Life’s Toughest Moments

We were formerly dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1), but now as authentic Believers in Jesus, we are dead to sin, and our life is hidden with Christ in God (Romans 6:11; Colossians 3:3).

 

The Holy Spirit continually fills us with His fruit (Galatians 5:22-23). We view the visible issues of life as transient and passing, because we know that only the spiritual aspects of life are everlasting.

 

Paul experienced tremendous hardships (2 Corinthians 11:16-33); yet, reminded us that with an eternal perspective on life, we know that our eternal weight of glory far outweighs the momentary, comparatively light affliction we experience in this world (2 Corinthians 4:17).

 

When life reaches its toughest moments, we totally trust in and hide our self in God. His presence within us keeps us separate from our experiences as they are happening.

 

We view life from God’s perspective and we no longer hold on to fears and wounds of the past. He heals us from them and Satan’s lies one at a time, as we submit them to Him

( http://www.theophostic.com )

 

We live in this world as manifestations of God through Christ. We have the same abilities and expression of the Spirit that Christ did, because He lives within us (1 John 4:17).

 

We obey God’s Spirit with an awareness, which exceeds human understanding. We cannot prove this relationship intellectually or physically, but the Spirit of God bears witness to our spirit that we are children of God (Romans 8:16).

 

As we allow God’s light within us to shine brightly, many in the world will see Him through us and want to give their life to Christ as well (Matthew 5:16).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we want people to see the fruit on our branch, and realize it is actually the produce of the Vine, which is the only real source of our productive life (John 15:5). As authentic, Born Again Believers, our life on earth has Jesus’ supernatural capabilities, and He uses our body, soul and spirit for His glory.

 

Not only does Your Spirit lead us (Romans 8:14), but He also fills us to overflowing (Acts 4:31). We are privileged as Your children, with Christ living in us by Your Spirit (Romans 8:11). The more we decrease, the more You will increase within us (John 3:30).

 

Thought for the Day:

We are alive in Christ, created to do every good work through Christ in us for the glory of God and for the furtherance of His Kingdom in the earth. – Ephesians 2:10

 

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I am not the Savior

As we all serve one another, we all get served. I read in the Bible that God wanted it this way. As a perfectionist codependent, I always put everyone else’s needs above my own.

 

However, it did not work that way in the first 45 years of my life. I did all the serving and others did all the taking with rare expressions of gratitude or encouragement for what I did.

 

I grew to resent the lack of reciprocation and my constant physical and emotional exhaustion. I felt like a hamster on its wheel, going round and round day after day and getting no place fast.

 

One day I realized that I was actually teaching people to expect me to do everything and not to respect me or my needs. I had a savior and martyr complex a mile wide and high.

 

The fact is, however, that I love to serve others. It is my main ministry in Christ’s body. Thankfully, I started working for a recovering codependent at this same time and she spoke truth to me that set me free.

 

She said, “You are a person too, and you can minister to yourself and meet your needs in the same way you meet everyone else’s needs.” WOW! That gave me food for thought.

 

She reminded me of Jesus’ words to love others as we love our self (Luke 10:27). I realized right away that I did not love myself in the same way that I loved others.

 

This opened up a whole new world for me. I went to the library and checked out books on how to be a nurturing parent. I learned to nurture myself and how to nurture others in a healthier manner.

 

Prayer:

Father God, so many times we take Your words at face value and skip over the minute details of the verse. We miss so much of the meat of Your Word because we do not take them in context with other verses in the Bible. We miss the whole picture, which You intend for us to see.

 

As we follow the leading of Your Spirit each moment of the day, we stop allowing the good things to become the enemy of the best things. We stop spinning our wheels by so much busyness and we live productive lives that bring us joy as we also give joy. We develop a closer relationship with You and people see our good works and give You the glory (Matthew 5:16).

 

Thought for the Day:

As we walk in the Spirit, we stop enabling others to be less than they can be by allowing them to do hard things for themselves and to learn to lean on God instead of on us, so they can live productive lives.

 

Life is No Longer a Struggle

After surrendering our life to Christ, we experience a struggle between our soul and spirit. Our spirit is born again by the Spirit of God at salvation. Our carnal nature is now dead, and our life is hidden with Christ in God. Christ is our whole life (Colossians 3:1-4).

Yet, there are predispositions in our life through habits and addictions, which continually pull us back to the deeds of the flesh (Romans 7:14-24). Thankfully, our redemption through Christ rescued us from serving a slaves to sin (Romans 7:25).

We can trust His Spirit to slowly sanctify us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). The result is that we walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:15-26). We bear holy fruit in our life and share this fruit with those God brings our way (Galatians 5:22-23).

We cannot accumulate enough good works to earn God’s love (Ephesians 2:8-9). While we were still sinners, He already gave us His unconditional and unmerited love as a free gift (Romans 3:23, 5:6-8, 6:23).

He gives us an example of how to love our children, spouse and other family members and friends. Our love for them is not based on their behavior or accomplishments, but as a free gift.

When we believe that our self-worth is based on our performance, we lose respect for our self if we fail. When we base our identity on Christ in us, we always succeed because we follow His Spirit on a daily basis.

This frees us from wearing masks to fit in or lying or living a hypocritical life in order to live up to the image we believe people expect from us. Receiving our worth from Christ in us keeps us humble and totally dependent on God.

We rely on God to point out our inconsistencies, to effect these changes in us and to help us to accomplish the works He pre-ordained for us to do (Psalm 139:23-24; Ephesians 2:10). He is our all in all through every moment of every day (Ephesians 4:6).

Prayer:
Father God, we choose to enter Your rest and to bear fruit through Your Spirit and by no effort of our own (John 15:4). We trust in the saving work of Christ on Calvary’s cross rather than on our good works; and we accept our holiness, righteousness, justification and sanctification as gifts from Your Spirit.

Thank You for rooting and grounding us in the soil of Your love and for caring for us as our Vinedresser throughout our entire lifetime. We pray that as we submit to Your will for our life, we will glorify You by bearing much fruit for Your Kingdom through Your Spirit’s work in our life (John 15:8; Galatians 5:15-25).

Thought for the Day:
God searches our heart and tries us, seeing our fears and anxiety and healing us of every hurtful memory as He leads us in His everlasting way.
– Psalm 139:23-24

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.

So Much More

Some of us accept the free gift of Salvation offered by God through Jesus Christ, others reject Him altogether, and some of us try to earn Salvation through our own merits and good works (John 3:16-18; Ephesians 2:8-9).

People blame God for the suffering in this world. Once we put aside our pride and rebellion, we can influence our children, family and friends to use prayer to solve their problems rather than to resort to blame, violence and carnality.

We teach them to aspire to use their vocation and hobbies to make the world a better place. Even more important than this, however, is teaching them the Word of God.

Life is not about doing, but about being. God has a perfect plan for each person ever born (Ephesians 2:10). If we branch off in our own direction, we end up spinning our wheels.

However, if we focus on what God is doing in and through our life each moment, we discover His divine appointments throughout the day as we follow the leading of His Holy Spirit.

Through the blood of Christ and the word of our testimony, we can heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead and cast out devils all in Jesus’ name and through His Holy Spirit (Matthew 10:8).

Christ in us is the light of the world (John 8:12). God places His authentic Believers in a candlestick, which He can move as He wills, to give the whole world an opportunity to come to Christ’s Light.

As His church, we are a city set on a hill, which cannot be hidden. We can let His light in us shine so brightly that people will see our good works and give God the glory (Matthew 5:14-16).

Prayer:
Father God, we have assurance that You hear our prayers. Not only do You give us what we ask for, if it is according to Your will, but You also give us abundantly more than we request (Ephesians 3:20). We see the truth of this in Your answer to Solomon’s prayer (1 Kings 3:11).

How often we place our affections on this world’s wealth and resources. We labor more for mammon’s trappings than for the eternal matters of Your Kingdom.

How much better it is for us to put our treasure where moth and rust do not destroy (Matthew 6:19-20). Remind us that prayer, witnessing, Christian relationships and mentoring others for Christ are the true jewels of life.

Thought for the Day:
The Word of God truly is the mightiest sword. – Hebrews 4:12

Surrendering to God’s Love

A pure heart is the key to knowing God (Matthew 5:8). His love overwhelms us with its joy and peace. His perfect love slowly, but surely, casts out all of our fears (1 John 4:18). When we trust in Christ and keep God’s Word, we become His dwelling place (John 14:23). He fills us through all of our being with all of His fullness (Ephesians 3:19).

As the Temple of the Holy Spirit, we experience more and more intimacy with the Trinity (1 Corinthians 3:16). The outer court of the temple is our body, the inner court is our soul and the Most Holy place is our spirit, where the presence of God dwells and fills our soul and body. As we present our body to God, as a living sacrifice, we die to our self and the destructive lusts of life (Romans 12:1).

God’s Spirit fills our soul with all of the characteristics of faith, hope and love. These are the greatest traits a person can possess (1 Corinthians 13:13). The more we walk in obedience to the directives of God’s Spirit, the more our faith increases. Our obedience to Biblical standards comes as we grow in love for God (John 14:15). Then, our love and faith increase our hope in God.

God’s love is wider, deeper and higher than any human emotion or any created thing (Ephesians 3:18; Romans 8:31-39). God’s proven love for us, over the years of our relationship with Him, helps us to have more love for one another (John 13:34). Surrendering to God’s love opens doors for us that we can only dream about, and brings fulfillment to our life in this sin-cursed world.

Prayer:
Father God, faith, hope and love are intertwined throughout our entire personality and relationship with You. They affect our lifestyle, and are the foundation of every other fruit of Your Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Teach us to surrender to Your love, and to allow Your light to shine through us, so that men will see our good works and give You the glory (Matthew 5:16). Perfect Your love in us and help us to bring You glory with our life (1 John 2:5).

Thought for the Day:
God is love and love is of God; everyone who loves is born again of the Spirit of God and knows God. – 1 John 1:7-8; Luke 10:27

Our Solid Rock

Sometimes I feel like I am standing in quicksand on this earth. There is no solid footing around me, but just a sucking pit of decay. People in our neighborhood, workplace, the mall and the streets unleash the power of Satan into the world by living in sin. We reap the consequences of their sin, as well as our own (John 5:13). Sin gives Satan permission to work his evil, degradation and destruction in our life.

The antidote for this malaise is to walk away from sin and to live in holiness. God is faithful and He readily forgives a repentant heart (1 John 1:9). Righteous living releases the anointing of God in our life. It also prevents much of Satan’s influence in our world and his strongholds in our life. Christians may walk after the flesh in an occasional moment, but we do not walk in sin as a lifestyle (Galatians
5:16-25.)

Many people are under the false impression that sinners go to hell and good people go to heaven. In truth, authentic Born Again Believers go to heaven, and unbelievers condemn themselves to hell by their unbelief in the name of God’s one and only Son (John 3:18). Our eternal destination has nothing at all to do with our good works, but has everything to do with our total surrender to God.

We live a holy life because of our union with Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). We walk out of darkness and into the kingdom of light (Ephesians 5:8). The righteousness of Christ is our birthright as Born Again children of God. Christ is our whole life; a new life based on our relationship with Christ in us, our hope of eternal glory (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 1:27, 3:3-4). Christ lives in us, giving us a victorious life on this earth.

Prayer:
Father God, You are our safe place in a world that often frightens us. Christ is the solid Rock beneath our feet. He gives breathing room to our soul (Psalm 62:1-2). We no longer fear the quicksand of life, but we trust in Christ who is our impenetrable fortress. We lack no good thing in this life. We find our help and our glory in You. We trust You absolutely and we lay down our life for You all day long.

Thought for the Day:
Let God build your life on the sold Rock of Jesus Christ. – Mt. 7:24-27