Admitting Faults

“I was wrong” is the hardest sentence in the English language to say. Due to perceived, as well as legitimate wounds in our past, we are afraid to admit that we have faults.

We think that we have to be perfect in order to be loved; and that we must earn the love, which we need, by making other people happy and proud of us.

We fear rejection so much that we will make excuses or lie to cover up our faults and mistakes. We wear masks so that people do not know who we really are.

If we admit that we did something inappropriate, we may fall into the black hole of condemnation and shame, which nips at our toes and plots ways to swallow us whole.

If we agree that we are wrong, we will topple over the edge of the dark abyss of shame, and we will be trapped, hopeless, useless and totally rejected forever.

In order to escape the bottomless pit of shame, we either do our best to become invisible, or fight tooth and nail to retain some semblance of order in our life, or hide behind a wall of pride and arrogance.

Bullies are motivated from their fear and insecurity. They surround themselves with controllable people who have qualities, which they feel they lack. When they hurt others, they feel powerful and in control of at least one part of their life.

Once we come to Christ for forgiveness, He exposes Satan’s lies and frees us from the evil task master of shame. Then we no longer experience the devil’s condemnation (Romans 8:1).

If we could be perfect, Christ would not have suffered that horrendous crucifixion. Through His sacrifice, we enter His rest and are able to breathe unhindered by stress, fear and insecurities.

If one person abandons us, or turns against us, we have a whole family of Believers who will love us for who we are, even with all of our faults, insecurities and over-reactions (Ephesians 4:32).

Prayer:
Father God, often another person’s wounds expose our wounds and weaknesses, and we fear rejection. Therefore, we walk away from them, before they get a chance to reject us. We dispose of them from our life, rather than working out our issues together.

Help us to look deeper, beneath the surface of a person’s words and actions, to see the real person, which they are hiding behind their false facade. Remind us to show mercy and grace to everyone, and not to reject someone just because they are wounded.

Thought for the Day:
Make allowances for one another’s faults and idiosyncrasies; so, that if someone offends you, you can forgive them time and time again, as you help to strength them to feel secure through God’s love within you. – Matthew 18:21-22; Colossians 3:13

Advertisements

We Live, Yet Christ Lives in Us

The concept of us living at the same time Christ lives through us, is confusing at best (Galatians 2:20). How much of our self is prominent and how do we give Christ preeminence in us?

Prior to coming to Christ, our spirit is dead, and our flesh is very much alive. We live in the flesh, plan for the flesh and we hunger after more of the flesh, the world and sin (1 Timothy 5:6; Romans 8:5-8).

Separated from God, we are blinded by the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). Yet, when we surrender our life to Christ, our penchant for sin wanes.

We have no more desire to reap the destruction, which is sin’s reward (Romans 6:23). Now, our spirit is born again, and our flesh is dead in Christ (John 3:3-4, 6:63; Colossians 3:4).

Knowing that we are in Christ, and that our old nature is already crucified with Christ, gives us the power over sin. We no longer live in slavery to sin and the flesh, but we are slaves to Christ who dwells in us (Romans 6:7, 12, 14; 8:9).

Each day, we submit to God’s Spirit as he crucifies our old carnal nature, and we grow further away from the habits and desires of our old life (Galatians 2:20, 5:15-25).

God sets us free from condemnation and the law of sin and death by His Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1-2). We live victorious lives as we walk in God’s will under the direction of His Holy Spirit each moment of our day (Galatians 5:15-25).

Prayer:
Father God, help us not to allow a distracted life to keep us from experiencing Your fullness for us. Fill us with the fruit of Your Spirit, so that we no longer have ungodly character and negative personality traits (Galatians 5:22-23).

Use us for Your glory as we make Christ preeminent in our life. Help us to decrease, so that You can increase within us (John 3:30).

Thought for the Day:
We walk in the Spirit, which prevents us from living in the flesh. – Galatians 5:15-25

Divine Appointmets – A Missed Opportunity

Growing up as a shy melancholy, I did not change very much when I first came to Christ. I still hesitated to talk to people, for fear of rejection and ridicule. Yet, I wanted to tell others about God’s divine love.

An opportunity arose a few weeks later, when a school chum pulled into the gas station just outside the window of the office where I worked. I knew my boss would not like me to take time away, and I figured my friend was also very busy.

So I just ran outside for a moment, greeted him and told him I had some good news to tell him as soon as we could get together. He was married to my boyfriend’s sister, so I did not think much time would pass before we could chat.

I ran back to my desk, excited that this would be my first opportunity to share with someone about the love and mercy of Christ in my life. A smile adorned my face for the rest of the day.

That very night…my lifelong school friend…committed suicide.

When my boyfriend gave me the news, I was devastated for his wife and their families, but more distraught because the Gospel of Christ may have saved his life both physically and spiritually, if I had only taken the time to speak to him when God gave me the opportunity.

I felt such deep remorse for days. I cried out to the Lord for forgiveness of this sin of omission. At the funeral, I cried more for my failure than I did for his family. I felt bereft and condemned by Satan’s shame.

The next day at work, I stared out the window, watching the cars come and go at the gas station next door. I judged myself for my failure and felt such regret that his life ended too young, and that his eternal destiny was already set.

My failure haunted me for weeks, until I stopped rebuking myself long enough to listen to the Lord. The shame of my failure left, but in its place came a dogged determination never to miss another divine appointment to share the love and grace of the Lord.

Prayer:
Father God, Your mercy and grace to forgive our sins of commission and omission humbles us and increases our love for You. I know that You had a plan for my school friend, and he chose to end his life rather than to surrender His life to You (John 3:16-18).

Thank you for the many opportunities You continually give us to share the Good News of the Gospel of Christ with everyone You bring into our life. Help us never to hesitate from fear or human reasoning, but to step out of our flesh and into Your Spirit, and to open our mouth and allow You to fill it by Your Spirit (Psalm 81:10).

Thought for the Day:
Not everyone will accept the Gospel of Christ when we share it with them; but we take them to a crossroad in their life where they have to make a choice to accept or reject the Lord. – John 3:16-18

Condemnation or Conviction

There is a huge difference between condemnation and conviction. A person without Christ in their life might experience both of these; but a child of God is freed from all condemnation (Romans 8:1).

Satan condemns us, but God’s Spirit convicts us. For instance, when we choose to walk in slavery to the flesh, God convicts us to walk in the Spirit instead (Galatians 5:15-25).

Condemnation brings shame, hopelessness and discouragement with it. Yet, conviction brings relief, and gives us the opportunity to decide not to sin and to please God instead (James 4:7).

Satan will crush us with his shameful condemnation and attempt to cripple our soul in order to prevent us from ever serving God again. If we flee temptation, we also flee condemnation (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Satan is the accuser of God’s children and he will attempt to belittle us, telling us that we are not enough, will never amount to anything and that we are a hopeless failure.

However, these accusations are contrary to God’s truth about us. God says that we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37). We have victory in all things through Christ in us (1 Corinthians 15:57)

As we submit to God and resist the devil, he has to flee from us (James 4:7-8). Nothing can ever separate us from the multi-dimensional love of God (Romans 8:35-39).

Prayer:
Father God, when Satan attempts to defeat us, remind us that You already gave us the victory through Christ in us (Galatians 2:20). Thank You for being so willing to forgive our departure from Your will for our life (1 John 1:9), and for giving us Your Spirit to help us to walk in Your perfect peace.

Produce in us a Godly sorrow, which pricks our conscience and reminds us not to succumb to Satan’s temptations (2 Corinthians 7:10-11). Prompt us to walk in Your Spirit, filled with His fruit, so that we will not fulfill the lusts of our flesh (Galatians 5:15-25).

Thought for the Day:
The blood of Christ frees us from the penchant to sin, as well as from the condemnation of the devil. – Revelation 1:5; Romans 8:1

Our Identity in Christ – Part 1

Our identity in Christ comes when we totally surrender to God’s love in our life, we allow God to fashion us into a new creation and as we have faith in His faithfulness, which gives us assurance (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 4:19).

God chose us for the praise of His glory, and uses us as a spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3, 1:11-12). We can always approach the throne of God with confidence (Ephesians 3:12).

At salvation He forgives our sins and wipes our slate clean (Ephesians 1:7; Psalm 103:12). With our identity in Christ, we have no shame or condemnation, because we love Him and keep His commandments (Romans 8:1).

God replaces our negative personality traits with His fruit (Galatians 5:22-23). As we live in the moment and keep our focus on Him, He replaces our destructive, stress-filled thoughts with His peace (1 Corinthians 2:16; Isaiah 26:3).

We are in Christ and Christ is in us (1 Corinthians 1:30; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:3). We have the wisdom of God and our labor is not in vain, because we follow His Holy Spirit’s leading through each moment of our day (1 Corinthians 15:58).

God gives us the incomparable riches of His grace and the guidance, which we need to minister in His name (Ephesians 2:7; 1 Corinthians 1:30). We can perform anything He calls us to do, because He dwells within us (Philippians 4:13; Ephesians 2:10).

God seats us in heavenly places and makes us His light shining in this dark world (Ephesians 2:6, 5:8). He causes us to walk in holiness and faithfulness to His calling on our life, until we come into maturity in Christ (Colossians 1:2, 28).

He takes individuals and forms us into His Body (Romans 12:5). We are also His church, His children and His bride (Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 2:22, 5:25-27). We look forward to living with Him for eternity (2 Corinthians 5:1).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for supplying all of our needs with Your glorious riches (Philippians 4:19). You hold all things together and we cling to our hope of sharing eternal glory with You (Colossians 1:17, 27). You are beautiful beyond description, the worthy Lamb and our alpha and omega. Our life rises and sets in Your Son.

Thought for the Day:
In Christ, we have everything we ever need to live a fulfilled life, and nothing can ever separate us from His love. – Romans 8:38-39

A Personal Relationship with God

God’s Spirit gives us liberty from bondage to the flesh, the world and Satan (Galatians 3:13-14; 2 Corinthians 3:17). There is no condemnation for sin, because we are now in Christ (Romans 8:1).

Christ became sin on our behalf and gave us His righteous standing with our Father God (2 Corinthians 5:21). Since God is in our corner, nothing which comes against us can succeed (Romans 8:31).

God gives us His peace and His Spirit who dwells within us (1 Corinthians 2:12, 14:33). We overcome every trial through Christ who abides within us (Romans 8:37).

We are never alone again, because the presence of Christ in us is evident in our thoughts, words and deeds. He never forsakes us or leaves us alone (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5)

We learn to be content with whatever God provides for us on a daily basis, knowing that if we need something, He will provide it in His own way and time (Philippians 4:11).

Jesus already overcame the world and the trials through which we live, and He encourages us from the inside out (John 16:33). Therefore, we can always abound in the work of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58; Ephesians 2:10).

Effective evangelism is motivated by the love of God. When we share the love of God, we and those we minister to are filled with God, because God is love (Ephesians 3:19; 1 John 4:8).

This empowers our testimony with the life of Christ, which makes people hungry for what we have (John 13:35). When our personal relationship with God is evident, people will want this same intimacy with Him.

Prayer:
Father God, regardless of the obstacles life uses to hinder us, You give us the character and ability to be mighty conquerors over them all. Thank You for leading us by Your Spirit and making us Your children and co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:14, 17).

You help us to understand what Your will is for our life and You empower us to walk in it (Ephesians 5:17). As we walk in Your Spirit, we look to You for the fulfillment of all of our needs (Philippians 4:19).

Thought for the Day:
As we rest in Jesus, our Living Water, we drift smoothly around every hindrance we face.

Our Identity in Christ Alone

So many people in today’s society believe that they are not “good enough”. They believe it so strongly that to disagree with them or to correct them heaps a weight of condemnation on their shoulders, which is just too heavy for them to bear. Even when someone attempts to encourage them, they dare not believe these positive comments.

When we come to Christ, however, He heals that deep wound in our soul. He purposely chooses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. His servants are weak, humiliated and despised; and He uses them to confound the haughty and to prove that Christ in us is more powerful than all the human effort in the world combined (1 Corinthians 1:27-28).

By God’s Spirit, we curb our penchant to sin by trusting in God and surrendering our life to Him (Proverbs 3:5-6). Although Satan still influences our decisions and encourages us to sin, we can renounce this inclination to allow sin to use our body and soul. Instead, we submit our self to God and His perfect will for each moment of our day and Satan has to flee (Romans 6:12-13; James 4:7).

Those who are acutely aware of their inabilities and insecurities tend to depend more on God than those who have faith in their own abilities. In reality, God searches the earth for those who are aware of their powerlessness to control life (2 Chronicles 16:9). As humble Saints, we are more open to allowing God to work in and through us. We

Prayer:
Father God, You keep us in perfect peace if we focus our mind on You throughout the day and if we trust in Your perfect will for our life (Isaiah 26:3). Your peace transcends anything we receive from the world or from our own hard work and natural capabilities. The peace, love and joy we seek are not found in our position in society, the honor of our accomplishments, the status of our reputation or our accumulation of wealth and possessions. We rest our identity only on Christ within us, and we value Your opinion of us more than that of any person alive, regardless of their position, accomplishments, reputation, financial status or possessions.

Thought for the Day:
Rather than having faith in your abilities, trust in God’s plan and purpose in your life to use You according to His capabilities.