The Call of Nature

In our world of higher education, instant information networks and self-reliance, the message of the Gospel of Christ makes no sense at all to most people.

 

The paradoxes and spiritual content of the Bible serve as a stumbling stone to those too proud to accept the self-effacing offer of salvation through Jesus Christ.

 

However, once we humble our self under the mighty hand of God, we immediately recognize that Jesus completely submitted to death on Calvary’s Cross to bring freeing redemption to us all.

 

We also surrender to the call of God to sacrifice our life for Him in return. The surrendered life is not one of defeat, but of relinquishing control. This means that we stop resisting the love of God and accept His courtship.

 

We acknowledge His substitution in paying the penalty of our sins and yield to His Lordship over our life. We recognize the superiority of God’s plan for our life over our own goals and ambitions.

 

We consult Him about all of our decisions and submit to His direction of our steps (Proverbs 3:5-6). We live in the reality of His presence now and look forward to the hope of His glory to come (Colossians 1:27).

 

Many people waste so much of their life running from God’s beauty and bounty. They live in rebellion to the call, which even nature makes for us to surrender to its Creator (Romans 1:20).

 

God never invades our life, but always waits to be invited. The beauty of the surrendered life is that we die to the carnal flesh and hide our life with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). We cease from our own labors and enter into God’s rest (Hebrews 10:4).

 

Prayer:

Father God, once we completely understand Your love for us, we go beyond obedience and also surrender our life entirely to You. Then, we learn what it means to truly live in abundant freedom and victory (Romans 6:16-18; Mark 8:35).

 

We no longer internalize the pain that life deals out to us, because we are hidden with Christ in You. Regardless of trials and anguish we may experience, we walk in spiritual serenity which elevates us emotionally, spiritually, mentally, physically and behaviorally. We find our constant joy in You as patience does her perfecting work in us (James 1:4).
Thought for the Day:

We enter a life hidden with Christ in God, which we formerly believed to be one of servitude, only to discover that it is actually a liberating union as a King’s kid. – Colossians 3:3-4

 

 

Advertisements

The Divine Life of Christ in Us

Christ lives in us, and we are united with Him, just as He is one with our Father (John 14:20). We are joined to and united with God’s Spirit, as a branch to a vine (1 Corinthians 6:17; John 15:4-5).

 

We are free from the law of sin and death, by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2). Daily, we live as a witness to others of the love and nurture of the eternal, triune Godhead living within us (Romans 8:4).

 

Sin no longer has power over us, because of God’s grace ruling in our heart (Romans 6:14). Since the Son of God set us free, we are absolutely free to live a life of holiness (John 8:36; Romans 6:18).

 

His divine power enables us to excel in our vocation, spiritual calling and family relationships through His divine life within us (Colossians 1:27). The fruit of His Spirit replaces our carnality (Galatians 5:15-25)

 

God’s Spirit also enables us to have the courage to boldly share the gospel with everyone we meet. Not in a preachy or condemning manner, but in the spirit of love and peace with the words He gives us (Ephesians 6:19).

 

Jesus delivers us from our sinful nature, which used to serve sin; and He gives us a mind, which is now a slave to God’s nature, principles and Kingdom (Romans 7:25).

 

As slaves of God, we are set free from the slavery to sin in order to reap the blessings of holiness and eternal life (Romans 6:22). We belong to Christ, who was raised from the dead, so that we will bear fruit for God’s Kingdom (Romans 7:4).

 

We pray through any rocky stretches of road by the direction of God’s Spirit and we petition Him to meet our needs and for the needs of all of His Saints (Ephesians 6:18).

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to actually see the reality of the fact that we do not need to sin; because the spirit of life in Christ sets us free from the law of the spirit of sin and death (Romans 8:2). When Christ sets us free, we are truly free (John 8:36). We bask in Your presence and praise You for including us in Your eternal plans.

 

Thank You that we are no longer strangers and pilgrims in this world, but part of Your universal family. We are fellow citizens of the Kingdom of God and Saints in Your holy presence. Our love for Your Body is very important, because You prepared us for a holy dwelling place for Your Spirit. Jesus is our chief cornerstone and You are building us into Your eternal dwelling place (Ephesians 2:19-22).

 

Thought for the Day:

God gave us Christ as our redemption, not so we can sit back and continue living a life of sin with the false hope of escaping eternal judgment, but so that we can enjoy an intimate union with Him filled with all of His glory and the greatest measure of His spiritual presence. – Ephesians 3:16-19

 

Complete Trust and Rest

Our work in our own self-effort actually hinders the work of the Lord (2 Chronicles 5:14). We spin our wheels by attempting to make things happen on our own. We end up frustrated, anxious and even angry at times.

 

Yet, if we put our needs and the direction of our life into God’s capable hands, and allow His Holy Spirit to guide each moment of our day, we end up in the right place at the right time.

 

If we do not have what we want or what we think we need, we can be sure that God does not think we need it at this moment of time. We often get bored and want a change or feel desperate in some area and decide that we know what is best for us.

 

Yet, when we release all negative emotions and wait on the Lord’s direction, we end up receiving even more and infinitely better than we ever had in our whole life (Ephesians 3:20-21).

 

My sister-in-Christ needed a new house. She combed the papers daily and worked with several rental agencies, desperate to find a new place to live. She falsely believed that it was up to her to relocate her family.

 

After many months and an inordinate amount of stress and time of spinning her wheels, she gave up, prayed for God’s will and timing and entered His rest. She listened to His Spirit each succeeding day. Within a week, she had the perfect home for her family.

 

Another Believer had a similar story with a job. When she decided to abide in God’s rest, she lost her desperate drive. She joyfully turned down a few jobs that God made clear to her were not His will for her. Within a month she had the best job in which she ever worked in her entire life and is so fulfilled and joyful now.

 

A widowed Believer strongly desired a new husband. She tried every avenue she could think of to find a husband. Once she surrendered her need to the Lord, she had peace and enjoyed her life as a single person.

 

Two years later, she met her new husband at the sickbed of a dear friend. The ailing woman highly recommended each of her single friends to one another and they started dating.

 

Within a few weeks, they realized that they were very much in love, enjoying the complete peace of the Lord and were married at the bedside of their dying friend. Years later, they are still head over heels in love with one another.

 

As we cease from our striving and trade our self-efforts for surrender to God’s will, we start to serve God from a position of rest, daily obedience to His Spirit’s guidance and an uncompromising desire to live in the center of God’s will (Philippians 4:7).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for teaching us to cease from living life in our own wisdom and strength, and from running through life with anxiety and stress, which make us unhappy and unfulfilled in every way. Help us to be grateful to You for every aspect of our life and to be satisfied with Your provision and timing.

 

Enable us to enter into Your complete trust and rest (John 14:27). Help us to be more concerned with Your will than our own, more eager to seek Your Kingdom than our own, and realizing that You will give us everything we need in Your timing and way (Matthew 6:33).

 

Thought for the Day:

Let gratitude for God’s daily provision, as well as the peace of the Lord, fill your heart to overflowing, trusting God to work out all things for your ultimate good. – Colossians 3:15; Romans 8:28

Focusing on Christ in Us

The Christian walk does not involve us living for Christ, but Christ living in and through us. We are not motivated by desires, obligations or expectations, but by the will of God.

We keep our focus on what Christ did for us on Calvary, and we no longer pursue this world or its benefits. We daily walk in God’s Spirit and live in the eternal realm now.

Grace overcomes the stress in our life and leads us to receive whatever God has in store for us each day. We live, move and have our being in Christ alone (Acts 17:28).

We surrender control over our life, as well as the outcome of our efforts, to Christ. Jesus keeps us in victory, even during negative issues, which we encounter.

God replaces our carnality with His spirituality, our flesh with His Spirit and our motivation and desires with His good, acceptable and perfect will for our life (Romans 12:2).

God’s guiding hand leads us by His Spirit and blesses us with the fruit of our labors in Him. As a new creature, we shed the weight of our carnality and walk in the newness of His life in us (2 Corinthians 5:17; Psalm 128:2).

Prayer:
Father God, we thank You for giving us a new nature through Christ in us by His redeeming work on Calvary’s cross. We no longer live in the flesh or pursue the issues of this world; because they have no more appeal to us.

Remind us that we died in Christ and we now abide in His resurrection power (Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 15:20-22). We live, move and have our being in Your Spirit, doing only those works, which You prepared for us before we were ever born (Ephesians 2:10).

Thought for the Day:
As we focus on Christ throughout our day, we do not have to make plans or provision; we simply follow His Spirit’s direction, as we obey through one word or action at a time, and He supplies all of our necessities and the direction, which we need.

God’s Goodness and Grace

God’s name is used in our society more in cursing than as a prayer. The last several generations have less of a concept of sin. They consider wrong as right, and right is often viewed as wrong (Romans 1:32).

Sin is the norm for many, and church is foreign (Ephesians 4:21, 6:1; Colossians 3:9). They view Christ’s death on Calvary’s cross as a waste of a life, rather than as the ultimate sacrifice for our salvation.

Until we understand that God’s Word is our ultimate authority, we will not comprehend our disobedience to it, and our need to ask Jesus for forgiveness (John 14:15, 23).

Even the law of our land teaches us that there are consequences for our behavior. The police and courts hold us responsible to uphold the law, or we are sentenced to make amends.

When we transgress God’s law, we deserve to suffer the penalty of death (Romans 3:23, 6:23). Yet, Jesus suffered our eternal punishment for us (John 3:16-18). He gives us His life in our spirit, which was formerly dead in sin (Galatians 2:20).

When we decide to live for God, rather than for our self, we are no longer separated from Him. Jesus makes it possible for us to spend eternity with Him in Heaven (Romans 10:13).

When we die physically, we will not die spiritually. The last breath we breathe on earth is followed by our first breath in Heaven (Matthew 25:46). We can trust our life on earth to God’s perfect plan for us (Ephesians 2:10).

We find fulfillment, peace and joy through His love and forgiveness (Romans 14:17). We collapse into God’s waiting arms with the confidence that He will catch us and never, ever let us go (Hebrews 13:5).

Prayer:
Father God, there are not enough days in our lifetime to show our appreciation to You for all that You do for us each day. Remind us not to take Your goodness and grace for granted. Teach us to praise You for all of the blessings You shower on us each and every day. Thank You for abiding in our spirit and making such a huge difference in our life.

Help us to learn to discern the leading of Your Spirit as we commit each moment of our day to You. We do not want to depend on our human reasoning, because this reaps mediocre results at best. We want to walk in Your Will by the direction of Your Word under the power of Your Holy Spirit.

Thought for the Day:
God improves our spiritual, mental, emotional, financial and physical health as we  trust Him, follow the direction of His Spirit, and live, move and exist only in His will. – Acts 17:28

Living in God’s Purpose

God knows our every weakness; yet He calls us as part of His Kingdom. He created us for His purpose and enables us to fulfill His will for our life (Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 2:12-13).

We may have addictions, desires or goals for our life, which thwart God’s purpose for us. Godly sorrow over our sin humbles us and enables us to come to repentance by faith (Isaiah 53:4; 1 John 1:9).

Without repentance, we live in darkness, alone and empty, regardless of how much we fill our life with people, places and things. Only in God do we find true fulfillment.

When we walk in the Spirit, we accomplish greater works than Christ did during His time on the earth (John 14:12). He was one man, and we are His Body – with Believers all over the world for generations past and future.

As a corporate Body, Christ accomplishes His greater works through us. If we walk according to the direction of God’s Spirit each moment of our day, we will influence the growth of God’s Kingdom in ways we will not even realize until we enter eternity.

As we fully surrender our life to Christ in us, we grow in our intimacy with Him. His Holy Spirit in us will complete His work in and through us. We can walk with confidence in God’s purpose for our life.

Prayer:
Father God, when we refuse to humble our self before Your mighty hand, we will suffer the humiliation of living outside of Your Kingdom, possible for eternity. It is our choice (James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:6). Help us to change our attitude and not to neglect the great salvation, which Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary’s cross granted to us (Hebrews 2:3).

Remind us to walk in Your will, and not to fill our life with chaotic and hurried activities, which deplete our energy and grieve Your Spirit (Ephesians 2:10; Ephesians 4:30). We give You all of the praise and the glory for everything, which we accomplish on this earth, because without Christ in us, we can do nothing (John 15:5).

Thought for the Day:
God looks on the inward heart, rather than our outward performance; yet, when we walk in faith, we are led by His Spirit to accomplish the works He created us to do.

– 1 Samuel 16:7; James 2:14-26; Ephesians 2:10

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.