A Holy God

Our human penchant is to trust in our self-righteousness, natural talents and basic good heart to earn us a place in heaven, or at least to ensure that we are reincarnated to a higher life form.

The problem with this thinking is that our heart is deceitful and basically wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). Even our best day falls short of God’s holiness and glory, which is the standard for residence in Heaven (Roman 3:23).

When we repent of our sin, ask for God’s forgiveness and surrender our life to Him, He gives us the righteousness, which can only come from Jesus Christ.

Jesus then abides within us by His Spirit (John 15:4). He raises our spirit, which is dead in sin, to walk in a whole new life (2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12). This secures our place in Heaven.

That is why God sent the perfect Lamb, who never lived a moment in sin, to take on the sin of the whole world and to make us righteous like God through the sacrifice of His life (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Jesus willingly laid down His life for us (Luke 4:29-30). He made the choice in the Garden of Gethsemane, on the night before He was betrayed, to carry out God’s will (Luke 22:42).

He submitted to the excruciating scourging and death on the cross, not due to human weakness, but according to the spiritual strength He received while considering the glory that lay waiting for Him in Heaven (Hebrews 12:2).

The grace of God transforms us into a Temple made without hands, a dwelling place fit for a King (1 Corinthians 3:16). He uses what the world considers as foolishness to carry out the work of His Kingdom (1 Corinthians 1:27).

Our only honorable response to this is to submit to His will in our life, so that we will also be counted worthy to dwell with Him in His glorious Kingdom for eternity (Luke 21:36).

God created each one of us for a specific purpose (Ephesians 2:10) and will judge our works in this life in order to reward us in the next (1 Corinthians 3:13).

Prayer:
Father God, many people do not comprehend the elaborate tapestry You have woven over millennia of time in order to bring about the fulfillment of all things (Ephesians 1:10). They do not understand that You never send judgment without first sending warning.

The flood, the annihilation of generations of people and their possessions in Canaan, the crucifixion of Your own son and other judgments are puzzles and a stumbling block, which prevent people from surrendering their life to You. Yet, before all of these events, You gave mankind plenty of warning that You are a holy and righteous God and nothing unholy may dwell in Your presence.

Thought for the Day:
Jesus had no thought for Himself, but only love for a dying world lost in sin’s degradation.

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A Worm or a Butterfly?

As human beings, we live in a body, make choices and think and feel with our soul, and live eternally through our spirit in either heaven or hell (John 3:16-18).

The carnal nature does not understand or accept the truths of the Spirit of God. These people considers them foolishness, because they cannot comprehend them, since their spirit is dead in sin (1 Corinthians 2:14).

They function in life only through their soul and body, judging right and wrong according to how it makes them think and feel (Psalm 139:13-14).

God sees the spirit of everyone ever born (Numbers 16:22), and calls us to live with a good conscience before God (Acts 23:1). He wants us to allow His Word to convict and to divide between our soul – our thoughts, choices and feelings – and our spirit (Hebrews 4:12).

God is not belittling the soul, nor recommending that we discount our soul; but simply that we do now allow our human understanding to control our life (Proverbs 3:5-6).

He desires that all men everywhere come to the saving truth of His Son, so their spirit is Born Again (Acts 17:30; John 3:1-21). Then, He abides within our spirit forever (1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 John 4:13).

Prayer:
Father God, as Your children we can never cease praising You for saving us from a life of wallowing in the mire of this world. You transformed us into a butterfly from the meager existence of a worm. Thank You that Your Spirit pursues us until we accept Christ’s sacrifice, so our spirit is Born Again.

Now we ask You to teach us to live, move and have our total being in You (Acts 17:28). Use Your Word to separate for us our soul and spirit, so that we can walk in Your Spirit every moment of every day, accomplishing only those works, which You created us to do (Ephesians 2:10).

Thought for the Day:
We daily give thanks to our wondrous God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who because of His mercies, which are new every single morning, caused us to be Born Again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

– 1 Peter 1:3; Lamentations 3:22-23

Loving the Unlovable

Too often we judge people for their peculiarities and idiosyncrasies. We categorize them, box them up in neat little packages and stick them away on a shelf in our mind, ignoring them as much as possible.

Once in a while our paths cross again, and we are forced to interact with this peculiar individual once more. We take down our box, stick new labels on them and place them back on the shelf as quickly as possible. They may be our neighbor, spouse, child, sibling, relative, church member, co-worker or even our employer.

Please realize that within each of these precious people is a wounded soul. They are a product of a lifetime of events, which molded their personality to give them unique characteristics, which may irritate or even wound us deeply.

We may go so far as to harbor bitterness toward them and possibly even dismiss them from our life as a lost cause (Ephesians 4:32). However, these unlovable people are diamonds in the rough.

They are created by God, and He has a special plan for their life, just as He has for us (Ephesians 2:10). God put them in our life for us to minister His Agape love to them and to give them a secure and nurturing place to live (Matthew 5:47).

We are all fallible and have our own weaknesses and peculiarities. How would you want this person to treat you? There is healing for everyone at the cross of Christ.

Sometimes, people are unaware of God’s grace, and He gives us opportunities to give them unconditional love, patience, security and friendship to model God’s character to them. His plan for this relationship may be for us to help heal the deep wounds within their soul.

Prayer:

Father God, You create everyone in Your image. We are all unlovable until You redeem us (Ephesians 1:7). In fact, You loved us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). Teach us that when we allow Your Agape love to flow through us to someone else, it is hard to stay angry at them or to consider them worthless.

Remind us to pray for them and to look for opportunities to bless them. You may just use this individual to bless us in some way too, if we look beyond the aspects of their life which irritate or hurt us, and love them anyway.

Thought for the Day:

Don’t throw people away, because God wants us to use our freedom in Him to love and serve one another, just as He died for and blesses us. – Galatians 5:13