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.

 

 

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Heavenly Throne and Earthly Footstool

In this modern era, we depreciate God in every way. We see Him as the little man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz. We tell Him what to do, berate Him as a child, and show our disdain and anger toward Him.

We forget that He created the entire cosmos. Mankind discovers more and more galaxies with each new powerful telescope and probe, which we send out into space.

We continually discover plant and animal species which we never knew existed. We see the magnitude of His glory in nature; and yet, this does not change our respect and honor for our Creator (Romans 1:20).

Today, God deigns to dwell on earth in the hearts of Believers (2 Chronicles 6:18). We cannot possibly hide from God. He sees our thoughts, words and deeds. He desires our pure and holy worship (Jeremiah 23:24).

People refer to a building where the church meets as the “House of God”, but this is far from the way God sees it (Acts 7:38). Heaven is His throne and He uses the earth as His footstool (Isaiah 66:1). The most elegant cathedral cannot contain Him.

He is our King and the ultimate Ruler of the Universe (1 Timothy 1:17). He stretches out between the vast expanse of time and space and interacts with His creation throughout the ages.

His Lordship and holy Presence should cause us to fall on our face before Him in humility, gratitude and praise; rather than to shout false accusations at Him, demean His character and blame Him for that misfortune which Satan causes on the earth.

God is totally engaged in each individual life and works by His Spirit to bring His truth and revelation to people in each generation since Adam and Eve. There is no reason for us not to love and honor Him with every breath we take.

Prayer:
Father God, what house could we possibly build for You (Jeremiah 7:4)? There is no way to contain Your essence in a building made with human hands (Acts 7:49). The heavens cannot even contain You, because You defy space and matter (1 Kings 8:27). You hold the universe in one hand.

Yet, Your eyes are on each one of us, judging our works and considering our needs, providing for Your children through Your magnanimous love and care (Psalm 11:4; 1 Peter 5:7). We give thanks to You that there is no good thing, which we need that You are not willing to provide for us (Philippians 4:19).

Thought for the Day:
God fills both the heavens and the earth and is not limited by time, space or matter; yet, He also revives the heart of the humble and penitent, and energizes our spirit with His Spirit as a down payment for all He has prepared for us both now and in eternity. – Jeremiah 23:24; Isaiah 57:15

Walking in an Intimate Relationship

The fulfilled Christian life is not about religion, joining a church, serving in a ministry, memorizing Bible verses, getting baptized or hanging out with Christian people.

These will all improve our lifestyle and help us to reap more positive rewards during our lifetime; but they will not reap an eternal home or rewards.

The venom of sin infects every cell of our being and leads us down paths of earthly ruin and imminent immortal death. Our sole hope of salvation is to look up to the cross of Christ (John 3:14).

True salvation only comes by admitting our sinful condition, repenting of our disobedient lifestyle and submitting to the Holy Spirit’s direction in our life.

Our relationship with the indwelling Holy Spirit is the key to living a fulfilled Christian life. Our renewed lifestyle in Christ allows us to avoid the pitfalls of sin and to enjoy holiness at its best.

Walking in an intimate relationship with God, we enjoy the help of the Holy Spirit to adopt the attitudes, character and divine nature of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:4; Romans 12:2).

This allows us to think, talk and act consistently with the Word of God. We surrender our goals and dreams to the leading of God’s Spirit and walk in obedience to God’s amazing plan for our life (Ephesians 2:10; Genesis 12:1-4).

If we walk in the Spirit, we will not fulfill the desires of our old nature, which war against the desires of the Spirit. Instead, we exhibit the fruit of God’s Spirit and experience ultimate life and peace (Galatians 5:15-25, 7:23).

Prayer:
Father God, You provide the only cure for sin and death through Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on Calvary’s cross. Help us to focus on Jesus, and to be saved. Then remind us to keep our focus on Jesus, remembering His sacrifice for our sake, honoring Him with the fruit of our lips and laying down our life for You and for Your children.

Help us to seek You for Your direction for our life and then to walk in it. We prove our love for You by obeying You, keeping Your Word and living in Your Spirit (John 14:15, 23). Intimately knowing You is what eternal life is all about (John 17:3). Abiding in Your perfect will for us is the happiest place on earth.

Thought for the Day:
Living with continual gratitude for the work of Christ on the cross reminds us to hear and walk in God’s Spirit each moment of our day.

Divine Appointments – The Fruit of Obedience

For my 15th birthday, my parents bought me a guitar and some lessons at the local community center. This started a love affair for me, which lasted until this day.

The smooth surface, richly colored wood and shiny strings melt my heart every time is see a guitar. I love the moving melody, which flows from the guitar’s inner chamber, and the fact that I can praise God and play the guitar at the same time.

After Christ saved me and renewed my spirit, I continually played the guitar and worshiped Him. In the wee hours of the morning, when everyone else was asleep, I went down to the basement and sang at the top of my lungs until the floor joists rattled.

When I discovered classical guitar, I felt led to take lessons. With three small children, a pastor husband and a church full of people, I looked beyond reason and common sense and signed up for classes.

My young instructor was very talented and inspiring; yet, what he showed me would take hours of practice; and I knew there were not enough minutes in the day for me to dedicate to learning this skilled art.

That week, I did my guitar class homework, but I prayed about whether or not to continue taking lessons. The Lord told me to go to one more class and to take my young instructor the book, “Evidence that Demands a Verdict”.

Confused, but wanting to walk in the Spirit, I did just that. My instructor politely accepted the book, gave me another lesson and promised to visit us at our church some time.

Many months went by and I forgot this episode in my life, as I immersed myself in the hustle and bustle of life. Then, one epic day, my former classical guitar instructor rocked my world.

He entered our church facility and pulled me aside. He told me a tale, which caused me to cry the whole time he related it:

His girlfriend broke up with him several weeks after my last lesson, and he had to move. In the midst of packing, he decided to end his life.

He removed his gun from his dresser drawer and placed it on the coffee table in the living room. Leaning back on the couch, he contemplated his life and exactly how to terminate it.

As he blankly stared straight ahead, his eye noticed the book I brought him those many months before. He leaned forward and opened it to a random page and started reading.

The page he opened to answered the exact question that had been gnawing at him for half of his life. He read the page twice and then continued to read, opening Josh McDowell’s book to random pages over and over again.

Eventually, he fell on his face before the Lord, repented of his sins and rose to walk in a new life. He came to our church that day to hug my neck and to thank me for listening to the Spirit and buying him that book.

God not only spared this young man’s life, but He set his feet on a new path of leading worship in the blessings and glory of the Lord. That one divine appointment had a ripple effect, which changed many lives in the future, including mine.

God has divine appointments for all of us (Acts 16:9-11, 25-34). He will even use strange and unattainable desires in our heart to direct us to the right place, at the right time, to the right person, whose life He wants to impact for His Kingdom.

Prayer:
Father God, there is nothing too small or too great for You. You use our lives for Your purpose, to grow Your Kingdom and to draw the world to Your unconditional mercy, love and grace. Fill us in all of our being with all of Your fullness, so that we may have the richest measure of Your presence and become Your Body wholly filled with You (Ephesians 3:16-19).

Help us to discern the leading of Your Spirit through each moment of our life, and anoint our body, soul and spirit to make a difference in the lives of those You bring our way. Teach us to humble our self under Your mighty hand and use us for Your honor and glory (James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:6).

Thought for the Day:
“Disappointment = His-appointment. Change one letter, then I see that the thwarting of my purpose is God’s better choice for me.” —Young

Our Intimate Father

The Lord searches us and knows us intimately. He sees us when we sit down and wake up. He recognizes our thoughts, even the ones we have not even thought about yet. We will think about them tomorrow or next year, but He already knows what they will be. He already examined the actions, which we will take in the future, and He is personally acquainted with everything about us.

Before we even speak a word, God knows exactly what we are going to say. He enfolds us with His peace and covers our past and our future with His love. This familiarity with each and every one of us is too hard for our finite mind to comprehend. He is absolutely amazing (Psalm 139:1-6). Still, our soul yearns for Him in the night and our spirit attentively seeks Him all day long (Isaiah 26:9).

There is no place on earth that anyone can take us, which will be away from God’s Spirit. His presence is always with us and in us. If we are in a plane, a submarine, a horrible circumstance or the most exhilarating event, His hand is right there to lead and protect us. His thoughts are centered on us. These facts are so precious to us; yet equally as unfathomable (Psalm 139:17-18).

Even in our darkest hour, God’s presence in our life surrounds us with light, because darkness is not dark to the Lord. Darkness and light are the same to Him, and everything works out according to His plan. God formed us in our mother’s womb. He wonderfully knit us together so that we would have the personality, shape and appearance that He wanted us to have. He made us uniquely His own (Romans 8:28; Psalm 139:7-12).

Prayer:
Father God, the soul of each person, even if they deny it, knows without a doubt that You are our creator. You watched as our embryo developed and You continue to watch as Your Spirit conforms us to the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). You pre-ordained every one of the days that we will live, and You wrote them down in Your book before one of them ever existed (Psalm 139:13-16). We give You all the praise, honor and glory for who we are in You.

Thought for the Day:
The Lord is righteous in all of His ways, and completely gracious in everything He does. – Psalm 145:17

Depending Only on God

Sometimes, we feel invisible, as if God does not see us or hear our prayers (Isaiah 40:27). We think that He has forgotten us, because our circumstances are out of control and we need His intervention. Yet, He still tarries. Life is not limited to our time on this earth. We do not need to “get ahead” during this lifetime. God honors those who honor Him and despises those who dishonor Him (1 Samuel 2:30).

Our tendency in a trial is to work it out in our own efforts. However, we usually end up making things worse. We are broken, even if we will not admit it, and God calls us to lean on Him (2 Kings 18:21; Isaiah 36:6). God looks for those who are living by faith in Him. Even the atheists live by faith in something. However, our trust in God is the only faith, which produces eternal results.

If we put our trust in our self, or in other people, we are depending on the flesh rather than on the Lord. We end up worn out, devastated, poor and lonely. However, if we trust in the Lord, He blesses us wondrously (Habakkuk 2:4; Proverbs 29:25). We are rooted and secure. We flourish and are prepared for life’s trials. We have no worries, so we thrive and bear God’s fruit in our life (Jeremiah 17:5-8; Galatians 5:22-23).

We can relax and live in God’s peace, entering His rest, even in the worst of circumstances. He always works out everything for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28). Trials are opportunities for God to prove His love for us. If we view them through His eyes, we will see His mighty hand in the midst of them (Psalm 136:12; 1 Peter 5:6).

Prayer:
Father God, teach us not to rely on our human strength or the wisdom of friends, but to follow Your Spirit’s leading in every area of our life (Zechariah 4:6). When our activities are inspired by Your Spirit, we see Kingdom results. We depend solely on You for our life and our future. Bring our flesh into submission to Your will.

Thought for the Day:
When we depend on God alone, we put our faith in His faithfulness; since He is our trustworthy defender, we shall never suffer ultimate defeat. – Psalm 62:5-12

A Greater Increase

Jesus lived a phenomenal life; and when He ascended into heaven, He sent His Spirit to dwell in us. The Holy Spirit enables us to do greater works than Jesus did, because there are so many of us in His Body (John 14:12). We have the same power and authority of Christ, because He dwells in us by His Spirit (Romans 8:11). Even His Word brings life-changing power into our world.

We increase in love for one another and toward all people (1 Thessalonians 3:12). In humility, we prefer one another and do not act from any selfish ambition (Philippians 2:3). Every day, we share God’s love with everyone He brings into our life. We thank God for one another, especially as we watch each other growing in our faith. Our love for one another grows even more (2 Thessalonians 1:3).

He will increase the numbers in our church body, because He loves and blesses those who serve Him (Deuteronomy 7:13). The glory of God’s current house will be greater than the glory of His former house (Haggai 2:9). God swears to uphold His promises to us by the greatness of His name (Hebrews 6:13, 16). Our testimony is great, but the testimony of God is even greater (1 John 5:9).

The apostles knew that the only way their faith would grow is if the Lord did it in them (Luke 17:5). God does this by supplying our needs, increasing our storehouses and enlarging our harvest (2 Corinthians 9:10). He increases the fruit on our trees and the crops in our fields. He protects us from the shame of deprivation (Ezekiel 36:30). He multiplies our honor and gives us His comfort (Psalm 71:21).

Prayer:
Father God, You dwell within us and help us to overcome Satan, the flesh and the world (1 John 4:4). You give us a ministry to perform for Your glory and You empower us to accomplish everything, which You call us to do (Philippians 2:12-13). We dedicate to You every breath we breathe and every moment of our day. Lead us by Your Spirit and always keep us in the center of Your will.

Thought for the Day:
The least person in this world will be the greatest of all in God’s Kingdom. – Luke 7:28