Exacting Revenge

Revenge is sweet, or so they say. We plot and plan our next encounter and how we will get the jump on our enemy’s rude and spiteful behavior.

We set up a cycle of events in order to position our self to put our enemies in their place and to hurt them before they can hurt us. We despise them more with each breath we take.

Yet, revenge leaves us feeling empty. As Believers we even regret our display of ungodly behavior. Our vindictive and vengeful thoughts and actions take a toll on our spirit, and grieve the Holy Spirit within us (Ephesians 4:30).

It seems impossible to love our enemies. They taunt us, thwart us and stab us in the back every chance they get. We are willing to struggle with the concept of not hating them; but loving them is going a bit too far.

There is good news. We do not need to feel emotional affection to love our enemies, just a heart, which is surrendered to Christ.

When we love Christ more than we love our self, we can love our enemies with His Agape love. We grow to desire that our enemies will prosper and to experience the love of God, which we enjoy.

We can minister to our enemy’s physical, emotional, spiritual, financial and mental needs when God prompts us. He shows us opportunities to share His love with them.

God’s Word, which richly fills our soul, helps us to have meekness in order to walk away from the temptation to inflict revenge on our enemies (James 1:21).

God walks with us and in us through the dark night of our soul (Psalm 139:17-18). He rewards our faithfulness to walk in His truth. He roots us in His love and builds us up in His presence.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that vengeance is Yours and You will repay our enemies for their treatment of us. Help us to kill our enemies with kindness, pricking their conscience with our loving behavior toward them (Romans 12:20).

Soften their heart toward us. Show us the root of their feelings, which cause them to despise us. Use us to help them to heal from their wounds which cause them to bully us and others.

Cause their reasons for attacking us to diminish; and if nothing else, make them just walk away and leave us alone. In all things, help us to prosper even as our soul prosper when we follow Your will for our life (3 John 1:2).

Thoughts for the Day:
God establishes our faith in His faithfulness; and we abound in our gratitude to Him. – Colossians 2:6-7

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Be Still and Know

The hardest practice for modern humans to develop is to sit still! In the old days, once the chores were done, families sat around the porch and talked, sang, played board games and told stories.

We have no time for that anymore. We are overly scheduled with activities that will not matter in eternity. God tells us to be still and to know that He is God (Psalm 46:10). Yet, we rarely take the time to obey.

If we will abide in God’s presence, He floods our spirit and soul with His attributes and the fruit of His Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). He is under no obligation to give us what we want, but He loves to bless His Saints (Psalm 35:27).

We all have faith in something or someone, even if it is not in God. Our Christian faith inspires our obedience to God’s Word and Spirit. The Old Testament, written by the prophets through God’s inspiration, teaches us what faith is really all about (Romans 16:26).

If we think, speak or act without faith, we sin (Romans 14:23). Yet, when we live in faith, we are blessed and our conscience does not condemn us (Romans 14:22).

Faith does not depend on emotions or facts. Our faith is renewed and strengthened by hearing the preaching of God’s Word (Romans 10:17). This causes us to hunger and thirst for more of God (Psalm 42:1-2, 107:9).

As we still our body and soul, we find our fulfillment in Him alone (Colossians 1:27, 2:10). We have the fullness of Christ in us, just as He had the fullness of our Father in Him (Romans 8:9; Galatians 4:6).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us to live in total surrender to Your Spirit within us, living by faith in Your faithfulness and in obedience to Your Word. You heal our body and soul as we dwell in Your presence. You renew our mind and we lose interest in the things of the flesh, the world and the devil. We find our true contentment and rest only in You.

Thank You for giving us the confidence to come to Your throne of grace anytime for any reason (Ephesians 3:12). Thank You for dwelling in our heart and rooting us and grounding us in Your love (Ephesians 3:17). Teach us to sit still in Your presence and to realize that You are God and no one is above You (Isaiah 45:5).

Thought for the Day:
We calm and quiet our soul like a child within us; in God alone will our soul hope as we wait in silence before Him.
– Psalm 62:5, 131:2

I Would be Lost

I would be lost without God’s presence and His Word. I do not just mean that I would literally be lost and going to hell, which I would be, but I would have such a meager life without Him.

Not having a Bible in my own language to read whenever I want would leave a huge hole in my life. I read the Word and write a post for my blog throughout each of my days. I commit verses to memory each day too.

There are many countries and people groups without the Bible in their own language. They are starving from a famine of hearing the Word of God. I cannot imagine the deprivation they feel.

Thankfully, there are groups dedicated to translating the Bible in the language of every culture around our globe. We can help by donating to these ministries, such as Wycliffe. You can even Christmas shop here ( https://www.wycliffe.org ).

The best Christmas gift we have ever received is the eternal life given to us by God through Jesus Christ. We simply take a searching moral inventory, ask God to forgive our sins and believe that Jesus Christ is the only Savior of the whole world (John 3:16-17; Acts 4:12; Mark 1:14-15).

This allows us to be filled with God’s Spirit and to walk in God’s presence each moment of our life. I depend solely on His presence for guidance, comfort, answered prayer and the peace and joy which only He can give.

Without His love filling my life, I would feel alone, fearful, insecure, anxious and be overwhelmed with excessive sorrow. Yet, with His presence I find the true meaning of life, even in the negative aspects and the losses.

I would be lost without the presence and Word of God in my life. I dedicate my life to His service, because it is the least I can do in exchange for His generous love, provision and grace.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for loving the world so much that You gave Your only begotten Son to pay for the error of our ways. Teach us Your ways and help us to walk in Your paths (Psalm 25:4, 27:11, 86:11). Help us to share Your truth and love with the lost and dying world all around us, so that they too can revel in Your presence and Your Word.

Help us to hide Your Word in our heart, so that we do not sin against You (Psalm 119:11); and so that we can flourish in this world because of Your presence in our spirit, Your Word in our heart and Your love providing a miracle in every trial that we will ever experience.

Thought for the Day:
God’s Spirit enables authentic Believers to be totally capable of fully experiencing the magnitude of God’s astounding and boundless love for us through a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, until we are completely filled throughout our entire body, soul and spirit with all the fullness of God and have the richest portion of His presence in our life until we are entirely flooded with God Himself. – Ephesians 3:18-19, Amplified Bible

Natural and Spiritual Mind

The natural mind cannot comprehend spiritual truth with the intellect. Without the Holy Spirit of God resident within our spirit, God’s truth seems foolish (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Without the Spirit of God, we pick and choose what we want to believe from the Bible, if anything at all. We attend church services to feel good and make friends. We may even find a place of service in the church and community.

Our inner being needs strengthening by God’s Spirit, so that we can receive Christ in our spirit (Ephesians 3:16). If anyone is willing to trade pride and rebellion for humility and submission to God’s Spirit we can experience salvation (Matthew 5:5).

Then God fills us through our entire being with all of His fullness and gives us the richest portion of His presence, so we become a body completely filled with all of God Himself (Ephesians 3:17-19).

As we are quiet before the Lord, He inspires us (Psalm 46:10). Christ abides within us by His Spirit, influencing our thoughts, words and deeds; helping us to fulfill God’s pre-ordained purpose for our life (Ephesians 2:10).

We stop stressing over life, or attempting to find God’s will, or to make a living and to amass worldly goods. We enter God’s rest, and He floods us with His peace and joy regardless of life’s circumstances.

God directs each moment of our day and provides for our every need (Proverbs 3:5-6). We are the only Bible some people will ever see, so let us live life in God’s fullness and righteousness.

We exemplify to them God’s reality, love and peace, which transcends all human understanding. We are the branch on the Vine, bearing fruit used by a lost and dying world to nourish their souls and strengthen their spirit, so that they too can believe (Ephesians 3:16; Galatians 5:22-23).

Prayer:
Father God, we realize that all of You dwells in every Believer at the moment of salvation; but Your Word teaches us that we can increase the intimacy of our union with You (Psalm 42:1-2; Zephaniah 3:17; John 14:21).

Remind us to pursue You rather than worldly gain, and to taste and see just how good You really are (Psalm 34:8; Hebrews 6:5). Your Word is sweeter than fresh honey to our mouth (Psalm 119:103). We delight in You always and rejoice in Your presence in us through every trial and tribulation we ever experience in this sin cursed world (Philippians 4:4; Psalm 37:4; Matthew 28:10).

Thought for the Day:
At the coming of Christ, the whole earth will be filled with His glory, just as the waters now cover the earth. – Isaiah 11:9; Jeremiah 31:34

Freedom in Christ

Satan plants lies in the trauma of our past to keep us in bondage to the negative emotions of that incident. This fear, dread, shame, depression, deprivation, anger, revenge, etc. all influence our life every day.
( http://www.theophostic.com )

These negative feelings filter into our conscious mind from our subconscious mind and intensify our current mood. They program us for failure, addictions, broken relationships and stress. They control our life and we often do not even realize that they are there.

Satan blinds us to their existence and has a field day with our emotions. The solution to this Pandora’s Box is to submit our thoughts to God and to ask Him to show us these lies and His truth about them (Galatians 5:1).

Start with the manifesting negative emotion and consciously concentrate on the words in your mind fueling that emotion. Those are Satan’s lies. Then ask God to show you His truth about these lies.

Sometimes, the negative emotion will lead us to an idol in our life. We relinquish to God our expectations and pet peeves, which fuel our negative emotions and cause us to feel frustrated, irritated and angry.

God frees us from the tyranny of these emotions. This freedom is our inheritance as children of God (John 8:36). There is no reason for us to remain in bondage to these past issues, when we are guaranteed this liberty through Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary’s cross (Galatians 5:1).

It may take a while for us to walk in total freedom from the past, but little by little and day by day, God delivers us from Satan’s lies and bathes us in His peace, joy and love.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that pride and rebellion restrict our freedom in You. We cannot walk in Your Truth (Psalm 119:160) without walking in Your righteousness as well. You desire our total devotion and worship (Mark 12:30). That is why You created mankind in the first place.

As we completely surrender to Your will for our life and exalt You above all else, we will decrease as You increase in our soul (John 3:30). We will feel fewer negative thoughts and emotions and find Your joy, which is beyond description and full of Your glorious presence (1 Peter 1:7-9).

Thought for the Day:
Unbelief, the flesh and disobedience will keep us in bondage to Satan’s lies.

– Deuteronomy 7:17; James 4:3; Titus 3:3

Free at Last

In our society, God’s name is used more to damn some person, place or thing than to bless them. The last few generations have no concept of sin. Wrong is right, and right is often viewed as wrong.

Sin is the norm for many, and church is foreign (Ephesians 4:21, 6:1; Colossians 3:9). They view Christ’s death on Calvary’s cross as a waste of a life, rather than as the ultimate sacrifice for our salvation.

Until we understand that God’s Word is our ultimate authority, we will not comprehend our disobedience to it, and our need to ask Jesus for forgiveness (John 14:15, 23).

Even the law of our land teaches us that there are consequences for our behavior. The police and courts hold us responsible to uphold the law or we are punished.

When we transgress God’s law, we deserve to suffer the penalty of death. Yet, Jesus suffered our eternal punishment for us (John 3:16-18). He gives us His life in our spirit, which was formerly dead because of Adam and Eve’s sin (Ephesians 2:1; Galatians 2:20).

When we decide to live for God, rather than for our self, our spirit is no longer dead in sin and separated from Him. Jesus makes it possible for us to spend eternity in Heaven (John 3:16-18; Romans 10:13).

We are dead to sin now, and free from its strangle-hold on our life (Romans 6:6, 11, 18). We are able to discern right from wrong and to walk in holiness by the help of God’s Spirit within us.

When we die physically, we will not die spiritually. Our last breath on earth is followed by our first breath in Heaven (Matthew 25:46). We will live forever in the almighty presence of our Living Savior and God.

Prayer:
Father God, there are not enough days in our lifetime to show our appreciation to You for all that You do for us each day. Remind us not to take Your goodness and grace for granted. Teach us to praise You for all of the blessings You shower on us each and every day.

Help us to learn to discern the leading of Your Spirit as we commit each day to You (Proverbs 3:5-6). We do not want to depend on our human reasoning, because this reaps mediocre results at best. We want to walk in Your Will by the direction of Your Word under the power of Your Holy Spirit.

Thought for the Day:
God improves our spiritual, mental, emotional, financial and physical health as we trust Him, follow the guidance of His Spirit, and live, move and exist in Christ alone. – Acts 17:28

I do not Feel God’s Presence – Other Reasons

I do not Feel God’s Presence – Other Reasons

If you have someone in your life that you have not forgiven, if you are bitter about something or if you are angry with God for some reason, that will keep you from feeling His presence in your life.

Sometimes people, places, things or even animals take the place of God in our heart. We form an unholy physical tie and/or “soul” tie with them, which hinders our spiritual growth (The soul is our mind, will and emotions).

Every part of our self, which we hold back from God, is controlling our life. We have to give Him ALL of us. It is not a mental decision, but a total commitment to live our life God’s way, rather than our own way.

We dishonor our self and our family and the family of God when we continue to live in sin (Ephesians 5:1-7, Hebrews 10:26-31, Romans 6:1-4). A true Believer will never live a sinful lifestyle.

With each sin we commit, we are hammering the nails back into Jesus’ hands, shoving that crown of thorns back on His head, sticking the sword in His side again and hanging Him on the cross to die in public shame once again (Hebrews 6:6).

Those who are truly Born Again might fall into sin once, or even twice, but then our heart breaks and we run from this disobedience, because we realize that we are breaking God’s heart with every sin (John 5:18-21; 1 John 2:3-6, James 1:12-16, 1 John 3:7-10).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that going to church, serving in a ministry, praying to You, getting baptized or even tithing our income are useless activities, if we are not Born Again. We are just doing good works, and that does not get anyone into heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 6:12-14, 7:13: Matthew 5:27-30).

We must be Born Again by Your Spirit and walk in Your will and Your ways (John 3:1-21). Draw us ever closer to Your heart, humble our pride and rebellion, help us to forgive our self and others, and strengthen our inner being so that by Your Spirit we can make a true commitment, which leads to salvation (Romans 10:10)

Remind us to live our life one day at a time. When Your Spirit prompts us to stop some behavior, or to start doing something else, help us to obey (Philippians 2:12-13). We have confidence that we will slowly grow in Your grace and come closer each day to sensing Your presence.

Thought for the Day:
Look for God’s little hugs throughout the day – a coincidence, a flower growing through a crack in the sidewalk, the numbers on the clock, a bird’s song, snuggles from your pet, an unexpected phone call or card in the mail, even the smile of a stranger. God will hug you with something that will make you feel special and loved, so watch for it.