Love Letters

Our life is God’s love letter to the world. He uses us to communicate to our friends, relatives, associates and neighbors that He cares about them (2 Corinthians 3:3).

 

If we do not take the time to reach out to these significant people in our life, we deprive them of the love of God through us.

 

We may even shut up the Kingdom of Heaven to them and their blood will be on our hands (Ezekiel 3:18-20). It is important that we at least plant a seed of God’s love in everyone we meet.

 

It is easy to do this. We can give them our church bulletin and invite them to join us the next week. Offering them a ride to the grocery store or to church is another easy way.

 

We can hand them a tract with spiritual truth that they may otherwise never know. Starting a spiritual book club or Bible study in our neighborhood is another great way to reach out.

 

There are retired women and men in our church who would gladly teach such a study if we ask them; or there are great study guides in the Christian bookstore to use as a text.

 

We can bake a cake for a bereaved family, give a homemade card to a sick neighbor, or baby sit for a young couple to have a date night.

 

The possibilities are endless, if we listen to God’s Spirit and follow His directives. God equips us to walk in His will through Christ in us (Hebrews 13:20).

 

With Christ living within us, we experience rest for our soul (Matthew 11:29). We stop striving to perform for God, because Christ works through us (Psalm 46:10; Matthew 6:28-33).

 

This eternal rest is only available if we take our focus in life off the temporal aspects of our existence and place it squarely on eternal matters instead (2 Corinthians 4:18).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You gave us Your eternal life, which no one can take from us (John 10:28). We are joined to You, and we are beneficiaries of Your divine nature (1 Corinthians 6:17; 2 Peter 1:4). We have constant fellowship with You, the Son and the Spirit (1 John 1:3, 9; Phil 2:1).

 

You placed us in Christ Jesus and we are seated in heavenly places in Him (1 Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 2:6). You provide every spiritual blessing for us in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). Help us to share Your love with those You put into our life. We want to give You all the honor and glory for everything we think, say and do each moment of the day.

 

Thought for the Day:

The love and integrity of the testimony of our life for God may be the difference in someone believing in or rejecting Jesus as their Savior.

 

 

We Never Die

Humanity searched for generations for the fountain of youth, so we could drink of it and never die. Reincarnation purports that we never die; we just continually come back to life in another form.

Our eternal destination depends on our choices while we live on this earth. The Bible proclaims the truth that we do not ever die. We leave earth to live either in heaven or hell for eternity (2 Corinthians 5:8; Matthew 25:46).

Every physical body will die and go to the grave, to be resurrected immortally at the coming of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:53-54). However, our soul and spirit never die, they live in the presence of Satan or God forever.

As an unbeliever, we die twice: once physically and the second death in hell for eternity (Revelation 20:14). The body and soul – the mind, will and emotions – of an unbeliever experience the unrelenting torment of a lake of fire (Luke 16:19-31).

Instead, as Believers we die to sin and the flesh now, and we live eternally in Christ. Our last breath on earth is followed by our next breath in heaven (2 Corinthians 5:8). Our immortal body, soul and spirit will enjoy Heaven forever.

God calls everyone to come to Christ for eternal life (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:4). Pride and rebellion prevent so many people from surrendering their life in total submission to God and His will for their life.

They believe the devil’s lie that this is our only chance at life and we must live it with gusto. They do not realize that God’s plan gives us blessings in this life, as well as an eternity filled with prosperity and hope (Jeremiah 29:11; Psalm 40:5).

Prayer:
Father God, there is no reason for anyone to choose an eternal existence in hell (John 3:18). You call us to give up sin, so that we do not earn the wages of sin, which is death both now and for eternity (Romans 3:23, 6:23). You give us reasons to choose eternal life instead.

Thank You for planning for this eternal life to start at the moment of our salvation (Romans 6:23). Help us to humble our self under Your mighty hand, so that we will never die; but enjoy Your abundant, immortal life forever (2 Timothy 1:2; James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:6).

Thought for the Day:
Jesus shared in our existence in flesh and blood; so that through His death, He could make Satan powerless over sin and death, and to forever free us from slavery to sin, fear and death. – Hebrews 2:14-15

Blooming Like a Garden

Human beings are slaves of whatever entity we obey: either Almighty God or the god of this world – Satan. Allowing the devil to entrench us in sin leads to destruction both now and for an eternity in the lake of fire (Romans 6:16).

Instead, we enjoy life so much more as slaves of God in obedience and holiness. This allows us to live in the Spirit rather than in the flesh, since God’s Spirit abides within us (Galatians 5:15-25).

Whoever does not have God’s Spirit does not belong to Christ (Romans 8:9). Yet, as we totally surrender our humanity to Christ, He saves us and adopts us into His family (Ephesians 1:5).

Satan continually attempts to draw us away from God through our body and soul. He trips us up with a single temptation. Then, it is easier for him to tempt us in the future to follow his will for us.

Yet, Christ in our spirit gives us a way to escape temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). As we ignore Satan’s lies and keep our mind on Christ, we are not tempted by his fiery darts and lies.

Our thoughts and emotions affect the decisions of our will. The decisions of our will determine our behavior, which motivates every area of our life: financial, relational, emotional, spiritual, physical, etc.

When we walk by the faith of Christ in us rather than by our human reasoning, we avoid so many of life’s pitfalls and live in a serene and victorious existence (2 Corinthians 5:7).

God gives us a free will both to choose His salvation; and then to choose to live in His will, rather than to follow Satan’s or our own plans for our life.

By submitting to God’s Spirit within us, we reap the blessings of His will. He sanctifies our soul and fills our spirit with His power, so that, as His Body, we bloom like a spectacular garden (Romans 12:1-2; Jeremiah 31:12).

Prayer:
Father God, we want to present our bodies to You as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1), to do Your will and to live in Your ways all the days of our life. Teach us to submit to the leading of Your Holy Spirit and draw us ever closer to Your presence within us.

Thank You for Your Spirit, who abides in our midst and fills Your house with greater splendor and glory than Solomon’s Temple (Haggai 2:4-9). Remind us that, as Your Body, we are perfectly joined together with Jesus, the chief corner stone, into Your dwelling place (Ephesians 2:19-22).

Thought for the Day:
As we walk in God’s Spirit, joined together by His love, we bloom where He plants us in His garden. – 2 Corinthians 2:15

Transforming Our Soul

Unbelievers are spiritually dead and do not understand the issues of God, because these truths are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14). There is hostility between them and God, due to this spiritual divide (Romans 8:7).

Unbelievers tend to live either legalistic or hedonistic lives. They attempt to find fulfillment without God. When we share Christ with them, many reject Him and close their heart to His Truth.

Believers are alive with Christ, and forgiven of every sin we ever committed (Ephesians 2:5; Colossians 2:13-14). Through His death, we receive victory over every principality and power, including demonic strongholds (Colossians 2:15).

Anyone can accept Christ, live as a Believer and reap the rewards of Christ’s righteousness, rather than the consequences of unbelief and a sinful lifestyle (Galatians 6:9; John 3:16-18).

Christianity includes more than one hour of worship on Sunday morning. It involves a complete change in thinking and acting, from living a self-centered life to a Christ-centered existence.

Christ is our whole life (Colossians 3:4). He changes us from the inside out…our soul’s transformation affects our outward behavior and appearance. Even our physical countenance improves due to His presence in our life.

We do not attempt to perfect our self before we come to Christ. Neither is there any deed, which we ever committed that is not already covered under His blood. His mercy and grace are complete.

However, this does not imply that our behavior is not important. Christ perfects us through sanctifying our soul – our thoughts, choices and feelings, and gives us a way to escape every temptation the devil uses to cause our mortal flesh to sin (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Prayer:
Father God, we feel so privileged to live by Your Spirit and to belong to Your family as we further Your Kingdom on this earth. Thank You for saving us through the blood of Jesus and giving us Your Spirit to perfect us from the inside out and to conform us to the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).

Remind us to walk away from any temptation to sin, so that we do not grieve Your Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). Help us to live an exemplary life so that others will see our good works and glorify You (Matthew 5:16). We love You with all of our heart, mind and strength, and we look forward to serving You for eternity (Luke 10:27).

Thought for the Day:
If we live in a lifestyle of any type of behavior, which the Bible calls sin, then we are not Born Again; because a Believer cannot live in sin, since the Holy Spirit within us is grieved by sin. – Romans 8:9; Ephesians 4:30; 1 John 3:9

Nothing is Impossible in Christ

As a new Christian, our character is still flawed with sin. However, as we allow God to sanctify our carnal nature, we grow into a more mature Christian, exhibiting the fruit of God’s Spirit and having the nature of God (Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Peter 1:4). We accept His holiness in exchange for our sin.

The Holy Spirit is not limited by time and space. Even though our perfection is not evident in this earthly realm in which we live, it is already complete in the heavenly realm.

Sometimes, fear attempts to cripple our soul and causes us to relinquish our power and hope to Satan. In our new life in Christ, God gives us power over Satan and his debilitating negative emotions (1 John 4:4).

God also provides us with His unconditional love to give us confidence to live in His peace and joy. As we base our hope in God, no threatening storm will intimidate our stability in Christ.

Christ alone is our chief corner stone in God’s house made without hands (Ephesians 2:19-22; 2 Corinthians 5:1). We live, move and have our entire existence in Him (Acts 17:28). Christ is not ashamed to call us family (Hebrews 2:11).

We no longer live for our selfish pleasures, because Christ lives within us. The life that we now live in our mortal body is lived through our confidence in and the faith of the Son of God who loves us and gave Himself for us (Galatians 2:20).

Prayer:
Father God, at times we find it difficult to muster the faith necessary to live through life’s circumstances (Hebrew 11: 6). Remind us that in these trying times, we can pray, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24). In doubt we accomplish nothing. In faith we have no limits to what is possible for those who trust in You.

In prayerful, peaceful confidence, Christ is our strength and our whole life (Isaiah 30:15; Colossians 3:3-4). Remind us not to make our own plans for the day, but to walk in Your perfect will for every moment of our life (Ephesians 2:10).

Thought for the Day:
We victoriously withstand any storm or trial, because our faith is built on the Rock of Christ.

Our True Treasure

Psalm 131:1-3 are some of my favorite verses in the Bible. They speak about our soul – our thoughts, choices and feelings, which is often overlooked in the Christian walk. Popular in our culture today is the concept of the Inner Child. Some mental health professionals deny the reality of the Inner Child, but just as many promote the existence of this ego state.

In these verses, David confirms the certainty of our soul with an Inner Child. Prior to our salvation, our Inner Child is often in control of our life. We are swayed by the desires of our flesh, and we do whatever feels good. Once we accept Christ, the old nature is dead in Christ (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:4). We no longer find fulfillment in a sinful lifestyle. God is our exceeding joy (Psalm 43:4, 149:4).

Our soul, including our Inner Child, now finds true contentment, which comes from God alone, regardless of our circumstances. David realized that the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life (1 John 2:16) would get him nowhere in this life. David certainly was not arrogant, but he did desire the attention and approval of others, just like the rest of the human race.

We want respect and validation from those who mean the most to us. Yet, at times, this can border on pride. David deliberately discarded pride (Psalm 131:1). He found peaceful gratification in his relationship with the Lord. In the silences, which David enjoyed with our God, his peace returned to him, even when Saul pursued him. He found pleasure in God as his true treasure (Psalm 16:11).

Prayer:
Father God, You rejoice over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). Help us to find serenity, joy and contentment of soul in You. Remind us that nothing this world offers equals to what You give us through Your mercy and grace. We want to tell the world what you mean to us. Give us daily opportunities to be a friend in order to win a soul to Your love. Take pleasure in us as we hope in Your steadfast love (Psalm 147:11).

Thought for the Day:
Our delight is always in the Lord, because we find our true pleasure and fulfillment in our Lord alone. – Psalm 37:4

I Want More of God

I want more of God. I do not want more of His power to do great works, or more of His blessings to enjoy a better life, or more of His authority to hold a position of importance. I just want more of God Himself. As Desert Skies sings, “I want to feel His hands on my soul, molding me into grace, to be a reflection of His holy face.” The key is to spend continual, uninterrupted and undivided time with Him.

 

We do not have to perform some task, but simply sit at His feet (Luke 10:38-42). We can “be” instead of “do”. We look into God’s benevolent face and whisper words of love or shout our gratitude from the rooftops. We praise Him and give Him all the glory. We follow the example of the psalmists and sing of His excellence (Psalm 89:1, 59:16, 100:5). The list is endless.

 

We live in continual gratitude for all the He did, is doing and will do for us (Psalm 100:4). We list things specifically and before we know it, the list is several pages long. We also spend time interceding for others, praying for our country and world issues and asking God to fulfill His will and purpose in the earth, using us as He deems best (Ephesians 2:10). We can also pray the Psalms and other key Bible verses.

 

One way to have more of God is to give God more of our self. We can have fun as a child of our Father and enjoy spending time with Him. We chat with Him throughout our day even about the mundane issues we are facing or the most boring of chores or responsibilities. We ask His advice about hurdles we encounter, the best way to perform a task and about personal relationships.

 

As we follow the leading of God’s Spirit, even our most insignificant acts of kindness or service can make the biggest difference in the eternal destiny of our friends, relatives, associates and neighbors. Regardless of our circumstances, we can spend time worshipping our Creator and God, our Savior and King and our Comforter and Guide. This may not always resolve our issues, but it changes our attitude and our focus.

 

Prayer:

Father God, our soul thirsts for you, our Living God (Psalm 42:2). Our flesh cries out for You and we attentively seek You (Psalm 63:1). You are so real to us that we can almost taste and see that You are good (Psalm 34:8). We love you with our whole heart and surrender to You as You draw us ever closer to Your presence. In You we live, move and have our entire existence (Acts 17:28).

 

Thought for the Day:

God rejoices over His loved ones with singing. – Zephaniah 3:17

 

 

 

Desert Skies: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Desert-Skies/56135996899

 

 

Satan’s Hoax

God warned Adam and Eve that sin would bring them death and destruction. However, when Satan offered them what seemed to be a more appealing alternative, they chose to believe Satan over God (Genesis 3:4). The path of least resistance is always more appealing to human beings, and Satan loves to convince us that there are no consequences for disobeying God.

Sin always pushes us beyond our comfort zone and costs us more than we can afford. Satan uses our desires to hook our flesh. He makes something that we see, we want to feel or that appeals to our pride to lure us away from holiness (1 John 2:16). Lust locks on and pulls us against our will. Sin entices us to forget God’s Word and to neglect our relationship with Him.

Some people lose confidence in God and rely more on their human reasoning. God calls us to focus on the spiritual rather than on the material; but our flesh nags us to pursue carnal quests instead. Satan makes sure that we are aware of the worldly philosophies of modern comedians and new age practitioners. They disparage the Word and ridicule our faith in an unseen God (Acts 17:23).

Satan gave Adam and Eve a false sense of security based on his evil lies. He convinced them to do what their heart told them to do and what seemed right in their own eyes (Jeremiah 17:9; Genesis 3:5-6; Proverbs 21:2). As a result, we now work by the sweat of our brow and with pain in childbearing (Genesis 3:16-17). Adam and Eve regretted that one decision for the rest of their life.

Prayer:
Father God, we all lost Paradise, which You provided for us, when Adam and Eve sinned. It seems that the modern mind wants tangible proof of Your existence. They discount the exact order in the galaxies and nature, as well as the miracle of human birth. They give credit to some big bang rather than to You. You are under no obligation to prove Your self to us; yet, You reveal Yourself in dozens of different ways every single day. We are just too wrapped up in our hectic lives to pay attention. Draw us close to You and never let us go (Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Peter 2:4-8).

Thought for the Day:
God supplies all of our needs according to His own assets and splendor. – Philippians 4:19

A Yielded Life

The cross is an instrument of death, like the guillotine, a firing squad or a lethal injection. At Salvation, our old nature literally dies, and God births His life within us (Colossians 3:3). If we do not take up our cross every day, we are not worthy of Christ (Mathew 10:38). We are slackers and we are showing contempt for the sacrifice Jesus made for us (Luke 14:27).

God challenges us to live as His disciples, mirroring the life of Christ in our thoughts, words and actions. We have no desire left to participate in sinful activities or to entertain unholy thoughts. We cannot even be around people, vote for candidates, or watch TV or movies, which portray ungodliness. Jesus’ holiness is all that is left once His sanctifying work is complete (Galatians 2:20).

There is a paradox here. Christ lives in us (Colossians 3:4). If we surrender our life to Christ, we find it more fulfilling and successful than if we continue to attempt to live by our own direction (Matthew 10:39). God is love, but He is also righteous, just and holy. He has a standard of living, which He requires from all of us. Of course, He does not expect us to reach this standard by our self.

He is the one who actually does the work in us (Philippians 2:12-13). As we take up our cross, He crucifies our old, carnal nature until we walk in His holiness (Luke 9:23). We no longer sit on the throne of our life, but we yield to His Lordship and wisdom, as we follow the leading of His Holy Spirit. We no longer dictate to Him, but we submit to His will for our life (Ephesians 2:10).

The more our soul walks in the holiness of this completed work, the more peace and fulfillment we enjoy. We no longer struggle with sin, because it is no longer a part of our nature. We have no desire to partake in the base, carnal aspects of this world. We draw near to God, resist Satan and He must flee from us. We live and move and have our being in Jesus Christ, our Lord, Savior, Master and King (Acts 17:28).

Prayer:
Father God, we no longer abide in this temporal world, even though we remain in it physically. We focus on the eternal, immortal aspects of life in Christ and find our righteousness, peace and joy in You (John 16:33). We follow Christ as He followed You. We believe in, trust in and cling to Him for every thought, provision and emotion in our life (2 Corinthians 4:16-17). We confidently approach Your throne as we greet each new day, and we walk in Your Spirit as we focus on each moment of our day in You (Galatians 5:15-26).

Thought for the Day:
Every authentic Born Again Believer finds the secret to contentment in total surrender to the will of God for our life. – Philippians 4:12

Sin No Longer Tempts Us

Human beings are born with a body, a soul and a spirit. At birth, our spirit is dead in the sin of the first Adam (Colossians 2:13; Romans 5:12). It remains that way throughout our life until we come to Christ, the second Adam, for salvation (1 Corinthians 15:45). This keeps us from experiencing the second death in hell (Revelation 21:8), because our spirit is Born Again through the blood of Jesus (1 John 3:9).

God’s Holy Spirit within us conforms us into the image of Christ through sanctification (Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18). This is a process in which we can cooperate and participate in order to have our mind renewed more quickly (Romans 12:2). If we fight the work of God in our life through our carnal nature, then we suffer longer from the effects of our pride and rebellion.

The good news is that God works in our soul – our mind, will and emotions – on several levels. Jesus delivered us from a life of carnality and death (Romans 7:24-25). He gives us both the desire and the power to surrender fully to God’s will and way (Philippians 2:12-13). His truth sets us free indeed (John 8:32-36). What we find impossible, Christ in us makes possible (Matthew 19:26; Philippians 4:13).

Once the Spirit of God does His regenerating work in us (Romans 7:17), we can face the sin that tempts us, without the need to give in to it (1 Corinthians 10:13). Over time, our desires are renewed, and sinful pursuits no longer have any value for us. The Holy Spirit renews our mind and sets us free from the need to live in sin (Romans 8:13). We walk in victory over both sin and death through Christ in us (1 Corinthians 15:57).

If you are still living a lifestyle of sin, and making excuses for it, then your spirit is still dead in sin (1 John 3:9). You have not been truly Born Again, even if you go to church and work for God. You simply need to choose to turn away from sin and to totally surrender your entire life to God (1 John 1:9). Yield your body, mind, will and emotions to God rather than to sin (Romans 6:13).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for not leaving us as orphans on this earth (John 14:18). Your Holy Spirit within us leads us into all truth (John 14:26, 16:13); so that we will despise sin as much as You do, and we will not follow deceiving spirits and lies taught by demons (1 Timothy 4:1). We are no longer blinded by the deceitfulness of sin, but we walk in newness of life (Hebrews 3:13; Romans 6:4). You cause us to die to sin and to live, move and have our existence only in Christ (Romans 6:8; Acts 17:28).

Thought for the Day:
Due to the anointing of the Holy One within us, we walk in the truth and no longer fulfill the lusts of our flesh.
– 1 John 2:20; Galatians 5:16-25