Emotional and Mental Health – Christ Triumphs over Evil

Rather than to allow our mental and emotional health to gain its influence from the world, the flesh or the devil, we can glean as we read from God’s Word and adopt its Biblical principles and concepts as our own.

 

Writing verses on 3×5 cards and carrying them around with us enables us to focus on scripture while waiting at traffic lights, retail lines at the check-out, doctor’s offices, school pick-up lanes to retrieve our children, etc.

 

Rather than to fume about wasted time, we constructively focus on the Word of God, which is life to our spirit and soul. As we set our mind on things above, we grow in our faith, hope and love, and we increase our intimacy with our Lord.

 

Our trials in life give us the perfect opportunity for God to prove His love and sustaining power to us, it draws us together as a couple, a family and as the Body of Christ, if we pray together for our needs.

 

We are all falsely accused, misunderstood, and people make incorrect assumptions about us and our motives. Yet, evil will not triumph over us, because Christ in us is greater than Satan and the people in this world (Ecclesiastes 3:17, 12:14).

 

God will right all the wrongs when our righteous King takes His throne to rule and reign for eternity. There will be no more tears or sorrow; no more emotional of mental distress; only peace and joy for eternity.

 

Prayer:

Father God, You give us respect in our city, when we support one another as Your Body, and when we walk in Your ways (Proverbs 31:23). Yet, at other times, people around us hate You, and then hate us because we love You (Psalm 31:11-13).

 

We do not need to please people or lead people to You; we simply need to share Your ospel with whomever will listen; allow Your Spirit to do a work in their heart; and then, let our light shine in such a way that our family, friends, associates and neighbors will see our good works and glorify You (Galatians 1:10; 1 Peter 2:12; Matthew 5:16).

 

Thought for the Day:

When we choose to walk in God’s rest and peace, we are paving the way for difficult, evil people to encounter the Prince of Peace Himself, because He abides within us; so we can choose peace over worry and walk in serenity instead or unrest and anxiety.

 

 

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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.

 

 

No Longer a Sinner – Conformed to Christ’s Image

God’s glory within us increases incrementally as we cooperate with His Spirit’s discipline and direction. We reflect this glory to the world around us and draw people to Him who want more of Him in their life as well.

 

His sanctifying work starts with the rebirth of our spirit and continues throughout our lifetime, as the imperfect in us is transformed into the perfected (Romans 8:29; 1 John 3:2).

 

As God’s Spirit transforms us with the mind, likeness and divine character of Christ, we change from one stage of glory to the next (2 Corinthians 3:18). This is not a matter of Him changing us from one stage of sinner to the next.

 

We are no longer a worm, but a butterfly soaring in the spiritual realm of life. Our inner man is drawn by the Spirit of God into ascending realms of spiritual maturity, rather than Him dragging us out of our penchant toward one sin and then another (Ephesians 4:13).

 

This sanctifying work starts with the rebirth of our spirit and continues throughout our lifetime, as the imperfect in us is transformed into the perfected (Romans 8:29; 1 John 3:2).

 

Our cooperation with God’s Spirit insures that our perfection continues without disruption until we are completely conformed into the image of Christ (Romans 8:18; 1 Corinthians 13:12).

 

Christ, who is the image of God and abides within us (John 1:14, 14:9), gives us both the desire and power to work out our salvation in cooperation with God’s Spirit (Colossians 1:15; Philippians 2:12-13; Hebrews 1:3).

 

As we focus on Christ, as if looking in a mirror at His image in us, we reflect increasing stages of His glory. We realize that our carnal nature is all but dead, and that Christ is our whole life (Ephesians 3:3-4).

 

Prayer:

Father God, reveal to us that only the veil of sin, which so easily hinders us if we take our mind off Christ, will thwart our personal journey into perfection. Help us to allow Your Spirit to cut away the dead skin of the flesh, so that we walk in unity with Your Spirit and in the likeness of Christ in us.

 

Remind us to continually focus on Your glory reflected on the face of Christ within us. Fill us daily with Your Spirit and allow us to totally submit until He takes full possession of our body, spirit and soul – our thoughts, choices and feelings. Our whole desire in our life is to reflect Your glory to the world around us and to draw everyone in our sphere of influence to a closer walk with You.

 

Thought for the Day:
Our dark and sinful soul is transformed into the image of Christ as we consistently walk in His marvelous light. – 1 Peter 2:9

 

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 Good Marriage – Draw Together or Pull Apart

 

Marriage is designed by God, but is usually an uphill battle. When we put two or more people together, there is inevitably conflict of some sort. Let’s face it, we often cannot even get along with our self, much less with other people.

 

Life happens, challenges arise and situations change. These often attack our marriage as well. Not only do we have to adjust, but we have to bear the consequences of our spouse’s attempting to adjust as well.

 

If we face life’s challenges together as a unit, we can change and adapt together and at the same time. This makes for a much smoother transition. When we include God in the decisions and problem solving efforts, He works out everything for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28; Ecclesiastes 4:12).

 

God saw that man was alone and this was not good. So He created marriage to bless us and to lighten our load in life. He helps us to enjoy our marriage rather than to endure it. He provides faultless fruition for every need.

 

This requires that we spend time together as a couple, unified in the Spirit and with one another in prayer. God never promises us a window into our future, but He does promise to walk with us and in us through its challenges.

 

Taking advantage of our days off, vacation times, free week-ends, and an occasional afternoon or evening without prior commitments, we can make time to watch a movie together, listen to a political debate, follow our favorite team on the sport’s channel, read a book together, snuggle beneath the sheets, have dinner at a restaurant instead of at home, join friends for coffee and dessert, etc.

 

In Christ, we find joy in our marriage partner and solace in their care for us. We find fulfillment in helping them to fulfill their needs as God supplies us with everything we need. We enjoy life with the mate He gives to us (Ecclesiastes 9:7, 9).

 

Prayer:

Father God, life is never, ever easy; but You make all things possible as we have faith in Your faithfulness. You have arms long enough to save us and ears that always hear our cries (Isaiah 59:1; 1 John 5:15). Help us to commit every moment to You, rather than to follow our own path in life.

 

Everything You do remains forever (Ecclesiastes 3:14). As we walk in obedience to Your Spirit, we reap the rewards of righteousness rather than the consequences of our sin and disobedience. Remind us to draw together as a couple and to lean on You for strength to face life’s challenges.

 

Thought for the Day:

Let us make a conscious effort to add more romance to our marriage; to put an end to pessimism, skepticism, criticism, etc; and to deal with negative emotions before they get deep seated in our soul – confessing our sins to God and to one another.

 

Marriage is designed by God, but is usually an uphill battle. When we put two or more people together, there is inevitably conflict of some sort. Let’s face it, we often cannot even get along with our self, much less with other people.

 

Life happens, challenges arise and situations change. These often attack our marriage as well. Not only do we have to adjust, but we have to bear the consequences of our spouse’s attempting to adjust as well.

 

If we face life’s challenges together as a unit, we can change and adapt together and at the same time. This makes for a much smoother transition. When we include God in the decisions and problem solving efforts, He works out everything for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28; Ecclesiastes 4:12).

 

God saw that man was alone and this was not good. So He created marriage to bless us and to lighten our load in life. He helps us to enjoy our marriage rather than to endure it. He provides faultless fruition for every need.

 

This requires that we spend time together as a couple, unified in the Spirit and with one another in prayer. God never promises us a window into our future, but He does promise to walk with us and in us through its challenges.

 

Taking advantage of our days off, vacation times, free week-ends, and an occasional afternoon or evening without prior commitments, we can make time to watch a movie together, listen to a political debate, follow our favorite team on the sport’s channel, read a book together, snuggle beneath the sheets, have dinner at a restaurant instead of at home, join friends for coffee and dessert, etc.

 

In Christ, we find joy in our marriage partner and solace in their care for us. We find fulfillment in helping them to fulfill their needs as God supplies us with everything we need. We enjoy life with the mate He gives to us (Ecclesiastes 9:7, 9).

 

Prayer:

Father God, life is never, ever easy; but You make all things possible as we have faith in Your faithfulness. You have arms long enough to save us and ears that always hear our cries (Isaiah 59:1; 1 John 5:15). Help us to commit every moment to You, rather than to follow our own path in life.

 

Everything You do remains forever (Ecclesiastes 3:14). As we walk in obedience to Your Spirit, we reap the rewards of righteousness rather than the consequences of our sin and disobedience. Remind us to draw together as a couple and to lean on You for strength to face life’s challenges.

 

Thought for the Day:

Let us make a conscious effort to add more romance to our marriage; to put an end to pessimism, skepticism, criticism, etc; and to deal with negative emotions before they get deep seated in our soul – confessing our sins to God and to one another.

 

From Frightened to Freedom

As a young wife and mother of three, my life was hectic at best. On top of this, I viewed life and reacted to its challenges and issues from a codependent and perfectionistic attitude – double trouble.

 

I wanted to please everyone, so they would like and love me; I thought that the only way to accomplish this feat was to be perfect. I was under the delusion that if I loved and served everyone – even to the detriment of myself – they would love me in return.

 

However, all I did was to teach people to take me for granted and to treat me like a doormat and their unpaid servant – chief cook, bottle washer, baby sitter, housekeeper and problem solver. People took advantage of me, which stressed me out even further.

 

I even did this with God. I attempted to keep every “jot and tittle of the law” (Matthew 5:18), hoping to please God with my undying service, in order to earn His love. I turned into a foolish “Galatian” and ran myself ragged, meeting myself coming and going (Galatians 3:1-3).

 

Stress kept me from sleeping and sleeplessness made me grouchy, which caused me to be short-tempered with those I loved. I hated who I was…I hated me, but I had no idea how to change things.

 

My self-esteem was in the bottom of the tank and I felt like I was drowning in the details of life. Finally, in desperation, I started researching codependence: what caused it and how to get free from it.

 

I learned that I had to stop neglecting my own needs every day and to allow others to meet their own needs once in a while. The books promised that they would still love me anyway, even if I did not “earn” it.

 

I figured that even if they did not love me, then they had no true feelings for me in the first place. I also translated this into the spiritual realm. God already loved me when I was a lost sinner, and He would always love me unconditionally (Romans 5:8); therefore, I could enter His rest and enjoy His favor.

 

This fact stopped the codependence dead in its tracks. I did a 180 degree turn around and walked away from this driven lifestyle. God’s Spirit broke the shackles of expectations that I allowed to chain me to a meager existence.

 

When I entered into God’s rest, I found a security and warmth that I missed all my life. Over the ensuing years, the comfort of God’s rest brought me more peace and joy than I ever dreamed possible; and He continually supplies all of my needs with His glorious riches.

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You so much for Your grace and mercy, which lead us in Your everlasting way (John 10:28-30; 1 Peter 5:10). You teach us lessons all along life’s path and You bring us into ever-increasing intimacy with Your presence within us. When we let go of the impossible demands of pleasing people and focus instead on walking by the direction of Your Spirit moment by moment, we enter into Your rest, we receive Your gift of mercy and love, and we learn to trust in Your wisdom.

 

Due to Christ’s saving redemption on Calvary’s cross, we are no longer slaves of the demon of perfectionism. Instead, we follow the leading of Your Spirit and rest in Your goodness and grace. We trust in You with our whole heart; acknowledge You in all of our thoughts, words and deeds; and glorify You as You direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

Thought for the Day:

God invites us to bask in His love; abide in His peace and hide under His wings when life scares us (Psalm 91:4); we learn to accept love when it is given and to serve others only when God’s Spirit leads us to do so; this prevents burn-out and promotes joy in living regardless of our circumstances.

 

Heaven Can’t Wait

Heaven is a place that may or may not exist. We cannot prove it is there; although several people say they went there during a near death experience, came back to life on this earth and wrote a book to tell about what they saw.

 

If heaven is not a real place, then our view of eternity is dim and our troubles on earth are intensified and depressing. Paul mentions that, in Christ, our trials on earth are a drop in the bucket compared to eternity (2 Corinthians 4:17); but if there is no heaven, then tribulation is hopeless.

 

Believing in Heaven takes faith, which is hope for unseen things (Hebrews 11:1). Yet, we have more than blind faith. Jesus lived on earth, suffered crucifixion, died, rose again, lived on earth for about 40 more days, and then was translated to heaven in His immortal body in front of eye witnesses.

 

When we surrender our life to God in salvation, we are joint heirs with Jesus of everything pertaining to God’s Kingdom, including heaven. We are freed from the penalty as well as the penchant to sin and freely given the righteousness of Christ in exchange (Romans 3:22; 2 Corinthians 5:21).

 

God calls us to remove from our life the distractions on this earth, which compete with our relationship with Him. He invites us to draw nearer to Him each day as He fills us through our entire being with all of His fullness (Ephesians 3:19, Amplified Bible).

 

We will finally grasp the reality of heaven when we pass from this life into eternity. First, we have the privilege of abiding in the presence of God moment by moment for the rest of our life on earth. He satisfies our longing and fills our hungry soul (Psalm 107:9).

 

Prayer:

Father God, as we grow spiritually, our intimacy with You increases daily, and our unity with You is more focused and dominates our thoughts, words and deeds. When You are our delight, You put Your desires in our heart (Psalms 37:4), and You shower us with Your love and blessings. As we commune with You each day, Your Spirit fills us with the divine nature and character of Christ who dwells within us (Galatians 2:20; 2 Peter 1:4). We decrease and He increases as we surrender our life, goals, plans and desires to You (John 3:30).

 

You help us to reject a life imprisoned in the here and now on this earth. We no longer concentrate on the temporal, but keep the eternal in constant focus; give us a consuming love for eternal rewards; fill us with Your Spirit and Your presence and walk in us through every trial we face in this life. Help us to draw nearer to You, and to live in eternity now (John 17:8).

 

Thought for the Day:

Eternal life is knowing God and Jesus whom He sent, which begins with the moment of salvation and continues in everlasting life in God’s presence. – John 17:3