United with Christ

God originally created mankind in the image of the Trinity (Genesis 1:6). Adam and Eve enjoyed an existence of body, soul and spirit in close fellowship with the Father. They enjoyed the same divine nature, which Christ exhibited.

Yet, when they believed Satan’s lies, they chose to ignore their divine nature and to give in to the temptation of their human nature. As a result, their spirit died and their immortal body became mortal. We all reap the consequences of their choice.

God planned, before He created the world, to become man as Emmanuel (Genesis 1:1; Matthew 1:23). He paid the ransom for the sin debt of anyone who will choose to submit to His will rather than to our human desires or the devil’s temptations (John 3:16-18; Romans 4:25, 5:6).

The reason that God’s Spirit regenerates our spirit and sanctifies our soul is so that we will live in the divine life of Christ in us, rather than through our human life with its earthly thoughts and desires (2 Peter 1:4; John 1:1, 12-14).

This is only possible once our spirit is Born Again. It is no longer we who live, but Christ who lives in us (Romans 12:2, 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18). We live, move and have our existence in Christ alone (Acts 17:28).

The life, which we live in this body, is lived through the faith of God’s holy Son (Galatians 2:20). We are united with Christ in our spirit, just as Jesus’ humanity was united with God, while He lived on this earth.

We continue the work of Christ on this earth, and we do greater works, as we function as His Body (John 3:3-6, 14:12). We think, feel, speak and act in the will of God as we follow the leading of His Spirit through every decision we make and every action we take.

This affects our behavior and words in our vocation, marriage, extended family, neighborhood and church Body. We live as a city on a hill, and we never hide the light of Christ within us (Matthew 5:14-16).

Prayer:
Father God, You teach us in Your Word that if we live by the dictates of our flesh, and give in to Satan’s temptations, we will surely die in our sin. Yet, if we live by Your Spirit, He enables us to resist temptation and we will live in Your Kingdom as co-heirs with Christ forever (Romans 8:13). Teach us how to walk in the divine nature of Christ in us.

Help us to live and move and have our being in Him, so that we can walk in Your will, exhibit Your character and do the works of Christ all the days of our life (Acts 17:28). Thank You for helping us to renew our mind through the washing of the water of Your Word (Ephesians 5:26). Since Christ set us free from sin, help us to stay free from its destructive clutches (Galatians 5:1).

Thought for the Day:
God’s Spirit, who raised Christ from the dead, now lives within our body through our spirit, and gives us His life. – Romans 8:11

God’s Eternal Gifts

Salvation in Christ is a tremendous free gift, which includes many other gifts. Not only did Jesus save us from paying the penalty of our sins, but He also gave us eternal life and the right to live with Him in New Jerusalem (Romans 5:8, 6:23). This makes us children of almighty God and co-heirs with Jesus of all that our Father possesses (Ezekiel 36:25; Galatians 4:4, 5:19).

New Jerusalem is a city filled with many mansion-sized rooms and is a 1500-mile cube. Jesus went back to heaven in order to prepare this place, so that He can dwell physically throughout eternity with every authentic, Born Again Believer from all the ages (Hebrews 11:10-12:22; Revelation 3:12, 21:10). This city will come down from Heaven, and most likely be in the area of Jerusalem in the Middle East.

Until then, God gives us the gifts of Christ to dwell in us through His Holy Spirit (John 14:15-17), His Word to enlighten us (Psalm 119:105), and His Body of Believers to encourage us (1 Corinthians 12:27). God’s Spirit speaks through an impression in our spirit to direct our every step through life, to comfort us and allow us to accomplish the work He created us to perform (Ephesians 2:10). We shall live as the bride of Christ forever (Isaiah 61:10; Revelation 21:9).

God provides for our every need (Psalm 55:22; 1 Peter 5:7; Philippians 4:19; 1 Peter 1:3), He liberally gives us His wisdom (James 1:5), and He comforts our soul through every trial in life, turning them around for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28). God collects our tears in a bottle and once His wrath is full, He will pour out His vengeance on a wicked earth full of those who rejected Him and persecuted His Saints (Psalm 56:8; Revelation 14:10).

Prayer:
Father God, You know how to give good gifts to those who ask You (James 1:17; Matthew 7:11). We are humbled by Your love for us now, and for Your provision for us even into eternity. You will restore to us the perfect environment, which You provided for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). We will have immortal bodies, a never-dying soul and our spirit’s connection with You (1 Corinthians 15:53; Luke 16:19-31 – his body was in the grave, his soul and spirit experienced hell). Help us to bring as many people into this same right standing with You as we can possibly reach during our lifetime. Help us to be a city set on hill, which allows Your light to shine though us (Matthew 5:14-16).

Thought for the Day:
The Kingdom of God has nothing to do with carnal pursuits, but everything to do with living righteously in the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 14:17

The Comings of Christ

There are three separate comings of Jesus Christ recorded in God’s Word. First, He came as a baby, born in a manger and lived a submissive life to His parents for 30 years. Then, after His ministry of three years, He died on the cross to save us from our sins, He resurrected from the grave and ascended back to heaven to be with our Father. He is building New Jerusalem for us, so that we can live with Him for eternity (John 14:2-3).

What we call the Rapture is the second appearing of Jesus, which happens in the clouds, when He comes to call His Bride of Believers home to Heaven. Those who are dead will rise first. Their spirit and soul are already with the Lord, but their mortal body will come from the dust of the grave and be changed into an immortal body as they go to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Isaiah 35:4). Those Believers still alive on the earth at that time will join them (1 Thessalonians 5:9).

This occurs prior to Jesus opening the first seal on the scroll and unleashing the reign of the anti-Christ on the earth for seven years (Revelation 5:1-10, 6:2). God will use the Great Tribulation to judge the ungodly nations of the world through the horrors of the Day of His Wrath. The governments of this world will topple and every unbeliever will be brought to their knees and realize that Jesus is Lord (Romans 14:10-12; Philippians 2:11).

God will also use the Great Tribulation to save Israel and to bring them into the land He promised their father Abraham. God’s third reason for the Day of His Vengeance is to put an end to Satan’s rule on this earth. This brings on what is called the second coming, when Jesus physically returns to earth with His Saints to defeat Satan’s Army and to rule the earth for one thousand years, and then on into eternity (Revelation 20-22).

Prayer:
Father God, the end time events strike fear in the heart of everyone who respects Your name. We know they will literally happen just as your life, death and resurrection literally occurred. We thank You for giving us the opportunity to work in Your Kingdom throughout the Millennium. Help us to reach as many people as possible now, to join us for eternity with You.

Thought for the Day:
Going to church and reading the Bible will not save anyone. God calls everyone to believe that we need a savior, that Jesus Christ is that Savior, and to surrender our life and our will to God. – John 3:16-18

God’s Plans

Did you know that the Lord desires our continual fellowship and communion? He created us in His image and gave us Paradise to dwell in for eternity. Even though sin forfeited our chance to live in Paradise during our lifetime, God makes all things work out for our good, even in this sin-cursed world; and He promises us Paradise in the future (Romans 8:28; Luke 23:39-43).

God brings us out of the bondage to sin and frees us from the cravings of our soul, which bring dishonor to His name. He sets our feet on high places (Psalm 18:33). He delivers us from darkness and deprivation and gives us His glorious, new life (Colossians 1:13; 1 Peter 1:3). God always supplies all of our needs with His glorious riches in heaven (Philippians 4:19).

Many of us cheat our self out of receiving all that God has prepared for us, because we fill our life with our own daily concerns. The plans God has for us actually give us hope and are for our good (Jeremiah 29:11). Nothing takes God by surprise. He even rescues us from life’s negative circumstances, and works them out for our benefit, if we put our hope only in Him (2 Peter 2:9; Psalm 39:7).

God made provision for us long before we were even born (Psalm 139:13). Our trials are never too painful or too long, because they cannot separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:35-39). We are more than conquerors because of Jesus, who loves us so much that He forfeited His life in glory for 33 years and lived on this earth. He suffered and died in our place, so that we might live victoriously (Romans 8:37; Philippians 2:5-11; 2 Corinthians 5:21).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for Your presence every hour of our day. We cast our spirit, soul and body on You because You care about us. You provided us with salvation for our spirit, You are bringing salvation to our soul through sanctification, and You will even replace our body with an immortal body. Thank You for Your fellowship, which remains unbroken as long as we do not sin and grieve Your Spirit. Thank You too for restoring fellowship with us the moment that we repent.

Thought for the Day:
God provides a place of rest for our weary soul, an abundance that we never dreamed possible, a serenity of soul, which surpasses anything this world has to offer with all of its methods of meditation, karma, self-discipline and higher powers other than Christ.

Death’s Door to Heaven

Most people consider the day of our birth better than the day of our death; however, as Christians, the day of our death is better than the day of birth (Ecclesiastes 7:1). At birth, we begin the arduous journey in this life with all of its struggles and trials. As a child, unless we are born into an abusive family, we live in our own little world. Our imagination, our neighborhood or the woods are our playgrounds.

As we age, responsibility transfers from our parents to us. Without Christ, both life and death are daunting stages on this earth. We have little help in and no hope for our future. As authentic Christians, we have Christ within us, leading us to do the works, which God pre-ordained for us to accomplish (Ephesians 2:10). God’s peace and joy envelop us. We eagerly anticipate death’s door to heaven.

A new heaven and earth will replace this current one (2 Peter 3:7-10). New Jerusalem will descend from Heaven. Jesus is building this 1500-mile cube city of God, which includes many levels of large rooms (John 14:1-4). An innumerable congregation from every nation, all the angels, the elders and even the living animals will gather at the throne to worship our Father God and His perfect Lamb (Revelation 7:9-11; Isaiah 11:6-9).

God will restore Paradise to humanity (Luke 23:43), a perfect environment with a pure crystal river of life proceeding from the throne and a tree of life producing twelve different fruit every month for the healing of the nations. Night is no longer necessary and God will be our continual light. We shall serve Him and reign with Him for all eternity (Revelation 7:16-17, 21:4-5, 22:1-5).

Prayer:
Father God, the dead in Christ are blessed, because we rest from earth’s toils and the result of our life follows us (Revelation 14:13). We reign in an immortal body with You in Your everlasting Kingdom (Daniel 7:18; 1 Corinthians 15:44). We help you to love and govern the nations, and we will come from the four corners of the earth to worship you for eternity (Revelation 7:9-11).

Thought for the Day:
The entire creation of God travails over the decay, which sin brought to this world, and it waits for the revelation of the Sons of God.
– Romans 8:19-22; 1 Corinthians 13:22

To Apprehend Christ

Every person alive, no matter how good their behavior, deserves to go to hell. That may sound harsh, but it is our ultimate destination. Our load of sin is too heavy for us. We can never atone for it by ourself. That is why God became a man. The Word became flesh (John 1:14). He is our substitute, our sacrificial Lamb, who paid for the sin of the whole world.

Unfortunately, many people are too smart for their own good. They see no need for a substitute to die in our place. People cannot reconcile in their mind how Jesus can be God, and yet commune with the Father as a man all at the same time. Have you ever talked to yourself? Had a conversation with yourself, asked yourself a question or tried to give yourself some advice?

One man can be a son, a father and a grandfather – three persons in one man. Even so, the Trinity is made up of the Father, the Son and the Spirit, working together in three separate aspects of one Holy God. This holy God demands justice and restitution for sin. In the natural realm, we pay the penalty when we break the law. In the spiritual, Jesus wants to pay your penalty for breaking God’s law (James 2:10; Galatians 5:3).

If we die in unbelief, then we pay our own penalty in hell for eternity (John 3:16-18). Our body goes to the grave, but our soul – our thoughts , desires and feelings – goes to hell. However, if we surrender to Jesus, believing that he is the God in the flesh, then the angels will carry our soul to heaven with our Born Again Spirit.

Once Jesus returns to the earth, the soul of both Believers and unbelievers will unite with our own immortal body. Can you imagine eternal torment in a body that will never die? That is what happens to those who do not repent of their sin and trust Jesus for salvation. Those who do repent and surrender to Jesus will live with our immortal Trinity forever.

In the meantime, Jesus dwells in our Born Again spirit. If we are willing to walk after His Spirit instead of according to the depravity of our fleshly, carnal nature, He will not only atone for our sin, but also live His perfect life in and through us (Galatians 4:16,25). Jesus lived His own life for the glory and honor of His Father (John 4:34). Now, He lives His life through us for His glory, as we have faith in His faithfulness.

Prayer:
Father God, we are willing to perfectly trust in Jesus to not only pay the penalty of our sins, but also to live in and through us by Your Holy Spirit (Luke 22:42). We willingly lay down our self-life in order to live the life You prepared for us before we were even born (Ephesians 2:10). Thank You for loving us so much.

Thought for the Day:
Accept Christ in all of His fullness, and allow Him to live and move and have His being in you both now and forevermore. – Acts 17:28

Demons Believe and Tremble

To believe in God is not enough. Even the demons believe and tremble (James 2:19). In these modern times, much of God’s army is slumbering in apathy and ineffectiveness. The persecuted church worldwide understands the true nature of Christianity. No hypocrites attend those churches, because they have to lay their life down for Christ every day. Will casual Christians ever arise from their spiritual siesta and allow God’s Spirit to set them on fire?

Few Believers actually focus solely on God’s will for them (Ephesians 2:10). These dedicated individuals listen to His Spirit’s prompting and obey His voice all day long. They reside in the moment with total righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). Having no reservations, they share Christ’s gospel with anyone who will listen, at any time of the day or night. They use any form of media possible to communicate God’s love to the world (2 Timothy 4:2).

Devoting their life to prayer, these authentic Believers walk in the Spirit and deny the flesh (Galatians 5:15-25). They are effective and accomplish much for God’s Kingdom (James 5:16). They understand that Jesus died to pay the price of every sin, for every sinner, for all of time (1 Peter 3:18, 22); and that His Spirit remains alive and united with His immortal body at the right hand of our Father. Now, all angels, authorities and powers are subject to Jesus (1 Peter 3:18, 22).

Jesus raises us to walk in this powerful new life, which God prepared for us (Ephesians 2:10). Through salvation, our carnal nature dies and is buried with Christ in baptism (Colossians 2:12; Romans 6:4). Jesus, who is our whole reason for living, hides our humanity with Him in God. We live with Jesus in glory, even now on this earth (Colossians 3:3-4). Since Jesus lives in us, His precious and powerful name gives us His authority, so that all powers and principalities are subject to us as well (Luke 10:17).

Prayer:
Father God, we are Your blood-bought children and we trust in Your faithfulness. You rescued us from hell’s fire and You freely give us all things to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17). Satan’s only power over us comes from our unbelief. He is our accuser (Revelation 12:9-11). Some of Your children forget all about the victory You won for us on Calvary’s cross (1 Corinthians 15:55-57). They lose their freedom, which Jesus gave His life for us to enjoy. Remind them of Your love for us; so they will seek first Your Kingdom (Matthew 6:33) and set their mind on the eternal, infinite aspects of life (Colossians 3:2).

Thought for the Day:
We are forever redeemed from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light through Jesus Christ. – 1 Peter 1:18-19