God’s Presence In Us

We often implore our Heavenly Father to give us more patience, love, peace, joy, compassion, faith and strength. What we do not realize is that we already have all of the fruit of the Spirit resident within us through our salvation in Christ. God’s Spirit and all of the attributes of God are already available to us.

The issue preventing them from manifesting is our flesh. Our flesh often masquerades as God’s direction and we follow the wrong path. When seeking God’s will, we are looking for a billboard, a loud speaker or a flashing neon sign, but it never comes. Our human reasoning quickly drowns out God’s true guidance.

We second guess our first impression and miss God. God directs us from His Spirit within our spirit in a barely recognizable impression or thought. God’s is a still, small voice, which is often overwhelmed by the cacophony of life’s trials and demands. As we submit our desires and thoughts to God’s Spirit and obey His direction for each moment of our day, we live in peace and rest.

It is only as we decrease, that Christ in us can increase (John 3:30). The more we minimize the influence of our flesh, the world and the devil in our life, the more we are able to access the fruit, gifts and power of the Trinity within us. God already has our life planned out for us (Ephesians 2:10; Psalm 139:16). We never need to deal with life in our own wisdom and resources.

Prayer:
Father God, nothing occurs in our life that is not already part of Your plan for us. There is no need to fear, attempt to control or to worry about our present and future circumstances. We can take a deep breath and exhale all of the tension and stress caused by negative emotions and life’s events; then breathe in Your peaceful presence in all of its fullness. Even negative circumstances are a new adventure, because You are in control. You are not bound by time and You have an eternal perspective. You know the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10).

Thought for the Day:
Christ in us is our glorious hope for a fulfilled life and our eternal reality. – Galatians 2:20

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Caring for One Another

God’s Spirit provides us with spiritual gifts, which build up the church (Ephesians 4:11-12). Apostles start new churches; prophets proclaim God’s Word; evangelists are anointed to reach the lost; pastors and teachers dissect the Word and feed it to us in tiny morsels, which are easy to digest; and they all equip the Body of Believers to go out to do the work of the ministry.

We are to respect and submit to our spiritual leaders, because they watch out for our soul, and they must give account to God for their watch care over us. Sometimes we cause them grief by our inconsiderate behavior and our refusal to heed their spiritual guidance (Hebrews 13:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13, 1 Peter 5:5). Some leadership is carnal, however, and we should always compare their advice with God’s Word.

Since we are motivated by God’s Spirit we love one another (Ephesians 5:18-19). Our leaders should model God’s love and teach us to share the love we have from God with one another (1 John 2:10, 4:7,11; John 13:34-35; 1 Peter 1:22). We are to meet our own needs, as well as the needs of others, without allowing selfishness and arrogance to dictate our behavior (Philippians 2:3-4; Romans 12:10, James 2:1).

When we purify our self by obeying God’s truth, His sincere love helps us to love one another deeply, from the heart (1 Peter 1:22). We are compatible, compassionate, empathetic and meek when we love one another (1 Peter 3:8). The Lord teaches us to care for everyone, even unbelievers, with a growing love, which resembles our love for Him (1 Thessalonians 3:12).

Prayer:
Father God, Jesus commanded us to love one another as He loves us (John 13:34). You teach us to love one another by Your Spirit, especially those we consider to be unlovable (1 Thessalonians 4:9). When we see them with Your eyes, we are moved with Your compassion. Love comes from You, You live in us and Your love is made complete in us (1 John 4:7,12). As we love one another everyone will know that we are Your disciples (John 13:35).

Thought for the Day:
We are to owe no one anything except to love each other.
– Romans 13:8

Fellowship with Our Father

We have nothing that God needs, but everything that He wants. He desires fellowship with us as His Saints (1 John 1:3). We often forfeit this privilege because our thoughts and behavior grieve God’s Spirit and block our communication with Him. Under the guise of grace, we wallow in our sins. However, true repentance cries out to God for forgiveness and restores our relationship with Him once again (1 John 3:9).

 

If we live in association with darkness and sin, we cannot have fellowship with the Father of light (1 John 1:6-7; James 1:17). The more we associate with our Father, the better we get to know Him and to walk in His light, as children of the Light (1 Thessalonians 5:5). In God, there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). From our fellowship with our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, abiding joy flows into us (1 John 1:3).

 

God’s light reveals our areas of weakness and presents them to us in a whole different light (2 Corinthians 5:17). We no longer see sin as acceptable, but as abhorrent and disgusting. We confess our sins, and He is faithful and merciful enough to forgive us of those sins (1 John 1:9). He gives us His limitless power and authority in the name of Jesus Christ, regardless of our human limitations (2 Corinthians 4:7; 12:9).

 

Another benefit or our relationship with God is our fellowship with His Body (1 Corinthians 12:27). We are here to bless and care for one another (Philippians 2:4; Romans 12:10). We cry and rejoice with each other, pray for and with one another, and exhort, admonish and encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:11). We have purpose and guidance in this life.

 

Prayer: Father God, even in the darkest night of any trial You are in the midst of it with us, loving us from the inside out, giving us wisdom and making everything work our for our good (Romans 8:28; Jeremiah 29:11). Remind us to encourage one another and to pray for each other as Your Body. Show us the seeds of Your miracle in the midst of every tribulation.

 

Thought for the Day:

What mankind calls liberty and grace, God’s holiness calls rebellion and iniquity. Sin breaks our fellowship with our Father.

Following in Jesus’ Footsteps

As humans, we devote hours to gaining proficiency in our career, hobby, talent or sport. We sacrifice everything else in our life to acheive greatness in this one field. Yet, in our walk with God, our most important relationship, we barely give Him one hour a week. We decide that since our eternal destination is secure, we do not need to put any more time or effort into a relationship with Him.

 

Is our eternal desitination really secure? Praying a prayer, getting baptized, attending church on Easter and Christmas, reading our Bible and believing in God do not insure our salvation. True, authentic Born Again salvation will give us the desire to sacrifice all for God. Jesus is the pearl of great price; and we willingly give up everything to attain a deeper relationship with Him (Matthew 13:45-46).

 

God desires an intimate relationship with us; that is why He created us. When we finally come to the point of total surrender to God, He leads us into His perfect, everlasting rest (Hebrews 4:10). We are living stones with which He is building His holy temple (1 Peter 2:4-6; 1 Corinthians 6:19). He is faithful, and we can trust Him with our current and future life as we seek Him only and always.

 

Jesus is our very life (Colossians 3:4). Almighty God is ever ready to shine forth His light and life into our hearts each moment of our day. The Holy Spirit abides in us, leading and directing each step, which we surrender to Him. We can trust the Trinity to work out every aspect of our life for our good (Romans 8:28). Jesus lives His divine life in and through us (2 Peter 1:3-4).

 

Jesus gave 33 years of His life to show us an example of how to live a Spirit-filled life. He walked, talked and demonstrated the power of God in human form. We have this same Christ in us and we can follow in Jesus’ footsteps. He lived in complete dependence upon our Father God, absolute surrender to His will and total trust in His guidance and power (John 5:17-30). We have His same character within us.

 

Prayer:

Father God, Jesus knew that without You He could do nothing (John 5:17-30). He communed with You throughout His life and looked to You to fill Him with everything He needed in power and majesty. Remind us that You are in control of our life and You did not give us our life to squander in seeking earthly riches and relationships. We are the branches of the Vine of Christ and Your Holy Spirit is the sap which empowers each branch to bear fruit for Your Kingdom.

 

Thought for the Day:

We are dead to sin and alive to God, a living sacrifice for our Father’s use. – Romans 6:11; 12:1

Our New Identity in Christ

Before Christ, our natural man had no comprehension of the meaning of spiritual things (1 Corinthians 2:14). Believers were foreign to us, and we made fun of them. Before we surrendered our life to Jesus Christ, our human nature controlled us. We were slaves to sin and death. When we came to Christ, He gave us victory over Satan and destruction (Romans 6:2-6). Now God’s love always surrounds us, fills us and lifts us.

Our former self died in Christ and we are now hidden in Christ with God (Colossians 3:3). Although we still live on this earth, it has no more power over us. We are justified, as if we had never sinned, and God’s Spirit is sanctifying us from one stage of glory to the next (2 Corinthians 3:18). We live by the faith of Christ, who loves us and gave Himself over to a cruel death for our sake (Galatians 2:20).

This free gift is not the result of our goodness or any works, which we perform (Ephesians 2:8-9). It comes from Jesus, through whom we are crucified to the world and the world to us (Galatians 6:14). The world and the lusts of it have no power over or attraction for us anymore. The nature to sin is replaced by the divine nature of Christ (Ephesians 2:1-3; 2 Peter 1:4). We live in the Spirit now, rather than in the flesh (Romans 8:8-9).

As a new creation, our life is transformed from sin and deprivation to righteousness, peace and joy through the Spirit (2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 14:17). We rest in God’s love and stand firm in His power, devoting our self to His Kingdom (1 Corinthians 15:58). God’s Spirit provides us with God’s divine power to live a Godly life, and He accomplishes God’s victorious life through us (2 Peter 1:3; Ephesians 2:10).

Prayer:
Father God, knowing that Christ crucified our flesh on Calvary’s cross helps us to choose to live in holiness rather than in disobedience to You. Once we are Born Again, we only sin when we fail to acknowledge You and seek Your plans for our day (Proverbs 3:5-6). Thank You for directing our feet on the paths of life and for protecting, guarding, directing and loving us with Your amazing grace and love.

Thought for the Day:
When we choose to sin, we act out of character with our new nature and new identity in Christ.