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.

 

 

Christ in Us – A Clean Heart

We have been taught that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. This is a slight perversion of God’s Truth. It puts the emphasis on “I can”, rather than on Christ in me can.

 

The actual truth of this verse is: We can do all things only through Christ’s presence in us. His abiding existence in us provides us with God’s wisdom, strength and divine power.

 

We cease our self-effort, and we enter into God’s rest (Hebrews 4:10). Jesus actually gives us the desire and the power to fulfill His purpose for us in the earth (Philippians 2:12-13; 4:13; Ephesians 2:10).

 

Authentic Believers are already crucified with Christ; and therefore, we live in this world only for God’s glory. We no longer live as part of this world, looking out for our own interests (Philippians 1:21; Romans 2:20).

 

As our self-centeredness decreases daily, Christ will increase in us (John 3:30). When we walk in obedience to God’s Holy Spirit moment by moment, we do not sin or fulfill the lusts of our flesh (Galatians 5:16-17, 25).

 

We dwell in God’s rest and we no longer live for our own agenda, but Christ carries out God’s will for us as He lives in us and through us (Galatians 2:20).

 

Our negative emotions illuminate the areas in our life where we hoard our idols. As we surrender them to God, Satan has fewer areas where he can hinder our walk in Christ.

 

We experience more freedom to serve Christ with our whole body, soul and spirit. Our dedication, commitment and consecration to Him increases and we want less of this world.

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for redeeming us, calling us by Your name, drawing us closer to You each day and desiring an intimate relationship with us both in this world and in the next. You fill us with Your Spirit and presence, and sustain us through every trial we experience on this earth. We can never thank You enough for Your sacrificial love for us.

 

Create in us a pure heart, devoid of sinful desires, and renew a righteous spirit within us (Psalm 51:10). Continue to help us to crucify our flesh as we walk in Your Spirit until we have no desire to sin, but our only desire is to please You with our body, thoughts, emotions, choices and spirit.

 

Thought for the Day:

A person who desires true riches, will prefer the knowledge freely given to us in God’s Word and follows it pathway of righteousness and spirituality to gain true joy and peace; if we really believe God’s Word, we value it above all else and the world loses its tempting influence over us.

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

 

 

 

 

It is Never too Late

Jesus told a parable about the lord of the vineyard who told his steward to hire laborers throughout the day (Matthew 20:8-20). At the end of the day, the landowner gave all of the workers the exact same amount of money.

 

Those who worked the longest hours in the hottest sun were mortified and bitter at what they perceived as the owner’s unfairness. They believed they deserved more money than those who worked in the cooler part of the day for just a few hours.

 

We learn from this parable that God is not interested in how long we live in His service. We can rejoice in the fact that the people who come to Christ later in life are accepted by our Father with the same love as those of us who come to the Lord as a child or teenager.

 

We recently had the privilege of helping a couple who were both over 90 to come to faith in Christ. Other senior Saints were on death’s door when God used us to share His gospel with them.

 

There is no greater feeling than to snatch people from Satan’s hand in their last years/moments of life. We will spend eternity with them and rejoice around God’s throne together.

 

It is never too late to humble our self under the mighty hand of God and submit our life to His capable hands. As we yoke with Him, He carries half our load; and when we are weary, He will even carry it all.

 

God provides for our every need – even the minutest details that consume our thoughts and emotions. He is trustworthy and deserves all of our praise and thanksgiving.

 

God’s love consumes us as we stop worrying about the particulars of our life. We rest in His peace and know without a shadow of a doubt that as we cast our cares on Him, He really does care for us ().

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for loving us enough to free us from our earthly bondage. We know that You listen to our prayers and answer us when we call on You in our trials and distress (Psalm 86:6-7). Remind us that You will always give us Your faith to live in such a way as to bring honor and glory to You.

 

The moment we take our eyes off You, fears and complications arise in our life, and we get entrenched in the carnal issues of this world. We want Your Word to fill us fully with Your Truth; so that we can encourage each other with thankfulness in our heart for all that You do for each one of us (Colossians 3:16).

 

Thought for the Day:

When we compare our life to others, we will be discontent; but when we focus on the life God provides for us, we realize the multitude of blessings He provides for us each and every day.

 

Staying Safe

Jesus knew the importance of getting alone with God. If He felt this habit is important, although He had a divine nature, how much more should we value this activity too?

 

Jesus set boundaries and escaped from the crowd or declined an offer or refused to comply to every request made of Him. He followed the leading of the Holy Spirit and was not a workaholic, an enabler or an over-achiever. He simply rested in God’s love and enjoyed His company.

 

He went about doing good (Acts 10:38), healing the sick, feeding the hungry multitudes, casting out demons and working miracles. He did this by the Spirit’s direction, not of His own volition. Jesus walked in the will of the Father who sent Him, energized Him and anointed Him (John 5:18-20).

 

Jesus filled Himself with the presence of God and was ready to handle the divine appointments He encountered each day (Luke 5:15-16). He cared for his own needs as well, without feeling guilty, even if He missed the opportunity to help someone else (Matthew 4:6-7, 26:18-20; John 12:2).

 

Interruptions in His schedule, crisis situations and dire needs in others did not tax His faith or cause Him irritation. He took them all in stride. His compassion and grace enabled Him to look at the situation and meet the real need, not just the surface issues.

 

Jesus enjoyed the fellowship of His disciples. He spent time mentoring, instructing and encouraging them. He answered their questions and lived a spirit-filled life as an example to others.

 

In the Garden, Jesus sweat blood at the thought of the anguish God called Him to suffer on the cross; but He did the will of the Father regardless of His preferences and concerns (Mark 14:32-42).

 

God calls us to walk in the Spirit as well; to meet His expectations for us rather than those from other people; and not to enable people but to point them to Christ and to lead them to the resources they need to help themselves.

 

Prayer:

Father God, only a fool despises the instruction, advice and correction of Godly parents; but those who listen and heed their words are wise. When our parent’s counsel comes from Your Word, give us the wisdom to obey and to follow their advice. Our parents have been around the block a few times and can help us to navigate our way (Proverbs 15:5).

 

With age comes wisdom from the school of life. The same is true of the wisdom from above, which is holy, amiable, sympathetic, submissive to the Father, full of mercy and the fruit of the Spirit, unbiased and genuine (James 3:17). Help us to hear Your voice, to heed Your wisdom and to realize that the only safe place in this world is in Your presence.

 

Thought for the Day:

Jesus spent time in the Father’s presence and filled His Spirit with God’s Words; He did or said nothing that He did not first see God say or do. – John 5:44

 

 

Freedom from this Sin-Cursed World

Satan wants us to think that we are helpless victims. He is the god of anyone who has not converted out of his kingdom as a Believer in Jesus Christ. However, he has no authority over the life of an authentic Believer.

 

The devil is given authority by God (Job) to cause trials in our life; but God already planted a seed for a miracle in every trial. We simply wait for it by faith, knowing that God is always faithful.

 

This allows us to avoid health debilitating stress and to sidestep depression, anxiety and anger. We sail through the trials when we keep our mind focused on God’s love and benevolence through every moment of our experience.

 

When our flesh produces humanistic reasoning and doubts, it is trying to live independently from God. Our humanity feels as if it needs to stay in control of every situation; yet, Jesus is the only Savior of the world.

 

Our puny attempts to take His place, in our life or in anyone else’s life, is futile. It makes no real sense to endeavor to use our influence, talents, analytical abilities and mortal efforts to keep us and our loved ones safe.

 

In our first years of sanctification, life is still a struggle. Walking by faith and living in the control of the Holy Spirit every moment of the day is a habit we learn over time.

 

This attitude gets easier as we dwell with the knowledge that we continually live in the presence of Christ. All the power of the Godhead abides within us.

 

Prayer:

Father God, we want life to get easier when we accept Christ’s sacrifice on the cross; yet we deserve nothing but hell as the punishment for our sins. We forget that we warrant no other favors, because You already saved us from the torments of hell. Thank You for showering us with daily blessings anyway. Thank You for giving us the faith of Jesus Christ and for making us a new creation (Galatians 2:20).

 

You also saved us from the emptiness, loneliness and deprivation of life in this world. You give us peace even in turmoil, rest in the place of unrest; and joy in the midst of devastation. We can never thank You enough for intervening in our life and awakening our soul to the fact that our spirit was dead in sin and we needed Jesus as our Savior.

 

Thought for the Day:

We are no longer compelled to live a life enslaved by sin, our flesh, the world and Satan, because Jesus shed His blood to give us His Spirit of life.

 

 

 

A Happy Marriage – Simplifying Life

Happily ever after is a misnomer. Marriage is tough by any standards. Some marriages are better than others, but we all struggle with disagreements from time to time. Let’s face it, we even frequently argue with our self.

 

Arguing is not really a negative issue. It is how we argue that makes it a problem. We can mildly disagree, vehemently disagree or destructively disagree. These destructive fights tear the fabric of our marriage, which affects our society as a whole.

 

Family life is stressful at best and almost impossible at its worst. We allow our children to be involved in more activities than they can bear, which puts a strain on the whole family.

 

Attempting to watch 4 different ball games played by 4 different children at 4 different gyms or parks all played at the same time is an example of the crazy conflicts that can stress us out.

 

The best rule of thumb is to sign up our children for one extra-curricular activity at a time, and to make sure that their schedules do not conflict. If they are interested in various hobbies and venues, this will be so much easier.

 

The financial strain on marriages today is enough to break the back of the strongest couple. With both partners working fulltime, the stress of homemaking and child rearing is also daunting, especially if everyone needs their own room, TV and smart phone.

 

Simplifying life can be overwhelming, but will drastically reduce the amount of stress on the family. With a more fluid schedule, we have more time to enjoy each other’s company.

 

Spending time together allows relationships to evolve on the same level and in more mutually satisfying ways. We weather the shifting winds of life as a family rather than alone.

 

Staying healthy emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually demands that we follow God’s will for our individual and corporate life. He has a perfect plan that sustains us through troubled waters and allows these trials to strengthen rather than to dissolve our relationships.

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us that the only way to achieve lasting peace and joy in our life is to follow Your Spirit’s direction each moment of the day. As we increase our intimacy with You, our intimacy with others improves as well. Teach us to keep our focus on our own fallacies and idiosyncrasies rather than allowing our spouse’s issues to take precedence in our mind.

 

Remind us that we tend to blow their faults out of proportion unless we humbly compare them with our own flaws. Please change us from the inside out; keep us healthy in body, soul and spirit; strengthen us as individuals, a family and a society. Allow us to be that shining beacon of light to help others avoid the jagged rocks on the coastline of life. Help us to continually work on changing one aspect of our life at a time that will improve our relationships.

 

Thought for the Day:

As we take a searching moral inventory and decide what will make us more fulfilled as a Christian and as an individual, we will strengthen our personal life, our marriage and our family unit, and insure that we can better respond to the grace of God in the midst of every conflict.