Carried by the Angels

In life or in death, God gives His angels charge over us to safeguard us through every trial and affliction. They lift us up in their hands, protecting us and even preventing us from stubbing our toe (Psalm 91:11).

When we die, these powerful, supernatural beings escort our spirit and soul into eternity (Luke 16:22). We confidently know that to be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8).

Whenever we are afraid of life or of death, we can make a conscious effort to still our soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions – and to put our trust in God (Psalm 56:3).

Our Lord God is with us wherever we go in this life or in the next. This fact makes us strong and provides us with confidence and courage (Joshua 1:9).

We have no need to fear any entity, because God set His safeguards in place to care for us (Isaiah 40:10-13). As we keep our thoughts centered on Him, God keeps us in His perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3).

Even if something bad happens to us, God promises to bring good from it (Romans 8:28). Maybe that good is nothing more than for us to encourage someone else suffering right along with us.

Once we surrender our will to God’s will, we stop worrying about the headline news or what might happen a moment from now. We live in God’s rest in this one moment of time, knowing that God has a perfect plan for us in all of our future moments.

The Creator of the Universe lives within us by His Holy Spirit through our relationship with Jesus Christ. He has plans both for our life and the day of our death (Psalm 139; Ecclesiastes 7:1).

It encourages us to realize that our last breath on this earth is followed by our first breath in heaven, and that it is literally that quick.

Prayer:
Father God, we do not know our future or that of America; You did not mention America in Your Word. Israel is Your chosen nation, and these end times are about the salvation of Your nation, Your judgment on the nations who turned their back on You and casting Satan in the lake of fire for eternity.

Thank You for giving Your angels charge to carry us in their hands. As Your Saints and authentic Believers, we are Your Bride, Your Church and Your Body. You effectively care about and for each and every one of us now and always (1 Peter 5:7). We have no need to fear (Hebrews 13:5-6).

Thought for the Day:
God is our Father; and Father Knows Best. – Psalm 91

I’m Dying to Go to Heaven

We often say, “I’m dying … to go to the mall” (or for some ice cream, or for a new dress, etc). No one ever says, “I’m dying to go to Heaven.”

When we are ill, regardless of our age, we spend exorbitant amounts of money and time devoted to living. We applaud one another, saying, “She fought hard to live.”

When a person decides to allow their body to die, we say, “Oh, he just gave up” or “She had no more will to live.” We view life as the ultimate prize to be battled for above all else.

Yet, death is a Christian’s privilege (Philippians 1:21). The death of God’s Saints is precious in His sight (Psalm 116:15). We leave this temporal realm and enter into His eternal realm forever.

God made all of the intricate parts of our body, knitting them together in our mother’s womb. Our body, soul and spirit are wondrously complex and God’s workmanship in us is marvelous (Psalm 139:13-15).

Since God does not dwell in time, He saw us before we were ever born and laid out every moment of our life before we even lived one day of it (Psalm 139:16).

God views the day of our death as better than the day of our birth (Ecclesiastes 7:1). He sends us an angel escort to bring our soul and spirit into His presence (Luke 16:22).

His Saints will never die again, but live eternally in the same respect as the angels. We are children of the Living God, raised from death into true life (Luke 20:36).

God is our guide through death and forever and ever (Psalm 48:14). Even in death, He gives the righteous His refuge (Proverbs 14:32). When we die, our real life is just beginning.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that when we are ill, rather than dreading death or fighting it, our body, soul and spirit can be filled with joy. You do not leave us in the grave. You allow us to experience the joys of life, and then bring us into the peace and joy of Your eternal presence (Psalm 16:9-11).

We can confidently say that when we leave this mortal body, we shall be in Your glorious presence (2 Corinthians 5:8). We simply fold up this earthly tent, and then our soul and spirit go to Your house (2 Corinthians 5:1). Thank You, that at the coming of Your Son, we will leave our corruptible body behind and put on our immortal body to serve You for eternity (1 Corinthians 15:53-54).

Thought for the Day:
God is a refuge for the poor and oppressed in our times of trouble; we trust in Him because He never forsakes anyone who humbly seeks Him, not even in death.

– Psalm 9:9-10

Come as a Child

Unless we are little children, we cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 18:3). Not a child in age, size or maturity; but a child at heart – innocent and captivating.

When I took my first baby on his inaugural stroll in the park, I realized that he had no recognition of what his little blue eyes gazed upon.

A tree, leaf, bird, flower, clouds, ants, beetles were unremarkable to him. He had no reference point, no knowledge to draw from, in order to categorize what he saw.

With a clean slate for a mind, a pure heart and total trust in my care, he gurgled with his head bobbing from side-to-side to take in all the sights and sounds.

Unspoiled by the negative influences, harmful people and ungodly choices in life, he relied on me to meet all of His needs (1 Corinthians 14:20). I wanted to protect him from harm and hurt and to bring him joy all the days of his life.

As human parents we are either aggressive, permissive, nurturing or a combo of these parenting styles. God calls us to love in a nurturing manner with unconditional love, just as He fathers us (Luke 11:13; 1 John 3:16).

Our Father God calls us to come to Him as children with innocent trust in His faithfulness (Matthew 19:14). Those who are converted, humble and childlike will have the greatest position in God’s eternal Kingdom in Heaven (Matthew 18:3-4).

Prayer:
Father God, as Your children, our angels are always presenting our needs to You (Matthew 18:10). You protect us as the apple of Your eye (Deuteronomy 32:10). You are our Father when our natural fathers abandon us, and you set us in families when we are lonely (Psalm 68:5-6).

You know what we need even before we ask for it (Matthew 6:8). We have constant and continual access to You and help from You through Christ by Your Spirit (Ephesians 2:18). Thank You for lavishing Your love on Your children (1 John 3:1).

Thought for the Day:
In times of trial and adversity, we calm and quiet our soul like a contented, weaned child. – Psalm 131:2

School of Hard Knocks

Life often sends us through a crash course at the School of Hard Knocks. We feel overwhelmed and hopeless, because of the weight of disappointment smothering the life right out of us.

As authentic Born Again Believers, we have Father God, Brother Jesus and their Spirit – who defend, protect, advise, guide, provide for and love us, so much that Jesus laid down His own life for us (1 John 2:1; John 14:16, 15:13).

We can have faith in God’s faithfulness, because He proves His love for us each moment of every day. He provides a miracle to accompany every trial, such as: spiritual growth, lessons learned, or blessings, which come in spite of our suffering.

In our trials, God surrounds us with His ministering angels, provides for our needs, builds our faith, gives us wisdom to share with others, and uses us as an example of one who maintains faith in God (Hebrews 1:14; Philippians 4:19; 1 Peter 1:7; Luke 22:32).

God’s Spirit uses trials to shape in us the fruit of His Spirit: love, joy, faith, patience, gentleness, goodness, meekness, self-control and faith (Galatians 5:22-23; James 1:3).

God also teaches us contentment, which fills our heart regardless of the severity of the circumstances (Philippians 4:11-12). God continually abides in us through everything we ever experience (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 1:27).

At times, Satan tempts us to blame God for our losses and to feel anger towards Him for what we perceive as Him letting us down. However, God sees the big picture and He allows trials for our ultimate good.

Prayer:
Father God, as we live through the school of hard knocks, remind us to adopt an attitude of joyful acceptance and thanksgiving. Help us to focus on Your sovereign purpose in everything we experience (Romans 8:28). Remind us to trust in Your foreknowledge and grace (Romans 8:29; Hebrews 4:16).

Your infinite ways exceed our finite human understanding; therefore, we can always trust that You have our good at heart.
We trust in Your faithfulness to fulfill all of Your promises, even when the circumstances appear hopeless.

Thought for the Day:
Praising God in and through trials helps us to feel contentment in spite of them and gratitude for His presence in us through each one of them. – 1 Thessalonians 5:18; John 17:23

In The Center of God’s Will

To be in the center of God’s will is the happiest place on earth. This may include a single life, illness, persecution, a missionary position far from home, physical handicaps, an unhappy marriage, the death of a loved one, a challenging child, or any number of other negative circumstances, which occur in life. Yet, God’s love is with us and in us through each moment of every day.

God has good plans for us, even through the negative atmosphere or issues we experience in our life (Jeremiah 29:11). He always works out even the most horrendous concerns for our good (Romans 8:28). The good news is that unless we fail to walk in God’s will for our life, nothing will occur, which is not already part of His plan for us (1 Thessalonians 5:16-19).

God encourages us to submit to His sanctifying work in our life (1 Thessalonians 4:3). This is how He endows us with what we need to perform His will as part of His family (Hebrews 13:21; Mark 3:34-35). He forms us into the image of Christ and gives us His Word to light up our path throughout our lifetime. He even gives His angels charge over us, so that we do not stumble or fall (Psalm 119:105; Psalm 91:11).

If we struggle to hear God’s Holy Spirit, or to find His exact will in any situation, we can pause, give Him our focused attention and listen. If we ask, He promises to generously give us wisdom in every area of our life (James 1:5). By walking in God’s Spirit we will silence Satan’s lies and the foolish talk of ignorant people who disparage God and His people (Galatians 5:15-25; 1 Peter 2:15).

Prayer:
Father God, we put our entire trust in You with our whole heart. We refuse to listen to the vain imaginations of our mind or to rely on our human understanding in making decisions. We seek Your will for each moment of our day and we will stop, be still and wait on You for your direction for each activity, which You prompt us to do (Psalm 27:14; Psalm 46:10). We know that by seeking Your will instead of our own, we will walk on the right path throughout our life and we will please You with all of our thoughts, words and deeds (Psalm 27:11).

Thought for the Day:
As the Holy Spirit transforms us by renewing our mind, we will be living proof of the good, acceptable and perfect will of God.
– Romans 12:2

Our Future with Christ

As you know, Jesus is God; yet, He became a man to pay the penalty for our sins. He endured the cross by keeping His focus on the joy that awaited Him back in Heaven. We too can enjoy this same love and peace, as we keep our mind focused on Him (Isaiah 26:3). Through Christ, everything in the universe was created (Colossians 1:16). His everlasting joy can reside in our heart forever (Psalm 16:11).

God’s gifts for us are free and include our ticket to Heaven through the forgiveness of our sin (Romans 6:23). We do not need to earn our own salvation or pay the penalty of our sins (Galatians 2:16). He completes the work in us, which He began on Calvary (Philippians 1:6). Jesus also perfects our faith, as He sits on His throne with God in Heaven (Hebrews 12:2).

God always gives us His grace to avoid temptation and to accomplish the works He created us to do (Ephesians 2:10; 2 Corinthians 9:8). All the grace we need in any and all circumstances are just a prayer away (2 Corinthians 9:8). He also supplies all of our financial, physical, mental and emotional needs in this earthly existence as we walk in His Spirit and obey His Word (Philippians 4:19).

We will all pass from life through death; however, angels escort authentic Believers to the presence of God (Luke 16:22). Our last breath on earth is followed by our next breath in Heaven. We will never sin or die again (Romans 8:21; 1 Corinthians 15:52-53). In eternity, we look forward to serving Christ and having the fullness of His character and divine nature complete in us (2 Corinthians 5:8; 1 John 3:2).

Prayer:
Father God, regardless of the pains and suffering that we endure on this earth, we are assured that You gave us an advocate in Christ (John 16:33; Hebrews 4:15). Thank You for sending Jesus to free us from our debt of sin and to help us to bear the pain of our current situation (2 Corinthians 4:17). We thank You that Christ is in us and is our hope of eternal glory with You (Colossians 1:27). We look forward with great joy to living as a co-heir with Christ of Your entire Kingdom (Romans 8:17).

Thought for the Day:
We will enjoy the presence of God for eternity and our joy will be exceedingly full. – Psalm 43:4; 1 Peter 3:18

The “god” of This World

Before God created the Universe, He created angels (Revelation 5:11-14; Hebrews 1:14). Lucifer rebelled against God, and God cast him and his followers to earth. Then, Adam’s sin forfeited dominion over the earth to Satan (1 Peter 5:8; John 10:10; Revelation 12:10). However, we live in a scientific age now, where technology reigns and thoughts of the devil seem more like a medieval fairytale.

Most people today doubt the existence of the devil. They even discount the Bible’s teachings about the devil and demons and demonic activity in spiritual places. The world pictures Satan as an impotent, little red demon with a pitchfork, a long tail, and horns coming out of his head. Most people who believe in God still do not believe in the devil.

One of Satan’s greatest triumphs is in causing people not to take him seriously. He deceives people by masquerading as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14; Isaiah 14:12). Satan will do anything he can, and use any means at his disposal to oppose and try to destroy the work of God and to take people to hell with him. Hell is a place that is prepared for Satan, his demons and unbelievers (Matthew 25:41; John 3:18).

Many people are actually ignorant and blind to Satan’s strategy, power and plans. Our self-confidence overestimates our own abilities and underestimates the power of our spiritual enemies. Yet, other people see the devil and demons behind every rock and in every person. Some churches preach about Satan more than they exalt our Lord, Jesus Christ. They have more fear of the devil then they have faith in God.

Satan cannot do anything to us without God’s permission. Then, God uses that trial for our ultimate good (Job 1:6-12; Romans 8:28). God advises us to put on His armor to withstand our spiritual enemies (Ephesians 6:10-18). He gives great spiritual power to those who believe (Ephesians 1:19). Ultimately, Christ in us is greater than any demon or person in the world (1 John 4:4).

Prayer:
Father God, the devil targets lost sheep, in order to keep them addicted to the world, the flesh and his wiles (Ephesians 2:1-3). He walks about the earth as a lion, seeking people to destroy (1 Peter 5:8). Help us to take Your warning seriously about Satan being a thief who comes to pilfer, wound and mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually annihilate anyone silly enough to follow his plan for their life (John 10:10).

Thought for the Day:
The Bible makes it clear that Satan is still alive and well on planet earth; and he successfully infiltrates the mind of unbelievers and deals a mighty blow to each successive generation.

Love from the Inside Out

Our salvation has nothing to do with a mental assent, church attendance, Bible reading or believing in doctrine. We are saved only by faith in Christ’s redemptive work for us on Calvary’s cross. After salvation, we inevitably start sharing in our Savior’s sufferings. Our friends forsake us and many in our family consider us out of our mind.

God does not send us alone into rejection, peril, illness or catastrophe; but He walks through trials with us and in us. God’s love is always enveloping us. He surrounds us with His ministering angels to protect us and to provide for us, even in places like jail, the hospital or a mental institution (Hebrews 1:14). When those we know and love turn against us, Jesus will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

Prior to Salvation, we did not see God’s love in the perils of life. We did not look for the good in our trials and we blamed Him for them (Romans 8:28). Only the humble will hear of God’s faithfulness and be glad (Psalm 34:2). We all know that life in this world is very insecure. No one can prevent difficulty. Hardships come to us all. However, Jesus is the advocate, which never fails us (Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1).

God loves us and uses us to share His love with the world around us.
God’s divine nature in us is the supreme guarantee of His presence and nothing is higher or more powerful than Him. God’s Biblical promises and prophecy, His trustworthiness, archeological evidence and personal testimonies of His dealings with humanity all converge to give us a solid basis for our faith in Him.

Prayer:
Father God, our human tendency is to trust in our self for our well-being. However, life throws us curve balls, projected by sin and the curse bestowed on us by Adam and Eve. The wise soon learn not to lean on our own wisdom, but to put all of our faith in Your faithfulness (Proverbs 3:5-6). The proud have no place in Your Kingdom (James 4:6), so teach us to submit humbly to Your will for us, because Your love is greater than we can ever imagine.

Thought for the Day:
Every other love in our life is from the outside, but Jesus lives in us and loves us from the inside out.

Every Waking Moment

Who is mankind, that our holy God would give us a moment of His attention? We are nothing, worthless and the foulest form of life on this planet. Yet, God lowered Himself below the angels, and became a man, in order to save us and to bring us into eternity with Him forever (Psalm 8:4-6). Amazingly, God gives us His full consideration, care and affection now and always (Job 7:17).

If we relinquish control of our life to God’s Spirit, He brings us into the presence of our Father God through Jesus Christ, illuminates God’s Word to us and guides us to do God’s will (John 14:26). The Spirit then begins the lifelong process of sanctifying us as His holy temple (1 Corinthains 6:19). He slowly transforms us into the image of Jesus Christ’s perfect, divine nature (Romans 8:29; 2 Peter 1:4).

Each moment of our day, the Holy Spirit endeavors to bring us into the rest of God. We thwart Him by filling our hours with busyness. We cause our self to experience fits of stress and high blood pressure, because we do not allow our self to enter into God’s rest (Hebrews 4:10). Yet, God’s Spirit continually draws us ever deeper into fellowship with God until we finally, completely surrender to Him.

Then, we learn to walk in the holiness of God’s precepts. His Spirit puts His love in our hearts for one another, so that we are proof of His existence (John 13:34-35). Christ in us loves the brethren through us by His Holy Spirit. As we seek God first, His Spirit will direct us in loving one another according to His will, without enabling one another.

Prayer:
Father God, our ultimate joy is to live in Your presence, filled with Your Son, Jesus, and empowered by Your Spirit, who abides in us. Christ in us is our only hope of entering into Your glorious Kingdom (Colossians 1:27). Give us a burden for the lost, so we can reclaim them for Your Kingdom (Mark 16:15). Even the angels in heaven rejoice when one sinner repents and comes back to You (Luke 15:10).

Thought for the Day:
May we surrender our every waking moment into service for our God and King.

God’s Unfailing Love

God hears our prayers and answers them (Psalm 40:1; Micah 7:7). When our soul faints from trials and stress, we can put our hope in the Word of the Lord (Psalm 119:81). Our soul finds its rest in the Lord of our salvation, because our hope comes from Him (Psalm 62:1,5). When we trust in His Word, others who also fear the Lord will rejoice because they see our testimony of His provision (Psalm 119:74).

At times, we may feel disheartened or discouraged without any reason. God is putting a burden on our heart and we have no idea who to pray for or what is going on (Romans 8:26). However, God’s Holy Spirit knows and wants us to pray for God to work in these lives, for Him to send His ministering angels to protect them and for Him to provide for them in every area of their need. Prayer changes lives.

Even if we are the ones living through a time of illness, unemployment or estrangement from a child, spouse or parent. These negative circumstances give us an occasion to spend time alone with God. This is often one of the most precious periods of our life. As we linger in God’s presence, our soul is filled with strength, peace, love and courage.

Protect against limiting God’s glory by doubts and insecurities. Trust in His faithfulness to see us through every trial life throws in our path. He promises to work out even the most horrendous circumstances for our good (Romans 8:28). God’s love is unfailing and His deliverance is abundant (Psalm 27:14, 130:5,7; Isaiah 8:17). He is our help and our protection (Psalm 33:20).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us to spend time in worship and adoration all throughout the day. We thank You for all of the special “hugs” You give us in both the simple and complex ways You order our life. As we bask in Your presence, cover us with Your love and glory and fill us to the brink with Your Holy Spirit, so that we can accomplish Your will for our day.

Thought for the Day:
As we immerse our self in fellowship with God, His Holy Spirit fills our soul with inexpressible joy and transforms us into the divine nature of Christ. – 1 Peter 1:7-9; 2 Peter 1:3-4