Free from the Ravages of Sin

Jesus delivers us from our sinful nature, which formerly served sin; and He gives us a mind, which is now a slave to God’s nature, principles, wisdom and Kingdom (Romans 7:25).

We are free from the law of sin and death, by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2). We daily live as a witness to others of the love and nurture of the eternal Godhead living within us (Romans 8:4).

Sin no longer has power over us, because of God’s grace ruling in our heart (Romans 6:14). As slaves of God, we are set free from the slavery to sin, in order to reap the blessings of holiness and eternal life (Romans 6:22).

God’s Spirit, who raised Christ from the dead, now lives within our body, and give us His life (Romans 8:11). We belong to Christ, who raised us from the dead, and now we bear fruit for God’s Kingdom (Colossians 3:3; Romans 7:4).

Christ lives in us, and we are united with Him, just as He is one with our Father (John 14:20; Colossians 1:27). We are joined to and united with God’s Spirit in the intimacy of a branch with a vine (1 Corinthians 6:17; John 15:4-5).

The Trinity’s divine power enables us to excel in our vocation, ministry, calling and family through God’s divine Spirit within us (Colossians 1:27). We also pray by the direction of God’s Spirit and petition Him for the needs of all of His Saints (Ephesians 6:18).

God’s Spirit will endow us with the courage to boldly share the gospel with everyone we meet. Not in a preachy or condemning manner, but in the spirit of love and peace with the words He gives us (Ephesians 6:19).

Prayer:
Father God, help us to actually see the reality of the fact that we do not need to sin; because the law of the spirit of life in Christ sets us free from the law of the spirit of sin and death (Romans 8:2). When Christ sets us free, we are truly free in every area of our life (John 8:36).

You teach us in Your Word that if we live by the dictates of our flesh, and give in to Satan’s temptations, we will surely die in our sin. Yet, if we live by Your Spirit, He enables us to resist temptation, and we will live in Your Kingdom as co-heirs with Christ forever (Romans 8:13; Galatians 5:15-25).

Thought for the Day:
Since the Son of God set us free, we are absolutely free to live in holiness – John 8:36; Romans 6:18

Aging Gracefully

Getting old is difficult. Energy, bodily organ functions, and attention span all diminish; while aches and pains, pill intake and doctor bills all increase. We get discouraged, lose self-esteem and feel useless in so many areas.

Eventually, we even have to cut back on our energy outgo; limiting our activities to one major event a day. Many are required to give up the keys to the car, join a geriatrics exercise program and get more sleep with less productivity.

God knew, before we were born, that we would grow old  (Ephesians 2:10). He has plans for us, which includes this time in our life (Jeremiah 29:11). We do not need to confine our self to the rocking chair on the front porch – although that is fun sometimes too.

We just change our focus and keep a positive attitude. We keep walking in the Spirit and continue to fulfill the will of God for each moment of our life. We exchange youthful ministries for the equally as important ministry of prayer and mentoring (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Titus 2:4).

Sitting at Jesus’ feet, we worship Him by singing and praying the scripture. We lift up the needs of our fellow Saints and family members, the church’s pastor and staff and the ministry leaders and volunteers, the world and its leaders, the persecuted church and the unreached people groups.

Another way to minister is by writing a blog, emailing, fellowshipping on social media and private messages and texts. This way, we can communicate and minister all over the country and the world.

God teaches us to set boundaries around our time; to take a day off; to enjoy time in nature, at the pool or walking on trails each day; to play with our pets; to write letters and books and to make cards to brighten someone’s day; to bake a pie or a dozen cookies to share with the neighborhood kids after school – all in His name and all for His glory (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Prayer:
Father God, when we are drained, worn and weary from life, we are still Yours with a unique calling on our life. Remind us that until our dying breath, You call us to seek You and to walk in Your perfect plan for us by Your Spirit. We surrender all to You and worship You with all of our thoughts, words and deeds.

Remind us that the girl checking us out at the grocery, the waitress, the retail clerk, the person next to us on the bus or airplane, the librarian, etc. all need us to recognize them as a person too, and to tell them that You and we really care about them. Let Your light shine in us so brightly that everyone will see our good works and give You the glory (Matthew 5:16).

Thought for the Day:
God uses us in so many ways, regardless of our age, energy level, health issues and physical limitations, to share His wisdom, ways and wonders with those He brings into our life.

Christ’s Divine Life in Us

The Trinity originally created mankind in their image (Genesis 1:6). Adam and Eve enjoyed an existence of body, soul and spirit in close fellowship with the Father. They maintained the same divine nature, which Christ exhibited.

Yet, when they believed Satan’s lies, they chose to ignore their divine nature and to give in to Satan’s temptation of their human nature instead. As a result, their spirit died; and at birth, our spirit is also dead in sin.

This did not take God by surprise. He already knows the end of time from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). That is why, before He created the world, God planned to become Emmanuel (Genesis 1:1; Matthew 1:23).

He paid the ransom for the sin debt (Romans 4:25, 5:6) of anyone who will choose to submit to His will, rather than to our human desires or the devil’s temptations (John 3:16-18).

God’s Spirit regenerates our spirit and sanctifies our soul so that we will live in the divine nature of Christ in us, rather than through our human nature with its carnal thoughts and desires (2 Peter 1:4; John 1:1, 12-14).

This is possible, because our spirit is Born Again. It is no longer we who live, but Christ who lives in us (Galatians 2:20; Romans 12:2, 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18). We live, move and have our existence in Christ alone (Acts 17:28).

The life, which we live in this body, is lived through the faith of God’s holy Son (Galatians 2:20). We are united with Christ in our spirit, just as Jesus’ humanity was united with God, while He lived on this earth.

We continue the work of Christ and we do greater works, as we function as His Body (John 3:3-6, 14:12). We think, feel, speak and act in the will of God as we follow the leading of His Spirit through every decision we make and every action we take (Proverbs 3:5-6).

This affects our behavior and words in our vocation, marriage, family, neighborhood and church Body. We live as a city on a hill, and we never hide the light of Christ within us or darken it by sin (Matthew 5:14-16).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for helping us to renew our mind through the washing of the water of Your Word (Ephesians 5:26). Since Christ set us free from sin, then help us to stay free from its destructive clutches (Galatians 5:1).

Teach us how to walk in the divine nature of Christ in us. Help us to live and move and have our being in Him, so that we can walk in Your will, exhibit Your character and do the works of Christ all the days of our life.

Thought for the Day:
Even though our body will die, because of the sin that curses this world, God’s Spirit gives our soul His divine life as He resides within our regenerated spirit once He justifies us through salvation in Christ. – Romans 8:10

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

Pointless Rebellion

Some people refuse to adhere to the traditions of our society (Romans 13: 1-14; Hebrews 13:17). They buck the system and rebel against human and Biblical rules and regulations. Therefore, God cannot bless them (Isaiah 1:20).

These people actually yearn for approval, but since their basics instincts are not well received, they decide to go the other way and live in defiance and revolt in every area of life.

Some even become a thorn in the side of society and often end up in prison. The rebel really wants to comply and gain approval, but since they do not measure up, they grow bitter and hate everyone, even their own self.

God’s standards are higher than the system of this world; yet, many of our society’s rules are patterned after Biblical truth (1 Peter 2:18-21; 1 Timothy 2:1-4). The nonconformist views God and the government as rule-makers, which do not accept or validate who they truly are inside.

If rebels would surrender their lack of self-esteem to God, they would find acceptance in His family. God creates a clean heart in us and renews His Spirit within us (Psalm 51:10).

At some point, we all start to realize the futility of attempting to control our own life. The alternative is to trust in God’s plan for us (Ephesians 2:10), and to walk in the Spirit through every issue we face (Galatians 5:15-25).

Even if things do not progress as we think they should, if there is an apparent setback or imperfection in our life, God’s love helps us to retain our faith in His faithfulness.

Prayer:
Father God, a rebel in this world is also rebelling against You. They want their body, emotions, thoughts and goals to be accepted by those who are supposed to love them, regardless of their behavior.

This attitude stems from pride. You resist the proud, but You exalt the humble (James 4:6). Please teach our rebellious loved ones to call on Your Spirit, to humble their pride, to submit to Your calling on their life and to surrender control of their life over to you.

Thought for the Day:
When we consent to God’s will and obey His Word, He proves that He cares for all of our needs. – Isaiah 1:19; 1 Peter 5:7; Psalm 55:22

Set Apart for God

Without God’s Spirit within, we do not belong to Christ or His family (Romans 8:9). God’s Spirit us makes us His children. We no longer live under the dominion of the flesh, the world or the devil, and we are not our own.

God owns our time, energy and resources (1 Corinthians 6:19). We are set apart for God. Though we live on this earth, we no longer have anything in common with sinners or the world (Psalm 4:3; 2 Corinthians 6:16).

If we continue to offer our self as slaves to sin, it leads to death; if we obey the dictates of holiness, we are part of God’s holy temple and He dwells in us by His Spirit (Romans 6:16; 1 Corinthians 3:16-18).

We are more concerned with spiritual aspects in our life than carnal ones. We have a new heavenly name (Revelation 2:17). Do you know the meaning of your earthly name? ( http://www.ohbabynames.com )

I like my name, Kathleen Anne. It means: pure one, innocent, God’s favor and grace. Someone with this name is usually dependable, solid, practical, hard-working, industrious, studious, conservative, spiritual, wise, peculiar, intuitive, imaginative, philosophical and solitary. This fits me to a “T”.

As a child, I yearned to be a good girl, so my parents would love me. I even wished on the first star every night that I would be a good girl, so I could be cherished and accepted.

At 18, I realized that that no one is ever good (Romans 7:18-25), and that I could not do enough good to be valued and approved. That is when I turned to Jesus Christ as my Savior. He loves me unconditionally (1 John 4:16).

God takes up residence in our spirit. He abides in His children and walks with us. He is our God and we are His people (2 Corinthians 6:16). We live as the church of the living God, and are the pillar and foundation of His truth (1 Timothy 3:15).

Prayer:

Father God, You accept us as part of Your beloved family (Ephesians 1:5-7). Our spirit, once dead in Adam’s sin, was Born Again by Your Spirit, and You came to live in us for the rest of our life and throughout eternity (Romans 8:10; Galatians 5:15-25).

Thank You for building us into Your house, as we firmly hold to our confidence and hope in Your glory. Christ is the faithful caretaker of Your House (Hebrews 3:6) and we realize the privilege, which You afford us, to allow us to take a part in all of Your plans.

Thought for the Day:

Anyone who leaves their sinful lifestyle, and believes that Jesus in God who came in human flesh as Emmanuel, will have a new name written down in Heaven. – 1 John 4:4

This Free Gift is Yours

At the age of 18, I was plagued with negative emotions from betrayal by my father, who was supposed to protect me. I tired of my string of boyfriends, because I could not find my soulmate.

I wrote morbid poems about the devastation, which I felt inside, and I even contemplated suicide. This drove me to question the empty spot within myself, which called out to me for fulfillment.

Thankfully, during an extra work-day to ready our college yearbook for press, I met a vivacious red-head who shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with me (John 3:16-18).

This resulted in God giving me feet like hind’s feet to traverse the heights of His love (Habakkuk 3:19; Psalm 18:33; 2 Samuel 22:34). Since then, I feel no shame in proclaiming to the world that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Lord.

So often, we reject Christ, because we fear the rejection of our family and friends, as well as ostracism by those we respect and hold in high esteem. Yet, we are willing, by our unbelief, to alienate the King of kings for all eternity.

I share the free gift of the gospel of Christ with anyone who will listen. I view every stranger as a potential friend, and I realize that everyone I pass in a day’s time is a prospective member with me in the family of God.

Christ paid the ultimate price for our salvation, but He gives it to us as a free gift (Romans 6:23). We do not deserve it, and we cannot earn it (Ephesians 2:8-9). We simply receive it.

There is no end to God’s love. I want everyone to enjoy God’s bountiful benefits. There is no valid reason to miss out on His free gift (Psalm 103:2).

Prayer:

Father God, Your love is boundless and Your generosity is limitless. You spoil us as Your children and You share with us the inheritance of Your Kingdom for all of eternity. We simply need to believe and to surrender our entire body, soul and spirit to Your Lordship.

You do not demand perfection before we come to You; you perfect us from glory to glory once we trust You with our life (2 Corinthians 3:18). Your only requirement to receive Your free gift of salvation is that we love you with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength (Romans 6:23; Mark 12:30). This is so easy to do, because we simply respond to Your love for us.

Thought for the Day:

God gives us both the desire and the ability to walk in obedience to His ways. –  Philippians 2:13