Knowing God Personally

waterfalls surrounded by trees under cloudy sky

In an elevator at the hospital, I complimented the cross a lady was wearing. She thanked me, and I asked her if she knew the Jesus who died on a cross to pay the penalty for our sins. She replied, “Well, not personally.”

 

Before the elevator arrived at our floor, I told her that Jesus would love a personal relationship with her, and He was only a heart-felt prayer away. She hung her head in thought as the elevator doors slid open, and we both went our separate ways.

 

God proved His love for us, before we were ever born, by sending Jesus to die for us (Romans 5:8; Ephesians 1:4, 2:10). As our Shepherd, He knows each one of us personally, and we follow Him as we listen to His voice (John 10:27).

 

No one and nothing – except our own thoughts, word, emotions and actions – can ever disturb this union we have with our Father God, and His Son, Jesus Christ. He gives us eternal life to spend with Him in His Kingdom (John 10:27-28).

 

All of our accomplishments, healing, serenity, fulfillment, etc. come from God (John 1:3). He looks forward to spending time with us each day, as we sit at His feet and learn from Him or as we walk in His Spirit at work, home and play (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

 

The closer we draw to Him, the more intimate He becomes with us (James 4:8). What greater privilege can anyone experience than for the God of the Universe to abide within us and to walk with us through each new day?

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us that we show our love back to You by praising You and listening to You all though the day, by worshipping You with other Believers, by living out the evidence of Your love in our life, by telling others the Gospel story, by sharing our resources with those in need, and simply by inviting people to visit us at our local church.

 

We can simplify our life in order to make more room for loving You, for listening to You, worshipping You, and following Your will for every moment of our day. Our intimacy with You grows and matures as we walk in Your precepts. Remind us to take some time to listen to You today, because You are always within us and are only a prayer away.

 

Thought for the Day:

Our Father God lives inside of each and every one of us by His Holy Spirit, and though He is in us, He is also on His throne in Heaven; Jesus, our brother and co-heir, is in Heaven beside Him, interceding for us with the Father and protecting us from Satan’s wiles.

 

Our Never-dying Soul

landscape photography of body of water against mountain

Jesus tells us that our soul will never die. It accompanies our spirit into the “after-life”. Some people think that our soul and spirit are the same entity; however, God’s Word asserts the distinct reality between the soul and spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

 

The soul is our feelings, thoughts and choices. At death, our spirit and soul, the essence of who we are, are instantly with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). Our mortal body goes to the grave, but we will receive an immortal body in eternity (1 Corinthians 15:53).

 

The Lord informed His disciples that a poor man died, who believed in Him, and the angels carried him to heaven; but a rich man died, who did not believe in Him, and he went into the torments of hell. The soul of both men accompanied their spirit into eternity.

 

From hell, the rich man wanted Abraham’s help to give him a drink, but in His account, Jesus made it clear that there is a great gap between heaven and hell.

 

This tormented man was able to speak, hear, suffer pain, thirst, reason, make requests, etc. without his body, which was in the grave. He “felt” with his soul all of the discomfort that his body would have felt (Luke 16:22-31).

 

Jesus also declared that those who refuse to believe in Him, but who reap finite blessings all of their life, will lose them at death and be in the anguish of eternal flames. Yet, like the poor man, the authentic Believer will find eternal comfort.

 

The rich man in hell also wanted Abraham to send the poor man back to earth to warn his five brothers about the reality of an eternal hell. Abraham cautioned this poor, suffering soul that God sent His prophets, but people still did not believe.

 

Jesus also pointed out that even if someone from heaven came back to life to warn people about hell, the masses would not believe. Jesus knew that in His days on earth, and after His own resurrection from the dead, few would believe in Him (Acts 1:3).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You formed man of the dust of the ground (body), and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (spirit), and man became a living soul (soul) (Genesis 2:7). You told Adam that if he ate of the tree in the garden, he would surely die. Then, when Adam disobeyed, Your angel drove him from the garden, and his physical body died gradually, but his spirit died instantly.

 

The desires and affections of some people turn toward You when we realize our sinful condition. We believe Your Word, and accept Your grace in salvation. When Your Spirit rebirths our spirit with divine light and life, we yield our whole body, soul and spirit to You. This allows us to enjoy unbroken communion with You. Our soul blesses You with every fiber of our being, and we bless Your holy name (Psalm 103:1).

 

Thought for the Day:

The human spirit, dead in trespasses and sin, is instantly regenerated at Justification; then, the soul takes the center stage for our Sanctification process, which takes a lifetime; and the body will eventually be saved through Glorification the instant we see Jesus, for we shall be like Him.

– 1 John 3:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 4:12

 

A Good Marriage – The Power of Prayer

green grass field near sea under white clouds at daytime

 

Praying together as a couple is a powerful tool in our marriage. Waging spiritual warfare together will keep Satan and his minions out of our business, attitudes and behavior. It will keep us pure in thought, word and deed so that we can avoid sexual or moral deviances.

 

Jesus already disarmed the devil at Calvary, and he only has the power that we grant to him by our words, attitude and behavior. As we pray together, God pours out His fruit in our life. He gives us His power, righteousness and affection for one another, so that our marriage will stay strong.

 

Over the years, we can either accumulate harsh feelings toward one another, or we can pray together about the topics that irritate us, in order to gain power over them. Our union can mirror the love that Jesus has for His bride, and His example teaches us how to love one another (Ephesians 5:31-32).

 

Asking God’s blessing on our union is a prayer worth praying. We petition God to bless our spouse with His love, peace and grace, to keep us in the center of His will as a couple, and to give us compassion and understanding for each other.

 

Reading books and online articles about improving our marriage always helps. We often glean ideas that make us a better spouse, or we are convicted in areas where we need to improve. Growing together as mates increases our intimacy.

 

Prayer helps us to draw near to God as a couple, then we can resist Satan’s plans to kill our love, steal our affections from each other, and destroy our marriage. Together our prayers increase our spiritual power, holiness and commitment to the Lord.

 

Prayer:

Father God, teach us that when we encounter a trial in life, either separately or together, prayer will connect us to Your wisdom to gain victory over the circumstances, to support each other in these issues, and to change our attitude or focus in order to increase our love for one another. Our faith in Your faithfulness grows as we see Your hand in our relationship.

 

Help us to realize that our emotional, spiritual, and mental connection with each other improves as we pray together about some concern in our individual or shared life. We learn not to take one another for granted, and to honor and cherish the place our spouse has in our life. Teach us that the weaknesses in our relationship may come from wounds from our past, and to find a third alternative in every argument on which we can both agree.

 

Thought for the Day:

As we pray together for our marriage and the issues that we face each day, deep healing comes to the wounds we endure in life; and we truly become one flesh and want what is best to bless each other in addition to our self.

A Healthy Lifestyle

focus photo of purple petaled flowers

Organic food and supplements, essential oils, herbs, etc. are safe, effective remedies without side effects for the illnesses our world inflicts on our body. Eating whole foods as a way of life, those not treated by chemicals in any way, just makes sense.

 

However, some of us are so addicted to the chemicals that cause most of our diseases, that we will not exchange them for healthier choices. We think that healthy alternatives are not delicious, but this is far from the truth.

 

There are many tasty items on the market today that are truly healthy. Some products claim to be healthy, but they have sugar, gluten, dairy, soy, chemical preservatives, etc. They are made with chemically laden grains, etc. that make us sick. Many of us also have food allergies of which we are unaware.

 

Therefore, when we feed our taste buds, we end up making our body sick. We spend more time and money on doctor visits, and prescriptions to treat the effects of our choices, than we would on healthy food; and we also suffer from prescription side-effects.

 

Some possible side-effects of medications are really funny. One medication that I considered using causes: “stiff, jerky movements of your face and body that you can’t control. You might blink your eyes, stick out your tongue, or wave your arms without meaning to do so.”

 

The #1 side effect of a medication my husband took at one time was….a black, hairy tongue!!!! NO JOKE it was on the top of the list that came from the pharmacy. Thankfully, he did not get one.

 

Of course, other side-effects are more serious, such as: infections, physical impairment, and even sudden death. Some chemical medications have side-effects, which are more deadly than the disease they are supposed to treat.

 

Our genetic make-up also plays a role in diseases that invade our body. Cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, etc. are just such illnesses caused by our inherited genes; however, eating a nutrient-dense diet plays a large role in how genes are expressed

 

A clean diet is still one of the best ways to manage symptoms of illness and to increase the odds of our recovery. It can induce our genes to prevent diseases, even if one runs in our family. Check out the Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen food lists: https://draxe.com/health/detox/dirty-dozen/

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for creating our body in such a fashion that it can actually heal itself, stay healthy, and give us a life full of energy by which we can serve You throughout our lifetime. Give us wisdom about what to submit to in the medical world. Remind us to check the side-effects prior to taking any prescribed medication and to use food, herbs, essential oils and supplements whenever possible.

 

Help us to craft our diet around wholesome, chemical-free foods and not to eat processed and prepared foods, but to cook with organic foods for meals made from scratch. We want to live a life that is worthy of Your calling on our life, and we want to function in health in order to serve You in the ministries to which You call us – both for Your glory and for the furtherance of Your Kingdom on the earth.

 

Thought for the Day:

When added to a nutrient-deficient chemically laden diet, as well as prescription medication, other addictions such as illegal drugs, alcoholism, sexual permissiveness, tobacco use, etc. will disrupt the God-ordained order of our physical and mental organs and cause unnecessary illnesses, and premature death; it just makes sense to denounce the unhealthy and to embrace a healthy lifestyle.

 

 

INTERESTING RESOURCES:

 

Food as Medicine:

https://draxe.com/nutrition/article/food-is-medicine/

 

Essential oils as medicine:

https://www.altmedicine101.com/top-essential-oils

 

Herbs as medicine:

https://draxe.com/health/treatments/herbal-medicine/

 

Homeopathic Medicines:

https://www.homeopathicology.com/homeopathic-medicines-list-a-to-z

Invisible People

photo of clouds covering the sun

 

Do you ever feel invisible? People tend to ignore us, overlook us or even have some prejudice about us because of our age, ethnicity, looks, flaws, address, and/or clothing. Even when people ask us a question, their mind wanders when we answer it.

 

I prayed about this some years ago, and the Lord loving answered, “It is not your problem, it is theirs.” People today have no attention span, some are more interested in their own thoughts than in really hearing our viewpoint, their mind often wanders to other conversations going on around us, etc.

 

Sometimes the answers that we give people are too wordy, and we can learn to give just the main details of our answer instead; however, not many people learned the art of truly listening with compassion and interest in the other person.

 

We can change this phenomenon in our world by truly paying attention to other people, asking them how they are and inquiring about their week or their family, and then actively focusing on their answer with our undivided attention.

 

Everyone is important and needs to feel valued and cared about. As we are out in public, we can really change a person’s day by smiling at them, and saying hello to everyone who gives us eye contact. This habit can help them to feel validated as a human being that matters.

 

To let people know that you really “see” them and care about them as an individual, ask a retail clerk, a fellow patient in the doctor’s office, the person behind you in the check-out line, etc. a simple question or comment, like:

“How is your day going?”

“What book are you reading?”

“Are you here for a routine check-up or for some specific issue?”

“I like your… (hair, outfit, smile, etc.)”.

 

Some people are too private or shy to talk to strangers, so we do not press them into a conversation. Just that little bit of attention from us may warm their heart, though. These attempts to reach out to others may even open the door for us to share Christ with them.

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us that Your Trinity lives within us and that You want to use us to reach out to those that You bring our way. Give us Your patience and wisdom during these divine appointments, and help us to open the door to an eternity with You for as many people as will respond to our efforts to reach out to them.

 

Remind us of all the people in our life that made us feel special by a sincere inquiry or comment. Allow this thought to spur us on to give this same attention to others that You bring our way. We want those that You direct into our life to experience Christ in us as we do in others. Help us to remain sensitive to the leading of Your Spirit and to obey His prompting to reach out to fellow sojourners in our world.

 

Thought for the Day:

When we take the time to catch the eye of those passing us in this harried world in which we live, our smile for them and our brief “Hello” may assure them that they matter, and that they are not alone in the chaos and uncertainty that surrounds us all.

 

 

Overcoming Stress and Demands

A black and white photo of heavy rain clouds over a lake

 

When our “to do” list is a mile long, we feel the pressure to get everything on the list done. We check off each item as we accomplish it, and we feel lighter and more capable with each finished project. Our identity is wrapped up in what we do.

 

The problem, however, is that we have to keep adding new, demanding duties and obligations to our list. It is never-ending; and we get weary, because we rarely have “down” time to enjoy our hobbies, sit on the porch swing, read a book, or watch a movie or sports program.

 

Our soul – our thoughts, emotions and choices – starts to suffer and we groan inwardly, take short breaths instead of deep ones. This causes us to suffer in body, soul and spirit from stress and demands. We are too tired, listless and apathetic to enjoy life.

 

Even pursuing religious activities can prevent us from doing God’s will for our life (Matthew 7:23). Jesus made it clear that He could do nothing of himself, but only that which He saw our Father do, because He drew His strength, direction and joy from living in the center of our Father’s will for Him (John 5:19).

 

Jesus’ example is a vital key for us. We learn to enter God’s rest and to be led by His Spirit. We wait on the Lord with courage and hope, because He gives us the strength to continue on, even when we are weary of doing good (Psalm 27:14, 69:3, 130:5; Galatians 6:9).

 

Our Father God actually calls us to choose to take time out of our schedule to play (Ecclesiastes 2:24-25). He also exhorts us to sit and quietly read and meditate on His Word. All through the day, we can listen to His guidance, sing His praises, and give Him thanks for all that He has already done and is doing for us.

 

We have a choice to follow the list we make of our own plans, which are often outside of God’s will for us, or to wait on the Lord for His direction in each moment of our day. As we seek Him first, He provides us with everything we need to live a fulfilled life (Matthew 6:33).

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us to judge our own motives, thoughts, words and actions according to Your precepts rather than by the standards of this world. Our identity and feelings of accomplishment should actually come from our intimate relationship with You, rather than from how many activities in which we participate each day.

 

Help us to live like a thermostat to regulate the temperature in the world around us, instead of as a thermometer, which just registers the status quo. We want to make a difference in our world and to further Your Kingdom in the earth, instead of accomplishing our own agenda. We seek Your face each moment of the day, and we obey Your Spirit’s guidance rather than to force our self into some other mold.

 

Thought for the Day:

Waiting on the Lord is as important to our soul and spirit as breathing is to our body; then, as the Spirit of God directs us, we can go out into our world and spend our energy telling others what He has done for us, lending a helping hand to those in need, or listening to a broken heart and encouraging someone who is drowning in despair.

– Proverbs 8:3

Fulfilled Promises

cow walking in the middle of road between trees leading to mountain

 

To prove that God is not in a hurry, the Bible is full of testimonies of Saints who waited years for the fulfillment of His promises. Abraham and Sarah are two such Saints. They waited 25 years for their promised child.

 

Of course, they attempted to force the fulfillment by their plan to have Abraham conceive their child through Sarah’s servant. The Arab nations came from this self-willed effort. We also often veer from God’s path for us by trying to help Him out.

 

We lack patience and do not want to delay the fulfillment of our need. We grow weary of waiting on God to change our circumstance, whether it is conceiving a child, getting married, recovering from ill health, emotional fulfillment, vocational or address changes, etc.

 

Trusting the Lord with our whole heart is difficult due to our lack of patience; therefore, we take matters into our own hands and create a huge mess from which we reap a negative back-lash for years to come. God has a perfect will for every moment of our day.

 

This requires our focused attention on His Spirit’s leading us as we walk in that will. We start by sitting quietly and waiting on Him. Then we walk in His Spirit, and we break out of the bondage of our inordinate expectations, carnal desires, playing at religion in our church life, etc.

 

God’s Spirit is always fulfilling His promises to us in His timing and way. We step deeper into God’s living water of life by following His guidance into unknown places of service and greater heights of worshiping Him with our thoughts, words and deeds.

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to set our affections on things above (Colossians 3:2), on the eternal aspects of life. Then we can rise above the limitations of this mundane earthly realm. Direct us, as You did Ezekiel, to enter the river, and to go deeper and deeper into the water until he could no longer stand, but must start to swim. He trusted You with the results, and we can too (Ezekiel 47:1-12).

 

Over the years of life, we come to realize that You are interested in us living in oneness with You. Our body is the temple of Your Holy Spirit, and He abides within us. We are not our own, we are Your unique possession (1 Corinthians 6:19). We want to serve You with every fiber of being, because Christ is our whole life (Colossians 3:3-4). You are our benevolent Father, and we live to worship You with our life.

 

Thought for the Day:

Trusting God with each moment of our day, and walking by the direction of His Holy Spirit in the center of His rest and His perfect will for our life, is the most freeing priority we can have in this imperfect world; we never drown in our weekly agenda, we accomplish our duties at home and in our vocation, we have time to play with our family and friends, and we are more productive than we ever were when we planned our own schedule.