God’s Word is Sweet

As new Believers we desire the milk of the World. With a voracious appetite, we devour whole chapters, eager to read more and more about God and His plan for us.

 

As we mature in Christ, we get more familiar with God’s Word and we start to focus on verses rather than chapters. We read a few verses, until one grabs our attention.

 

Then we meditate on that verse all day long. We look up similar verses when we get a chance to focus our thoughts more specifically. We chew around on the passages and slowly digest them, savoring each morsel.

 

We taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8). His Word is like honey on our lips, sweeter actually than the honey comb (Psalm 19:10). God illuminates our thoughts to see the deeper meaning of the verses on which we are meditating.

 

His Word is more precious and valuable to us than the finest of gold and refined silver (Psalm 12:6, 19:10, 119:103). The scriptures are sweet to our soul and healing to our bones (Proverbs 4:22, 16:24).

 

God’s Spirit enlightens us to apply the verses to our everyday life. He gives us a chance to share the verse in conversation or on our blog or social media site that day, inspiring others to read and meditate on God’s Word as well.

 

Our heart is glad as we meditate on God’s life-giving Words. They bring life to a broken spirit and to our bones in the dessert of life (Proverbs 17:22).

 

In the prison of depression and a broken spirit, we cannot find anything to focus on that brings us joy; yet, when we enjoy God’s Word, our face reflects the joy in our spirit and soul regardless of our circumstances (Proverbs 15:13).

 

Prayer:

Father God, it is easier for us to endure physical ailments than wounds to and in our soul, which break our spirit and pull the rug right out from under us (Proverbs 18:14). This depression causes physical ailments that have no real physical source. We are emotionally afflicted and needy due to the wounds within our soul.

 

Heal our many afflictions – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Help us to change our focus to the innumerable blessings you provide for us each day. Open our eyes so that we may taste and see that You are good (Psalm 109:22, 34:8). We worship You and give You praise in the good times as well as the trying events in our life. You are the source of our strength always.

 

Thought for the Day:

When our soul is discouraged, it breaks our will to live, our productivity, our courage and our desire to walk in God’s will for our day; if we allow Him to, God will always give us a joyful heart, which is the best of medicine for troubles and trials. – Proverbs 15:13, 17:22

 

 

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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.

 

Shaped into His Grace

Our salvation is not earned by our works, and neither is our sanctification (Ephesians 2:8-9; Galatians 3:1-3). God’s Spirit instantly rebirths our spirit through regeneration and then transforms our soul through a lifetime of sanctification.

 

We are formed like clay by the Potter’s hands, shaped into His grace. We feel His hands on our soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions – as He molds us into the likeness of His Son and stretches us to do His will (Isaiah 64:8).

 

Intimately knowing God, and Jesus Christ whom He sent, provides us with eternal life now and for eternity (John 17:3). The fruit of eternal life within us is that we live to abide in the will of God for our life.

 

Our desire for the world diminishes, and doing the will of God is our motivation for each moment of our day (1 John 2:17). Living for the things of the world is no longer an option, as our draw to them thins and wanes in the light of God’s presence within us.

 

We come to trust God’s hand in every area of our life, which helps us to stop worrying and to live to praise Him. Through each season of sanctification, our life is renewed, as we realize that God bought us back from Satan’s clutches with a high personal price to Himself (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

 

Our part is to surrender to His love, mercy and grace; and set free from the law of sin and death to live as slave to His righteousness (Romans 6:22). We conscientiously transfer control over our life from our own keeping to God’s great love.

 

We do not retain our position in the driver’s seat, but move to the back seat and give God control of the wheel, the brake and the direction we take. We move from anxiety, fear and insecurity to total faith.
There is no one on earth or in the spiritual realm that we can trust with our life other than God (Psalm 73:25). Even when we walk through the valley of death and destruction, we fear no evil; because His rod and staff bring us comfort and direction (Psalm 23:4).

 

Prayer:

Father God, as we surrender control of our life to You, You manifest Yourself to us in all of You glory and grace. As the Body of Christ, we find You using us to do greater works than Jesus did, because Your authentic Saints live all over this world (John 14:12; Ephesians 2:10). With Your glorious riches, You provide us with everything we need to accomplish Your will for us and You meet all of our daily needs (Philippians 4:19; Ephesians 3:16).

 

Use us to glorify You in the earth and to bring as many people to Heaven with us as will listen to Your gospel and surrender to Your will in their own life. We love and trust You with our whole heart, soul, mind, will and strength (Luke 10:27). We give You all of the praise, honor and blessing due to Your name (Psalm 29:2).
Thought for the Day:

By His grace, God gave us special talents, abilities, fruit and gifts to bring Him glory with our life. – Galatians 5:22-23; 1 Corinthians 12:7-11

 

Pure and Undefiled Religion

Too often we “play” church and treat it like a cruise ship rather than a battleship. We like to socialize with our friends and make new friends who will treat us nicely and care about us.

 

Yet, we waste our time on the flesh and the world, which makes us too busy to serve in church ministries, to care for the sick and infirmed in our church family, or to reach out into our community to make a friend and lead them to Christ.

 

When the offering plate comes around, we give God a tip from the change in our pocket rather than to give a tithe of our income, and we feel no remorse when we fail to give in the benevolence offering to help the needy in our church family and community.

 

We will not even bring canned goods to donate to the food bank in our area, or to join service organizations in our community who help to serve those less fortunate than we are.

 

We ignore those who are aliens in our community, who move here to find work to support their family; not knowing that if we did care for the needy, God could bless us in all the works which we find for our hands to do (Deuteronomy 14:29).

 

Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is to take care of orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep our self from being polluted by the world (James 1:27).

 

We can help the poor by meeting their need for food, shelter and clothing (1 Timothy 6:8); aid the widows by meeting their medical bills and doing chores that overwhelm them; and we can visit the imprisoned (Job 31:16; Matthew 25:36).

 

We can give Christmas presents to children at local group homes, take some of them to our home for monthly visits or out on a picnic, or we can take them to the pizza parlor for supper once a month (Job 31:17).

 

The possibilities for ministry in our church family and out in our community are endless, and ignoring these needs is unconscionable and despicable in the sight of the Lord (Matthew 7:24).

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to learn to do good, to seek justice, to defend the orphan and to plead the case for our widows (Isaiah 1:17). Teach us to reprove the ruthless who take bribes or look for a reward for their service (Isaiah 1:23). Remind us that when we clothe the naked, care for the sick and visit the imprisoned, we do it as our ministry to You (Matthew 25:36).

 

We do not want to live as hearers of Your Word only, but we want to put feet to our faith and to earn our righteous rewards by keeping Your law and serving our church family and community (James 1:22; Romans 2:13). Let us prove our faith in You by our works for You (James 2:14).

 

Thought for the Day:

The Lord protects strangers, supports single mom’s and their children, and cares for the needs of widows; but He resists the wicked and thwarts those who “play” church rather than minister to the needy in their community. Let us join Him in His Kingdom work. – Psalm 146:9

 

Sitting Quietly at Jesus’ Feet

Sitting quietly at Jesus’ feet is a tremendously healing endeavor. We cease from our labors and listen to His voice, feel His hand stroking our head, breathing in unison with Him as He listens to our troubles and trials, and receives our praise.

 

His presence fills us with His peace and joy in spite of circumstances. His ministry to our spirit by His Spirit makes a lasting impression on our soul as He calms the raging sea within our thoughts and emotions.

 

It is easier to keep busy than to sit quietly and still. We rush headlong into life and ignore the deep recesses of our soul that need healing; but these unresolved conflicts tear us down every day for the rest of our life – until we are willing to sit quietly and listen to our soul.

 

We feel vulnerable when too much of our inner self is exposed to the light of day. Satan’s condemnation, the world’s expectations and the negative self-talk in us from years of input by significant others in our life, make us uncomfortable with confronting our fears and insecurities.

 

It is important to pause during the day to prop up our feet, drink a cup of tea, do a craft, watch a wholesome show or movie, play a video game, paint a picture, learn a musical instrument, etc. This gives our soul a much needed chance to play and experience a time of abandon and creativity.

 

Proven scientific studies show that meditation decreases our negative attitudes and neurosis, as well as increases our feelings of control and security. Meditating on God’s Word heals these psychosomatic issues and decreases their effects on our life.

 

God’s Spirit is sanctifying our soul little by little and day by day. Our carnality is decreasing so that He may increase in us and through us. We do not attempt to perfect our self (Galatians 3:1-3), but we surrender to God’s work within us (Romans 8).

 

We pray without ceasing by consulting God each moment of our day (Proverbs 3:5-6) and we walk in the Spirit rather than fulfilling the former, diminishing, carnal desires of our flesh (Galatians 5:15-25; Colossians 3:3-4). We live in victory and fulfillment with His ceaseless peace and joy.

 

Prayer:

Father God, You draw us to Your heart through our wounds, scars and brokenness. You accomplish Your most powerful miracles through those of us who turn toward You in our weakness, rather than blaming You and turning away from You in our distress. You plant a seed for a miracle in every trial.

 

You use our brokenness to prove Your love for us and that You are sovereign in our life. You call us by name and give us treasures from our darkness and riches in the midst of the secret places of grief in our soul (Isaiah 45:3). Thank You for setting us free from worldly concerns and for reminding us to stay focused on You and Your will throughout our day.

 

Thought for the Day:

When we walk in the power and anointing of Christ in us and fulfill God’s will for our life, we see the lasting fruit both of God’s sanctifying work in our soul and of our spiritual endeavors in the lives of those God brings into our life; this causes us to rejoice constantly in God’s faithfulness and goodness.

 

 

No Longer a Sinner – In God’s Image

God created us in His image – a triune being (Genesis 1:26-27). He made us into His dwelling place by His Spirit (Ephesians 2:22). He predestined us to conform to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29).

 

In the first months and years of our sanctification, we struggle with the sin nature. We disobey and fail to win the race. Formerly in the likeness of the first Adam’s nature, we fall short of God’s glory (Genesis 5:3; Romans 3:23, 6:23).

 

Yet, as we fall more in love with Jesus than our self or the world, the things of earth grow dim in our heart and the things of God take pre-eminence in our decisions and actions.

 

The Holy Spirit works in us according to His good pleasure, molding us into Christ-minded individuals who realize that Jesus is our whole life (Philippians 2:13; Colossians 3:4).

 

As the Spirit transforms us into the likeness of Christ, who is sinless, our desire to sin wanes. The outward, carnal man is sanctified daily into a Saint instead of a sinner.

 

The character of Christ in now our character. The righteousness of Christ is our nature. The power of Christ in us overcomes any desire to use our body or soul – our mind, will or emotions – for carnal or sinful purposes.

 

Christ in us gives us His nature that pertains to life and godliness, and He calls us to live in His glory and virtue. We put on the new man and escape from the corruption of sin and the world.

 

We walk in holiness and purity, conformed to the image of Christ in us. Once we see Christ in us for who He is, we become like Him (1 John 3:2; Colossians 3:4). More and more, we are continually changed into His image (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to realize Your work in our life makes us perfect by Your Spirit just as You are perfect. It is not just in eternity through glorification, but now through sanctification as we cooperate with Your Spirit (Romans 8:30; Hebrews 12:23; Philippians 3:21). Salvation is a three-phased progression and is not something we do.

 

Just as our salvation in our spirit is by Your Spirit, so is our sanctification in our soul, and eventually You will give us glorification with our immortal body (Galatians 3:1-3; Philippians 2:12-13). Remind us that Christ in us is our hope of realizing Your glory in us now, as Your Spirit replaces our character with His fruit and our nature with the nature of Christ in us (Colossians 1:27; Galatians 4:19).

 

Thought for the Day:

As we eat Jesus’ body and drink His blood, He transforms us into His image for all the world to see; and His glory fills us and shines forth from us by His Spirit. – John 6:54

 

 

The End-Time Church

The End-time Church

Many in the last days Church are hardworking and never grow weary of serving the Lord in every way we can (Revelation 2:2-3). We have a passion for working for Christ, but we often forsake our quiet times with God, in order to fill our time with religious activities. We work in ministry for our own fulfillment, rather than for the love of God in obedience to His direction (Ephesians 2:10).

Like the Church of Ephesus, the modern church has forsaken our first love (Revelation 2:4). Like the Church of Laodicea, the Spirit left and we function in our human energy and effort. We do not even recognize that we are spiritually poor, lame, wretched, naked and pitiful (Revelation 3:17). We look at numbers to gauge our success rather than changed lives.

Others of us are hearers of the Word, but not doers. We do not serve in any ministry. We attend conventions, buy books and sermons, and follow the most popular preachers, but we fail to obey the Lord (James 1:22; John 14:15, 23). We are ever learning, but never walking in the Truth (2 Timothy 3:7). We have a personal relationship with Christ, but not a heart full of love for Him (John 14:21, 23; 1 Corinthians 16:22).
God warns us of judgment for our disobedience and immorality, and He calls us to repentance (Revelation 2:5). Jesus promises that if we heed His Word, we will overcome the deception and lusts of this life. He is preparing a place for authentic Believers to eat from the tree of life and to dwell for eternity in the paradise of God (Revelation 2:7, Revelation 21-22).

Prayer:
Father God, the blessed assurance that we enjoy as Believers is that Christ lives within us (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:3-4). Remind us not to fall under Satan’s deception to crave the world or to minister through our own abilities. Make us defenders of Your Word, so that we do not compromise our love of Your truth. Help us to persevere in persecution and not to grow weary of following Your Spirit’s guidance every moment of every day (Revelation 2:2-3).

Thought for the Day:
The light of our modern church went out, and we do not know it.
– John 8:12; Matthew 5:14