Manifestation of God

Most of humanity does not know Jesus as the Christ, nor do they care at all about Godly principles. Hypocrisy in the lives of so called Christians exacerbates this problem.

 

If unbelievers see no distinction in their daily walk with that of a professing Believer, this disillusions them. They want nothing to do with Christ or with us.

 

We have a problem with our connection to the Vine (John 15:5). We may even have a false hope of Heaven, because we never truly repented or made Jesus the Lord of our life.

 

If, however, we are grafted into the Vine, their reason for rejecting His truth may be that we are hiding His light within us and they cannot see it (Matthew 5:15-16).

 

Once we surrender our identity over to the Ruler of the universe, God makes a huge difference in our habits, language, personality and interests.

 

When we fully submit to God for Him to use as He pleases (Isaiah 29:16), our life takes on the character of Christ. This is when people see us as authentic Christians. We are a manifestation of God on the earth.

 

We have God’s peace in trouble, His perseverance in trials, His love for our persecutors and His joy during periods of grief.

 

They see us exhibiting patience in trying times, using self-control when others give in to debauchery, displaying meekness rather than having a haughty attitude, relating to others with kindness and basing our life and decisions on faith in our faithful God.

 

We lay down our preferences and care about the needs of others over our own agenda, without compromising who we are in Christ.

 

Others see truth and reality in our lives. We are capable of this behavior, not because we are exemplary human beings, but because of God’s Holy Spirit within us (Galatians 5:16:25).

 

This is when other people want for themselves what we have within us.

 

Prayer:

Father God, Jesus prayed that no one would snatch us out of Your hand. You are greater than all, and we are perfectly safe in Your everlasting arms (John 10:28-29). Fill us completely full of Your Spirit and keep us as the apple of Your eye (Ephesians 3:16-19; Psalm 17:8).

 

Draw us close to You and never let us go. Your unfailing love is our priceless treasure and we run to the refuge of the shadow of Your wings (Psalm 36:7). When we draw near to You, and resist Satan’s efforts to sidetrack us, he has to flee from Your presence within us.

 

Thought for the Day:

The Holy Spirit is our source of power; and we can ask Him to manifest Himself in and through us all the days of our life; so that others see Christ in us.

 

 

 

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Avoiding the Pit of Depression

Three major causes of discouragement in this life are when our plans do not work out for us, our expectations are disappointed and our perceived desires are not fulfilled.

We hope that our life will turn out a certain way, and when it takes a course outside of our control, we get depressed or we fight tooth and nail to gain control again, which is impossible.

The little nagging issues that arise, setbacks that occur and people who disillusion us will wear our nerves thin and gang up to overwhelm us.

These issues etch away at our positive attitude and tear us down to the point of exhaustion. Rather than to succumb to them, we come up with witty mottoes to discharge our anxiety, such as: “Trouble only comes in threes.”

The remedy for plans going wrong is to stop making them.

We can avoid so many negative aspects in life by walking in the Spirit and seeking God’s counsel for each moment of our day (Proverbs 3:5-6). We consult God for His plans (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Through prayer, we find out God’s desires and walk in His Spirit, accomplishing so much more through His direction, inspiration and power than we can through our own human strength.

God’s love, instead of our human compassion, directs us according to His will. When we walk in His ways, we find the resources, words and ideas we need to accomplish His list for our day.

We set our priorities according to Biblical principles, and we keep Jesus as our first love. As we rely on God’s agenda and wisdom, rather than on our human capabilities, we live a life centered in Him.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us to do only those works, which You planned for us before we were even born (Ephesians 2:10). This means that we may say “No” to the good things and the dire needs presented to us, unless You tell us to say “Yes”.

Teach us that although we may feel guilty for not helping someone in need, even when we have the time and means to help, to obey You and not to step out of your will for them and for us by helping anyway.

As we wait on You, we never enter the pit of despair, because we view all of the opportunities, issues and demands in our life with the eyes of Your understanding and according to Your will for us.

Thought for the Day:
Rather than living under the tyranny of the next item on the agenda, or the next emergency, which presents itself, we dispel depression and stress by totally surrendering to God’s direction.

Wait on the Lord

There is a fallacy in the teaching of the modern church, which states that God can only use us, if we are already moving. If we read God’s Word and the biographies of great men and women of God, this is not the case.

Contemporary teachers say that only as we do God’s work can we discern His will. However, the truth is that God can only use someone who is spending time on their knees in prayer (Isaiah 55:3).

If we make our own plans and goals, and pursue our own dreams, then we repeatedly walk outside of God’s will. If we attempt to meet every need in every person’s life, we often thwart God’s plans in their life.

However, as we wait on the Lord, He will always hear us and respond (Psalm 40:1; John 16:24; Ephesians 3:20). He gives us courage and the strength we need to face the trials ahead of us (Psalm 27:14). We find our rest and hope only in God (Psalm 62:5).

We do not wait on the Lord by filling the minutes of our life with stressful activity and busy work. This distracts us from lingering in His presence and hearing from Him with our whole being (Psalm 130:5).

We do not even need to defend our self, when we are harmed or wronged. As we wait on the Lord, He avenges us (Proverbs 20:22). God’s wisdom deals with the situation better than our human efforts ever could

It may take time to hear from God. We may wait for days, months or years to discern His direction and will for a certain situation (Jeremiah 42:7). If we rush ahead of God, we will undoubtedly fail.

Once we pray and hear from God’s Spirit on the course of action, which He plans for us to take, then we can start moving in the direction in which He is leading us.

Prayer:
Father God, it is so hard for us to wait. We get so nervous and anxious when we wait in line or for some appointment at an office. In this modern era, we are constantly on our phone, checking messages, texting or listening to the news. We fail to make time to quiet our soul, enter into our spirit and hear from You. You desire to bring us into a deeper union with You, but this only comes as we wait on You.

Remind us that You love to spend time with us. You even enjoy long bouts of companionable silence with us. You delight in our praises (Psalm 147:1), and You rejoice over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). Help us to walk in Your Spirit and to wait on Your direction for each moment of our day.

Thought for the Day:
The Lord is good to those who hope in Him and seek His will and guidance in everything we think, say and do. – Lamentations 3:25

A Place of Abiding

We have certain goals in life, which often turn into an idol. We live, dream and breathe these goals, neglecting everything else in our life. We even neglect God in the process. This does not really help us to reach our goals, however; and everything starts to unravel after a while.

These idols also cause negative emotions to rise up in our soul. We get grouchy, intolerant and frustrated. We avoid anyone who threatens our agenda. Negative emotions are a clue that our soul is out of balance. We are either neglecting some aspect we need, or we are pursuing the wrong goals.

When broken dreams, heart-wrenching desperation, and a loss of appetite and sleep wear us down, we finally come to the end of our own resources. We look beyond our human capabilities and we finally trust in the Supreme Ruler of the Universe. God is intimately acquainted with our deepest needs.

God’s Spirit cleanses us and accomplishes His will in our world. He will deliver us from our self, and His Spirit will exchange our carnal nature with the divine nature of Christ (2 Peter 1:4). When we make Jesus Lord, He always give us more than we could ever imagine. When we totally surrender to the work of God’s Spirit in our life, we arrive at the place of abiding.

Prayer:

Father God, bring forth Your Spirit’s fruit in our life until we exhibit them to the world around us, instead of the fruit of the flesh (Galatians 5:22-23, 5:19-21). Once we surrender our idols, which are causing us to sin, Your intimate presence fully returns to our life. Remind us not to lower Your Word to our level of experience, but to elevate Your Word as life-giving Truth.

Thought for the Day:

Temporary disappointments are not failures, but stepping-stones toward the ultimate mountain top experience of abiding in Christ.

Following Jesus’ Example

Jesus lived every moment of His life in dependence on our Father. He did not make His own decisions or live His own life, but consulted the Father throughout His day (Psalm 62:5-12). Our Savior and Brother gave us His perfect example of how God wants each and every Born Again Believer to live his/her life (Romans 8:17); totally surrendered to God and completely expended for Him without any reservations.

 

Christ’s death atoned for the debt of our sin. He died in our place and took our punishment upon His own body (2 Corinthians 12:9). He redeemed us by shedding His own blood (Matthew 26:28). Now He sits on His throne on high and intercedes for us (Hebrews 7:25). He is our advocate with our Father (1 John 2:1). At the same time, He dwells within us by His Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16), empowering us to live a transformed life (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

Jesus is the head of His Body, comprised of His Born Again Saints (1 Corinthians 12:27). The only way for us to truly experience the power of Christ’s resurrection is to conform to His death and become like Him (Philippians 3:10). As we die to our flesh Christ manifests His life in and through us (Romans 6:5). He impliments and perfects His life in us.  As we share in His sufferings, our comfort abounds (2 Corinthians 1:5).

 

Are we ready to die to the world and to our goals, aspirations, desires and wants for God? Does anything in our life mean more to us than God? Jesus did not come to do His will, but our Fathers (John 4:34). Do we have a separate agenda of our own that we prefer to follow instead of God’s will for our life? Living in the center of God’s will is the happiest place on earth.

 

Prayer:

Father God, knowing You in an intimate relationship is the reality of eternal life (John 17:3). We do not need to wait until heaven for this to occur. We can know You now. Bring us into spiritual maturity so that we can obtain the complete fullness of Christ in our body, soul and spirit (Ephesans 4:13). Remind us that as we conform to Jesus’ death, we live victoriously in His life. In eternity, we will also share in His glory (1 Peter 4:13).

 

Thought for the Day:

Only as we die to self will the life of Christ manifest in our life.