I am an Artist

As a young adult, my poor self-esteem carried over into my new Christian life. God decided to use art as His way of proving to me that Christ in me was totally capable and I could trust in Him.

 

He put His desire in my heart to paint. Too poor to afford supplies, I used some old paint belonging to my mother-in-law, some toothpicks and some egg shells with the insides literally blown out.

 

I “painted” flowers, birds, dogs, cats, trees, mountains and all sorts of nature on those egg shells and declared myself an artist. My former husband said I had to sell my art before I could claim that fame.

 

Well, not to be undone, I asked my Daddy to take my “art” to work with him to see if they would sell. He gave me some end-caps from metal tubing to glue on the bottom of each egg as a stand, and they were quite attractive.

 

Within a few days they all sold for $3.00/each; and Daddy’s workmates gave me special orders to “paint” family pets, beautiful landscapes and other meaningful visuals from photos, which they gave me as examples.

 

Of course, I had no natural talent, but Christ in me duplicated every one of those special orders perfectly; and I had myself a new and thriving “cottage” business.

 

With the money I earned, I bought painting supplies: real brushes, small canvases and fresh paints. I stayed up painting for hours after my family went to bed and my chores were finished.

 

I kept one of those paintings (I still have it) and gave away the rest of them as gifts. Once my supplies ran out, I went back to my original love of making crafts out of trash.

 

I used them to decorate my home and as gifts as well. I started making my own greeting cards, which I still do to this day. Then, I moved into the realm of making jewelry for myself and as gifts.

 

I added the God-given talent of buying clothes at thrift stores and mixing and matching them with scarves and my jewelry as works of art. Now, I am perfectly dressed from head to toe no matter where I am, even while cleaning at home.

 

I am so glad that I “inherited” my Daddy God’s creative abilities through Christ in me (Ecclesiastes 3:11), and I look forward to continuing to create out of other people’s trash for the rest of my days on this earth (1 Corinthians 12:12-27).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for encouraging my young life with Your creative powers through Christ in me. I pray that You will do this exact miracle for everyone with low self-esteem who comes to know You as their personal Savior. Build them up in the most holy faith and bless them and allow them to bless others by Your love within them (Jude 1:20-25).

 

When Your creativity flows out of us in the form of art, baking, needlepoint, childcare, writing, building, mentoring Your Saints, engineering, teaching a class, singing, mechanics, gardening, playing musical instruments, preaching a sermon or whatever form which You choose to anoint our life, we feel at one with You in every respect (Exodus 35:1-5, 35:35; 1 Chronicles 15:16; Job 19:23-24).

 

Thought for the Day:

An artist is not born overnight, but cultivated over years of inspiration from our Father God, because He makes all things beautiful in His own time. – Ecclesiastes 3:11
 

Answers to Life’s Questions

There are several questions that every human being wants answered. Who are we? Where did we come from? What are we here for? Where are we going? Scientists, philosophers and researchers spend inordinate amounts of time looking for answers.

God is the source of all of our answers. He created us as His Children, for His glory and to spend eternity with Him in His Kingdom (Galatians 3; 2 Corinthians 5; Romans 8).

Everyone who chooses to believe in Christ and His sacrifice for us on Calvary’s cross finds our true identity in Him. Those who refuse to believe condemn themselves to eternal darkness (John 3:16-18).

God is constantly perfecting us by His Spirit who abides in our spirit. He takes away our desire to sin, and it no longer appeals to us. We are alive to God and we desire intimacy with Him more than the temporal pleasures of sin.

God’s Spirit helps us to walk away from our weakness and addictions. He searches our heart and knows our mind and prays for us according to the will of God (Romans 8:26-27).

We are Born Again by the blood of the Lamb, and God’s Spirit replaces the carnal nature in our soul with the divine nature of Christ. Our eternal destination is heaven (2 Peter 1:3-4).

Jesus swallowed up death, and gave us the victory through His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:54; Isaiah 25:8). What the world views as the finality of death is actually the ultimate victory for God’s children.

Leaving this earth is to our benefit, because God rejoices in the death of His Saints (Romans 8:28; Psalm 116:15). In truth, there is greater advantage for us to go Home to the glory of Heaven than to continue living here on this sin-cursed earth (Philippians 1:21).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for making us a new creation in Christ, for filling our life with Your peace and joy, and for exchanging our sin for the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Through His resurrection, we have assurance by Your Spirit of enjoying everlasting life with You both now and for eternity.

You rescue us from violence and deceit, because we are precious in Your sight (Psalm 72:14). Your mercy and grace are our mainstays and ground us in this life with stability and normalcy, which only You can give. We cling to Your promises and enjoy the divine nature of Christ in us (2 Peter 1:4). Continue to mold us into sanctified servants for Your Holy Kingdom.

Thought for the Day:
Accepting who we are in Christ, and why we are different from those in the world, helps us to make an eternal difference in our world.

The Perfecting Work of Patience – He Who Began a Good Work

Is our salvation and sanctification our responsibility, or is it the work of God’s Spirit within us? Some will say, “We are to work out our own salvation.” (Philippians 2:12) Others will counter with, “It is the Holy Spirit who gives us both the desire and the power” to do that (Philippians 2:13).

Most people agree that salvation is through grace by faith; but believe that we have to work for sanctification (Ephesians 2:8). Yet, the foolish Galatians were reprimanded by Paul for attempting to perfect themselves through their own self-efforts (Galatians 3:1-3).

Paul was amazed that they actually believed they could sanctify their life by their works. Paul constantly reminds the early Saints that nothing in our Christian walk is by works, because then we could boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).

God is not interested in our ability, but in our availability to His Spirit. The works of the flesh can only be crucified by the work of the Spirit (Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:16). We live and walk only by the Spirit of God; otherwise, we spin our wheels and end up exhausted (Galatians 5:25).

We boldly claim that we can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13); but when we put the emphasis on “we” can do all things, we fail time and again. We pull our self up by our boot straps until they are totally worn off.

This verse is actually saying that we cannot do anything except “through Christ”. When we completely capitulate to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to both save and perfect us, we enter God’s rest (Hebrews 4:10).

It is the Spirit, not our self-effort, which transforms us from one stage of sanctification to the next (2 Corinthians 3:18). Even the armor of God, which Paul encourages us to wear, is the work of God’s Spirit in our life (Ephesians 6:10-18).

God’s Spirit transforms our mind to the mind of Christ (Romans 12:2). He also renews our character with the divine nature of Christ (2 Peter 1:4). He who began the work of salvation in us, will continue to perfect us through His work of sanctification (Philippians 1:6).

Prayer:
Father God, we humans do not want to admit that we are helpless without a Savior. We want to believe that even if we cannot save our self, we can attempt to perfect our self through our diligence and self-discipline by obeying Your Word.

Remind us that we can do good works only as we abide in the faith of Christ within us (James 2:17). We could not justify our self by keeping the law and we cannot sanctify our self through self-effort either. Keeping the law never gave us life prior to salvation and there is no way that walking in obedience to the law can perfect us after salvation. Without Your Spirit doing the sanctifying work, we are totally lost and undone.

Thought for the Day:
When we do choose to obey, the desire and ability is generated by God’s Spirit within us; God has a perfect plan for our life, and we find it only when we walk in the Spirit each moment of the day (Ephesians 2:8-10).

Heavenly Throne and Earthly Footstool

In this modern era, we depreciate God in every way. We see Him as the little man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz. We tell Him what to do, berate Him as a child, and show our disdain and anger toward Him.

We forget that He created the entire cosmos. Mankind discovers more and more galaxies with each new powerful telescope and probe, which we send out into space.

We continually discover plant and animal species which we never knew existed. We see the magnitude of His glory in nature; and yet, this does not change our respect and honor for our Creator (Romans 1:20).

Today, God deigns to dwell on earth in the hearts of Believers (2 Chronicles 6:18). We cannot possibly hide from God. He sees our thoughts, words and deeds. He desires our pure and holy worship (Jeremiah 23:24).

People refer to a building where the church meets as the “House of God”, but this is far from the way God sees it (Acts 7:38). Heaven is His throne and He uses the earth as His footstool (Isaiah 66:1). The most elegant cathedral cannot contain Him.

He is our King and the ultimate Ruler of the Universe (1 Timothy 1:17). He stretches out between the vast expanse of time and space and interacts with His creation throughout the ages.

His Lordship and holy Presence should cause us to fall on our face before Him in humility, gratitude and praise; rather than to shout false accusations at Him, demean His character and blame Him for that misfortune which Satan causes on the earth.

God is totally engaged in each individual life and works by His Spirit to bring His truth and revelation to people in each generation since Adam and Eve. There is no reason for us not to love and honor Him with every breath we take.

Prayer:
Father God, what house could we possibly build for You (Jeremiah 7:4)? There is no way to contain Your essence in a building made with human hands (Acts 7:49). The heavens cannot even contain You, because You defy space and matter (1 Kings 8:27). You hold the universe in one hand.

Yet, Your eyes are on each one of us, judging our works and considering our needs, providing for Your children through Your magnanimous love and care (Psalm 11:4; 1 Peter 5:7). We give thanks to You that there is no good thing, which we need that You are not willing to provide for us (Philippians 4:19).

Thought for the Day:
God fills both the heavens and the earth and is not limited by time, space or matter; yet, He also revives the heart of the humble and penitent, and energizes our spirit with His Spirit as a down payment for all He has prepared for us both now and in eternity. – Jeremiah 23:24; Isaiah 57:15

True Christian Life

A life lived in total surrender to the will of God brings healing in body, soul and spirit. God’s Spirit renews our mind and transforms our spirit into the likeness of Christ (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18).

Satan will attempt to keep us under His bondage to sin, and to prevent us from functioning with effectiveness in the Kingdom of God. He will lure us with a promise of worldly gain.

However, as we seek more intimacy with God, who abides within us, our desire for more of this world fades. We find our true identity, restful peace and complete joy in the presence of Christ in us (Colossians 1:27; Galatians 2:20).

Christ abides in our heart by faith and we are rooted and grounded in God’s love (Ephesians 3:17; Colossians 2:7). Our goal is to reach perfection through the knowledge of God’s Son and by growing into the fullest measure of the richness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13).

We live in contentment, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). We have boldness and access to the very presence of God, because of Christ’s completed work on Calvary’s cross (Ephesians 3:12).

Christ’s faith within us helps to quench the fiery darts of Satan’s lies and temptations (Ephesians 6:16; 1 Corinthians 10:13). By God’s Spirit we work in faith, labor in love and have patience through our hope in the Lord in the sight of God, our Father (1 Thessalonians 1:3).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for counting us worthy of our calling, for helping us to fulfill Your will through Your goodness, for the work of Christ’s faith and power within us, and for delivering us from unreasonable and wicked people in our life (2 Thessalonians 1:11, 3:2)

Thank You for freeing us from believing fables and trusting in endless genealogies, which only stir up more questions rather than edify You or build our faith (1 Timothy 1:4). We enjoy Your abundant grace through the faith and love, which we find in Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 1:14). You are all we need.

Thought for the Day:
As Christians, we let our thoughts, words and deed reflect the glory of Christ within us, so that we do not shame our Father God in any way. – Philippians 1:27

God’s Fullness – His Presence Within

We have the opportunity to enjoy the richest measure of God’s presence in our life. He is already there, but we often ignore Him, or fail to seek Him out more than during a few moments of devotion a day.

God wants to fill us with all of His fullness. He desires to flood our entire body, soul and spirit with the richest measure of His Presence (Ephesians 3:16-20, Amplified Bible).

He starts to work in us the moment we come to Him for salvation. Then He commissions us to carry out His purpose in our life (Ephesians 2:10).

God wants to do more for us and in us than we could ever imagine, dream, desire or hope. He will do it too, if we simply surrender every area of our life to Him.

He not only gives us strength to live each day, but He also fortifies that strength with all the unrestricted resources and mighty power available to us through His Holy Spirit, who is abiding in our body, His Temple (1 Corinthians 6:19; Philippians 2:12-13; Ephesians 3:16).

Jesus Christ actually lives in our spirit by our faith in His finished work on Calvary’s Cross, so that the love of God will firmly unite us to Him with its power (Ephesians 3:17).

Our life will follow God’s path of fulfillment, and we will receive God’s intense and continual love from Him, His Body and our family and friends, who He brings into our life.

Our sinful desires melt away like wax. We cannot boast in the presence of God, because we do not earn it, it is a free gift (Psalm 68:2; 1 Corinthians 1:29). We reverence His presence in our life and value Him and His Word more than all the riches of this world (Psalm 19:10).

Prayer:
Father God, the power and authority of Christ increases in us as we decrease the hold we have over our life; so help us to totally surrender to and trust in You. You promise never to leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). You will continually abide in us regardless of our thoughts, words or actions, even though we may grieve Your Spirit.

Over the years of our service to You, make Your presence more real to us each day and help us to abide in You each moment of our day (John 15:4-5). Help us to send the roots of our faith deeper into Your love, so that we can willingly serve You with our whole life.

Thought for the Day:
God gives us the richest portion of His love, and fills us completely with His divine presence; flooding every fiber of our body, soul and spirit with Himself.

– Ephesians 3:19 Amplified Bible.

Temple of God – Personal

As the temple of God, we are blessed that God lives within us, walks among us and calls us as His own unique people (2 Corinthians 6:16; 1 Peter 2:9).

As we maintain our confidence and hope in Him, which is our delight, we are actually God’s house (Hebrews 3:6), a fact, which I find amazing!

We rarely appreciate how wondrous it is to actually be the holy temple of God, with His Holy Spirit dwelling within us. Nothing is allowed to destroy us or they ultimately will be destroyed by God (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).

In Christ, we are co-workers in God’s service; we are his field of ministry and His building made without human hands (1 Corinthians 3:9; 2 Corinthians 5:1). We cannot earn any of this by our works (Ephesians 2:8-9).

We no longer belong to our self, nor do we depend on our self or live according to our own plans (1 Corinthians 6:19). We spend each moment of every day walking according to the direction of God’s Holy Spirit (John 15:4).

Jesus entwines us together as His Body, until we are so united that we rise as spiritual stones to corporately become His spiritual Temple as well, and God abides with us forever (1 Peter 2:5; Ephesians 2:21-22).

Christ, as the Son of God, is faithful to provide for and to protect us as God’s house (Hebrews 3:6). He calls us to live healthy lives, free from addictions and excesses, with our thoughts focused on His Word (Proverbs 15:30; Philippians 4:8).

This maximizes our effectiveness for His Kingdom. We bring Him glory even in our infirmities, which He allows into our life (John 9:2-3). He uses us as living stones for His Temple, His called out ones (1 Peter 2:4-6, 9).
Prayer:
Father God, there is not one thought, idea or desire, which we have as human beings, which amounts to anything worthy of You. Yet, You have a perfect plan for each life, which You decided upon before we were ever born (Ephesians 2:10).

Remind us to walk in Your Spirit, so that we do not fulfill the lusts of our flesh and end up living under the dominion of the god of this world – the devil. Help us to see that nothing good dwells in our self-efforts (Romans 7:17-18).

We are hopeless without Your presence dwelling in our spirit; but, when we abide in You, we have no lack in our body, soul or spirit (Philippians 4:19). Thank you for fashioning us into Your Temple for Your dwelling place.

Thought for the Day:
Walking in the Spirit as God’s Temple does not give us spiritual pride or place us above anyone else, but is merely humble reliance only on God’s love, mercy, strength, wisdom and direction – one moment at a time.