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

 

 

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.

A Fulfilled Life

As humans, we are so engrossed in our soul that we fail to realize that our spirit is dead within us (Ephesians 2:1). We instinctively know there is a missing ingredient within, but we ignore this fact much of our life.

This causes us to delve deeper into the realm of the soul – the thoughts of our mind, our fleshly choices and the tyrant of our emotions. We seek satisfaction in any way, time and place we can find it.

We refuse to believe anything, which does not make sense to our human understanding. We even perverted the Serenity Prayer to relate to the “god of our understanding.”

As fallen humanity, we are so blinded by our pride and rebellion to the Truth of God’s Word that we miss out on the blessings, which God wants to provide for each and every one of us right here and now, as well as in the future.

The power of God for salvation is freely given to everyone who chooses to believe, without regard to color, age, race, financial status and ethnic background (Romans 1:16).

Our righteous God reveals a fulfilled life in His love to those who choose to reject the counsel of our pride and rebellion; and instead, to have faith in His faithfulness (Romans 1:16-17).

Prayer:
Father God, You freely give all things to those who put their trust in You. You infuse us with Your joy, which is our strength to live a fulfilled life in this sin-cursed world. Even creation cries out for the revelation of Your sons, so that You will restore the former glory of Paradise to the earth.

Thank You for moving by Your Spirit in my life and giving me the faith of Your Son, Jesus Christ, to believe in You (Galatians 2:20). Thank You for showering me with Your love every moment of my day and teaching me to follow the direction of Your Spirit through each one of them. Dwelling in the center of Your will is the happiest place on earth.

Thought for the Day:
We can conqueror every negative aspect in this life, just because of God’s love for us. – Romans 8:37-39

Wait on the Lord

There is a fallacy in the teaching of the modern church, which states that God can only use us, if we are already moving. If we read God’s Word and the biographies of great men and women of God, this is not the case.

Contemporary teachers say that only as we do God’s work can we discern His will. However, the truth is that God can only use someone who is spending time on their knees in prayer (Isaiah 55:3).

If we make our own plans and goals, and pursue our own dreams, then we repeatedly walk outside of God’s will. If we attempt to meet every need in every person’s life, we often thwart God’s plans in their life.

However, as we wait on the Lord, He will always hear us and respond (Psalm 40:1; John 16:24; Ephesians 3:20). He gives us courage and the strength we need to face the trials ahead of us (Psalm 27:14). We find our rest and hope only in God (Psalm 62:5).

We do not wait on the Lord by filling the minutes of our life with stressful activity and busy work. This distracts us from lingering in His presence and hearing from Him with our whole being (Psalm 130:5).

We do not even need to defend our self, when we are harmed or wronged. As we wait on the Lord, He avenges us (Proverbs 20:22). God’s wisdom deals with the situation better than our human efforts ever could

It may take time to hear from God. We may wait for days, months or years to discern His direction and will for a certain situation (Jeremiah 42:7). If we rush ahead of God, we will undoubtedly fail.

Once we pray and hear from God’s Spirit on the course of action, which He plans for us to take, then we can start moving in the direction in which He is leading us.

Prayer:
Father God, it is so hard for us to wait. We get so nervous and anxious when we wait in line or for some appointment at an office. In this modern era, we are constantly on our phone, checking messages, texting or listening to the news. We fail to make time to quiet our soul, enter into our spirit and hear from You. You desire to bring us into a deeper union with You, but this only comes as we wait on You.

Remind us that You love to spend time with us. You even enjoy long bouts of companionable silence with us. You delight in our praises (Psalm 147:1), and You rejoice over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). Help us to walk in Your Spirit and to wait on Your direction for each moment of our day.

Thought for the Day:
The Lord is good to those who hope in Him and seek His will and guidance in everything we think, say and do. – Lamentations 3:25

Health and Well Being – Part 3

Our Spirit, Body and Soul are all interconnected and depend upon one another for complete health. God shows mercy on our troubled soul and infirmed body; and He wants us to respond when He calls us to help each other (Psalm 6:2-3). If we see the anguish in someone’s soul and do not obey the Spirit’s direction to help alleviate that distress, God finds us guilty of neglect (Genesis 42:21).

With God as our gentle shepherd, there is nothing we need, which He will not supply. He gives us more than we need physically; and He also restores our soul, after we experience a wounding and upsetting situation (Psalm 23:1-3). As we wait on God, He feeds our body and spirit as He delivers us from the prison of our wounded soul (Psalm 62:1, 142:7; Proverbs 13:25).

The more depressed our soul is, the more God encourages us to hope in Him and to praise Him through our trials. He brightens our emotions and body language, while He delivers our soul from grief (Psalm 42:5-6, 11). As we grow spiritually, we long to walk in the courts of our living God, and we cry out for a deeper union with Him (Psalm 84:1-2). Our intimate relationship with Him gives us a new perspective on life.

Attending church services, reading our Bible, praising God continually, fellowshipping with Christian friends and staying in tune with God all day long, through communion with His Spirit, will help to strengthen our spirit. This causes our soul to blossom and brings health to our body all at the same time (3 John 1:2).

Prayer:
Father God, Your sound wisdom and discretion give life and grace to our soul. You allow us to walk safely without stumbling, even during treacherous experiences throughout our lifetime (Proverbs 3:21-23). Remind us to be aware of our own and also our neighbor’s need for nurturing; and lead us by Your Spirit to help us in these times of necessity. We incline our ear to You and follow hard after You, so that we may hear Your life-giving Words (Isaiah 55:3).

Thought for the Day:
Our soul clings to God for comfort in times of both stress and distress. – Psalm 63:8