Improving our Quality of Life

We clutter our life by collecting more than we need and things we rarely use. This lack of order effects our soul and spirit as well. We feel confusion within and are troubled by negative emotions because of the chaos.

 

A good rule to follow to prevent this malady is to make sure everything you purchase has a place and to keep everything in its place. Material possessions do not make us any happier and often contribute to our depression when they irritate us with clutter.

 

Keep each room sparsely furnished and make sure you have enough drawers, cabinets, closets and shelves to keep everything organized. If not, give it away to a friend or a charity thrift store.

 

This makes cleaning easier and more attractive to our soul, because we do not have to push the clutter around in order to dust or clean the floors. Seeking material possessions never really makes us happy.

 

We also feel more out of control if we reap too much debt in response to our spending. We tend to feel like a victim and ignore our personal responsibility in our problems.

 

Investing our life and finances in people, ministry and furthering God’s Kingdom is much more rewarding then spending it on more possessions. Mingling with our church family keeps us aware of their circumstances and burdens that we can help to relieve.

 

Prayer:

Father God, giving is a tradition during more than the Christmas season. Your generosity and love are ours all year around; and as we share them with others, we put a smile on every face, including our own.

 

Revive our Spirit within us (Psalm 51:10) with Your wisdom, love, peace and joy all through the year. Make us an instrument of Your love and a channel for Your peace on earth and in the hearts of others throughout our lifetime.

 

Thought for the Day:

Surrendering our budget, activities, thoughts and feelings to the Lord will keep us in a positive mood, which attracts more friends and improves our influence over our own life and the ministries in which we participate with our church family and in our community.

 

 

My Soul Waits for the Lord

Jesus fills the hungry soul with His life, peace and joy. What is our soul? It is one entity in our triune make-up: our body, soul and spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23). The soul is our thoughts, feelings and choices.

 

One word for soul in the Bible is ”pxyxe” and means to breathe, or to blow. God breathed His breath of life into us and our soul was born. We get our words psyche, psychology, etc. from this root word. The soul is our personality, our identity as an individual.

 

God justifies us in our spirit through salvation; He will glorify our body with immortality when we see Jesus face-to-face; but He sanctifies our soul in a life-long process to make us as holy as He is holy.

 

If we earnestly seek the Lord with our whole heart and soul, we shall find Him (Deuteronomy 4:29; Matthew 22:37). We thirst for Him in this desert of life; we long for Him with our entire being (Psalm 63:1).

 

If we do not seek Him, we may gain the whole world, but we will lose our soul to the fires of hell throughout eternity (John 3:18: Matthew 16:26). The better choice is to search for an intimate union with God with the entire focus of our heart (Jeremiah 29:13).

 

God created us as an awesome and wonderfully made body, soul and spirit and placed our soul in our innermost being. We find true rest for our soul in God through salvation (Psalm 62:1; Jeremiah 6:16).

 

When our soul is depressed and disturbed within us, we can put our hope in God, praising Him in the good times and the bad (Psalm 42:11). He works out even the most horrific details of our life for our good (Romans 8:28).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You created us so that we prosper in life in the same manner that our soul prospers (3 John 1:2). If our soul is overwhelmed and depressed, it affects our body and spirit as well. Help us to see that we will prosper only as we love You foremost in our heart, walk in obedience to Your precepts, keep Your commandments, hold fast to You and serve You with our whole heart and soul (Joshua 22:5).

 

We praise Your holy name from our innermost being, because You have delivered us from the destructive pathway of sin (Psalm 71:23, 103:1). Our whole being waits for You, and our hope is based on Your Word (Psalm 130:5). Your encouragement of us is sweeter than a honeycomb, feeds our soul and heals our body (Proverbs 16:24).

 

Thought for the Day:

In our final days on this earth, we will clearly see that God did not fail to deliver any of His promises to us; if we appreciate all that He does for us now and walk only in His will, we will reap the benefits of an eternal life blessed by His love. – Joshua 23:14

 

Jesus is Our True Soulmate

God created us in the image of the Trinity as a triune being (Genesis 1:26). We are body, soul and spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 4:12). At birth, our spirit (pneuma) is dead in sin, which we inherited from Adam and Eve.

 

Yet, at the moment of our salvation, God’s Spirit quickens our spirit; and it is no longer dead in sin, but alive in Christ (Ephesians 2:1-10, 3:3-4). When we pass from this life, our body goes to the grave, but our soul and spirit go to our eternal reward.

 

Our soul (psuche) is the place where our thoughts, emotions and choices are decided upon. It is our deep-seated personality, conscience, appetites and passions; and it drives our body and hinders or promotes our spirit (Psalm 31:10).

 

As we pass from this life, our body goes to the grave. Our spirit and soul go to our eternal home of heaven or hell, depending on our belief in Jesus Christ as our Savior (John 3:18; Luke 16:22-24; Romans 2:9; Psalm 49:15).

 

At salvation, God also delivers our soul from corruption (Psalm 16:10; Isaiah 38:17; Job 33:18). If we allow His influence in our life, God is involved in every nuance of our moods to deliver us from evil (Acts 2:27; Hebrews 10:39; James 1:21).

 

When Jesus returns to earth to bring home His Bride, our spirit, soul and immortal body are reunited for eternity (1 Corinthians 15:45-57; 2 Timothy 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:17; Matthew 16:26).

 

With an eternity in hell, our soul continues to experience weary, hungry, bitter, grieving, loving, rejoicing, etc. emotions (Psalm 42:2; 107:9; Jeremiah 31:25; Leviticus 26:11; Job 30:25; Song of Solomon 1:7). Yet in heaven, there is no more sickness or negative emotions (Revelation 21:4).

 

The Trinity created us in their image and calls us to surrender our spirit, soul and body to Him (Job 33:4; Genesis 12:5, 17:14; Ezekiel 18:4). With Christ residing within us as our true soulmate, we no longer face the prospect of separation from God in this life and the next (Haggai 2:13; Leviticus 21:11).

 

Prayer:

Father God, many people fail to realize that our eternal state not only involves our spirit, but our soul as well. Our soul registers all of the thoughts and emotions that it does during this life, including pain and joy (Luke 16:22-24). We actually condemn our self to an eternity of torment by our choice not to believe in Jesus as our Savior (John 3:18).

 

Help us to be wise and to respond to Your call when Your Spirit draws us to step out of the devil’s kingdom of darkness and into Your Kingdom of light (Colossians 1:13). Remind us that You desire to rejoice over us with singing and You do not want anyone to perish in sin (Zephaniah 3:17; John 3:16-17; 2 Peter 3:9).

 

Thought for the Day:

There is no true profit for us if we gain the whole world, and yet to lose our own soul in the lake of fire for eternity – Matthew 16:26

 

 

 

 

A Good Marriage – Common Ground

Winning is not the ultimate prize of life; it is the manner in which we finish the race that counts the most. It is often the last straggler across the finish line that receives the most attention, because they persevered to the very end.

 

Winning an argument is not necessary to feel validated either. We can concede that we are wrong, if indeed we are, without any shame or recrimination.

 

We have a viewpoint that differs from our employer’s, friend’s, neighbor’s, child’s, parent’s or spouse’s perspective; but no less right or wrong than theirs.

 

There is nothing heroic about destroying a marriage, because we soon realize that we were acting as pawns on Satan’s game board, playing right into his hands and wreaking havoc for generations to come.

 

If both parties in a disagreement are willing to bear with one another and to lay our life down for each other, there is always a way to peacefully resolve all issues and to avoid fighting and drama.

 

Neither of us is the enemy, we are simply fellow sojourners in this life with equal rights and privileges in the family of God. Quickly apologizing from the heart for any hurt we cause during a disagreement goes a long way in keeping unity in our relations.

 

Repairing our relationships is so much more mature than rending them in half and going our separate ways – leaving a trail of broken hearts and lives behind us. A trained counselor can help us to negotiate our differences.

 

Seeking wisdom from God’s Word and His Spirit during times of prayer can also help us to breach any gaps in our unity. We negotiate until we find common ground on which to stand.

 

Prayer:

Father God, You remind us not to separate what You bind together. You admonish us not to break any vow that we make, but to honor our commitment to one another with charity, patience and kindness. You want us to work together to find an equitable solution to any conflicts in our marriage, as well as in our affiliations at work and in Your Body.

 

Give us Your wisdom to maintain peace and to show Your agape love to those who wound us; to turn the other cheeks and to bear with one another’s idiosyncrasies and foibles. Give us patience to love one another as Christ loves the church; so we can represent living sacrifices as a testimony to an unbelieving world.

 

Thought for the Day:

There is nothing heroic in winning at the cost of someone else’s expense; but in laying down our life and serving one another with the love of our Father toward us.

 

Things of This World

When we lived on Tonya Ct. in Bonita Springs, FL I loved my one bedroom/one bath home, my flower gardens, my mini-van and my Pomeranian and calico cat. However, my dog died and we sold our Tonya Ct. home.

 

Things of this world are temporary at best. I’ve always loved sappy movies, treasure hunting at thrift stores, writing novels and devotionals, walking in nature, hanging out with my husband and worshipping with God’s people.

 

We can lose our standard of living or things that we cherish in this life without a moment’s notice. I always attempt to remove anything in my life that causes a spiritual impediment.

 

I deal with any physical ailment using nature’s remedies and with as little medicine and surgery as possible. Yet, we all die of something.

 

Once I get the “big one” that is going to take my life, I will not fight it; because I look forward to my homecoming in Heaven. How can I say this?

 

In Christ dwells all the fullness of the triune God; and this same powerful Jesus dwells in us. He hides us with Himself in God (Colossians 2:9, 3:3; Romans 6:8).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we are Your offspring and You transform us with ever increasing glory into the likeness of Your Son (2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 12:2). Christ is glorified in us when we live and move and have our existence in Him (Acts 17:28; John 17:10).

 

Sanctify us until we exhibit Christ’s character in us, which is the fruit of Your Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). With Your divine nature infusing every part of our spirit, body and soul – our mind, choices and emotions, we live a fulfilled and victorious life (Acts 17:28-19; 1 Thessalonians 5:23).

 

Thought for the Day:

God wants to fill us through all of our being with all of His fullness, so that we might acquire the richest measure of His divine presence within us until we are completely filled and flooded to overflowing with God Himself (Ephesians 3:16-19; 4:13 Amplified Bible).

The Lord Preserves His Faithful

The Lord preserves His faithful, those who love Him and keep His commandments (Psalm 31:23). He does not want us to obey for His sake as much as He does for our own sake.

 

We avoid so many troubles and trials when we do things His way. After all, Father really does know best. He created us for His purpose and when we walk in His will, our life proceeds so much more smoothly and effortlessly.

 

Our soul finds rest in God alone. He is our only rock and salvation, our fortress that prevents life from shaking our faith. We have strong courage to face life’s issues, because God strengthens our heart as we hope in Him (Psalm 31:23, 62:1).

 

God is our hiding place and He preserves us in trouble by encompassing us with songs of deliverance (Psalm 32:7). Whenever we are afraid, we can trust in Him (Psalm 53:3).

 

Yet, He allows the proud and arrogant who refuse to believe in Jesus for salvation to reap the results of their choices – even to the point of eternity in the fires of damnation (John 3:18; Psalm 31:23).

 

We are crucified with Christ and share in His death to sin, even though we still live on this earth. Christ lives in us and we live by His faith in us (Galatians 2:20). We are dead to this world and our life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:1-3).

 

As we delight our self in the Lord, God puts His desires in our heart (Psalm 37:4). We make the effort it takes to clear our heart and mind of things of this world, and instead to love the Lord with all of our heart.

 

We walk in His ways, keep His commandments and cling only to Him. He orders our steps and He delights when we walk in His will (Psalm 37:23). Even if we fall in spirit, soul or body, we shall not be entirely cast down, or cast out of His Kingdom, because God holds us in His hand (Psalm 37:24).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for giving us the opportunity to be risen with Christ and for helping us to seek and set our affections and desires only on heavenly, eternal aspects (Colossians 3:1-3). You make our steps firm, when You delight in our thoughts, words and deeds.

 

Always keep us in the center of Your will; not drawn away by our fleshly desires, but kept on the straight and narrow road, designed to protect us by its simple parameters. Allow us to hear Your still small voice whispering “this is the way, walk you in it.” We always want You to delight in us, and in our ways; so You will keep our steps firm and our footing sure (Psalm 37:23).

 

Thought for the Day:

God’s river of salvation protects us in any fiery trial, and He alone is worthy of all of our trust.

 

 

Choosing to be Vulnerable

Too often I meet people who are destroyed by the unfaithfulness of people in their life. They are abused by a parent, disappointed by decisions made for them by those in authority over them, abandoned by a spouse, traumatized by infidelity, or overwhelmed by grief from some loss in their life.

 

Through life’s trials, I have learned that all people are inherently untrustworthy. You and I fall into that category as well. We never know how we will act or react to a moment of temptation and weakness. Yet, God calls us to love unconditionally.

 

If we withhold trust and love from others because we are wounded or fear the potential of being hurt, we cheat our self. We erect walls around our emotions and function in life from our mind only.

 

We refuse to feel anything because life is too painful for us. We do not emotionally invest in anyone, not even our spouse, children or church family. We simply show love by doing acts of service for them.

 

This attitude makes us feel like we are a success and doing our duty to others. Yet, this is a substitute at best – failing to fulfill us at the deepest levels of our soul.

 

This anxious arrogance actually makes us more vulnerable and increases our load of unwanted emotional baggage. We collect the incidents of abuse in our soul and hold grudges, forgiving with our mind but never from our heart.

 

God is the only entity in life that we can truly trust. He always has our best interest at heart. Even if He disciplines us or allows life to bruise us, He never allows life to totally break us (Isaiah 42:3).

 

This makes life worth the risk of allowing our self to be vulnerable to hurt, in order to experience the joy of unfettered love and acceptance. We can even more freely love our self if we allow our self to love others (Mark 12:30-31).
Prayer:

Father God, our soul can only find our true and complete rest in You alone. You are our only salvation and constant comfort and strength. You alone are our rock and fortress. No matter what life throws at us, we will never be shaken as long as we keep our focus on You (Psalm 62:1).

 

Remind us that it is easier to forgive others when we realize that they are as vulnerable and human as we are. We can actually expect to be wounded by other people, but it hurts less when we have our faith in You rather than in our fellow sojourners in this life. You give us Your agape love to share with the world and it is healing and complete.

 

Thought for the Day:

God is our only help and shield from the inherent pain life brings (Psalm 33:20), because He alone is our strength in times of trouble (Psalm 37:39), and our courage in this insecure world (Psalm 130:5); we wait in silence before Him and find our hope only from Him (Psalm 62:5).

 

A Positive Lifestyle

Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5). With each sunrise, God’s mercies are fresh, new and rejuvenating (Lamentations 3:22-24). This is true whether we are in the midst of a hail storm of trials, or free of all worry and stress.

 

God sends us hugs throughout every single day: the alignment of numbers on the digital clock, a new flower in our garden, the sunrise and set, a formation in the clouds, a stranger’s smile, an unexpected check in the mail, our neighbor’s manicured lawn and flowerbeds, etc.

 

We can even create positive experiences for our self, our mate and our children to enjoy throughout the day – refreshing treats that minister to the body and soul.

 

Rather than listening to the negative self-talk in our mind, programmed there by Satan’s lies and people in our past, we can look in the mirror and tell our soul what we like about our self – our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual assets.

 

We can give joy away if we smile at a stranger, make a new friend, start a new ministry, and practice encouraging others. This brings joy to our soul as well as theirs. Here are other ideas.

 

Plan the menu for the week full of your favorite foods. Take a break from your perpetual diet and eat a pizza full of toppings you enjoy, and indulge in one soft drink that was your favorite as a child.

 

Adopting a pet gives us a focus outside of our self and saves the life of an abused or unwanted animal. Write cards or letters, emails and make phone calls to shut-ins, neglected family members and those in the hospital.

 

Starting a new hobby that we have always wanted to try or auditing an interesting class at the local college improves our soul. Listening to uplifting music in the comfort of our recliner or even dancing around the house as we dust will still our troubled soul.

 

We can take time to lay flat in silence on the couch or bed and take deep breaths – this releases much needed endorphins and oxygen into our bloodstream.

 

Watching a comedy on TV or in a movie will help us to laugh and lighten our mood. Spending time in nature, walking through the grass in bare feet or gardening will help us to connect with the beneficial chemical output of the earth.

 

Think of your own ways to enhance the joy in your life. We can even start a support group with “Secret Santa’s”, prayer partners to share our burdens, and Bible study groups in our neighborhood. The list is endless.

 

Prayer:

Father God, too often we allow Satan to drown us in the worries, stress and burdens in life. We forget that You are our burden bearer and our Provider. You sustain us through good times and bad. You encourage us with Your Word and by Your Spirit. You teach us to encourage one another.

 

Remind us that Your Spirit abides within us with constant words of love and affirmation, and Your Word is full of verses written by people who experienced similar circumstances to our own. Your Word is a light to our path and a lamp for our feet (Psalm 119:105). We love you with all of our body, spirit and soul – our feelings, choices and emotions.

 

Thought for the Day:

Our positive, Christ-centered focus initiates the joy, strength, inspiration and creativity in our life, which all come from God’s Holy Spirit within us.

 

 

 

Getting Off the Fence

There is a popular saying that runs the gamut of Christian circles every dozen or so years. It claims that we do not want to be “so spiritually minded that we are no earthly good”.

 

That is a lie from the pit of hell. Look at Noah…He preached for 120 years, and he and his sons spent much of that time building an ark big enough to protect anyone who wanted to be saved.

 

However, since it had never rained before this time, people scoffed at them as if they were so spiritually minded they were no earthly good.

 

Many wanted to get aboard the ark after it started raining, but it was too late. God already closed the door (Genesis 7:16). A shallow consent to accept Christ in times of trouble brings no real change to a life and requires no total surrender for the glory of God.

 

Many who claim the name of Christ are oblivious to the destruction they inflict upon the Kingdom of God by sitting on the fence and exhibiting carnal words and actions (Matthew 7:16-23).

 

Contrarily, authentic Christians can never be content with participating in ritualistic, religious motions. We seek relevance in every aspect of our life. Even our hobbies are Christ-honoring.

 

Our spirit and soul are grieved by anything that grieves Christ, because He dwells within us in all of His fullness. We refrain from participating in anything that is remotely sinful.

 

We exhibit the fruit of God’s Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), which is the result of the refining fire of His sanctifying process in our life. We belong to Christ and we no longer live in the fleshly, carnal, worldly realm of life (1 John 3:9).

 

Prayer:

Father God, draw us by Your Spirit until we get off the fence and make a sincere and complete commitment to You and Your Kingdom on this earth. We grow in Christ and we are no longer in love with our self or addicted to sin. We lay down our idols – anything, which we want more than You. We submit to the total control of Your Spirit.

 

We remove our self from the throne of our life and put You in Your rightful place. We get off the fence and wholly commit our life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. We make a difference in Your Kingdom by following the leading of Your Spirit moment by moment. We fall more in love with Jesus with each passing day.

 

Thought for the Day:

As we serve our Lord, we show greater and greater enthusiasm as we allow His Spirit to lead us in service and obedience to Him.

 

 

 

My Hiding Place

 

Most people have a Happy Place. That one place on earth that makes them feel free, happy and safe. A place in nature, the mall, at home, a favorite restaurant, the back pew at the church facilities, etc.

 

Destruction can come to these natural places, however. They are illusive at best. Contrarily, if we find our Happy Place in the presence of God, it will never be destroyed. It goes with us wherever we go and no one can take it away from us.

 

Our Hiding Place in God preserves us from trouble. God comforts us with songs of deliverance in our spirit (Psalm 32:7). He keeps us safe as our shield, as we hope in His Word (Psalm 119:114).

 

His presence is a shelter and shade from the struggles and stresses which parch us, and a refuge from the storms of life (Isaiah 4:6). God shelters us from the tempests and gives us the refreshment of the waterfalls of His love and contentment during dry spells (Isaiah 32:2).

 

When disasters destroy our habitat and water floods our natural hiding place, He offers us the plumb line of righteousness and the measuring stick of His justice to help us to rebuild on the foundation of Christ in our life (Isaiah 28:17).

 

We hope in the promises of His Word and wait on His instructions when darkness surrounds us on every side (Psalm 18:11, 119:114). His presence provides us with a constant secluded place to keep us safe (1 Samuel 19:2).

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us that Satan will hide as a lion in his lair in order to catch the afflicted, many of whom he wounded from his constant assaults on their life (Psalm 10:9). He lies to us and we believe his corruption. Yet, You provide us with a hiding place from the destroyer (Isaiah 16:4).

 

At times, You will even use people to present us with a hiding place from life’s discouragements and insecurity (Deuteronomy 32:38). Yet, more often than not, if we look to the natural world, we trust in a lie for our safety and wellbeing (Isaiah 28:15). Keep us ever mindful of Your love, surround us with Your angels, and shower us with your blessings in the midst of this dry and desert land.

 

Thought for the Day:

If we hide the light of Christ within us, we fail to shine His saving grace to the world around us; so let us represent a city on a hill with a promise of a true and secure Hiding Place, as we offer solace to those God brings into our life (Luke 11:33).