Our Righteous Judge

Serving God as a Pastor’s wife is a unique position. People at our community pool will apologize for their language when I’m around. One lady said, “Oh you brought your husband with you today. I’d better watch what I say and do.”

Yet, the Psalmist said, “You have looked deep into my heart, Lord, and you know all about me. You know when I am resting or when I am working, and from heaven you discover my thoughts. You notice everything I do and everywhere I go” (v. 1-3, CEV).

People will do before God, who is our only righteous judge, what they would never do before the preacher and his wife. I actually tell people, “I am not your judge, God is; and He is watching you all the time.” (James 4:12; Romans 14:4)

This makes them pause and think for a moment. Hopefully, it will make them realize that they answer to God for every thought word and deed (Revelation 20:12). I pray they will come to repentance and be saved (Isaiah 33:22).

The choices we make on this earth will determine our eternal destination, and God is the only judge who will make that final ruling (Matthew 10:28).

If our sins are covered under the blood of Christ, He paid their penalty for us. If we are not Born Again by the blood of the Lamb, we condemn our self already (John 3:18).

No one has an excuse (Romans 1:20). When we stand before God, He will not hear our pleas and explanations. It will be too late for apologies and repentance then.

Now is the time for salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). We are not guaranteed one more breath of life. We may enter eternity and meet our righteous judge before we repent; and then it is too late.

There is no purgatory in which we can pay for our sins. There are no indulgences which we can pay to convince God to allow our loved ones to enter into His Kingdom. Jesus already paid the debt we owe. Come now and repent and believe (Mark 1:15).

Prayer:
Father God, our carnality has desensitized us from realizing Your awesome holiness and fearing You more than we fear people. We do not want anyone to tell us what to do or how to behave or what to think; yet You already removed the burden of righteousness from our shoulders by giving us the righteousness of Your dear Son.

No one is capable of fully obeying the law. You gave it, not for us to keep, but for us to realize the futility of our trying to make our self holy by attempting to conform to it. You provided the law to show us our need to accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord (Galatians 3:1-19; Romans 3:20). We thank You for giving us this way to know You now and throughout eternity (John 17:3).

Thought for the Day:
Once we surrender our life and destiny to God through repentance and salvation, His Holy Spirit conforms us to the image of Christ one step at a time. – 2 Corinthians 3:18

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The Mind of Christ

Paul encourages us to adopt the same mindset about life that Jesus had. He goes on to explain that Jesus proclaimed that He was equal with God. With Christ in us, we too have His Godly nature (Philippians 2:5-6).

Even with His divine nature and character, however, Jesus did not use this fact to build His reputation. He did proclaim His deity (John 10:30, 17:21), but He did not use this fact to promote Himself.

We learn this same humility in our daily walk (Philippians 2:7), which allows us to also serve one another (Mark 9:35). Jesus obediently paid the ultimate sacrifice on Calvary’s cross and taught us to lay down our life for one another (Philippians 2:8; 1 John 3:16).

When we realize that our sin crucifies again the Lord Jesus Christ, we run from sin and live in the will of God instead (Hebrews 6:6; 1 Peter 4:2). We want to honor God with our thoughts, words and deeds.

Jesus fulfilled the law through His birth, death and resurrection (Matthew 5:17). He kept God’s commandments and He helps us to keep them too. We abide in His love (John 15:10), and He gives us His wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30).

Through His death, God exalted the name and person of Jesus above every name, and every tongue will eventually proclaim His Lordship over all the nations of the earth (Philippians 2:9-11)

Jesus did not abandon us, but He sent us the Holy Spirit of God to teach us all things and to bring them to our remembrance. God’s Spirit teaches us to change our focus from one of carnality to one of spirituality (1 Corinthians 2:14).

The Spirit serves as our comforter and guide (John 14:26, 16:12-15; 1 Corinthians 2:11-13; Acts 8:29, 11:12), and helps us to be like-minded, loving and living in one accord with the rest of the Body of Christ (Philippians 2:1-11).

Jesus’ life and crucifixion exemplified perfect patience (1 Timothy 1:15-16). With the mind of Christ in us, we find spiritual support, comfort of love, fellowship with His Spirit, affection, mercy and joy in our relationship with Christ.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for giving us the mind of Christ, which helps us to make sense of this world of strife and confusion (Philippians 2:5). You inspire us to live in humility and to serve one another as Christ serves us. We look out for one another and protect each other’s interests (Philippians 2:3-4).

Although Jesus is equal with You, He still took the form of a man in order to redeem us from our wickedness and sin (Philippians 2:7-8; Matthew 20:28). We exalt His name in our hearts and with our lives and look forward to His rule and reign on this earth for eternity (Philippians 2:9-11).

Thought for the Day:
Once we learn to think as Jesus thought, then we can live, move and find fulfillment on this earth just as Jesus did in all of His humility, love and power. – Acts 17:28

The Presence of God

God is present within us, and in our world through the lives of His Saints. His Holy Spirit takes up residence in us and we are His temple. We live, move and have our being in Him (Acts 17:28).

His supernatural power supplies all of our needs through His glorious riches (Philippians 4:19). He abundantly meets our needs in ways we never have imagined.

Our Father rarely uses signs and wonders to accomplish His will. He works through ordinary people and often by ordinary means (John 4:48). His quiet presence is always in our midst (John 14:16; Matthew 28:20).

The fleshly desires, of our Adamic sin nature will decrease, as Christ in us increases (Ephesians 2:1-3). He replaces our carnality with His divine nature (Romans 8:8-9; 2 Peter 1:4).

Christ set us free from the bondage to sin, and He is showering us with His forgiveness, holiness, peace and joy through His Spirit (Romans 6:18, 14:17). Through His forgiveness, we can forgive our self and those who hurt us.

We have the choice now to walk in the Spirit or the flesh (Galatians 5:15-25). We are no longer deceived by the allure of the world, for we recognize it as empty and devastating.

As we put Christ as our first priority in our life, and eliminate our attachment to the world, we enjoy real devotion at Jesus’ feet (Luke 10:41-42). We organize our life and reduce the excesses until we have more time for worship and service.

The faith of Christ brightens our day and His mercy and grace fuel our desire to walk only in His will. We submit to Christ as He does the works of our Father in and through us (John 5:19).

Prayer:
Father God, we please You by our willingness and obedience to Your Word. With Christ in us, we are enough – good enough, strong enough, obedient enough, anointed enough to serve You with our life (Deuteronomy 10:12-13).

We serve You with joy in our heart, and we dwell in Your presence with gratitude and praise. We bless Your name, for You are good, and Your everlasting mercy and truth endure throughout ever generation (Psalm 100:2-5).

Thought for the Day:
God shows us the path of life, as well as continual delights at His right hand; and we find complete joy in His presence. – Psalm 16:11

Freedom from Sin

So often we humans cry out to God to free us from the addictions of the flesh, which harass us continually. However, we are more interested in being free from the effects of these sins than in living an ethical life.

We have no interest in being justified from our sins or having a personal relationship with God, we just want to be free from the consequences of our obsessions.

Then we wonder why God does not answer our prayers. Our pride and rebellion against God, and our insistence on living life according to our own plans, prevent God from showering us with His blessings (Romans 1:18:26).

Actually, sin is not our problem. A lack of relationship with Jesus Christ is at the root of our sin and all of our other problems. The cessation of sin can only be accomplished through the presence of God in our life.

Satan will not easily give us up; yet, when we receive a new heart of flesh, then we are more sensitive to the conviction of God’s Spirit, and we more readily submit our flesh to Him for sanctification (Ezekiel 36:26).

Once we fully come to Christ for our salvation and totally surrender our life to God, we seek Him rather than His benefits, regardless of the trials and unhappiness we experience. We live and walk in His Spirit (Romans 8:5).

As we set our mind on things above, the things of this earth have no more attraction for us. Our mind is renewed with the mind of Christ (Romans 12:2). God’s Spirit crucifies the desires of our flesh for us (Romans 8:13).

As we submit to the leading of God’s Spirit, He replaces our carnality with the fruit of His Spirit (Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:22:23). This only occurs once we are children of our Daddy God (Romans 8:15-17).
Prayer:
Father God, expose Satan’s lies in our life and help us to cast down his arguments and to take captive every thought, word or deed, which fights against our relationship with You (2 Corinthians 5:10).

Thank You for setting us free from sin, so that we can be slaves of righteousness instead. Now we can reap the blessings of a moral life (Romans 6:18). We are so grateful also that you sent Christ to purchase our salvation on Calvary’s Cross (John 3:16-17).

Thought for the Day:
In Christ, who is our life, we are forgiven and given the righteousness of God in Christ. – Colossians 3:4; 2 Corinthians 5:21

Human Logic or Godly Wisdom

The further we submit to the sanctifying work of God’s Spirit in our soul, the more we seek after the divine issues of life rather than the carnal ones. We live to serve our Lord and His Saints, as well as those who do not yet know the saving power of His grace (Titus 2:11).

We walk in peace, which both defies human reasoning and makes people wonder why our trials no longer discourage or depress us (Isaiah 26:3; Philippians 4:7). Peace is not a state of mind, for which we can strive after and achieve. Trusting God takes the opposite of effort, and only comes when we give up control of every aspect of our life to the point of complete surrender.

A time of daily devotion, including Bible meditation and praise of God for His wondrous works in our life and in the world around us, helps to facilitate this process. Then, when our soul frets over the issues we face, God’s Spirit helps our spirit to overlook all of the worries and fears and to trust in God’s faithfulness.

God reveals His plans to us in His timing; but He will never reveal His will to us before we really need to know it. This helps us to develop patience and to die to our carnal nature. We live in holy contentment as He conquers our earthly concerns. God’s Spirit transforms our carnal mind with the steadfast mind of Christ (James 1:8).

When our only desire is to know Jesus, who is our only way, truth and life (John 14:6; Philippians 3:10; 1 Corinthians 1:30), the wisdom from God’s Spirit pours into our spirit. We seek only God’s pleasure in everything we think, say and do. We no longer rely on our human mind to direct our steps, but we trust in the wisdom of God.

Prayer:
Father God, we grow in unity with Your Trinity as we discontinue the futile habit of trying to control our life. Our awareness of Your place in our life increases and the intents of our heart reflect Your desires. We no long exalt human understanding above the leading of Your Spirit (Proverbs 16:7). Thank you for renewing our mind and for allowing Your character to replace the carnal confusion, which formerly restricted our life (Romans 12:2).

Thought for the Day:
The more that we recognize God’s voice and live a life of praise, even for the negative aspects of our life, the more peaceful and fulfilled we traverse our trials.

Holiness is What I Long For

Prior to salvation, we had an instinctive intuition that we were faulty in character and lacking in moral fiber. Many people compare themselves to their neighbors or acquaintances, and then decide they are good enough to get into heaven. No one is good enough to enter heaven (Romans 3:10-12, 23). We do not measure up to God’s standard of holiness (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Isaiah 6:1-3).

We futilely attempt to fill the gap in our life by striving to find love, to amass worldly possessions and to rise in our career. Jesus came to fulfill that emptiness within and to pay the penalty for our sins. He gave Himself for us, and sanctified us with His sacrificial offering on Calvary’s cross (Ephesians 5:15 -17). If we humble our self and believe that Jesus died for our sins, then we are welcomed in heaven (Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9).

Holiness is the character of God (Isaiah 30:12). There is a song that I love, in which the words, ” Holiness is What I Long For” ring out loud and clear (song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfiC6rkhOY8 ). God calls us to desire holiness. Jesus purchased our holiness by suffering horrendously outside of the gate of the city (Hebrews 13:12). He calls us to walk in holiness rather than in carnality and sin.

God’s Word is Truth, and as we read and learn His Words, they sanctify us (John 17:17). God is peace, and He makes us completely holy in our body, soul and spirit through Jesus Christ, so that we are blameless when we face Him (1 Thessalonians 5:23). God is our Father, Jesus is our brother and their Spirit is our comforter and guide throughout our life (John 14:26). They are always with us and in us, helping us to be holy.

Prayer:
Father God, You call us to holiness, because You are holy (1 Peter 1:15-16). Help us to pursue holiness, because without it, we will never see You (Hebrews 12:14). Remind us to honor You and Your Son by righteous deeds, directed by Your Holy Spirit (John 5:22-23; Ephesians 2:10). We want to give You Your rightful place on the throne of our life and to totally surrender control over our life to You (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Thought for the Day:
As obedient children, we are not to conform our behavior to the passions and ignorance of our life prior to coming to Christ, but to be holy, even as Christ in us is holy. – 1 Peter 1:14-15

Worldly Gain or Eternal Power

Money, fame, relationships, employment, ambition, pride, rebellion, reputation, worldly goods, houses, etc. are all parts of our carnality, which Believers continue to cling to in this world. God calls us to give up worldly gain for His eternal power. There really is no contest between the two! God also gives us the power to relinquish our will to His.

Where He sends us we will go, even if we do not want to go there; and we will not go where He does not send us, no matter how much we want to go. Jesus died for us, so that we can die in Him. Our new life belongs to Him, not to us. We wait before the Lord each new day to hear His will for each moment. We surrender each facet of our self to Him and He purges us and breaks sin’s hold on us (Isaiah 6:5-7).

At salvation, God raises us up to sit in Heavenly places with Him. We are no longer concerned with earthly issues, but we seek first God’s Kingdom (Ephesians 2:1-6). Our salvation is provided in justification and our self-life is crucified during sanctification. God fills us with His Spirit’s joy and power, which is our strength to accomplish His works with our life (Ephesians 2:10).

As we give God’s Spirit full reign in our spirit, soul and body, He takes up residence as His Temple (1 Corinthians 6:19). Without reservation, we surrender to God’s Spirit, and offer our soul’s submission without any reservation (Romans 12:1). He renews our mind with the mind of Christ, and our character is replaced with God’s nature, which is the fruit of His Spirit and the divine life of Christ in us (2 Peter 1:4; Galatians 5:22-23).

Prayer:
Father God, when You call us to Yourself, we lay our sinful nature and our natural talents at the Cross. Although it is hard to relinquish our life to You, we know You simply require a willing attitude. Christ slowly becomes our whole life (Colossians 3:2-4). We live, move and have our being only in Him (Acts 17:28). Your Spirit in us enables us to enter into Your Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 10:19).

Thought for the Day:
We work out our own salvation, but it is God who gives us both the desire and the power to do this. – Philippians 2:12-13