Divine Appointmets – A Missed Opportunity

Growing up as a shy melancholy, I did not change very much when I first came to Christ. I still hesitated to talk to people, for fear of rejection and ridicule. Yet, I wanted to tell others about God’s divine love.

An opportunity arose a few weeks later, when a school chum pulled into the gas station just outside the window of the office where I worked. I knew my boss would not like me to take time away, and I figured my friend was also very busy.

So I just ran outside for a moment, greeted him and told him I had some good news to tell him as soon as we could get together. He was married to my boyfriend’s sister, so I did not think much time would pass before we could chat.

I ran back to my desk, excited that this would be my first opportunity to share with someone about the love and mercy of Christ in my life. A smile adorned my face for the rest of the day.

That very night…my lifelong school friend…committed suicide.

When my boyfriend gave me the news, I was devastated for his wife and their families, but more distraught because the Gospel of Christ may have saved his life both physically and spiritually, if I had only taken the time to speak to him when God gave me the opportunity.

I felt such deep remorse for days. I cried out to the Lord for forgiveness of this sin of omission. At the funeral, I cried more for my failure than I did for his family. I felt bereft and condemned by Satan’s shame.

The next day at work, I stared out the window, watching the cars come and go at the gas station next door. I judged myself for my failure and felt such regret that his life ended too young, and that his eternal destiny was already set.

My failure haunted me for weeks, until I stopped rebuking myself long enough to listen to the Lord. The shame of my failure left, but in its place came a dogged determination never to miss another divine appointment to share the love and grace of the Lord.

Prayer:
Father God, Your mercy and grace to forgive our sins of commission and omission humbles us and increases our love for You. I know that You had a plan for my school friend, and he chose to end his life rather than to surrender His life to You (John 3:16-18).

Thank you for the many opportunities You continually give us to share the Good News of the Gospel of Christ with everyone You bring into our life. Help us never to hesitate from fear or human reasoning, but to step out of our flesh and into Your Spirit, and to open our mouth and allow You to fill it by Your Spirit (Psalm 81:10).

Thought for the Day:
Not everyone will accept the Gospel of Christ when we share it with them; but we take them to a crossroad in their life where they have to make a choice to accept or reject the Lord. – John 3:16-18

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Our Divine Refuge

There are many rocky roads in this life; but as we traverse them, we can abide in the presence of our Almighty God (Psalm 91:1). Christ dwells within us by His Holy Spirit, who abides in our spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19). Realizing this prevents the negative aspects of our circumstances from adversely affecting our soul: our thoughts, emotions and attitude.

We live in victory, regardless of the situations in which we live or how negatively they are affecting our life. God uses them to develop His character in our soul, and we learn life lessons through persevering in the trials we experience. We also grow spiritually as we develop faith in God’s faithfulness (Romans 5:3-5).

Eventually, we enjoy God’s love in the midst of hateful people; His joy in depressing issues; His peace in our spirit when anxiety threatens to overwhelm our soul; and His patience, because our focus is on the eternal rather than the temporary issues of this earth (Galatians 5:22-23).

We walk cautiously and carefully, as we traverse the mine-field of life (Ephesians 5:15:20). We pour out our heart to God, trust in Him at all times as our mighty Rock, and find our hope in Him alone (Psalm 62:7-8). God’s Word provides us with a lamp to light our way (Psalm 119:105). God’s divine love and attributes fill our soul and spirit, and allow us to make the best of every situation.

We are in the world, but there is no need for us to be affected by this world. God is our refuge and strength, and He is always available to help us in all of our troubling times (Psalm 46:1). We no longer worry about the world around us, because God is the sanctuary in which we reside. He is our lifelong fortress from the world and its troubles.
Prayer:
Father God, change occurs in our spirit as a result of Your completed work of redemption. Then Your Spirit gradually influences our soul and behavior as You renew our mind through sanctification (Hebrews 10:10-14, 12:23; 1 John 3:9). You completely seal us in soul and spirit with Your Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13). Thank You for teaching us to be heavenly minded, rather than carnally minded (Colossians 3:2). We continually praise and glorify You throughout the day, as we serve You in the calling and vocation Your prepared for us before we were ever born (Psalm 31:4; Mark 13:30; Ephesians 2:10).

Thought for the Day:
As we abide in Christ, God works out all of the details of our life for our good. – Romans 8:28; John 15:3

His Exact Replica

After Salvation, we often focus our attention outwardly. We see God on His throne in Heaven, but we see our self as struggling alone in life and in need of His divine help. Some people say we are nothing but puppets, forced to serve as our Divine Manipulator dictates. However, we are more like a glove. Christ exactly fills us and we are perfectly molded to His character and nature (2 Peter 1:4).

Our union with Christ involves our spirit, soul and body. He unites them in vision and purpose with Christ. Through this union, God expresses His heart through us in sympathy for the hardships of others, in patience in tribulation, and in devotion in Bible study, prayer and fellowship with other Saints of God. Consequently, God fulfills through us His purpose for us in the earth (Ephesians 2:10).

In this manner, the union between the Creator and the created, the divine and the human, the eternal and the temporal is complete (Colossians 2:10). The Spirit directs us, and we move as His exact replica on the earth. Jesus also walks beside us, as well as living within us. He completely surrounds us, finishing His work of sanctification in our soul. We live, move and exist in Him (Acts 17:28).

Christ redeemed us from sin by the cross, and He works out His intentions in us and through us (Ephesians 2:10; Colossians 2:9-10). Jesus is our all in all (Colossians 1:17). He justifies our spirit; sanctifies, inspires and directs our soul; and will eventually glorify our body. Jesus is the expression of God’s glory and the exact image of God’s being (Hebrews 1:3). He speaks the oracles of God through our voice (1 Peter 4:11).

Also, Jesus heals a sick body through the laying on of our hands (Mark 1:41; 6:5; 5:3; 7:32, 33; 8:23, 25; 16:18; James 5:15). He sees a need and meets it through the resources He provides for us (1 John 3:17). He will even raise the dead, cleanse the leper and cast out demons in and through us (Matthew 10:8). As we walk in union with Christ, by the direction of His Spirit, we walk as shining stars, shedding His light in the dark, lost world around us (Colossians 1:27; Philippians 2:15).

Prayer:
Father God, Your will flows from a combination of Your divine love and wisdom. Harmony in our relationship with You increases as we live in union with Christ. This guarantees that more accord abides between our will and Yours. We soon find that our purpose is to do nothing more in life than to allow Christ to work through us. Fill us with the spiritual gifts and fruit of Your Spirit, and help us to lay down our plans and expectations, so You can use us for Your purposes each moment of our day.

Thought for the Day:
If we only focus on Christ on the cross, we may forget the fact that the risen Lord dwells within our spirit.