God’s Transforming and Conforming Power

God’s Holy Spirit sanctifies us throughout our lifetime, until we are perfected according to His standard of the fullness of Christ in us (Ephesians 4:13). He makes us holy, even as He is holy (1 Peter 1:16).

 

We are fully human, but Christ in us is fully divine. God’s Spirit faithfully transitions us from one stage of God’s glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:18). He conforms us with the mind of Christ (Romans 12:2).

 

God’s Spirit slowly matures us until we completely share in the divine nature of Christ in us (Ephesians 4:13). We have the same chance, which Jesus did, to live a spirit-filled life.

 

Our identity is no longer dependent on our accomplishments or our human standing in this world. We are a King’s kid (Galatians 3), a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5) and heirs with Christ of the Kingdom of God (Romans 8).

 

God is a shield for us and gives us His glory to replace our humanity. He hears our cries for help, and He lifts up our head when we are discouraged and alone. He hears us even from His holy hill (Psalm 3:3-4).

 

We are different people from what we were before we trusted Jesus for salvation; and therefore, we make a huge difference in this world. People recognize that our attitude and demeanor are unique; they sense an aura of peace and kindness that is unlike their other acquaintances.

 

We mature in Christ as we relinquish total control of our life to Him. We trust God completely to direct our life according to His will and way, even if it is contrary to our human reasoning and understanding (Revelation 3:7).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You are constantly calling, guiding and encouraging us to trust You with more and more of our life. Thank You for opening and closing doors which would divert us from Your chosen path for our life. Help us to wait patiently on You and not to jump ahead or lag behind Your divine timing.

 

Arrange divine appointments for us to impact lives in the sphere of our influence and to help them to come to a saving knowledge of Your Son, Jesus. Remind us to put our mind on heavenly things and to reject the carnal concerns with which the devil attempts to side track and discourage us. Help us to realize that Christ in us is greater than Satan and all of his ruses, lies and demons.

 

Thought for the Day:

When our soul is discouraged, anxious and overwhelmed, we can put our trust in God, and praise Him for what He has already done in our life (Psalms 42:11), and He will change our attitude, thoughts, feelings to line up to His Word and the fruit of His Spirit.

 

Maturing in Christ

When we attempt to overcome the sin in our life that so easily ensnares us, we often fall back into temptation; then we feel shame both for the sin and for failing to overcome it.

 

We are admonished to be holy as God is holy, yet we can only do this by allowing the Holy Spirit to give us both the desire and the power to walk in increasing realms of God’s glory each day (Philippians 2:12-13).

 

The foolish Galatians had to learn to trust God to sanctify them with the same faith that allowed them to trust Him for their salvation (Galatians 3:1-3). We are to live in this same manner.

 

Paul struggled with walking in a manner worthy of the Lord (Colossians 1:10). The duality of flesh and Spirit within him kept him on a roller coaster most of the time (Romans 7); however, he finally realized that the Spirit of life in Christ already set Him free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).

 

He no longer needed to struggle with sin, but to walk in the Spirit who frees us from the law of sin and death. As we draw near to God in dependence, worship and praise, then we resist the devil, and he is bound to flee from us (James 4:7-11).

 

Through Calvary’s cross, Christ exchanged His righteousness for our sin; we simply need to access this free gift by confessing our sin and trusting in Jesus for salvation (John 17:11-23; 1 Corinthians 6:17). Then, the Holy Spirit brings us into ever increasing maturity in Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

We learn to walk in the Spirit each moment of the day, led by the still, small voice of God (1 Kings 19:12) within our spirit (Galatians 2:20). We know we are in God’s will when we follow that perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3), regardless of what our mind is telling us to do, or what conventional wisdom or human reasoning wants us to do.

 

Jesus gave us His righteousness and we now live as Jesus did in the world. We are an expression of His divine nature, because He lives within us (1 John 4:17; 2 Peter 1:4). This allows His living water within us to fill us to overflowing and to spill out into the world around us (John 7:38).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we thank You for Your vigilant watch care over us (Psalm 121:4). You protect us from Satan’s wiles and temptations (Ephesians 2:2). Help us to realize that Christ in us enables us to live a life free from the demoralizing and destructive sin that tries to entrap us (2 Corinthians 4:10-11) and to actually, factually not just positionally, live a holy life, just as Christ in us is holy (Matthew 11:28-30; 1 Corinthians 6:17).

 

Thank You for keeping us, strengthening us, guarding us from our flesh, the world and the devil (Isaiah 42:11; Psalm 4:8). We give You all of the praise and glory for the maturity we attain over our lifetime. We strive only to stop following our human reasoning and to enter Your rest (Hebrews 4:10).

 

Thought for the Day:

We no longer struggle with life on our own, because the Trinity of God abides within us, and the Holy Spirit gradually but consistently replaces our negative attributes with Christ’s righteousness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lord Preserves His Faithful

The Lord preserves His faithful, those who love Him and keep His commandments (Psalm 31:23). He does not want us to obey for His sake as much as He does for our own sake.

 

We avoid so many troubles and trials when we do things His way. After all, Father really does know best. He created us for His purpose and when we walk in His will, our life proceeds so much more smoothly and effortlessly.

 

Our soul finds rest in God alone. He is our only rock and salvation, our fortress that prevents life from shaking our faith. We have strong courage to face life’s issues, because God strengthens our heart as we hope in Him (Psalm 31:23, 62:1).

 

God is our hiding place and He preserves us in trouble by encompassing us with songs of deliverance (Psalm 32:7). Whenever we are afraid, we can trust in Him (Psalm 53:3).

 

Yet, He allows the proud and arrogant who refuse to believe in Jesus for salvation to reap the results of their choices – even to the point of eternity in the fires of damnation (John 3:18; Psalm 31:23).

 

We are crucified with Christ and share in His death to sin, even though we still live on this earth. Christ lives in us and we live by His faith in us (Galatians 2:20). We are dead to this world and our life is hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:1-3).

 

As we delight our self in the Lord, God puts His desires in our heart (Psalm 37:4). We make the effort it takes to clear our heart and mind of things of this world, and instead to love the Lord with all of our heart.

 

We walk in His ways, keep His commandments and cling only to Him. He orders our steps and He delights when we walk in His will (Psalm 37:23). Even if we fall in spirit, soul or body, we shall not be entirely cast down, or cast out of His Kingdom, because God holds us in His hand (Psalm 37:24).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for giving us the opportunity to be risen with Christ and for helping us to seek and set our affections and desires only on heavenly, eternal aspects (Colossians 3:1-3). You make our steps firm, when You delight in our thoughts, words and deeds.

 

Always keep us in the center of Your will; not drawn away by our fleshly desires, but kept on the straight and narrow road, designed to protect us by its simple parameters. Allow us to hear Your still small voice whispering “this is the way, walk you in it.” We always want You to delight in us, and in our ways; so You will keep our steps firm and our footing sure (Psalm 37:23).

 

Thought for the Day:

God’s river of salvation protects us in any fiery trial, and He alone is worthy of all of our trust.

 

 

Adopted by Our Holy God

In our humanistic society, it is impossible not to keep our focus on our self. We think about #1, sometimes to the exclusion of those whom we should cherish more than our own self.

 

We forget that Christ laid down His life for us and calls us to lay down our life for others. It is easier for most women to lay down our life, because our genes tend to be hardwired with the codependent nature.

 

However, there are also men in our society that have this emotional, compassionate nature that makes it easier for them to put others above their self.

 

The issue here is more about Christ increasing within our spirit and soul as our focus on our self decreases (John 3:30). We consider others as better than our self (Philippians 2:3-4).

 

This does not mean that we neglect our self – we are people too and we can minister to our needs in the same way that we care for everyone else. In fact, this habit keeps us healthy and more able to help others (Mark 12:31).

 

Yet, as we decrease, we are new creatures in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:23-24). We are offspring of our holy God and His divine nature infuses every part of our body, spirit and soul – thoughts, choices and feelings (Acts 17:28-29).

 

In eternity, Christ will even transform our body to mirror His glorious, immortal one (Philippians 3:21).  God’s Spirit completely sanctifies us, conforming us to the image and likeness of Christ, God’s first born Son (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You adopted us as individual members of Your Body and Jesus is our head (1 Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 4:15). Our body is Your temple and as the corporate Body of Christ, we are one with Your Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:17). The world recognizes that You sent us on their behalf, because our life is a testimony of You to them (John 17:21-23).

 

Jesus gives us the glory, which You gave to Him, so that we can be one with Him, You and with one another (John 17:22). Help us to be patient and diligent as You slowly mature our spiritual growth until we share in the divine nature of Christ (Ephesians 4:13).

 

Thought for the Day:

We are crucified with Christ, and therefore, we live in this world for the glory of Christ; yet, it is not we who live, but Christ who lives in us and through us. – Philippians 1:21; Galatians 2:20

 

 

 

Life-Changing Bible Verses Part 1 – Molded by Grace

The Bible is the Word of God, and it is life to our soul and strength to our bones (Proverbs 17:22). The scriptures are given to us by God to encourage, strengthen and mature us in our relationship with Him.

 

Every word is given to us by the inspiration of God’s Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16). God did not create us and abandon us on this earth. He gave us His Word and His Spirit as our comforter and guide (John 16:13).

 

He also provided us with His Word to help to direct us on His paths of righteousness – a place of safety and security to all who walk in them. We depend on His Word, ingesting it daily to nourish our body, soul and spirit.

 

Some verses actually take us by surprise when we read them. They are so profound, that they touch a place deep within us and mold us by their truth and wisdom.

 

For instance, God loved humanity so much that He gave us His only Son to die in our place, and to pay the debt that we owed due to our sins. If we choose to believe in Him, we will not perish in Hell, but enjoy everlasting life now and for eternity (John 3:16-17).

 

Yet, if we choose not to believe, we condemn our self to an eternity in the fires of Hell (John 3:18). God never condemns anyone to Hell, we do that to our self by our unbelief.

 

God intends that no one should perish, but that we should all enjoy the benefits of His Kingdom as co-heirs with Christ (2 Peter 3:9). It is simply a matter of humbling our self before the mighty hand of God (1 Peter 5:5-14), and accepting Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf.

 

This fact leads to another life-altering verse: Christ is our life (Colossian 3:3). We are not placed on earth to build our own kingdom and to leave a financial legacy for our children; although if this fits into God’s plan for us, it is a wholesome goal.

 

Instead, we allow Christ’s life to consume us as we burn brightly for His Kingdom (Matthew 5:14-16). As we seek first His Kingdom and righteousness with our thoughts, words and deeds, He in turn supplies all of our needs according to His glorious riches (Matthew 6:33; Philippians 4:19).

 

Prayer:

Father God, this thought leads us to another amazing verse. It is often hard to trust You as we traverse the switchbacks of life. Yet, You had mercy on us and did not plan for us to perfect our self. You give us both the desire and the ability to walk in Your ways (Philippians 2:12-13).

 

You require that we walk in faith (Romans 14:22-23); yet, You are even willing to help us when we waver in faith and have a hard time keeping our faith focused on You (Mark 9:24). The road to hell is paved with Satan’s lies, so help us to walk in Your everlasting Truth.

 

Thought for the Day:

As we seek the Lord with our whole heart, and stop depending on our human reasoning to make it through life, He will reveal His will to us and direct each step we traverse. – Proverbs 3:5-6

 

 

A New Creation

It is healthy for us to take an inventory of our thoughts and feelings every day (John 7:24). This prevents negative thoughts and emotions from piling up in our soul and exploding at the least provocation.

 

Satan’s lies, our own insecurities plus neurosis from our past, and the world’s judgment on us keep us enslaved to negative thinking. Yet, God’s Word admonishes us to take our thoughts captive in Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).

 

We tend to dwell on this temporal earth, embroiled by human reasoning and trapped by the hour glass of time – still eating from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil and attempting to save our self (Genesis 2:17, 3:5).

 

These negative constraints affect our thoughts and emotions. We attempt to improve our self, but whatever is conceived by the flesh can be aborted by the flesh. We live on a hamster’s wheel – always running, but getting nowhere fast. However, there is hope for us in God (Psalm 63:2:5; Romans 15:13).

 

God chose us and loved us while we were still sinners (John 15:16; 1 John 4:10; Romans 5:8). At salvation, He makes us His Children and co-heirs with Jesus (Galatians 3:26; 1 John 3:2; Romans 8:17). His Spirit is building us into His house (Hebrews 3:6).

 

We cannot craft any lasting changes to our character in order to earn His love. He makes us clean – not by our good deeds and intentions, but by the blood of Christ (John 15:3; Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Psalm 127:1).

 

Jesus makes us wise, righteous, redeemed and a new creation; so that we glory in the Lord rather than to take the credit (1 Corinthians 1:30-31). Christ in us continually draws us into a more intimate union with Himself and our Father (Colossians 1:20). We simply obey (John 14:15).

 

Prayer:

 

Father God, Your love frees us from doubt and condemnation, which are fed to us by our own insecurities, the world’s condemnation and Satan’s lies. Please draw our loved ones away from the seduction of this world, deliver them from the lies of the devil, and allow them to feel Your love and conviction cascading over them like a waterfall.

 

In You there is no shame for our failings and idiosyncrasies, only love and acceptance just the way we are (Romans 5:8). Your Spirit perfects us through a lifetime of sanctifying exercises (1 Thessalonians 5:23). You make us one with You and Jesus Christ through His residing presence and Your Spirit’s sanctifying work in us until You become our whole life (Colossians 3:3-4).

 

Thought for the Day:

Jesus is one with us in spirit and in truth; and He brings us into His rest in His perfect peace and love as we keep our soul focused on Christ in us. – Colossians 1:27; Isaiah 26:3

 

 

No Longer a Sinner – Reaching Perfection through Christ in Us

Standing alone, we are not sinless, because we are not equal to God. We cannot trust in our self for salvation (Proverbs 28:26; John 15:5). Righteousness is not attained by human self-effort (Galatians 3:1-3).

 

The shelves of self-help books in the stores can give us a clue about what we need to change, and we may even discipline some character flaws out of our personality. However, we cannot perfect our self (2 Corinthians 3:5).

 

Paul chronicles his struggle with sin and death in Romans 6-7. In his desperation as a wretched human being, he calls out for deliverance (Romans 7:19).

 

It is then that He realizes that the law of the Spirit of life in Jesus Christ our Lord already delivered us from bondage to the law of sin and death (Romans 7:24-25, 8:2).

 

God gives us His grace and saves us through faith in Jesus’ work on Calvary’s cross (John 1:17; Ephesians 2:8). We no longer need to focus on sin or the world, but on the righteousness of Christ in us, who is our hope of living in eternal glory (Colossians 1:27).

 

Jesus in us already overcame sin, death and the devil by His death and resurrection (Colossians 3:15; Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 3:8). Therefore, God’s Spirit changes us over our lifetime by His anointing in our spirit, soul and body, (Romans 8:11; 2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

We walk in His ways by His Spirit within us (Ezekiel 36:27). We simply heed God’s conviction, obey His direction and live through faith in His faithfulness, so that we are able to walk in His holiness one moment at a time (Romans 1:5; 16:26).

 

Prayer:

Father God, create in us a spotless heart, and renew a righteous spirit within us (Psalm 51:10). Work in us according to Your good pleasure and perfect us until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6, 2:13). Give us Your power and anointing to accomplish Your will in the earth each moment of our day (Ephesians 3:16).

 

Thank You that You already perfected our spirit, because we are born again by Your Spirit – through justification; once we see Jesus, perfection will come to our body through glorification; and You perfect our soul – our mind, choices and emotions – from one stage of glory to another through a lifetime of sanctification.

 

Thought for the Day:

Christ in us is greater than both our carnal nature and also all of the powers of darkness in the world. – I John 4:4

 

 

Abiding in Christ

Salvation comes in stages. If we happily camp around the salvation of our spirit, we miss the glory of the sanctification of our soul. One day we will also experience the glorification of our body when Christ appears for His Saints (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

 

Once we realize that the divinity of Christ and all of the power of the complete triune Godhead live within every Born Again Believer, a new enthusiasm produces constant praise from our lips to God’s ears (2 Peter 1:3).

 

We no longer view our self as a grubby worm inching around in the world of selfishness and sin. Instead, we see our self as beautiful butterflies soaring in the Heavenly, spiritual realm of life.

 

God calls His elect and then reveals Himself to and in us. He has a purpose for each of our lives (Ephesians 1:11). He loves us with His abundant, unfading and everlasting love (Psalm 25:6; Jeremiah 31:3).

 

We are totally dependent upon Jesus for our direction, health and provision moment by moment throughout the day (Ephesians 1:9; Philippians 2:12-13). Through our connection to the Vine, the life of Christ flows through us by His Spirit and we produce much fruit for the Kingdom of God (John 15:8).

 

Through our union with Christ, we shed the shackles of our sin nature and submit to the dealings and leadings of God’s Spirit in our life (1 Corinthians 1:30). As branches in the Vine of Christ, we experience God as our husbandman.

 

He prunes the flesh from us so more spiritual fruit may grow (John 15:1, 5). We walk out of the bondage to carnality and into the glorious freedom of the sons of God (Romans 8:21).

 

Jesus is our center and God is the focus of our life. We seek to do His will in our job, community, church, extended family and home. If we walk in the darkness of self and sin, we stumble and fail in all of our attempts (John 11:10).

 

As we walk in the light of Christ, we find fulfillment in living out His will for our life (1 John 1:7). God’s wisdom, grace, love and supernatural abilities reside within us in Jesus Christ and are always available to meet all of our needs and to walk in God’s will for us (1 Corinthians 1:30).

 

Prayer:

Father God, as we abide in You throughout the day, Your wisdom, grace, love and peace manifest in our life and out into the world around us. As we abide in You, You provide us with a dedicated life full of the wisdom, strength and Godly conviction, which we need to further Your Kingdom in our world.

 

We look forward to the day when we can also walk in Your power, so You can make a true difference in others through our life. As we make every effort to walk in peace with You, You renew our soul and make us blameless and spotless at Your coming (2 Peter 3:14). Our perseverance in our walk with You, guarantees that we will not stop short of Your glorious riches, which You prepared for us before time began (Romans 9:23).

 

 

Thought for the Day:

Undistracted devotion to God allows us to tap into all of His power and majesty in order to live our life as Elijah, Moses and Enoch did; and we will steadily walk into complete maturity in Christ. – James 1:4

 

 

God Provides

When someone asks me how I feel, most of the time I am going to say, “GREAT!” I am well passed the prime of my life, I have flat feet and I have a spine that is so distorted that my chiro does not understand how I am living such a normal life.

 

I have to pace myself as I age, but I am like the energizer bunny. It is not due to a type A personality, because I do not have one! I am a melancholy and an introvert from birth.

 

However, I have learned that there is a seed for a miracle in each trial. For instance, while I learned to survive a divorce by my husband of 22 years, God revealed Satan’s lies that I was alone and abandoned. He taught me His truth that He is my husband and that He alone is my strength and my provider (Isaiah 54:5; Psalm 54:4).

 

Also, I was t-boned in a car accident in 1995 that broke 11 ribs on my left side, punctured my left lung, gave me a concussion, filled the left side of my face with glass and broke the pinky finger on my left hand.

 

Yet, I was discharged from the hospital the next day after the accident. I was back to work as a full-charge bookkeeper in one week, and I never took one pain pill. God provided for me above all expectations, amazing my doctors and everyone who suffered through even one broken rib.

 

The Spirit of God continually provides me with supernatural strength and wisdom to combat any physical impairments, and His joy and peace pervade every facet of my life.

 

Over the years, God taught me to live in the Spirit and not to dwell on the temporal aspects of life for very long, because every instance of tribulation is a new adventure in Christ and a spiritual phenomenon just waiting to happen.

 

Prayer:

Father God, I prefer peace, order and stability, but life has a way of throwing us curve balls when we least expect it. Even so, You always fill me with Your joy, which is my strength through any tribulation (Nehemiah 8:10). I despise change, but You taught me to handle it with flexibility and joyful acceptance as I witness Your provision for me.

 

I love the life You gave to me. I enjoy my family and I adore the husband You provided, because he is so adorable! I love people and I never meet a stranger. I enjoy my opportunities of service to You as a wife, mother, grandmother, homemaker, and in the ministry of Your Army as a spiritual mentor and a Pastor’s wife. I give You all the praise, which is due to Your name.

 

Thought for the Day:

God leads us and guides us each moment of the day; and He keeps us on His straight and narrow path, because of the spiritual enemies of His Kingdom. – Psalm 23:3, 5

 

Saving Grace

 

People today are so turned off by legalism that they pervert the truth that we are forgiven of all sins – past, current and future – and allow sin to grow in their life. They feel no remorse for breaking God’s heart.

 

They sit around drinking beer, wine, cocktails and even hard liquor discussing the Word of God. They smoke their cigars and pipes in church fellowships, and they allow their language to digress to that of a drunken sailor.

 

They feel this is spiritual, because they are breaking the bonds of legalism. They claim that the current church emasculates men and say that the “letter of the law”, in the current evangelical church, prevents them from having a living relationship with our mighty God.

 

I agree that living only according to the “logos” – written Word of God – can mask the sinful desires within a person’s heart. I also agree that a ‘rhema’ – the living Word – relationship is the most important aspect of our salvation.

 

Legalism does kill the spirit, and relationship is more important than religion. However, I also believe that when we actually see the living Jesus, we shrink from living with a license to sin (1 John 2:15).

 

We forsake alcoholism, pornography, gay pride, abortion, adultery and all the other sins, which humanity explains away in our current Laodicean society.

 

The teachings of today’s so-called pastors mirror the gospel taught by the Nicolaitans, whom God hated (Revelations 2:6). These modern men are purporting old age deception cloaked in New Age Lies.

 

Add this to the gnostic element creeping back into the church through Satanic influence and deception, and the post-modern church has a stench that makes God want to vomit (2 Corinthians 11:4; Revelation 3:16).

 

Whatever happened to the holiness that Jesus exemplified for us in His life, calling us to emulate Him in our every thought, word and deed? His Spirit transforms us with the mind of Christ and fills us with His fruit to replace our carnality (Romans 12:2; Galatians 5:15-25).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You make it very clear in the Old and New Testament that You are a Holy God. You call Your Saints to walk in holiness and not to fulfill the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:15-25). You are the righteous judge, and sin grieves Your Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). We do not abound in sin, so that Your grace may abound in us (Romans 6:1).

 

Sin, in any form, is destructive and You protect us from its destruction by Your commandments and directives. If we compromise Your Word, we compromise our own success and blessings. We realize that our sin is already paid for by Christ’s crucifixion, but this fact drives us to a dedication to Your Word, rather than to participate in crucifying Jesus afresh by our lackadaisical dabbling in sin without honest remorse (Hebrews 6:4- 6).

 

Thought for the Day:

Modern “reformed” preachers reject solid Biblical principles and replace them with lifeless, liberal mysticism; they ignore the draw of God’s Spirit to walk in holiness just as our Father God is holy. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

– Hebrews 4:12, 13:8; 1 Peter 1:16.