The Call of Nature

In our world of higher education, instant information networks and self-reliance, the message of the Gospel of Christ makes no sense at all to most people.

 

The paradoxes and spiritual content of the Bible serve as a stumbling stone to those too proud to accept the self-effacing offer of salvation through Jesus Christ.

 

However, once we humble our self under the mighty hand of God, we immediately recognize that Jesus completely submitted to death on Calvary’s Cross to bring freeing redemption to us all.

 

We also surrender to the call of God to sacrifice our life for Him in return. The surrendered life is not one of defeat, but of relinquishing control. This means that we stop resisting the love of God and accept His courtship.

 

We acknowledge His substitution in paying the penalty of our sins and yield to His Lordship over our life. We recognize the superiority of God’s plan for our life over our own goals and ambitions.

 

We consult Him about all of our decisions and submit to His direction of our steps (Proverbs 3:5-6). We live in the reality of His presence now and look forward to the hope of His glory to come (Colossians 1:27).

 

Many people waste so much of their life running from God’s beauty and bounty. They live in rebellion to the call, which even nature makes for us to surrender to its Creator (Romans 1:20).

 

God never invades our life, but always waits to be invited. The beauty of the surrendered life is that we die to the carnal flesh and hide our life with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). We cease from our own labors and enter into God’s rest (Hebrews 10:4).

 

Prayer:

Father God, once we completely understand Your love for us, we go beyond obedience and also surrender our life entirely to You. Then, we learn what it means to truly live in abundant freedom and victory (Romans 6:16-18; Mark 8:35).

 

We no longer internalize the pain that life deals out to us, because we are hidden with Christ in You. Regardless of trials and anguish we may experience, we walk in spiritual serenity which elevates us emotionally, spiritually, mentally, physically and behaviorally. We find our constant joy in You as patience does her perfecting work in us (James 1:4).
Thought for the Day:

We enter a life hidden with Christ in God, which we formerly believed to be one of servitude, only to discover that it is actually a liberating union as a King’s kid. – Colossians 3:3-4

 

 

Life is Not About Us

As authentic Christians, we now live by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2). Our transformation rests firmly on the rock of the gospel of Christ through His Holy Spirit (Romans 12:2; Psalm 18:2).

 

We live by His faith in love, filled with the fruit of and following the leading of God’s Spirit on a moment-by-moment basis (Galatians 5:1; 5:22-23; Ephesians 5:18).

 

We no longer strive to earn God’s love or to live a holy life. We simply walk in obedience. We live on earth to glorify our Father, not by our own human efforts, but only by the power of Christ within us.

 

Jesus loves us so much, that for our benefit he gave Himself up to the horrific death on Calvary’s cross. Through His sacrifice, we are now acceptable to God in Christ (1 Peter 2:5; Romans 15:7).

 

We have been crucified with Christ. Therefore, it is no longer we who live our life, but Christ, the Messiah, who lives in and through us.

 

The life that we now live in our body on this earth, we live by faith in, devotion to, dependence on and complete confidence in the Son of God (Galatians 2:20, Amplified Bible).

 

Jesus is our only hope of experiencing God’s glory (Colossians 1:27). We could never be good enough in our human effort to earn a place in Heaven (Ephesians 2:8-10).

 

We completely surrender our plans, goals and will to God’s will for our life and we live in perfect union with Christ. Our old sinful nature is crucified with Christ, and sin has no more power over our choices.

 

Prayer:

Father God, You planned, before You ever created the earth, for Jesus to give up His glory in Heaven, to take the form of a man, to humble Himself and to willingly die in our place (Philippians 2:8). You call us to follow in His example and to die to our humanity as well, exchanging our sinful desires for His righteousness.

 

Now, by Your Spirit’s power within us, we can put on the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5). Therefore, because of Your mercy and grace, we will no longer succumb to the negative suggestions of our carnal nature, but we live a life that is free from the destructive consequences of sin (Romans 12:2; Galatians 5:16).

 

Thought for the Day:

We renew our mind by reading God’s Word and walking in continual obedience to His Holy Spirit. – Ephesians 5:26; John 14:15

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

Struggling to Survive

At the root of sin and degradation is pride and rebellion. These often stem from unresolved conflicts in our past. We hide our pain behind a veneer of self-reliance in order to avoid further injury.

We do not want to take a chance on being vulnerable again. Struggling to survive, we choose self-absorption and arrogance instead of living a life of humility and self-sacrifice.

We live within the parameters of our sinful nature and set our mind on what our flesh desires (Romans 8:5). Our spirit is dead in sin and we cannot help our self (Ephesians 2:1).

Even church attendees who claim Christ as their savior play along with worldly culture, advice and popular demands. They came under conviction at one point, but their life was never converted.

Political correctness, religious pluralism, humanism and other new age lies color our concept of holiness. We take the path of least resistance and follow the crowd.

We lack discernment, spiritual understanding and perception. Caving in to the struggles, strain and stress of everyday life, we turn away from Biblical wisdom, God’s love and devotion.

Jesus is the perfect example of a humble, yet powerful life. He said that no one could take His life until He was ready to lay it down (John 10:18). By following Jesus’ example we truly convert from hedonism to holiness.

Jesus illustrates for us that the Lord is our portion, provider and protector as we obey His Word. We seek His face with our whole heart and God is gracious to us according to His promises (Psalm 119:57-58).

Prayer:
Father God, we invite Your Holy Spirit to cleanse our thoughts, heal our memory, calm our fears, and direct our goals and plans. We trust that in our pain and suffering, You are working out Your will and purpose for our life, giving us opportunities to share Your love and to bear fruit for Your Kingdom.

Teach us discernment through our life experiences; heal our raw emotions of discontentment, loneliness and anxiety; give us hope to overcome anger, unforgiveness and bitterness; and help us to walk in Your will with faith for each moment of our day.

Thought for the Day:
The Holy Spirit wants to direct the details of our day, so let’s step aside, stop obsessing and trust and obey; there is no better way to enjoy the joy of the Lord.

Fear Not

God’s plan for mankind is to live in us, to fill us with His Truth and Life, and to live in unity with our soul and spirit so that His Life is manifested through us.

He always hears our prayers and stores our tears in a bottle. He will avenge each transgression against His Beloved Saints (Psalm 4:3, 56:8). He gives us His compassionate heart, and we are His People and He is our God (Ezekiel 36:26-28).

We call out to God on His throne in heaven; and He hears and answers us (Psalm 3:4). He sustains us in every way, gives us sweet rest and never leaves or forsakes us, walking in us through every circumstance (Psalm 3:5; Hebrews 13:5).

Our God gives us relief from our distress and has mercy on us (Psalm 4:1). He delivers and blesses us, because He works out every circumstance for our good, even in death we go to live with Him (Psalm 3:8; Romans 2:28).

If we feel overcome by life’s problems, we focus on and cling to Christ in us (Colossians 1:27). Our labors for the Lord are not in vain; so we can live this life unmoved by its threats, unafraid in its trials and abounding in the work of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:57-58).

Once we surrender our life to Christ, we realize that we are not on this earth to amass worldly goods, but to bring as many people to Heaven with us as will come humbly to God’s love.

If we are in Christ, we have no reason to fear the curse of sin or the god of this world, the devil (Mark 5:36). We live in His perfect love, which will diminish all of our fears (1 John 4:18).

As we follow the Lord in our thoughts, words and actions, we live in victory, because He lives within us (Luke 8:50). He works out everything for our ultimate good (Romans 8:29).

Prayer:
Father God, life wounds us and Satan keeps us in bondage to those wounds. Remind us that You will reveal Satan’s lies, speak to us Your truth and set us free from the fear of the unknown future, free from regrets or hurts from our past, and free to walk in the new life, which Christ earned for us through His passion and death.

Teach us the fullness of our life in Christ’s resurrection. Fill us through our entire being with all of Your fullness (Ephesians 3:16-19, Amplified Bible). Empower us to be a light set on a hill and use us to draw everyone to You (Matthew 5:14-16; John 12:32). Help us to live in the purpose You have for our life instead of our own plans (Ephesians 2:10).

Thought for the Day:
The Lord who walked on water and calmed the raging sea lives within every authentic Believer; He heals, empowers, guides, helps our unbelief and fulfills every one of us; then He sets apart His true Believers as a special and holy priesthood.
– Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 6:17; John 10:30, 1 John 3:1-3, 4:17; Colossians 2:10; Luke 8:30; Mark 9:23-25

We Never Die

Humanity searched for generations for the fountain of youth, so we could drink of it and never die. Reincarnation purports that we never die; we just continually come back to life in another form.

Our eternal destination depends on our choices while we live on this earth. The Bible proclaims the truth that we do not ever die. We leave earth to live either in heaven or hell for eternity (2 Corinthians 5:8; Matthew 25:46).

Every physical body will die and go to the grave, to be resurrected immortally at the coming of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:53-54). However, our soul and spirit never die, they live in the presence of Satan or God forever.

As an unbeliever, we die twice: once physically and the second death in hell for eternity (Revelation 20:14). The body and soul – the mind, will and emotions – of an unbeliever experience the unrelenting torment of a lake of fire (Luke 16:19-31).

Instead, as Believers we die to sin and the flesh now, and we live eternally in Christ. Our last breath on earth is followed by our next breath in heaven (2 Corinthians 5:8). Our immortal body, soul and spirit will enjoy Heaven forever.

God calls everyone to come to Christ for eternal life (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:4). Pride and rebellion prevent so many people from surrendering their life in total submission to God and His will for their life.

They believe the devil’s lie that this is our only chance at life and we must live it with gusto. They do not realize that God’s plan gives us blessings in this life, as well as an eternity filled with prosperity and hope (Jeremiah 29:11; Psalm 40:5).

Prayer:
Father God, there is no reason for anyone to choose an eternal existence in hell (John 3:18). You call us to give up sin, so that we do not earn the wages of sin, which is death both now and for eternity (Romans 3:23, 6:23). You give us reasons to choose eternal life instead.

Thank You for planning for this eternal life to start at the moment of our salvation (Romans 6:23). Help us to humble our self under Your mighty hand, so that we will never die; but enjoy Your abundant, immortal life forever (2 Timothy 1:2; James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:6).

Thought for the Day:
Jesus shared in our existence in flesh and blood; so that through His death, He could make Satan powerless over sin and death, and to forever free us from slavery to sin, fear and death. – Hebrews 2:14-15