A Good Marriage – Compliments and Encouragement

The power of encouragement is often forgotten or overlooked. There are too few encouragers left in our world today. Everyone is so stressed out and focused on their life and issues that we forget to bless one another with kind words.

We take each other for granted, even our spouse. We even fail to complement our self. To many people, this is a foreign concept that they never considered doing.

Congratulate yourself when you perform a job well done, encourage yourself when you do your best – even if it turns out not being good enough for others, and forgive yourself when you make an honest mistake.

When we encourage, we do not use flattering words, but use honest and genuine compliments. We can mention actions as well as character.

A person of integrity, warmth, kindness, generosity and spirituality needs encouragement separate from their talents and actions; so they know we appreciate them, not just what they do for us.

Giving hugs is also a great form of encouragement if the other person likes hugs. We can give our self a big hug and pat on the back as well. We do not have to depend on others to bless us.

Reading God’s Word gives us many words of encouragement as we read what God thinks of His children, His bride and His Saints. Other tools for encouragement are: writing notes, a quick email, and short phone call and a small gift for no reason.

Buy from family or friends who are attempting to earn extra money by selling their crafts or downsizing their home. Offer to babysit so a couple can have some time alone together. Read to the children at the local library or school.

We can show appreciation to our self and others when we go the extra mile to help someone in their time of need, or stay late at work to help a coworker meet a deadline, or spend extra time with the children and grandchildren interacting in person and not just sending money or buying gifts.

These are all simple ways we can give back to our family, friends and community and be an encouragement in the name of Christ. We give one another that little extra boost we need to make it through the day.

Prayer:

Father God, Your Word is a lamp for our feet and a light for our path (Psalm 119:105). It not only illuminates the ground around us, but also shines a specific and detailed light right in front of us as we walk through this life. Thank You for keeping us from stumbling and helping us to light the way for those who are walking with or just behind us as well.

Show us specific ways to be more encouraging to our self and others. Remind us to look our loved ones in the eyes, and also to look at our eyes in the mirror when we give an honest compliment. Inspire us with what to say, so we do not say the same thing over and over; but vary our topic and words, so it is more meaningful.

Thought for the Day:

Encouragement takes on many forms and we can experiment with what we are most comfortable using; the idea here is to encourage, regardless of the method, style or words we use; and to help our own soul as well, when we acknowledge our efforts and hard work.

 

Life-Changing Bible Verses Part 1 – Molded by Grace

The Bible is the Word of God, and it is life to our soul and strength to our bones (Proverbs 17:22). The scriptures are given to us by God to encourage, strengthen and mature us in our relationship with Him.

 

Every word is given to us by the inspiration of God’s Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16). God did not create us and abandon us on this earth. He gave us His Word and His Spirit as our comforter and guide (John 16:13).

 

He also provided us with His Word to help to direct us on His paths of righteousness – a place of safety and security to all who walk in them. We depend on His Word, ingesting it daily to nourish our body, soul and spirit.

 

Some verses actually take us by surprise when we read them. They are so profound, that they touch a place deep within us and mold us by their truth and wisdom.

 

For instance, God loved humanity so much that He gave us His only Son to die in our place, and to pay the debt that we owed due to our sins. If we choose to believe in Him, we will not perish in Hell, but enjoy everlasting life now and for eternity (John 3:16-17).

 

Yet, if we choose not to believe, we condemn our self to an eternity in the fires of Hell (John 3:18). God never condemns anyone to Hell, we do that to our self by our unbelief.

 

God intends that no one should perish, but that we should all enjoy the benefits of His Kingdom as co-heirs with Christ (2 Peter 3:9). It is simply a matter of humbling our self before the mighty hand of God (1 Peter 5:5-14), and accepting Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf.

 

This fact leads to another life-altering verse: Christ is our life (Colossian 3:3). We are not placed on earth to build our own kingdom and to leave a financial legacy for our children; although if this fits into God’s plan for us, it is a wholesome goal.

 

Instead, we allow Christ’s life to consume us as we burn brightly for His Kingdom (Matthew 5:14-16). As we seek first His Kingdom and righteousness with our thoughts, words and deeds, He in turn supplies all of our needs according to His glorious riches (Matthew 6:33; Philippians 4:19).

 

Prayer:

Father God, this thought leads us to another amazing verse. It is often hard to trust You as we traverse the switchbacks of life. Yet, You had mercy on us and did not plan for us to perfect our self. You give us both the desire and the ability to walk in Your ways (Philippians 2:12-13).

 

You require that we walk in faith (Romans 14:22-23); yet, You are even willing to help us when we waver in faith and have a hard time keeping our faith focused on You (Mark 9:24). The road to hell is paved with Satan’s lies, so help us to walk in Your everlasting Truth.

 

Thought for the Day:

As we seek the Lord with our whole heart, and stop depending on our human reasoning to make it through life, He will reveal His will to us and direct each step we traverse. – Proverbs 3:5-6

 

 

Heavenly Treasures

God teaches us that storing up treasures on earth is futile (Matthew 6:19-21). They will burn up like wood, hay and stubble and not help us in our eternal life in His Kingdom at all (1 Corinthians 3:12).

 

We cannot take anything from this life with us into the next life. We can, however, store up for our self treasures in heaven that will last for eternity. Moths and rust will never destroy them, and thieves are not able to steal them (Matthew 6:20).

 

Today, I noticed a woman crying about a lost jewel from her bracelet. One of the expensive stones was missing and she was very distressed about it. I tried to comfort her, but she was inconsolable. She really cherished that extravagant gift from a special friend.

 

Authentic Believers have also received a cherished gift from a beloved friend. Jesus laid down His life to bring sinners to repentance. This is a free gift from God for all of us (Romans 3:23, 6:23).

 

However, we often rejoice more when we acquire an earthly treasure than when we come to Christ for Salvation. We frequently take God’s love for granted, rather than recognizing the intrinsic value of this only true treasure.

 

Jesus told us a parable about a woman who lost one of her gold coins. The item was valuable to her, not only because of its monetary value, but because of its sentimental value as well (Luke 15:8-9).

 

He tells us that her joy in finding her coin is similar to the rejoicing going on in heaven when even one sinner repents and turns his/her life over to God for salvation (Luke 15:10).

 

We can develop this same eternal mindset, which sets us free from the cares of this life. We learn to care more for spiritual matters than earthly ones, and the trials of life no longer devastate us.

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us that putting our treasure where moths and rust cannot destroy it, and where thieves cannot break in and steal it, is so much more worthwhile than amassing worldly goods. Help us to treasure our relationship with You more than anything this carnal world has to offer.

 

Teach us to set our mind on things above, rather than on things of the earth (Colossians 3:2). Help us to value our spiritual life more than our temporal life, and heavenly treasures as more valuable than earthly ones. We set our hope and trust in You and we look forward to spending eternity with You.

 

Thought for the Day:

Our life in Christ is a priceless, dependable treasure, which we cannot lose, and which will never be destroyed.

The Buzzard Within

While sitting outside at a Veteran’s Day celebration, we all glanced skyward to view the Sheriff Department’s fly-over. In the thrill of this meaningful moment, I also noticed a majestic kettle of vultures.

 

Their wings spanned forty-eight inches and never flapped, as they soared on invisible wind currents. One of these birds nose-dived to the earth and landed within a few feet of me.

 

Once I recovered from the shock of his sudden close proximity to my chair, I realized that what I always thought was a beautiful, agile bird of prey actually had an awkward and grotesquely revolting appearance.

 

This reminded me of our unsaved heart. We disguise our disfigured soul within us with an outward coat of cosmetics and brightly colored clothing. Yet, we remain nothing more than whitewashed tombs (Matthew 23:27-28).

 

The good news is that Christ died to make us a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). Our spirit is washed anew in the blood of the Lamb of God (Revelation 22:14). Through His sanctifying work, God’s Spirit makes our soul beautiful in His timing and way (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

 

On this earth, God’s Spirit crucifies our soul and frees us from slavery to sin. He makes us holy and frees us from the bondage and destruction, through which sin hinders and overwhelms us.

 

He unites us with Christ through the new birth and provides us with the blessings and promises of eternity both in this life and the next. He frees us from dwelling on our past or fearing the future (Isaiah 43:18).

 

In heaven, He will glorify our body by giving us an immortal existence with Him forever. We look forward to a body free of age-related issues, illness and fatigue.

 

We look forward to continuing to live in God’s presence, adding the physical existence to our soul and spirit’s enjoyment of His presence now. Our salvation will be complete in body, as well as in spirit and soul, and we will dwell with Him for eternity.

 

Prayer:

Father God, we live in Christ with Christ in us, and death has no more mastery over us. We also die to sin and live for You. Then in eternity, You glorify our body and provide us with immortality for our body, as well as our spirit and soul (Romans 6:4-11).

 

Thank You for forgetting who we used to be and giving us a new identity in Christ (Isaiah 65:17). You give us a new heart and put Your Spirit within us (Ezekiel 36:26). We rejoice at the thought of seeing Your Kingdom in all of its glory, since we are born by the blood of Your unblemished Lamb (John 3:3).

 

Thought for the Day:

God buries our old, carnal nature in Christ by baptizing us into His death; then He sanctifies us through one stage of glory to another and gives us a new, resurrected life.

 

 

No Longer a Sinner – Divinity of Christ in Us

 

The Bible is full of symbolism. For instance, water baptism is a symbol of our death, burial and resurrection in Christ. We raise to walk in a new life with Him.

 

We do not die physically in baptism, but our flesh dies spiritually, and is now able to disregard the lure of sin in this world. Sin no longer tempts us as it used to, and we are free from its bondage.

 

We relate to Christ’s new life in us to a greater degree than we connect to this world. We died together with Him; and it is Him, not us, that now lives in and through us (Galatians 2:20).

 

We are one with Christ; and through His divine nature within us, we die to the desire to sin. God adopts us into His family. We share in His benefits in His Kingdom of God as co-heirs with Jesus.

 

In Christ, we gradually become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). Our focus in life, our habits and the people we hang around with all change. Our life is spiritual now, rather than carnal and fleshly.

 

Our vital union with Jesus, puts us in right standing before God, our Father (John 15:1-11; Romans 6:3-11; Ephesians 5:30). He births our spirit, and we live a life which is pleasing to God. We are one with Christ and members of His Body.

 

Our old, carnal flesh – our intellect, emotions and will – is crucified with Christ and we died to sin (John 15:4; Romans 6:6, 8:11; Colossians 3:3, 9; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Ephesians 4:22). We are filled with the fruit of God’s Spirit, which is the divine nature of Christ in us (Galatians 5:22-23).

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us that the fruit of Your Spirit grows in us only as we abide in Christ and follow Your will for our life (John 15:4). Our living union with the Trinity allows us to fellowship with You every moment of our day and results in our eternal security (John 10:27-30).

 

Create in us a clean heart, and use us as a living testimony for Your glory (Psalm 51:10). Thank You for loving us unconditionally and changing us from the inside out. We look forward to You continuing to change our relationship with You by Your Spirit, until our human nature is altered to one that reflects Your goodness to a lost and dying world.

 

Thought for the Day:

As a Christian, we are transformed by God’s Spirit from one stage of glory to another until we reflect to the world the exact image of Christ in us. – 2 Corinthians 3:18; Hebrews 1:3

 

Authentic Worshipers

 

God is looking for authentic worshipers who will live for Him by His Spirit and in His Truth (John 4:23). He wants to raise up an army united in Christ, not a bunch of Lone Rangers doing their own thing.

 

As we allow the nature of Christ in us to infiltrate every area of our life, we decrease so that He may increase (John 3:30). We serve God by His Spirit moving within us and through us (Philippians 2:12-13; Act 17:28).

 

When we come to truly understand that we are dead, and that our life is now hidden with Christ in God, we live in God’s power, which works in and through us (Colossians 3:3; Galatians 2:20).

 

God will use our body, soul and spirit by His Spirit to work in the lives of people we encounter each day. He will give us His words to speak to them that we cannot possibly know in our human capacity.

 

This opens doors for us to witness to people and to bring Christ into their life, so that He can change their heart, lives and circumstances for their good.

 

We put no confidence in our fleshly abilities; and we do not boast in our own accomplishments, because we achieve all things through Christ in us (Philippians 3:3; 2:12-13).

 

Sinful mankind, who are lost in pride, arrogance and the exploitation of others, consider their own needs more frequently than anyone else’s (Romans 12:3). However, God brings everyone down to the same level through the grave (Isaiah 14:15).

 

Our eternal destination is determined by our earthly beliefs. If we live for self, we reap corruption; if we live for Christ, we reap eternal life and serve God as Authentic Believers (John 3:16-18).

 

Prayer:

Father God, it is not difficult to sustain a constant relationship with You as our living Lord. Every moment of our day is authentic worship to You. Living with honor and respect for You gives us a secure life with protection from lasting harm (Proverbs 19:23). Even negative circumstances turn around for our good (Romans 8:28).

 

You give us everything we need to live in contentment through a genuine Godly life (1 Timothy 6:6). You are our strength and shield. We trust in You with all of our heart. You fill our soul so full of joy that we spontaneously burst forth into songs of praise and thanksgiving to You (Psalm 28:7).

 

Thought for the Day:
Christ in us gives us joy in tribulation (Romans 5:3), hope in devastating trials and loss (Romans 15:13) and a bright vision for our future (Jeremiah 29:11).

 

No Longer a Sinner – In Union with Christ

Jesus calls us to enter into His Body, to fellowship with Him minute by minute of every day and to enjoy eternity with Him in the new heaven and the new earth (Romans 8:17; 2 Thessalonians 2:14).

 

We relinquish our human personality and surrender our individuality until we become more like Christ every day. We live in union with our risen Lord and Savior who justifies, sanctifies and will ultimately glorify us.

 

The Father is in the Son, and the Son is in us by the Spirit of God. We live in union with the Trinity through every moment of our life, listening to the Spirit’s direction and not being conformed to the expectations of this world.

 

Filled with God’s Spirit and controlled and guided by Him, we reach spiritual heights we never thought possible. We experience Him working in and through us as He conforms us to the image of Christ.

 

We press toward the goal of the high calling of God until we reach the measure of the full stature of Christ in us (Ephesians 4:13). We do not stop maturing and growing in Christ until we reach perfection, controlled and guided by the Spirit of God (Matthew 5:48; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:3; Ephesians 3:19).

 

When Christ resurrects the dead in Christ and raptures the church remaining on the earth, we will gain the same immortal body that Christ enjoys right now. We enter the glorious realm of the risen Lord.

 

We will not age, experience corruption and sickness, or feel emotional and mental distress and anxiety any longer. Even death is swallowed up in the victory of the cross of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:55).

 

Prayer:

Father God, awaken our apathetic soul and raise us from spiritual death (John 3:16-18). Remind us that Christ lives as a light within us (2 Corinthians 4:6). Help us to pay attention to how we live, so that we use Your wisdom in all that we say and do. Remind us to make the most of the time You give us and not to foolishly use it for our own selfish gains.

 

Show us Your will for our life and help us to walk in it (Ephesians 5:14-17). Help us to hear the way in which we should walk and to lift up our soul to You alone (Psalm 143:8). Keep us in step with Your Spirit through every trial and blessing we experience (Ephesians 5:14-17).

 

Thought for the Day:

Live life in full awareness of the immense potential available to us though our union with Christ.