Let Your Insides Out

 

Who are you behind the masks you wear? Do you wear your feelings on your shoulder for other people to see who you really are? Do you try to act one way when you really feel another?

Or have you learned that it does not matter what other people think about you? Are you free from the tyranny of their opinions? Do you let your insides out?

Our fears and insecurities define who we really are inside. Due to our spirit and soul, we may have a strong spirit, but a very wounded soul. We appear strong, yet most of us are really weak.

When people reject us for our weaknesses, we feel worthless and damaged, which increases our fears and insecurities. We feel too vulnerable and build walls around our heart.

My former husband disdained the inner me. My adult children tolerate the inner me. My current husband dwells with the inner me with patience and understanding.

The good news is that Jesus died for the inner me and His Spirit is transforming the inner me into a new creation from one glorious stage to another (2 Corinthians 3:18, 5:17).

He slowly peels away the bandages, which I applied to the wounds of the inner me. He exposes the raw emotion and anxiety and puts the salve of God’s unconditional love on each one of them.

He teaches us that the only opinion of us which really matters is God’s, which frees us from having to hide behind masks. He continually encourages us to let our insides out.

Prayer:
Father God, we can love and live with a person, but only You completely love, live with and accept us just as we are. Sometimes we have idols in our life, but they are not really perfect. Jesus is the only one who belongs on the throne of our life. Only You completely and unconditionally love the inner us.

We will leave the significant others in our life when we die, but we will live with You for eternity. Your love is ours now and forever and ever. As we keep You as our best friend and the lover of our soul, we will have Your blessings in our life and Your love will flow over us like a waterfall every day of our life now and always (Matthew 16:26).

Thought for the Day:
No person can completely understand or accept us for who we really are inside; Jesus lives inside of us and He knows and loves us better than we can even know and love our self.

Trusting in God’ Word

We can trust in God’s Living Word – sharper than any two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). Symbolism in the Bible speaks to us about the truth of His Word and the perfect timing of God’s plan for all of mankind.

For instance, Jesus – our perfect sacrificial Lamb – was crucified on the 14th day of the first month of the Jewish year (1 Corinthians 5:7). That was no accident.

This is the exact day and time that the Passover lambs are slain as a memorial of the Jew’s deliverance from the death angel while in Egypt.

Christ’s sacrifice makes us fully acceptable and totally pleasing to God by washing away our sins and giving us Christ’s righteousness. His Word gives us faith to believe in Him.

The Word informs us that God’s Spirit renews our mind and character, establishing in us the fruit of His Spirit and the character of Christ (Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Peter 1:3-10). Seeing our identity in Christ improves our self-image and deepens our union with Him.

Christ in us makes us the light of the world, a city high on a mountain top, which is impossible to hide (Matthew 5:14). However, this also means that any sin in our life is instantly visible and damages our witness for Christ.

Our words and actions affect our testimony either positively or negatively. That is why we are exhorted to keep our self unspotted by the world, and God’s Word helps us to do this (James 1:27).

God’s Word also makes us realize that Satan only has power over us if we give him something to devour (1 Peter 5:8). If we submit to God and resist the devil, he has to flee from us (James 4:7).

Trusting in God’s Word gives us peace of mind, the security of faith, and hope for tomorrow. His precepts and prophesies give us solid ground on which to stand in this world of shifting sand.

Prayer:
Father God, life on this earth is scary and unpredictable, debilitating and demoralizing, full of pain and suffering. If we had to live without You and Your Word, our hearts would fail us for fear (Luke 21:26). Yet, trusting in Your Word gives us strength within, which permeates all of our decisions and fuels all of our actions.

As we walk in Your Spirit through every moment of every day, there is no guesswork to consider, no mistakes to reap from and no mishaps for which You have not already prepared us. Thank You for not leaving us on earth without Your Word to comfort and encourage us.

Thought for the Day:
Criticizing the Word of God is human arrogance at its worst; only the wise will believe in His Word and trust in its insights. – 1 Corinthians 1:21; Romans 10:17

The Gospel of Christ

The Gospel of Christ is a simple plan for the salvation of the whole world. Once we accept the saving grace of Christ for salvation, the Trinity dwells in us by the Holy Spirit of God.

If we reject this free gift of salvation, we condemn our self to hell for eternity. If we deny that Christ is the Son of God, we are a liar and the truth is not in us (Romans 3:23, 6:23; John 3:16-18).

Also, we are not Born Again children of God (1 John 2:22-23). However, if we abide in Him, we have confidence that we will see Him face-to-face (1 John 2:28-29).

Jesus Christ is the living Son of God who died in our place to redeem us to the Father and to Himself. He fills us and leads us with His Spirit while we live on this earth.

God gives us the faith of Christ as a shield to protect us from the fiery temptations and trials of the devil (Ephesians 6:16). He fills us with his peace, which allows us to endure life’s issues with joy (Ephesians 6:23).

The Word of God exhorts us to allow our conversation – our words and behavior – to be an example of the Gospel of Christ to the lost and dying world around us, especially during times of adversity (Philippians 2:17).

God delivers us from irrational, mean-spirited and wicked people who would come against us (2 Thessalonians 3:2). He upholds us in His powerful right hand (Isaiah 41:10).

The Word encourages us to stand strong by the power of God’s Spirit and to dwell together in unity with the Body of Christ through our shared faith in the Gospel of Christ (Philippians 1:27; Colossians 1:4).

We do this by accessing by faith the righteousness of Christ within us, clinging to God Spirit and Word, and developing a deeper and more intimate relationship with Christ in us (Philippians 3:9; Colossians 3:3-4).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for rooting us and maturing us in Christ, establishing our faith and teaching us to abound in gratitude to You for all that You do for us even in the dire circumstances, which we sometimes face during our lifetime (Colossians 2:7; 2 Thessalonians 1:4).

You teach us patience by reminding us of the hope we have in You both now and for eternity; and You spur us on to work in faith, to labor in love and to keep our focus on You (1 Thessalonians 1:3). We love You with our whole heart and we give You all of our self just as You gave all of Yourself to us.

Thought for the Day:
God’s Spirit plants and establishes us in the faith of Christ so that we are not moved away from the hope we receive from the Gospel of Christ, which is preached by mankind, by all of nature and in the conscience of every creature ever born under heaven.
– Colossians 1:23; Romans 1:20

Disposable People – Part 2 – Advantages of Staying Married

There are many advantages to staying together with our first love. The first benefit is for our children. The continuity of the family is a basic human need.

Children are encouraged that their own marriage will make it through the tough times, just like their parents did. Otherwise, they will develop a disposable mentality as well.

Staying married contributes to overall emotional, mental, spiritual, financial and physical health. It reduces the stress of starting over and the effects of grief, which divorce adds to our life.

Dating new people, while fun in some cases, is risky because everyone has baggage of some sort, visible and invisible. In a second marriage, we often spend more time with our spouse’s children than our own.

Therefore, do not get careless in your marriage; relax, but look, speak and act attractively for one another. Continue dating each other, even when the children come along. Enjoy your mate’s company.

When we and our spouse disagree, we can find a third alternative, on which we can both agree. If there is a seemingly unsolvable issue, get counseling to find an agreeable path.

We may need to take a break, to put a brief time or distance between each other in order to gain a new perspective on our relationship.

A separation for the purpose of reconciliation gives us a chance to talk about our disagreements with the freedom of having a safe place to go if tempers flare or we feel frustrated or unsafe.

We may find that we miss our spouse, the security they give to our life and little joys they bring to our everyday experiences, their laughter and support.

We can both agree to change habits which cause friction in our relationship. We can gain a better understanding of our spouse by talking intimately about each other’s honest feelings, needs and desires.

Forgiveness helps us to rekindle the love we once felt for each other. We will grow to admire, encourage, appreciate, cherish and serve one another all the days of our life, and we will stay together until death parts us.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that our marriage vows were made to You as well as to our spouse. Prompt us to pray with our spouse, because You help us to resolve our issues. If we take turns praying, each partner praying one sentence at a time, this prevents much of the frustration of praying together. Teach us to pause and listen to You speak to us as we pray too.

Help us to bear one another’s burdens, to be long suffering with each other’s shortcomings, to encourage and build each other up and to enjoy one another’s company. Remind us why we fell in love in the first place and help us to keep the eternal flame of agape love burning.

Thought for the Day:
Love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. – 1 Peter 4:8

The Impotence of God

Many who do not know the Lord, will say that God is impotent and that there is no help in Him; that He causes bad things to happen to us and our loved ones without compassion or concern over the devastation caused by these trials and afflictions (Psalm 3:2).

God created Paradise and wanted us to live there. He only gave Adam and Eve one directive or restriction. They chose to listen to Satan and we all now bear the curse from their choice.

Satan delights in ensnaring the lives of every human ever born on earth. He offers them delights of the flesh; and makes sure they reap its destruction (Romans 1: 32, 6:23; Proverbs 11:19).

The devil’s plants his lies in our mind, and encourages us to falsely accuse God, to turn His glory into shame, to turn away from Him and to seek the false gods of pleasure, money, fame, success and power instead (Psalm 4:2).

God knew this would happen and provided the ultimate sacrifice for our sin. He became a man, Emmanuel, and paid our sin debt for us. Yet, many still refuse to put their trust in Him and they continue to reap sin’s curse (John 3:18).

Authentic Believers realize that there is no reason to fear anything in life (Psalm 3:6). If we are walking in His Spirit, nothing will ever happen to us, which is not already part of His plan for us.

Evil, hardship and loss come from the god of this world, the devil. God will save anyone who surrenders their life to Him. When we are surrounded by evil all around us, with no way of escape; God is right there waiting for us (Psalm 3:6).

We can enjoy a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. We know without a doubt that God’s shield protects us. When we are drowning in life’s circumstances, He lifts our head high above the waves of adversity (Psalm 3:3).

Prayer:
Father God, You call us to live a holy life and to trust in You. When people around us scoff at us for trusting in You, let us stand strong in our faith in Your faithfulness. Let them see Your goodness in Your provision and care for us.

Let Your light shine on us and let everything prosper, which we do according to Your will. Fill our hearts with Your peace and joy and allow us to enjoy deep and restful sleep. Keep us safe for the glory of Your name (Psalm 4:5-8).

Thought for the Day:
God calls us not to sin (Psalm 4:4), to trust in His goodness and love, and to stand still and see the salvation of our God. – Exodus 14:13

Forgiveness and Boundaries

Human beings tend to suffer in silence. We fear rejection and criticism, so we internalize our thoughts and feelings rather than confiding in one another.

Inner voices, which do not line up with God’s Word, are lies from Satan Himself. The only way to dispel His lies is by speaking God’s truth (Philippians 4:8; 1 Timothy 4:1).
( http://www.theophostic.com )

Once we receive our forgiveness from God through repentance and faith in exchange for our sins, then God receives us as His own precious children (1 John 3:2).

We have Jesus’ example in order to forgive those who harm us. If they are repentant, we allow them back into our heart. If they refuse to repent, then we forgive them for our sake, but keep them at a distance.

Even though we forgive them, we do not condone their behavior toward us, and we certainly never allow them any opportunities to harm us again.

We derive our self-worth through Christ in us, rather than through our own achievements. This way our esteem does not depend upon people, circumstances or meeting our goals.

It depends on God’s faithfulness and the presence of Christ abiding within us. We are secure in who we are through Christ. We live the life to which He calls us (Ephesians 2:10).

This way too, we have no need to attempt to manipulate and control the behavior of others in order to make our self feel better, safer or more secure.

Prayer:
Father God, people do tend to maliciously use us, but You encourage us to love them with Your agape love and to forgive them and pray for them (Matthew 5:44). However, we can also be wise as snakes and gentle as doves in our dealings with them (Matthew 10:16).

We point them to Your love for them, but we never again allow them to take advantage of us or to use us for their evil gain. Their opinion of us does not matter anymore, because our identity and our good name come from You (Proverbs 22:1; Psalm 52:9).

Thought for the Day:
No one is more deceived than the person who will not admit that he or she is wrong; but we can forgive them anyway and erect boundaries to keep them from harming us again.

Abiding in Christ

Effective evangelism is motivated by the love of God. When we share the love of God, we and those we minister to are filled with God, because God is love (Ephesians 3:19; 1 John 4:8).

When our personal relationship with God is evident, people will want this same intimacy with Him, which we enjoy. Our testimony emanates Christ’s life, which entices people to hunger for God too (John 13:35).

God gives us His peace and His Spirit who dwells within us (1 Corinthians 2:12, 14:33). We prosper in every trial through Christ who abides in us (Romans 8:37).

Jesus already overcame the world and the trials through which we live; so He encourages us from the inside out (John 16:33). Therefore, we can always flourish in the work of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58).

There is no condemnation for past sins, because we are now in Christ (Romans 8:1). He became sin on our behalf and gave us His righteous standing with our Father God (2 Corinthians 5:21).

God’s Spirit gives us liberty from bondage to the flesh, the world and Satan (Galatians 3:13-14; 2 Corinthians 3:17). Since God is in our corner, nothing which comes against us can succeed (Romans 8:31).

We are never alone again, because Christ never forsakes us or leaves us alone (Matthew 28:20). He expresses Himself through our thoughts, words and deeds (Hebrews 13:5).

We learn to be content with whatever God provides for us on a daily basis, knowing that if we need something, He will provide it in His own way and time (Philippians 4:11).

Prayer:

Father God, regardless of the obstacles life uses to hinder us, You conqueror over them all. Thank You for leading us by Your Spirit and making us Your children and co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:14, 17).

You help us to understand what Your will is for our life and You enable us to walk in it (Ephesians 5:17). Remind us to obey Your Spirit and to look to You for the fulfillment of all of our needs.

Thought for the Day:

We serve at the pleasure of our King Jesus, who dwells within us; therefore, we abound in every good work. – 2 Corinthians 9:8

Ask and Receive

God’s promises to us are positive and guaranteed (2 Corinthians 1:20). He tells us to ask and we will receive (John 15:7, 16:24). One of the favorite verses in today’s Christian ranks is that God will give us a hopeful future, that He has our best interest at heart and that He wants us to prosper (Jeremiah 29:11).

Due to this fact, many Bible teachers counsel people to stand on God’s Word. Of course, it is a good idea to read and pray God’s Word. The Spirit uses God’s Word to anoint our spirit, to encourage our soul – our mind, choices and emotions – and to strengthen our body.

However, many people will point to a verse in the Bible, hold the book up in God’s face and demand that He provide us with the humanistic fulfillment, which we interpret the verse to say. We take the verse out of the context of the rest of the verses around it, and we do not consider who the verse’s author is talking to when he wrote it.

Rather than demanding that God provide what we want, we can sit quietly in His presence and receive from Him what He chooses to give us. We praise and thank Him, even if His answer is hardship and suffering. We can give thanks to God for His love and generosity in the most dire circumstance, which life throws at us (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

God’s presence in our life is a more valuable treasure than any earthly, carnal provision we expect. Even if we are homeless, dying in a hospital bed or falsely accused and in prison, we can rejoice in the Lord always (Philippians 4:4-9). All of God’s promises come to us through Christ’s atoning work; and we give God the glory for whatever He provides for us (2 Corinthians 1:20).

Prayer:
Father God, trials are not a sign of Your rejection of us, our lack of faith or our immature spirituality. In this world, Jesus had tribulation, and we are not more privileged than our Lord (John 13:16). Help us to see the seed for a miracle in every trial You allow into our life (Job 1:8; 2:3). Thank You for teaching us submission to Your will, appreciation for Your blessings, and for molding us into the image of Christ through the things that we suffer (Hebrews 5:8).

You are our provision and protection, and our heart trusts in You and Your supply; we will sing songs to You, because our heart greatly rejoices in Your loving presence in our life (Psalm 28:7). Rather than demanding, grabbing or insisting on Your blessings, we will sit quietly in Your presence and surrender to Your will for our life.

Thought for the Day:
As we change our focus from temporal to eternal aspects of life, things of this earth will fade in their importance to us. – 2 Corinthians 4:18

An Alien Within

Prior to coming to Christ, we determined our daily routine by our priorities. We valued, worked toward and pursued anything that would assist us in reaching our goals. We developed this habit, day in and day out, living by our human reasoning and working to please our self and to secure our future. Then, the Spirit of God moved in and encouraged us to entirely shift our mind-set.

Prior to Salvation, our flesh formed habits as we trained our thoughts, attitudes, words and actions to respond and react in certain ways to the challenges and trials of life. We were used to living independently of any restraints or parameters for our behavior (Romans 8:7-8). We served our self and made sure we would come out on top (Romans 1:25; 2 Corinthians 5:15). We did good deeds for others, but we wanted the praise.

Salvation sets up a dichotomy in our life, which causes a tug-of-war within our soul. God wants us to put to death the carnal deeds of our flesh, so that we can live an abundant spiritual existence (Romans 8:13-14). Yet, our flesh wants to maintain the status quo and control our own life. The tie-breaker is God’s Spirit, who rebirths our human spirit, which was formerly dead in sin (Ephesians 2:5).

Now, our old nature is dead and we are Born Again by God’s Spirit. Spiritually alive, we partake in the divine nature of Christ (2 Peter 1:4; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:3-4). The nine fruit of the Spirit replace our formal carnal character (Galatians 5:22-23). We no longer live independently, but in dependence on God’s love and will.

Our former traits, alien to God’s ways, still influence our thoughts, words and behavior. However, we can crucify these independent and willful tendencies on a daily basis (Matthew 16:24-26), and obey the will of God instead. We willingly submit our old fleshly habits to the work of God’s Spirit within us (Romans 8:12-13). We restrict the deeds of our flesh by renewing our mind and surrendering our life to Christ (Romans 12:2; Mark 10:28-29).

Prayer:
Father God, by Your saving faith, a gift to us from Your mercy and love, we receive Your Holy Spirit who influences and transforms us. You draw us to Your heart and You renovate every aspect of our life by Your Spirit. This free gift is priceless and we thank You for the sacrifice Jesus paid for our eternal life (Ephesians 2:8). Teach us to walk in Your Spirit every moment of our life (Galatians 5:16-25).

Thought for the Day:
Each day we walk in more victory over the flesh by dwelling in the Spirit and following God’s desires for our life. – Galatians 5:16-26

The Tyranny of Self-Effort

Our human effort can never produce spirituality. No amount of carnal exertion, ceremonies, rituals or precepts can govern the spiritual world. Repentance is the first step to true spirituality. This humbles us and allows God into our life. The more we worship our Creator and King, the more spirituality we encourage in our life. This creates a new attitude and mind-set in us.

God gives us gifts to use to minister to the lost and dying world around us (1 Corinthians 12:4). We testify to others about what God does in our life. Many will turn a deaf ear, because their life is ruled by the tyranny of self-effort. However, some who are tired of servitude to the dictates of the flesh will be ready to surrender their life to God and to enjoy His love and blessings like we do.

The steady habitation of our spirit by the Spirit of God gives us peace and joy, which transcends what the world and its religions can offer to us. Our connection to God becomes our foremost priority. We deepen our relationship through prayer, Bible study, fellowship with other Believers and Christian service in our community. We encounter God’s hand in our life through many significant ways.

God cares about us. He even lived in human form and suffered in every area in which we do (1 Peter 2:21-22; Hebrews 4:15). God cannot fellowship with sin, so we must not grieve His Spirit with our carnality and self-effort (Habakkuk 1:13; Ephesians 4:30). God’s Spirit continually transforms us with the mind of Christ. If we give our constant attention to His will and ways in our life, we will sense God’s powerful presence.

Prayer:

Father God, we relinquish every area of our life, which serves as a distraction to us from following You with our whole heart. We confess every sin, which stands between Your heart and ours. We trust in Your faithfulness and surrender our anxieties and stress to You for Your miraculous healing and provision. Remind us not to allow the cares of this world to choke out our focus on You (Mark 4:19).

Thought for the Day:

A personal encounter with God on a daily basis will free us from the tyranny of self-effort.