Abiding in Christ

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).

When our personal relationship with God is evident, people will want this same intimacy with Him, which we enjoy. Our testimony emanates Christ’s life, which entices people to hunger for God too (John 13:35).

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

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

There is no condemnation for past sins, because we are now in Christ (Romans 8:1). He became sin on our behalf and gave us His righteous standing with our Father God (2 Corinthians 5:21).

God’s Spirit gives us liberty from bondage to the flesh, the world and Satan (Galatians 3:13-14; 2 Corinthians 3:17). Since God is in our corner, nothing which comes against us can succeed (Romans 8:31).

We are never alone again, because Christ never forsakes us or leaves us alone (Matthew 28:20). He expresses Himself through our thoughts, words and deeds (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).

Prayer:

Father God, regardless of the obstacles life uses to hinder us, You conqueror 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 enable us to walk in it (Ephesians 5:17). Remind us to obey Your Spirit and to look to You for the fulfillment of all of our needs.

Thought for the Day:

We serve at the pleasure of our King Jesus, who dwells within us; therefore, we abound in every good work. – 2 Corinthians 9:8

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New Creation – Part 2

God started a good work in me and continues to make me a new creation (Philippians 1:6). Introspection was an affliction, which contributed to my low self-esteem and introverted tendencies. God’s Holy Spirit healed this burden by ending my negative self-talk and filling me with His fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).

I tended to be one-track minded and had no skill for multi-tasking, until my children were born – what mother does not learn to multi-task?

Fighting depressive thoughts and looking at the glass as half-empty were two other melancholic traits, from which God delivered me. He taught me to focus on the eternal rather than the earthly; eventually worldly cares and concerns stopped bothering me so much.

Feeling like a victim or a savior were two other traits, which God freed me from by reminding me that I am more than a conqueror and Jesus is the only Savior the world needs (Romans 8:37; 1 John 4:14).

Holding grudges caused me problems until God taught me about forgiveness – not only about forgiving others, but about forgiving myself as well (Matthew 6:14-15). Mercy and grace became my guide stones.

Worry is another weakness, which plagued my life until God taught me to have faith in His faithfulness and that He would eventually work out everything, even the most negative situation, for my good (Romans 8:28).

Prayer:
Father God, these negative natural tendencies crippled my life and gave me a pessimistic outlook. I could not see the joy You created all around me. As you transform me to have the mind of Christ, all of nature, each person I encounter and every detail of my day become an adventure and a blessing in my life. I look forward to each new day in Your presence. Thank You for making me a new creation.

Thought for the Day:
Transformation is a voyage of discovery of who we are in Christ. – 2 Corinthians 5:17

The Benefits of Believing

Anger previously ruled our life, and rose up from the disappointments we experience from our conception, and which intensified throughout the years. Some have a more violent past than others, but we all suffered from deprivation, violence, permissiveness and/or wickedness in one form or another. Salvation through Jesus Christ eliminates much of our anger. Christ frees and heals the pain of our past and gives us courage to face the future.

The second asset we receive with salvation is the blanket of peace, which defies human explanation and envelops every fiber of our being (Philippians 4:7). We suddenly realize that we are not alone (Hebrews 13:5). We have no need to struggle through life any longer. Rather than seeing life as full of hopelessness, we see that all things are now possible, because Christ lives in us (Luke 18:27). In our exhaustion, we yoke up with Jesus and find fulfilling rest (Matthew 11:28:390; Hebrews 4:10).

Jealousy and envy no longer rot our bones (Proverbs 14:40), because we realize that God does not love another person better than He loves me. He loves us all enough to go to Calvary’s cross and bear the penalty of our shameful sins. Problems only arise when we compare our life to someone else’s and focus on what we do not have, rather than to live in gratitude for what we do have. God works all things, even bad things, out for the ultimate good (Romans 8:28; John 3:16, 3:34).

We are filled with God’s Spirit (Romans 8:9). We are able to accomplish the works God created for us to do (Ephesians 2:10), because we can do anything now that Christ abides within us (Philippians 4:13, 19). When we feel defeated, His grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9; Psalm 91:15). God works in and through us as we walk in His Spirit (Galatians 5:16-25). We are still powerless alone, but Christ in us is infinitely able. We are now more than conquerors and nothing separates us from His love (2 Corinthians 9:8; Romans 8:37-39).

Prayer:
Father God, You are our Everything (Psalms 23 & 91). There is not a hair on our head that grows in or falls out, which You do not see (Matthew 10:30). You give us wisdom to face the challenges of life (1 Corinthians 1:30), and You walk within us every step of the way (Hebrews 13:5). Each day, we acknowledge You and You direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). When life worries or frustrates us, we can cast every care on Your shoulders, because You care for us infinitely more than we even care about our self (1 Peter 5:7).

Thought for the Day:
When I feel like I can no longer face the challenges of life, I realize that the King of Kings forgives me and provides me with love, power and a calm mind, which allows me to obey His will. – 1 John 1:9, Romans 8:1-2, 2 Timothy 1:7