Falling in Love More Each Day

When we walk in the light of God’s truth, everyone can see our good works; but rather than extolling us for our efforts, they will give the Glory to God (John 3:21; Matthew 5:16).

 

People know there is something different about a Believer – at least they should know we are different from the world, unless we are still walking in the flesh (Galatians 5:15-26).

 

However, there is a great deal more to our walk with Christ than surviving trials and doing good works. Our intimacy with God increases daily, through deprivation and abundance.

 

We learn wisdom from His guidance and we fall in love with Him more and more each day. Throughout times of both oppression and victory, our walk remains at a steady gait, because of our personal relationship with the God of the universe.

 

Even when we think we are experiencing a dry spell, this is only a time of companionable silence with the Lord. He is waiting for us to break out in songs of praise and words of love and adoration for all He means to us and all that He does for us – even all the little things, which we often do not notice or tend to take for granted.

 

Moses warned the Israelites of this very thing. They continually took God for granted, especially during peace-filled times of blessing and tranquility. Humans always tend to trust in their own resources, especially during good times; and then we fall into the rut of selfishness and pride (Deuteronomy 8:10-18).

 

We see from the Israelite’s wandering in the desert that we often bring trials and hardships on our self. We reap the negative attitudes and behavior, which we allow Satan to perpetuate in our thoughts, words and actions.

 

However, our goal is to walk through each day trusting in the guidance of God’s Spirit. This way we side-step the pitfalls and rejoice continually in His blessings in both the lean and the bountiful times.

 

Prayer:

Father God remind us to continually trust in You, and to follow Your direction for each moment of our day (Proverbs 3:5-6). When you bless us, we tend to trust in our own ability, to take credit for the victories. We forget that we need You for every breath we take. You desire to be more than a “fireman” to douse the flames of the issues of life and to keep them from consuming us.

 

You offer us an intimate relationship with You every moment of the day. We feel Your love cascading over us like a waterfall, Your peace wrapping us in a safe cocoon in the midst of life swirling by all around us, and Your righteousness replacing the negative thoughts, choice and emotions which normally direct our life.

Thought for the Day:

Regardless of our earthly circumstances, God leads us in a level path because of the insecurity of life in this world. – Psalm 27:11

 

 

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.

 

 

It Only Takes a Spark

There is a truth in life that we often overlook. The more that we value Christ’s sacrifice for our life, the more intense is our desire to share Him with other people.

 

It only takes one spark to get a fire going. Letting people know that God’s mercy is new every morning, and available in their life as well as our own, is the best news that some people could ever hear. They are just waiting for us to speak up (Romans 10:14).

 

The fountain of living water within us is not meant to cleanse and nourish us alone, but to overflow to everyone around us (John 7:38). We cannot hide the light of Christ within us under a basket, but we are to set it on a hilltop for the whole world to see (Matthew 5:15).

 

I want to take more of an advantage of opportunities to share the good news of God’s love with other people. I do not want to take His sacrifice on Calvary’s cross for granted, but I want to broadcast it to the whole world.

 

That way, anyone willing to listen to what I have to say will have the opportunity to surrender their life to His love just like I did.

 

If I can spark the curiosity or hunger in just one person, and that person and I share God’s truth with one other person, and continue to do this every day, we will certainly soon set the world on fire.

 

Prayer:

Father God, give us the boldness and love for others to share Your Good News with anyone willing to listen. Give us many divine appointments throughout our day to tell people about salvation through Jesus Christ. Someone shared the news with us; so remind us to “pay it forward”.

 

Break our heart over the sin in our life and draw us closer to Your presence within us with each passing day. Allow the intimacy we share with You to grow every moment of our life, and remind us to consult with Your Spirit all through the day (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

Thought for the Day:

God’s mercy is the greatest gift we have ever been given and we can share that Good News with anyone willing to listen to us; we just make that first move to greet or offer to pray for anyone God brings across our path.

 

Trust Only in the Lord

Trust must be earned, rather than blindly given; and is more important to a relationship than love. If we spend our time telling little white lies to keep us out of trouble, this undermines the love that others feel for us.

 

When life boils down to the details, we are not even able to trust our self. We often disappoint our self, because we let our self down and then have a hard time forgiving our self.

 

God is truly the only trustworthy being in the universe. He keeps His Word through generations of time (Psalm 147:13). We can trust in the Lord with our whole heart and refuse to lean on our own human reasoning.

 

He will always direct our steps and lead us in His will and way (Proverbs 3:5-6). He preserves our life, and inspires us to devote our time and resources in His service. He is our God and He saves His children who trust in Him (Psalm 86:2).

 

We keep our focus on Him because He never leaves us destitute. He offers us continual refuge under His wings, regardless of how dire our circumstances become (Psalm 46:1-3, 141:8).

 

God is only a prayer away and provides us with all of our needs according to His glorious riches (Psalm 142:5). He hears our prayers and answers us in His faithfulness and righteous judgment. (Psalm 143:1)

 

Prayer:

Father God, even though our food supply stops producing or our drinking water is contaminated, we know that You will faithfully supply all of our needs. We may suffer persecution and hardships on this earth, but You are the strength of our life (Psalm 46:1-2).

 

We give You the praise, glory and honor that is due to Your name, even if we face imminent deprivation in this life. You will always see us through any and every trial, because You walk through it with us and in us (Colossians 1:27, Galatians 2:20).

 

Thought for the Day:
The Lord allows us to hear His promise of unfailing love with each new morning, and calls on us to totally trust His mercy and goodness for our life. – Psalm 143:8

 

 

A Good Marriage – Common Ground

Winning is not the ultimate prize of life; it is the manner in which we finish the race that counts the most. It is often the last straggler across the finish line that receives the most attention, because they persevered to the very end.

 

Winning an argument is not necessary to feel validated either. We can concede that we are wrong, if indeed we are, without any shame or recrimination.

 

We have a viewpoint that differs from our employer’s, friend’s, neighbor’s, child’s, parent’s or spouse’s perspective; but no less right or wrong than theirs.

 

There is nothing heroic about destroying a marriage, because we soon realize that we were acting as pawns on Satan’s game board, playing right into his hands and wreaking havoc for generations to come.

 

If both parties in a disagreement are willing to bear with one another and to lay our life down for each other, there is always a way to peacefully resolve all issues and to avoid fighting and drama.

 

Neither of us is the enemy, we are simply fellow sojourners in this life with equal rights and privileges in the family of God. Quickly apologizing from the heart for any hurt we cause during a disagreement goes a long way in keeping unity in our relations.

 

Repairing our relationships is so much more mature than rending them in half and going our separate ways – leaving a trail of broken hearts and lives behind us. A trained counselor can help us to negotiate our differences.

 

Seeking wisdom from God’s Word and His Spirit during times of prayer can also help us to breach any gaps in our unity. We negotiate until we find common ground on which to stand.

 

Prayer:

Father God, You remind us not to separate what You bind together. You admonish us not to break any vow that we make, but to honor our commitment to one another with charity, patience and kindness. You want us to work together to find an equitable solution to any conflicts in our marriage, as well as in our affiliations at work and in Your Body.

 

Give us Your wisdom to maintain peace and to show Your agape love to those who wound us; to turn the other cheeks and to bear with one another’s idiosyncrasies and foibles. Give us patience to love one another as Christ loves the church; so we can represent living sacrifices as a testimony to an unbelieving world.

 

Thought for the Day:

There is nothing heroic in winning at the cost of someone else’s expense; but in laying down our life and serving one another with the love of our Father toward us.

 

Surrendering to God’s Will

We can develop habits over time to create more joy in our life and to eliminate depression and melancholy. However, it takes a change of focus and total submission to God’s Holy Spirit.

 

Many people live in the realm of “what ifs” and/or wanting what they do not have. They think that happiness will finally arrive when they accomplish their bucket list.

 

We allow circumstances to color our thoughts and feelings, which may diminish our joy. We wait for God to answer our prayers rather than to enjoy the life, which He already provided for us.

 

His peace and joy are available for us each moment of the day and do not depend on circumstances. It is possible to live in an economically depressed area with impoverished circumstances and still have total peace and joy.
There is no guarantee that we will live to see the next moment in time; so focusing on having possessions or certain people in our life will reduce our peace and joy.

 

Without surrendering our will to God’s will each moment of the day, we hinder our effectiveness both in life and in our spiritual growth and ministry.

 

Once we repent of our sins and recognize Jesus as our only Savior and King, the very life of Christ saturates our entire body, soul and spirit. As His Spirit sanctifies us, we see more spiritual fruit and less of a draw from our flesh, Satan and the world.

 

The most critical exercise we can do as a baby Christian is to surrender our will to God’s will. Even as older Christians, if we never surrendered, it is time to do so now.

 

When we totally surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ over our life, we feel less and less tension and stress, and more and more of His rest, peace and joy.

 

Prayer:

Father God, we tend to regret the past and fear the future. We spend so much time focusing in these two directions that we waste the current moment. This moment in time is all that You guarantee us.

 

You forgave our past, and it is over and forgiven. We just have to remember to forgive our self too. Remind us that once we do surrender to You, Your Spirit begins replacing our negative personality traits with His spiritual fruit and You flood our spirit and soul with Your love.

 

Thought for the Day:

Our future is in God’s capable hands; therefore, trusting God in the moment provides us with a stress-free life.

 

 

 

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

 

 

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.

 

 

A Good Marriage – The Little Foxes that Spoil the Vine

Over the years of marriage, we recognize who our partner is and what they are not. We also develop a better understanding of our self and why we respond to people and events the way we do.

 

We come to identify what triggers negative reactions in one another, so we can avoid these issues whenever possible. We make concentrated efforts on working together to find mutually acceptable plans when our original personal preferences conflict.

 

We also fearlessly attack our personal issues and give the Holy Spirit full reign in our life, so that He can transform us with the mind of Christ. One way to recognize our faults is to pay attention to what our spouse complains about – do we procrastinate, withhold affection, watch too much TV, neglect to help one another with projects or daily chores?

 

Small adjustments in our schedule or habits will make a big difference in marital bliss and harmony. We can learn one another’s love language and show each other love in ways that will fulfill our mate’s needs and allow them to feel nurtured and cherished.

 

This will erase the small irritations which eventually erupt into major disharmony – the little foxes that spoil the vine (Song of Solomon 2:15). Do we expect too much from one another, forgetting that we are only human?

 

Do we greet one another as we would our best friend, or do we take one another for granted? We all appreciate being greeted with enthusiasm as someone who is highly cherished.

 

Do we agree to disagree or do we always feel like we are right and our partner is wrong? Do we need to have the last word, or do we stop talking when we have made our point?

 

No one like to live with condemnation, condescension, griping or constant belittlement. It is so good and pleasant when we dwell together in harmony (Psalm 133:1). This unity draws us closer to one another and makes us want to spend more time together.

Prayer:

Father God, teach us to recap once we calm down after a disagreement. Help us to honestly relate how we felt during the “fight” and what thoughts were going through our mind that we did not take the time to articulate. These thoughts fueled our emotional response during our discussion, and our spouse deserves to understand why we reacted as we did to their comment, behavior or reply.

 

Remind us to seek You in all of our decisions and discussions; not to rely on our own understanding, but to allow You to direction our thoughts, words and actions. Help us to be led by Your Spirit rather than to react in our flesh; but if we do act carnally, encourage us to ask for forgiveness from one another and to calmly discuss the situation until we find an equitable solution.

 

Thought for the Day:

Looking into each other’s eyes during a discussion enables us to see within the windows of each other’s soul; speaking honestly about how our partner’s words and actions make us feel will help us to understand one another better too and to make our interactions more intimate and productive. – Matthew 6:22-23

 

Life-Changing Verses – Part 2 – Verse to Live By

God gives us a very simple plan for life. He created us for a special purpose before we were even born, starting with our salvation through Christ. We do not earn salvation by our works of righteousness. According to His mercy He saved us by cleansing us with regeneration.

 

God renews us by giving us His Spirit (Ephesians 2:8-10). Our Father God loved us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:7-9). He sees our whole life without the parameters of time or the constraints of mortality. God is eternal and views all of our years on earth from an eternal perspective.

 

We are crucified with Christ, but we still live on this earth; yet it is not us, but Christ who is living in and through us. And the life we now live in this human body, we live by the faith of God’s Son who loves us – enough to die for us (Galatians 2:20).

 

We receive God’s Spirit, which has nothing to do with our human effort, talents or hard work; and neither can we sanctify or perfect our soul through any work of our own (Galatians 3:1-3).

 

Our walk with God is a life-long process of growing in intimacy with Him, and enjoying the daily fellowship of almighty God. There is nothing that we cannot do as long as we are following His perfect will for us (Philippians 4:13).

 

If we submit to God and resist the devil, Satan is obligated to flee from us (James 4:7). He may gain permission from God to throw some type of trial in our path, but Christ in us is greater and more powerful than Satan could ever hope to be (1 John 4:4).

 

Prayer:

Father God, there are so many verses that stand out to us as we read Your Word, highlighted by Your Spirit in order to enlighten us and improve our brief life (James 4:14) on this earth. Thank You for giving us Your fullness as a free gift (Romans 3:23, 6:23; Ephesians 3:16-19, Amplified Bible). We give You all of the praise and honor due to Your name.

 

Because of Your mercy, we live our life free from the twisted duplicity of Satan’s lies, and we relish the fact of our freedom in Christ. You make us whole and heal our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual diseases. You strengthen us from the inside out and You pour Your love and grace over us like a fountain of mercy. We love You with our whole spirit, soul and body, even into eternity.

 

Thought for the Day:

As we earnestly seek the Lord and thirst after Him to the point of fainting in this dry and weary land in which we live, He is our sanctuary – full of power and glory, the lover of our soul, which is better than life itself, and He satisfies our soul with His constant love; therefore, we continually praise Him with joyful lips and a mouth full of praises. – Psalm 63:1-11