The Call of Nature

In our world of higher education, instant information networks and self-reliance, the message of the Gospel of Christ makes no sense at all to most people.

 

The paradoxes and spiritual content of the Bible serve as a stumbling stone to those too proud to accept the self-effacing offer of salvation through Jesus Christ.

 

However, once we humble our self under the mighty hand of God, we immediately recognize that Jesus completely submitted to death on Calvary’s Cross to bring freeing redemption to us all.

 

We also surrender to the call of God to sacrifice our life for Him in return. The surrendered life is not one of defeat, but of relinquishing control. This means that we stop resisting the love of God and accept His courtship.

 

We acknowledge His substitution in paying the penalty of our sins and yield to His Lordship over our life. We recognize the superiority of God’s plan for our life over our own goals and ambitions.

 

We consult Him about all of our decisions and submit to His direction of our steps (Proverbs 3:5-6). We live in the reality of His presence now and look forward to the hope of His glory to come (Colossians 1:27).

 

Many people waste so much of their life running from God’s beauty and bounty. They live in rebellion to the call, which even nature makes for us to surrender to its Creator (Romans 1:20).

 

God never invades our life, but always waits to be invited. The beauty of the surrendered life is that we die to the carnal flesh and hide our life with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). We cease from our own labors and enter into God’s rest (Hebrews 10:4).

 

Prayer:

Father God, once we completely understand Your love for us, we go beyond obedience and also surrender our life entirely to You. Then, we learn what it means to truly live in abundant freedom and victory (Romans 6:16-18; Mark 8:35).

 

We no longer internalize the pain that life deals out to us, because we are hidden with Christ in You. Regardless of trials and anguish we may experience, we walk in spiritual serenity which elevates us emotionally, spiritually, mentally, physically and behaviorally. We find our constant joy in You as patience does her perfecting work in us (James 1:4).
Thought for the Day:

We enter a life hidden with Christ in God, which we formerly believed to be one of servitude, only to discover that it is actually a liberating union as a King’s kid. – Colossians 3:3-4

 

 

Our Firm Foundation

Our spiritual maturity is validated by our ability to rest in God, even when negative emotions overwhelm us. God is never absent or distant.

He simply lets go of our hand occasionally, so that we can take some faltering steps on our own. God is always right there with us; in fact, He never, ever leaves or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5).

When we experience anxiety, sleeplessness, stress, unforgiveness and trials, it does not mean God went somewhere.

We simply stopped dwelling in our spirit and focused instead on our soul – our mind, will and emotions. Considering the needs of our soul is vital to a fulfilled life; but we cannot dwell there.

The tyranny of life keeps us tied up in knots, running in two directions at one time and burning the candle from both ends at once. This is a recipe for destruction.

If we focus instead on the finished work of Christ on Calvary’s cross and His resurrection from the dead, we have a solid foundation on which to build our life.

Prayer:
Father God, You meet with us in our spirit and You are with us always, but You help us to grow up into a mature person who lives with faith in Your faithfulness. You occasionally let go of our hand to teach us to walk in Your Spirit.

If we build our life on the instability of this world, storms will demolish all of our best laid plans and foundation. If we wisely choose Christ as our foundation, our life will stand firm regardless of the most torrential circumstance (Matthew 7:24-27).

Thought for the Day:
This world is not our true home; we are simply doing God’s will for our life now, as we progress toward our eternal Home in glory.

God’s Fullness – His Presence Within

We have the opportunity to enjoy the richest measure of God’s presence in our life. He is already there, but we often ignore Him, or fail to seek Him out more than during a few moments of devotion a day.

God wants to fill us with all of His fullness. He desires to flood our entire body, soul and spirit with the richest measure of His Presence (Ephesians 3:16-20, Amplified Bible).

He starts to work in us the moment we come to Him for salvation. Then He commissions us to carry out His purpose in our life (Ephesians 2:10).

God wants to do more for us and in us than we could ever imagine, dream, desire or hope. He will do it too, if we simply surrender every area of our life to Him.

He not only gives us strength to live each day, but He also fortifies that strength with all the unrestricted resources and mighty power available to us through His Holy Spirit, who is abiding in our body, His Temple (1 Corinthians 6:19; Philippians 2:12-13; Ephesians 3:16).

Jesus Christ actually lives in our spirit by our faith in His finished work on Calvary’s Cross, so that the love of God will firmly unite us to Him with its power (Ephesians 3:17).

Our life will follow God’s path of fulfillment, and we will receive God’s intense and continual love from Him, His Body and our family and friends, who He brings into our life.

Our sinful desires melt away like wax. We cannot boast in the presence of God, because we do not earn it, it is a free gift (Psalm 68:2; 1 Corinthians 1:29). We reverence His presence in our life and value Him and His Word more than all the riches of this world (Psalm 19:10).

Prayer:
Father God, the power and authority of Christ increases in us as we decrease the hold we have over our life; so help us to totally surrender to and trust in You. You promise never to leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). You will continually abide in us regardless of our thoughts, words or actions, even though we may grieve Your Spirit.

Over the years of our service to You, make Your presence more real to us each day and help us to abide in You each moment of our day (John 15:4-5). Help us to send the roots of our faith deeper into Your love, so that we can willingly serve You with our whole life.

Thought for the Day:
God gives us the richest portion of His love, and fills us completely with His divine presence; flooding every fiber of our body, soul and spirit with Himself.

– Ephesians 3:19 Amplified Bible.

Living in God’s Purpose

God knows our every weakness; yet He calls us as part of His Kingdom. He created us for His purpose and enables us to fulfill His will for our life (Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 2:12-13).

We may have addictions, desires or goals for our life, which thwart God’s purpose for us. Godly sorrow over our sin humbles us and enables us to come to repentance by faith (Isaiah 53:4; 1 John 1:9).

Without repentance, we live in darkness, alone and empty, regardless of how much we fill our life with people, places and things. Only in God do we find true fulfillment.

When we walk in the Spirit, we accomplish greater works than Christ did during His time on the earth (John 14:12). He was one man, and we are His Body – with Believers all over the world for generations past and future.

As a corporate Body, Christ accomplishes His greater works through us. If we walk according to the direction of God’s Spirit each moment of our day, we will influence the growth of God’s Kingdom in ways we will not even realize until we enter eternity.

As we fully surrender our life to Christ in us, we grow in our intimacy with Him. His Holy Spirit in us will complete His work in and through us. We can walk with confidence in God’s purpose for our life.

Prayer:
Father God, when we refuse to humble our self before Your mighty hand, we will suffer the humiliation of living outside of Your Kingdom, possible for eternity. It is our choice (James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:6). Help us to change our attitude and not to neglect the great salvation, which Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary’s cross granted to us (Hebrews 2:3).

Remind us to walk in Your will, and not to fill our life with chaotic and hurried activities, which deplete our energy and grieve Your Spirit (Ephesians 2:10; Ephesians 4:30). We give You all of the praise and the glory for everything, which we accomplish on this earth, because without Christ in us, we can do nothing (John 15:5).

Thought for the Day:
God looks on the inward heart, rather than our outward performance; yet, when we walk in faith, we are led by His Spirit to accomplish the works He created us to do.

– 1 Samuel 16:7; James 2:14-26; Ephesians 2:10

The Faith of the Son of God

How can we live by the faith of the Son of God (Galatians 2:20)? First and foremost, we live by the mercy and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and His provision of regeneration and His resurrection life in us (2 John 1:3; Titus 3:5; Philippians 3:11).

Faith has nothing to do with our hopes or claiming God’s Word for things we want. It has everything to do with Christ who abides within us. Faith only comes to us by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17).

If we did not have the faith of Christ within us, we could not have faith in Christ and His redemptive work for us on Calvary’s cross (Galatians 2:16; Matthew 1:21; Hebrews 10:1-14). As Christ is formed in us, our humanity decreases.

We live in Christ, just as Christ also lives in us (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 1:27). We also live in God’s righteousness, not by keeping rules and regulations, but by the faith of Christ which gives it all to us (Romans 3:21-22; Philippians 3:7-9).

Christ becomes our whole life (Colossians 3:4). We receive the promises of God by Christ’s faith within us, not by mustering up our faith by human effort (Hebrews 10:5-14; Galatians 3:22-26).

Keeping God’s law through our self-effort is also useless, and Jesus showed us this truth (Romans 10:4). God works the faith of Christ into our life by His Spirit (Ephesians 1:19-20, 2:8-9; Colossians 1:12).

Through Christ in us, we are adopted sons of the living God, heir with Christ and we are given the right to call God our “Abba Father” (Galatians 3:26, 4:4-7). We can come boldly to His throne (Ephesians 3:12).

We receive peace with God through the atonement of Christ on Calvary’s cross (Romans 4:25, 5:1-12, 18). He is the only Mediator between us and God (Ephesians 1:12). The faith of Christ gives us a firm foundation (Acts 3:16).

Salvation gives us the treasure of Christ in our mortal body (Colossians 2:3). Once we recognize that we are truly crucified with Christ, then Christ is fully formed in us and manifests through our mortal body (2 Corinthians 4:7; Galatians 4:19).

Prayer:
Father God, as You form Christ in us, His faith rests in us as well. The more we come to know Him, the more we walk in His faith (John 17:3). As we come to know Christ more, we also come to know Your ways and purpose for our life.

The faith of Christ in us is the evidence of the things we hope for, but which we cannot yet see (Hebrews 11:1). Abiding in Christ is the only way we walk in Your power (John 16:24). Remind us not to “name it and claim it” for our own carnal purposes; but to ask and seek only for Your Kingdom.

Thought for the Day:
We live in the faith of the Son of God, which Jesus both conceives and brings to fruitfulness in us. – Hebrews 12:2

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

Hope for Tomorrow

If the Gospel of Christ is not true, then there is no forgiveness or reconciliation for our sins and we have no resurrection to look forward to. We have no joy for our current life or for the next, and there is no expectation of living in the Father’s house in the future (Romans 10:9; I Corinthians 15:17-19; John 14:1-2, 12). Life without Christ is a life without hope.

There are countless people experiencing depression and mid-life insecurities because they place their hope in our culture, a bank account, a philosophy, their employment or worldly religions. This house of cards is shaky at best, and the ensuing insecurity drives people insane, gives them heart attacks or destroys their relationships.

However, the Gospel of Christ is gloriously true. Jesus suffered and died to set us free from Satan, the flesh, sin and death. We now have hope for tomorrow. As we walk in the light of God’s Truth, we have no fear of darkness or evil, because Christ in the authentic Believer overcame Satan and evil on Calvary’s cross. Even negative aspects of life now work out for our good (Romans 8:28).

A life based on God’s Word has a stable and firm foundation (2 Timothy 2:19). As we walk by the direction and power of God’s Spirit, we will not fulfill the dictates of the devil or the flesh, but we will luxuriate in the continual blessings of God (Galatians 5:15-26). As we focus on His plans for our life with a pure heart, He uses us according to His will (Psalm 51:10; Ephesians 2:10).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for giving us the opportunity to live in Christ and to become a new creation. We rejoice that our old habits, sins, negative emotions and personality are made new by Your Spirit (2 Corinthians 5:17). When we trust You with our life, You destroy the deprivation, which devastated us and You mature us in the likeness of Your Son (Romans 8:29). Thank You for claiming us as Your own and for making it possible for us to spend eternity with You.

Thought for the Day:
Therefore, even when we are simply eating or drinking, or whatever we decide God wants us to do, we do it all for His glory.
– 1 Corinthians 10:31

The Eternal God in Us

God chose that His Son would come from the seed of Abraham; and that through Jesus, all the nations of the earth would be blessed. Every Authentic Believer is justified through faith in Christ, and blessed right along with faithful Abraham (Galatians 3:8-9, 14). The greatest gift God gives to all of us is His love (1 Corinthians 13:2,13; John 3:16).

God showed His love for us, while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). Then by faith, we received God’s Spirit through salvation by hearing and accepting the truth of the Gospel (Galatians 3:2). As we trust God, His Spirit ministers to us and works miracles in and through us (Galatians 3:5). Christ’s resurrection from the dead gives credence to our faith and frees us from our sinful nature (1 Corinthians 15:14, 17).

We gradually die to our carnality by surrendering every bit of our corrupted nature to God. We start to think as Jesus did, instead of with finite, earthly concerns and thoughts. We live as Jesus did with the fruit of God’s Spirit replacing the deeds of our flesh (Galatians 5:22-23). We dedicate our life to His service and we bask in His presence throughout the day. We are no longer carnal, but spiritual (Galatians 5:15-25).

Coming to an awareness of our rest in God, we relinquish our hectic pursuit of the world and we walk in the center of God’s will (Hebrews 4:10). Our desire to entirely surrender every area of our life to God increases with our spiritual maturity. He is our everything, and we want nothing more than our beloved God Himself. He dwells within us for eternity.

Prayer:
Father God, the law tutored us in righteousness, but it could never save us. Once we come to salvation, we no longer need the schoolmaster of the law, because we are Your children, saved by faith in Christ’s work on Calvary’s cross (Galatians 3:23-26). We cannot boast of our works of righteousness, because our eternal destiny is based solely on the works of Your Son, Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9). By faith, we have confidence that we will continually abide in You with joy (Philippians 1:25).

Thought for the Day:
We never need to worry about our life here on this earth, because God will never leaves us, and He will always sustain us. – Hebrews 13:5

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.

Our Death on Calvary’s Cross

I find it difficult to surrender my humanity so totally to Christ that it dies. This concept is very appealing to me, because I want to die in a practical sense to my self and the flesh. Sin infects every area of our life and we reap destruction from the seeds we sow. Repenting of our sins frees us from this vicious cycle and sets us free in Christ.

The first area to nail to the cross is trusting in our human mind and talents. Otherwise, we use secular wisdom to decide truth and this sets us on the wrong path for life. Next we die to our inordinate affections for things of this world that do not pertain to life and godliness (Colossians 3:5; 2 Peter 1:3). The pride of life, the lusts of the eye and the lusts of the flesh all expire little by little (1 John 2:16).

Jesus carries us through this dying process so there is no fear (Hebrews 2:15). We entrust our soul to His safe keeping, and reap sweet fellowship with our Savior and Lord. Our continuous union with Christ transports us to the spiritual realm where He lives. We lay down our humanity on the altar, and God raises us to walk in a new life (Romans 6:4).

As we surrender, the Spirit of God sanctifies us and leads us into God’s Kingdom. When we long for a more intimate relationship with King Jesus, we feel His presence in our spirit, sense His touch in our soul and see His healing or His grace to deal with an illness in our body. His love pours over us like a continual waterfall. We have instant access to the throne of God at any time (Ephesians 3:12).

Prayer:
Father God as we loose the ties that bind us to this earth, we are free to fly into the heavenly realm with You. We soar in the Spirit with eagles’ wings and we touch the hem of Jesus’ garment and are healed in spirit, soul and body (Matthew 9:20-21). We willingly submit our flesh to death on the cross with Christ, so that He can live in and through us each moment of the day (Galatians 2:20). Help us to relinquish our hold on this world and to trust You with our every need.

Thought for the Day:
It is time to relinquish any worldly idols, which keep us from intimacy in our union with God.