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.

 

 

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

God Loves Us So Much

God always causes the Godly to flourish like a palm tree. We grow tall and He transplants us into His own Heavenly garden, so that we are under His personal care (Psalm 92:12-13). King David realized that throughout his lifetime, He never saw a righteous person forsaken or his descendants begging bread (Psalm 37:25). God provides for His children. He also blesses thousands of generations of descendants belonging to those who love and serve Him (Exodus 20:6).

Even in our old age, God uses us to produce fruit and to remain productive and vital. Our success honors the Lord because it shows the world that He cares for His own (Psalm 92:14-15). We get acquainted with God’s ways, and we put our trust in Him. He never forsakes anyone who seeks Him (Psalm 9:10). We hope in our Lord, because He keeps every promise He makes to us with as much certainty as He keeps the world He created in perfect balance (Psalm 146:5-6).

When someone threatens God’s beloved, He takes it very personally (Zechariah 2:8). We are precious in His sight (Isaiah 43:3). God gives justice to the poor and oppressed, and food to the hungry. He heals the sick, lifts the burdens of those crippled under life’s weight, protects immigrants and cares for both orphans and widows. The Lord loves His righteous people and is their defense (Psalm 146:7-9). Those who refuse to obey Him are oblivious of His wonders (Nehemiah 9:17,31).

We believe in God’s faithfulness, because He always cares for those who seek Him (Psalm 9:10). Jehovah made the mountains and heavens; and yet, is mindful of all mankind (Psalm 8:4-6). He gives His angels charge over us, so that we never stumble or fall (Psalm 91:11-12). He never sleeps, but watches over us day and night. He cares for us and defends us, keeping us from evil and preserving our life. He keeps his eye on us as we come and go, and guards us in all of our ways (Psalm 121:2-8).

Prayer:
Father God, we will never forget Your promises, Your mercy, Your grace or the marvelous works You perform (Psalm 111:4-6). Your loving kindness is forever and ever to those who reverence You. If we live faithfully in Your covenant and obey Your precepts, Your salvation is for us, as well as our children if they will accept it (Psalm 103:17). Your love stand firm forever and you establish your faithfulness in Heaven and earth and it endures forever (Psalm 89:2, 119:90).

Thought for the Day:
God’s will is not achieved by momentary spurts of self-effort, but by a lifestyle of obedience.

Creator God

People today dispute the fact that God is the creator of heaven and earth; yet, even back in Job’s day, they knew who got the credit. God made the Bear and Orion, Pleiades and all the constellations and galaxies in the universe (Job 9:9-10). In fact, His Creation is so wonderful that we are even now continually discovering new truth about it. Scientists recently documented that stars sing. Louie Giglio has several videos that you can Google!

Why God would condescend to give attention to rebellious mankind is the mystery of the ages. We are lower in stature than angels; yet, He cares for us. He even became one of us, and suffered everything we face in life (Hebrews 4:15). God crowned Jesus with glory and honor, after His ascension, and gave Him the rule over the works of His hands, putting everything and everyone in submission to Him (Psalm 8:3-6). God is amazing and beyond our comprehension (Job 36:26).

God reigns forever. His throne is established and He will judge the world and govern us with justice for eternity (Psalm 9:7-10). God is our great Lord and King, mighty in power and infinite in His wisdom (Psalm 147:5). We have no need to put our trust in mere mortals, because they cannot save us. They pass into eternity just like we do, becoming dust with a departed spirit and soul. There is no one like God. We can always trust in His faithfulness.

Blessed is the person who does not hang out with the wicked, join in with the exploits of sinners, or confirm the misconceptions of the mocker. We delight is in His precepts and we meditate on His Word day and night. God makes us as secure as a tree planted by streams of water, so that our ministry will not falter, and whatever we do for Him will prosper. We even yield the fruit of His Spirit as we mature in our walk with Him (Psalm 1:1-3).

Prayer:
Father God, if we hope in You, who made the heaven and earth, You will protect the oppressed, feed the hungry, set prisoners free, give sight to the blind, lift the depressed and love the righteous among us (Psalm 146:3-8). Honoring You provides us with knowledge, wisdom and understanding. We prove our humility through our submission to You and You honor us for it (Proverbs 9:10, 15:33). You are our shield as we walk in integrity, and You guard us in the paths of justice. You always protect Your Saints (Proverbs 2:7-8).

Thought for the Day:
God stores up the answer to His secrets and shares them only with those who completely surrender their life to Him. – Proverbs 2:6

Beyond the Cross

At Salvation, God offers us an intimate relationship with Himself. He wants to work in and through us to affect the world around us. It is God’s consistency, the fact that He never changes, which makes Him extremely trustworthy (Numbers 23:19; Malachi 3:6). He never fails to be and to perform everything according to His Word. We can trust in His faithfulness. Our soul waits expectantly on the Lord (Psalm 62:5). No trial or circumstance can ever separate us from God’s presence.

Many people come to salvation through belief in Jesus, and then they camp around that fact for the rest of their life. They miss out on so much that is available to the child of God. They tend to live primarily through their body and soul – the mind, will and emotions. Yet, God is a Spirit (1 Samuel 16:7), and His Spirit dwells in us. We are thankful for Jesus’ sacrifice for us, but He also wants us to walk in the victory His death affords us, and to press on to the high calling of God in Christ (Philippians 3:14).

At our salvation, God converted our nature (2 Corinthians 5:17). It is now filled with His righteous and is truly holy (Ephesians 4:24). He fills our Born Again spirit with the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, and His Spirit conforms us to the image of Christ (1 John 4:17; 1 Corinthians 6:17; Romans 8:9; Galatians 4:6). As we walk in the Spirit, we no longer fulfill the desires of our fleshly, carnal nature (Galatians 5:16-25). Recognizing who we are in Christ causes us to stand apart from unbelievers.

Our Born Again spirit is totally sanctified. We are a prisoner of no one, but Christ (Romans 6:18). We realize that He will work everything out for the good of those who love Him and who are called into His purposeful service (Romans 8:28). His divine peace and joy give us victory over every adversary and circumstance, and this allows us to reflect the image of God to the world around us. We live for His glory and honor, out of the abundance of His power within us.

Prayer:
Father God, under the encouragement of Your promises, we exhibit Your divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). We see the calm in the coming storm (Psalm 107:29), and focus on Your purpose for us in it, rather than the stress of the situation itself. We view every situation as coming from You, and we know that Christ in us can do all things through us (1 Corinthians 3:6; Philippians 4:13). Your peace, which resides within us (Philippians 4:7), influences our actions and is displayed in our face and body language. We thank You for all You do for us each and every day.

Thought for the Day:
To know God more intimately, we wait on Him; we are still and listen; then we wait some more, if need be, until we hear His still, small voice. – Psalm 27:14; 1 Kings 19:11-13