Confidence in Christ Alone

So many Christians still fall into the trap of attempting to gain their esteem through self-effort. We want to feel good about our self, because of the belittling, condescension and criticism we receive. Life positions us for this tendency by giving us praise for our successes, good behavior and accomplishments; and then rejecting or punishing us for our failings.

The good news is that, in Christ, our failings are not failures. They are simply lapses in judgment, over-reactions in a situation or misinformed decisions. The solution to this is to walk in God’s Spirit each moment of the day, with our focus on His direction and not on our human thoughts, plans and goals (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Walking in the Spirit requires thinking with the mind of Christ, rather than relying on our human observations (1 Corinthians 2:16; Galatians 5:15-25). God’s plan for us started before our birth and continues to our last breath (Psalm 139:13-14; Philippians 1:6; Ephesians 2:10). At salvation, we died to our human mind-set, and Christ is now our whole life (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:3-4; 1 Corinthians 2:3-5).

Through God’s Spirit, we have the ability, confidence, love and self-discipline to live a successful life (2 Timothy 1:7; Proverbs 3:26; Psalm 138:8). Our self-esteem comes from Christ in us, and God’s unconditional love for us.
Even during trials, our confidence in God and His promises remain steadfast and true (Hebrews 10:35-36; Matthew 6:34; James 1:12).

We boldly approach God’s throne to receive forgiveness and grace in our times of need (Hebrews 4:16). Christ and His Spirit within us strengthen us to walk in God’s will all the days of our life (Philippians 4:13; Acts 1:8). This gives us more confidence than anything we could ever accomplish through our own self-efforts.

Prayer:
Father God, no matter what we face during our lifetime, we have no need to fear, because we rely on Christ in us rather than our human capabilities (1 John 4:18). Even if the most horrendous issue ever known to mankind comes against us, we have confidence in Christ abiding within us (Psalm 27:3). You are with us no matter where we live, what surrounds us or what occurs in our life (Joshua 1:9). We have all of our confidence in You, rather than in our self, because we know that You work out even the negative issues of life for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28).

Thought for the Day:
We find joy, even in the most trying difficulty; because when we pray with gratitude in our heart, surrender to God’s will and have faith in God’s faithfulness, He guards our heart and mind through Christ in the most miraculous ways. – Philippians 4:4-7

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All Things Are New

Every person ever born inherits a sin nature from the first Adam, which results in our fall from God’s grace (1 Corinthians 15:45). That is why God gives us both the desire and the power to walk in His salvation (Philippians 2:12-13). He purifies us in order to present us holy, blameless and beyond criticism. Holiness unites us with the Trinity of God (John 17:21).

Holiness does not involve legalism, stoicism or an angry God. There is nothing we could ever do, which is too hard for God to forgive. He knew we were going to commit sins before He ever created the world (2 Timothy 1:9). He sent Jesus to pay the debt for each sin we commit, as well as those things, which He led us to do and we failed to obey (John 1:29).

When we come to Christ in repentance, Jesus makes us a brand new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). He moves in and gradually removes every area, which stands in opposition to God. Then He remodels and restores us from the inside out (Romans 2:4, 12:1-2; Acts 11:18). God changes our will and our intentions. He is purifying for Himself a people who are passionate about obeying Him (2 Corinthians 5:15).

God helps us to stand firmly on the Rock of Christ, to remain steadfast in our devotion to Him and to cling to the hope He gives us through the Gospel of Christ (Psalm 18:2; Colossians 1:22-23). The entire Godhead is found in Jesus, and He and His divine nature abide in each of us (Colossians 2:9; 2 Peter 1: 2-4). I heard it said, “God cares about every aspect of our life, from the nursery to the nursing home.”

Prayer:
Father God, by Your Holy Spirit and with Christ in us, we contain the fullness of Your power, authority, fruit and gifts (Galatians 5:22-23; 1 Corinthians 12; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 3:19). You call us to be light and salt in the earth so that people will see You in us (Matthew 5:13-16; Colossians 1:27). Remind us to cooperate with Your Spirit as He transforms us into the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). Thank You for loving us enough to send Jesus to die in our place (Romans 4:25).

Thought for the Day:
God has good plans for our future; and He always gives us hope, regardless of our circumstances in life. – Jeremiah 29:11

Falling Away from God

Many people reach a plateau in their walk with the Lord. The increasing highs, which transitioned us from sinner to saint, level off. We experience a dry time of struggle, questions and doubts. We attempt to substitute some facet of life in this world to mask or to try to improve this perceived loss in our life. Human success is very deceptive. It gives us a false sense of power and ability.

We stop patiently relying on God and we strike out on our own again. Like the Israelites we remember the provision of the world and forget the trials (Numbers 11:5). The prodigal son did this too. He ended up in the pigpen, until God humbled him enough for him to return to the Father’s house (Luke 15:17). Only the living water of life flowing from the throne of God can quench our interminable thirst (Revelations 22:1).

Satan sits by our ear and whispers convincing lies and doubts. Satan’s words have negative connotations. They tear down, discourage and condemn (1 Peter 5:8). Satan’s words bring bondage and criticism. However, we also have a spiritual ear, able to hear from God Himself (Matthew 11:15). Pay attention to the thoughts in your mind and change them to positive thoughts (Philippians 4:8).

God’s words are positive. Even His conviction brings repentance and does not make us feel despicable and dispirited. His words bring freedom to our soul and spirit. The closer to our deadline we get, the more our faith falters. God’s timing may be slower than we would like it to be, and we may get nervous and fearful. We forget that God always works out even the worse scenario for our ultimate benefit (Romans 8:28).

Prayer:
Father God, even when we view our future through a foggy window (1 Corinthians 13:12), and we have no idea why You are acting as You are, we can still trust You to give us the victory and to use us for Your purposes in the earth. Your Word is full of incidents where You used unconventional methods to bring about your desired results. We can always trust that no matter how bizarre the events get in our life, You are always there, right inside of us (Colossians 1:27), experiencing the trial right along with us.

Thought for the Day:
Remember God’s past victories in your life and draw faith from His provision and faithfulness for this new trial.

The Divine Nature of God in Us

The trauma, inconsistencies and callous aspects of life, wear on our human soul, which intensifies over the years of our lifetime. Since conception, the abuse, injustice and deprivation turn us from skeptics to raging maniacs. We shut down emotionally or we allow negative habits to rule our behavior. We over-react to situations through our habitual self-defense mechanisms.

God is love. (1 John 4:8). His love for and in us removes our reasons to fear, which is the root of all of our negative emotions (1 John 4:8; Romans 13:10). As we surrender to His love, God’s Spirit fills us with more and more of His divine nature. Love banishes our selfishness, envy, pride, and rebellion, and fills up our soul – our mind, will and emotions (1 John 4:20). God displays His love through us to the world around us (1 John 4:12).

We cannot achieve this love in our own power or effort, but only as a gift from God through His sanctifying power (Romans 5:5). God’s Spirit within us sanctifies us, and gradually gives us the divine nature of our Father God (Philippians 2:12-13; Ephesians 2:10). This results in a mind, which is set on holy and spiritual thoughts and desires (Colossians 3:2). God’s Spirit does not change our carnality overnight.

God’s Spirit imparts one aspect of God’s divine nature to us at a time. He peels away our sin nature one layer after another, replacing each earthly characteristic with His fruit (2 Corinthians 3:18; Galatians 5:22-23). He exchanges our carnal tendencies with a display of spiritual fruit. He reveals them in our behavior each time we allow Him to do so. The entire gamut of spiritual fruit, the nature of God, is in Christ in us.

Therefore, we already have each of these fruit resident within our soul through the abiding Holy Spirit. God replaces hatred with love, depression with true joy, discontentment with peace, irritation with patience, criticism with gentleness, backbiting with goodness, pride with meekness, excess with self-control, and worry with the faith of God as we are controlled and guided by His Spirit. The closer we walk in God’s will, the more holiness and spirituality we exhibit.

Prayer:
Father God, the perfect triangle of Your love for us, our love for You and our subsequent love for one another is a witness to the world of Your power (John 13:34-35). Heal our wounded hearts and remove any lies in our soul, which Satan planted in our subconscious mind. Share with us Your Truth about the trauma we experienced in this sin-filled world, and pluck Satan’s lies right out of our belief system. Allow us to view our self as You see us…as perfected in Christ.

Thought for the Day:
God’s divine nature in us is not something we use for personal gain or reputation, like so many people in this modern society, but for the glory of God and to further His Kingdom in the earth.