Christ Dwelling within Us

brown wooden ceiling surface

 

 

The Trinity is one God with three separate personalities and functions – our Father, His Son and their Holy Spirit. It is often confusing when we think about Jesus. Why did He pray to the Father, if He and the Father are one (John 10:30)?

 

Jesus, as the Word, was with God from the beginning (Genesis 1:1). As part of the Godhead, He took part in Creation, and he has no beginning or end (Genesis 1:26).

 

However, He is also the only begotten Son of the Father – conceived when the Holy Spirit entered Mary’s womb and joined with her seed. Every Born Again Believer is adopted into God’s family.

 

As a human being, Jesus suffered everything that we endure; He was tempted in all points, just as we are, but without sin (Hebrews 4:15). He is the firstborn among many brethren; and He can relate to us in our trials and tribulation on this earth.

 

As descendants of Adam we all sinned; but in Christ, we are all redeemed (Galatians 2:20-21). When we repent of our sins, and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are saved for eternity (Acts 3:19; 1 John 1:9). Jesus is our High Priest and our Advocate with the Father.

 

The Trinity joins us, in a spiritual union, three entities who all dwell within each other. By the Spirit, the fullness of the Godhead dwells within us (1 Corinthians 6:17). We are complete through our union with Christ.

 

Jesus is the head over every ruler and authority (Colossians 2:19). Nothing can touch us or affect us, apart from Christ giving them permission, or by us opening the door by our own unwise or sinful choices.

 

If we are not born again, we experience our trials alone. However, in Christ, we are never alone, and He never forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5). We are not separate, but one with the Trinity. We are assisted by the Trinity in every trial, which ever assails us.

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You that Your Trinity permanently abides in our spirit once we ask for forgiveness of our sins, and ask Your Son Jesus, the Word, to richly dwell in our heart (Colossians 3:16). As our divine fortress, You protect us from the evil in the world, and You walk with us through every trial that we ever experience.

 

Your grace enables us to meet all of life’s demands in Jesus’ name. As we come to truly know You, we find a warm, committed relationship growing between us that is built on Your faithfulness and our trust of You. You prove to us all day long that You love us. We want to spend our whole life doing the same for You.

 

Thought for the Day:

It is not enough just to know that God loves us, because His love is a gift to be felt continually, moment-by-moment as we walk in His presence and act on that love throughout the day; in the face of the worse trials life offers us, we never lose hope, because it is simply light and momentary affliction when compared to the incomparable, unseen weight of glory, which God has prepared for us in eternity.

– 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Our Soul Waits on the Lord

wormseye view of trees under blue sky

 

When our soul learns to wait on the Lord, God is our continual help and shield. Our heart rejoices in His loving presence within us, and we trust His holy name. When we place our hope in Him, His mercy and grace fill our life (Psalm 33:20-22).

 

Our unchangeable Father of Lights provides every good and perfect gift from above for us to enjoy (James 1:17). When we are actively grateful for God’s blessings, we no longer concern our self with what we think is wrong with our life and what we think we need.

 

On this earth, our treasure is that on which we focus our heart (Matthew 6:21). With spiritual maturity, we learn to cherish the spiritual aspects of life more than the natural, and we are so grateful to God for His generous gifts to us.

 

We learn to thank Him for the negative circumstances, as well as the positive ones (1 Thessalonians 5:18). We no longer brood over what we used to think that we were missing, because we are so blessed by what we do have now.

 

If we do not have something or someone that we really desire, it is because God does not want us to have it at this time in our life. He planned a surprising and amazing future for us, and our desire will thwart that purpose.

 

Our desire may bring us our anticipated happiness, but God’s plans provide us with abiding joy and satisfying fulfillment that this world could never match. We sing for joy all the days of our life, growing in spiritual maturity with each passing day.

 

God’s daily provision for all of our needs helps us to focus on the positive (Psalm 107:1), and it increases our sensitivity and awareness of the world within us and around us (Ephesians 5:20). God always has our best interest at the core of His heart.

 

Prayer:

Father God, teach us that appreciating all of the little blessings that You provide makes us ready to receive the bigger things that You have planned for our future (Matthew 25:23). We sit at Jesus’ feet like Mary did (Luke 10:39), and as His loving adopted siblings, we rest our head in His lap. We feel Him caressing our hair with His nail scarred hands, and we weep with joy and gratitude to Him for paying the debt for our sins.

 

We praise You for all that You give us, and we honestly share with You our deepest concerns without any preconceived expectations; however, teach us to wait on You with eager anticipation for whatever You have in store for us. Help us not to whine, nag, complain or dictate to You, but to simply rest in Your love, to trust You with our whole heart, and to walk in Your Spirit each moment of our day (Psalm 50:23).

 

Thought for the Day:

As our intimacy with God grows, we learn to appreciate all of the nuances of the present moment, and we focus on the here and now, instead of the past or future; when we overly analyze what is happening, or worse-case scenario about what may happen in the future, or feel guilt and dread over the past; we rob our life of energy needed to follow God’s will in this present minute of time.

 

God Loved us First

rock formation seashore

 

If we say that we love God, but we harbor unforgiveness in our heart toward someone, God’s Word calls us a liar. It makes sense that if we cannot love someone that we can see, we do not really love our Supreme Being whom we have never seen (1 John 4:20).

 

This is not as restrictive as it sounds. When someone wounds us deeply, it is hard for us to get over it. However, forgiveness has nothing to do with how we feel; yet, everything pertaining to how we act.

 

God never calls us to like someone, but simply to allow Him to love them through us. This is an awesome testimony to our adversaries. Unless they are cold-hearted, or deeply wounded themselves, they cannot help but resolve the conflict with us when they experience this sacrificial love.

 

Of course, we do not have to spend hours of time with them, or hang out with them in social gathers. We simply follow the direction of God’s Spirit whenever He puts us in the same vicinity with them.

 

Everyone needs love. They want to feel cherished, cared for and needed. When they do not receive this affirmation, they get discouraged and lose hope. As we love others, we show gratitude to God, and prove to the world that we are followers of Jesus Christ (John 13:34-35).

 

God’s Agape love transcends the physical and emotional realms of life. Christ’s love is self-sacrificing, yet not codependent. Christ does not encourage us to stop caring for our own needs. If we do not love our self first, we can never love someone else (Mark 12:31).

 

The balance in enjoying a healthy sense of love for our “self” here has nothing to do with selfish ambition or vain conceit, but with humility in considering others better than our selves (Philippians 2:3) at the same time that we make sure our needs are met as well.

 

Prayer:

Father God, the love that You want for us and in us defies natural affection, and loves in spite of the recipient’s attitude and behavior. Your love works miracles in people’s lives. We receive Your love unconditionally; therefore, we can love our self and others unconditionally too.

 

You loved us before we even knew You (Romans 5:8). When we share Your love with others, we bring glory and honor to Your name. You showed us how to love one another deeply, from the heart (1 Peter 1:22). We rejoice when others rejoice, and we cry when others hurt, but most of all, we forgive even our vilest offender, simply because You forgave us.

 

Thought for the Day:

God calls us to love others as Jesus loves us, and He loved us enough to leave the riches of Heaven, even though we are completely unlovable and sinful; this level of love inspires us to demonstrate this same love to our self, and to one another, as we reflect the joy and peace found only in Jesus, and we are an extension of Christ’s love to everyone in our sphere of influence.