A Reasoned Response

Most of my answers are soft (Proverbs 15:1); however, my life was filled with people who took me for granted and ignored me unless I YELLED and unleashed the full fury of my Italian wrath every once in a while.

I always wanted to have a sweet response when someone stepped on my last nerve, or yanked my chain one too many times, but people tended not to take me seriously unless I yelled.

Therefore, when the people in my life changed, I had to practice giving soft answers, to practice choosing to give a reasoned response, rather than letting my emotions build within me until I simply exploded (Psalm 116:7).

In the ensuing years, God allowed my children to grow up into responsible adults who live in their own homes. He also gave me a husband who nurtures and cherishes me.

God helped me to understand that I do not need wrath to get my point across. All I need to do is to quietly say, “I really want you to take me seriously, and listen to what I am saying.”

Our authority is in Christ, not in our self or the intensity of our words. In Christ, quietness is our confidence and strength (Isaiah 30:15, 32:17). When two people disagree, they can always find a compromise.

When we speak with God’s authority instead of our own, people listen. We get the person’s attention, share our needs and then relax in quietness and confidence that the Lord will fight for us, as we wait on Him (Exodus 14:14).

We can trust that God already placed the seed for a miracle in every trial, which we will ever encounter. If we water this seed with faith, patience and confidence in God’s faithfulness, a beautiful plant of blessing will grow.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that Satan battles for our soul through our mind, choices and emotions. He knows he already lost our spirit to You, but he wants to destroy our soul, and our witness for You (Proverbs 34:13). Help us to choose to step out of our self-effort and into Your authority by the guidance of Your Spirit (Proverbs 16:23; Isaiah 45:22).

Wounds from our past and ever-occurring wounds in our present life – being belittled, discounted, deprived emotionally or physically, abandoned, insecure and frightened in our heart – will manifest in our words.

Yet, as we trust You, You help us to heal from our wounds. We will dwell in security and rest (Isaiah 32:18). May our thoughts and words be pleasing to You as we rely on You as our rock and Redeemer (Psalm 20:14).

Thought for the Day:
As God heals the wounds in our soul, as we relinquish our pet peeves and idols to Him, as we surrender control of our life to Him and realize that nothing can happen to us that is not already part of His plan for us (Isaiah 7:4), then we can think and speak quiet, confident thoughts rather than broiling negative emotions.

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God’s Truth Sets Us Free

Vain imaginations and idle thoughts will drive us to distraction. They cause stress and come straight from the pit of hell (2 Corinthians 10:5; Romans 1:21; Genesis 6:5; 1Chronicles 28:9).

If we listen to negative self-talk long enough, we start to believe it is true. We listen to Satan’s lies and this ruins our relationships with God and other people (John 8:44).

Satan’s lies demean, belittle, undermine and accuse us (Revelation 12:10). They keep us in bondage and debilitate us in our endeavors to serve God with our life.

Satan attempts to keep us in bondage to his lies. The only way to overcome Satan’s debilitating talk is to counter his lies with God’s Truth and Word. (www.theophostic.com)

Then, we can walk in God’s Spirit and believe only what God says about us. By His mercy and because of His love, God takes away the shame and misery caused by our sins (Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:4).

He calls us to the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:11-21). We do not count anyone’s sin against them, but we bring to them a word of loving understanding and mercy, without compromising God’s Word (2 Corinthians 5:19).

Prayer:
Father God, teach us to take our thoughts captive and to make them obedient to Christ rather than the devil (2 Corinthians 10:5). Give us the victory over sin and death by our relationship with our Lord, Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Remind us to follow Your will for our life rather than following the mold, into which Satan or someone else in our life attempts to squeeze us. Help us to walk in Your will for us each and every moment of every day (Ephesians 2:10).

Thought for the Day:
God’s Truth always sets us free. – John 8:32

The End-Time Church

The End-time Church

Many in the last days Church are hardworking and never grow weary of serving the Lord in every way we can (Revelation 2:2-3). We have a passion for working for Christ, but we often forsake our quiet times with God, in order to fill our time with religious activities. We work in ministry for our own fulfillment, rather than for the love of God in obedience to His direction (Ephesians 2:10).

Like the Church of Ephesus, the modern church has forsaken our first love (Revelation 2:4). Like the Church of Laodicea, the Spirit left and we function in our human energy and effort. We do not even recognize that we are spiritually poor, lame, wretched, naked and pitiful (Revelation 3:17). We look at numbers to gauge our success rather than changed lives.

Others of us are hearers of the Word, but not doers. We do not serve in any ministry. We attend conventions, buy books and sermons, and follow the most popular preachers, but we fail to obey the Lord (James 1:22; John 14:15, 23). We are ever learning, but never walking in the Truth (2 Timothy 3:7). We have a personal relationship with Christ, but not a heart full of love for Him (John 14:21, 23; 1 Corinthians 16:22).
God warns us of judgment for our disobedience and immorality, and He calls us to repentance (Revelation 2:5). Jesus promises that if we heed His Word, we will overcome the deception and lusts of this life. He is preparing a place for authentic Believers to eat from the tree of life and to dwell for eternity in the paradise of God (Revelation 2:7, Revelation 21-22).

Prayer:
Father God, the blessed assurance that we enjoy as Believers is that Christ lives within us (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:3-4). Remind us not to fall under Satan’s deception to crave the world or to minister through our own abilities. Make us defenders of Your Word, so that we do not compromise our love of Your truth. Help us to persevere in persecution and not to grow weary of following Your Spirit’s guidance every moment of every day (Revelation 2:2-3).

Thought for the Day:
The light of our modern church went out, and we do not know it.
– John 8:12; Matthew 5:14

Changing Our Thought Patterns

From childhood, we are taught to take care of our self: dress, feed, play and make wise choices for our self. Therefore, learning to trust the Lord and His faithfulness takes a bit of getting used to (Ephesians 6:10). The process is called “renewing our mind.” This is a continual progression of transformation, through which God’s Spirit gives us the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; Romans 12:2).

By faith in Christ, we receive a new heart through the rebirthing of our spirit, which was formerly dead, due to the sin of the first Adam with Eve. The second Adam, Jesus Christ, became Emmanuel in order to guarantee salvation to whomever chooses to believe (John 3:16-18). God’s Spirit teaches us to follow Jesus’ example and to live as a new creation with sanctified priorities and goals in life (Philippians 2:5).

Jesus’ emptied Himself of His heavenly glory and lived a life as a bondservant to our Father (Luke 23:34; Matthew 20:28). He was even obedient to the point of suffering the horrendous torture and death at the hands of the Roman army (Matthew 26:39; John 5:30). God wants us to live in the power of His Spirit in order to do the works, which He created us to accomplish (Ephesians 2:10; Psalm 139:13).

God’s Holy Spirit purges us of pride, selfishness, unforgiveness and all of the deeds and attitudes of the flesh, so that we can live by His direction and divine character (Galatians 5:16-25; 2 Peter 1:4-5). We aid in this process by renewing our mind with the Word of God. We begin focusing on eternal matters, ignoring the distractions provided by Satan and his minions and valuing eternal aspects rather than worldly gain (Ephesians 6:16).

Prayer:
Father God, we all experience the temptation to compromise our walk and to live a life of indulgence in the flesh. However, You gave us Jesus as our example. You also give us a way to avoid temptation and live a pure and holy life before You (1 Corinthians 10:13). Thank You for sending Jesus to pay the debt we owed for our sins, and for giving us Your Spirit to renew our mind with the mind of Christ, so that our thought patterns change from carnal ones to spiritual.

Thought for the Day:
Our Father God already gave us all the tools necessary to live a victorious life in Christ.
– Romans 8:37; 1 Corinthians 15:57; Ephesians 6:13

Authentic Devotion

God calls us to a place of authentic devotion. He desires worshippers who sincerely come to Him through His spirit (John 4:24). He honors those who love Him by keeping His Word (John 14:15). He always provides a way to escape temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). God promises that, as we humble our self before Him and resist temptation, Satan will have to flee from us (James 4:7-8). We abandon our heavy burden of self-imposed labor; and, instead, enter into God’s rest (Matthew 11:28; Hebrews 4:10).

God is always faithful and He keeps His promises (1 Thessalonians 5:24). We have no need to waiver in our faith, because He is worthy of our trust. He desires nothing less than our whole-hearted devotion to Him in every area of our life. God does not wink at sin; He is appalled by it. He cannot look upon, nor dwell where sin resides (Psalm 5:4). We grieve the Holy Spirit with every compromise we make in our life (Ephesians 4:30-31). Therefore, do not break God’s heart by sinning.

In our modern society, we spend more time serving God on our own terms, than in obeying God’s direction. We rely more on our self-effort than on God’s strength within us. We also grieve Him when we plan our life to the minute and have no time for fellowship with other Believers or even reserve a few moments for Him in daily devotion. We frantically pray for God’s blessing on our plans as we rush from one event to another throughout the day.

Instead, God wants us to yoke up with His Spirit and do only those works, which He prepared for us before we were even born (Ephesians 2:10). In this way, we find rest for our mind and heart, which are wearied by the demands of the world (Matthew 11:28; Hebrews 4:10). It is only as we return to the center of God’s will that we find complete rest. In this place of quiet confidence, we find our strength (Isaiah 30:15). He is always present to help the humble that depend only on Him (Isaiah 5 7:15).

Prayer:
Father God, You love us with Your everlasting love and draw us with Your kindness (Jeremiah 31:3). You offer us a place of repose, a resting place for the weary to find solace (Isaiah 28:12). The righteousness of Christ in us offers us peace and brings with it the quiet confidence we need to face the issues of life (Isaiah 32:17). Therefore, we walk in the Spirit, so that our soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions – can find rest in the Lord, who is always good to us (Psalm 116:7).

Thought for the Day:
We remain calm and do not lose heart, when we circumspectly walk by the direction of God’s Spirit. – Isaiah 7:4; Ephesians 5:15-20