To Those who Overcome

All of my Christian life, I heard the verses to the churches in Revelation containing promises to those who overcome. I do not have the moral fiber, mental strength or physical stamina to overcome anything. In other words, I am a wimp!

Whenever I saw or heard those verses, I cringed and shut down mentally and emotionally. As a new Believer, life still frightened me; and yet, I wanted to receive those promises to the overcomer.

Recently, my pastoral husband preached about living as an overcomer and his sermon gave me the key verse that I missed all of these years (1 John 4:4, 5:1-5). We overcome not in our human ability, but through Christ in us (John 16:33; James 1:2-3).

Whoever is born of God automatically overcomes the world, because our faith in Jesus as the Son of God gives us the victory (1 John 5:45). Jesus already overcame the world and He abides in us.

Even in suffering, we glorify God by our example as patient victims (1 Peter 4:12-16; 2 Corinthians 4:17-18). In heaven, we will receive these promises to the overcomer:
• We will eat of the tree of life and hidden manna, and we will receive the white stone of acquittal for our sins along with a new name (Revelation 2:7, 17; 3:12),
• We will rule the nations (Revelation 2:26) and we will be clothed in white, which is the purity of our works (Revelation 19:8).
• We will have our name written in the Lambs’ Book of Life (Revelation 3:5), we will forever serve as a pillar of strength in the temple of our God (Revelation 3:12),
• We will sit with Christ on His throne (Revelation 3:21),
• We will inherit all things as co-heirs with Christ as Children of God (Revelation 21:27),
• We will not experience the second, spiritual death in hell (Revelation 2:11),

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for sending Jesus to do for us what we could never do for our self. Thank Your for taking away the shame and condemnation of our sins, and for making us acceptable in Your beloved family (Ephesians 1:6). Christ in us makes us overcomers, because we are born again of His Spirit and we have faith in His faithfulness (1 John 5:4-5).

If we could live for thousands of years, we would never have enough time to praise You for what You already did and still do for us every day. We look forward to living for eternity in Your Kingdom and to giving You the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Thought for the Day:
Christ in us will overcome anything, which the world, the devil and our flesh throws at us (Galatians 2:20); we are more than conquerors through Christ who lives in us (Romans 8:31-39).

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We Will See Jesus – Part 3

God speaks to us in so many ways: His quiet voice, a thought from a friend, a verse from His Word, a song or a sermon, the numbers on the clock, a particular bird, a butterfly, a blooming flower, etc.

He knows exactly how to show His love to each one of us. Jesus is God and a part of the Trinity (John 8:58). He did not steal equality with God (Philippians 2:6). He is an integral part of the great I AM (John 8:24).

The Godhead is eternally present with us all. As Believers, His presences is within us and is our guarantee of experiencing the glory of our Lord (Colossians 1:27). Our life, past and present and future, belongs to Him.

God pardons our yesterdays and gives us hope for our tomorrows. He encourages us to ask for whatever we need through the authority of His name, and He will provide it for us (Matthew 7:7).

God does this in order to insure our joy now and throughout eternity (John 16:24). He turns our mourning into happiness, our need into abundance, our talents into a ministry and our powerlessness into His anointing (Psalm 30:11-12; 1 Peter 4:10; 1 John 2:27).

Jesus is the Bread of Life, who satisfies our longing and fills our hungry soul (John 6: 35; Psalm 107:9). He is the exact representation of the Godhead, purifies us from our sins, sits at the right hand of God and sustains all things by His powerful word (Hebrews 1:3).

Prayer:
Father God, You are our peace, and You have broken down every wall, which prevents us from seeing Jesus (Judges 6:24; Ephesians 2:14). You are our rock of refuge, fortress of safety, deliverer from sin and shield from fear and our salvation, when we have no other (Psalm 18:2).

Jesus is the brightness of Your coming and the express image of Your person (2 Thessalonians 2:8; Hebrews 1:3). We want nothing more than to see Jesus arise and shine within us as we reflect His glory (Isaiah 60:1-22; 2 Corinthians 3:18).

Thought for the Day:
Once we truly see Jesus, we do not desire anything this world has to offer. He is enough, and He satisfies the longing of our soul (Psalm 107:9). He is our life, and He is all we need (Colossians 3:4; Philippians 4:19).

Struggling with Our Faith – Part 2

Our struggles with our faith come because God does not meet up to our selfish human expectations. He does not answer our prayers or provide for us in the way that He does for other people who claim to preach His Word.

This faulty understanding of God is not scriptural, and must fail in time. Isolated verses from the Bible, taken out of the context of the verses around them and the rest of the verses pertaining to this same issue, are not firm enough on which to rest our faith.

Our faith only grows firmer and stronger as we increase our understanding of God and His ways by considering the whole Bible in its context (Romans 10:17). God’s Holy Spirit comforts, guides and nurtures us in our walk as Believers.

The Spirit of God within us is the truest proof of our relationship to God. We no longer live according to the dictates of our flesh, conscience or human instincts.

Our life changes; we grow discontent with this world and we look forward to serving God for eternity. Reading and believing God’s Word fortifies our faith and hope and fills our Spirit with spiritual food.

Prayer:
Teach us to humble our self and to minister in this world as a servant for Your glory (Matthew 20:26-28). We will stand firm in our faith regardless of either approval or criticism from other people, or how or when You choose to meet our needs. We pray that You will strengthen our loved ones in their inner being, so that they can believe in Jesus through Your Holy Spirit (Ephesians 3:16).

Thought for the Day:
As selfishness, pride and flesh decrease in us, God can fill us through all of our being with all of His fullness. – John 3:30; Ephesians 3:19

God’s Eternal Plan – Part 2

God loves humanity so much that He gave us His Word in the form of Jesus Christ, who left His place in the glories of Heaven and sacrificed His own life to pay the penalty for our sins (John 1:14). God also gave us His Word in written form to give us prophetic encouragement and His truth, as well as advice and instruction, which gives us skill for living in this world (2 Timothy 3:16).

Yet, the carnal mind cannot understand the things of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14). Some people, who were hurt by a Christian or who do not understand why God did not answer their prayer the way they expected Him to, will turn their back on God. They cannot see that the fairy tales Satan feeds them are actually lies, and they call the Bible a book of fairy tales instead (1 Thessalonians 2:11-12).

They end up condemning their self to eternal destruction by their unbelief (John 3:18). They forfeit the blessings of God in their life in order to maintain the illusion of control and independence. They want it said of them, “I did it my way.” They are rebels at heart and will not submit their life to the will of God for them (Ephesians 2:10).

The more we share God’s truth with God Haters, the further it pushes them away from our beloved King. They attribute their success to their own hard work, and little realize that God is sending love on thousands of generations of those who love Him (Exodus 20:6; Deuteronomy 5:10). The only hope for them is that they will respond as God’s Spirit draws them to our Father God (John 6:44).

We simply repent of our sinful thoughts, words and deeds and then surrender control of our life to God. We lose nothing but heartache, disappointment and stress. We gain all the fruit of God’s Spirit, as well as a mind conformed to the mind of Christ (Galatians 5:22-23; Romans 8:29). We live in a blessed environment now and forever, because our Daddy God cares for us so much better than we can ever care for our self.

Prayer:
Father God, You continually prod the children of Your beloved Saints to call out to You for salvation, but they often disregard Your call and warning. Their pride and rebellion resist believing the truths taught to them from the cradle. They prefer to buy into worldly propaganda, which teaches hate for You and Your followers. Of course, many people who are Christians in name only, and not by profession of faith in Christ, are poor examples of an authentic Believer. Please teach us to walk purely before You and please draw these angry unbelievers to Your loving heart.

Thought for the Day:
God haters often attribute hypocritical behavior to Believers, simply because we do not hold to or support their humanistic interpretation of Christ’s teachings.

Not Limiting God

Believers are actually foreigners here on this earth, because this is not our permanent home (John 17:16-18). We are camping out in this tent of flesh, until God calls us home (2 Corinthians 5:1). Our eternal life starts at Salvation, because it is simply an intimate relationship with God and with Jesus, whom He sent to restore us to Himself (John 17:3).

Satan no longer has dominion over us due to Jesus defeating Him and sin and death at His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:57). God redeemed us through Christ and He purifies our life through sanctification (Titus 2:14; Galatians 3:13; Psalm 66:10). The only limits placed on God are those we impose on Him by our unbelief, because with God all things are possible, if we only believe (Luke 1:37).

In the Christian walk, we surrender our life, goals and plans to God’s will for us. We do not make plans and ask God to bless them, because this limits God and what He wants to accomplish through us. God does not want us to work for Him. He gives us the opportunity to give Him control over our life, so that Christ can live in us and work through us (Galatians 2:20: Colossians 3:3).

Jesus does this through His Holy Spirit, whom we receive at salvation. God’s Spirit dwells in us and fills us with His wisdom and power (Romans 8:9; Acts 1:8). We take our focus off the things in this life, because we realize that our citizenship is actually in Heaven (Ephesians 2:19; Philippians 3:19-21). This allows us the privilege of dwelling with God for eternity as His adopted children (Ephesians 1:5).

Prayer:
Father God, we long for the day in which we can live under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, with the government on His shoulders (Isaiah 9:6; Hebrews 11:13-16). Thank You for using creation to preach the gospel to anyone willing to see Your truth (Romans 1:20). In fact, the rocks will cry out if we fail to tell the world of Your love (Luke 19:40). Remind us to faithfully share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with anyone willing to listen. We thank You for redeeming us, for freeing us from the bondage of Satan, death and sin, and for making us part of Your family of Saints. We look forward to You living in us as Your Body for as many years as You have us on this earth; and then living with You, and knowing You even more intimately as the Bride of Christ throughout eternity.

Thought for the Day:
God makes us a holy city and sets us on a hill, so that the whole world can see Him in us (Matthew 5:14-16). We do not belong in this world; we are simply passing through.

Unity with God’s Trinity

God already knows when the world as we know it will end, and our time is in His hands (Is 46:10; Ps 31:15). He is eternal with no beginning or end. As Believers and followers of Christ, we start to see life from an eternal rather than an earthly perspective. We do not regret the past or fear the future. We live in the here and now in the precious arms of God (John 5:25).

We walk in His light, just as He is in the light (1 John 1:7). There is no lack in our life, because He supplies all of our needs according to His glorious riches (Philippians 4:19). Our old nature molts away, layer after layer with each new season of Biblical revelation. We walk in the truth that it is no longer I, but Jesus Christ who lives in and through us (Galatians 2:20).

As the hectic pace of life increases, we need more alone (all-one) times with our Lord and Christ. We schedule times of the week as a priority to spend with God. We may not have an entire day, but we can find several hours where we rest and breathe in His presence (Psalm 46:10). The Spirit will open up opportunities for us if we will watch for them.

After hearing from God in our quiet place, there is no need to strive to walk in the Spirit. We are used to hearing His voice and He loves to commune with us. As we delight in the Lord, He puts His desires in our heart (Psalm 37:4). He works out His will in us for His glory. God’s Spirit controls our thoughts, words and deeds more and more often.

Intimate communication with God will nurture peace in our soul. If we make the time and effort to be still before the Lord, His strength infuses our spirit (Psalm 46:10). We have no need to fear, even if our whole world turns upside down (Habakkuk 3:17-19). Jesus Christ becomes for us our refuge and our tower of strength to help in any time of trouble (Psalm 46:1-3).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us to allow You to crucify our flesh so that we can walk in unity with Your Trinity. You commune with us, not in a loud oppressive voice, but in Your still, small voice that confidently tells us which way to go. As we follow Your directives, we end up walking in Your Spirit to accomplish Your will on the earth, rather than living to fulfill the lust of the old, dying fleshly human nature (Galatians 5:16-25).

Thought for the Day:
Even while playing Scrabble I learn to discern the voice of God as I obey that still, small nudge to form letters into words that I do not even know; and this carries over into every day life as I read His Word and follow His direction throughout the day.

God’s Everlasting Love

Our help in times of tribulation and loss comes from the Lord (Psalm 121:1-2). He is the God of Creation (Genesis 1:1), Redemption (Ephesians 1:7) and Protection (Psalm 121:7). As Creator, He not only created the cosmos in the beginning, He will also restore all things with a new Heaven and a new Earth (Revelation 21:1). As Redeemer, God saves Believers and protects us so that we will never perish (John 3:16-18).

To receive these blessings, we admit our need for a Savior. We all fall short of His glory, and deserve death; however, God gives us eternal life when we turn from our sinful lifestyle and trust in Him to save us (Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:8). We confess that we are sinners, believe in our heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, and we shall be saved (Roman 10:9).

We can live in confidence, because we know that God is protecting us through every trial and in all of our grief. As with Daniel in the lion’s den, the Hebrew children in the fiery furnace and the valley of the shadow of death, God does not save us from the suffering; but as we live through it, He walks with us, as well as in us (Colossians 1:27).

God collects our tears in His bottle and He records the events in His book. He will bring revenge on those who hurt us (Romans 12:19). When we pray, God works on our behalf. We can trust Him without hesitation, realizing that no one can do anything to us without God’s consent (Psalm 56:8-11). We will live for eternity and no one can ever snatch us away from Him (John 10:28).

Prayer:
Father God, I confess that I am a sinner. I repent of my sins and I turn to You for salvation. I believe in You and trust You to take control of my life. Thank you for creating me, redeeming me and providing for me every day of my life. You are there for me in the light and the darkness. You carry me through every trial and comfort me in all of my grief (Psalm 68:19).

Thought for the Day:
As we flee from temptation and please God, we will increase in grace and knowledge of all that the Lord means to us. – 2 Timothy 2:22-24; 2 Peter 3:18