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

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True Contentment

When life is free from stress and trials, we tend to forget God, to take credit for our successes and to change our focus from Christ-centered to self-centered.

God gives us room to follow our carnal desires and to experiment with our own plans and goals (Romans 1:24); so that when we fail or get the wind knocked out of us, we will run back to Him.

A trial brings us to our knees and reminds us that only as we are weak can we be truly strong in Him (2 Corinthians 12:9-11). We no longer find fulfillment in a sinful lifestyle. God is our exceeding joy (Psalm 43:4, 149:4).

When God delivers us from various trials and temptations, our faith increases and we grow spiritually. We realize that we are now dead to sin and alive in Christ (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:4).

Regardless of our circumstances, our soul finds true contentment, which comes from God alone. We gradually stop depending on our self and depend only on God. He becomes the very air we breathe.

Christ is our whole life (Colossians 3:3-4). We realize our utter dependence on His Spirit to guide us, comfort us and give us strength for each new day (Lamentations 3:22-23).

As we decrease, He increases (John 3:30-35) and draws us into a deeper walk with Him. We devour His Word, and this life-giving source fills us with faith and wisdom for living in this insecure world.

Prayer:
Father God, help us to find serenity, joy and contentment of soul in You alone. Nothing that this world offers to us equals to what You give us through Your mercy and grace. Through our total dependence on You, we find Your strength for each moment of the day as we rise up to meet the challenges life throws at us.

We can rest in You, because You have all things under Your control. 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 contentment and fulfillment in God alone. – Psalm 37:4

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

The Perfecting Work of Patience – He Who Began a Good Work

Is our salvation and sanctification our responsibility, or is it the work of God’s Spirit within us? Some will say, “We are to work out our own salvation.” (Philippians 2:12) Others will counter with, “It is the Holy Spirit who gives us both the desire and the power” to do that (Philippians 2:13).

Most people agree that salvation is through grace by faith; but believe that we have to work for sanctification (Ephesians 2:8). Yet, the foolish Galatians were reprimanded by Paul for attempting to perfect themselves through their own self-efforts (Galatians 3:1-3).

Paul was amazed that they actually believed they could sanctify their life by their works. Paul constantly reminds the early Saints that nothing in our Christian walk is by works, because then we could boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).

God is not interested in our ability, but in our availability to His Spirit. The works of the flesh can only be crucified by the work of the Spirit (Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:16). We live and walk only by the Spirit of God; otherwise, we spin our wheels and end up exhausted (Galatians 5:25).

We boldly claim that we can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13); but when we put the emphasis on “we” can do all things, we fail time and again. We pull our self up by our boot straps until they are totally worn off.

This verse is actually saying that we cannot do anything except “through Christ”. When we completely capitulate to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to both save and perfect us, we enter God’s rest (Hebrews 4:10).

It is the Spirit, not our self-effort, which transforms us from one stage of sanctification to the next (2 Corinthians 3:18). Even the armor of God, which Paul encourages us to wear, is the work of God’s Spirit in our life (Ephesians 6:10-18).

God’s Spirit transforms our mind to the mind of Christ (Romans 12:2). He also renews our character with the divine nature of Christ (2 Peter 1:4). He who began the work of salvation in us, will continue to perfect us through His work of sanctification (Philippians 1:6).

Prayer:
Father God, we humans do not want to admit that we are helpless without a Savior. We want to believe that even if we cannot save our self, we can attempt to perfect our self through our diligence and self-discipline by obeying Your Word.

Remind us that we can do good works only as we abide in the faith of Christ within us (James 2:17). We could not justify our self by keeping the law and we cannot sanctify our self through self-effort either. Keeping the law never gave us life prior to salvation and there is no way that walking in obedience to the law can perfect us after salvation. Without Your Spirit doing the sanctifying work, we are totally lost and undone.

Thought for the Day:
When we do choose to obey, the desire and ability is generated by God’s Spirit within us; God has a perfect plan for our life, and we find it only when we walk in the Spirit each moment of the day (Ephesians 2:8-10).

The Just Live by Faith

When we consider the sower of seed in Jesus’ parable, only one-fourth of the seed fell on good ground where it rooted and flourished.

When we realize the reception that Christ received while He lived on this earth, it puts things into clear perspective. If mankind would not receive Jesus when they could see Him, far fewer will believe in Him when they cannot see Him (Romans 10:14-15).

Most humans rely on finite, physical senses and limited mental powers in analyzing truth. If it does not feel right, then we reject it. Satan is right there making sure that the things of God make no human sense.

That is why faith is stressed so often in Biblical passages. The just live by faith and not by sight (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38). The unjust live by sight and not by faith. They mock faith and scorn those of us living by it.

Yet, we have more than blind faith. The Bible declared that the earth was round long before Columbus ever disproved the common myth that it was flat. Science is always catching up with the Bible.

Not one archaeological discovery ever disproved God’s written Word, while many historic finds prove the veracity of the Bible. Yet, people prefer to believe the lies, which Satan continually propagates as truth, rather than the Truth of God’s Word.

Unbelievers choose to trust in science, math and technology rather than in the reality of Jesus Christ. They believe in theories and hypothesis – even those with missing links – as if they are facts of truth.

Sadly, only one-fourth of the world’s population throughout the ages will ever believe in Christ and surrender their heart and soul to Him. Let us continually pray for and share our testimony with anyone who is willing to listen.

Prayer:
Father God, Jesus Christ generously gave His life to offer the whole world Your promise of everlasting life. It is for all people everywhere with no distinction of color, race, creed, shape, size or intelligence.

However, more people reject Your generous offer than receive it with whole-hearted devotion and thanksgiving. Pride and rebellion have always run rampant on the earth and self-reliance is the mantra. Give us opportunities to share Your truth with anyone who is willing to receive it.

Thought for the Day:
Good things are very often the enemy of the best things; yet, so many people are willing to take second best and base their entire life on it.

My Soul Waits – Filled with God’s Fullness

God chose us before the foundation of the world to redeem us, to transform us, to give us His divine nature and to use us in the work of His Kingdom (Ephesians 2:10; 2 Peter 1:4).

We no longer deflect His will with hurried lives and busy days. We grow spiritually and come to the place where we surrender our desires and embrace His heart and mind as our own.

We have a continual conversation with God as we share our heart with Him and listen to His answers and directives for our day. God’s presence satisfies our longing and fills our hungry soul (Psalm 107:9).

God redefines our plans and leads us in His Truth and everlasting way. He gives us a new name and nature with a heart of compassion and a willingness to do His will (Psalm 43:3; Revelation 2:12; Colossians 3:12).

Our focus switches from our self and our little place in the cosmos and increases to the world around us and the needs of the people involved in our everyday life.

We relinquish our hurt, bitterness, anger, and pride and walk in forgiveness, love and humility instead. This diminishes Satan’s hold on our life and increases our fellowship with our Father.

We empty our soul of the cares of this life, having faith in God’s faithfulness to work out every detail for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28). He fills us with His fullness and we change the world around us – one person at a time (Ephesians 3:16-19).

Prayer:
Father God, spiritual understanding is ours as we allow Your Spirit to discipline our carnal nature and strengthen our spiritual nature as You fill us with Your faith, hope and love (1 Corinthians 13:13). Help us to totally surrender to Your love and to trust You in the good times and the bad.

We know that only You hold the issues of life and death in Your hands (Psalm 41:13). We so enjoy the immeasurable intimacy which You share with those who love You and who keep Your commandments (John 14:15; Ephesians 3:8). We enjoy our fellowship with You and appreciate the showers of Your blessings on our daily life.

Thought for the Day:
Let us walk worthy of the Lord, pleasing Him in our thoughts, words and deeds, so that we can bear fruit by His Spirit through every good work which we perform; and may we continually increase in our knowledge, understanding and intimacy with God. – Colossians 1:9-10

Rest in the Lord

We are driven in today’s society to have, to achieve, to acquire and to work toward prizes, which turn out to be nothing more than an empty box or trivial pursuits that never satisfy us.

Yet, for some reason, we continue to seek after that illusive prize that will make us truly happy and fulfilled. We look for the mate that will complete us, and the vocation, house and car which will give us status.

We buy a bigger television, more electronic toys, more lights to hang for Christmas than our neighbor did last year; and yet, they leave us flat-lining and they put our soul in the “hospital”.

Our soul continually cries out for rest, peace and lasting joy and fulfillment. We do not really want to respond to the drive to earn more in order to buy more; but we cannot seem to help our self.

Like the Israelites, our disobedience and prideful, rebellious heart prevent us from entering God’s rest (Hebrews 3:11). We live our whole life and fall short of entering His rest (Hebrews 4:1).

God gives us a clue during His days of creation by resting on the seventh day after six full nights and days of speaking the cosmos into existence. He calls us to join Him in that rest, so that He can restore our soul (Psalm 23:2-3).

If we respond, we will enjoy true riches for the rest of our life, because we will prosper even as our soul prospers (3 John 1:2). As we believe God, we receive all that He provides for us, and we have the faith to enter into His promised rest.

Prayer:
Father God, help us to cease from striving to enter your rest through the power of our flesh in a futile exercise to attain holiness (Romans 7-8; Galatians 3:1-3). Remind us to enter Your rest and to allow Your Spirit to work in us to attain that Godly life You offer (Romans 8:10-17).

Through Your Word, we clearly see that as we abide in You, and allow Your Spirit to do His transforming work in our nature and character, we will see Your fruitfulness in our life (John 15:1-14; Galatians 5:22-23). Give us the faith of Your dear Son, Jesus, to enter into Your rest now and forever (Hebrews 4:2; Genesis 2:2)

Thought for the Day:
Once we finally recognize our insufficiency to accomplish the works in our own strength, which God pre-ordained for us to do, we surrender our life in whole-hearted obedience to Christ and enter into His rest. – Ephesians 2:10: Hebrews 4:1-10