Steadfast and Immovable

black and white rugged mountain with green leafed trees at daytime

If we cling to our confidence as members of God’s family, we prevent our trials from watering down our faith, or putting doubts in our mind about God’s faithfulness. We remain steadfast and immovable to the end (Hebrews 3:14-15).

 

Israel grieved God’s heart for 40 years when they refused to trust Him to help them to overcome the giants who faced them in the Promised Land. They failed to believe God, and their unbelief prevented them from entering in to all He had planned for them (Hebrews 3:16-19).

 

As they wandered in the wilderness, God still provided for them and led them until the entire generation died of old age. God provides for us too, and gives all of us rest from our labors when we believe that He is, and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).

 

The temptations we encounter in life are basically the same for everyone. If we trust in Him, God faithfully prevents the temptations from circumventing the boundaries of our ability in Christ to overcome them. He always gives us a way to endure and to escape them (1 Corinthians 10:13).

 

God does not promise not to give us more trials than we can bear (John 16:33). In fact, He often heaps more and more discouraging situations on our life in an attempt to cause us to stop relying on our self, and to trust in His provision in and through them.

 

Resting from our labor (Revelation 4:13) sounds wondrous to me. It means that we rest in the Lord during our 9 to 5, our daily grind, the endless household chores, settling arguments between siblings, being too busy to find time to enjoy our intimacy with our spouse, etc.

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for Your peace, love, joy and grace, which sustain us through all of our tribulation as You work character in our life (James 1:3). Thank You also for helping us to walk away from Satan’s attempt to draw us away from You through temptation. You enable us to succeed as victors rather than to succumb as victims of the devil’s snares (2 Timothy 2:26).

 

We do not want to grieve Your Spirit, or to break Your heart, so we praise You for helping us to recognize Satan’s lies and to resist all temptation by renewing our mind with the mind of Christ (Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 2:16). Keep us from living lives that are excessively preoccupied with worldly pursuits, and to live as a praise to Your holy name.

 

Thought for the Day:

If we make a commitment to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, read the Bible, listen to the preaching of God’s Word, worship with fellow Christians, and share with others what Christ is doing in our life, then Satan will find very little that he can use to tempt us to sin, and overcoming temptation gets easier for us every day.

– Psalm 27:11; Ephesians 6:10-18

 

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

 

 

 

 

Broken Pieces Restored

bird flying under the sky

 

God’s light filters through the cracks in broken lives, as He heals the pieces of our devastated life. If we spend our time attempting to fill in the gaps of our own life – with trinkets, junkets and markets – we leave no room for His healing Light, Hope and Recovery.

 

Our salvation lies in Christ, whose Spirit is ready to redeem us by His blood, regenerate us with His sanctification, and fill us with His presence. Once we humble our self and ask for forgiveness for our sins, God’s Spirit perfects us from one stage of glory to the next (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

God’s unconditional love draws us to Himself, and we learn to rest in His love, peace and joy. We realize that His desire is to bless us, and we look for the seed for a miracle that He plants within the soil of each trial we experience. God is worthy of our trust (Psalm 20:7; 1 Timothy 4:10).

 

As He heals our broken fragments, God makes us stronger than we were before the tribulation. Set-backs as well as millstones, which hang around our neck, become milestones in our walk with the Lord. He gives us the victory regardless of our natural abilities, talents and wisdom.

 

God’s Word is full of examples of Him using brokenness for His glory. Broken clay pitchers in Gideon’s victory, a broken rooftop for friends to lower their loved one down for healing by Jesus, a little boy’s broken lunch to feed the multitudes, a broken boat to direct Paul to his next place of ministry, etc.

 

God uses our brokenness as well. Fighting our pain keeps our focus on our issues, embracing our trauma and fully feeling it – even crying over it – allows us to expend its energy. Tears wash away our pain, and looking to God for healing gives us supernatural hope that lasts a lifetime.

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us that in this imperfect, sin-cursed world we are either coming out of a trial, going into a test, or there is an uphill climb just waiting for us around the corner. Through it all, we can trust in You with our whole heart (Proverbs 3:5-6), looking for the miracle that You send with each negative experience.

 

We give You the glory for Your loving kindness and constant provision for our life. Teach us to rejoice in our tribulation (Romans 5:3), and to totally surrender each aspect of our life to You. We want to learn to cast our cares on Your capable shoulders, because we know without a doubt that You truly care for us (1 Peter 5:7).

 

Thought for the Day:

In our anguish, as we cry out to the Lord, He hears us; when we wait patiently for the Lord, He walks with us and in us through our issues; as we unreservedly trust in Him, He sets our feet firmly on the Rock of Christ as our firm, immovable foundation.

– Psalm 40:1-3

 

Gods Word is a Light and Lamp

wheat field under clear blue sky

 

 

God is our Shepherd, and He will always provide for us what we need. We have His provision, protection, peace, healing, refreshment, restoration and comfort (Psalm 23). He never leaves or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5).

 

Although we have tribulation in this world, we are also hidden with Christ in God (John 16:33; Colossians 3:3). He clutches us securely in His hand, hides us under His wings, and gives us safety as our strong tower. This union gives us peace in the midst of every trial (Proverbs 18:10; Psalm 23, 91; Isaiah 41:13).

 

When our time comes to leave this earthly realm and to enter into God’s presence, He causes this to happen without any pause between earth and heaven. Our body dies and goes to the grave, but our soul and spirit are immediately with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). We never actually die (John 11:26).

 

As we travel His path for us in this earthly realm, we rely heavily on His Word to advise us, to increase our hope, and to allow His peace to sustain us – which has nothing to do with our circumstances (Deuteronomy 6:6-9). We set our heart on His face and live in His joy.

 

God’s Word is a lamp to keep our feet from stumbling back into sin, and a light to guide our way as we walk by the direction of His Holy Spirit (Psalm 119:105). As we immerse our self in the life-giving words of the Bible, we start to view everything in our life from God’s perspective.

 

Skipping a day of reading the Bible will become a habit if we are not careful. This allows Satan to have more of an influence in our life than God does (Colossians 3:5-9). The devil will fill our time with more TV, ungodly music, unsavory friendships, unhealthy habits, unwise choices, etc. in order to further draw us away from God (Proverbs 13:20).

 

Feasting on God’s Word every day of our life keeps us strong and healthy in body, soul and spirit (Psalm 16:8). We focus our mind on spiritual matters, more than on worldly concerns (Colossians 3:2). This eliminates the abundance of stress, fears and anxiety from our life (Philippians 4:6).

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to overcome every thought, word or deed that does not line up with Your Word. We want You to control us as we submit to Your Spirit’s guidance each moment of the day. You lead us to enjoy the wholesome activities of this life, to join the church where You need us to serve You, to work at the vocation to which You call us, etc. We want to make a difference in our world for Your Kingdom.

 

Teach us to love – with Your unconditional, agape love – our mate, children, extended family, and church family, as well as strangers that You bring into our life. Be the Lord of our thoughts, words, emotions, choices and behavior all the days of our life as we continually focus on You and Your plans for us (Proverbs 9:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17).

 

Thought for the Day:

When we realize the magnitude of our position of being hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 2:3), we die to the desire to sin, and we make God’s Kingdom our complete focus; this affects our thoughts, emotions, fulfillment, success, and prosperity in this life as it also assures our place in God’s eternal family.

 

Cherished Moments

 

 

We enrich our relationships when we take the time to cherish the moments, rather than filling our days with busyness that pulls us in too many different directions. We put down our phone and laptop and look into each other’s eyes, really connecting with our child, spouse, friend, workmate or neighbor.

 

If we hurry through life as a slave to our busy schedule, as well as to the work demands in our vocation and in household chores, we miss the moments we could be spending with our loved ones. Expectations also cause us to make excuses to avoid enjoying God’s companionable silence.

 

We miss any wisdom that our Daddy God wishes to impart to us by neglecting our relationships with Him. We also cheat our self out of many blessings in our life by not spending time with our family and fellow mankind. This deprives us of the camaraderie that is so prevalent in special friendships.

 

Rather than building memories to cherish for a lifetime, we fill our days with activities that hold no real value. It just makes sense to slow down and to pay attention to anyone who is sitting alone, one who looks sad or reflective, our spouse and children, our church family, etc.

 

We never really meet a stranger, just potential new friends. The person we reach out to may even change our life forever. We can slow down, rather than moving so fast, making the time to interact with those God sends our way, as well as the special people in our life.

 

Spending time throughout the day with our Heavenly Father helps us to relax from our scalp to our toes, and maneuvers us into a position to hear from Him as we pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). God showers us with His continual blessings.

 

Prayer:

Father God, teach us that there is so much fulfillment available to us by sitting in nature and soaking up vitamin D from the sun’s rays, listening to bird songs or the croaking of bullfrogs, finding shapes in the clouds, planting a flower garden to provide for pollinating insects, chatting over the fence with our neighbor, visiting a shut-in, sharing a cup of coffee at our local café, sitting on the park bench, listening to a friend’s grief or victories, etc.

 

Help us to make Christ our life (Colossians 3:3-4), and to steadfastly follow after Your plans for our life, rather than our own ways and devises. You are totally trustworthy, full of abundant grace, and You deserve our trust as we hope only in You. Even in negative circumstances, You provide for us, perfect our soul, strengthen our spirit and our faith, and give us Your joy and peace. We praise You with every breath that we take.

 

Thought for the Day:

We never know when we may encounter a divine appointment to allow God to love someone through us, to share the gospel, or to help relieve a burden; and that person may even end up meeting a need that we have, or impacting the circumstances we are experiencing at this time.

 

A Good Marriage – Maintaining a Godly Focus

focus photography of pink petaled flower at daytime

 

One way to maintain God’s focus on our relationship with our spouse is to make a list at the end of the day of everything they did to support us in any way, even those things which we often take for granted and come to expect; and then, we take time to let our spouse know what we appreciate about them (Philippians 4:8).

 

This way we defeat Satan’s efforts to make us focus on the negative aspects that occurred. None of us is perfect, and we all make mistakes and have our peculiarities. We all have room for improvement, so we can make forgiveness a regular part of our daily routine.

 

Remembering that their intention is not to cause problems for us, but to communicate their true feelings with us, as well as to support and to love us, allows us to show more grace to one another. We can forgive any slights, and look forward to coming home to our spouse every day.

 

In our discussions about our problems, we waste our time by attempting to convince our spouse that they were at fault and we are the innocent bystander. We accomplish much more by remembering that we are partners, and we are here to work out a mutually satisfying solution to any issue.

 

We can take ownership for the mistakes we made to cause this situation, and apologize to one another. If they misunderstood our tone, intent or motives, we can express regret and articulate our thoughts in another way to help them to understand.

 

Making a fresh commitment to our relationship every day gives us the courage to do whatever it takes to repair any breach in our unity. This enables us to grow more intimate with each other and to have more compassion for any oversight or misjudgment on their part.

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us that we are in the midst of a battle of spiritual warfare every day of our marriage. Satan is always looking for ways to divide us and to destroy our unity. Help us to draw together as a couple and to present a united front as we face any disagreements or problems. We can always find an alternative solution that we both agree on for any issue that arises.

 

Teach us how to accept each other as we are, to have patience with each other’s weaknesses, and to encourage one another’s strengths. Remind us to discover our mate’s love language, rather than to love them in our own way. This helps our efforts to grow more intimate with each other and to foster a deeper sense of friendship and support. We want to walk in Your ways and to follow Your Spirit’s direction each and every day.

 

Thought for the Day:

Discovering our mate’s love language, and using that to show our love to them, increases our ability to improve our marital unity, and to let our spouse know how much we appreciate and cherish them in our life.

https://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/

 

Communicating with God

low-angle photography of green leaf trees at daytime

 

Did you ever make a “telephone” with paper cups connected by a string? As long as my playmate and I kept the string taut, the voices carried clearly from the speaker to the listener.

 

If we got too eager and moved closer to one another, the dialogue ended, because the line was no longer taut. The further my playmate leaned toward me to hear, the longer our communication was interrupted, because the line grew looser still. Even if I yelled louder, she still heard nothing.

 

This happens sometimes when we try to communicate with our Heavenly Father. We tell Him our issues and hear no response. Then we try talking louder, even yelling and questioning if He is even listening to us. Until we rest and quit straining forward, we hear nothing!

 

Communication is not re-established until we relax and sit back. Sometimes, static – caused by the cares of the world, sin in our life, and idols that we pursue – slurs our conversation and interrupts our communication with the Lover of our soul.

 

The Lord is there all the time, trying to speak to us, but we do not hear Him, due to our stressing, straining and striving to communicate with Him; or due to the sludge of life, which stops up the flow of our interaction with our Daddy God.

 

When we lay down our attachment to the world, the Holy Spirit washes away the residue from the sludge that we allowed to build up between us. Our communication is restored without any exertion at all when we rest in His love and grace.

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for always listening to us. Even when our stress level interrupts our communication, You never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). You are always there inside of us…loving us, coaching us, cleansing us and leading us through life.

 

In times of silence between us, You are still there, and we can enjoy Your presence even when we say nothing. Help us to reject the lies from Satan who feeds on the fears and insecurities of our soul. We love You with our whole heart and we have faith in Your faithfulness.

 

Thought for the Day:

When we quit trying so hard, our anxiety and stress diminish; and when we cease our self-efforts and trust the Lord to speak in His timing, the communication line between us tightens once again and we can hear clearly now.

 

Dancing in the Rain

blue-and-white-petaled flowers

The Bible story about building our house on the sand or on the rock is not only a great message for children, but also for us as adults (Matthew 7:24-27). We can only weather the storms of life with integrity and support, if we build upon the Rock of Christ.

 

Other people, a vocation, financial status, talents, education, etc. do not make a solid foundation on which we can stand firm. Trusting God with our life is the only true solid ground that we can find. He is our foundation; and He gives us true significance, perseverance and purpose, as well as His wisdom, peace and joy.

 

Trusting in our human abilities, intelligence, understanding and power diminishes our chance of success of surviving the gales of life. It is only as we rely on the Lord with our whole heart, and consult Him for His plans for us each moment of the day, that He can direct our steps (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

As we tenaciously devour His Word, walk in His Spirit, and obey His precepts, we flourish in every area of our life. God never fails to strengthen the faint-hearted with His grace, to lead us to our Rock, to provide for us a refuge and strong tower, and to call us to find shelter under His wings (Psalm 61:2-4).

 

His supernatural power and unfailing love sustains us through every trial (Psalm 62:11-12). As we submit to His sovereign will, His power is made perfect in our weaknesses (2 Corinthians 12:9). He answers our prayers, and even if He tells us “No”, it is for our own good.

 

Pride, arrogance and rebellion will prevent us from seeing our sins, repenting of them, and surrendering to God’s perfect will for our life (Romans 2:17-24). He calls us to relinquish our trust in our human strengths, and to trust in Him instead (Romans 2:25-29).

 

God’s faithfulness is everlasting (Romans 3:1-8). We can totally trust Him with our life, as we give up our own efforts to produce fulfillment and success. The authentic Believer will rely on God’s Spirit to produce positive changes in our situation and in our soul.

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for redeeming and transforming us into the image of Your Son, Jesus. We also appreciate You giving us Your Word to sustain us throughout our life on this earth. Without it, we would suffer weariness, anxiety, frustration, defeat, etc. We trust in You regardless of Your answers to our prayers, because we know that You are faithful.

 

Remind us that as we stop relying on our self, we will see Your work in our life to perfect us, to provide for us, and to protect us from the storms of this life. Help us to see the seed for a miracle, which You plant within every trial that we will ever experience, and to know without a doubt that You work out everything for our eventual good (Romans 8:28).

 

Thought for the Day:

Jesus is our Rock, our very life; His ways are perfect, and all of His judgments are righteous; He is the God of truth, and in Him there is no iniquity or fault; we can totally trust Him with every facet of our existence, as we serve Him all the days of our life.

– Colossians 3:3-4; Deuteronomy 32:4

Grace-filled Days

rock cliff near shore

 

All too often we allow a root of bitterness to wreak havoc in our emotions, destroy our health, and affect our relationships with others. Bitterness stems from hurt, disappointment, frustrations, discontentment, and anger; but it sends out deep roots into our soul (Hebrews 12:15).

 

God’s Word not only warns us against allowing this root to splay its roots into every area of our life, but it also gives us practical ways to exchange it for grace-filled days (Hebrews 4:16). Some of them are:

 

  1. Refocus

When our mind toys with a negative thought or two, we can refocus our reflections, save our neurons from being adversely reprogrammed, and keep our body balanced and in good health (Proverbs 17:22). We do this by focusing only on the positive aspects of our life (Philippians 4:8).

 

  1. Share God’s Grace

This helps us to bear each other’s burdens and to emphasize one another’s strengths, which allows us to accept each other right where we are, and teaches us how to restore the relationship from our side of the equation.

 

  1. Forgiving

The first step in sealing the grace-filled days we all want and need is to forgive our self. If we can make restitution for our part in the breach in our relationships, God will show us the way. This aids us in forgiving our self for hurting someone else.

If we were the victim, and feel the pain of the circumstances, the next step is to forgive the perpetrator of our wounds, and to take our feelings to God for healing. Refusing to forgive does not hurt anyone else, but it does sow the seeds of bitterness in our heart.

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us that Jesus forgave us while we were still perpetual sinners, chained by our unbelief (John 3:18). Now, we can follow His example and forgive our self and others. Your Word teaches us that this does not excuse or shield anyone from the negative behavior behind their offenses, but it does free us and others in our life from the root of bitterness.

 

Your agape love is unconditional, and by Your grace we enjoy unity with Your Godhead who abides within us. Your presence helps us to put the events of our day into a proper viewpoint, and to discover a new perspective on the issues. We walk in Your freedom, and we enjoy the benefits of Your forgiveness in our life as well (Matthew 6:14).

 

Thought for the Day:

Corrie ten Boom survived a Nazi concentration camp that her family endured, which included them because they tried to hide the threatened Jews in their neighborhood. Prior to their arrest, her dad reminded her that God’s grace would see them through this horrific trial exactly when they needed it; and God does the same for us, so we can receive His grace, which is always sufficient for us, in our times of tribulation.

– 2 Corinthians 12:9; Lamentations 3:22-23, The Hiding Place

 

 

Enduring Love

closeup photo of Christmas tree with ornament and lighted lights

We all know that Jesus died to pay the penalty of the sin of the whole world (John 3:16-17). However, have you ever taken responsibility for the part that your personal sins played in those events? That narrows it down, doesn’t it; a virtual slap in the face that sobers us up quickly and shockingly.

 

It is our individual fault that Jesus suffered, felt abandoned and died. I have one-piece Nativity sets in every room of my house, because they are all constant reminders to me of what my sin did to Jesus. I diligently shrink away from anything coarse and unrighteous.

 

Jesus had to leave His place in glory, to suffer the calamity of humanity for 33 years, and to face the hatred and rejection of almost everyone in His life. He endured the horrendous suffering of persecution, fake trials, and crucifixion for my sake and yours.

 

During His lifetime, Jesus attempted to convince the religious leaders, as well as the multitudes, that He was God in the flesh; however, only a few, then as now, actually believed in Him and trusted Him with their life (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

The seeds of His words did not fall on fertile soil in the hearts of those around Him (Mark 4:8). Witnessing His miracles had no lasting effect on the multitudes. He was despised and rejected by people who needed His love (Isaiah 53:3), even some of His own family members. We experience this in our life too.

 

Eventually, Jesus triumphed over both sin and death (Romans 5:17), making a way for authentic Believers to enjoy an intimate union with Him during our lifetime, and also to spend eternity with Him. He is only a prayer away, if we humble our self and call upon His name.

 

The most unthinkable consequence of my sins caused Jesus to be abandoned by our Father’s presence while He became sin for me. I could not survive the trials of life if God removed His presence from me. I depend on His constant fellowship and guidance each moment of my day.

 

Prayer:

Father God, open our eyes to our culpability for the things that Jesus suffered, and help us to take personal responsibility for what our own sins did to Him. Cause this truth to penetrate the shield that we often place around our heart, and break us with the weight of how our thoughts, words and actions drove those nails in His body, hung Him to suffocate on that cross, and caused His side to be pierced by the soldier’s spear.

 

What I find the most repulsive is that my sins caused Him to lose the fellowship of Your presence when He became sin for me. Thank You for forgiving me, and for sending Your only begotten Son to sacrifice His life on our behalf, for His faithful union with us through each moment of our day, and for His promise of an eternity to enjoy His physical presence as we serve Him in His Kingdom. We sing praises to His glorious name now and forever, and we look forward to serving You for eternity.

 

Thought for the Day:

Our Rock of Ages is an ever-present help for us in our time of need (Isaiah 26:4); but if we only seek His provision, we will never be happy; however, if we seek Him and His presence in our life, we will live a fulfilled life regardless of our circumstances.