God’s Love Abounds

God’s love is often antithetical to the concepts we expect from human love. There is no romance involved in Agape love, no passion or desire, and no human emotion.

 

It is a choice and a fact, a decision, and often goes against our natural inclinations as human beings. Agape love seeks the welfare of the recipient of this love and has not even one drop of selfishness or ill will (Romans 15:2, 13:8-10).

 

God’s love is eternal and it is not limited in any way. It seeks to bless everyone without prejudice or partiality. It is not earned or deserved; in fact, God loves us while we are still sinners (Romans 5:8).

 

If we make the choice to love others as Christ loves us, this love is sacrificial, patient, humble, trusting, hopeful, honors others, perseveres, and is free of jealousy and score keeping. Agape love delights in the truth and has no part in evil of any kind (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

 

We may interpret someone’s behavior based on our life history with them, our prejudice or bias, and our perception of their motives and intentions. This may influence the flow of human love between us and them.

 

However, Agape love has nothing to do with how we feel about the person. We see this person from God’s perception and not our human reasoning. We do not even need to like them…we simply allow God to love them through us.

 

Prayer:

Father God, teach us to love the whole world as You do. Help us to see everyone we meet as a potential friend rather than as a stranger. Create in us an open mind regarding everyone, rather than a closed or skeptical attitude. Give us a servant’s heart toward everyone and a willingness to help them in the name of Christ.

 

Create in us a clean heart and a holy spirit that is sacrificial in our attitude toward people – even those we do not like or who are abrasive and what we term as unlovable. Help us to see everyone through Your eyes and to set aside our human impression of them so that You can love them through us.

 

Thought for the Day:

As God’s ambassadors, we even love our enemies and we are generous and kind to those who abuse and neglect us; because the love of God rules and reigns in our heart.

 

Abiding in Christ

Salvation comes in stages. If we happily camp around the salvation of our spirit, we miss the glory of the sanctification of our soul. One day we will also experience the glorification of our body when Christ appears for His Saints (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

 

Once we realize that the divinity of Christ and all of the power of the complete triune Godhead live within every Born Again Believer, a new enthusiasm produces constant praise from our lips to God’s ears (2 Peter 1:3).

 

We no longer view our self as a grubby worm inching around in the world of selfishness and sin. Instead, we see our self as beautiful butterflies soaring in the Heavenly, spiritual realm of life.

 

God calls His elect and then reveals Himself to and in us. He has a purpose for each of our lives (Ephesians 1:11). He loves us with His abundant, unfading and everlasting love (Psalm 25:6; Jeremiah 31:3).

 

We are totally dependent upon Jesus for our direction, health and provision moment by moment throughout the day (Ephesians 1:9; Philippians 2:12-13). Through our connection to the Vine, the life of Christ flows through us by His Spirit and we produce much fruit for the Kingdom of God (John 15:8).

 

Through our union with Christ, we shed the shackles of our sin nature and submit to the dealings and leadings of God’s Spirit in our life (1 Corinthians 1:30). As branches in the Vine of Christ, we experience God as our husbandman.

 

He prunes the flesh from us so more spiritual fruit may grow (John 15:1, 5). We walk out of the bondage to carnality and into the glorious freedom of the sons of God (Romans 8:21).

 

Jesus is our center and God is the focus of our life. We seek to do His will in our job, community, church, extended family and home. If we walk in the darkness of self and sin, we stumble and fail in all of our attempts (John 11:10).

 

As we walk in the light of Christ, we find fulfillment in living out His will for our life (1 John 1:7). God’s wisdom, grace, love and supernatural abilities reside within us in Jesus Christ and are always available to meet all of our needs and to walk in God’s will for us (1 Corinthians 1:30).

 

Prayer:

Father God, as we abide in You throughout the day, Your wisdom, grace, love and peace manifest in our life and out into the world around us. As we abide in You, You provide us with a dedicated life full of the wisdom, strength and Godly conviction, which we need to further Your Kingdom in our world.

 

We look forward to the day when we can also walk in Your power, so You can make a true difference in others through our life. As we make every effort to walk in peace with You, You renew our soul and make us blameless and spotless at Your coming (2 Peter 3:14). Our perseverance in our walk with You, guarantees that we will not stop short of Your glorious riches, which You prepared for us before time began (Romans 9:23).

 

 

Thought for the Day:

Undistracted devotion to God allows us to tap into all of His power and majesty in order to live our life as Elijah, Moses and Enoch did; and we will steadily walk into complete maturity in Christ. – James 1:4

 

 

Hope for our Future

Basking in the life, the presence and the Word of God are essential for the authentic Believer’s well-being. Our body and soul cry out for our living God (Psalm 84:2).

 

God’s presence is the only commodity, which will satisfy our longing and fill our hungry soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions (Psalm 107:9).

 

People fail to devote their whole life and soul to God for many reasons, including living in the whirlwind of vocation, pleasure, family issues, material possessions, etc.  Some are even riddled with doubt, debt and cynicism.

 

These are all modern idols and false gods. When we serve false gods, God sends plagues of all types in order to get our attention; yet, we often harden our heart all the more.

 

We view trials as punishment, rather than the Surgeon’s skilled knife which brings repentance of sin and complete healing to areas of our life where Satan lied to us.

 

God desires to fulfill His glorious promises in us, which are full of mercy, grace and truth. His plans bring us prosperity rather than punishment, and they give us a hopeful future (Jeremiah 29:10-11).

 

However, we must first return to our first love, to pray for forgiveness for our sins and to call on Him. Then, He will listen to us. When we seek Him with our whole body, soul and spirit, we will always find Him (Jeremiah 29:12-13).

 

In God’s everlasting arms, we enter His rest because He provides us with hope for our future, security for our spirit and peace for our soul. There is always hope in the Lord.

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for allow us to rest in Your everlasting embrace. You provide us with Your peace as we walk in Your Spirit, guidance as we consult You each moment of the day, and joy as we abide in Your presence within us. You restored us to Yourself and we glorify Your name and love You with all of our heart.

 

We live our life in worship to You, seeking first Your Kingdom rather than building our own kingdom (Matthew 6:33). We consult You in all of our ways and we want to do only Your will for our life. We make You our top priority in life and we diligently seek You in times of peace and turmoil alike.

 

Thought for the Day:

God never promises us a struggle free life; in fact, He made it clear that we would experience many trials and tribulation; yet, He always gives us His peace, which helps us to stay focused on Him rather than to depend on our own human understanding. – John 16:33; Philippians 4:7

 

A Serene Life

The busyness of life is more and more distracting to the modern day person and parent. We make sports, music, dance and hobbies a priority over church activities, which teaches our children that worldly pursuits are more important than God in our life.

 

The way to remedy this modern phenomenon is to align our activities with Biblical priorities by seeking first God’s Kingdom (Matthew 6:33). This causes the noise of life to diminish, and we find more joy and tranquility in our daily schedule.
Rather than to drown out God’s directives by the noise of worldly pursuits, we reduce the cacophony of life by making God’s will our priority each moment of our day. As the noise of this world diminishes, the guidance of God’s Spirit is more acute and discernable.

 

We fully experience God’s abundant life, which brings Him glory and honor in our every thought, word and activity (John 10:10). We come to realize the magnitude of the concept of Jesus Christ actually abiding in us by His Spirit, and we surrender our goals and priorities to Him (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

Jesus admonished us to live dramatically different lives from those who live in the world. He encouraged us to love God more than those in our household and even our own life (Luke 14:26; Matthew 6:24). Our love for God is so paramount that we actually feel more love for Him than we do for anyone else.

 

God has the bulk of our affections and everything we think, say and do is a reflection of Christ’s life within us (Galatians 2:20). Our heart swells with our adoration of our God and Savior, and we serve at the pleasure of our King in our family, church and community activities.

 

The worldly clutter in our life disappears and we live above the clamor of life swirling all around us. We rest in God and serve from this place of unhindered peace (Hebrews 4:9-11). We see life from His perspective and we rise above the demands of modern society.

 

We can also rise above the temporal issues of this life, the attitudes of our fellow sojourners, and the circumstances that attempt to overwhelm us. This prevents them from robbing us of our joy in the Lord.

 

When we keep our focus on the joy set before us, spiritual truths actually govern our life. God is still in control, Jesus sits on the throne and abides within us, and the Holy Spirit will guide every step we take and keep us in God’s will for our life.

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us that You created rest for more than the Sabbath and help us to enter into Your Kingdom’s rest. Open our eyes to the reality of Christ in us and the fact that His presence in our life removes the necessity of us struggling to survive in this world. Help the codependent and workaholic to totally surrender to Your Spirit’s direction for each moment of our day, rather than to succumb to the tendency to enable people and to do more than Your will for our life.

 

This way we rise above the stress and negativity of life on planet earth and dwell in Your Kingdom now.  Teach us to rest in Your loving presence, which will increase our positive emotions and decrease our depression and anxiety over the issues we face each day. We thank You for Your grace in our life and for our unity with the Trinity, which abides within us.

 

Thought for the Day:

Any negative emotion in our life is a red flag to signal an unresolved conflict within us, an idol we erected above the Lord, a misleading focus on the importance of the issues of this life, or that we are walking outside of God’s will for our day.

 

Encouragement from God

To be encouraged is to be filled with courage. We do not buckle under the weight of circumstances when we have courage, especially when that courage comes to us through God’s Spirit within us.

 

As we continually set the Lord in the forefront of our thoughts, we will not be shaken, because He is near us and in us (Psalm 16:8). Even if fear or anxiety trouble us for some reason, we can keep our faith in His faithfulness (Psalm 56:3).

 

We trust Him and His Word, which gives us serenity in this sin-cursed world. There is nothing anyone can do to us that He is not capable of turning around for our ultimate good (Psalm 56:4; Romans 8:28).

 

God’s Word is full of assurances, which give us peace, even in the direst of circumstances. We can be encouraged because Jesus already overcame the world, and He abides within us (John 16:33).

 

There is no need to feel anxiety about anything, because in every circumstance we can pray, cast our cares on God, and live in gratitude for all He already did for us (Philippians 4:6).

 

His peace, which overcomes every anxious thought, guards our heart and mind in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7). He floods our soul with His peace, which goes far beyond human reasoning (Philippians 4:7).

 

It is not fleeting, circumstantial peace or peace we derive from things of this world, but peace that abides in us and eliminates all fear and discouragement regardless of our life issues (John 14:27).

 

God is our eternal hiding place and He protects us in times of trouble as He walks through it in us and with us. He floods our mind with worship songs to praise Him, so that we remain victorious each step of the way (Psalm 32:7-8).

 

Prayer:

Father God, hardships, turmoil, sleeplessness, deprivation, abuse, financial ruin, etc. touch everyone at some point in time. These external pressures add to our other worries about our family and the world around us (2 Corinthians 11:27-28).  Yet, when we cry to You for help, You hear us and rescue us from all of our troubles (Psalm 34:17).

 

Remind us that if we allow our sinful nature to control our thoughts and emotions and physical desires, we will destroy our self; but if we allow Your Spirit to control us, You will lead us into life and peace now and throughout eternity (Romans 8:6).

 

Thought for the Day:

We have no need to be overwhelmed by life, because the Lord goes before us and leads us, and He will never fail or forsake us.

– Deuteronomy 31:8

 

 

 

Our Faithful God

Negative emotions are God’s red flags to alert us to some negative aspect in our life. Maybe we failed to obey the Lord and are now reaping the consequences of living outside of His will.

 

Possibly, we neglected our own needs or are taking things that other people say or do too personally. Maybe there is an unresolved conflict in our soul that is piggy backing on some current event.

 

Pray about the negative emotion. What are the words in your mind associated with that feeling? These are clues to the source of the problem. Then ask God to reveal His truth about the situation.

 

We may have erected an idol in our life and God is using the circumstances to dethrone it from its position. Surrendering the issue to the Lord, who cares about every aspect that affects our body our soul and spirit, will put things into a proper perspective.

 

As we trust God to work out these issues with His victory, He will give us His peace and joy in the midst of them. We relinquish our will to His and enjoy His many blessings.

 

God’s guidance always brings us inner peace, even if we do not like what we must do. With Christ in us, we experience true contentment all through the day (Philippians 4:12). We give thanks to God, even for the negative aspects we face, knowing that He will work out all of them for our good (1 Thessalonians 5:18; Romans 8:28).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You are our sanctuary and strength, our constant protector and provider, especially in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1). Due to Your dynamite power within us, we are no longer slaves to sin, but bondservants of the Living Lord (Romans 6:6; 2 Timothy 2:24).

 

Those who hurt us will fade like the grass and die away, because we trust in You (Psalm 37:1-5). Your promises protect our life (Psalm 119:50). You keep us in perfect peace as we keep our focus on You regardless of the people and circumstances around us (Isaiah 26:3).

 

Thought for the Day:

We rejoice in the Lord in the midst of our trials as we trust God’s faithfulness and obey the leading of His Spirit; we relinquish the need for human understanding and we acknowledge and accomplish His will for each moment throughout the day. – James 1:2; Proverbs 3:5-6

 

Keepers at Home

Younger women in today’s modern church are too busy with their feet running to and fro in order to spend much time in their own homes (Proverbs 7:11). Careers along with raising children and events such as Girls Night Out is the phenomenon that causes much of this.

 

The Bible advises the “older” women to teach the “younger” how to excel as a keeper at home (Titus 2:4-5). It is definitely a lost art in this contemporary society.

 

“Apples of Gold” is a wondrous ministry promoting this concept ( http://www.applesofgold.org/home.shtml ) Several years ago, the ladies in our church went through this program with uplifting and lasting results.

 

The younger women were so grateful to the older ladies who mentored them – giving them skills and wisdom, which their moms were never able to share with them for one reason or another.

 

There is no Biblical precedent for Girls Nights Out, or Women’s Conferences that take up a whole week-end of a wife and mother’s time, as well as eating into the family budget to pay for the whole event.

 

Single women often have the time and financial resources to participate in this type of fellowship with other singles, but married women can avail themselves of the teaching and ministry of their local churches.

 

Books, Videos and CDs also give us a chance to learn women’s related issues on our own or in a local church class. We can even learn Biblical truth by teaching or assisting in a children’s class.

 

Fellowshipping as couples, and even families, promotes strong church ties and deep friendships with spiritual people in every age group. The best way to learn as a couple is in a class where the spouses both hear the same information.

 

This gives us something to discuss in our private times, opportunities to hold one another accountable for what we learn, and resources that we can research together to teach us to deepen our relationship to one another and to Christ within us both.

 

The Pastor’s Bible studies on Sunday and Wednesday evening are full of Biblical principles for every Believer’s life; yet, so few people avail themselves of this rich and valuable opportunity to grow in Christ and to mature spiritually.

 

Prayer:

Father God, Your plan and desire for women is to love our husband and children, and to make them our priority in our life. You state in Your Word that we can learn to live self-controlled and pure lives; so we will not discredit Your reputation by our words and behavior.

 

Teach us to manage our homes well and to live as co-heirs with our own husband. Help us to share with him our opinion, wisdom and leading from Your Spirit, but to ultimately submit to his decisions for our family. If he is rebellious against Your Word, we can pray for him to submit to your Word, strengthen our own ties with You, and attempt to find areas where we can agree as a couple.

 

Thought for the Day:

There is never a good reason for divorce, because with mutual submission we can always find a third alternative with which we can both thrive as individuals, as a couple and as a family; as keepers at home, we uncover God’s fulfilling role for our life.