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

 

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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.

 

 

The Most Holy Place

A curtain hung between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place in the tabernacle and temple and separated the presence of God from the Israelite priests who served there.

 

Only the high priest was allowed into the Most Holy Place, and only after a strict regimen of cleansing. Jesus cleanses us from our humanity, so that we may serve the Living God through His divinity within us (Hebrews 9:14).

 

As Jesus took His last breath on Calvary’s cross, the temple curtain split in half from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51). Most scholars believe that God orchestrated this torn Temple curtain as an object lesson for us.

 

It illustrates and signifies the fact that we cannot earn our way to heaven, but we can now enter the presence of God by the blood of Jesus with confidence in our salvation (Hebrews 10:19).

 

When we accept Jesus as our Savior, He sets His seal of ownership on us and gives us His Spirit as a down payment of our inheritance (2 Corinthians 1:22).

 

Once we repent of our sins, ask for forgiveness and surrender our will to Him, He moves into our Born Again spirit and resides within us all through our lifetime. He places us in His Body and we work together for His glory.

 

We are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). Christ lives in us (Colossians 1:27). Our Spirit is the Most Holy Place where God resides. God makes us a holy sanctuary in which He can dwell (Exodus 25:8).

 

Cleansed from sin by the blood of the perfect Lamb of God (1 Peter 1:19), we are His priests and we shall reign with Him during the Millennium for 1000 years and then serve Him throughout eternity (Revelation 20:6).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You are our safe haven and our power to deal with temptation and persecution (Psalm 46:1). Even in the most unthinkable and earth shattering circumstances, with our faith in Your faithfulness, we have no reason to fear (Psalm 46:1-3). We consider trails as a time of great joy, because they are an adventure with You (James 1:2).

 

We stop our stressing and watch You work in our behalf (James 1:2; Psalm 46:10). We are Your children (Romans 8:15). You promise never to leave us or to forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). You are our Mighty God who saves us and abides within us. You celebrate over us with delight. You calm us with Your love. You even rejoice over us with thunderous singing (Zephaniah 3:17).

 

Thought for the Day:

Our hope in Christ is the sure and steadfast anchor for our soul. – Hebrews 6:19

 

 

When One Side Wins

When one side “wins” an argument, both sides lose. The person or group that was not allowed to make their point, or who did not have the opportunity to make their point, feels dejected and frustrated and unable to affect their own life.

 

This effects their relationship and attitude about the “winning” side. They may forgive, but they still feel discounted and misunderstood. They withdraw from the relationship both emotionally and possibly also physically, even if just a little bit.

 

The sad point of this scenario is that this is so unnecessary. There does not have to be a winner and a loser in an argument. There can be a discussion, which leads to a mutually acceptable solution.

 

This way everybody wins! No one person or group “gets their way”, but they find an equally impartial solution that meets everyone’s needs.

 

When we each have a need and our own solution, but we cannot agree on either one, we can pray or brainstorm together and find a third alternative that we both like.

 

We can do some research, ask advice from other people, read some articles on the topic, go to a counselor if necessary, and find a third alternative that both sides agree upon.

 

Then everyone is happy, everyone feels heard and valued, and everyone wins. In our society, we have a two party system and we tend to be black-and-white thinkers.

 

There is no room or tolerance for any gray areas that may require that we think outside of our little box, to experiment, and to consider the good of the group rather than for our self alone.

 

The only area that is not up for compromise is our belief in and devotion to God. We follow His Spirit’s direction in every area of our life and we stand firm on the Word of God alone.

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to be more interested in serving others than our self, putting the needs of others in the same degree of importance in our life as our own needs. Remind us not to neglect our self, but to honor others as our self.

 

You have a perfect will and way for our life and it is our responsibility to hear from Your Spirit in every aspect of our life (Ephesians 2:10; Proverbs 3:5-6). We draw near to You, refuse to allow Satan to wreak havoc in our life and we allow You to direct our paths (James 4:7).

 

Thought for the Day:

Once we purify the desires of our soul by obeying God’s truth, we develop a genuine love for others, we love each other deeply and we maintain a pure heart for God to use in His service.

– 1 Peter 1:22

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attitudes Count

What is an attitude? It is a state of mind, a prevailing thought and it influences every aspect of our life. As a melancholy from birth, my attitude reflected a pessimistic bent.

 

I had a hard time seeing a glass half full, because my fearful and insecure personality saw everything as a potential problem. I was never satisfied and rarely hopeful. Depression constantly nipped at my heels.

 

The stresses of life intimately influence our attitude, which effects our thoughts, words and deeds. According to doctors, stress causes illness and infection to invade our physical, mental and emotional state of being.

 

Scientific research found a direct correlation between stress and our cortisol levels, which is supposed to help us to deal with stress. The adrenal glands produce cortisol, so we are able to flee or fight.

 

After we deal with the stress of a situation, the cortisol and adrenalin are supposed to subside and our body returns to normal. However, with chronic stress these chemical are constantly on high alert and affect our heart, digestion, sleep and energy level, and cause us to suffer from weight gain and adrenal fatigue.

 

In turn, adrenal fatigue contributes to major issues such as autoimmune disease and its accompanying illnesses. Pessimism exacerbates these issues and affects our mental and emotional status as well.

 

The exception to this rule is when a healthy sense of pessimism encourages us to seek wise counsel, make prudent plans and discourages us from taking unnecessary risks.

 

However, optimism usually works more in our favor. If we discipline our inner dialogue with our self to stay positive and trust God to help us, we will live more optimistically. Godly optimism empowers us to make a difference in our life and also in our world.

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us that negative self-talk in our mind will defeat us every time. Satan whispers lies in our “ear” and we end up embracing them. Help us to stop judging or criticizing our self and others, and to be encouraging – especially to our self.

 

As a pessimist, life feels overwhelming to me, but I thank You for helping me to reword my self-talk and to think more positively. You changed my thought processes and are helping me to change my world by allowing Your Word to cleanse my soul and to restore to me the joy of my salvation. (Psalm 51:10).

 

Thought for the Day:

God’s Spirit will choose one aspect of our life at a time, and change our way of thinking about that issue, which helps us to change our focus about other issues as well.

 

 

Dying of Thirst

This modern world is a dry, hot desert and our fellow humans are dying all around us, even though Authentic Christians contain the water that they need to give them life and enable them to live victoriously on this earth.

 

Yet, we often withhold from them the very information they need in order to find the endless well of God’s life-giving water. We fail to tell them about our loving Father and Jesus Christ whom He sent (John 17:3).

 

As we seek to follow God’s Spirit each moment of the day, they will see His fruit in us, which is the divine nature of Christ, who lives in us (2 Pet 1:4). The living water in us can also nourish fellow Christians going through a dry spell (1 Corinthians 16:18; 2 Corinthians 7:13).

 

Our source of water never leaves or forsakes us. He cares for every issue which we cast on His shoulders (Hebrews 13:5; 1 Peter 5:7). As we share the living water within, we never run dry.

 

Rivers of living water satisfy the longing of our soul (Psalm 107:9) and overflow to those around us who need His special touch in their lives as well. If the flow is a mere dribble, then we have some work to do.

 

We start by taking our focus off what we want from life and concentrate instead on what God wants from our life. We walk in the Spirit and we do not fulfill the carnal desires of our flesh (Galatians 5:15-25).

 

When Jesus walked on the earth, many recognized Him as the boy from Nazareth (John 5:23). Therefore, they did not believe He was the Messiah. They did not know God and did not recognize Jesus for who He truly is (John 5:42-43).

 

Yet, others recognized His Godly nature and believed in His divine calling in their midst (John 8:19). We too can recognize our need for Christ in our life and allow Him to flow from us into the lives of those all around us (John 5:37-38).

 

We choose to live in God’s will for us – not to seek our own glory, but to seek God’s glory instead (John 7:17-18). We willingly share the living water within us with whomever chooses to come and drink from our well.

 

Prayer:

Father God, You offer for us to come and drink, because You desire that not one person perish in the eternal flames of hell. You provide Your free gift of salvation to the entire world (Matthew 23:37; John 2:16-18); but many are caught up in their own plans or in the devil’s lies and are sidetracked from any pursuit to follow You. They use counterfeit methods to attempt to quench their thirsty soul.

 

Remind us that we are more than our mortal body. We are also a never-dying soul – emotions, thoughts and choices – as well as a spirit (Luke 16:19-31). Help us to take advantage of Your great wisdom, power, goodness, justice, love, peace, joy and holiness. Remind us to feast on Your Word and to drink from Your wellsprings of living water (John 4:14, 6:35). Draw us close to You and never, ever let us go.

 

Thought for the Day:

The ache in our heart and the thirst in our soul are only filled by coming to Christ for His salvation and fulfillment. – John 1:12

 

Nursing Negative Emotions

When we nurse a negative emotion, we amplify it in our mind, cement it in our thinking and establish the roots of it in our soul. Yet, this only ends up hurting, rather than helping us.

 

Paul recommends that we think and meditate on only positive thoughts and emotions. He even gives us a list of acceptable ideas to consider and contemplate, and on which to focus.

 

This verse suggests that we think only on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). If it does not meet these requirements, we ask God to help us to change our focus about the issue.

 

Grudges, depression, jealousy, anger, hurt feelings, suspicion, frustration, shame, grief, etc. usually come from lies, which Satan whispers in our ear. However, if they are founded in fact, we can use the Serenity Prayer to resolve them.

 

We either change the circumstance or give it to God to deal with; but whatever we do, we change our attitude about it to keep our soul encouraged by the positive that is going on in and around us.

 

Paul goes one step further and encourages us to rejoice in our tribulation. I never could figure out how to do that, until I realized that God plants the seed for a miracle within every trial.

 

Now, I simply praise our Father God with gratitude and faith in His faithfulness through tribulation, and I look at it as an adventure in Christ rather than as just another negative encounter with life.

 

Our attitude during trials is the greatest witness to the world around us of the Christ within us (1 Peter 2:12). We can “preach” to them until we are blue in the face, but what we “say” with our actions and attitude speaks more about the love of Christ than our words.

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us that the result of us maintaining positive thoughts and attitudes is Your peace within us (Philippians 4:7). Your peace is the precursor for all of our thoughts, words and actions; and our thoughts, words and actions can disturb Your peace within us quicker than anything. We often imagine the worse-case scenario, which rarely happens, and this slides us right down into the pit of worry and depression.

 

You give us Your wisdom to deal with each moment of life, which we encounter. Your wisdom is pure, filled with peace, loving, considerate, easily surrendered to, full of mercy and grace, produces good fruit in and through us, and is impartial and sincere (James 3:17). Help us to stay focused on Your blessings and provision in our life.

 

Thought for the Day:

There is more potential power in gratitude and praise than in nursing negative emotions.