Our Patched​ Humanity

Through a lifetime of fighting the circumstances, which life deals out to us, we are so encumbered by bandages that it is hard to function. Our body and soul often end up bruised, broken, patched up and and in the hospital – on crutches, just to traverse our day. Our spirit is already dead in sin, and no help to us at all (Ephesians 2:1).

 

Once we come to Christ through salvation, He heals us from the inside out. Our works of righteousness have no influence over God’s love for us or our eternal standing; but they are very necessary for our wedding garment as the Bride to our Savior, King Jesus (Revelation 19:8).

 

We start to focus more on the spiritual, eternal aspects of life rather than the humanistic, temporal issues. Life is no longer about us; but Christ is now our whole life (Colossians 3:3-4).

 

Even when our faith wanes, He helps our unbelief (Mark 9:24). Our spirit is perfect; but our soul – our thoughts, choices and feelings – is still in the process of healing and maturing in His faith within us (Galatians 2:20).

 

God elevates us as His adopted children and we no longer depend on our self (Ephesians 1:5). We turn our faith toward Christ and we live by the direction of His Spirit. His peace floods our soul and our pent-up anger dissolves (Isaiah 26:3).

 

God’s Spirit conforms us to the mind of Christ and transforms our nature to Christ’s divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). He exchanges our human weaknesses with God’s strength; so we can do all things through Christ’s presence within us (2 Corinthians 13:4; Philippians 4:13).

 

Prayer:

Father God, often when we pray, our mind is full of what we did and did not say or do. We cannot get in touch with our true needs, because we are not listening to our own soul. We are not listening to Your Spirit either, who wants to pray and function through us.

 

Yet, as we spend our time in complete and anxious-free prayers of praise, we learn to live unencumbered by things of this earth. We enter into a life of praising and worshipping our living Lord. As we trust in You alone, You make all things work together for our good (Romans 8:28). Our faith is built and strengthened as we see Your faithfulness in our life.

 

Thought for the Day:
Journaling our thoughts, feelings and prayers allows us to empty our soul from its load of cares and concerns; when we look back over what we wrote and the prayers of our year, we see God’s hand, working in the details our life.

 

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.

 

 

 

No Longer a Sinner – Accepted in Christ

Jesus is the picture of humanity at its finest, devoid of the depravity of sin and filled with the power of God. What Satan stole from humanity in Genesis 1-3, Jesus – the Sacrificial Lamb and the soon and coming King – restores to us in Revelation 20-22.

 

As authentic Believers, we see God’s glory with an unveiled face as He transforms us into the appearance of Christ by His Spirit. We are changed into His image from one stage of glory to the next (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

Christ abides within us and redeems us from sin, as God writes His laws on our heart and adopts us as His children (Hebrews 8:10-13; Ephesians 1:5). God’s Spirit gives us liberty from the flesh and fills us with His fruit (1 Peter 1:19; Galatians 5:22-23).

 

This is an experience common to every Believer, with no respect to one person above another. It is a free gift, just as Salvation is free (Romans 6:23; Galatians 3:1-3). We all see the face of Christ reflected in us and in one another (1 Corinthians 15:48-53; Romans 8:17; 1 John 3:2).

 

Christ is our whole life (Colossians 3:4). We gaze upon His face in our private moments with Him, and feel His Spirit and His presence filling us to overflowing throughout the day.

 

Sin no longer claims our attention; its debauchery is disgusting to us; we have no desire to continue to reap the destructive consequences of its power. We abide in Christ and He in us (1 John 4:15).

 

We come to know God, and Jesus whom He sent, which provides us with eternal life now as well as for eternity (John 17:3). We see His glory in us, which comes from God and fills us (John 1:14, 17:24). Sin has no part in our life.

 

Prayer:

Father God, it is Your plan that all of humanity enjoy the benefits of Christ’s death on Calvary, the glory of His resurrection from the grave, and the proximity to You from His vantage point on His throne in Heaven as we walk in the ever-increasing glory of holiness.

 

We are accepted through Christ into Your beloved family (Ephesians 2:19-22), pure, as He is pure; and our life reflects His perfect image. You provide us with every good thing that we need to fulfill Your will for our life (1 Timothy 6:17); and You sustain us through every trial that we encounter in life. For this we give You all of the praise and glory that is due to Your name.

 

Thought for the Day:

Through the processes of Justification, Sanctification and Glorification, we move from obscure sinner to sacred Saint in Christ, as we are filled with an increasing measure of the fullness of Christ through God’s Spirit who abides within us. – Ephesians 3:16-19

 

Without the Power of God

When God’s Spirit convicts us of the debauchery of our sin, it is easy to feel remorse and to say a prayer of repentance. Everyone “believes” in God in one way or another. Even the demons believe, and tremble in His presence (James 2:19).

 

Although many are convicted at some point in their life, few are authentically converted. They do not express a heart-felt contrition. They do not totally surrender their goals, dreams and plans to God’s will for their life.

 

It is impossible to feel God’s conviction, to pray a saving prayer, and to walk away from sin unless the power of God’s Spirit emboldens and inspires us (Philippians 2:12-13). Authentic salvation and conversion require that we receive the faith of the Son of God, who loves us and gave Himself for us (Ephesians 5:2; Galatians 2:20).

 

A hypocrite is an actor, an imposter, a phony. Most of us are hypocrites, living life in our own wisdom and understanding, playing at religion and putting on a holier-than-thou face in order to impress God and other people. God knows us; and people with discernment see right through us.

 

The way to discern that we are truly Born Again is to “try” the spirit to see if it is from God (1 John 4:1-5). Does the peace of God, which has nothing to do with our circumstances, rule in our heart (Colossians 3:15)?

 

Is the anger gone, that once consumed our soul; traded for the love of God for our self and for other people? Do we have joy in trying times and patience to withstand the test of time?

 

Do we pray about our choices before making them (Proverbs 3:5-6), or do we still march to the drum of Satan in our life? Do we crucify the deeds of the flesh or do we capitulate to them without resistance of any kind (Romans 7)?

 

God is waiting at the door of our heart, ready to come in and feast with us (Revelation 3:20). Are we ready to the open the door wide to Him now, or do we want Him to come back later once we had more time to wallow in sin and its degradation?

 

Prayer:

Father God, we can work out our own salvation with fear and trembling only because You give us both the will and the power to walk in Your ways, in Your timing and in Your truth (Philippians 2:12-13). Your Holy Spirit changes our life in increments (2 Corinthians 3:18); some are smaller segments while others are giant leaps of faith with remorse over our sin and a determination to obey Your Word.

 

We prove our love for You by our obedience (1 John 5:3). Walking in Your will is the happiest place on earth. Our good works actually prove that our faith is in You rather than in our self (James 2:18). You do not need our good works, but we need Your power and the faith of Your Son in order to accomplish good works for Your Kingdom (Galatians 2:20).

 

Thought for the Day:

We sell our self short by living half-heartedly for God, or for seeking His will only when our plans do not pay off, and we find our self in the middle of some traumatic trial; we can do nothing without the power and anointing of God in our life. – Romans 7:18; John 15:5

 

 

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

 

God is in Control – The Storms of Life

When we first come to Christ for salvation, we still feel like we need to maintain control of our life in case He messes something up for us. Life careens out of control sometimes, does not seem fair and is confusing at best.

 

God’s plans do not always fit into our goals and we think He just does not understand us. His purpose for us does not feel right and often goes against what our heart is telling us to do.

 

What we do not realize at first is that our heart is desperately wicked and cannot tell what is truly best for us (Jeremiah 17:9). We often get into more trouble following our heart than when we follow what our head tells us to do.

 

We only need a small amount of faith to please God (Matthew 17:20); and we can even admit that we need help in our unbelief (Mark 9:23-25). God truly cares and will never ever leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

 

God does not always calm the storm (Mark 4:35-41), but He fills us with His presence within and guides us through the raging upheaval one step at a time. When skies are clear, we often forget all about God, taking credit for avoiding the rain.

 

Trials reveal the amount of carnality still lingering in our soul. We succumb to the tests of life when we trust our self rather than God. We struggle through trouble and trials and are buffeted by the storms inherent in life on this earth.

 

However, if we determine to believe God, to hold His hand during the valleys and to maintain our faith in His faithfulness, we discover that tribulation is simply an adventure and that God has everything in His control.

 

Prayer:

Father God, You cause our guardian angels to camp out around us in order to deliver us whenever we trust in You (Psalm 34:7). Even if we end up suffering for doing what is right, You lavish us with rewards; therefore, we never need to worry or be afraid of life’s insecurities and dangers (1 Peter 3:14).

 

You are the first and the last, and You hold all the issues of life and death in Your hands (Revelation 1:17; Mark 5:36; Romans 8:2) You answer us when we pray and believe, and You fight for us as You rid us of all of our fears (Psalm 34:4; Deuteronomy 3:22). We praise You and give You all of the honor and glory that is due to Your name.

 

Thought for the Day:

I was young, and now I am old, and I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love, not even death or life, angels or demons, fears of the present, worries about tomorrow or the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. – Romans 8:38-39

 

 

 

 

God Cares About Our Soul

This may not seem like truth to you at first. You may think that this is a selfish attitude. But, I want to assure you, that God desires for us to meet the needs in our own spirit, body and soul – our mind, will and emotions.

 

The Bible tells us to “Love our neighbor as our self”. If we have not cared for our own needs, we will have no emotional, mental, physical or spiritual energy to meet the needs in others that God brings our way.

 

You can only give from what you have. If you do not feed your body, you will have no physical strength. If you do not feed your spirit, you will have no spiritual direction. In the same way, if you do not feed your soul, you will have no intellectual or emotional energy to meet your needs or the needs in others.

 

If we wait on Him, God helps us to meet our needs in His own way and timing. Learn to laugh and enjoy God’s blessings in your life, love the people He put in your life, and appreciate the unique person God created you to be.

 

Selfish people are so focused on their own needs, that they need to do less of that and focus more on the needs of other people around them – especially their family members, neighbors and workmates.

 

Some people feel guilty about allowing others to minister to their needs. This attitude actually stems either from false pride, a lack of self-worth or from unforgiveness toward our self. Please realize that you can accept help from other people, because it comes from God.

 

We may also feel guilty if we do not meet all the needs of all of the people who come our way. When others ask you to do something for them, if you do not hear God saying, “Yes,” then it is much wiser for you to say, “No.”

 

This attitude may take practice! This is especially true if you are not used to refusing another’s request. As codependents, we compulsively feel the need to worry about everyone, and to meet all of their needs and to solve all of their problems.

 

The real issue here is the will of God. If you do not feel God saying, “Yes,” then please, say, “No.” To do otherwise is disobedience to God!

 

Then you are out of the center of His perfect will for your life and you are frustrating God’s will for that other person too. If God calls us to serve in some position at home, work, church or community, He also grants us the grace to meet these needs.

 

If we find that we regularly lack peace in what is expected of us, then we must seek God’s will about our life. If we are out of His will, He will redirect us by His peace (Philippians 4:7).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we know we are walking in the center of Your will if we have Your complete peace within our spirit (Philippians 4:7). When we feel anxiety or any negative emotion, remind us to stop and pray! Help us to follow the leading of Your Holy Spirit each moment of the day.

 

When we feel Your complete peace again, regardless of all the natural considerations, we will know that we are back in the center of Your will. Our fulfillment only comes as we live in Your peace. Help us to serve You with our body, soul and spirit. Remind us that You have a perfect will for our life and we can walk in it (Ephesians 2:20).

 

Thought for the Day:

Follow the Holy Spirit to do God’s will rather than allowing the compassion of your soul to lead you to meet the needs of those around you or to succumb to the obligations you feel are placed on you by your position in life.