Be Holy as God is Holy

God calls each one of us to be holy, because He is holy (1 Peter 1:16). As we face our flesh with each new morning, this appears to be a daunting task. Our temptations and carnal desires sometimes get the best of us.

I hear Christians saying that it is too hard to be holy, and that Jesus had an advantage over us. This is true according to humanistic thinking, but not according to Biblical principles.

Jesus was half God and half man, since God’s Spirit conceived Him in Mary’s womb (Luke 1:35). He was filled with God’s Spirit each moment of the day. When his human flesh was tempted, He had the God half to keep him perfect.

We have the same opportunity to walk in holiness. When we come to Christ, His Spirit moves right in. Our body is His temple and He fills us through all of our being with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:16-19).

Satan’s temptations cause us to sin and to live apart from God. The price of sin is degradation and loss. Pleasure for a moment reaps for us shame and often deplorable living conditions.

However, God gives us a way to escape every temptation, which we will ever experience (1 Corinthians 10:13). As we submit to Christ in us, and walk by His Spirit’s direction, we will not fulfill the lusts of our flesh (Galatians 5:16).

The entire power of the Godhead, the Trinity, dwells within us (Colossians 2:9). We are free from the power of sin, and we are made to walk in new life through Christ in us (Romans 6:6-8).

Christ in us is our eternal hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). Although our body is still perishing due to Adam’s sin, God’s Spirit in us gives us both life and righteousness (Romans 8:10).

God strengthens us with His power through His Spirit in our soul and spirit (Ephesians 3:16). Our hope in Him is the firm and secure anchor of our soul (Hebrews 6:19).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You that Christ exchanges His holiness for our sinfulness (2 Corinthians 5:21). Remind us that our witness for You depends on our righteous walk in this world. Non-Christians watch us, even when we do not realize it. Our attitude each day, and even during trials, will speak more to them than all the words we could ever preach to them.

As Your Body, the people who work in children’s ministry will impact the children in their sphere of influence; and then, these children will affect the lives of countless people during their lifetime, because of Christ in us. Even as we minister to adults, we help them to grow in their devotion to and knowledge of You. Helps us to be holy, even as You are Holy.

Thought for the Day:
As our soul yearns for God in the night, our spirit within us diligently seeks Him; and when His judgments come upon the earth, all of the inhabitants of the world learn to walk in righteousness. – Isaiah 26:9

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Wholly Filled

God has no need for buildings made with human hands – no church, temple, mosque or cathedral, regardless of how ornate or expensive. He made the natural resources we use to build our buildings, so He does not want to dwell in man-made structures (Acts 7:48, 17:24). His temple is the human spirit. However, God only dwells in those who honor Him with a humble heart and a repentant spirit (Isaiah 66:1-2).

The Trinity created us in their image with a body, soul and spirit (Genesis 1:1). Then, God made us male and female (Genesis 1:27). Even with the angels for company, God wanted to share the universe, Heaven and New Jerusalem with human beings. God is our dwelling place, and we are His Temple (Psalm 90:1; 2 Corinthians 6:16). He knows us infinitely better than we know our self.

God gives us many opportunities to enjoy intimate fellowship with Him. He created us in order to love us and for us to give love, His love, back to Him and to the world around us (John 3:16-17). Jesus died to restore our unity with God, and His Spirit conforms us to His image (John 17:26; 2 Corinthians 3:18).

God fashioned us to enjoy a personal union with Him, greater than any human relationship we could ever experience, because it comes from within us. There is nothing on this earth that the authentic Believer desires more than to be immersed through all of our being with all of the fullness of God, and to receive the richest measure of God’s presence until we are completely filled with Him (Ephesians 3:19).

Prayer:
Father God, we bow to You in humble adoration, thankful to be in Your family and to receive the glorious riches You provide. Thank You for strengthening us with the power of Your might by Your Spirit and for giving Jesus to dwell in our hearts. Root us and ground us in Your love, so that we can understand just how much You do love us. Fill us with Your fullness, so we can be like You (Romans 8:31-39; Ephesians 3:14-19; Philippians 3:10). You are our eternal Father and Your Spirit in us is proof that we are Born Again and wholly filled with You (1 John 4:13).

Thought for the Day:
Jesus is the image of God, which is expressed to the world; and His sacrifice opened the door for us to enjoy this heart-felt union and communion with the Creator of the universe.

Filled with the Spirit – Part 1

God promises to give us His Spirit (1 John 5:14-15). We receive the Holy Spirit from God at the moment of Salvation (John 14:16, 7:37-39; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 3:2). Jesus sits on the throne of our life and fills us with the fullness of His Spirit (Galatians 5: 15-25). The Holy Spirit is a Believer’s down payment of our inheritance of the Kingdom of God (2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 4:30).

By being filled with the Spirit, I am not referring to speaking in tongues or any public manifestation of spiritual gifts. I also do not mean having God’s power in order to show off how great we are. I am referring to spiritually entering the Holy of Holies of God’s Heavenly Tabernacle (2 Corinthians 5:1). This is the Holiest Place, the Sanctuary where we dwell in holiness for the rest of our life.

The Bible instructs us to keep on, continually being filled with God’s Spirit on a moment-by-moment basis (Ephesians 5:18), and to yield possession and control of our life to Him. Our obedience allows God’s Spirit to freely work in and through our life. With the Spirit’s filling, we also have the mind of Christ in every situation and decision we face (1 Corinthians 2:15).

We cannot cause the Spirit’s filling by exerting our will power or by doing good deeds. God fills us with His Spirit as we completely surrender to Him. God grafts us into the Vine of Christ (John 15:5). This makes us Christ-centered Believers. We love God’s Word, we trust Him in every area of our life and we are filled with His fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).

Prayer:
Father God, You promised to give us the Spirit and You commanded that we be filled with Your Spirit (Hebrews 11:6; Romans 14:22, 23.). Thank You for helping us to get off the throne of our life and to follow the direction of Your Spirit in everything that we think, say and do (Psalm 19:14). You ordained for the Spirit-filled Christian to experience Christ’s abundant, powerful and fruitful life flowing in and through our life for Your glory and honor. We ask that You continually fill us with Your Holy Spirit.

Thought for the Day:
To live in the fullness of God’s Spirit requires complete consecration of our life to Him.

My Soul Thirsts for God

Prayer is our method of communication with God. We pray in one of two ways: monologues or dialogues. A monologue prayer is one-sided. We recite a litany of needs and tell God what we want and how He should provide it. We even give Him the game plan that we think is His best alternative. Of course, a dialogue is two-sided, and we are quiet long enough to hear from God.

God calls us to be still and to know that He is our Almighty God (Psalm 46:10). His words to us never contradict His words in the Bible. If we think we hear from God, and it is contrary to His Biblical words, then we know that Satan, the counterfeit, is trying to lead us away from God’s Truth. God’s sheep know His voice; and the more we listen, the more we recognize that He is speaking to us (John 10:27-33).

Have you ever been very, very thirsty? You mowed the lawn or cleaned all the windows or walked for several miles in the heat and your body is crying out for water. As we mature spiritually, our soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions – comes to this same place of thirsting for God (Psalm 42:1-2). The soul of a spiritual Saint is consumed with longing for more intimacy with God (Psalm 119:20).

We want all of our being to be filled with all of the fullness of God, to have the richest measure of His presence and to become a person entirely filled with God (Ephesians 3:19). Our soul yearns for God, even as we sleep; and our spirit seeks more intimacy with Him both day and night (Isaiah 26:9). Our body and soul ache for Him and cry out for our living God (Psalm 84:2).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that intimacy infers honesty. We cannot have a personal union with You without an agreement to completely expose our life to Your Holy Spirit. We cannot hide anything from You, because You already know everything about us (Jeremiah 1:5; Psalm 139:13). Thank you that Jesus invites those of us who thirst after Him to come to His living water. Even those with nothing to offer to Him are welcome (Isaiah 55:1), and He freely gives us all things (Romans 8:32).

Thought for the Day:
Our intimate interludes with the Lord are our favorite times of the day.