblical precepts and teachings. They attempt to forge their own way through life.

 

This compounds the anxious thoughts that our mother’s heart fears for our child, regardless of how old they are. We are crushed by every disappointment, set-back and hardship that they suffer. Yet, we continually and faithfully lift them up in prayer to our faithful Heavenly Father.

 

Prayer:

Father God, we put our children into Your capable hands to work out Your will in each of their lives, and in their children’s lives, and in future generations throughout the ages of time (Exodus 34:7). Draw every generation to You by Your love, and strengthen their inner being to be able to make a decision to accept Your irresistible saving grace on their behalf.

 

Bring them to their knees, so that they can call out to You in humility and surrender, desiring to do only Your will for their life. Reveal Yourself to them in no uncertain terms, so Satan can no longer deceive them with his lies, and keep them in bondage to his wickedness. Thank You for keeping them in health, allowing them to prosper, and removing the blinders from their eyes, so that they can look fully into Your face.

 

Thought for the Day:

We trust that God will open the eyes of our children’s understanding, so they can repent of their sins, believe in Jesus as the ONLY way and truth and life, and call on the name of the Lord to be saved; this way they will reap all of His benefits and bless His holy name.

– Romans 10:13; John 14:6; Psalm 103:2

 

 

 

 

Unyielding Faith

 

mountains under white mist at daytime

We never need to struggle in life if we remember that God is actually in control of the universe, and that we can trust Him with our life. In so many ways, He proves He is capable of holding our life together regardless of our trials.

 

God calls us to remain confident in our faith in His faithfulness, because with this commitment, we receive great rewards (Hebrew 11:6). We endure every trial and set back by walking in the will of God, and then we receive His promises (Hebrews 10:35-36).

 

We do not demand that God keep His promises, and we do not shove them in His face with a heart full of insistent expectations. We just thank Him for doing His will, and we graciously receive what He has for us. If He does not give us what we want, it is because it is not what He wants for us.

 

We live with a heart full of praise for what He has already done for us; and we never draw back, because God gets no pleasure from our lack of devotion to Him. We trust in His goodness and mercy and we revel in His constant presence within us (Hebrews 10:37-38).

 

If we walk, not according to our will but by His, then we live with our faith in the Son of God who loves us and gave Himself for us, rather than in our own abilities. As we keep our mind on Him, He proves to us over and over throughout the day that His mind is continually on us.

 

We believe in Jesus and His Word, which is the bedrock of our salvation (Hebrews 10:39; Acts 16:31). With this in mind, we continually pray that God will count us worthy of His calling on our life; and that by His power, He may fulfill all of our efforts, when we follow His will (2 Thessalonians 1:11).

 

Prayer:

Father God, it is only by continuing in contemplative communion with You, our loving Heavenly Father, that we can find true joy and rest for our soul in the midst of trying circumstances. If we keep our focus on You, we will pray with faith instead of fear.

 

Help us to learn contentment by trusting You with our life, regardless of our circumstances (Philippians 4:11). Remind us that You always work out everything for our good (Romans 8:28). Then Your peace, which surpasses our carnal understanding, fills our spirit, soul and body (Isaiah 26:3; Philippians 4:7).

 

Thought for the Day

If we completely surrender our agenda for our life to God, and prayerfully live every moment guided by His Holy Spirit, we will walk in victory (Galatians 5: 16); and if we keep our focus on Him rather than on the circumstances in our life, our joy is complete, our peace is deep seated, and our confidence in His abilities within us remains sure.

 

Surrendering to God’s Spirit

red roses

 

God is calling us to know for a fact, and to personally experience for our self, the love of Christ, which exceeds head knowledge without heart-felt experience. He is ready to fill us with the richest measure of His presence within us (John 14:16, 20, 23).

 

He wants to transform us by His Holy Spirit into a body completely filled and flooded with His Trinity (Ephesians 3:19, Amplified Bible). The Spirit moves into our newly, Born Again spirit at the moment of Justification, and He starts cleaning up our act.

 

This means that He purposefully enters us – body, soul and spirit – with the objective of making a conquest of our life through the process of Sanctification. This means, “to become holy.” Without surrendering to the Spirit’s invasion, we never mature in our spiritual walk.

 

God’s Spirit wants to establish His authority over our carnality, and at the same time to conquer for the Lord all of the unconsecrated areas in our life. He infiltrates our soul with the intention of winning our heart for the Lord – from one stage of glory to the next (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

Otherwise, we remain carnally-minded and live in spiritual vacillation, like a yoyo spinning up and down on one track of string. The Spirit intends to vigilantly continue to defeat every ungodly area of our mind, will and emotions as we relinquish control to Him.

 

Due to past experiences, we may harbor an unfounded fear that God is untrustworthy. However, God’s love is so powerful and immense, that it is only by living through repeated trials in our life that we come to trust God to fight for us and to bring us through these conflicts as victors.

 

Prayer:

Father God, at times, we agree to read the Bible, pray and fellowship with Believers only until something else comes along that takes our attention away from spiritual things. We walk on the edge of the wider road of worldly pursuits and partake in every activity that happens to entice us away from walking the straight and narrow road with You.

 

This malady is a heart-rending reality that keeps us from experiencing for our self the fullness of Your life within us. Teach us to grasp and to understand the depth of Your love for us, so that we may accept and cooperate with Your sanctifying work in our lives, which means eliminating our carnal nature and desires, and replacing all of our harmful thought processes with holy ones.

 

Thought for the Day:

If we walk in the flesh, then the Spirit of God is not in us; and if we do not have the Spirit, then we are not Born Again, and we do not belong to God; yet, once the Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, dwells in us, then the Spirit will also give life to our mortal bodies.

– Romans 8:9-10

 

 

 

 

Who Are We and Why Are We Here

brown hammock hanging on trees near seashore during daytime

So many people struggle with the concept of who they are and why they are on this earth. God has a perfect plan for our life, which He put into place before we were even born. We are His creation, and the apple of His eye (Ephesians 2:10; Psalm 17:8).

 

His plans include every aspect of our life: what we will look like, what genes we will inherit from our parents, where we are born, where we will live, whom we will marry or if we marry, what vocation we will serve Him in, how many children we will have, etc.

 

They also include the ministry/ministries in which He will use us to further His Kingdom on the earth. He gives us the spiritual gifts that we need in order to function in our service to Him, even when these gifts change over the years of our life (1 Corinthians 12:4-28).

 

These spiritual talents give us the ability, direction and motivation to be a viable part of a local church; to serve as a missionary in our community, country or abroad; to effect lives in positives ways; and to increase the number of those with whom we will spend eternity.

 

We discover an interest in certain ministries, a passion for their success, the abilities to successfully work with others to perform the work involved in them, and the desire to continually pray for God to send even more harvesters out into the fields, which are ripe for harvest (John 4:35).

 

When I was single, evangelism was my passion, and it still is. When I married a Pastor, God equipped me to serve in an administrative role in the Inreach and Outreach ministries. When I had children, I served as Children’s Church director and a teacher.

 

Although I never finished college and had no teaching degree, God even opened a door for me to teach in a public Alternative School when my children were teenagers. My favorite memory there is that God used me to lead a young man to Christ, and to be with him a year later, as he went Home to be with the Lord. I look forward to spending eternity with Him and all of God’s Saints.

 

As I matured in my faith, God used me to teach women (Titus 2:3-5). In addition, I served in the ministry of hospitality – we had an open home to help those arriving at our local Bible college to have a place to stay until they found a home of their own.

 

Now, in my “Golden Years” my passion is for prayer and praise. I am a bit of a recluse, but I do not mind. All day and night long, I worship and praise our Father God, and I pray for everyone that He puts on my mind.

 

I also assist in a children’s Sunday School class, and I wash dishes in the church kitchen. Writing a devotion every day, and posting it on my online blog, is another ministry and passion of mine right now (https://wordpress.com/post/kathleenbrdly.wordpress.com).

 

God will use all of us in His perfect plan for our life. As we trust Him with all of our heart, and consult His will for everything that we do, He will direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). We will help to grow God’s Kingdom and to find fulfillment in our life.

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for drawing us to Your heart for salvation, gifting us for the calling You place on our heart, and using us in Your perfect plans for our life (Ephesians 2:10). Your Spirit transforms our mind to the mind of Christ (Titus 3:5), and changes our personality with Your divine character and nature (2 Peter 1:4).

 

Continually help us to discern Your purpose for us through every season of our life. Living in the center of Your will for us is the happiest place on earth. Keep us on the path that You intend for us to walk, and correct our course when we tend to stray from Your perfect plans for us. Thank You for working in us and through us, and for giving us the gifts and talents to minister for You all the days of our life.

 

Thought for the Day:

God gives us a passion to serve Him in our vocation, our family, our local church, our community, our state, and our world – in the areas in which He gifts us to serve Him with our whole spirit, soul and body through every season of our life.

God is Worthy of Our Praise

landscape photography of body of water against mountain

 

Creation rejoices, because our Lord God reigns. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne. He takes vengeance on His enemies, and He blesses those who bless Him. His lightning lights up the sky, and His thunder trembles the earth   (Psalm 97:1-4).

 

Everyone who erects an idol and man-made gods are put to shame by His righteous (Psalm 97:5-7). Our God is the Most High God over all the earth, and is exalted over everything we use in our life to take His place (Psalm 97:8-9).

 

He calls us to hate evil, and He guards the lives of His faithful Saints. His light continually shines on the righteous and His joy envelops the upright in heart. We rejoice in the Lord and praise His holy name to the ends of the earth. His judgements are true and equitable (Psalm 97:10-12).

 

The mountains will melt like wax before Him, because He is the Lord of all the earth. We see His glory in the heavens as they proclaim His power and majesty with every sunrise and sunset. Praise bursts from our lips and we sing Him a new song (Psalm 98:1).

 

God does marvelous things, and His right hand and holy arm provide us with victory over every trial. His love and faithfulness to Israel give us confidence that He will keep His promises to us as well – our salvation is secure in Him (Psalm 98:1-3).

 

The Lord is good, and His love and faithfulness endure through every generation. We know that our Lord is God, because He made us, and we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. We enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise, giving thanks to Him as we praise His name (Psalm 100:3-5).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we live in praise to You, and we make music on instruments and with singing. The sea, the earth and the heavens, as well as every creature in them sing Your praises. Even the rivers clap their hands and the mountains sing together with joy before You (Psalm 98:4-8).

 

You are our great King, and the nations tremble before You. You are exalted over every nation in all the earth, as well as enthroned between the cherubim in Your Holy Place. We praise Your great and awesome name and exalt You as we worship at Your footstool, because of Your holiness, justice and equity. (Psalm 99:1-5).

 

Thought for the Day

When we call on the Lord, He answers us and forgives us in the same way that He spoke to the Saints of Israel, and we exalt he Lord and worship Him, because He is holy (Psalm 99:6-9); we worship Him with gladness, and shout for joy to Him with continual praises on our lips (Psalm 100:1-2).

 

 

 

Maturing in Our Faith

mirror photography of mountain and trees near body of water

Nothing, not even the simplest of tasks, is ever easy. Murphy’s Law is always in play; so if there is anything that can possibly go wrong, it certainly will. Tribulation is inherent in this world in which we live.

 

We get so jaded in our thinking, and so fearful in our expectancy of opposition, that we end up walking through life just waiting for someone to say or to do something hurtful or inflammatory.

 

We worry that someone or something will invade our personal space and strip us of our power, control, prestige, comfort or intimacy in our relationships. As a consequence of living with all of this stress we bring harm to our body and soul.

 

Physically, we tend to develop ulcers, heart issues, and nerve damage; mentally, we drown in phobias, anxiety and hypochondria. Emotionally, we experience irritability, anger, resentment, depression, defensiveness, etc. as they inundate our soul.

 

Some Christians spend their whole life in the baby stage, never really maturing in their faith, but being content just to be going to heaven. They follow their own desires rather than the Holy Spirit’s leading (1 Corinthians 3:1-3).

 

Our only hope of rising above the conflicts in life is to continually dwell in the spiritual realm. We recognize Jesus as the Author and Finisher of our faith, and we surrender our life to His direction. We live our days in total worship of Him.

 

Contentment and peace in life only come from having a spiritual, rather than a carnal mindset, focus, worldview and perspective (Romans 8:6). Our goals, outlook and viewpoint are then eternal rather than temporal.

 

Prayer:

Father God, we can actually relax, once we realize that You have plans for us that include peace rather than disaster, plans to give us a future filled with hope (Jeremiah 29:11). When negative circumstances do arise, we have the faith that You will work out even the most destructive events for our good (Romans 8:28).

 

We look forward to the days, which are coming, when You raise up a righteous Branch, King Jesus, who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land (Jeremiah 23:5). Then peace and joy will flood our lives, as He wipes away every tear from our eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. Thank You that all of the negative issues of life will be gone forever (Revelation 21:4).

 

Thought for the Day:

True peace and success only come when God’s Spirit sets us free from the power of sin and the entanglement of this world; He teaches us His way, and leads us on a level path, because of our enemies; then, each new morning He brings us word of His unfailing love, because we put our total trust in Him.

– Psalm 27:11, 143:8

 

A Good Marriage – Conflict Resolution

road surrounded by snow

If we value our interpersonal relationship, we will take whatever strides are necessary to resolve any conflicts between us. Burying them in our subconscious, or silently grumbling about the issues is as counter-productive as getting upset over them.

 

Requesting time with our mate to chat about what is bothering us gives both of us time to “cool off” and to logically plan what we want to discuss. This is not for the purpose of forcing our mate to do things our way, but to find a third alternative that fulfills both of us.

 

At these times, it is important not to give-in to keep the peace, to be a doormat, to attempt to control or to force a decision from our mate, etc. In order to resolve the issue, it is imperative that we find an equitable solution for both of us.

 

We may get emotional about the issue when we are in the middle of the conflict, but requesting a meeting for the purpose of reconciliation will bring resolution quicker and more peacefully. The key to success is to talk about one issue at a time, and resist the urge to blame each other for the problem.

 

Defensively attempting to prove to our mate that their offenses are much greater than ours is also counterproductive. Allow the one who calls the meeting to express their concern first and thoroughly discuss the issue until it is resolved.

 

We do not insist on our own way or attempt to “win” the argument. We put our spouse’s need first, and pray together for God’s wisdom to settle the conflict. Then, we can use whatever time we have left, or plan another time for a conversation, in order to address a different current concern.

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for helping us to identify the actual problem behind our dispute. Help us to stick to one topic at a time in order to resolve it. Remind us to make a list of alternative solutions in order to pray about the one that will bring fulfillment to both of us. Help us to show compassion and support for one another, because two people solving an issue is much easier than trying to overlook or to half-heartedly accept one answer (Ecclesiastes 4:12).

 

Help us to see that our spouse is not the “enemy”, but is also a wounded traveler on planet earth. You brought us together to share our strengths in order to overcome our weaknesses, and to create a life that is best for both of us, which keeps us in the very center of Your will for us.

 

Thought for the Day:

When a couple has a major difference in opinion, values, perspective or world-view, a resolution will unite us and increase our love for one another; committing to resolve conflicts together is a productive practice that will strengthen our marriage and life together as a family.

God is Our Source

brown and orange butterfly perched on yellow lantana flowers

 

God’s Spirit is grieved when we put our trust in our human resources rather than in Him (1 Chronicles 21:1-8). We actually insult Him, and we show a lack of appreciation for His provision and protection in our life.

 

Sometimes, we resist God’s leading when we fear that it may endanger our personal security. We place our trust in what we can see, rather than in God and the outcome that only He can see (Hebrews 11:1; Romans 8:25).

 

This lack of faith also causes us to compromise with the world, and to allow Satan to influence our thinking. Over time, this insecurity grows, and our mind imagines all sorts of horrible things happening that actually may never even occur.

 

Woefully, we not only reap the consequences of our thoughts and actions, but we cause others in our life to suffer the same judgment for our unbelief. It is very wise to walk in God’s ways instead of our own.

 

God always forgives our shortcomings, and His love covers a multitude of our sins (1 Peter 4:8). When we humble our self in His sight and surrender to the discipline of His mighty hand, He always comes through for us (Hebrews 12:6).

 

We have nothing to fear when we are totally surrendered to God’s will for our life. Our hope is only and always in the Lord (Hebrews 6:19), and His provision for our life. He works out everything for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28).

 

God is our source of salvation in every area of our life. We trust in Him and have fewer fears. He is our strength, the song on our lips, and our redeemer and Lord (Isaiah 12:2). We are so blessed by Him, that we spend our day praising Him.

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to surrender our will to Yours, because in the center of Your will is the happiest place on earth for us. Thank You for always working out even the most devastating of events for our ultimate good, because this increases our faith and inspires in us more faith in Your faithfulness.

 

Fill us with Your joy and peace as we trust in You, so that we overflow with hope by the power of Your Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13). Help us to guard against misplacing our trust in our self and in others, and to keep our eyes focused on Christ’s redeeming love instead. Thank You for all that You are, all that You do, and all that You have planned for our life both now and for eternity.

 

Thought for the Day:

Jesus is coming for His Bride before the day of God’s wrath, and He will come again with His Saints to set up His Kingdom on the earth, where we will serve Him with joy in our heart and a song on our lips for eternity.

 

 

sun reflection on calm water near green mountains

 

God’s lesson plans for us, as well as Satanic warfare, and the results of our own choices will all cause circumstances to occur in our life, which often threaten to overwhelm us.  We cannot control these issues no matter how hard we try to insulate our self from them.

 

We can minimize tribulation’s effect on us, however, by eliminating the amount of circumstances that we bring on our self, by drawing near to God and resisting Satan, and by changing our attitude about those issues, which we cannot control (James 4:6-7; Philippians 4:8).

 

Also, rather than to view life as a series of responsibilities that we must perform, we can change our focus to see them as privileges which we are allowed to achieve; and then we gratefully rejoice in the fact that God gives us His strength and desire to accomplish His will for our life (Philippians 2:12-13).

 

These two strategies eliminate the stranglehold we feel from viewing our responsibilities as a victim rather than as a victor in Christ. There is life and death in the power of our tongue (Proverbs 18:21), and our declarations influence our words, actions, and feelings.

 

Making these few minor adjustments gives us a sense of having a measure of power over our circumstances. When we realize that we are choosing to live in the center of God’s will for us, then we feel His strength, wisdom, peace and joy flooding our soul – our thoughts, feelings and choices.

 

We start by acknowledging our negative feelings, fears and insecurities. This allows us to feel understood, accepted and valued. Validating our true self is a very important part of living a positive, fulfilled, peaceful and joyful life.

 

Then, we choose to live as a victor, which also allows us to influence our parasympathetic nervous system – where much of our healing takes place. Joyfully accepting our various trials allows us to experience, on a personal level, God’s miraculous power through them.

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to change our focus in life, especially about our trials. We can look forward to seeing Your hand in them, and to realize that You have a higher purpose for us in them. Remind us to listen to our body, soul and spirit and to seek You about how to meet our own needs.

 

Every dark cloud has a silver lining, and every negative tribulation can have a positive outcome, because You are involved in our daily life. You empower us with Your strength and wisdom to walk through the shadow of death as overcomers rather than as casualties. We love living life under the shadow of Your wings (Psalm 23, 91).

 

Thought for the Day:

When we realize that we can influence our attitude and the outcome of our trials through Christ in us, we are able to cause our parasympathetic nervous system to work towards our healing and success, rather than against it; this gives us a greater opportunity to serve God with literally…every fiber of our being.