Success in Life

People often refer to Jesus Christ in their daily, ordinary lives. However, most of the time, they are using this sacred name as a curse word. They sling His name around without any awareness of the sanctity and the ultimate power in His name.

Other people recognize the awesome authority of His name, and they call on Him in prayer, but they do not really know Jesus personally. They are moral and maybe even religious, but Christ does not abide within them (Colossians 1:27; Galatians 2:20). Their prayers and service are an exercise of human effort alond.

Then there is a remnant of people who reverence the holy name of Jesus. They have an intimate union with Christ and trust in Him with their whole heart (Proverbs 3:5-6). They realized that they could never be good enough to earn a place in heaven; so they accepted Jesus’ sacrifice in our place (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Jesus died for us, but He also wants to live in us and through us. He wants to indwell His Body, the church, and finish the work He started during His thirty-three years on earth. Once He moves into our spirit, He revives our spirit, which was formerly dead in sin.

God calls us to humble our self as a little child, frail and helpless, and in need of a Savior (Matthew 18:4). Jesus continues His work of regeneration in us by abiding in us by His Spirit and creating in us a clean heart and making us a new creation (Romans 8:9-11; Psalm 51:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17).

Jesus’ seed of faith is planted in our heart like a tiny mustard seed, and grows to be a powerful force in our life and in our ministry for the Lord (Galatians 2:20; Matthew 17:20). Even when we see the fruit of God’s Spirit working through us, we remain humble and we cling to His mercy and grace.

Realizing that we are weak, we depend on Christ in us, who is our strength (2 Corinthians 12:9-10; 2 Corinthians 12:9). We listen to God’s Spirit and walk in His perfect will for our life (Ephesians 2:10). We are Christ’s ambassadors to a lost and dying world (2 Corinthians 5:20).

Prayer:
Father God, we cannot successfully live through one day of life without Your Spirit’s guidance and direction. Our human understanding falls short, so we rely on Your empowerment to accomplish Your will for each moment of all of our days (1 Corinthians 2:5). Remind us to dedicate our existence, regardless of our vocation or health or wealth, as a living sacrifice for Your service (Romans 12:1). We look forward to spending eternity with You.

Thought for the Day:
Living in humble surrender to Christ throughout our life will bring us success, peace, joy and fulfillment now and in eternity.

God’s Involvement in Our Life

Jesus died to pay the penalty of our sins and to reconcile us to God (2 Corinthians 5:18). He desires intimate union with each of His Saints, both now and throughout eternity. This cherished bond with our Daddy God and Jesus Christ His Son, as well as His Holy Spirit is what it means to have eternal life (John 17:3).

Knowing the Trinity intimately provides us with cherished fellowship and their involvement in our life on a daily basis. Authentic Christians, who walk in the Spirit, greet each new morning under the direction, encouragement and protection of the Trinity (Galatians 1:10). They are always with us, throughout our entire lifetime, even until the end of this world (Matthew 28:20).

Since Christ dwells within us by His Spirit, we do not make our plans and invite God to join us. We join Him in doing what He already planned for our day prior to our birth (Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 2:10). We no longer dwell only in an earthly time frame, but we make our choices by considering eternal consequences and the leading of God’s Spirit.

God looks deeply within our soul and knows all about us. His Spirit, rather than our self-effort, accomplishes the sanctifying changes occurring in our life (2 Corinthians 3:18). Our burden of negative attitudes and emotions are gradually replaced by His fruit, which continually infiltrate our thoughts, choices and emotions (Galatians 5:22-23). God’s hand protects and cares for our every need (Psalm 139:1-12).

Prayer:
Father God, we have liberty through Your Spirit, but not freedom to sin (2 Corinthians 3:17). As You sanctify us, we gradually lose our desire to fulfill the lusts of the flesh, which used to control our life. You call us to be separate, and the world hates us for it, because this causes conviction in their heart (2 Corinthians 6:17).

However, Your laws, from which humanity seeks freedom, are actually protecting rather than restricting. The counterfeit freedom of the world is actually bondage to sin, and we want no part of that any more (Galatians 5:1). Thank You for giving us the daily opportunity to walk in Your promises and to put on Your divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).
Thought for the Day:
Authored by God, our works will last for eternity, because they are not devised by the human will or accomplished by personal effort.

God’s Peace

God gives us the choice to use our life to either serve Him, self or Satan (John 3:16-18). We human beings search for peace all of our life, usually exploring all the wrong places, until we find Christ. When God’s Spirit reveals the reality of Christ to us, we turn from the dark life of separation from God to the spiritual walk of light and life (Romans 8:9).

There are two types of spiritual peace. One is peace with God, and the other is the peace of God. Both of these transcend any earthly peace we experience. They are true and present within us, regardless of our outer circumstances. God’s peace blesses us in every area of our life.

Peace with God comes when we surrender our life to Christ and trust Him to save us from our sins. He leads us in His daily will for us as we reject the influence of the world, the flesh and Satan (1 Thessalonians 1:9; John 3:16-17; Ephesians 2:10). God wraps us in His wisdom and strength. As children of God, we receive all the benefits of adoption into God’s Kingdom through our unity with Jesus, God’s Son and Heir (Acts 26:18).

The peace of God is a fruit of His Spirit, which we receive at salvation. It manifests in us as we rely on His Spirit instead of our human strength and accomplishments. We allow the peace of God to rule in our heart and to affect our body, soul and spirit (Colossians 3:15). We live by the faith of God’s Son, who dwells in us by His Spirit, and we trust Him to work out everything in our life for our good (Galatians 2:20; Romans 8:28).

Prayer:
Father God, we can never receive more of You than we have at Salvation, because You move into our spirit with all the attributes and power of the Trinity. However, we can enjoy more intimacy with You in correlation to how much time we spend with You each day. The more of our flesh, which we surrender to the Cross of Christ, the more of Your fullness we experience (Ephesians 3:19). We can never control life, but You always work things out for our good (Romans 8:28). In the midst of the storms of life, Your peace keeps us calm within and gives us wisdom for every situation, which we face (John 14:27).

Thought for the Day:
As His Word dwells within us, God’s peace, which defies human comprehension, guards and rules in our soul – our mind, choices and emotions. – Colossians 3:16; Philippians 4:7

That Feeling of Intimacy

So many people tell me that they no longer feel God’s intense presence like they once did, and they want that feeling back. They say that God left them alone in the wilderness, and they cannot find His presence. This is impossible. God lives within us (Colossians 1:27). There is no way that He would ever leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

If we do not feel His presence it is for one of two reasons. Maybe we sinned and grieved the Holy Spirit. When this happens, God turns His back because He cannot look upon sin (Habakkuk 1:13). The other reason is that He is enjoying some companionable silence with us; and in our insecurity, we fail to realize that He is still and always will be right here within us.

God is constantly near us. He sees us no matter where we are or what we are doing (Psalm 139:8). He fills the heavens and earth, and this includes the lives of those who put their trust in Him (Jeremiah 23:23-24). The first step in restoring our intimacy is to allow God’s Spirit to search our heart (Psalm 139:23-24). He will point out to us any idol or sin, which is blocking the connection between Him and us.

The second step is to relax and enjoy God’s companionable silence. We do not need goose bumps, constant revelation from His Word or His still, small voice within us in order to believe that He is with us. We have His promise that He is there, and that is all we really need. Rather than seeking a feeling, just spend time praising God, because our connection with Him can never be lost.

Prayer:
Father God, You inhabit the praises of Your people (Psalm 22:3). There is no quicker way to connect to Your presence in us than to praise You with an obedient heart full of gratitude and trust. Remind us that once we are free from unconfessed sin, empty of all known idols and trusting in Your goodness, we will bask in the waterfall of Your love, which You pour over those who rest in Your will.

Thought for the Day:
Never allow Satan to convince you that this perceived “dry spell” means that God is withholding His presence from you; confess known sin and then enjoy His companionable silence by sitting still and knowing that He is Your God now and forever. – Psalm 46:10

Not Limiting God

Believers are actually foreigners here on this earth, because this is not our permanent home (John 17:16-18). We are camping out in this tent of flesh, until God calls us home (2 Corinthians 5:1). Our eternal life starts at Salvation, because it is simply an intimate relationship with God and with Jesus, whom He sent to restore us to Himself (John 17:3).

Satan no longer has dominion over us due to Jesus defeating Him and sin and death at His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:57). God redeemed us through Christ and He purifies our life through sanctification (Titus 2:14; Galatians 3:13; Psalm 66:10). The only limits placed on God are those we impose on Him by our unbelief, because with God all things are possible, if we only believe (Luke 1:37).

In the Christian walk, we surrender our life, goals and plans to God’s will for us. We do not make plans and ask God to bless them, because this limits God and what He wants to accomplish through us. God does not want us to work for Him. He gives us the opportunity to give Him control over our life, so that Christ can live in us and work through us (Galatians 2:20: Colossians 3:3).

Jesus does this through His Holy Spirit, whom we receive at salvation. God’s Spirit dwells in us and fills us with His wisdom and power (Romans 8:9; Acts 1:8). We take our focus off the things in this life, because we realize that our citizenship is actually in Heaven (Ephesians 2:19; Philippians 3:19-21). This allows us the privilege of dwelling with God for eternity as His adopted children (Ephesians 1:5).

Prayer:
Father God, we long for the day in which we can live under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, with the government on His shoulders (Isaiah 9:6; Hebrews 11:13-16). Thank You for using creation to preach the gospel to anyone willing to see Your truth (Romans 1:20). In fact, the rocks will cry out if we fail to tell the world of Your love (Luke 19:40). Remind us to faithfully share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with anyone willing to listen. We thank You for redeeming us, for freeing us from the bondage of Satan, death and sin, and for making us part of Your family of Saints. We look forward to You living in us as Your Body for as many years as You have us on this earth; and then living with You, and knowing You even more intimately as the Bride of Christ throughout eternity.

Thought for the Day:
God makes us a holy city and sets us on a hill, so that the whole world can see Him in us (Matthew 5:14-16). We do not belong in this world; we are simply passing through.

Perpetual Freedom

When we come to Christ, He immediately frees us from the snare of the flesh. Then, He puts His Spirit within us, so that we can inherit God’s Kingdom as co-heirs with Christ (Ezekiel 36:25; Galatians 4:4, 5:19). By His grace, God forgives our sins; and as His children we surrender to His Spirit, who crucifies the desires of our flesh, and teaches us to live in and walk in His Spirit (Galatians 5:16-25).

We are filled with the Spirit’s fruit and our entire personality and life change for the better (Galatians 5:22-23). Whom the Son sets free lives in perpetual freedom (John 8:36). Anyone who prefers to walk according to the dictates of our flesh is living in disobedience to God and will reap earthly destruction and eternal damnation (1 John 3:4; 2 Thessalonians 1:9).

As authentic Believers, it becomes normal to reject the dictates of our flesh, and to follow the Spirit instead. The more our intimacy with God increases, the less we would think of using our liberty in Christ as an occasion to sin. We prefer to walk in the Spirit, so that we reap God’s blessings and please Him with our life (Galatians 5:13).

We cannot perfect our self by our human effort, but according to God’s mercy. His Spirit helps us to walk in holiness and to inherit eternal life (Titus 3:3). The more we feed our spirit by Bible study, prayer, fellowship with other Saints and sitting in the presence of God, the stronger our spirit will grow and the more we will live in perpetual freedom (Romans 8:6-7).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for enabling us to walk toward perfection in holiness (1 Peter 1:16). We still make mistakes, but You always give us a choice and a way out of the temptation to sin (1 Corinthians 10:13). When we do fall, we do not allow Satan’s condemnation to belittle us. Instead, we submit to the conviction of Your Holy Spirit and we respond in repentance for our sins (Romans 8:1-7). Eventually, sin grieves us and has no more dominion over us (Romans 6:14-18). Thank You for providing Jesus as our atoning sacrifice, as our Savior and as our Lord (1 John 2:2; Romans 10:9; Philippians 2:11).

Thought for the Day:
Living according to the dictates of our flesh is not profitable for us at all; but walking in the Spirit guarantees us a joyful, fulfilled life drenched in love and peace. – John 6:63; Romans 8:6

Friend of God

So many people are so burdened by what they want, and don’t have; rather than being thankful for what they have, that they never knew they wanted! The more we complain, the less joy we experience each day. However, the more we give thanks, even for the negative issues of life, the more we live in peace and contentment.

This goes against our normal, human behavior. We almost feel dishonest to say that we are fine when we know we have something negative going on in our life. However, this earthly realm is not reality. Paul said it best. We brought nothing into this world, and we will take nothing with us in the end, so we can live in Godly contentment (1 Timothy 6:6-7).

In fact, giving God the first fruits of our time, love, esteem and attention decreases our trials as it honors God with the praise that is due His name (Psalm 69:30). God supplies all of our needs – physically, emotionally, mentally, financially and spiritually (1 Timothy 6:8). This allows us to give thanks for anything life throws at us (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

As we view our trials as joyous opportunities to enjoy intimacy with God, we watch His miraculous provision for us in and through them. This allows patience to have time to perfect our soul – our mind, will and emotions (James 1:2). Our faith grows during trials, as we see God’s mighty hand working all things out for our good (Romans 8:28). God is awesome, generous, full of loving kindness and the best friend we will ever have.

Prayer:
Father God, our unity with Your Spirit will enable us to hear Your voice to deal with lost glasses, what to fix for dinner, what to take with us before we leave the house and how to witness to the crying lady sitting across from us in the doctor’s office. Just a few moments of refocusing in Your presence will make all the difference in our positive attitude. Your faithfulness is our measuring rod, and Your friendship means more to us than we could ever express in words.

Thought for the Day:
What a privilege it is to live our days as a friend of God, because this relationship brings so many benefits to our life; some are even “out of this world”! – John 15:14-15

Effective Prayer

The Body of Christ performs a vital ministry for our spiritual life. As we confess our sins to each other, we hold one another accountable. Also, prayer unites the Body of Christ more deeply than any other spiritual discipline. When we pray for each other, we are healed. There is no disputing the fact that the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16).

A wonderful way to learn God’s Word, and to gain the insight of Saints who already walked the same path, in the season of life in which we are living, is called discipleship. However, there is no better source of discipleship than sitting at Jesus feet (Luke 10:38-42). Through prayer and by reading His Word, God’s Spirit teaches us all things (1 John 2:27).

Our developing relationship with God gives us a more intense desire for holiness, as we realize how deeply our behavior affects our witness and our relationship with our Lord. The clearer we hear God speak to us, the more closely we can follow His voice in our daily life (James 1:5; Jeremiah 29:13; John 10:27). Otherwise, we suffer from impaired spiritual hearing (Matthew 11:15).

God lives in us and we are as close to Him as is possible; but we can form a deeper, more personal bond with Him by spending more time hanging out in His presence. Intimate communication in our prayer closet allows our relationship with God to deepen, because we are spending quality time with our Father (Matthew 22:37; John 17:3).

Prayer:
Father God, You are never far from us. We, however, allow the busyness of life to drown out Your voice and to rob us of our intimate times with You. Remind us to pay attention to You in every moment of every day, so that You can approach us more intimately than ever before (James 4:8). You will fill us with more of Your holiness, as well as Your Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). Then we will walk in Your power and victory over sin, the world and Satan (John 14:12-14; Acts 1:8).

Thought for the Day:
New Testament Saints made prayer a priority; why don’t we?
– Acts 1:14

Love for a Lifetime

Marriage is defined as a union of two individuals. God phrases it as two becoming one. This means that we no longer strive to please our self, but to submit to one another as joint heirs to the Kingdom of God (1 Peter 3:7). We no longer promote our own agenda, but meld our ideas to formulate a new way of life, which meets both of our needs.

When one person in the couple gives more than the other person, there is an inequity in both power and fulfillment. This imbalance will throw off the symmetry of the relationship and fuel negative emotions, which destroy intimacy. If undetected or not dealt with, they will erode even the best of relationships.

In a Godly marriage, both partners build up one another in love (1 Thessalonians 5:11), bear with one another (Ephesians 4:2), help to carry one another’s burdens (Colossians 3:13), edify each other rather than to criticize or tear one another down (Ephesians 4:29), and find God’s will for our marriage by praying together and seeking the Holy Spirit’s direction (Jude 1:20).

We all need praise, affirmation, love, appreciation and support. No one likes to be taken for granted, discounted or neglected. We often get too focused on work, children, church activities and community involvement and end up disregarding our mate and family. This is as much of a betrayal as infidelity. Make your mate your priority, second only to God. Spend time as a family and bond for a lifetime.

Prayer:

Father God, You knew us and had every day of our life planned out before we were ever born (Psalm 139:16). You gave woman to man as a helpmate. Teach us to value one another’s opinions, because there are many bad decisions, which could have been avoided if a couple discussed and prayed about it prior to carrying it out. Help us to avoid blaming and criticizing and to accept one another, even with all of our idiosyncrasies.

Thought for the Day:

Financial, mental, emotional, physical and spiritual fidelity is the key to marital success.

Unity with God, Our Maker

Once we come to Christ in repentance, asking for God’s forgiveness, He exchanges our sin for His righteousness, and we enter a spiritual union with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). The powerful life of the triune God dwells within us from that point throughout the rest of our life. We enter an intimate relationship, which includes a unified life with the Trinity.

God purifies us step-by-step, burning deeper with each stroke of His holy fire, until we radiate Christ’s nature from within us. He replaces our carnal nature with the fruit of His Spirit, which is actually the very nature of God (Galatians 5:22-23). The less we function through our humanity, and the more we wait on God, the more He expresses His divine character and nature in us and through us (2 Peter 1:4).

Resting in Christ is not another religious activity to perform. It simply involves complete surrender of our human life to the Kingship of Jesus Christ (Matthew 11:28-29). Our human way of thinking and feeling passes away, and we are now an entirely new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). We bow before our God and Maker (Psalm 95:6).

We embrace God’s presence in our soul as well – in our thoughts, choices and emotions. We are constantly responsive to this holy relationship and to our ever-increasing intimacy with Christ (Colossians 3:4). We walk in communion, fellowship and one accord with Christ within us (2 Corinthians 6:14-15). We freely choose to follow the leading of God’s Spirit each moment of the day (Romans 8:14).

Prayer:
Father God, due to Your work in our life, we manifest Your nature in ever-increasing levels of maturity and glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). By faith, Your divinity freely flows through our body, soul and spirit (2 Peter 1:4). Our intimate bond with You is broken only by our propensity to sin. However, if we walk in accord with the direction, wisdom and love of Your Spirit, we will never fulfill the lusts of our flesh (Galatians 5:15-25).

Thought for the Day:
We belong to God’s household as priests and saints, and are co-heirs with Jesus.