Nothing is Impossible in Christ

As a new Christian, our character is still flawed with sin. However, as we allow God to sanctify our carnal nature, we grow into a more mature Christian, exhibiting the fruit of God’s Spirit and having the nature of God (Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Peter 1:4). We accept His holiness in exchange for our sin.

The Holy Spirit is not limited by time and space. Even though our perfection is not evident in this earthly realm in which we live, it is already complete in the heavenly realm.

Sometimes, fear attempts to cripple our soul and causes us to relinquish our power and hope to Satan. In our new life in Christ, God gives us power over Satan and his debilitating negative emotions (1 John 4:4).

God also provides us with His unconditional love to give us confidence to live in His peace and joy. As we base our hope in God, no threatening storm will intimidate our stability in Christ.

Christ alone is our chief corner stone in God’s house made without hands (Ephesians 2:19-22; 2 Corinthians 5:1). We live, move and have our entire existence in Him (Acts 17:28). Christ is not ashamed to call us family (Hebrews 2:11).

We no longer live for our selfish pleasures, because Christ lives within us. The life that we now live in our mortal body is lived through our confidence in and the faith of the Son of God who loves us and gave Himself for us (Galatians 2:20).

Prayer:
Father God, at times we find it difficult to muster the faith necessary to live through life’s circumstances (Hebrew 11: 6). Remind us that in these trying times, we can pray, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24). In doubt we accomplish nothing. In faith we have no limits to what is possible for those who trust in You.

In prayerful, peaceful confidence, Christ is our strength and our whole life (Isaiah 30:15; Colossians 3:3-4). Remind us not to make our own plans for the day, but to walk in Your perfect will for every moment of our life (Ephesians 2:10).

Thought for the Day:
We victoriously withstand any storm or trial, because our faith is built on the Rock of Christ.

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God’s Ultimate Sacrifice

We know that God loved us before we ever loved Him, even while we are still sinners (Romans 5:8-10). We do not have to make our self holy before we come to Christ. This is impossible to do.

God demonstrated His love for us when He sent His Son to atone for our sins (1 John 4:10; Romans 5:8-10). It is not by our works, or we could boast about our accomplishments (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Jesus was delivered to death by the Jews and Romans, for the purpose of paying the debt of our sin, and He was raised back to life for our justification (Romans 4:25).

Nothing, not even death, or our worry over a life full of trials, or angels or demons, nor the power of hell or any created thing can separate us from God’s love, which He reveals to us in Jesus Christ, our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).

When we come to Christ, our old carnal, fleshly nature dies. Satan still uses it to tempt us; but it is dead in Christ (Colossians 3:3). Therefore, we have no excuse for living a sinful life.

We are crucified with Christ. Although we now live in our body, we live by the faith of God’s Son who abides within us, because He loves us and died for us (Galatians 2:20).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for the covenant You made with us and for putting Your laws in our heart and mind. Your love remembers our sins no more; and we have no need for further sacrifice, because we are forgiven once and for all (Hebrews 10:16-18).

We now draw near to You with a genuine heart full of assurance, which comes from our faith in Your faithfulness. You cleared our conscience from guilt and shame. We hold unshakably to our hope in You. We know that You will give us all things through Your grace (Romans 8:32).

Remind us not to forsake the practice of meeting with other Saints for the purpose of fellowship and encouraging one another, especially as the day of Christ’s return approaches.

Thought for the Day:
God loves us so much that He gave us the power of His Spirit, so that we can tell everyone we know about what He does in our life. – Acts 1:8

New Strides in Life

American youth grow up under the assumption that we can achieve the American dream. We go to college and we obtain job experience to guarantee our future success. However, life often careens out of our control. We pull our self up by our bootstraps and try all over again, shaking off the depression and hopelessness nipping at our heels.

Time after time, life sends us debilitating storms. We end up treading water, feeling like we will drown. There comes a time in everyone’s life that we eventually admit that we are ultimately powerless to overcome the negative aspects of our life. Some people give up, and end up with physical and mental illnesses; some turn to addictions; and some realize that we need a savior outside of our self (Romans 7:18).

First, we attempt to trust in a person to bail us out. We get into codependent relationships that seem to stifle us in the end. In order to reinstate our sanity, we eventually realize that we must come to believe in a higher power. Some people try Eastern religions, positive thinking or something that epitomizes wholeness to them. This lasts for a little while, but often fizzles out, because our spirit is still dead in sin.

Everyone ever born has an innate knowledge of God within their soul, and they are yearning for their spirit to be reborn (John 3:1-21). Once we come to Christ as our Higher Power, He helps us to clear our conscience of the dead works of unforgiveness, anger, resentment, bitterness, etc. He is greater than anything this world has to offer (Philippians 2:13).

He also reminds us of people to whom we need to ask forgiveness, and He helps us to make amends for the harm we perpetrated on their life (Lamentations 3:40; Luke 6:31; Matthew 5:23-24). We can obtain Christian counseling or find an accountability partner to continually hold us responsible to walk in God’s Truth (James 5:16; 1 Corinthians 10:12).

As we humble our self before the Lord, He replaces our moral deficiencies with the fruit of His Spirit (James 4:10; Galatians 5:22-23). We come to know Him intimately, and He progressively exchanges our carnal nature for His divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). God assures us of His love, which transcends our human understanding. Filling us with His Spirit He slowly and deliberately floods our entire being with Himself (Ephesians 3:19).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that no one is perfect, and we can forgive those who harmed us and ask forgiveness from those whom we have harmed. As we pray and read Your Word, draw us closer to You, tell us Your Will for each moment of our life, and give us the power to carry it out (Philippians 2:12-13; Colossians 3:16). Thank You for totally forgiving us for our transgressions of Your law and for sanctifying us daily as we walk toward Your perfection (1 John 1:9; Matthew 5:48).

Thought for the Day:
Nothing but living in service to Jesus Christ can fill the void that continually haunts our life. – Romans 12:1

Christ Richly Dwells in Us

God wants us to abide in Christ, who dwells in us, and is the wisdom of God for us. Jesus, who had no sin, took the shame of our sins upon Himself and nailed them to Calvary’s cross. As we grow in Christ, our former accomplishments become meaningless, and we gain the righteousness of Christ in exchange for our sins (Philippians 3:8-9).

God blesses our union with Christ, which gives us all of the power and authority resident in the Heavenly realm (Ephesians 1:3-4). This merger with Christ begins with regeneration and progresses through our obedience to His predetermined will for our life (Ephesians 2:4-5, 10). We do not boast of our own accomplishments, because we see our self as we really are in God’s eyes.

Our only boasting is actually about His goodness and love for us (1 Corinthians 1:30-31). Our carnal nature slowly dies through sanctification, and Christ lives out His purpose in and through us (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:3-4). We no longer follow our own agenda or dreams for our life, but we focus solely on the will of God for each moment of our day.

Through His love, God draws us to Himself by His Spirit and desires that we share with Him the glorious blessings He arranged for us to enjoy with Him in eternity. No human mind has ever conceived, nor has any eye ever seen, nor has any ear ever heard of the extent of these benefits, which God prepared for us (1 Corinthians 2:9).

By faith, Christ richly dwells in us, and He deepens our roots in Him and establishes us in His love. Out of His glorious riches, God strengthens us with power from His Spirit within us (Ephesians 3:16). God’s Spirit gives His power to all of His Saints, so that we can comprehend the fathomless dimensions of our Father’s love (Romans 8:38-39).

Prayer:
Father God, those of us who persevere in our union with Christ will appear with Him, and rule and reign with Him in Your Kingdom for all of eternity (John 10:27-38; Romans 6:14; Colossians 2:11-12, 3:1-3). Remind us not to rely on human effort, but on Christ’s finished work on Calvary’s cross, and the effects of His sacrifice in our life. Help us to walk in Your Spirit each moment of every day (Galatians 5:15-25). Fill us with the fullest measure of Your complete character and nature (Ephesians 3:17-19).

Thought for the Day:
As we see our self in the wide scheme of God’s eternal plan, we lose all anxiety over the here and now.

Victory through Life and Death

When we are Born Again by the blood of the Lamb, God’s Spirit replaces the carnal nature in our soul with the divine nature of Christ (2 Peter 1:3-4; Galatians 2:20). He is constantly perfecting us by His Spirit who abides in our spirit. He takes away our desire to sin, and unrighteous living no longer appeals to us.

God’s Spirit helps our weaknesses and illnesses. He searches our heart and knows our mind; then He prays for us according to the will of God (Romans 8:26-27). Prayer is speaking to God from our heart. Ritualistic prayers and formulas for prayer are unnecessary. God already knows our heart and wants to hear our own words (Ephesians 1:18).

God also places His prayer burdens on our heart for the lost people groups in our world, for the persecuted church, for those burdened by illness, for people devastated by the loss of a loved one through death or divorce, our unsaved loved ones, etc. Prayer prepares us for victory both in life and in death. Jesus removed the sting of death, and gave authentic Believers the victory over it through His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:54; Isaiah 25:8).

In fact, there is greater benefit for us to go Home to the glory of Heaven than to continue living life here on this sin-cursed earth. Dying is not the travesty of life; it is the benefit of a life lived in Christ. What the world views as death is actually victory to God and is used by God for our ultimate good, because God rejoices in the death of His Saints (Romans 8:28; Psalm 116:15).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You that, through Christ, death is swallowed up in victory. We know that Your Holy Spirit works in our heart, until the glorious day when either Christ returns for His Bride, or we come through the valley of death into Your glorious light (1 Peter 2:9; Isaiah 60:1). Remind us not to limit You by our thoughts and fears, but teach us to pray the words, which Your Spirit inspires us with and with which He breaks our heart (Romans 8:26).

Thought for the Day:
Once we realize our human limitations, we will rely on God’s Spirit to pray through us during our life and escort us through death to our heavenly Home in glory. – Romans 8:26-34; 2 Corinthians 5:1

Unity with God, Our Maker

Once we come to Christ in repentance, asking for God’s forgiveness, He exchanges our sin for His righteousness, and we enter a spiritual union with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). The powerful life of the triune God dwells within us from that point throughout the rest of our life. We enter an intimate relationship, which includes a unified life with the Trinity.

God purifies us step-by-step, burning deeper with each stroke of His holy fire, until we radiate Christ’s nature from within us. He replaces our carnal nature with the fruit of His Spirit, which is actually the very nature of God (Galatians 5:22-23). The less we function through our humanity, and the more we wait on God, the more He expresses His divine character and nature in us and through us (2 Peter 1:4).

Resting in Christ is not another religious activity to perform. It simply involves complete surrender of our human life to the Kingship of Jesus Christ (Matthew 11:28-29). Our human way of thinking and feeling passes away, and we are now an entirely new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). We bow before our God and Maker (Psalm 95:6).

We embrace God’s presence in our soul as well – in our thoughts, choices and emotions. We are constantly responsive to this holy relationship and to our ever-increasing intimacy with Christ (Colossians 3:4). We walk in communion, fellowship and one accord with Christ within us (2 Corinthians 6:14-15). We freely choose to follow the leading of God’s Spirit each moment of the day (Romans 8:14).

Prayer:
Father God, due to Your work in our life, we manifest Your nature in ever-increasing levels of maturity and glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). By faith, Your divinity freely flows through our body, soul and spirit (2 Peter 1:4). Our intimate bond with You is broken only by our propensity to sin. However, if we walk in accord with the direction, wisdom and love of Your Spirit, we will never fulfill the lusts of our flesh (Galatians 5:15-25).

Thought for the Day:
We belong to God’s household as priests and saints, and are co-heirs with Jesus.

Behavior Does Not Define Us

I used to think I was a bad girl, because I occasionally did bad things. It took me years to come to the realization that I am a good girl, even though I do bad things sometimes. I did not realize that I am a separate entity from my behavior. I thought that my behavior defined me. I tried to earn my goodness by my behavior; then, when I failed, I felt utterly lost and worthless.

On a glorious day in February of my 18th year of life, God made real to me the fact that He bought me by the blood of Jesus and redeemed me by His Son’s resurrection (1 Corinthians 6:20; 1 Peter 1:19). He came to live in me and He started the process of converting my carnal nature into the nature of Christ. He set my feet on high places (Psalm 18:33), and renewed my self-image to my true identity in Christ (1 Corinthians 6:17).

I am no longer burdened by the notion that I need to be perfect in order to be loved. Father God, who created me, and Jesus, my Brother, who laid down his life for me, both love me unconditionally. I am not a mere mortal, but I am empowered and indwelt by the Spirit of the Living God (2 Corinthians 3:18).

I am not the person that I was at 18. Over the successive years of my life, God freed me from the tyranny of self-effort (Ephesians 2:8-9). He taught me that I am not a bad person, but I simply do bad things now and again. He is faithful and just, and He always offers me forgiveness for my transgressions at the very moment I repent of them (1 John 1:9).

We never have to allow satanic influences to condescend, criticize or bully us into thinking that we are “less than” we should be. We are actually complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10). We are “more than” conquerors through Him, because He loves us (Romans 8:31-39). With Christ in us, we are lovable, interesting and sufficient individuals (Philippians 4:13) who are loved by the eternal King of the universe.

Prayer:
Father God, we thank You for redeeming us and making us special and unique individuals in Your Family. You give us victory each and every day (1 Corinthians 15:57). We continually walk in Your love and bask in Your fellowship. Thank You that Jesus also loves us and gave Himself up for us, as a sacrifice to atone for our sins (Ephesians 5:2).
Thank You too that we are the apple of Your eye (Zechariah 2:8; Psalm 17:8).

Thought for the Day:
We are crucified with Christ and our flesh no longer lives, because Christ lives in us and freed us from our sins by His blood. – Galatians 2:20; Revelation 1:5