The Glory of the Lord

Moses saw the back of God’s form when he went up the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments from the Lord. The experience was so amazing that his face shone so brightly with the glory of the Lord that no one could look at him. His face was as dazzling as the sun itself. Today, authentic Born Again Believers have this same glory of the Lord resident within us by His Spirit.

The Law, which Moses delivered to Israel on tablets of stone, was a dispensation in God’s government. It gave mankind a chance to earn God’s blessings (2 Corinthians 3:7-8). The Law was very impressive, and it successfully instructed Israel for generations of time. Yet, Jesus eventually came to fulfill the law and to pay the actual penalty of our sin (Matthew 5:17; 1 Peter 2:24).

Jesus brought the glory of His Spirit in Him, which is even more glorious than what Moses experienced. Moses wore a veil so the Israelites could not see that the glory was fading away, just like the ministry of the law (2 Corinthians 3:9-14). However, we have the glorious Spirit of God dwelling within us now and for all eternity.

Nothing can deter us from serving God according to His perfect will for our life (Ephesians 2:10). We are filled with the glory of God each and every day. God removed the veil from our eyes and we can see Him face-to-face. He is our living, intimate God, and He has no desire for us to keep the dead letter of the law (1 Corinthians 3:15-16).

He is personally present in our life and sets us free from the spirit of the Law of Sin and Death by the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2). We can never earn our own forgiveness or our salvation apart from Christ (Romans 2:8-9). In God’s presence, His glory in us gradually increases with our spiritual walk. It shines out of our countenance, and people know that there is something different about us (1 Corinthians 3:17-18).

Prayer:

Father God, the more time we spend time in Your presence, the more we are transformed into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). You are changing us from glory to glory (1 Corinthians 3:18). Remind us to make you the first priority in our life. Help those who know You superficially to come to a real, saving knowledge of salvation through Your Son (1 Timothy 2:4).

Thought for the Day:

We can love Christian songs, tee-shirts, bumper stickers, church services and fellowship; yet, never know Jesus in a personal way.

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Truth is a Person

Christians in this modern world attempt to prove the existence of God intellectually, using apologetics and philosophical reasoning. We endeavor to explain an infinite God with finite terms of human logic (Isaiah 55:8,9). We attempt to formulate approved doctrines and to explain the Word of God accurately. Yet, we rarely agree on either doctrine or interpretation.

We often get close to painting an accurate picture, and many are won to Christ by these attempts. However, the more questions we answer, the more questions are left unanswered (1 Corinthians 8:1-3). Humans will never figure out God or His ways, because He will simply jump out of the box we create for Him (1 Corinthians 2:10; Romans 11:33). There are too many Biblical “mysteries”, which defy human explanation.

Consider the Trinity, Christ as God and man, the relationship between Christ and the church as a marriage, the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven, God’s will, the Gospel of Christ, faith, the partial hardening of Israel until the time of the Gentiles is over, lawlessness at work, Christ abiding in us, immortality and that not everyone will die before Christ returns (Ephesians 3:8-9; Romans 16:25; 1 Corinthians 2:7; 1 Timothy 3:16).

Spiritually, as we surrender to God’s Truth, we come to trust His Spirit’s work within us for salvation. Then we trust the Spirit’s work through us. A branch does nothing in order to bear fruit. In this same way, God will put His thoughts in our mind to direct our actions, and His words in our mouth to comfort and encourage those around us. As we submit to His sanctifying work, He sets us apart from the world (1 Corinthians 1:18).

We may not see or feel His work in or through us, but we see the effects of it. God’s Spirit binds us to the Trinity within us and to our fellow Believers who live all over the world. The more intimate our relationship with God, the more rest we experience in our body, soul and spirit. We experience less stress in trials, because we know from experience that God always provides (Romans 8:28).

Prayer:
Father God, there is nothing on this earth that means more to us than knowing You (Philippians 3:8-10). Knowing You is eternal life (John 17:3). Jesus is the way, truth and life, and no one can come to You except through Him (John 14:6). You set us free by Your Son, who is our Truth (John 8:32, 36). Help us to make You our priority in life and to realize that we can argue doctrine all day long, but in the end, Jesus Christ is the only Truth.

Thought for the Day:
Who is wise enough among us to be the philosopher of our age? God makes man’s wisdom foolishness, because we do not know Him.
– 1 Corinthians 1:20

Our Abba Father

Our Father God is kind, generous and loving (1 John 4:8). Paul called Him “Abba Father” (Romans 8:15), which means “Daddy”. We have this intimate relationship with God that is sweeter than the best of human fathers. I grew up in an abusive home. My bipolar father never got treatment and took his mood swings out on my mother, brothers and me. I was afraid of Father God in my early days of faith. I viewed Him as the terrifying, smoky vision presented as the wizard of Oz.

One day, as I entered God’s courts in praise and prayer, God reminded me about the little man behind the curtain in Oz, who actually controlled that smoking mask. God showed me that He is not a terrifying being, or selfish ruler of the universe, but the caring God who actually helps us to have faith and hope, and who provided our salvation through Christ. We enter His throne room without fear, and with confidence that He hears our prayers and works in our behalf (Hebrews 4:16; Ephesians 3:12; 1 John 5:14).

Our Father God gives us an effectual, abundant life now, as well as later in heaven. He provides us with a myriad of blessings each and every day. He does not lead us into temptation (Matthew 6:13); but with each temptations presented to us by Satan or the world, God gives us a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). He provides us with an abundant supply, safety and security as we look to Him to provide (James 4:2; Psalm 91). He gives us victory through Christ in us (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Satan accuses and torments us, but God gives every authentic Born Again Believer our identity in Christ as His beloved child (Revelation 12:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17). We are free from sin, and we are raised in Christ to live a new life, which is directed by God’s Spirit (Romans 6:4,10; Romans 8:14). We are God’s children and we fix our hope on Him as He perfects us (1 John 3:2-3). Every good and perfect gift in this life comes from Him (James 1:17). God abundantly meets all of our needs (Philippians 4:6,19).

Prayer:
Father God,
Thank you for renewing our mind and for perfecting us in holiness (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18). Remind us to walk in Your Spirit, so we do not fulfill the desires of our flesh (Galatians 5:16-25), because our flesh is dead and buried with Christ in baptism (Colossians 3:3; Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12). Help us to shed Your light from within us on all of humanity around us, because they are dying in darkness and sin (Romans 5:8).

Thought for the Day:
What we do in the flesh does not make us who we are in the Spirit. God will transform our flesh to walk in newness of life.

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

The Ebbs of Life

The Ebbs of Life

As we mature in Christ, Satan has little victory in tempting us to sin; therefore, He tries oppressing us with a religious demon or he sets us free to work in our human effort until we spiritually, emotionally and physically burnt out. He knows we are set free from the Law of Sin and Death, by the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2). So, He impedes our walk with God by keeping us too busy to walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-25). Submit to God, resist Satan and He will flee (James 4:7).

Our service for God becomes a major detriment to our obedience to God in the ebbs of life. There is no need to over-schedule our day or to pursue anything, which God does not ordain for us to accomplish (Ephesians 2:10). Let God plan your day, so you can walk in His Spirit, doing only those things, which He preordained for you to accomplish (Ephesians 2:10). We can live in God’s rest and enjoy the blessings of His wonderful love every moment of every day (Hebrews 4:10).

Spend time with God, not only on your knees, but in personal communication with Him as you traverse His schedule for your day and night. God desires this intimate relationship with you now and always. He wants to live as your very best friend (Proverbs 18:24), your mate (Isaiah 54:5) and your Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9). Walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-25) has nothing to do with human effort and activities, but only on the leading of God’s Spirit.

Some people envy Adam and Eve for visiting with God in person in the garden. I look forward to living with Him in eternity, but I cannot imagine feeling any closer to Him than I do right now. God lives IN us. He is currently closer to every authentic Born Again Believer than we are to our own self. We have this intimate relationship with the Living Lord of all, and we often fail to take advantage of that. Seek the Lord right now, enter His presence and never leave.

Prayer:
Father God, allow me to walk according to Your Spirit today as You direct me, rather than to sit passively and impassively or to burn out by my own hectic schedule. Show me Your path and teach me Your ways (Proverbs 3:5-6). Once we live in Christ Jesus, by surrendering to the cross, we realize we can no longer earn our way to heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9). You have a holy standard for our life and none of us reach it without the perfect, sinless person of Jesus Christ living in and through us each moment of the day.

Thought for the Day:
Too many people today are trying to get into heaven by their own merits and religious works, and it just cannot be done.
– Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:23

Living in the Center of God’s Will

Creation is a constant confirmation of the existence of God (Romans 1:20). Nature never toils or spins, but is provided for by God’s constant vigil over it. God cares even more for humanity than for the environment (Matthew 6:25-34; Psalm 19:1-3). We are united with God as a branch on the Vine, a separate entity, but useless alone. We would perish without our relationship to the Vine. In our connection, we live as one with Him, in the same way that nature dwells in harmony with God (Psalm 65:9-13).

God loves us so much that He died to take for us the punishment of our sins. He desires an intimate relationship with all of those who will worship Him in Spirit and without hypocrisy (John 4:24). Even when we are counted worthy to suffer as Jesus did (Acts 5:41), we can look to Him. In every circumstance, He has a higher purpose in it for us and for His Kingdom. As we live in the center of God’s will with the exhibition of our contentment and commitment, we bring Him joy.

With our focus on God, we live in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3). This means that we no longer concern our self with life in this carnal world; but instead, we focus on eternal matters each day of our life. What is God’s purpose in where we live, work, shop, attend church and function in this life? We hear from the mind of God each moment of the day and look for His intention in every opportunity, roadblock and trial we experience.

We no longer have any desires apart from those God gives us. We find no terror in adversity, no joy in sin and no concern over decisions made by those who rule over us. We trust only in God’s will in all things, because He is in ultimate control (Ezekiel 38:4; Romans 13:1). As we walk in God’s will, we rest from worry and stress, because we have assurance that God knew it would occur before He created the world (Ephesians 1:4; Romans 8:29). This allows us to walk in His power (2 Peter 1:3).

Prayer:
Father God, You never command us to make our own light shine, but simply instruct us to allow Your light in us to shine in such a way that everyone will see Christ in us and glorify You (Matthew 5:16). We live in Your light in this world; and sometimes, we never even need to say a Word. Of course, the ultimate rebuke in these verses is not to hide our light under the bushel basket of human effort and worldly gain, but always to walk in Your ways, by Your Spirit’s direction and energy.

Thought for the Day:
Nothing is ever too hard for Christ within us. – Jeremiah 32:17, 27