Secret Intents and Motives

When we depend on someone else for our sense of value, we put our self into bondage to that person. Our motives, goals and opinions revolve around that person’s whims.

People come and go in our life. They have unrealistic expectations of us, tire of us and dump us on the curb like a useless sack of trash.

However, Jesus never ever leaves us or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5). He died for us in spite of our self and our failings. He approves of us in Christ and fully accepts us with all of our idiosyncrasies (Hebrews 13:8).

We can also put our self into bondage to religion by attempting to earn God’s love and acceptance. We drive our self endlessly to work harder and to do better to please Him.

The truth is that our “self” is already crucified with Christ (Colossians 3:3; Galatians 2:20). At Salvation, we are fully accepted in the Beloved of God (Ephesians 1:5-7). God’s Spirit fills us to the brim and overflows on everyone around us.

We prove that we love Him by our obedience to His Word (John 14:15). We do not always keep each letter of the law all the time, but our motive in life is to walk in His ways (Galatians 3:24; Psalm 86:11-17).

God sees our whole heart – including our secret intents and motives (1 Samuel 16:7). He encourages us to keep our self unspotted by the world. (James 1:26-27).

Jesus loved us even when we did not love Him (1 John 4:19). We feel secure in His love, because it is not dependent on whether we earn or deserve it. It is a free gift, which lasts forever (Romans 3:23, 6:23).

Prayer:
Father God, the world values human attributes like popularity, physical features, power, influence and financial abundance; but You reward faithfulness to Your Word. You discern our secret intents and motives and discipline or bless Your children according to the desires of our heart (Jeremiah 17:10).

Help us to shed the trappings of this world that we carry with us into our relationship with You. Purify our thoughts and teach us Your ways, so that we want only what You want and value only those things which bring You honor and glory forever and ever.

Thought for the Day:
We attempt to justify our motives and actions, but the Lord weighs them on His scales; as we consult the Lord, He will guide our steps and establish our plans in His will. – Proverbs 16:2-3

Renewed Mind – Part 3 – Recovering from Wounds

My counselor listened to my brief account of my childhood and teen years and commented, “You grew up in a war zone. You are suffering from PTSD.” WOW…who knew!

I thought my life was normal. I did not know other people had nurturing, cherishing homes. My parents also suffered abuse in their childhood and young adult lives.

My mother’s own mother died when she was only three years old. She grew up in an alcoholic home, the only daughter with six brothers and a step-mom who had to work every day of her life.

My dad came back from the Korean War with PTSD and he took out his rage on my mom, three brothers and me. He was a mean man who did nice things now and then – a bipolar personality.

My parents did not seek healing for their wounds and passed them on to me and my three brothers by their attitude and behavior toward us, as well as by their example of coping with life.

They wounded us because of their woundedness. They taught me that I was stupid, clumsy, less than enough, had no real positive qualities and that I had to earn their love.

This deeply affected my self-esteem and how I related to other people. Satan planted these lies deep within my subconscious mind and I believed they were true.

Born with a melancholy personality, this treatment drove me further into myself by wounding my soul and corrupting my image of who I was.

I could not look at myself in the mirror. I disgusted myself. My shortcomings and failures taught me to further despise myself. I longed for unconditional love and acceptance of all of my idiosyncrasies.

At a young age, my mom became the responsible one in her childhood home, who buried her feelings and codependently served everyone else. I learned this behavior from her.

She recognized my need for self-esteem and did all in her power to give me opportunities to excel in life. Thankfully, her efforts prevented me from turning to addictions to mask my pain.

Yet, my poor self-image crippled me and hindered my success. Writing poetry saved me from committing suicide and gave me a release and even hope of a better life.

Then, at age 18, I met the Savior Jesus Christ. He started to sanctify my soul – my thoughts, choices and emotions (Philippians 4:8). He brought me to a prayer warrior who helped me to do spiritual battle and to reclaim my wounded soul for God ( http://www.theophostic.com ).

When I moved away from home, I received much more support from my parents. As I received healing from God in my adult life, God helped me to understand and to forgive my parents; and He used me to nurture and to partially heal my parents as well.

God spoke His truth to my soul and replaced Satan’s lies and my negative self-image with His Truth. I learned to love God, love my self and love others with a pure heart.
( http://www.savedhealed.com/iamlist.htm ).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for saving me when You did. I felt Your Holy Spirit pouring over me, and drenching every cell in my body and soul with Your love. You taught me to meet my own needs, rather than to neglect my needs or to expect others to meet them for me. I am content in Your love for me regardless of my circumstances.

You brought me to the realization that I am already dead in Christ and that He is now my whole life (Colossians 3:3-4; Galatians 2:20). The enticements of this world, sin and the devil no longer appeal to me. Thank You that Jesus balances my attitudes, opinions and goals in life.

Thought for the Day:
God taught me to find joy in my negative circumstances and to have faith in His faithfulness by changing my focus in life from carnal, earthly affairs to spiritual, eternal ones.
– Romans 8:28

Let Me Tell You, Gentlemen

If you think that your marriage is good, or even perfect, that may be because all of your needs are met by your good and faithful wife. Have you ever asked her what she thinks about your marriage?

You may be surprised to find out that she is so busy caring for you and the home and children, that she has no time to fulfill her needs. She may have longings in her soul that are not realized; so make the time to discover her needs and help her to accomplish them.

You may criticize her for her irritability, insecurity, jealousy, rage, discouragement, etc., and view these negative emotions as separate from your behavior. They very well may have an outside source; but you could help to relieve them, even if your behavior and attitude are not causing them.

Do you ignore her when she talks to you, and only listen to her with half an ear? Do you take all of her needs seriously and ask her how you can help her? Do you provide her with a stable living environment full of cherishing, nurturing and acceptance?

She may need an hour to soak in the tub, some help with the dishes or bathing the children, a night alone to read or watch a movie in the sanctity of your bedroom, or a special date night. Take charge and give her that time.

Make sure that you inundate her with continual focused attention; date nights which you help to plan; and little gifts, notes, cards, emails and phone calls to let her know that she is not only in your heart but in your mind as well.

Never take her for granted. Bless her with words, which affirm your appreciation of her, but back the words up with actions too. Celebrate her successes along with her and show her your care and concern when she is discouraged or ill.

If she works outside of the home too, help her with the household chores and make sure all of your children have assigned duties, so that the whole family cooperates to keep your home clean, harmonious and running smoothly.

Never allow your children to speak to your wife with disrespect, and model this respect by your behavior. Find a church to attend with your family, have daily devotions with them all and disciple them in Biblical truth to help them to withstand the devil’s temptations.

Prayer:
Father God, You created the husband to serve as a role model in his family as he patterns his behavior and attitude after Your character and nature (Galatians 5:15-25; 2 Peter 1:4). Help him to consider the needs of his wife and children above his own (Ephesians 5:25). Yet, give him the boldness to express his needs as well, so his family can uplift him as he supports them.

Meld the husband and wife in such unity that they provide a positive and cohesive home for their children. This will give more security to the children and reduce rebellion in them as well. Remind us that You are the reason we are alive on this earth, and that serving You as a family is the greatest privilege, which life affords us.

Thought for the Day:
There is nothing, which happens in a marriage that cannot be resolved, if both mates will prefer one another, exhibit patience during a disagreement, join forces during a trial and spend time enjoying one another’s company.

Pointless Rebellion

Some people refuse to adhere to the traditions of our society (Romans 13: 1-14; Hebrews 13:17). They buck the system and rebel against human and Biblical rules and regulations. Therefore, God cannot bless them (Isaiah 1:20).

These people actually yearn for approval, but since their basics instincts are not well received, they decide to go the other way and live in defiance and revolt in every area of life.

Some even become a thorn in the side of society and often end up in prison. The rebel really wants to comply and gain approval, but since they do not measure up, they grow bitter and hate everyone, even their own self.

God’s standards are higher than the system of this world; yet, many of our society’s rules are patterned after Biblical truth (1 Peter 2:18-21; 1 Timothy 2:1-4). The nonconformist views God and the government as rule-makers, which do not accept or validate who they truly are inside.

If rebels would surrender their lack of self-esteem to God, they would find acceptance in His family. God creates a clean heart in us and renews His Spirit within us (Psalm 51:10).

At some point, we all start to realize the futility of attempting to control our own life. The alternative is to trust in God’s plan for us (Ephesians 2:10), and to walk in the Spirit through every issue we face (Galatians 5:15-25).

Even if things do not progress as we think they should, if there is an apparent setback or imperfection in our life, God’s love helps us to retain our faith in His faithfulness.

Prayer:
Father God, a rebel in this world is also rebelling against You. They want their body, emotions, thoughts and goals to be accepted by those who are supposed to love them, regardless of their behavior.

This attitude stems from pride. You resist the proud, but You exalt the humble (James 4:6). Please teach our rebellious loved ones to call on Your Spirit, to humble their pride, to submit to Your calling on their life and to surrender control of their life over to you.

Thought for the Day:
When we consent to God’s will and obey His Word, He proves that He cares for all of our needs. – Isaiah 1:19; 1 Peter 5:7; Psalm 55:22

The High Praises of God in Our Mouth

Thoughts and emotions are fickle and lead many of us on a merry dance. When we are happy, we live a productive life; but the moment we meet a crisis or feel discouraged, we lose all hope. Some react to stress or depression by sleeping all the time, or our soul may invent psychosomatic illnesses or we turn to addictions.

This behavior causes us to receive even more criticism and rejection, and this denunciation increases our feelings of separation from the people we love. Trusting in Christ may not change our circumstances, but it certainly alters the way we view life. We belong to the eternal family of God (Ephesians 2:19). In Christ, we can accomplish anything, which He leads us to do (Philippians 4:13).

The more often we focus on the goodness and greatness of God, the more His praise rests on the tip of our tongue. The least little blessing that comes our way is reason to erupt into high praises to our Lord and King (Luke 1:46-47; Psalm 149:6). In addition to this, we get excited about His spiritual blessings, as well as His mercy and grace in our life (Ephesians 1:3).

Even our failings are not failures, because there is forgiveness with our God (Psalm 130:4). We will not lose the war for our soul, simply because we lost a battle. Christ in us already obtained for us our eternal security in Him (John 5:24). Our soul – our mind, emotions and will – magnifies the Lord and our spirit rejoices in God our Savior (Luke 1:39-56).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for transforming the personality of our soul into the mind of Christ, Your divine nature and the fruit of Your Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:16; Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Peter 1:4; 2 Corinthians 5:17). Remind us that You inhabit our praises (Psalm 22:3). With high praises to You in our mouth, and the two-edged sword of Your Word in our hand, we can vanquish any negative emotion and overcome any enemy of our soul (Psalm 149:6). Help us not to allow our flesh, which is dominated by our physical senses and emotions, to dictate our behavior; but help us to allow our faith in You, as well as our praises to You, to change our feelings (Deuteronomy 30:19). We choose to walk in Your joy, precious Lord.

Thought for the Day:
Our success in life pivots entirely on our obedience to Christ and following the leading of His Holy Spirit.

God Loves YOU

As humans, we search our whole life for love and acceptance. We seek it from our parents, spouse, children and even extramarital affairs. Some people will lie, cheat and wear masks to get love; and then lose it when they show their true colors. We use other people to gratify our own needs; and those attempting to gratify their needs, may abuse us.

We end up brokenhearted, callous, angry and bitter. The desire to love and to be loved is the most basic human need. What we fail to realize is just how deeply God loves each and every one of us. We are all special to Him, the apple of His eye (Psalm 17:8; Zechariah 2:8). He is big enough to care about every need that each of us will ever have. If we let Him, He spoils us as His precious children.

God crafted each of us as an original creation, and we are very special to God. Some are smart, others beautiful, or talented, creative, analytical, handy, artistic, etc. The main ingredient we all have is that we are loved by God (John 3:16-18). He does not love us for what we do, or who we are. He will never leave us for doing something stupid or bad (Romans 5:8). His love is unconditional.

God is our Father and He is interested in every detail of our life. He lives within authentic Believers by His Spirit and knows us better than we know our own self (John 14:23; Psalm 139:13-16; Matthew 10:30; 1 Corinthians 3:16). An intimate relationship is all that He desires from us, nothing more (Matthew 7:21-21). We love Him and give Him our devotion and obedience (John 14:15-31). His commands are never burdensome, but for our protection (John 5:3).

Prayer:
Father God, teach us to accept Your love for us and to give Your love to those You bring into our life. Help us to maintain peaceful and contented relationships with our family, friends neighbors and associates. Help us to love You more with each passing day and to devote everything we say, think and do for Your glory. Remind us to walk in Your love and to obey You with each moment of our life.

Thought for the Day:
God loves us and desires our love; and He gives us people in our life to love and to serve. – 1 John 4:7-21

A New Life in Christ

In this world, people are very touchy about what we say to them. They think that we are trying to proselytize them, if we even mention anything about God or Christ. We are simply living out who we are, and they accuse us of judging them. Of course, if they would join us, they would understand that Jesus is not our hobby or our crutch. Christ is our very life (Colossians 3:4).

We are not trying to impose our beliefs on anyone. We are just living out the truth of God’s Word. We do not condemn their behavior or their person, but offer them the opportunity to trust Christ and to enjoy the wondrous life He provides for His children (Ephesians 4:13). When we repent and believe in Christ (Mark 1:15), we no longer live as part of this world, even though we still live in it (John 17:16).

We no longer attempt to earn His acceptance by our performance to His standards. We are already accepted in His beloved family, by faith and not by works (Ephesians 1:6, 2:8-10). God placed the weight of the vilest sin upon His own shoulders and He paid our penalty for us. We accept Christ’s atoning work for our salvation, and then choose to live in total surrender to God’s will.

Jesus freed us from deprivation, degradation and devastation in this life. He allows us to walk in a new life in Him (Romans 6:4). His anointing in us and through us breaks the yoke of bondage to sin and deception (Isaiah 10:27). His Spirit enables us to obey God’s will, by living in and through us (Galatians 2:20). Let us seek His direction for our life and not allow earthly concerns to sway us from His ways (Luke 9:57-62, 14:26-33).

Prayer:
Father God, true surrender to You always supercedes our natural devotion to job, family or friends. We forsake all for you (Luke 14:33). We know without a doubt that You will meet the needs of our family and friends as we focus on Your will for our life. Keep us from failing to totally surrender to You, and enable us to experience the fullness of Your love for us.

Thought for the Day:
God listens to and understands our prayers and knows exactly how to answer them.

His Cherished Treasure

His Cherished Treasure

Husbands, did you know that if you do not treat your wife with consideration and respect as heirs with you of God’s merciful gift of eternal life, that your prayers may be hindered (1 Peter 3:7)? God made women, so He knows how emotional, unpredictable and irrational we can be sometimes. That is why He gave men this cautionary advice.

The wise husband makes his wife his priority second only to God. He provides her with love, acceptance and a secure home environment. If he does, then she will never doubt his love for her. She will see it in his eyes, in his tone of voice, in his caring touch and in the amount of time he wants to spend with her. She is his most cherished treasure and is highly valued in his esteem.

Every human being has a love language. We often love others the way we want to be loved. However, if your mate’s, child’s or grandchild’s love language is not the same as yours, then they will not be impressed by your expressions of affection toward them. Some people enjoy gifts and others prefer physical touch, quality time, acts of service and/or words of affirmation.

Take the time to discover the love languages of the people God gave you to love ( http://www.5lovelanguages.com/ ). Give your loved ones continual expressions of love and devotion throughout the day. Many couples have a date night, which is admirable and something to look forward to; however, do not limit your time together to once a week. Spend little increments of time together throughout the day.

Maybe a shared lunch, family time after a dinner eaten together, a gift for no reason at all, a compliment for a job well done, a 15 minute snuggle, a walk in the park, a repair of that leaky faucet, a note tucked away in an obvious nook, a bike ride to a favorite place, taking her car to get it serviced or spending a few hours together walking on the beach. The possibilities are actually limitless.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that You created marriage (Genesis 2:22). We dishonor You when we allow Satan to destroy the love You place in our hearts for one another. In today’s easy divorce society, we are not expected to work through the hard times and communicate with one another about what we really need and how we really feel. Remind us to lay our life down for each other as Christ did for us.

Thought for the Day:
Nurture your romantic urges and express them often. This is not a stilted requirement, but a spontaneous expression of your love and devotion.

No One Loves Us Better

Troubles are all round us on every side, but we are not shut in; things are hard for us, but God shows us a way out of them (2 Corinthians 4:8). We do not worry about tomorrow, because He leads us one step at a time (Matthew 6:31-34). We can face each day braced by God’s Spirit, directed by His leading and praising God for who He is.

 

Then, God will pour showers of blessings on us all the days of our life. God’s sheltering arms keep us from falling and He lifts us up when we are discouraged (Psalm 145:14). His unconditional love forgave our failings before we were ever born (Psalm 139:16). He loves us even when we get so busy that we forget all about Him (1 John 4:9-10).

 

We cannot earn more of God’s love, because we already have it all. He proved this to us by loving Israel through generations of unfaithfulness. He always gives us complete love, forgiveness and acceptance (John 3:16; 1 John 1:9; Ephesians 1:6). His presence is continually with us. He never leaves us or forsakes us (Deuteronomy 31:6).

 

God promises us His divine nature and replaces our carnality with the fruit of His Spirit (2 Peter 1:4; Galatians 5:22-23). He draws us ever closer to His heart by showering us with His loving kindness (Jeremiah 31:3). Nothing can separate us from his love (Romans 8:38-39). We can totally rely on His unfailing love, which is higher than the heavens and from everlasting to everlasting (Psalms 33:18; 103:11,17; 147:11).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You do not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities (Psalm 103:10). We will sing praises to You because of Your love and strength. You are our fortress in times of conflict, refuge in times of trouble and comfort in times of sorrow (Psalm 59:16-17). We remain in Your love as we keep Your commandments, just like Jesus did. Our joy is fulfilled in You, and Your joy is complete in us (John 15:9-11).

 

Thought for the Day:

There is no one that loves us better, or cares for our welfare more than Jesus Christ, our Kinsman Redeemer.

– Leviticus 25:25; Ruth 1-4

The Flesh is Already Dead

The carnal person lives in rebellion to God’s desires for our life. The natural person resists God’s redemption and forfeits His peace and joy both on earth and for eternity. The focus of carnality is on the self and everything that benefits the flesh, regardless of any spiritual priorities or needs. Even Born Again people often cater to their flesh more than their spirit.

 

However, this carnal focus will not continue in the life of an authentic Believer. Our union with Christ makes a huge difference in our life. God’s Spirit will continually convict the sinful soul of His priorities. We find the freedom of forgiven sin, the contentment of acceptance in God’s Family and the security of our identity in Christ’s character within us (Galatians 5:22-23).

 

God’s Spirit renews our mind (2 Corinthians 4:16; Titus 3:5), transforms our emotions (Ephesians 3:16-20) and heals our body (Psalm 103:3). We enjoy worshipping our King more than serving our flesh. We willingly lay down the deeds of our flesh, because we realize that in Christ our flesh is already dead (Colossians 3:3-4). Spiritually alive, we experience victory over both sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:57).

 

Prayer:

Father God, by Your divine power, You provide us with every resource we need to live a godly life (2 Peter 1:3). The fact that You dwell in us by Your Spirit and that You will perfect us in spirit, soul and body relieves so much pressure from us on a daily basis (Ephesians 1:14). We do not have to perfect our self. You give us the desire and the ability to work out our own salvation, as we live in respect for Your authority and power in us (Philippians 2:13).

 

Thought for the Day:

Be filled with the Spirit and speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs; singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. – Ephesians 5:18-19