Drenched with the Presence of God

God diagrammed the course of human existence before He ever brought the first couple to His perfect Garden. Their sin did not surprise Him, and He already planned for Jesus to pay our sin debt (Romans 7:21-25).

Through Christ, we are Born Again – a spiritual rebirth of our human spirit. The Holy Spirit dwells within us, empowering us to walk in God’s will every moment of our day.

We are not drawn to the darkness, because Christ in us is our spiritual light. Satan no longer holds us as powerless captives, weak-willed hostages or rebellious infidels.

Carnal feelings, earthly desires and worldly longings are things of the past. The war in our mind ceases, because God’s Spirit in us wins battle after battle to renew our mind (Ephesians 4:23).

Once we accept Christ, we slowly get lost in the beauty of His holiness (Psalm 29:2). We exalt His name for His faithful love and grace toward us (Isaiah 25:1). Christ is our whole life (Colossians 3:4).

We think of nothing but Christ in our every waking moment. We follow His Spirit as He directs our steps in the very center of God’s will (Proverbs 3:5-6).

God is our eternal dwelling place and we are His Holy Temple (Psalm 90:1-2; 1 Corinthians 3:16). We are completely absorbed in Him and He fills every fiber of our being.

We behold His beauty as we dwell in His house and we meditate in His Temple (Psalm 27:4). He gives us a reason to hope during the trials, which we experience throughout our day (Jeremiah 29:11). We are drenched with His very presence.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for setting us free from the law of sin and death by Your Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2). We have less stress and striving in our life since we completely surrendered to the work of Your Holy Spirit in our life. We love Your Kingdom and we look forward to inheriting Your promises in eternity.

Keep us ever faithful to Your Word and Your life within us. Write Your laws on our heart and fill us to the brim with Your Spirit (Hebrews 8:10; Ephesians 3:16-9). Transform our mind to the mind of Christ and give us an abundance of Your presence until we overflow to the brim with Your love, grace and complete unity with You (Romans 12:2; John 17:23).

Thought for the Day:
Sin no longer tempts us, disobedience disgusts us and rebellion no longer motivates our behavior, because we love God with our entire body, soul and spirit and we detest what He abhors.

Sharing Christ with Others

God’s invisible attributes, eternal power and divine nature are clearly seen in His Creation (Revelation 4:11). This takes away a person’s excuse for not believing in Him as their Savior.

We instinctively know that there is a God and that we should serve Him with all of our emotions, mind, choices and physical strength (Deuteronomy 6:4-5).

Yet, so many do not honor God or appreciate Him. They pursue futile activities, endless philosophies and fruitless enlightenment and their hearts darken further with each passing day. They think they are wise, but they are actually very foolish (Romans 1:20-22).

Authentic Believers trust in, rely on and believe in Christ even if we end up suffering for the sake of His righteousness. We learn to explain and defend our beliefs to those who ask us about the hope we have in Him.

Yet, we never impose our beliefs on someone who is clearly not interested in them (1 Peter 3:14-16). There is no point if the Holy Spirit is not drawing them to God. We never badger anyone about coming to Christ.

We share Jesus with gentleness, respect for the listener and a good conscience; even if someone slanders our good name or reviles our good behavior in Christ.

We are created for God’s glory and service, and we will spend all of eternity worshiping our worthy Lamb who was slain in our place. For now, we live for His glory while we dwell on this earth and do only those works for which He created us to perform (Ephesians 2:10).

Prayer:
Father God, break the yoke of bondage that our flesh feels to sin and replace our weaknesses with Your strengths. Help us to decrease so that You may increase. We praise You as our living Lord and thank You for giving us Your Spirit to abide within us all the days of our life.

You are the only one worthy of all honor, respect, praise, glory, wisdom, might and blessing. We look forward to joining the myriads of angels already around the throne in singing Your praises (Revelation 5:12). Lead us to share Christ with those whom You are drawing to Yourself.

Thought for the Day:
The abiding Holy Spirit teaches us to follow His lead as we share Christ with friends, relatives, associates and neighbors; so that we do not push too hard, ignore their body language or fail to read the feelings of their soul in their eyes.

Lift Up Your Head

Rahab hid the Israelite spies who came to scope out the land for the Israelite invasion. She was rewarded with salvation during the destruction of Jericho.

The amazing part of this story to me is that she lived in the outside wall, and God sent her deliverance before the wall fell straight down on the seventh day.

God kept her safe even through this time of destruction, as well as redeemed her from her former profession. She married Salmon; and her son, Boaz, married another gentile convert, Ruth.

Rahab is the great-grandmother of King David and is in the ancestry lineage of Jesus Christ. God truly lifted up her head and turned her ashes into a thing of beauty (Psalm 3:3-4).

Our Father God does this same thing for anyone willing to surrender their will to His will (Luke 22:42). He exalts our head above our enemies (Psalm 27:5-6).

When our soul is depressed and unsettled within us, we hope in God and praise His name, and He puts a smile on our lips and joy in our heart (Psalm 42:11).

He sets our feet to dancing (Psalm 30:11) and gives us something to shout about (Psalm 98:4). He changes our focus from the temporal to the eternal and gives us a future full of hope and blessings (Jeremiah 29:11).

Eventually, we leave this carnal earth behind and enter into the glories of Heaven, living in the presence of God for eternity and inheriting His Kingdom with Jesus (Revelation 21:23; Psalm 16:11; Romans 8:17).

Prayer:
Father God, we praise You all the days of our life and still do not have enough time to thank You for all You have done for us. We look forward to eternity and having endless eons to worship You in all of Your beauty and holiness. We give you praise, honor and glory.

Thank You for Your love for us, for holding us in the palm of Your hand and for lifting up our head when we face the trials we encounter on this earth. You fill our hearts with joy and peace; not the tentative harmony that the world offers, but Your lasting and eternal peace that surpasses our human comprehension (John 14:27).

Thought for the Day:
God leads us by His Spirit each moment of the day and fills our life full of divine appointments which make a difference in our life and in the lives He brings across our path.

Take Courage

With persecution of Christians increasing in the world, including in the good ole USA which was founded on religious freedom, we have to remember that the main thing is still the main thing: God will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

Regardless of how many God haters rise into power, God is still in control of our individual lives. Our fears and anxiety will only add to the stress and ill health caused by their persecution.

If we learn to enter God’s rest now, while we still have our freedoms, it will enable us to better traverse the unknown treatment, loss and deprivation which we may face in the future.

God reminds us that we are actually blessed when we are persecuted for His sake. We take courage from the example set by lives such as Paul and the Old Testament prophets (Matthew 5:10-12).

We rejoice, because although we may face scarcity now, we are storing up rewards in heaven for eternity. This concept allows us to rejoice and continue to serve as the salt and light of the earth (Matthew 5:12-15).

God uses us to preserve the lives and to light the path of those around us and to lead them to Him. When they see His love, peace and joy in our life, regardless of circumstances, they too will honor our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us to take the focus off our self and to share Your love with those who are also suffering all around us. Remind us that the endurance of Christ fills our soul, because He abides within us. Any persecution is light and momentary when compared to the glory You prepared for us in Heaven.

As Your righteous ones, we live by faith and You preserve our soul, so there is no need for us to shrink back in fear but to continue to show Your love even to our persecutors (Hebrews 10:32-39).

Thought for the Day:
Regardless of those who are elected as our officials, how much power terrorists gain in the world or how many laws are passed against us expressing our faith with words, buildings, external crosses or religious trappings, nothing can separate us from the eternal rest and love of God dwelling within us. – Romans 8:35-39; Proverbs 21:1

Living in Praise

Did you ever notice that Paul was the eternal optimist? The man worked hard, almost died several times, was stoned, shipwrecked and in the sea a day and night, constantly in danger, sleepless, hungry and thirsty, and exposed to both hot and cold elements (2 Corinthians 11:22-28).

Yet, he told us to rejoice always; to pray without ceasing; not to quench the Spirit; and to give thanks in everything: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:16-19).

Does this mean to give thanks, because everything that happens to us is God’s will for us; or that giving thanks is God’s will for us? Either way, it is worth paying attention to this verse.

If giving thanks is God’s will, then when we praise the Lord, we are in God’s will; and when we do not praise the Lord, we are out of God’s will for us.

If Paul is saying that we should give thanks in good times and in adversity, because all of these circumstances are the will God for us, then when we do not praise Him, we are missing out on part of the miracle, which God has for us through this trial.

Recently, our air-conditioning was out for two days during the hottest November on record in southwest Florida. I was dripping sweat, irritable and claustrophobic – because the heat imprisoned me and I could not escape it.

This caused me to remember my childhood and first pregnancy; when we had no air-conditioning at all, because of our lack of income. My mom used a wet wash cloth on her neck, so I did too. It helped this time too.

As I prayed during this inconvenience, God brought Paul’s exhortation to my mind. I realized that I was not to grumble or to allow my flesh to get the better of me; and I was to walk in the Spirit and praise God, even in the suffocating heat.

Easier said than done; but I have been learning to live through my spirit and not my flesh and this was just another opportunity to practice. I truly was thankful that the circumstances were not even more dreadful.

Prayer:
Father God, I really wanted Your permission during this trial to be grouchy and to feel sorry for myself. I wanted to complain and gain sympathy from family and friends. However, I knew this would only make others miserable too, and I would not grow in my spirit with negative behavior or remain in Your will without praising.

I know that You were building character in me and preparing me for future events in my life; therefore, I chose to change my focus and to praise You with each drop of perspiration. I was even able to thank You that it cools down in southwest Florida on November evenings, and that I still had electricity and could run the fans. Thank You for living through this trial with me.

Thought for the Day:
Regardless of the circumstances, we are to do all things without grumbling and complaining (Philippians 2:12-16), and to walk in the Spirit each moment of the day (Galatians 5:15-25).

Free at Last

In our society, God’s name is used more to damn someone or thing than to bless them. The last few generations have no concept of sin. Wrong is right, and right is often viewed as wrong.

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 punished.

When we transgress God’s law, we deserve to suffer the penalty of death. Yet, Jesus suffered our eternal punishment for us (John 3:16-18). He gives us His life in our spirit, which was formerly dead because of Adam and Eve’s sin (Ephesians 2:1; Galatians 2:20).

When we decide to live for God, rather than for our self, our spirit is no longer dead in sin and separated from Him. Jesus makes it possible for us to spend eternity in Heaven (John 3:16-18; Romans 10:13).

We are dead to sin now, and free from its strangle-hold on our life (Romans 6:6, 11, 18). We are able to discern right from wrong and to walk in holiness by the help of God’s Spirit within us.

When we die physically, we will not die spiritually. Our last breath on earth is followed by our first breath in Heaven (Matthew 25:46). We will spend eternity with God.

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). He abides in our spirit now and makes a huge difference in our life (Romans 8:11).

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.

Help us to learn to discern the leading of Your Spirit as we commit each day to You (Proverbs 3:5-6). 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 guidance of His Spirit, and live, move and exist in Him. – Acts 17:28

I’m Dying to Go to Heaven

We often say, “I’m dying … to go to the mall” (or for some ice cream, or for a new dress, etc). No one ever says, “I’m dying to go to Heaven.”

When we are ill, regardless of our age, we spend exorbitant amounts of money and time devoted to living. We applaud one another, saying, “She fought hard to live.”

When a person decides to allow their body to die, we say, “Oh, he just gave up” or “She had no more will to live.” We view life as the ultimate prize to be battled for above all else.

Yet, death is a Christian’s privilege (Philippians 1:21). The death of God’s Saints is precious in His sight (Psalm 116:15). We leave this temporal realm and enter into His eternal realm forever.

God made all of the intricate parts of our body, knitting them together in our mother’s womb. Our body, soul and spirit are wondrously complex and God’s workmanship in us is marvelous (Psalm 139:13-15).

Since God does not dwell in time, He saw us before we were ever born and laid out every moment of our life before we even lived one day of it (Psalm 139:16).

God views the day of our death as better than the day of our birth (Ecclesiastes 7:1). He sends us an angel escort to bring our soul and spirit into His presence (Luke 16:22).

His Saints will never die again, but live eternally in the same respect as the angels. We are children of the Living God, raised from death into true life (Luke 20:36).

God is our guide through death and forever and ever (Psalm 48:14). Even in death, He gives the righteous His refuge (Proverbs 14:32). When we die, our real life is just beginning.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that when we are ill, rather than dreading death or fighting it, our body, soul and spirit can be filled with joy. You do not leave us in the grave. You allow us to experience the joys of life, and then bring us into the peace and joy of Your eternal presence (Psalm 16:9-11).

We can confidently say that when we leave this mortal body, we shall be in Your glorious presence (2 Corinthians 5:8). We simply fold up this earthly tent, and then our soul and spirit go to Your house (2 Corinthians 5:1). Thank You, that at the coming of Your Son, we will leave our corruptible body behind and put on our immortal body to serve You for eternity (1 Corinthians 15:53-54).

Thought for the Day:
God is a refuge for the poor and oppressed in our times of trouble; we trust in Him because He never forsakes anyone who humbly seeks Him, not even in death.

– Psalm 9:9-10

Focusing on the Eternal

I was born with a melancholy personality. Over the years of my life, God’s Spirit transformed many of the negative melancholy characteristics into His fruit. I went from a reclusive introvert to a spirit-filled extrovert.

I used to drown in depression, but now I only experience brief moments of melancholy. My former pessimism is swallowed up by optimistic faith in God’s faithfulness (Hebrews 12:2). It is all a matter of our focus.

Do we see the glass half empty or half full? We make innumerable choices every day, all day. If we use the Philippians 4:8-9 formula, we will choose to think about, say and do only positive words and deeds.

We keep our mind on eternal matters, rather than on worldly, carnal aspects of life. “God promises that if we take care of His business, He will take care of ours” – Kevin Bradley (Matthew 6:33).

Unless we are reaping some corruption, which we sowed into our life, there is nothing that will happen to us, which is not already part of God’s plan for us. Give the truth of this statement some time to sink into your soul.

We no longer tremble in fear of the next natural disaster, relational issue or financial loss devastating us. God has all of this, every single part of it, under His sovereign control. He has a perfect plan for our life (Ephesians 2:10).

Although the destruction accompanying trials seems horrendous at the time, there is always a seed for a miracle in the midst of the catastrophe, and it will eventually turn out for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28).

Prayer:
Father God, you never allow Your Saints, whom You make righteous in Christ, to go hungry (Proverbs 10:3; Psalm 37:25). When we honor and obey You, we lack no good thing (Psalms 34:9-10). When we trust in You, we prosper in every area of our life (Proverbs 28:25). We are Your adopted children, because of our position in Christ (Romans 8:29; 1 Corinthians 15:20). You are our good and loving Father and You care about every aspect of our life.

Thought for the Day:
We serve a living Savior and minister at the pleasure of our King.

Strengthened by God’s Might

One benefit of an eternal relationship with Christ is that we have the fortitude to face the issues of life here on earth. He strengthens us to accomplish everything He calls us to do (Philippians 4:13; Ephesians 2:10). When we are weary and weak from prolonged trials, God fills us with His the power of His might (Isaiah 40:29).

In times of sorrow, God’s Word gives us hope (Psalm 119:28). His mighty power within us makes us strong (Ephesians 6:10), because His power is perfected in our weakness. His grace is sufficient to see us through every test (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). Our heart trusts in His power and protections, because He always helps us.

We jump for joy and sing God’s praises, because He works on our behalf (Psalm 28:7-8). Even young people find life daunting at times and they stumble and fall; yet, if they trust in the Lord, they will soar on wings like eagles and not grow weary or faint (Isaiah 40:29-31). God is not only our strength, but also our salvation both through trials and for eternity (Psalm 118:14).

God is gracious to us, and He renews our strength every morning (Isaiah 33:2). He gives us the ability to traverse the mountain of issues we face each day as easily as a deer frolicking on a mountain slope (Habakkuk 3:19). He is our shield, our helper and our glorious sword (Deuteronomy 33:29). His arms strengthen us and keep us secure at all times (Psalm 18:32; Ephesians 3:16).

Prayer:
Father God, You are our light and our deliverance; therefore, we have no need to dread anyone or any circumstance, which life brings our way. You are our strong tower, so we do not have to be afraid (Psalm 27:1). We find our joy in You, because You help us to ride triumphantly through life and to feast on Your glorious provision (Isaiah 58:14). We thank You for calling us into Your family and for putting Your desires into our heart (Psalm 37:4).

Thought for the Day:
Only the Lord provides us with salvation in hard times and the power to live through them; so those who turn their back on God or rail against him will not receive His help and will live in utter shame. – Isaiah 45:24

Unity with God’s Trinity

God already knows when the world as we know it will end, and our time is in His hands (Is 46:10; Ps 31:15). He is eternal with no beginning or end. As Believers and followers of Christ, we start to see life from an eternal rather than an earthly perspective. We do not regret the past or fear the future. We live in the here and now in the precious arms of God (John 5:25).

We walk in His light, just as He is in the light (1 John 1:7). There is no lack in our life, because He supplies all of our needs according to His glorious riches (Philippians 4:19). Our old nature molts away, layer after layer with each new season of Biblical revelation. We walk in the truth that it is no longer I, but Jesus Christ who lives in and through us (Galatians 2:20).

As the hectic pace of life increases, we need more alone (all-one) times with our Lord and Christ. We schedule times of the week as a priority to spend with God. We may not have an entire day, but we can find several hours where we rest and breathe in His presence (Psalm 46:10). The Spirit will open up opportunities for us if we will watch for them.

After hearing from God in our quiet place, there is no need to strive to walk in the Spirit. We are used to hearing His voice and He loves to commune with us. As we delight in the Lord, He puts His desires in our heart (Psalm 37:4). He works out His will in us for His glory. God’s Spirit controls our thoughts, words and deeds more and more often.

Intimate communication with God will nurture peace in our soul. If we make the time and effort to be still before the Lord, His strength infuses our spirit (Psalm 46:10). We have no need to fear, even if our whole world turns upside down (Habakkuk 3:17-19). Jesus Christ becomes for us our refuge and our tower of strength to help in any time of trouble (Psalm 46:1-3).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us to allow You to crucify our flesh so that we can walk in unity with Your Trinity. You commune with us, not in a loud oppressive voice, but in Your still, small voice that confidently tells us which way to go. As we follow Your directives, we end up walking in Your Spirit to accomplish Your will on the earth, rather than living to fulfill the lust of the old, dying fleshly human nature (Galatians 5:16-25).

Thought for the Day:
Even while playing Scrabble I learn to discern the voice of God as I obey that still, small nudge to form letters into words that I do not even know; and this carries over into every day life as I read His Word and follow His direction throughout the day.