No Longer a Sinner – The Love of God

We learn more from one another’s example than from our words. We often say one thing, but do another. Many times we are not even aware of it. Our children are always watching us.

 

The human eyes absorb sights we do not even register with our conscious mind. These images are stored in our subconscious mind and affect us for the rest of our life.

 

We need to guard what our eyes, and the eyes of our children see. TV, movies, magazines, books and all media are sources of perversion that we can control to protect us and our children.

 

God uses our eyes to reveal to us His glory through nature all around us (Romans 1:20). We feel His pleasure in His love when we experience it through the details of our life.

 

The glory of Christ in us is the revelation of His divine character, which changes us into a new creation. He imparts to us the fruit of His Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), and relates to us through His grace and love.

 

The servant role, which Jesus performed while on earth, teaches us how to model His character to our world as well. We serve others as Christ serves His Bride, His Church.

 

Jesus was obedient to our Heavenly Father to the point of submitting Himself to the death on the cross. Similarly, we come to the place spiritually where we are willing to die to our self (1 Corinthians 15:31; Galatians 2:20).

 

We live for God to the point where He actually lives through us. We adopt the mind of Christ as our own and refrain from living a sinful lifestyle – fully convinced that He sets us free from the law of sin and death by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.

 

Christ’s life and death are the manifestation of the love of God for all of mankind. Due to His great love for us, His compassionate mercies never fail us; they are new every single morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we gaze on Your goodness through every moment of every day. We esteem, appreciate and adore You with every breath that we take. We look forward to You changing us into the image of Christ by the work of Your Spirit in our life (Romans 8). Lead us by Your Holy Spirit so that we only do the activities which You are calling us to accomplish with our day (Ephesians 2:10).

 

Help us to ignore the overwhelming flood of details in this life, which attempt to sidetrack us from doing Your will. We have confidence that Your Spirit will lead us to perform each detail of our responsibility in Your timing and way, without the stress we usually put on our self when we try to control our life.

 

Thought for the Day:
We are channels of God’s love to everyone in our sphere of influence from our family to neighbors, workmates and acquaintances, as well as strangers we meet on the street, the store and the restaurant.

 

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Covenant with Christ

God made many covenants with the Old Testament Saints, which He keeps even to this day. Then He sent Jesus to make a new covenant with those born after the Messiah’s birth (Matthew 26:28).

 

Anyone humble enough to receive Him receives eternal life in return (John 3:16-17). He replaces our human, uncircumcised heart of stone with His heart of flesh and makes us a new creation in Christ (Romans 2:29; Ezekiel 36:26; 2 Corinthians 5:17).

 

This new life in Christ enables us to mature spiritually and allows God’s Spirit to conform us the image of Jesus, the Christ (Romans 8:29). The Spirit spurs us to desire more of God and a more intimate union with the Trinity within us.

 

He gives us the desires of our heart – not the carnal aspects which we covet from this world, but He puts His desires in our heart to replace our carnal, fleshly ones – which would not make us happy anyway (Psalm 37:4).

 

He does not fulfill our lusts for better health, a bigger home, sportier luxury car, lucrative job and a Hollywood model for a mate, which do not fulfill us when we get them. He gives us what we need to succeed in His calling for our life.

 

Existing only to do the will of our Father, Jesus lived in contentment, even through the crucifixion and death on the cross. He kept His focused on the prize of glory ahead of Him (Hebrews 12:2).

 

Jesus gave us this example of how to live our own life. He glorified God with His life and completed the work which God gave Him to do during His lifetime on earth (John 17:4). We can do this too.

 

We delight in the Lord each moment of our day, content with His provision and wanting nothing more than to serve Him in any way He chooses. We rejoice as we see Him transforming us into the image of Christ and readily relinquish the earthly ties which hold us back from following hard after Him (Psalm 63:8).

 

Prayer:

Father God, circumcise our heart of the excess flesh which surrounds us, and set us free to serve You with abandon and dedication. Allow us to find our fulfillment, not in the things of this world, but in service to You each moment of our day. Our true joy comes from living in the center of Your will.

 

You did not create us to be happy in this world, but to live holy lives -consecrated to You in the same degree of covenant promise that You give to us. When we do, we find a joy that is deeper than the fleeting happiness we obtain from worldly prizes, and we live in eternal peace which starts the moment we surrender our life to Your love.

 

Thought for the Day:

Living in the center of God’s will is very satisfying and brings us a more lasting joy than we can receive from anything this world has to offer.

 

The Benefits of the Christian Life

Our relationship with God in the spiritual realm is more vital to our life here on earth than any other person, place or thing. Yet, we often focus more on pursuing the world, and we suffer in body, soul and spirit.

 

Repenting of our sins and trusting in Jesus to save us, opens the door for this intimacy with the supreme Ruler of the universe. Then devoting our thoughts, words and actions to Him maintains our union.

 

Any rivaling carnal thoughts, words and deeds suck the spiritual life right out of us. Satan attempts to keep us earth bound or pushes us to be religious rather than spiritual.

 

Yet, Jesus made it clear that our goal in life centers on loving God with our entire heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30). Then, we function in our ministry for Him by sharing His love with our mate and children, as well as our parents and siblings.

 

We serve them as God’s Spirit directs our steps. We meet their needs in Jesus’ name. Then we branch out to our church family, workmates and acquaintances, neighbors and strangers as the Spirit directs us.

 

All the while we guard against substituting good activities, which side track us from God’s will for us. The best activities are those which are spirit led and directed (Proverbs 3:5-6). Then we never get too busy to worship, praise and pray.

 

In God’s plan for our life, every piece fits snugly together like the pieces of a puzzle. We may not readily see God’s purpose for trials or opportunities, and we end up feeling frustrated, angry or hurt.

 

However, if we walk in the Spirit, we begin seeing spiritual fruit from our labors. We learn lessons, overcome desires to sin, fall in love with Jesus more every day and watch God use us to further His Kingdom on the earth.

 

We gradually realize that we are dead to the old nature and that Christ is now our whole life (Colossians 3:3-4). We give God complete control of our life, even through the severest of trials and persecution.

 

We trust in His goodness, even though life often wearies us and fills us with fear and insecurities. God continually pours out on us His magnificent love and lavishly showers us with the fulfillment of His precious promises.

 

He gives us everything we need to live a life of contentment and holiness, which costs us nothing, because He already paid the price for everything on Calvary’s cross (John 3:16-18).

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to follow in Jesus’ footsteps and to become obedient to Your Spirit each day (Philippians 2:8). Draw us ever closer to Your heart, so that we daily increase our devotion, grow in our faith, understand Your mysteries and live a life of trust in and worship of You.

 

We release our heart into Your care; trust You to work out everything for our ultimate good, even if we never understand the why; come to You to reveal to us the source of our negative emotions; and realize that You give us a Kingdom focus which guarantees us that eternal life starts at salvation.

 

Thought for the Day:

If we feel unloved by the world around us, we can always look within and experience the amazing love of a God who took the form of a human being and suffered and died in our place, in order to give us His eternal life.

 

 

The Purpose of God’s Spirit in Us

Jesus died once for anyone who believes in Him. We will eventually be raised with Christ into immortality, because death no longer has any mastery over Christ in us.

 

We used to be slaves to sin, but now we owe our allegiance to Christ as slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:1-18). Each moment of our life, we submit our plans to God’s direction (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

Through the sanctification process by His Spirit, the carnality in our body and soul decrease and He increases within us (John 3:30). Even our physical life is His.

 

Through His life within us, although our body may go to the grave, our spirit and soul live forever with God. We are filled with the Holy Spirit and are part of Christ’s Body (Romans 8:9).

 

The Spirit transforms our life by giving us His fruit (Galatians 5:22-23). We exhibit fewer carnal characteristics in exchange for the nature of God.

 

We have more love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, meekness, self-control and faith. We have less greed, anxiety, deception, evil thoughts and actions, pride, rebellion, impatience and intolerance for others.

 

God’s Spirit calls us to a life of faith and obedience, and we respond by relinquishing the depravity in our life in exchange for the holiness of God (Romans 12:1-2).

 

Our life is hidden with Christ in God through the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17; 2 Peter 1:4; Hebrews 3:14, 6:4; Romans 6:11). As we realize that we are already dead in Christ (Colossians 3:3), we no longer control our life; He does.

 

God’s Spirit is more and more able to express Himself through our body, spirit and soul – our mind, will and emotions – as we live a surrendered life to Him.

 

Prayer:

Father God, You are waiting for us in Heaven (Matthew 6:9), but You are always with us through Christ and Your Holy Spirit, even to the end of the age of grace (Matthew 28:20). We give You all of the praise and glory due to Your name. We cry “worthy” to the Lamb who gave Himself to be slain for us before You even created the world (1 Peter 1:20).

 

Thank You that Jesus sent the Spirit of truth to come and guide us into all truth. The Spirit speaks Your words to us and reveals to us what is yet to come (John 16:13). As our triune God, You come to make Your home in everyone who obeys Your Word and the teachings of Christ (John 14:23).

 

Thought for the Day:

The purpose of God’s Spirit within us is to sanctify our carnality, to transform us into the nature of Christ, to guide us into all truth and to comfort us in every affliction.

 

 

One More Time Again

The other day, after hearing a loud thud, I went into the bedroom to find my husband flat on his face in a tiny space between the chair and the bed. I prayed about what to do, but felt total peace.

 

My initial reaction was to say, “Well, Beloved, you have gotten yourself into quite a pickle.” He was virtually squeezed between the furniture and I was amazed at how he could have gotten into that small space.

 

I rubbed his back, but could not tell if he was dead or alive. The words of John Denver’s song flitted through my mind, “I always thought that I’d see you one more time again.”

 

I wondered if my Heavenly Daddy took His Saint home to be with Him. I internally prepared myself for a new chapter of life and continued to pray about what to do.

 

“Home alone” was not a state of being that I looked forward to experiencing a second time. I lost one husband when he decided there was no option for us but divorce; and now the husband that God gave me to care for and cherish me was flat on his face on the bedroom floor.

 

Hearing my voice, my comatose giant stirred and I immediately asked, “Beloved, should I call 911? Are you hurting any place…head, heart?”

 

His weak response was, “My knee is really hurting me right now.”

 

A knee…well, that did not sound very ominous. I inquired, “May I help you up, or would you like to rest there a few more moments?” As if being squeezed between two pieces of furniture could be comfortable.

 

“No, I need to get up” was his sweet reply. Helping him to a standing position, I supported his considerable weight on my small frame, but I did not mind. He was still ALIVE.

 

We staggered over to the side of the bed for him to sit down. He immediately began rehashing what had happened in the last 10 minutes.

“I woke up with a start from a cramp in my leg and jumped up to work it out. Then, instead of sitting on the edge of the bed to allow the blood to flow into my head, I went to the bathroom.

 

“As I stood there, I got lightheaded and broke out into a cold sweat. The next thing I remember, I heard a loud thud and I lost consciousness until I heard your sweet voice talking to me.”

 

“How did you fall into that tiny, carpeted space between the furniture?”

 

“It had to be the Lord, because I could have broken bones, gotten a black eye or hit my head on some piece of furniture or the tiled bathroom floor; but when I fainted, He had me free fall right into the only clear, carpeted space available.”

 

We both shook our heads in wonder and silently praised God for His Fatherly care of His child. “Since I just popped out of bed when my leg cramped, I guess I should have sat down and let the blood into my head before going to the bathroom.”

 

We stared at one another over the miracle we both just witnessed. Our awesome God cared for His beloved Saint through every second of that ordeal, which could have left me a widow.

 

I greatly rejoiced and clung to my husband and cried. He wrapped his arm around me as he always does and snuggled me into my favorite place in the whole world…firmly protected in the circle of his love with my head resting peacefully on his muscled chest.

 

Prayer:

Father God, since we are loved by You, I know from experience that losing a mate does not hurt nearly as much as one would anticipate. You walk with us – in us – through every step of the rocky road of recovery. You work out everything to our advantage and You provide for all of our needs: physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally and financially. As an authentic Believer, we experience every trial as a grand adventure in You with new people, places, ministries and purposes.

 

We still have anxiety which attempts to derail our faith, but You give us constant ‘hugs’ throughout the day to remind us that You are in us and living this experience in union with us. We still grieve our losses, but the tears are healing to our soul. Remind us not to take life for granted. Thank You for Your love and mercy in this case, by allowing me to actually see my beloved husband one more time again.

 

Thought for the Day:

As we completely surrender our heart to God in prayer, and relinquish our hold on unholy thoughts, words and deeds, we will not be ashamed or anxious, but confident and full of His courage. – Job 11:13-15

 

 

Practical Faith

How can faith be practical as well as spiritual? When we get into our car and turn on the ignition, we have faith that the motor will start and take us to our desired location.

If we previously had trouble with our car starting, we still attempt to start the car, hoping beyond hope that the engine will turn over and the car will transport us to our destination.

This is how faith works in the spiritual realm as well. We hear the gospel story, and we realize the potential we could have in life if our spirit was actually Born Again rather than dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1; Romans 8:10).

We put our faith in God to fill us by His Spirit, to regenerate our spirit and to save us from the penalty of our sins. It is more than blind faith, because we see the results of our belief in changes in our desires, thoughts, words and deeds.

This change is not affected by sheer will power or human determination. It is a spiritual change that has nothing to do with our body or soul (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

It is something, which God does for us. It is a walk of faith, which does not depend on our human understanding or effort (Proverbs 3:5-6; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Ephesians 2:8-9).

We cannot be good enough, wise enough, rich enough or powerful enough to earn our way to heaven. It is a gift from God just for us (Romans 6:23).

God’s Spirit empowers us in the same way that the engine empowers the car. The power in the car energizes a dead hunk of steel into immediate life; and the Holy Spirit revives our dead spirit to live, move and have our being in Christ both now and for eternity (Acts 17:28).

Our life bears fruit for the Kingdom of God and our attitude and thoughts change from carnal to spiritual ones. The peace and joy of God flood our life.

We leave the world of dark, destruction, influenced by sin and Satan’s lies; and we enter the brilliant light of Christ, our ultimate Truth.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for planting our feet firmly on the Rock of Christ, so that neither temptation from the devil nor the storms of life can shake the bedrock of our foundation on Your Word and Your Spirit.

You removed the weight of sin from our shoulders by the righteousness of Christ, which You freely provide for us. Thank You for revealing to us by Your Spirit what Christ actually did for us on the cross, and how this revolutionizes how we view life and the activities we enjoy both now and in eternity.

Thought for the Day:
Faith in Christ impacts our daily life now, as well as determines our eternal destination; it is practical and influences the peace and joy in which we live our life.