The Call of Nature

In our world of higher education, instant information networks and self-reliance, the message of the Gospel of Christ makes no sense at all to most people.

 

The paradoxes and spiritual content of the Bible serve as a stumbling stone to those too proud to accept the self-effacing offer of salvation through Jesus Christ.

 

However, once we humble our self under the mighty hand of God, we immediately recognize that Jesus completely submitted to death on Calvary’s Cross to bring freeing redemption to us all.

 

We also surrender to the call of God to sacrifice our life for Him in return. The surrendered life is not one of defeat, but of relinquishing control. This means that we stop resisting the love of God and accept His courtship.

 

We acknowledge His substitution in paying the penalty of our sins and yield to His Lordship over our life. We recognize the superiority of God’s plan for our life over our own goals and ambitions.

 

We consult Him about all of our decisions and submit to His direction of our steps (Proverbs 3:5-6). We live in the reality of His presence now and look forward to the hope of His glory to come (Colossians 1:27).

 

Many people waste so much of their life running from God’s beauty and bounty. They live in rebellion to the call, which even nature makes for us to surrender to its Creator (Romans 1:20).

 

God never invades our life, but always waits to be invited. The beauty of the surrendered life is that we die to the carnal flesh and hide our life with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). We cease from our own labors and enter into God’s rest (Hebrews 10:4).

 

Prayer:

Father God, once we completely understand Your love for us, we go beyond obedience and also surrender our life entirely to You. Then, we learn what it means to truly live in abundant freedom and victory (Romans 6:16-18; Mark 8:35).

 

We no longer internalize the pain that life deals out to us, because we are hidden with Christ in You. Regardless of trials and anguish we may experience, we walk in spiritual serenity which elevates us emotionally, spiritually, mentally, physically and behaviorally. We find our constant joy in You as patience does her perfecting work in us (James 1:4).
Thought for the Day:

We enter a life hidden with Christ in God, which we formerly believed to be one of servitude, only to discover that it is actually a liberating union as a King’s kid. – Colossians 3:3-4

 

 

Secret Intents and Motives

When we depend on someone else for our sense of value, we put our self into bondage to that person. Our motives, goals and opinions revolve around that person’s whims.

People come and go in our life. They have unrealistic expectations of us, tire of us and dump us on the curb like a useless sack of trash.

However, Jesus never ever leaves us or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5). He died for us in spite of our self and our failings. He approves of us in Christ and fully accepts us with all of our idiosyncrasies (Hebrews 13:8).

We can also put our self into bondage to religion by attempting to earn God’s love and acceptance. We drive our self endlessly to work harder and to do better to please Him.

The truth is that our “self” is already crucified with Christ (Colossians 3:3; Galatians 2:20). At Salvation, we are fully accepted in the Beloved of God (Ephesians 1:5-7). God’s Spirit fills us to the brim and overflows on everyone around us.

We prove that we love Him by our obedience to His Word (John 14:15). We do not always keep each letter of the law all the time, but our motive in life is to walk in His ways (Galatians 3:24; Psalm 86:11-17).

God sees our whole heart – including our secret intents and motives (1 Samuel 16:7). He encourages us to keep our self unspotted by the world. (James 1:26-27).

Jesus loved us even when we did not love Him (1 John 4:19). We feel secure in His love, because it is not dependent on whether we earn or deserve it. It is a free gift, which lasts forever (Romans 3:23, 6:23).

Prayer:
Father God, the world values human attributes like popularity, physical features, power, influence and financial abundance; but You reward faithfulness to Your Word. You discern our secret intents and motives and discipline or bless Your children according to the desires of our heart (Jeremiah 17:10).

Help us to shed the trappings of this world that we carry with us into our relationship with You. Purify our thoughts and teach us Your ways, so that we want only what You want and value only those things which bring You honor and glory forever and ever.

Thought for the Day:
We attempt to justify our motives and actions, but the Lord weighs them on His scales; as we consult the Lord, He will guide our steps and establish our plans in His will. – Proverbs 16:2-3

My Soul Waits – Part 1

In our stressful lifestyle in this modern society, we are often too busy with too many responsibilities to find a place of solitude in our spirit.

We maintain the illusion that we are satisfied with our lifestyle, but our soul is dying within us, because we are spiritually bankrupt.

We care so much about this world that we starve our soul and spirit. The cacophony in our soul – our mind, choices and emotions – is deafening and dulls our spiritual connection to God’s Spirit.

The remedy for this is to develop a deeper connection with Christ through His Holy Spirit. We can quiet our soul and focus on Christ dwelling within us, even through the storms of life.

Throughout each moment of the day, our soul waits in silence for God alone (Psalm 62:1). Our focus changes from earthly goals and desires to spiritual ones.

God’s Spirit transforms our thoughts into the mind of Christ, fills our emotions with His fruit and directs our choices to walk in God’s will (Romans 8:29; Galatians 5:15-25; 1 Corinthians 2:14-16).

Christ is our all in all (Colossians 3:11). Nothing this world has to offer compares to the joy and peace, guidance and fulfillment that comes from living a life dedicated to the Lord.

Listening for God’s voice requires that we still our soul and enter our spirit, where God’s Spirit abides. We totally surrender our will, goals, fears, dreams and aspirations to the will of God.

Silently waiting on God throughout our day reduces our anxiety, silences the negative self-talk, teaches us patience and reshapes our mind into the mind of Christ.

He nourishes our body, soul and spirit as we meditate on His Word, trust Him for our daily bread and enter into union with His Spirit.

Prayer:
Father God, teach us how to empty our soul, still our mind and wait on Your Spirit’s direction each moment of our day. Silence the negative thoughts and emotions, which Satan uses to distract us from Your will for our life.

Fill our soul with Your peace and help us to restructure our priorities to put You first and foremost above our soul’s pursuits. Remind us that Your Kingdom is the only true reality in this life and everything else is simply wood, hay and stubble to be burned up in the end (1 Corinthians 3:12-13).

Thought for the Day:
Physical solitude is not necessary in order for us to wait on the Lord, because He is available any time or place.

Split Personality

When we come to Christ, our spirit which was dead in sin, comes alive (Ephesians 2:5). We are Born Again and everything in us is made new (John 3:1-21; 2 Corinthians 5:17). The manifestation of this change takes years.

God convicts us in areas which are negatively affecting our witness for Him. We cannot judge others. We may think someone smokes too much; but God is more interested in deeper issues, which we cannot see.

In the beginning, we are partially surrendered to Christ. We hold back whole rooms in our soul, where we do not want God to go. We slam the doors shut and sometimes even lock them.

This is why we appear to our self and other people as a split personality. Part of us is sanctified and part of us is carnal and still caught in the web of sin.

The longer we walk with the Lord, the more willing we are to surrender more of our secret self to Him. We unlock some doors, but we protectively keep some of them closed or partially open.

We are not willing to live in total transparency before the Lord and our fellow Christians. With time, we learn to trust God’s kindness and mercy. We depend upon His grace above all else.

We come to live a surrendered life when we understand that it is not I, but Christ living in and through us (Galatians 2:20). Christ is our whole life and we want nothing else (Colossians 3:4).

Total surrender to Christ produces fruit in us from the Vine (John 15:5). We develop the habit of walking in stride with God’s Spirit (Galatians 5:15-25). We learn to think and speak by the Spirit too, reaping God’s rewards (1 Corinthians 2:13).

Prayer:
Father God, Your Spirit transforms us from a split personality into a totally new creation. We no longer desire carnality, but want only that which is spiritual in our life. We come to know Christ intimately and the power, strength and truth of His resurrection (Philippians 3:10). We grasp all that Christ provides for us (Philippians 3:12).

Thank You for transforming us into the likeness of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). Help us to live a life of whole-hearted devotion and worship to You in holiness and with eternal goals, priorities and values. We rely on You to walk with us through the perils of this life and to make us victors in all things (Romans 8:37).

Thought for the Day:
We bring glory to Jesus when we live in the fullness of His atonement and the redemption of His sacrifice, which He shared with us by His resurrection from the dead and ascension into Heaven. – 1 Peter 1:3-4

The Soul and Spirit of Mankind

Some people confuse the soul and the spirit of mankind. Many think they are different words for the same entity. Yet, the Bible is clear that they are separate (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

God originally created humans in His image and likeness as a tripartite being with a body, soul and spirit (Genesis 1:26-27, 2:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:23). We are set apart from other created beings because of this peculiarity (1 Peter 2:9-10).

Animals have a body and soul – a mind, will and emotions; but they do not have a spirit. Botanists say that plants have emotions and enjoy it when we to talk to them.

Yet, the spirit of man is our link with Almighty God. Due to Adam’s sin, our spirit is dead in sin when we are born (Ephesians 2:1). God draws us throughout our lifetime to come to Him for the rebirth of our spirit (John 3:1-21).

Yet, God also gives us a free will (2 Timothy 2:26). It is our choice to believe and to accept His free gift of salvation, or to condemn our self through our unbelief for eternity (John 3:16-18; Romans 3:23, 6:23).

Our body lives one day at a time, dying a little bit more each day. Our soul, made up of our will, feelings, thoughts, intellect and conscience, lives beyond the life span of our body.

The eternal destination of our immortal body, soul and spirit is determined by our choice to receive or reject Christ while we live on this earth (John 3:16-18).

Prayer:
Father God, help us by Your mercies to present our body to You as a living, holy and acceptable sacrifice (1 Corinthians 6:20). This is our spiritual service of worship to You. Remind us not to be conformed to his sinful world, with its dreams, goals and practices, but to allow Your Holy Spirit to renew our mind to live in Your will for our individual life (Romans 12:1-2).

We do not need to guess what Your will is, nor strain and stress about the issues of this life in which we get so bogged down every day. Your will includes so much more than obeying Your Word. It also includes fulfilling the purpose for which You created us (Ephesians 2:10). We simply enter into Your rest and walk in Your Spirit each moment of every day.

Thought for the Day:
Our spirit and soul – our thoughts, choices and feelings – are considered our heart, and God calls us to watch over our heart diligently, because out of it flows the springs of life.
– Proverbs 4:23

God’s Fullness – Abiding in God’s Presence

Any area of our life, which we do not surrender to God, holds us back from being fully filled with His presence. Negative emotions are the indicators of areas to which we are still clinging.

When we feel negative, we can inspect our soul to discover the root of the issues. We may need to repent of our attitude or actions, to forgive our self or someone else, or to change our focus about this issue until it no longer bothers us.

Total surrender opens the windows of heaven to fill our life with all of God’s fullness and blessings. Obeying God’s Word and walking in the Spirit are the steps for success in our journey through sanctification (Galatians 5:15-25).

As we yield to God’s will, we learn that He always works out everything – even the most painful human experience – for our ultimate good, if we will only relinquish our plans and embrace His will (Matthew 13: 44-46).

Satan will attempt to hinder us with his lies, fear of the unknown, grudges over past treatment, and carnal desires that thwart God’s purposes in our life.

However, Christ in us is greater than Satan and his demons (1 John 4:4). We are filled with God through Christ in us. He fills us with his holiness, peace and joy as He fills us with His Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).

We realize that we are simply stewards of all the material blessings, which God gives us; and if we use then as He directs us, He will give us more, and often something better to use and share.

As we grasp the immensity of God’s love, we live and walk in His presence, giving preference to His will in our life, rather than pursuing our own goals, dreams and desires.

We have no greater desire than to be used by God to further His Kingdom in this earth and to take as many people to heaven with us who will humble their pride and surrender their life to Him too.

Prayer:
Father God, show us the reality of Your presence indwelling within us (Matthew 28:20). Thank You for walking through the trials of this life with us, giving us green pastures and still waters, and restoring our soul (Psalm 23:1-2).

Remind us not to have faith in what we want You to do for us, but to have faith to do what You want us to do for You. Help us to focus on Your will and to understand that the prayer that never fails is, “Lord, not my will, but Yours be done on earth, in my life and in Heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)

Thought for the Day:
The intense focus of God’s heart is to live as one with us, just as He is one with Jesus. – John 17:22:23

Forgiveness and Boundaries

Human beings tend to suffer in silence. We fear rejection and criticism, so we internalize our thoughts and feelings rather than confiding in one another.

Inner voices, which do not line up with God’s Word, are lies from Satan Himself. The only way to dispel His lies is by speaking God’s truth (Philippians 4:8; 1 Timothy 4:1).
( http://www.theophostic.com )

Once we receive our forgiveness from God through repentance and faith in exchange for our sins, then God receives us as His own precious children (1 John 3:2).

We have Jesus’ example in order to forgive those who harm us. If they are repentant, we allow them back into our heart. If they refuse to repent, then we forgive them for our sake, but keep them at a distance.

Even though we forgive them, we do not condone their behavior toward us, and we certainly never allow them any opportunities to harm us again.

We derive our self-worth through Christ in us, rather than through our own achievements. This way our esteem does not depend upon people, circumstances or meeting our goals.

It depends on God’s faithfulness and the presence of Christ abiding within us. We are secure in who we are through Christ. We live the life to which He calls us (Ephesians 2:10).

This way too, we have no need to attempt to manipulate and control the behavior of others in order to make our self feel better, safer or more secure.

Prayer:
Father God, people do tend to maliciously use us, but You encourage us to love them with Your agape love and to forgive them and pray for them (Matthew 5:44). However, we can also be wise as snakes and gentle as doves in our dealings with them (Matthew 10:16).

We point them to Your love for them, but we never again allow them to take advantage of us or to use us for their evil gain. Their opinion of us does not matter anymore, because our identity and our good name come from You (Proverbs 22:1; Psalm 52:9).

Thought for the Day:
No one is more deceived than the person who will not admit that he or she is wrong; but we can forgive them anyway and erect boundaries to keep them from harming us again.

Hope in God – Part 1

During trials and setbacks, Satan discourages us and makes us doubt God’s love. We lose our hope, until we totally surrender our human confidence, dreams and goals to God (Proverbs 3:5-6).

No matter how long or dreadful we suffer in this world, we never lose our hope in God (Psalm 39:7). His Saints love Him, because the Lord faithfully preserves those who are faithful to Him.

We can strengthen our heart and have strong courage, because our hope is in God, not in our self or what we want out of life (Psalm 31:23-24). God never abandons our soul or brings us to ruin.

He leads us in His path of life. We find fullness of joy in His presence; and as we serve Him, we are delighted all the days of our life (Psalm 16:10-11).

Even when we suffer with negative emotions like discouragement and stress, we can still hope in God. As we praise Him, He puts a smile on our lips, a twinkle in our eyes and a jaunt in our steps (Psalm 42:5-6).

He encourages us and our soul rejoices as we remember His goodness and provision (Psalm 42:11). As we hope in God we hear His voice and recognize Him as our Lord and Savior (Psalm 38:15).

As we remember all that God does for us and the words He speaks to us, we set our hope in Him. He comforts us in our trials and His Son and His Word give us life (Psalm 78:7, 119:49-50).

Prayer:
Father God, You are our hiding place in times of insecurity and our shield when life frightens us (Psalm 119:114). Our soul waits for You, more than the night watchmen eagerly wait for the morning, and we put all of our hope in Your Word (Psalm 130:5-6).

Those who do not have a personal relationship with You are sick at heart, but our desire is for You. You bless us with Your life within us (Proverbs 13:12; John 14:6). As we walk in Your righteous ways, we have peace and joy (Proverbs 10:28).

Thought for the Day:
We continually hope in God and praise Him more and more every day. – Psalm 71:14

Godly Intimacy

Through Salvation, we are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, regenerated by His Spirit, sanctified in our soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions – and transformed to walk in a new way of life (1 Peter 1:19; Titus 3:5; 2 Corinthians 5:17).

God gradually draws us to the ultimate realm of intimacy with Him. He enables us to step out of our humanity and to walk in the divine life of the Spirit of God within us (2 Peter 1:4; Galatians 5:15-25).

God’s Spirit perfects us from one level of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:18). He abides in our spirit, once He justifies our spirit, and then He gradually sanctifies our soul (Romans 6:6; 1 Corinthians 6:11).

As we decrease, Christ in us increases (John 3:30). The world has no more power over us, because we are no longer attracted by it (Galatians 6:14).

We do not live to fulfill our passions and goals, but we enjoy our intimacy with God and submit to Christ as He accomplishes His purposes through our life (Galatians 2:20).

We do not even work for God, because we simply allow Christ to live in and through us instead. His truth inspires us and we are compelled by His love (2 Corinthians 5:14, 11:10).

We make Jesus the Lord of our life and follow His Spirit’s direction each moment of our life (1 Peter 3:14-15). In our union with the Lord, we are one with Him in Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17).

We live, move and have our being in the power of Christ in us, so that we glorify Him with our every thought, word and deed (Acts 17:28; Philippians 1:19-21).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You so much for teaching us to walk in love, just as Jesus walked in love and sacrificed His life for us. May we reject the temptations of this life and live as a fragrant offering to You instead (Ephesians 5:2).

Remind us that our whole purpose on this earth is Christ, who is our life, and that to leave this world and to enter the next is truly for our advantage (Philippians 1:21; Colossians 3:3-4). We surrender our goals, aspirations and plans to You, and we ask You to guide us in Your will for our life.

Thought for the Day:
From the foundation of the world, Christ gave Himself on the cross according to the will of God, in order to indwell Believers and rescue us from slavery to sin in this evil age.  – Galatians 1:4

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.