The Breaking Point

People often think that the life we know is better than the life we do not know. That is why women stay in abusive marriages and continue to suffer the torment. They believe they do not deserve better.

When we come to Christ, He humbles us; yet He gives us His holy boldness. We start to realize that we are not defective; and that in Him, we are “enough”.

Christ in us transforms us into all that He intends for us to be. We no longer need to strive for perfection, because God’s Spirit within us changes us from one stage of holiness to the next (2 Corinthians 3:18).

We find our true identity and fulfillment in Christ alone (Colossians 3:3-4, 2:9-10; Philippians 1:13-2:16). We are adopted as God’s children, conformed to Christ’s image and co-heirs with Christ of God’s Kingdom.

Most of us need a breaking point in our life in order to step over the line from self-effort to Christ-reliance. The trials, which God allows in our life, are designed to bring us to the end of our self.

My breaking point was when the love of my life decided that there was no option for us, but divorce. I had no job, no alimony and no foreseeable future.

In this bewildering new world, my only option was to rely totally on God for each moment of my day. As I did, I entered a deeper relationship with our Lord; one that I continue to this day.

As I listened to His Spirit within, He led me to get a job at a Montessori school where my training and relationships taught me to nurture my own soul.

He also gave me two other jobs, so I could pay my bills and save for a rainy day. Eventually, in His perfect way and timing, He brought a nurturing, appreciative husband into my life as well, and restored my ministry as a Pastor’s wife.

Prayer:
Father God, You brought me to the place in my life where I stopped trying and gave up. I cast all of my cares on You, because I had no doubt that You cared for me. You taught me that Your Spirit will put us in the right place at the right time, if we will listen to that still, small voice within us (1 Kings 19:11-13).

Remind us that the sooner we stop trying, and enter into Your rest, the sooner our life will hold unspeakable joy, even in the midst of sorrows. Your Spirit leads us to be productive for Your Kingdom; and in the process, all of our needs are met.

Thought for the Day:
As we totally surrender our heart to God in prayer, we give Him our weaknesses and failings – even the sins we commit in secret. We no longer live in shame, but in the fearless confidence and identity of Christ in us. – Job 11:13-15; 1 John 1:9; Colossians 1:27

Moving Forward through Forgiveness

God became man in order to atone for our sins, because we could never pay the debt on our own (1 John 4:19). Jesus loves us more than a pearl of great price (Matthew 13:45).

Jesus relinquished his royal status and gave His life, so that we can live as God’s adopted children and joint heirs with Him to receive all that the Father owns in His Kingdom (Romans 8:16-18).

God forgives us of every transgression of His law; but unless we forgive our self, Satan keeps us under his bondage to degradation and sin. The shame we feel for our behavior is fed by Satan’s lies, which He whispers in our heart day and night (Revelation 12:10).

Satan knows that if we ever forgive our self, and dedicate our life completely to the God who saved us, he will lose us forever. There is no thought, word or deed, which we commit, that is too horrific for God to forgive (Romans 5:8).

Most of our choices are mistakes that we make without thinking, although some of them are premeditated. Yet, God forgives each one, which we confess, according to His mercy and justice (1 John 1:9, 3:9). He erases the injustice of our behavior with His goodness and grace.

God has a perfect plan for us and our true joy lies in following that plan (Ephesians 2:10). It is never too late to change. We can lay down our shield of lies and our heavy burden of pain at Jesus’ feet.

We come to God in our weariness and hopelessness, and He gives us rest for our soul and births life into our dead spirit, which we carried around within us for our whole life, until the day we repent (Matthew 11:28).

Prayer:
Father God, Your Spirit joins Your Bride in encouraging anyone who reads or hears Your Word to come to Your river of life (Revelation 22:17). Your voice penetrates the hard wall, which we build around our soul to keep out the pain of the past and the eventual pain of the future.

This wall crumbles when we face life’s difficulties with Christ in us. Help us not to patch up the wall of defenses and build it higher and thicker, and to realize that only Your love can protect us from life’s hardships and storms (Isaiah 4:6).

Complete surrender to Your call on our life will put us under Your umbrella of protection (Job 11:13-15). You give us a place of repose (Isaiah 28:12). You refresh and satisfy our faint heart (Jeremiah 31:25). You give us Your living water to drink for eternity (John 7:37).

Thought for the Day:
Forgiving others and our self is the key to freedom from the destructive aspects of life and it is the door to our freedom in Christ.

Healing Spiritual Deprivation

Our world abounds with the masses of humanity in profound spiritual deprivation. They refuse to trust in Jesus for their salvation, because they do not want to submit to an entity, which cannot be proven to their human mind.

For some, their pride and rebellion thwart them from experiencing the wondrous provision of their Heavenly Father, who loved them enough to suffer the horrendous persecution and then death on Calvary’s cross.

Others were disappointed by God or someone in the church, and they hold a grudge against religion. They do not see that spirituality is about Jesus, not people; and that God had something better in store for them instead of what they wanted.

God did not create humanity in order to set us up for failure or to condemn us. Yet, anyone who fails to believe in Jesus as the Son of God, and refuses to repent of their sins and trust Him with their life, has already condemned themselves to an eternity in hell (John 3:18).

God came to earth as a human being to pay the penalty of our sins. Therefore, anyone who repents of their sins, and believes in Him enough to trust Him for salvation, is forgiven of the sin debt we collected throughout our lifetime (John 3:17).

God did this because He immensely loves each person ever born (John 3:16). He actually knows the number of hairs we have on our head at all times, even though they fall out and new ones grow each day (Luke 12:7). He saw us as we developed in our mother’s womb, and has a wonderful plan for our life (Ephesians 2:10; Psalm 139:13, 16; Jeremiah 1:5).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for working out the circumstances in our lives to draw us closer to You. You came to earth to redeem us, because You want to shower us with blessings as Your adopted children. We give You our willing, undivided attention. You replace our carnal nature with the fruit of Your Spirit and You work in us the divine nature of Christ (Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Peter 1:4). Teach us to commit each minute of every day to You and to listen to Your Spirit’s direction as we walk in Your will.

Thought for the Day:
As we bring everything to God is prayer, with thanksgiving in our heart for His provision in His own timing and way, we will live a fulfilled life.
– Philippians 4:6

A Life of Change

A relationship with Christ changes our whole life. Our nature, desires, friends, spirituality and lifestyle will all change. Sometimes, it even changes our address, family dynamics, church attendance, values, goals and dreams. The biggest change comes in the form of who we are. We are brethren, related to other Believers; and children of the Light, adopted into God’s family.

Satan attempts to convince us that we are still sinners. We even call our self “sinners, saved by grace.” This cripples our walk with God and keeps us tied to the earthly realm. Our focus is negative, which does not allow us to live in victory over sin. We subconsciously think that we have no recourse but to sin. Satan cripples our walk with this lie (John 10:10).

The devil wants us to believe that we have not changed, that God is not real and that the Christian walk is ridiculous or impossible. However, God is the author of sweeping transformation. He changes us at our very core, and His power has a positive effect on our daily walk, as well as our eternal destination. We can certainly resist sin, because it no longer appeals to us.

God turns us into Saints who walk away from sin and toward Christ. We leave a world that is dark in disobedience and deprivation and walk toward the light of the Lord (Ephesians 5:8). Our spirit, once dead in sin, is now Born Again (Colossians 2:13). We no longer struggle with our identity, because we see our self as a child of God (1 John 3:2). We have value in our relationship with Him.

Prayer:
Father God, when Christ moves into our life, He radically changes our motivation and behavior. Your Spirit gives us the desire and the power to walk in holiness (Philippians 2:12-13). Our character takes on Your divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). The fruit of Your Spirit replaces the negative characteristics of our personality (Galatians 5:22-23). We live and move and have our being in Christ (Acts 17:28).

Thought for the Day:
We build on salvation with sanctified living and we reach for the prize of the high calling of Christ. – Philippians 3:14

Accepted in the Beloved

Once we surrender our pride and rebellion to God, and trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, we are accepted as His beloved Saints (Ephesians 4:12). We are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), united in Spirit as one Body with Christ (1 Corinthians 6:17, 12:27). Complete in Christ, we have need of nothing (Colossians 2:9-10; Philippians 4:13). God adopted us into His family, and accepts us as His dearly loved children (Ephesians 1:3-8; John 1:12).

Jesus bought us with His blood and our life now belongs to God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Redeemed from the law of sin and death, we are forgiven all of our sins (Colossians 1:13-14). We are hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3), having direct access to God’s throne in any time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16). God welcomes us in His beloved family (Ephesians 1:6). Jesus is both our brother and our friend (John 15:15; Proverbs 18:24).

God anoints us to work in His service during our lifetime, seals us with His Spirit and establishes our place in heaven (2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 2:20). We no longer live a lifestyle of willful sin and deprivation because Jesus lives within us (1 John 3:9). Jesus justified us by His death and renewed us by His resurrection (Romans 5:1; Titus 3:5). We are the apple of God’s eye (Zechariah 2:8).

God gives us power, love and a sound mind to dispel any fear, which Satan tried to inflict on us (2 Timothy 1:7). Now, as we walk in the Spirit, we no longer fulfill the lusts of our dead, carnal flesh (Galatians 5:16,25). God’s Spirit replaces our former unregenerate nature with God’s divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). We are secure in Christ’s love for us, and seated with Jesus in the Heavenly realm, even now (Ephesians 2:6).

Prayer:
Father God, You chose us as branches on the true vine of Christ. We bear the fruit given to us by our connection to You (John 15:5,16). We are also your temple, and You abide in the spirit of each authentic Believer (1 Corinthians 3:16). You raised us up to minister Your reconciliation to the lost and dying world around us (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). We can confidently approach Your throne day or night for any need we may have (Ephesians 3:12). Thank You for Your timeless love and grace.

Thought for the Day:
We are God’s Workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do the works He preordained for us to accomplish. – Ephesians 2:10

Our Glorious Future

Everyone knows that life on this earth is but a vapor in time (James 4:14). Many do not want to live this short life in the miserable clutches of sin (Romans 7:24). They recognize their limitations and gladly come to Jesus for his wisdom, mercy and strength (2 Chronicles 16:9). When we fully surrender to Christ, He impacts our assets, lifestyle, possessions and relationships by directing our decisions through the leading of His Spirit (John 16:13). His peace and joy permeate every nuance of our life.

Our sin nature passes away at Salvation and we are a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). We relinquish the world and grasp onto the freedom in body, soul and spirit, for which Jesus apprehended us (Philippians 3:12). When we live and move and have our being in Christ, we no longer exist in condemnation and sin (Acts 17:28; Romans 8:1). Christ in us is our hope of attaining a glorious future (Colossians 1:27). We can even share this hope with our family and friends (Jeremiah 29:11).

The Law of Sin and Death, under which we formerly struggled, is replaced by the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus (Romans 7:22-25, 8:2). We forgive our self for our shortcomings, because God already forgave us (Romans 5:8). Rather than living with a carnal mind, we focus on spiritual and eternal aspects (2 Corinthians 4:18; Romans 8:6). We renew our mind and take our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Philippians 4:8-9). Sin no longer appeals to us in any way (James 4:1; Galatians 5:17).

Our true identity, value and purpose in this life are only realized as we look to Jesus for our worth. Every achievement in this world will burn up as wood, hay and stubble (1 Corinthians 3:12). However, no one can take away from us the fact that God adopted us as co-heirs with Jesus Christ (Romans 8:15-17). God works out every catastrophe in our life for our good, as well as rewards us with an eternal heritage. At the same time, His Spirit conforms us into the image of Christ (Romans 8:28-29).

Prayer:
Father God, you spoil Your children and always provide what is best for us. Many people blame You for the effects of sin in this world. They curse You for the death of their loved ones and for spoiling their wealth. However, You adopt into Your family those who surrender to You. You work everything out for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28). Everything You allow into our life comes from Your sacrificial love for us. You ultimately give us safety and provision (Luke 12:28-38).

Thought for the Day:
We know without a doubt that when we leave this earthly realm, the angels will escort us to our glorious future in the presence of the Lord. – 2 Corinthians 5:8