God’s Goodness and Grace

God’s name is used in our society more in cursing than as a prayer. The last several generations have less of a concept of sin. They consider wrong as right, and right is often viewed as wrong (Romans 1:32).

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 sentenced to make amends.

When we transgress God’s law, we deserve to suffer the penalty of death (Romans 3:23, 6:23). Yet, Jesus suffered our eternal punishment for us (John 3:16-18). He gives us His life in our spirit, which was formerly dead in sin (Galatians 2:20).

When we decide to live for God, rather than for our self, we are no longer separated from Him. Jesus makes it possible for us to spend eternity with Him in Heaven (Romans 10:13).

When we die physically, we will not die spiritually. The last breath we breathe on earth is followed by our first breath in Heaven (Matthew 25:46). We can trust our life on earth to God’s perfect plan for us (Ephesians 2:10).

We find fulfillment, peace and joy through His love and forgiveness (Romans 14:17). We collapse into God’s waiting arms with the confidence that He will catch us and never, ever let us go (Hebrews 13:5).

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. Thank You for abiding in our spirit and making such a huge difference in our life.

Help us to learn to discern the leading of Your Spirit as we commit each moment of our day to You. 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 direction of His Spirit, and live, move and exist only in His will. – Acts 17:28

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Words Matter – Part 1

The reservoir of a good heart produces encouraging words. The abundance of an evil heart generates evil results (Luke 6:45). Our words are the product of how we think, what we feel and our beliefs (Matthew 12:33-35).

Rash or too much talk can lead to sin (Proverbs 13:3); therefore, it is sensible to keep a guard over our words (Proverbs 10:19). To bridle our tongue is a talent that only the perfect person masters, but it would help us to control our whole body (James 3:1-2).

Lies and negative thoughts are like a skein of matted thread, so tangled that they are impossible to unravel. They weave confusion and cause us to miss God’s best for us.

When we believe Satan’s lies, complain or focus on the negative aspects of life, we miss the hand of God bringing blessings from the midst of all our trials (Romans 8:28).

Disparaging thoughts come from a troubled heart and never help us to prosper. They lead to negative words and actions, which cause trouble in so many ways (Proverbs 17:20).

Before we speak, a good rule is to pray first in order to speak the words, which God gives us to say and which will bring glory to Him (1 Peter 4:11). Wholesome, positive, uplifting words.

This is hard to do, especially in any moment of controversy. We are either exonerated or ruined by what we say and do (Matthew 12:37). Praying first gives us the needed boundaries.

Our thoughts affect our beliefs, our emotions and our attitude. We reap the consequences of our words, and they affect our relationships and even our health (Proverbs 8:21).

Therefore, we reap a blessing if we choose to think only about those things, which are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable (Philippians 4:8).

Prayer:
Father God, help us to submit to Your Spirit as You transform our mind, so that we may prove what Your good, acceptable and perfect will is for our life (Romans 12:2). Only a fool keeps on talking (Ecclesiastes 5:3), and an evil man is trapped by his sinful talk. Help us to live a righteous life in our thoughts, words and deed, so that we may escape trouble (Proverbs 12:13).

Thought for the Day:
Let us conduct ourselves in a manner that is worthy of the gospel of Christ, and to live with each other in one mind and spirit rather than in arguing. – Philippians 1:27

The Perfect Balance

Have you ever wondered if this world is the only stage on which our life plays out? Our body is a temporary dwelling place, such as a tent (2 Corinthians 5:1). We live in it only during our time on this earth.

Within our body is our soul and spirit. Until we surrender to Christ, our spirit is dead in Adam’s sin. Once we walk away from our sinful lifestyle and dedicate our life to Christ, our spirit finally comes to life (Ephesians 2:1, 5).

Our body’s health is affected by our emotional, mental and physical decisions. Our spiritual decision or indecision in this life determines our eternal destination (John 3:18; Luke 6:45).

When we die physically, our body goes to the grave and turns to dust. Yet, our spirit and soul go on to eternity in either heaven or hell, depending on our belief or unbelief in Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9).

Our moral decisions in this life are based on whether we allow our soul – our thoughts, decisions and emotions – or our spirit to direct our paths.

We can choose to walk according to the dictates of the world, the devil and the desires of our flesh, or we can walk in the Spirit of God (Galatians 5:15-25).

Through sanctification, our soul is transformed and we have the mind of Christ and the fruit of God’s Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23; Romans 12:2, 1 Corinthians 2:16).

As the redeemed of the Lord (Psalm 107:2-8), we talk about the incidents of God’s blessings in our life with anyone who is interested in listening.

Some of these people may decide they want this same blessed life and ask us how to get it. We simply share the gospel with them: “Repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved” (Mark 1:15).

Prayer:
Father God, Your Word, the Bible, tells us that when we see Jesus, we shall be changed, because we shall be like him (1 John 2:2-3). Jesus is in an immortal body, which never ages or gets sick. Your Saints shall have an immortal body for eternity too (1 Corinthians 15:53).

Remind us that, while we dwell on earth, You have a specific purpose for our life. We should not clutter our days with endless activity, but we do not sit passively either, as life passes us by. Instead, we walk in the Spirit and fulfill Your will for our life (Galatians 5:15-25).

Thought for the Day:
Satan will try to tempt us to walk in immorality or to detrimentally occupy all of our time with busywork, rather than walking in obedient devotion to God.

Purpose in Suffering

There are many people who live with the persuasion that God intends for His Saints to live in perfect health. The first objection to this theory is Paul’s thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7).

Paul begged God to heal this physical infirmity. God had other plans, and reminded Paul that His grace was sufficient to help Paul live with this issue (2 Corinthians 12:9).

God often heals, but He also uses our affliction to teach us patience, to remind us to trust Him and to bring glory to His name (John 9:3).

God is not sadistic or unfeeling. He does not want to punish or afflict His people with suffering; however, God uses our attitude in our adverse physical conditions as a witness of His goodness and grace.

When we smile in our pain, continue serving Him in spite of our misery, maintain a positive outlook regardless of how much we are suffering, God gets the glory.

People are amazed that we keep going, when life smacks us down. They want to know how we can deal with this trial with such a confident stance. People bemoan their misfortune, but authentic Believers trust God always.

God will heal some illnesses; yet, allow others to get worse instead of better. Every person must succumb to death in one way or another. God knows the day and hour of our homecoming to heaven (Job 14:5).

A peaceful passing in our sleep, the result of a prolonged illness, a traffic accident or a natural disaster may claim our life. However, the end result is the same – we enter our eternal glory with the Lord.

We can thank God for our thorn in the flesh and live with it with patience as Paul did His. When God is through using the infirmity to work out His will in our life for His glory, He will heal us in this life or the next.

Prayer:
Father God, death is the ultimate healer. Some people look at death as defeat; but Jesus took the sting out of death (1 Corinthians 15:55-57). We no longer dread passing from this life to the next, because the end result is an eternity in Your presence.

We cannot thank You enough for sending Jesus to reverse the curse on this earth, which came as a result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. Although we may experience physical illness during our lifetime, we promise to trust in Your goodness as You use it for Your glory.

Thought for the Day:
Through suffering, our soul is strengthened, our witness pronounced, and our trust in God enhanced, as we realize that God’s love is greater than our affliction.

We Will See Jesus – Part 2

Many people find God after the failure of all of their hopes and dreams, health and wealth, loss of family and friends, etc. How much better it is to come to Christ humbly, without any loss at all.

If we seek God for our own rewards, we have not found Him. We find a false Christ, the devil in disguise, and our works will burn up in the Day of Judgment like wood, hay and stubble (1 Corinthians 3:12-13; Matthew 24:24).

If we resent the work we do for the Lord, it is clearly birthed from our human efforts and not by obedience to His Spirit. For where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty and peace (2 Corinthians 3:17).

God has no fellowship with darkness (1 John 1:6); so, when we indulge in sin, we separate our self from His life-giving presence (Romans 3:11). Yet, God became man to reconcile us back to Himself (Romans 5:10).

God humbled Himself and became lower than the angels in order to unite us forever with Himself (Hebrews 2:7). Turning in repentance from our carnal ways and walking in obedience to God’s Spirit is the guarantee that we will see Jesus (John 12:23).

In the disfiguring scourging, Christ no longer resembled a man. On the cross, He willingly gave His life for us all. Only in the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Christ can we see the manifest essence of God (John 10:30).

Whatever we do, even as mundane as what we eat and drink, we do to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). No illicit sexual relationship, no intoxicating drink and no unwholesome food enters our body, which is the temple of God’s Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).

Our ultimate purpose in life is to glorify God and to enjoy His attention on a continual basis as we walk in obedience with our entire body, soul and spirit. We find fulfillment in no other pursuit on this earth.

Prayer:

Father God, unless we become as little children, with simple trust and adoration for You, we will not enter Your Kingdom (Matthew 18:3). Our relationship with You is not some mystical union, but real and tangible in our spirit and soul (1 Corinthians 6:17).

As sinners, we recognize our need for salvation, and that redemption and sanctification only come through the presence of Christ in us (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:3). Our powerful revelation of who You are stirs our heart with joy and our tongue with praise (Psalm 126:2).

Thought for the Day:

We achieve the most for God in acts of obedience, rather than sacrifice.

– Ecclesiastes 5:1; Ephesians 2:10

Abundant Grace

Forgiveness is one of the hardest spiritual disciplines God calls us to do, but the result is worth it when we find His freedom in our soul. Forgiveness does not let the perpetrator off the hook, but it puts them in God’s capable hands and He will exact His revenge from them (Ezekiel 25:17). Nothing we could do, not even holding a grudge, will be that effective.

As we surrender to God’s will and have faith in His faithfulness, He guards our hearts and minds through Christ in the most miraculous of ways (Philippians 4:4-7). If we refuse to forgive, this bitterness is likely to cause us to suffer from health issues (Proverbs 14:30). We can find joy, even in the most trying difficulty when we pray with gratitude in our heart.

When life spirals out of our control, we never need to fear, because it is never out of God’s control. His abundant grace is sufficient for us (2 Corinthians 12:9). If we do not have what we want, we can be assured that God does not want us to have it at this time. When He is ready to supply it, we will receive even more than we ever thought possible.

Although we are human and weak, God makes us strong, and His grace is always sufficient to meet any needs, which arise in our life (2 Corinthians 12:9; 2 Timothy 2:1). He works out everything, which we entrust into His care (2 Timothy 1:12). When we hope in the Lord, He keeps us from becoming weary; He renews our strength and we soar like eagles (Isaiah 40:31).

Christ is in us every moment of every day. The fact that He is our God vanquishes any depressive or hopeless thoughts. As we walk in God’s Spirit and obey His commandments, we prove our love for Him (1 John 2:3, 5:3). We know that He will always encourage, support, defend and care for us (Isaiah 41:10).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for replacing the negative characteristics of our soul with the fruit of Your Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Your sanctifying process gives us the mind of Christ and transforms us into His likeness (1 Corinthians 2:16; 2 Corinthians 3:18). Now, whenever we feel anxiety, we can ask You to reveal the reason behind it, and we can confess it as an idol of unbelief in our life. Remind us not to get out of bed without listening to Your Spirit’s direction for each moment of our day. Thank you so much for Your abundant grace in our life.

Thought for the Day:
As God’s grace reaches more and more people, we shout with great thanksgiving and give God more and more glory. – 2 Corinthians 4:15

Health and Well Being – Part 3

Our Spirit, Body and Soul are all interconnected and depend upon one another for complete health. God shows mercy on our troubled soul and infirmed body; and He wants us to respond when He calls us to help each other (Psalm 6:2-3). If we see the anguish in someone’s soul and do not obey the Spirit’s direction to help alleviate that distress, God finds us guilty of neglect (Genesis 42:21).

With God as our gentle shepherd, there is nothing we need, which He will not supply. He gives us more than we need physically; and He also restores our soul, after we experience a wounding and upsetting situation (Psalm 23:1-3). As we wait on God, He feeds our body and spirit as He delivers us from the prison of our wounded soul (Psalm 62:1, 142:7; Proverbs 13:25).

The more depressed our soul is, the more God encourages us to hope in Him and to praise Him through our trials. He brightens our emotions and body language, while He delivers our soul from grief (Psalm 42:5-6, 11). As we grow spiritually, we long to walk in the courts of our living God, and we cry out for a deeper union with Him (Psalm 84:1-2). Our intimate relationship with Him gives us a new perspective on life.

Attending church services, reading our Bible, praising God continually, fellowshipping with Christian friends and staying in tune with God all day long, through communion with His Spirit, will help to strengthen our spirit. This causes our soul to blossom and brings health to our body all at the same time (3 John 1:2).

Prayer:
Father God, Your sound wisdom and discretion give life and grace to our soul. You allow us to walk safely without stumbling, even during treacherous experiences throughout our lifetime (Proverbs 3:21-23). Remind us to be aware of our own and also our neighbor’s need for nurturing; and lead us by Your Spirit to help us in these times of necessity. We incline our ear to You and follow hard after You, so that we may hear Your life-giving Words (Isaiah 55:3).

Thought for the Day:
Our soul clings to God for comfort in times of both stress and distress. – Psalm 63:8