God is True and Faithful

In these last days, there are many deceiving spirits, which are traversing the world and weaving their deception in the hearts of men and women who are not grounded in the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:13).

The devil keeps his demons busy looking for gullible people whom he can deceive with his lies and vain philosophies (Colossians 2:8). He is the deceiver of the whole world (Revelation 12:9).

Satan sends false prophets who convince people that they are the Christ or that they come from Christ, but who are actually lawless and have grown cold in their love for the things of God (Matthew 24:4-12).

Although God’s invisible attributes are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness, these with their false doctrine, suppress the truth and keep people from believing what God reveals in our conscience and in nature (Romans 1:18-22).

Those of us who are deceived have no valid excuse not to believe in God, because He reveals His glory to everyone who ever lives; and we condemn our self to hell by our choice not to believe in Jesus (John 3:16-18; Obadiah 1:3; Proverbs 28:26).

This occurs because of our stubborn pride, lustful desires and our trust in what our foolish heart tells us is true. We allow these deceivers to draw us away from the simplicity of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3).

Yet, those of us who forsakes evil company and withstand this temptation will receive the crown of life and every good and perfect gift, which the Lord promises to those who love Him (James 1:12-17; 1 Corinthians 15:33).

Prayer:
Father God we know that You will not be mocked. If we sow to the flesh, we will reap corruption (1 Corinthians 6:9-10); but if we sow to the Spirit, we will enjoy the fruit of Your righteousness and reap everlasting life (Galatians 6:7-8).

Those of us who sell our soul to the flesh, the world and the devil will inherit our part in the brimstone lake of fire and the second death (Revelation 21:8). Even those of us who trust in our own goodness to get to heaven will end up deceived and disappointed (Matthew 7:21-23). It is only as we trust in Your Son, Jesus, that we find the ultimate way, truth and life (John 14:6).

Thought for the Day:
God is true and faithful and His promises remain forever.
– Romans 3:4

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Our Infinite God

Through the cross of Calvary, Jesus reigns victorious over death, redeems sinners by grace and sets our feet dancing through life (Psalm 30:11). He has specific plans for our life and leads us, provides for us and strengthens us to do His will (Philippians 2:12-13).

Those who refuse to believe in Christ actually condemn themselves to an eternity in hell. The choice is ours. God does not force anyone to believe.

He simply offers the Gospel as our opportunity for salvation. What we do with His gift is our choice (Romans 6:23). God redeems people from every family, tribe, society and nation of the world through the blood of Christ.

We are all one family, one Body, one Temple of God’s Spirit. He transforms us into kings and priests to serve Him on this earth (Revelation 5:9-10). He allows us to dwell together in unity under His government (Isaiah 9:6).

God connects us all by a common thread of the cross of Calvary. We have brothers and sisters from centuries past and from every community on earth. We will have quite a time in heaven getting to know one another.

We are all one in Christ – one Trinity and one Body, with one purpose for eternity. God’s Spirit dwells within us all, unifying us, guiding us, counseling us and interceding for us through feelings, which at times we cannot even put into words (Romans 8:26).

We live a life of pardon, protection, provision, promise and privilege. Our infinite God reigns supreme in our finite existence, providing us with hope, renewal and everlasting life.

God restores our soul (Psalm 23:4) by healing our past and giving us hope for the future. He gives us absolute Truth through Christ and His Word, and helps us to focus on what is important in this life and the next.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for the fellowship which we enjoy with Your Trinity every moment of every day. Your eternal promise restores our equilibrium and keeps us walking on the straight and narrow road. Keep us ever faithful regardless of our circumstances and teach us all things by Your Spirit (1 John 2:24-27).

Help us to see that daily study of Your Word keeps us centered on what is truly important in this life and the next, with faith in Your faithfulness through the uncertainty which faces us every day. Give us Your strength to stand strong in adversity and erase our doubts with Your truth.

Thought for the Day:
Whatever distracts us from total dedication to and dependence on God is our enemy, regardless of how good and innocent it appears at the time.

The Just Live by Faith

When we consider the sower of seed in Jesus’ parable, only one-fourth of the seed fell on good ground where it rooted and flourished.

When we realize the reception that Christ received while He lived on this earth, it puts things into clear perspective. If mankind would not receive Jesus when they could see Him, far fewer will believe in Him when they cannot see Him (Romans 10:14-15).

Most humans rely on finite, physical senses and limited mental powers in analyzing truth. If it does not feel right, then we reject it. Satan is right there making sure that the things of God make no human sense.

That is why faith is stressed so often in Biblical passages. The just live by faith and not by sight (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38). The unjust live by sight and not by faith. They mock faith and scorn those of us living by it.

Yet, we have more than blind faith. The Bible declared that the earth was round long before Columbus ever disproved the common myth that it was flat. Science is always catching up with the Bible.

Not one archaeological discovery ever disproved God’s written Word, while many historic finds prove the veracity of the Bible. Yet, people prefer to believe the lies, which Satan continually propagates as truth, rather than the Truth of God’s Word.

Unbelievers choose to trust in science, math and technology rather than in the reality of Jesus Christ. They believe in theories and hypothesis – even those with missing links – as if they are facts of truth.

Sadly, only one-fourth of the world’s population throughout the ages will ever believe in Christ and surrender their heart and soul to Him. Let us continually pray for and share our testimony with anyone who is willing to listen.

Prayer:
Father God, Jesus Christ generously gave His life to offer the whole world Your promise of everlasting life. It is for all people everywhere with no distinction of color, race, creed, shape, size or intelligence.

However, more people reject Your generous offer than receive it with whole-hearted devotion and thanksgiving. Pride and rebellion have always run rampant on the earth and self-reliance is the mantra. Give us opportunities to share Your truth with anyone who is willing to receive it.

Thought for the Day:
Good things are very often the enemy of the best things; yet, so many people are willing to take second best and base their entire life on it.

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

The Name of the Lord – Meanings and Uses

Most names have a meaning and may describe the person’s character, nature and attributes. This was true even in Bible times. God also used different names in order to describe Himself to us.

It is valuable for us to study and understand the power, provision and protection we have in God’s name. The main point is that the name of the Lord is a high tower; and when we run into it, we are safe (Proverbs 8:10). God never abandons us on this earth and is always with us (Hebrew 13:5).

The first word in the Bible referring to God is Elohim – a plural word denoting the Trinity and identifying God as Creator (Genesis 1:1, 26). Other names are:
El Shaddai (Almighty one who nourishes and supplies)
Immanuel (God with us)
Eli (My God)
YHWH (God or the Lord)
Pater (Father)
Kurios (Lord)
I AM (John 8:58)
The Rock (Jesus)
God of hosts (Amos 5:27)
Branch (Zechariah 6:12)
YAH (Revelation 19:1-6)
Onoma (the Word of God, Revelation 19:13)
Shammah (present)
Maccaddeshcem (Sanctifier, Exodus 31:13)
Tsidkenu (our righteousness)
Yahweh Nissi (Our ‘banner of victory that glistens’)
Yahweh Shalom (our peace, full, complete, finished, and perfect)
Yahweh Adonai (the one who is and who reigns)
Yahweh Jireh (the one who provides and who sees before time)
Yahweh Rophe (The adequate healer)
Yahweh Sabbaoth (The Lord of Hosts of the armies of heaven)
Adonai (the One who owns and rules over all)
El Olam (the everlasting, unchanging and God of inexhaustible strength)

Jesus manifests God’s name to us (John 17:6). We too glorify His name and consecrate our life to Him in holiness; so that we never bring shame to His name (Leviticus 21:6). We are a dwelling place for His name.

We proclaim God’s name to one another in worship and sing His praises (Hebrews 2:12); we bless His name (Psalm 100:4); give thanks to His name (Psalm 140:13; Hebrews 13:15); call upon His name (Exodus 34:5; Acts 22:16; 1 Corinthians 1:12); and walk in His name (Zechariah 10:12).

When we focus our love on God, He delivers us. He sets us up on the Rock of Christ, when we believe in His Holy name (Psalm 27:5). God gives His angels charge over us, to protect our every step, and even to prevent us from stubbing our toe (Psalm 91:11).

Prayer:
Father God, teach us to give thought to the reverence, which we owe to Your name, and the power, which we have in Your name. If two or three gather in Your name, You are is in our midst (Matthew 18:20). If we receive a child in Your name, You and Jesus receive us (Matthew 18:5; Mark 9:37; Luke 9:48).

Remind us that whatever we do, even if it is a spoken word or some mundane action, You call us to do it in the name of the Lord Jesus. We give thanks through Christ to You (Colossians 3:17; Ephesians 5:20).

Thought for the Day:
When we remember and appeal to His name, God comes and blesses us. – Exodus 20:24; Numbers 5:27

No Longer Condemned

Regardless of our struggles as Believers in Christ, no action on our part can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:31-39). We are no longer condemned, because Christ set us free (Romans 8:1).

When certain sins continue to entice us, we can ask God to reveal the need in us, which they supply. He gives us wisdom on how to meet those needs in a Godly fashion, and we no longer desire sin.

All sin is rooted in unbelief, because whatever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:22-23). Satan will even attempt to condemn us with shame for our lack of faith; yet, we can cry out to God, “I believe, help my unbelief” (Mark 9:23-25).

We reject the devil’s condemnation, and respond with repentance and surrender to the conviction of God’s Holy Spirit. As we strive to enter God’s rest, we abide in His peace and joy (Hebrews 10:4; Romans 14:17).

Choosing to refrain from running off on our own tangents, we reduce our need to cry out to God to find us and restore us back to a life in the center of His will (Luke 15:4).

Centering our life with our source in Christ in us, we do only those works, which God preordained for us to do (Ephesians 2:10, 3:17). We walk in the Spirit instead of in the flesh (Galatians 5:15-25).

We find our fulfillment in this life by walking the straight and narrow road (Matthew 7:14). We rejoice in the Lord always in every situation, because of His love and presence residing within us (Philippians 4:4).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for providing for us the pearl of great price to pay the ransom for our sins and to set us free from Satan’s lies (Matthew 13:45-46). We rejoice in knowing that we are wholly Yours and that You have a purpose for our individual life (Ephesians 2:10).

Remind us that we no longer live, but Christ lives in and through us, directing our day and giving us the desire and the power to accomplish Your will for each moment (Philippians 2:12-13; 2 Corinthians 4:11). We give You all of the praise and glory forever and ever.

Thought for the Day:
Satan tells us that we will never measure up and be enough, but Christ died for us and reminds us that in Him we are complete. – Job 19:26; Colossians 2:10

Our Strong Tower

As an infant, most of us are properly cared for by our parents; although, more often in these days in which we live, children are no longer cherished and nurtured.

Regardless of our upbringing, however, life rarely pulls its punches. It deals out a lifetime of hard knocks, abuse, neglect and disappointments.

We learn to keep more to our self, in order to give people and circumstances fewer chances to hurt us. We want to stay safe from a world, which often frightens us.

We continue to reach out to other people, and to help them in any way we can; but suspicion taints the way we view people and opportunities, which come our way.

We are programmed to believe that the good times will never last, because they never did in the past. We stop looking forward to things; and we never believe promises, because they rarely if ever happen.

We miss opportunities, which we would enjoy, because we are afraid to trust the leading of God’s Spirit. We stay home rather than to take risks to meet new people and to share God’s love with them.

We learn to build walls to hide behind in an attempt to protect our self. However, these very walls only serve to keep us restrained in the confinement of our own making.

We try to escape these walls through addictions, the wrong friends and mate, busyness, hobbies, projects and over-achieving in areas, which do not really matter.

We imprison our true self behind those walls, which were meant to keep us safe. We can never live a full life as long as we continue to hinder our whole body, soul and spirit from living free in Christ (Galatians 5:1).

Prayer:
Father God, we wall up our heart, because vulnerability makes us susceptible to victimization and neglect. You advise us to guard our heart from sin, but not from other people. You actually expose us to disappointment in this life to show us the magnitude of Your continual love and nurture for us.

Remind us that when we are the weakest and the most vulnerable, then You are the strongest and closest to us in order to fight on our behalf (2 Corinthians 12:9-11; Exodus 14:14; Deuteronomy 3:22).

Therefore, we can entrust our body, soul and spirit to You and Your protection and care (Psalm 55:22; 1 Peter 5:7). We can run into the safety of Your everlasting arms (Isaiah 41:10).

Thought for the Day:
We fear vulnerability; therefore, we hide our true self behind walls of our own making; but God protects us from our enemies and is a strong tower into which we can run and be safe. – Psalm 18:2, 10