I am an Artist

As a young adult, my poor self-esteem carried over into my new Christian life. God decided to use art as His way of proving to me that Christ in me was totally capable and I could trust in Him.

 

He put His desire in my heart to paint. Too poor to afford supplies, I used some old paint belonging to my mother-in-law, some toothpicks and some egg shells with the insides literally blown out.

 

I “painted” flowers, birds, dogs, cats, trees, mountains and all sorts of nature on those egg shells and declared myself an artist. My former husband said I had to sell my art before I could claim that fame.

 

Well, not to be undone, I asked my Daddy to take my “art” to work with him to see if they would sell. He gave me some end-caps from metal tubing to glue on the bottom of each egg as a stand, and they were quite attractive.

 

Within a few days they all sold for $3.00/each; and Daddy’s workmates gave me special orders to “paint” family pets, beautiful landscapes and other meaningful visuals from photos, which they gave me as examples.

 

Of course, I had no natural talent, but Christ in me duplicated every one of those special orders perfectly; and I had myself a new and thriving “cottage” business.

 

With the money I earned, I bought painting supplies: real brushes, small canvases and fresh paints. I stayed up painting for hours after my family went to bed and my chores were finished.

 

I kept one of those paintings (I still have it) and gave away the rest of them as gifts. Once my supplies ran out, I went back to my original love of making crafts out of trash.

 

I used them to decorate my home and as gifts as well. I started making my own greeting cards, which I still do to this day. Then, I moved into the realm of making jewelry for myself and as gifts.

 

I added the God-given talent of buying clothes at thrift stores and mixing and matching them with scarves and my jewelry as works of art. Now, I am perfectly dressed from head to toe no matter where I am, even while cleaning at home.

 

I am so glad that I “inherited” my Daddy God’s creative abilities through Christ in me (Ecclesiastes 3:11), and I look forward to continuing to create out of other people’s trash for the rest of my days on this earth (1 Corinthians 12:12-27).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for encouraging my young life with Your creative powers through Christ in me. I pray that You will do this exact miracle for everyone with low self-esteem who comes to know You as their personal Savior. Build them up in the most holy faith and bless them and allow them to bless others by Your love within them (Jude 1:20-25).

 

When Your creativity flows out of us in the form of art, baking, needlepoint, childcare, writing, building, mentoring Your Saints, engineering, teaching a class, singing, mechanics, gardening, playing musical instruments, preaching a sermon or whatever form which You choose to anoint our life, we feel at one with You in every respect (Exodus 35:1-5, 35:35; 1 Chronicles 15:16; Job 19:23-24).

 

Thought for the Day:

An artist is not born overnight, but cultivated over years of inspiration from our Father God, because He makes all things beautiful in His own time. – Ecclesiastes 3:11
 

Continual Filling from the Rivers of Living Water

 

We receive God’s Spirit at salvation, which is the river of living water within us (1 Corinthians 12:13, Galatians 3:3). We receive all of Him, all of Christ and all of God at that very moment (Romans 8:9).

God’s Spirit seals our redemption in Christ (Ephesians 1:13-14). He gives His gifts and fruit to all Believers to enjoy and to share with the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:7-11; Galatians 5:22-23).

He reveals to us the riches, which the blood of Christ purchased for us, and which God prepared for all those who love Him and keep His commandments (John 14:12-17; 1 Corinthians 2:9-10).

He is the supplier of every spiritual blessing, which Christ has for us in heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3). These blessings provide us with everything we need for an abundant life of holiness (2 Peter 1:3-4).

Out of His presence within us flows rivers of living water (John 7:38). As we walk in the Spirit, we no longer carry out the desires of the flesh, because we follow Him one step at a time throughout our day (Galatians 5:15-25).

The world, the flesh or the devil may tempt us, but we rely on God’s Spirit to vanquish every foe. The fruit and gifts of the Spirit gain ascendancy over our former carnal nature, and we do only the will of God (Ephesians 2:10).

If we do not have the Spirit of God within us, we do not belong to God (Romans 8:9-10). If God’s Spirit abides within us, we are a watered garden with unfailing springs of living water flowing from us (Isaiah 58:11).

We shall never thirst again (John 4:14). We joyously draw life from His springs of salvation and share them with those around us who hunger and thirst after God (Isaiah 12:3; Ezekiel 47:9).
Prayer:
Father God, there is nothing in this life, which we desire more than You. We find our lasting peace and joy in the center of Your will. Everything else compromises our ability to enjoy the filling of Your Spirit each moment of our day.

Remind us that the pleasures we receive at Your right hand are lasting and fulfilling, and so much better than anything this world has to offer. What we once found entertaining or enjoyable loses its luster and we see it for the counterfeit that it really is.

Thought for the Day:
For the glory of God, our spirit and soul need to experience a continual filling of God’s Spirit as we daily lay down our life and anything in it that may grieve or quench God’s Spirit.
– Ephesians 4:30, 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:19

Let Me Tell You, Gentlemen

If you think that your marriage is good, or even perfect, that may be because all of your needs are met by your good and faithful wife. Have you ever asked her what she thinks about your marriage?

You may be surprised to find out that she is so busy caring for you and the home and children, that she has no time to fulfill her needs. She may have longings in her soul that are not realized; so make the time to discover her needs and help her to accomplish them.

You may criticize her for her irritability, insecurity, jealousy, rage, discouragement, etc., and view these negative emotions as separate from your behavior. They very well may have an outside source; but you could help to relieve them, even if your behavior and attitude are not causing them.

Do you ignore her when she talks to you, and only listen to her with half an ear? Do you take all of her needs seriously and ask her how you can help her? Do you provide her with a stable living environment full of cherishing, nurturing and acceptance?

She may need an hour to soak in the tub, some help with the dishes or bathing the children, a night alone to read or watch a movie in the sanctity of your bedroom, or a special date night. Take charge and give her that time.

Make sure that you inundate her with continual focused attention; date nights which you help to plan; and little gifts, notes, cards, emails and phone calls to let her know that she is not only in your heart but in your mind as well.

Never take her for granted. Bless her with words, which affirm your appreciation of her, but back the words up with actions too. Celebrate her successes along with her and show her your care and concern when she is discouraged or ill.

If she works outside of the home too, help her with the household chores and make sure all of your children have assigned duties, so that the whole family cooperates to keep your home clean, harmonious and running smoothly.

Never allow your children to speak to your wife with disrespect, and model this respect by your behavior. Find a church to attend with your family, have daily devotions with them all and disciple them in Biblical truth to help them to withstand the devil’s temptations.

Prayer:
Father God, You created the husband to serve as a role model in his family as he patterns his behavior and attitude after Your character and nature (Galatians 5:15-25; 2 Peter 1:4). Help him to consider the needs of his wife and children above his own (Ephesians 5:25). Yet, give him the boldness to express his needs as well, so his family can uplift him as he supports them.

Meld the husband and wife in such unity that they provide a positive and cohesive home for their children. This will give more security to the children and reduce rebellion in them as well. Remind us that You are the reason we are alive on this earth, and that serving You as a family is the greatest privilege, which life affords us.

Thought for the Day:
There is nothing, which happens in a marriage that cannot be resolved, if both mates will prefer one another, exhibit patience during a disagreement, join forces during a trial and spend time enjoying one another’s company.

Pleasing Our Father

As parents we often have unrealistic goals for all of our children. We want each one of them to succeed in scholarship, sports, social status and personal relationships.

We may want them to succeed in an area in which we failed or were not allowed to participate. This activity may not even interest them by any stretch of the imagination; however, we push them to excel where we could not.

However, no two people are ever alike. God created each of us with our own bent toward the gifts and talents, which He equipped us with in order to walk in His will (Ephesians 2:10).

To force our child to play ball rather than to follow the desire to read, to read and listen to classical music in place of playing in a rock band, or to sculpt and draw instead of butting heads with a quarterback is thwarting God’s purpose for their life.

We may have an ancestral home or family business that we cannot wait to share with our progeny, when in reality God is calling them to the far reaches of the world as missionaries.

Our dream may include our child studying as a doctor or lawyer, in order to have the financial means for their family that we were not able to provide for ours.

However, our children are just on loan to us from our Heavenly Father and His will for them is much better than our desires for them will ever be.

God does call us as faithful stewards over our children’s lives, to train them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4), to give them a solid foundation in God’s Word (Deuteronomy 11:19) and to teach them by our example to walk in God’s Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

Prayer:
Father God, You do not care about how much we do for You, because You desire that we walk in Your Spirit. You do not want us to depend on our good works to earn a place in heaven, because You already reserved a place for us through Christ’s sacrifice.

In order to please You, all we need to do is have faith in Your faithfulness (Hebrews 11:6). You created us with a purpose and desire for nothing more from us or our children than to walk in Your will for our life.

Thought for the Day:
As children of our Father God, we please Him by obeying His Word in total surrender to His will for our life.

Rest for Our Weary Soul

God is our Savior in the valley, as well as on the mountaintop. When we feel overwhelmed by life’s issues, spending time alone with God is the perfect place to find rest for our weary soul.

Rather than to allow the cares of the world to weigh us down and to give us a negative attitude, we can rest in the love, peace and joy of the Lord in every circumstance.

God plants opportunities for joy in every situation He allows. It is all a matter of our focus. Even death, ill health, a bad marriage and any other negative event has a positive side if we change our focus about it.

They say that “every dark cloud has a silver lining”; and God is eager to reveal it to us. I love to abide in the “quiet place” of my inner spirit, where the Spirit of my Lord and Savior dwells.

God’s wants us to walk in His Spirit, but that takes courage. He wants us to learn to forgive our shortcomings and to use our God given talents and abilities to their fullest measure for His service.

God has a perfect plan for our lives. As we walk in it, He blesses us abundantly above all that we can ever ask or think (Ephesians 2:10, 3:20-21). While we use the gifts He gave us for His glory, we enjoy His unique calling for our life (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Prayer:
Father God, as You open doors for us that no one can close, help us to be all that You made us to be. Help us to willingly follow the direction of Your Holy Spirit in our thoughts, words and deeds. Remind us that, like the mountains, You created us to rise into the heavens.

You have a wonderful plan for our life; a plan filled with love, joy and peace through our Rock, Jesus Christ (Jeremiah 29:11). Remind us that our salvation does not come through human effort, but through accepting Jesus as our Savior and our Lord. Thank You for sending Jesus to pay the debt we owe for our sins.

Thought for the Day:
As long as we navigate life by God’s Spirit, we will succeed in every area where He leads us.

The Greatest Gift of All

When we judge our self according to the scale, which the world uses to measure popularity and success, we may come up lacking. Life seems unfair, because other people have greater advantages than we do when we consider the temporal blessing they may receive. Yet, no matter how many possession we acquire, they never satisfy us.

Spiritually, the children of God have the richest of all blessings. We have Christ in us, who is both our hope and our greatest gift (Colossians 1:27). God is the hope of all people, from the ends of the earth and to the farthest seas (Psalm 65:6). He gives us more than this world could ever offer us (Psalm77:11-15). He gives us Himself (Psalm 89:1-2, 5-8).

We may fear giving up control of our life to God, because He may require things from us, which would further tarnish our earthly popularity and reputation. However, if we actually gain our personal identity and status for success from Christ in us, rather from our personal talents and achievements, we realize that our real worth is based on the love of Christ (John 3:16-17; Romans 8:35-39).

God’s greatest gift to us is His sacrifice of His own Son (Revelation 13:8). Jesus paid the price of our redemption and freed us from a worthless life of sin, giving us His free gift of salvation (Romans 6:23; Psalm 2:4). Those who dwell in the shelter of the Most High God will rest in Him. He is our refuge and our strength in whom we can always trust (Psalm 91:1-2).

Prayer:
Father God, because we love You, You will deliver us. You protect us as we acknowledge You. You answer us when we call on You. You deliver us from trouble and honor us. You satisfy us with a long life of salvation (Psalm 91:14-16). We give You thanks for Your loving kindness, which endures forever. Your unfailing love produces wonderful blessings for us. You satisfy our thirsty soul and You fill our hungry soul with many good things (Psalm 107:1, 8-9).

Thought for the Day:
God gives us the greatest gifts of all; never forget His benefits and bless His holy name. – Psalm 103:1

Answered Prayers

The blessing of intercessory prayer is that we can pray wherever we are and no matter what we are doing. God’s Spirit prays through us, even for people we do not know. Family, friends, workmates, neighbors, church revival, the worldwide family of God and the unbelievers in every nation are all topics of our times of intercessory prayer.

Our persistent prayer, sometimes accompanied by fasting, actually makes a difference in our world. Tears are often the result of our fervent prayer, and they touch the heart of God (Psalm 56:8). Spirit-led prayers are the most affective, because if we pray in our own strength, legions of demons may attack us with doubt and discouragement. God’s will is the key ingredient for answered prayers (1 John 5:14-15).

Through prayer, Born Again Believers, who are filled with God’s Spirit, minister with holy boldness in areas where we have no natural abilities. We are delivered from relying on our flesh once we reach the place of totally resting in faith on our Father God. God’s Spirit takes us beyond our gifts and callings to places where only Christ in us can accomplish the will of God (Colossians 1:27).

We learn to pray in the Spirit, affecting those areas where God is most interested in ministering. We do not pray with a flowery profundity of words, but only with fervent, effectual prayers (James 5:16). If we say we love God, yet do not love the least of those whom He died for, the Bible calls us a liar (1 John 4:20). God’s love allows us to pray for people, and to identify with them in their plight.

Prayer:
Father God, we know that You often refrain from affirmatively answering our prayers, because You have a higher purpose for the issues in our lives. You use them to allow patience to have her perfect work in us; and You use them for Your ultimate glory. Remind us to pray for our missionaries and fellow Believers in foreign countries and around the USA. We want our prayers to be strategic and effective through Your Spirit’s direction.

Thought for the Day:
God often humbles us by not immediately answering our prayers, so that we take no glory in the future when He does answer them.

All Things Are New

Every person ever born inherits a sin nature from the first Adam, which results in our fall from God’s grace (1 Corinthians 15:45). That is why God gives us both the desire and the power to walk in His salvation (Philippians 2:12-13). He purifies us in order to present us holy, blameless and beyond criticism. Holiness unites us with the Trinity of God (John 17:21).

Holiness does not involve legalism, stoicism or an angry God. There is nothing we could ever do, which is too hard for God to forgive. He knew we were going to commit sins before He ever created the world (2 Timothy 1:9). He sent Jesus to pay the debt for each sin we commit, as well as those things, which He led us to do and we failed to obey (John 1:29).

When we come to Christ in repentance, Jesus makes us a brand new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). He moves in and gradually removes every area, which stands in opposition to God. Then He remodels and restores us from the inside out (Romans 2:4, 12:1-2; Acts 11:18). God changes our will and our intentions. He is purifying for Himself a people who are passionate about obeying Him (2 Corinthians 5:15).

God helps us to stand firmly on the Rock of Christ, to remain steadfast in our devotion to Him and to cling to the hope He gives us through the Gospel of Christ (Psalm 18:2; Colossians 1:22-23). The entire Godhead is found in Jesus, and He and His divine nature abide in each of us (Colossians 2:9; 2 Peter 1: 2-4). I heard it said, “God cares about every aspect of our life, from the nursery to the nursing home.”

Prayer:
Father God, by Your Holy Spirit and with Christ in us, we contain the fullness of Your power, authority, fruit and gifts (Galatians 5:22-23; 1 Corinthians 12; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 3:19). You call us to be light and salt in the earth so that people will see You in us (Matthew 5:13-16; Colossians 1:27). Remind us to cooperate with Your Spirit as He transforms us into the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). Thank You for loving us enough to send Jesus to die in our place (Romans 4:25).

Thought for the Day:
God has good plans for our future; and He always gives us hope, regardless of our circumstances in life. – Jeremiah 29:11

His Cherished Treasure

His Cherished Treasure

Husbands, did you know that if you do not treat your wife with consideration and respect as heirs with you of God’s merciful gift of eternal life, that your prayers may be hindered (1 Peter 3:7)? God made women, so He knows how emotional, unpredictable and irrational we can be sometimes. That is why He gave men this cautionary advice.

The wise husband makes his wife his priority second only to God. He provides her with love, acceptance and a secure home environment. If he does, then she will never doubt his love for her. She will see it in his eyes, in his tone of voice, in his caring touch and in the amount of time he wants to spend with her. She is his most cherished treasure and is highly valued in his esteem.

Every human being has a love language. We often love others the way we want to be loved. However, if your mate’s, child’s or grandchild’s love language is not the same as yours, then they will not be impressed by your expressions of affection toward them. Some people enjoy gifts and others prefer physical touch, quality time, acts of service and/or words of affirmation.

Take the time to discover the love languages of the people God gave you to love ( http://www.5lovelanguages.com/ ). Give your loved ones continual expressions of love and devotion throughout the day. Many couples have a date night, which is admirable and something to look forward to; however, do not limit your time together to once a week. Spend little increments of time together throughout the day.

Maybe a shared lunch, family time after a dinner eaten together, a gift for no reason at all, a compliment for a job well done, a 15 minute snuggle, a walk in the park, a repair of that leaky faucet, a note tucked away in an obvious nook, a bike ride to a favorite place, taking her car to get it serviced or spending a few hours together walking on the beach. The possibilities are actually limitless.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that You created marriage (Genesis 2:22). We dishonor You when we allow Satan to destroy the love You place in our hearts for one another. In today’s easy divorce society, we are not expected to work through the hard times and communicate with one another about what we really need and how we really feel. Remind us to lay our life down for each other as Christ did for us.

Thought for the Day:
Nurture your romantic urges and express them often. This is not a stilted requirement, but a spontaneous expression of your love and devotion.

God’s Truth or Satan’s Consequences

There is no mystery in life for the Born Again Believer. The Spirit will prompt us each moment as we ask for His direction, wisdom, insight and inspiration in every task we face. The Bible teaches us about nine fruit, which the Holy Spirit gives to us as He chooses (Galatians 5:22-23). He also gives us gifts for the benefit of God’s Body (1 Corinthians 12:7, 31; 14:1,39).

The Spirit also protects us from the devil, who roams the earth seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Satan comes as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14) to deceive us and to sidetrack us from experiencing God’s Truth. His counterfeit tactics will give us the impression that what we are experiencing is from God, when it is actually drawing us away from God.

One way to detect whether an experience is from God is if it brings peace or confusion. Satan is the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). If you hunger after more of God, then you are safe. If you want more of a person or a certain experience, then it is Satanic. If your experience does not align with God’s Word or if you feel a red flag in your spirit, don’t walk away…run!

God inspires us to go deeper into His Word while Satan encourages us to spend more time on our self and to neglect God’s Word, our family and our church family. As we sit in God’s presence and walk in His Will, then His Spirit empowers us to do the works, which God chose for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). As we pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), we commune with God throughout the day.

Prayer:
Father God, give us discernment by Your Spirit to know when something is of You or Satan’s counterfeit. In these last days, he wants to draw away as many people from You as he can. He is sending false prophets into the world to preach a false doctrine and to cause people to focus on their self instead of on You. Help us to relinquish everything in our life, which hinders us from growing in our relationship with You. Remind us to walk in Your truth each moment of the day, so that we do not reap the consequences of an evil life.

Thought for the Day:
Doing things God’s way is much more productive than doing them to the best of our human ability.