Love Letters

Our life is God’s love letter to the world. He uses us to communicate to our friends, relatives, associates and neighbors that He cares about them (2 Corinthians 3:3).

 

If we do not take the time to reach out to these significant people in our life, we deprive them of the love of God through us.

 

We may even shut up the Kingdom of Heaven to them and their blood will be on our hands (Ezekiel 3:18-20). It is important that we at least plant a seed of God’s love in everyone we meet.

 

It is easy to do this. We can give them our church bulletin and invite them to join us the next week. Offering them a ride to the grocery store or to church is another easy way.

 

We can hand them a tract with spiritual truth that they may otherwise never know. Starting a spiritual book club or Bible study in our neighborhood is another great way to reach out.

 

There are retired women and men in our church who would gladly teach such a study if we ask them; or there are great study guides in the Christian bookstore to use as a text.

 

We can bake a cake for a bereaved family, give a homemade card to a sick neighbor, or baby sit for a young couple to have a date night.

 

The possibilities are endless, if we listen to God’s Spirit and follow His directives. God equips us to walk in His will through Christ in us (Hebrews 13:20).

 

With Christ living within us, we experience rest for our soul (Matthew 11:29). We stop striving to perform for God, because Christ works through us (Psalm 46:10; Matthew 6:28-33).

 

This eternal rest is only available if we take our focus in life off the temporal aspects of our existence and place it squarely on eternal matters instead (2 Corinthians 4:18).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You gave us Your eternal life, which no one can take from us (John 10:28). We are joined to You, and we are beneficiaries of Your divine nature (1 Corinthians 6:17; 2 Peter 1:4). We have constant fellowship with You, the Son and the Spirit (1 John 1:3, 9; Phil 2:1).

 

You placed us in Christ Jesus and we are seated in heavenly places in Him (1 Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 2:6). You provide every spiritual blessing for us in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). Help us to share Your love with those You put into our life. We want to give You all the honor and glory for everything we think, say and do each moment of the day.

 

Thought for the Day:

The love and integrity of the testimony of our life for God may be the difference in someone believing in or rejecting Jesus as their Savior.

 

 

My Hiding Place

I have a secret hiding place. It is my safe house, my shelter and fortress, my place of rest and rejoicing. Whenever my soul is afraid, I run into it and find safety, balance and serenity.

My secret hiding place is called the spirit of man (1 Corinthians 2:11). Prior to our coming to Christ, this safe place is all boarded up and inaccessible. Sin destroyed it and it is uninhabitable.

Yet, when we surrender our life wholly to God, our spirit is born again. We meet God there. From the moment of our salvation, He dwells with us in our spirit by His Holy Spirit and He never leaves (Romans 8:9, 16; Hebrews 13:5).

As we mature in our walk with God, we no longer live through our body or soul – our mind, choices and emotions. We do not depend on our human skills, talents or capabilities, but we give God full reign in our life.

We walk this earth in our body in union with God’s Spirit who abides within us; but we function in life through our spirit rather than our body and soul (1 Corinthians 3:16).

God still uses our body and soul for His purposes in the earth. He transforms our personality and capabilities and makes us a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).

We are no longer tied to the earthly realm, influenced by sin and hindered by human insufficiency. Our external world my fall down around our ears, or people and experiences may attack our thoughts or emotions; but like Paul, we rejoice in the tribulation.

We experience life from our safe place: our spirit within us (Galatians 5:25). Our carnality is dead and it is no longer us, but Christ who lives in and through us (Colossians 3:3).

We are controlled, guided and filled through our entire being with all of the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:16-19). We experience eternal life as a reality even now, by intimately knowing the only true God and His Son, Jesus Christ, whom He sent (John 17:3).

Prayer:
Father God, due to Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary’s cross, we can leave behind the cares of this temporal world and touch the glories of Heaven. Our spirit is filled with Your Spirit and we feel safe and right at home there (Revelation 3:20). We live in step with Your Spirit from within our spirit, separated from our body and soul and viewing them as from a distance.

Regardless of what the world, the devil or our flesh attempt to entice us to participate in, or the amount of pain and grief they try to distract us with, they have no effect on us or lure for us, because we live in our spirit by Your Spirit and no longer through our flesh.

Thought for the Day:
Christ is our whole life and we live by His faith; He gave Himself for us, because He loves us completely and unconditionally.
– Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:4

Open Doors

Human beings often fear the unknown, resist change and grieve our losses longer than is healthy for our soul. This causes unnecessary stress to ravage our body and soul.

As authentic Born Again Believers, we can prevent this by trusting completely in God’s goodness and grace. When He closes one door in our life, it is to open another door.

He may allow us to lose a job, mate, child, friend, church family, home, part of our body, etc in order to open new doors for us.

God also closes doors to protect us. The timing, people involved, location and details are not conducive to this new venue He planned for us, so God will close those doors.

When we end one chapter of our life, we start a new one, full of possibilities and every bit as fulfilling as the former chapter. If we maintain an open mind, God will bless us.

No matter where we are, who we are with, or what circumstances He brings to us, we can still walk in God’s Spirit and allow Christ in us to live through us (Galatians 2:20, 5:15-25; Colossians 3:3-4).

Supernatural direction, peace and joy sustain, strengthen and equip us for the Kingdom work ahead of us. God’s Spirit and Son within us are our everlasting companions.

Prayer:
Father God, make us conscious of Your hand in our life. Help us not to mourn the closed doors for very long before we change our focus to the new and living way You have prepared for us.

We trust in You to care for all of our needs and to direct our every step through this new life where You called us to live. Open our eyes and ears to see and hear what Your Spirit is directing us to do, and use us for Your glory.

Thought for the Day:
The new door, which God opens, may be different than we are used to, strange and unfamiliar, but with Christ in us, we will continue to walk in God’s perfect peace and joy.

A Personal Relationship with God

God’s Spirit gives us liberty from bondage to the flesh, the world and Satan (Galatians 3:13-14; 2 Corinthians 3:17). There is no condemnation for sin, because we are now in Christ (Romans 8:1).

Christ became sin on our behalf and gave us His righteous standing with our Father God (2 Corinthians 5:21). Since God is in our corner, nothing which comes against us can succeed (Romans 8:31).

God gives us His peace and His Spirit who dwells within us (1 Corinthians 2:12, 14:33). We overcome every trial through Christ who abides within us (Romans 8:37).

We are never alone again, because the presence of Christ in us is evident in our thoughts, words and deeds. He never forsakes us or leaves us alone (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5)

We learn to be content with whatever God provides for us on a daily basis, knowing that if we need something, He will provide it in His own way and time (Philippians 4:11).

Jesus already overcame the world and the trials through which we live, and He encourages us from the inside out (John 16:33). Therefore, we can always abound in the work of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58; Ephesians 2:10).

Effective evangelism is motivated by the love of God. When we share the love of God, we and those we minister to are filled with God, because God is love (Ephesians 3:19; 1 John 4:8).

This empowers our testimony with the life of Christ, which makes people hungry for what we have (John 13:35). When our personal relationship with God is evident, people will want this same intimacy with Him.

Prayer:
Father God, regardless of the obstacles life uses to hinder us, You give us the character and ability to be mighty conquerors over them all. Thank You for leading us by Your Spirit and making us Your children and co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:14, 17).

You help us to understand what Your will is for our life and You empower us to walk in it (Ephesians 5:17). As we walk in Your Spirit, we look to You for the fulfillment of all of our needs (Philippians 4:19).

Thought for the Day:
As we rest in Jesus, our Living Water, we drift smoothly around every hindrance we face.

Health and Well Being – Part 2

God fashioned humans as a triune being: body, soul and spirit. He created our body from the dust of the ground, breathed into our spirit His breath of life and formed us into a living soul (Genesis 2:7). When our soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions – is neglected, it attempts to draw our attention to our legitimate needs, which require fulfillment.

If we neglect our needs, our Inner Child, which the Psalmist alluded to (Psalm 131:2), will make sure our body and spirit are also effected by this mental and emotional deprivation (Psalm 107:5-6). Mind-related illnesses cause our muscular, nervous, respiratory and vascular systems to break down. They are called psychosomatic illnesses. These have no physical cause or explanation.

Our dreams and negative emotions are two more avenues, which the soul uses to attempt to bring our needs to our conscious awareness. Our overall health depends on us heeding these messages. At times, as the psalmist realized, our soul is like a child and must be weaned (Psalm 131:2). If the Inner Child controls our thoughts, words and deeds, we never grow up.

Alternately, many of us work all day long to provide for the needs of other people and neglect our own needs. God created us to care for our own needs as well (Mark 12:31). This is not selfish unless our whole focus is on our self, or if we care for our self to the detriment of others. God’s Spirit will lead us into a healthy balance of nurturing our self and others.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that we can give our soul a wholesome treat every day! Walking in nature, a healthy snack, chatting with close friends, hobbies, reading Your Word, writing a letter or email, relaxing in the sun and nurturing a garden are just a few healthy choices. Help us to discover what makes our thoughts and emotions happy. We want to make Godly choices, which meet our needs and to help us to nurture others as well.

Thought for the Day:
If we neglect our soul, we are only 2/3 of a person! If we do not nurture our soul, one whole third of our self is crippled.

Our Motivation in Life

As an authentic Born Again Believer, our motivation in life comes from one of four sources: the flesh, the world, the devil or God’s Spirit. At times, it is hard to discern which one is influencing our thoughts, emotions, desires and actions. We can discover the source of our motivation by checking on our responses to the situation.

Are our thoughts, words and actions mirroring the fruit of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21) or the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)? Negative emotions and behavior are definite clues that the flesh, the world or the devil is influencing us, rather than the Spirit (1 John 2:16). Fleshly conduct and demonic oppression in a Believer is the direct result of not walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:15-18).

When we recognize that we are out of the Spirit, we can confess our thoughts and behavior as sin, and ask our Father to renew a right spirit in us (Psalm 51:10). God is always quick to forgive us and to empower us with His Holy Spirit. Once we turn away from our carnal behavior and seek the Lord’s direction, He enables us to make amends to anyone we hurt, while we operated in the flesh.

We walk in the Spirit as we stay connected to the Spirit throughout the day. He will direct each moment and everything included in it, if we seek Him first (Matthew 6:33). The more we rely on the Spirit, the more victory we have over the flesh, the world and the devil (Ephesians 2:1-10). We are no longer motivated by worldly success, the balance of our bank account, or the number and type of our friends, but by God.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that we are an extension of Christ on the earth (John 14:12). We walk in obedience to You to the best of our ability, relying on the Holy Spirit to keep us on the straight and narrow and in the center of Your will (Matthew 7:13-14; John 14:15). Thank You for forgiving our shortcomings and inspiring us to focus on the eternal, rather the earthly aspects of our life. We want all that we think, say and do to bring You glory (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Thought for the Day:
Do not make plans; consult the Lord and follow His desire for every moment of your day. – Proverbs 3:5-6

Overcoming Negative Thoughts and Emotions

At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came down to indwell mortal man. He has been here ever since. He is found in the spirit of every authentic Believer. Living according to the leading of God’s Spirit, ensures that we will live a fulfilled life. Even in negative circumstances or discouraging trials, we know that God will work them out for our good (Romans 8:28).

God’s Spirit helps us to discern which of our thoughts are lies from Satan, and which thoughts are of God. The next time you realize that there is a war going on in your mind, pull out Paul’s measuring stick and compare your thoughts with it. Is it true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy? Think only about such things (Philippians 4:8).

Then, throw out all thoughts that do not measure up. When the peace of God, which transcends all earthly circumstances and human understanding, rules in our heart again, we are free of Satan’s negative lies (Philippians 4:7). The Lord is always cheering for us, and the devil is always cheering against us; it is up to us to break the tie!

When we lay aside our former desires for sin and allow God’s Spirit to renew our mind, we put on the cloak of righteousness provided for us by Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross (Ephesians 4:21-22). We live in holiness and truth in the likeness of God, laying aside all lies and deception from the devil (Ephesians 4:23-25). An attitude of gratitude to God ensures our success in overcoming every negative thought.

Prayer:
Father God, when we have a war going on in our mind, remind us take authority over Satan’s kingdom of darkness by saying, “Lord, I thank You for taking authority over Satan in my life, and for revealing to me the root and origin of this lack of peace in my soul. Satan, I take authority over you and all of your demons. I put you and your demons in the hands of the true Lord Jesus Christ. You have no authority in my body, soul, or spirit, because they are bought by the blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary.”

Thought for the Day:
Sit quietly and wait for God to reveal the origin of the negative thoughts in your heart; journal as you listen, to remind you of what God tells you during your prayer time and to give you a future record for what He does in your life.