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

 

 

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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.

United with Christ – A Healthy Spirit-filled Life

As Born Again Believers, we are filled throughout our entire body, soul and spirit with all of God’s fullness. We possess the richest measure of His divine presence within us and we are wholly filled and flooded to overflowing with God Himself (Ephesians 3:16-19, Amplified Bible).

 

We are united with Christ in the very spiritual fiber of our being (Hebrews 4:12). He provides us with everything we need to live a healthy, Spirit-filled life.

 

Then, His Spirit infiltrates the joints of our soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions – to operate on our carnality while He plants His fruit within us (Hebrews 4:12).

 

Paul counted all of his worldly possessions and gain as lost when compared to the joy of his salvation and the riches he received from intimately knowing Christ (Philippians 3:7-11).

 

God gives this same resurrection life to lost sinners who humble themselves and surrender their life to Him (John 19:10-11). We are liberated from living in this earthly realm, even though we physically continue to dwell here (Galatians 2:20).

 

In this same way, we detach from our connection to this world, even the good parts of life, which hinder our walk with God, such as extended family, houses and lands – in order to obtain the better blessings provided for us by Christ in us (Luke 14:23-33; Philippians 3:10).

 

We realize that even the worst of adversity in our life ultimately comes from God to perfect our soul and to provide for us everything that we need to live Godly in Christ Jesus (Hebrews 11:32-34; Job 1:8, 2:3).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we knock on doors and invite our neighbors to church. We pray for them and for everyone You bring to our mind. We listen to Your Spirit and obey His promptings throughout our day. We shed Your light within us for all the world around us to see, so they may live with us in eternity as the redeemed of the Lord (Psalm 107:2).
 

You bore our sins in Your body on the cross; so that we too can die to sin and live righteously and victoriously, just as You did (1 Peter 2:24). You take priority in our heart over all other aspects of life (1 Corinthians 9:22). We give You all the praise and glory and honor due Your name (Psalm 96:8).

 

Thought for the Day:

God elected us as His holy and saintly priests, because we are His special possession created to declare His praises to a lost and dying world around us. – 1 Peter 2:9

 

 

Union with Christ – Enoch Walked With God

Enoch walked with God. This was the testimony that Enoch exhibited before God and his neighbors. Enoch also instructed his family in the ways of God, even his great grandchildren.

 

Scholars tell us that Enoch saw great visions from the Lord about heaven, Satan’s rebellion, worldly nations throughout the ages, as well as the consequences of wickedness and the rewards of the just.

 

Jude tells us that Enoch was the seventh generation from Adam, and that he prophesied about the Lord returning with His Saints and executing judgment on the ungodly for their unbelief (Jude 1:14-15).

 

Enoch walked in the ways of the Lord and all went well with him and his descendents (Deuteronomy 5:33). He lived to the age of 365. He saw a vision of the great flood and told his children about it.

 

Noah lived by his great grandfather’s example, and walked with God as well (Genesis 6:9). The more Enoch knew God, the more he loved Him, and his love for the world dwindled (1 John 2:15).

 

Enoch was a man of integrity and a pure heart. He saw righteousness flowing like water, and mercy scattered like dew over the whole earth. In a wicked and perverse world, Enoch longed to dwell with the righteous.

 

He realized that the Lord strengthens the spirit of the righteous for the sake of His own righteousness, and that many actually see Heaven without tasting the sleep of death.

 

Therefore, rather than allowing Enoch to enter heaven through the path of the grave, God translated Him to Heaven and he did not see death (Ephesians 5:10; Hebrews 11:5).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we want to walk with You, commune with You, listen to Your wisdom and direction, and walk by Your Spirit moment by moment throughout the day. Reveal Yourself to us in Your secret places, and teach us to walk in Your ways (Palm 91:1). Your mercy is great as is Your patience with us.

 

All of your powerful works are wondrous for us to behold. You reveal all things to Your Saints, to Your elect. You write all of our deeds in Your books, and nothing we do escapes Your sight. Let us walk in justice and righteousness for Your name’s sake now and forever. If our ways please You, translate us to Heaven as well.

 

Thought for the Day:

If Enoch can walk with God in this devoted intimacy, we can too.

 

 

 

No longer a Sinner – Our Great High Priest

The devil, the flesh and the world are in the constant business of tempting us to sin. These three sources of temptation play on our human needs and desires, which are given to us by God.

 

They seek to pervert our needs and to tempt us into gross immorality. However, Christ in us enables us to withstand any temptation by giving us a way to escape it (1 Corinthians 10:13).

 

Thankfully, we have Jesus, our great High Priest, who can empathize with our humanity. He lived on this earth and was tempted, suffered and died with circumstances similar to, but much worse than ours (Hebrews 4:15).

 

The initial sinful thought, which enters our mind, is not sin. It is merely a temptation to sin. Satan whispers the destructive idea in our mind, and we have a choice to entertain or to dismiss that thought.

 

Temptation influences us when pride and rebellion lurk in our heart and cause us to rely on our self, and draw us away from having faith in God’s faithfulness to provide for us.

 

The sins, which easily lure us away from holiness, are strongholds in our life. These expose us to demonic attachments, which hold us in bondage. Also the abuse we receive in life will encourage us to believe Satan’s lies.

 

We are freed from spiritual strongholds by confessing them as sin, surrendering our life to Christ and obeying His Word in our every thought, word and deed, trusting in His Spirit’s direction for our life.

 

Christ promises to fulfill all of our needs according to His glorious riches. We do not have to trust anyone or anything else to provide for us (Philippians 4:19).

 

Prayer:

Father God, Jesus was tempted to meet His own needs, but He used Your Word to put Satan in his place (Matthew 4:1-11). Help us to hide Your Word in our heart, so that we do not sin against You (Psalm 119:11).

 

Remind us that we are crucified with Christ; and now we live in Him and by His faith (Galatians 2:20). Thank You for accepting us into Your family (Ephesians 2:19) and filling us with all of Your fullness (Ephesians 3:16-19).

 

Thought for the Day:

Our great High Priest increases in us as we decrease in our dependence on our self and others and trust only in Him.

– John 3:30

 

 

 

The Battle is the Lord’s

In a war, the soldiers sometimes surrender a battle but sometimes they actually surrender the whole war. Spiritual warfare is very similar to a physical battle.

 

If we surrender in a battle, we live to fight another day. If we surrender the war, we leave the outcome to a higher power. God is our Higher Power, and He desires that we completely surrender our life, love and will to Him.

 

Our Father knows best, and He wants only the best for us. He will never leave or forsake us, and He provides for our every need as we trust exclusively in His provision and care (Hebrews 13:5; 1 Peter 5:7).

 

The alternative is to fight the war from our own strength. This predictably ends in us suffering from battle fatigue with no more strategy to win the war.

 

Even if we surrender temporarily, with aspirations to return to the war in our own strength once we recoup, we end up right back where we are now…exhausted, discouraged and feeling overwhelmed.

 

We must come to the end of our self at some point in our life and totally surrender to God every thought, word and deed – led by His Spirit in everything we think, say and do.

 

We accomplish so much more with our remaining life than we ever did during all of the years on our own recognizance. We waste so much time when we live life our way instead of God’s (Ephesians 2:20).

 

Yet, if we completely surrender all of our life to God at a young age, and walk only by His Spirit with ceaseless prayer, we are so much more effective in furthering the Kingdom of God in the earth with better health, a more mature spirit and a fulfilled soul.

 

It is never too late to surrender, however, no matter how old we are. Sometimes, it takes us a while to learn to “let go and let God”. The point is to totally surrender every battle to the Lord and we will eventually win the war as well.

 

Prayer:

Father remind us to trust only in You with our whole heart, not to rely on our human intuition or wisdom, to totally surrender to Your will and purpose for our life, and to allow You to direct every battle of the spiritual warfare in which we are embroiled (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

We cannot trust our heart or our mind to safely lead us (Jeremiah 17:9). Only in Christ do we have half a chance of making a lasting difference in this world (Philippians 4:13). You give us Your wisdom and Your Word, directed by Your Spirit with a failsafe battle plan every time (James 1:5; Psalm 119:105).

 

Thought for the Day:

True power and wisdom come from Christ in us, not from our own resources; so the wise will totally surrender to Him each moment of life and wait expectantly on Him alone. –  John 15:5; Psalm 46:10