Joyful Walk with the Lord

 

Due to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, we have an enduring possession in Heaven (Hebrews 10:34). However, we do not need to wait until Heaven to enjoy them. God showers us with His blessings daily.

 

This helps us to endure the negative emotions and circumstances, which Satan uses to harass our peace and joy. No trial is overwhelming, because we face it with the power of Christ in us.

 

We enter His rest and give Him total reign in our life. We stop making our own plans and surrender instead to His will for our life (Ephesians 2:10).

 

Once we change our attitude, and focus on Christ in us rather than on the details of our day, we live in God’s peace and joy no matter what happens to us.

 

Our true home is Heaven, not this transitory life. Things here are passing away and do not really matter. We no longer work to amass worldly goods and it does not matter if we “keep up with our neighbor” in status, style and affluence.

 

We find our true peace under the shelter of His wings. No evil presence can shake us from this place of abiding in the presence of Christ within us. He is our peace and He breaks down every wall (Ephesians 2:11-22).

 

The more we totally surrender to God’s will and the direction of His Holy Spirit, the more capable we are to meet the challenges of daily living. We walk in His will rather than struggle with an uphill climb of our own making.

 

Prayer:

Father God, because of Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary’s cross, our past is forgiven, our wounds are healed, we forgive the perpetrators of evil in our life, and we also forgive our self for our choices that opened us up to evil’s presence in our life.

 

You teach us to set boundaries to keep our self relatively free from future intrusions, and we do nothing without first consulting You for Your wisdom and will. This guarantees that You direct all of our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). We live for You and accept Your perfect will for us with Your joy and glory filling our hearts (1 Peter 1:8).

 

Thought for the Day:

We live according to the advice of God’s Holy Word, which releases the spiritual energy of Christ who is abiding inside of us; this healing, loving power effects our spirit, body and soul, and infects every area of our life.

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Jesus, Our Showbread

The Bread of the Presence, or showbread, was placed daily in the Holy Place in both the Tabernacle and the Temple (Exodus 25:30). Once a week, new bread replaced the week-old loaves and the priests ate the old loaves (1Chronicles 23: 29). Jesus is our showbread in the Heavenly Tabernacle.

 

Bread is a continual theme throughout the Bible. The term “bread” in the Bible refers to food in general or is used symbolically as well. To break bread with someone was an act of fellowship and communion (Genesis 14:18).

 

Unleavened bread reminds us of the Israelites exodus from Egypt to a new life in Canaan (Exodus 12:39). Even when Israel rebelled and refused to enter the Promised Land, God sustained them. He gave them bread from heaven – manna – that preserved their lives (Exodus 16:2-4).

 

For Christians, this trek is symbolic of our walk with the Lord in the Kingdom of God. Christians know that in Jesus, who is our True Bread of Life, our lives are lifted up above the mundane, earthly level, and we abide in the heavenly realm with Him (Ephesians 2:6).

 

God’s Word is also our daily bread. As we read, study and share His word, we find that we lose our desire for the matters of this life and this world. Jesus said that His food was to do the will of His Father (John 4:34). As we mature spiritually, this is true in our life as well.

 

God provides for all of our needs. Our bread of heaven, Jesus Christ, nourishes our lives and keeps us safe as we sojourn on this earth toward eternity with Him in heaven. Bread is a powerful symbol of God’s provision. Manna gave temporary life, but Jesus gives us eternal life John 6:35, 51).

 

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, You are our bread of life and our living water (Deuteronomy 8:3; John 1: 4). Your Word allows us to live spiritually (Luke 4:4; Hebrews 5:12). Your Word is more necessary to us than food and it is as sweet as honey (Jeremiah 15:16; Job 23:12; Psalm 119:103).

 

Yet, You abundantly provide for our physical needs as well (John 6:1-15). We give thanks to You, for You are good. Your loving kindness endures forever. I give thanks to You, Lord, for Your unfailing love and Your wonderful acts to the children of men, for You satisfy the thirsty soul and You fill the hungry soul with good things (Psalm 107:1, 8-9).

 

Thought for the Day:

Each day, God gives us our daily bread as we read His Word, fellowship with Christ in us, and follow the direction of the Holy Spirit each moment of the day.  – Matthew 6:11

Faith, Hope and Love – Part 1 – Faith

Most humans rely on finite, physical senses and limited mental powers in analyzing all truth. If it does not feel right, then we reject it. Satan is right there making sure that the things of God make no human sense.

 

The unjust live by sight and not by faith. They mock faith and scorn those of us living by it. They see no sense in our infinite trust in God’s provision and care for us.

 

That is why faith is stressed so often in Biblical passages. Those who trust in God live by faith and not by sight (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38). We face life’s issues with courage and all the other fruit of His Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

 

Faith is a lovely realm in which to live our life. It is ethereal and supernatural, peaceful and full of God’s grace. It places us under the shadow of God’s wings – the safest place in the universe.

 

If we live by faith, we float in God’s rest through the chaos of every storm. He keeps us safe and walks in us through everything we experience, calming our heart and giving us His peace that transcends the emotion and heartache of our trials.

 

Prayer:
Father God, pride and rebellion have always run rampant on the earth, and self-reliance is the mantra of each successive generation. I ache for those who reject Your goodness and love, and instead, embrace Satan’s lies and trickery. I pray that Your Spirit will draw all men to You as we lift You up in our lives.

 

Help them to see our good works and our faith in Your faithfulness and to embrace your free gift of salvation through the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf. We are eternally grateful to You for Your loving kindness to our parents, children, grandchildren, extended family members, friends, neighbors and associates.

 

Thought for the Day:

Out of God’s glorious riches, He strengthens us in our inner being with His power through His Spirit; and Christ dwells in our hearts through our faith in Him as we are rooted and grounded and established in His love. – Ephesians 3:16-17

Incline Your Ear

God always inclines His ear to our prayers; and the wise in this world will incline their ear to the Lord, listen to His Words and align their life with His thoughts, ways and instruction (Proverbs 22:17).

 

Our eternal Father bends His ear to hear our pleading voice in our times of trouble (Psalm 86:6-8). He cares about everything that concerns us. He may chuckle at our naivety, or feel frustrated at our lack of faith; but He always provides for us, just like He did when Israel chose to wander in the wilderness rather than to obey His direction.

 

God pays attention to us and listens to the cries of our heart (Isaiah 28:23). We may not be able to describe in words the anguish we feel in our heart, but God knows exactly how we feel and has an antidote for our troubles.

 

He does not want us to attempt to overcome our trials alone. He eagerly waits for us to overcome our pride and rebellion, to abandon our human reasoning, and to reach out to Him to overcome the current plague, which is bedeviling us.

 

We call on God because we know He hears our words and answers us (Psalm 17:6). We communicate with Him in our prayers all day long. He especially loves it when we realize our helplessness without Him; He willingly listens for our voice in our times of need.

 

We cannot special order how we want our prayers answered. In fact, the most powerful prayer is to pray, “Lord, Your will be done.” In our submission to His will, we accept God’s answers to our prayers and realize that they are truly exactly what we needed all along.

 

Prayer:

Father God, we are desperate for You. We thank You for the thousands of ways You answer our prayers at the perfect moment and in the exact way that we need in order to supply our necessities in this world. Thank You that You allow us to live in a constant conversation with Your presence within us, as we focus on You every moment of our day.

 

Remind us not to talk all the time during our prayers, but to take time to listen to Your voice as You answer us and bless us with Your gifts and surprises along life’s way. When You are silent, help us to realize that You are simply enjoying moments of companionable silence with us as Your children.

 

Thought for the Day:

Our humble prayer is our covenant of complete and unreserved dependence on God to meet our needs as only a divine Father can.

 

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.

 

 

My Soul Waits for the Lord

Jesus fills the hungry soul with His life, peace and joy. What is our soul? It is one entity in our triune make-up: our body, soul and spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23). The soul is our thoughts, feelings and choices.

 

One word for soul in the Bible is ”pxyxe” and means to breathe, or to blow. God breathed His breath of life into us and our soul was born. We get our words psyche, psychology, etc. from this root word. The soul is our personality, our identity as an individual.

 

God justifies us in our spirit through salvation; He will glorify our body with immortality when we see Jesus face-to-face; but He sanctifies our soul in a life-long process to make us as holy as He is holy.

 

If we earnestly seek the Lord with our whole heart and soul, we shall find Him (Deuteronomy 4:29; Matthew 22:37). We thirst for Him in this desert of life; we long for Him with our entire being (Psalm 63:1).

 

If we do not seek Him, we may gain the whole world, but we will lose our soul to the fires of hell throughout eternity (John 3:18: Matthew 16:26). The better choice is to search for an intimate union with God with the entire focus of our heart (Jeremiah 29:13).

 

God created us as an awesome and wonderfully made body, soul and spirit and placed our soul in our innermost being. We find true rest for our soul in God through salvation (Psalm 62:1; Jeremiah 6:16).

 

When our soul is depressed and disturbed within us, we can put our hope in God, praising Him in the good times and the bad (Psalm 42:11). He works out even the most horrific details of our life for our good (Romans 8:28).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You created us so that we prosper in life in the same manner that our soul prospers (3 John 1:2). If our soul is overwhelmed and depressed, it affects our body and spirit as well. Help us to see that we will prosper only as we love You foremost in our heart, walk in obedience to Your precepts, keep Your commandments, hold fast to You and serve You with our whole heart and soul (Joshua 22:5).

 

We praise Your holy name from our innermost being, because You have delivered us from the destructive pathway of sin (Psalm 71:23, 103:1). Our whole being waits for You, and our hope is based on Your Word (Psalm 130:5). Your encouragement of us is sweeter than a honeycomb, feeds our soul and heals our body (Proverbs 16:24).

 

Thought for the Day:

In our final days on this earth, we will clearly see that God did not fail to deliver any of His promises to us; if we appreciate all that He does for us now and walk only in His will, we will reap the benefits of an eternal life blessed by His love. – Joshua 23:14

 

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.