Life’s Toughest Moments

We were formerly dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1), but now as authentic Believers in Jesus, we are dead to sin, and our life is hidden with Christ in God (Romans 6:11; Colossians 3:3).

 

The Holy Spirit continually fills us with His fruit (Galatians 5:22-23). We view the visible issues of life as transient and passing, because we know that only the spiritual aspects of life are everlasting.

 

Paul experienced tremendous hardships (2 Corinthians 11:16-33); yet, reminded us that with an eternal perspective on life, we know that our eternal weight of glory far outweighs the momentary, comparatively light affliction we experience in this world (2 Corinthians 4:17).

 

When life reaches its toughest moments, we totally trust in and hide our self in God. His presence within us keeps us separate from our experiences as they are happening.

 

We view life from God’s perspective and we no longer hold on to fears and wounds of the past. He heals us from them and Satan’s lies one at a time, as we submit them to Him

( http://www.theophostic.com )

 

We live in this world as manifestations of God through Christ. We have the same abilities and expression of the Spirit that Christ did, because He lives within us (1 John 4:17).

 

We obey God’s Spirit with an awareness, which exceeds human understanding. We cannot prove this relationship intellectually or physically, but the Spirit of God bears witness to our spirit that we are children of God (Romans 8:16).

 

As we allow God’s light within us to shine brightly, many in the world will see Him through us and want to give their life to Christ as well (Matthew 5:16).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we want people to see the fruit on our branch, and realize it is actually the produce of the Vine, which is the only real source of our productive life (John 15:5). As authentic, Born Again Believers, our life on earth has Jesus’ supernatural capabilities, and He uses our body, soul and spirit for His glory.

 

Not only does Your Spirit lead us (Romans 8:14), but He also fills us to overflowing (Acts 4:31). We are privileged as Your children, with Christ living in us by Your Spirit (Romans 8:11). The more we decrease, the more You will increase within us (John 3:30).

 

Thought for the Day:

We are alive in Christ, created to do every good work through Christ in us for the glory of God and for the furtherance of His Kingdom in the earth. – Ephesians 2:10

 

The Divine Life of Christ in Us

Christ lives in us, and we are united with Him, just as He is one with our Father (John 14:20). We are joined to and united with God’s Spirit, as a branch to a vine (1 Corinthians 6:17; John 15:4-5).

 

We are free from the law of sin and death, by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2). Daily, we live as a witness to others of the love and nurture of the eternal, triune Godhead living within us (Romans 8:4).

 

Sin no longer has power over us, because of God’s grace ruling in our heart (Romans 6:14). Since the Son of God set us free, we are absolutely free to live a life of holiness (John 8:36; Romans 6:18).

 

His divine power enables us to excel in our vocation, spiritual calling and family relationships through His divine life within us (Colossians 1:27). The fruit of His Spirit replaces our carnality (Galatians 5:15-25)

 

God’s Spirit also enables us to have the courage to boldly share the gospel with everyone we meet. Not in a preachy or condemning manner, but in the spirit of love and peace with the words He gives us (Ephesians 6:19).

 

Jesus delivers us from our sinful nature, which used to serve sin; and He gives us a mind, which is now a slave to God’s nature, principles and Kingdom (Romans 7:25).

 

As slaves of God, we are set free from the slavery to sin in order to reap the blessings of holiness and eternal life (Romans 6:22). We belong to Christ, who was raised from the dead, so that we will bear fruit for God’s Kingdom (Romans 7:4).

 

We pray through any rocky stretches of road by the direction of God’s Spirit and we petition Him to meet our needs and for the needs of all of His Saints (Ephesians 6:18).

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to actually see the reality of the fact that we do not need to sin; because the spirit of life in Christ sets us free from the law of the spirit of sin and death (Romans 8:2). When Christ sets us free, we are truly free (John 8:36). We bask in Your presence and praise You for including us in Your eternal plans.

 

Thank You that we are no longer strangers and pilgrims in this world, but part of Your universal family. We are fellow citizens of the Kingdom of God and Saints in Your holy presence. Our love for Your Body is very important, because You prepared us for a holy dwelling place for Your Spirit. Jesus is our chief cornerstone and You are building us into Your eternal dwelling place (Ephesians 2:19-22).

 

Thought for the Day:

God gave us Christ as our redemption, not so we can sit back and continue living a life of sin with the false hope of escaping eternal judgment, but so that we can enjoy an intimate union with Him filled with all of His glory and the greatest measure of His spiritual presence. – Ephesians 3:16-19

 

Our True Identity in Christ

 

We find our true identity and self-worth in Jesus Christ. We are a stem on the Vine of Christ (John 15:5), a slave to Jesus, our Master (Romans 6:16-18), a holy place for the Holy Spirit to dwell (1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 5:1).

 

We are dead to self-effort through Christ (Romans 6:4; Ephesians 2:8-9). Jesus perfects us, and He is the author and finisher of our faith as we focus on Him and His will for our life (Hebrews 12:2).

 

God sent His Son in the form of human flesh, in order that the law may be fulfilled in Him (Romans 8:3). As we obey God, we will not walk according to the law or in the sinful passions of our flesh.

 

We will walk instead according to the leading of God’s Spirit moment by moment throughout our day (Romans 8:4). We have no righteousness of our own merit, but we walk in the victory of the cross and in dependence upon our union with Christ.

 

A committed Believer wants to do God’s will above all else. That is our goal in life. Our every waking breath and the desire of our heart is to further the Kingdom of God in the earth.

 

Though we may fall short of God’s glory now and then, we surrender our life to Christ in order for Him to perfect us through sanctification (Philippians 3:12-14).

 

Our thoughts, words and behavior match our desires. We put away sinful pursuits and seek holiness. We live life surrendered to God’s unconditional love, unqualified forgiveness and perfect will for our lives.

 

Through the Spirit of God, we are transformed into the fullness of Christ from one degree of glory to another through the process of sanctification (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

Prayer:

Father God, as a container we show that the all-surpassing power in us is from You and not from us (2 Corinthians 4:7). As we totally surrender our life and plans to You, we find all the riches and wonders we could ever want during both this life and the next.

 

Nothing is impossible with You, and we constantly reap the benefits of Your unconditional love for us (Matthew 19:26). Thank You for allowing us to be a part of Your glorious plan of redemption for the earth.

 

Remind us that once our “self-life” is dead, we no longer live, but Christ lives in us and through us (Colossians 1:27; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Galatians 2:20). Jesus uses our hands, our feet, our words and our actions to further Your Kingdom in the earth.

 

Thought for the Day:

The only way for every child of God to fully live is to completely die to our own desires, ambitions and goals, and to hide our life with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).

 

 

 

 

God’s Promises through Generations

The good things in life are often the enemy of the best things in life. We pursue worldly gain and pleasures and reject God’s free gifts of Salvation, love, mercy, peace and joy.

 

We relegate Jesus to a holy man or a good teacher, and we have no interest in living according to His principles. We reject the concept of the absolute truth of God’s Word.

 

Living according to the lies of Satan and the dictates of the world, we are controlled by a false system of philosophies where we are each a god unto our self. We pride our self in doing things our own way.

 

Thankfully, the arrogance of our humanity diminishes for many people as we experience God’s presence. We realize His power, His role as our Creator and His promises through the generations to return to establish His Kingdom on the earth.

 

We lay down our worldly pursuits and idols, and earnestly work in the calling He prepared for us before the foundation of the earth (Ephesians 2:10). He sets us free from the power of spiritual darkness in His Kingdom of light (Colossians 1:13).

 

God gives us His Spirit to dwell within us, and we enjoy fellowship with the Father and the Son. We receive His eternal promise of everlasting life, and His Spirit teaches us the truths of God’s Word (1 John 2:24-27)

 

God reveals Himself to us by His Spirit and His Word. He gives us boldness to stand for Him in this sinful and perverse world in which we exist. We stand in faith in His faithfulness.

 

His presence in us is certain. He is our dwelling place for all time (Psalm 90:1-2). We behold His beauty, meditate in His temple and abide in the house of the Lord all the days of our life (Psalm 27:4).

 

Prayer:

Father God, in these last day, Your grace keeps us close to You, wrapped in Your mercy and love, rocked in Your everlasting arms. We dwell in Your presence now and forevermore. You are our eternal hope of salvation, sanctification and glorification. We exalt Your name in righteousness and live in faithfulness to Your Word and Your Truth.

 

We praise You for Your generous works for the children of men and the promises You make and keep throughout every generation (Isaiah 25:1). Thank You that we are no longer slaves to sin, but partakers of Christ’s righteousness; and for freeing us from the law of sin and death by the law of Your Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2).

 

Thought for the Day:

Jesus Christ offers us His gift of rebirth, sanctification, His own presence within us and eventually glorification when we see Him as He is. – 1 John 3:2

 

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

Our Righteous Judge

Serving God as a Pastor’s wife is a unique position. People at our community pool will apologize for their language when I’m around. One lady said, “Oh you brought your husband with you today. I’d better watch what I say and do.”

Yet, the Psalmist said, “You have looked deep into my heart, Lord, and you know all about me. You know when I am resting or when I am working, and from heaven you discover my thoughts. You notice everything I do and everywhere I go” (v. 1-3, CEV).

People will do before God, who is our only righteous judge, what they would never do before the preacher and his wife. I actually tell people, “I am not your judge, God is; and He is watching you all the time.” (James 4:12; Romans 14:4)

This makes them pause and think for a moment. Hopefully, it will make them realize that they answer to God for every thought word and deed (Revelation 20:12). I pray they will come to repentance and be saved (Isaiah 33:22).

The choices we make on this earth will determine our eternal destination, and God is the only judge who will make that final ruling (Matthew 10:28).

If our sins are covered under the blood of Christ, He paid their penalty for us. If we are not Born Again by the blood of the Lamb, we condemn our self already (John 3:18).

No one has an excuse (Romans 1:20). When we stand before God, He will not hear our pleas and explanations. It will be too late for apologies and repentance then.

Now is the time for salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). We are not guaranteed one more breath of life. We may enter eternity and meet our righteous judge before we repent; and then it is too late.

There is no purgatory in which we can pay for our sins. There are no indulgences which we can pay to convince God to allow our loved ones to enter into His Kingdom. Jesus already paid the debt we owe. Come now and repent and believe (Mark 1:15).

Prayer:
Father God, our carnality has desensitized us from realizing Your awesome holiness and fearing You more than we fear people. We do not want anyone to tell us what to do or how to behave or what to think; yet You already removed the burden of righteousness from our shoulders by giving us the righteousness of Your dear Son.

No one is capable of fully obeying the law. You gave it, not for us to keep, but for us to realize the futility of our trying to make our self holy by attempting to conform to it. You provided the law to show us our need to accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord (Galatians 3:1-19; Romans 3:20). We thank You for giving us this way to know You now and throughout eternity (John 17:3).

Thought for the Day:
Once we surrender our life and destiny to God through repentance and salvation, His Holy Spirit conforms us to the image of Christ one step at a time. – 2 Corinthians 3:18

Overcoming Life’s Hurts

As we age, events occur in our life, which influence our belief system. Maybe our parents, a school experience, family members, neighbors, a stranger, or a combination of any or all of these factors imposed some harm on us or failed to protect us in some way.

We develop a warped perception of life caused by these painful events. Most of us adopt coping skills based on what we perceived as fact, because of these experiences.

Those without coping skills develop neuroses, which we think will protect us from what we fear the most. These anxieties, obsessions, compulsions, indecisiveness and social and interpersonal maladjustments are driven by fear and insecurity.

These perceived notions of life cause us to breathe in shallow breaths, to fear change, to act suspiciously of new people and situations, and to stay in the background; yet, we may also come out fighting when backed into a corner.

Many counselors believe that an effectual method to overcome a neurosis is to daily recite affirmations and to use human will power to change our behavioral patterns.

However, there is a better way to face the grief from our past or the challenges of our future. Only through prayer will a person truly experience freedom from the memories, which drive neurosis in our life. ( http://www.theophostic.com )

As we seek God’s will for every moment of our day, He will set us free from having to face life alone (Ephesians 2:10; Proverbs 3:5-6). He is our Champion, who never abandons us (Hebrews 13:5).

Prayer:
Father God, life is so hard. Nothing is ever easy. There are constant roadblocks, which hinder our progress. The abuse and abandonment, which we experienced in our childhood and even in our adult life, cripple us with neurosis and negative behavior.

We look to You to replace our negative character with the fruit of Your Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), for transforming our mind into the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:14-16) and for giving us the divine nature of Christ (2 Peter 1:4). Thank You for strengthening our inner being so that we, through Your Spirit, can accept Christ as our Savior (Ephesians 3:16-19).

Thought for the Day:
Once we recognize that we truly are a nobody, we can come to the clear revelation that only in Christ are we truly a somebody – a child of the King and co-heirs with Christ of the Kingdom of God.

The Kingdom of God

The Kingdom of God is made without human hands and includes every person who humbles him or herself under the mighty hand of God (1 Peter 5:6-9; James 4:10).

Salvation gives us the keys to the Kingdom, as coheirs with Christ (Matthew 16:19; Romans 8:17). We inherit everything God gave to Jesus through His obedience on the cross.

Kingdom living affords us serenity and contentment, in spite of our trials. We learn to give thanks to God our Father regardless of our circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18; Philippians 4:12, James 1:2).

Dwelling in the Kingdom of God on this earth guarantees that we will flourish in the true riches of life. We love the Lord our God with our whole heart, soul, body and strength; and He works out every issue for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28).

In God’s Kingdom, Christ loves the church as a husband should love his wife (Ephesians 5:22-32). Our marriage vows signify to both mates an indissoluble pledge, which divorce-proofs our relationship.

This way, our children recognize our genuine faith and see the hand of God in our life. This causes them to want these same blessings in their life as well.

They marry Godly mates and raise our grandchildren in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4; Psalm 145:11-13). They enjoy the continual blessings of living in God’s Kingdom.

Often, God will lead us by His Spirit in ways that do not make human sense. His ways are higher than ours and He has an eternal purpose for us regardless of our earthly circumstances.

This requires that we relinquish our human effort and understanding in order to continue doing His Kingdom work. When we please God in all of our ways, He makes even our enemies to dwell in peace with us (Proverbs 16:7).

Prayer:
Father God, You rule over all the kingdoms of this world from Your throne in Heaven (Psalm 47:7-8). All greatness, power, glory, honor, victory and majesty belong to You. Everything in heaven and on earth belong to You. You provide us with esteem and wealth, power and productivity, strength and success (1 Chronicles 29:11-12).

We are so glad that Your Kingdom abides forever and ever, and that we will spend eternity in Your physical presence as well as Your spiritual presence, which we enjoy now (Psalm 9:7, 45:6, 103:19). Thank You for Christ in us and for placing us in Christ, to completely surround and immerse us in His presence.

Thought for the Day:
God’s dominion is from generation to generation since the beginning of time and His everlasting Kingdom endures forever and ever. – Daniel 4:34-35

What about Sin?

People do not like to talk about sin. Satan shames us with remorse over our failings, making us feel like a failure for the wrong choices we made in the past. He heaps on condemnation, which cripples us and makes us feel unclean.

If we say we do not sin, we deceive our self (1 John 1:8). If we call our self a Christian, but continue to live in sin, we proclaim for the whole world to see that we do not have the Spirit of God in us (Romans 8:9; 1 John 1:6).

Other people relish their sin. They love the lusts of both the eye and the flesh. They rely on their pride in their life’s accomplishments to boost their self-esteem and confidence (Ephesians 5:3; 1 John 2:16).

Some even brag about and take pride in their sin and encourage others to partake in it too (Romans 1:32). They reap no benefit from this behavior for which they are eventually ashamed and which leads only to eternal death (Romans 6:21).

Sin is only fun for a season. It turns destructive in a hurry and wraps its tentacles around us until we drown in its mire (Psalm 119:133). We reap the consequences of our sins for years and grieve the Holy Spirit and thwart God’s blessings for our life.

Friendship with the world, and conformity to its sinful practices, makes us an enemy of God (James 4:4; Psalm 1:1). As sinners, we cannot inherit the Kingdom of God with Jesus (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

Jesus came to earth to take the sin of the whole world on His shoulders and to crucify it for all time through His bruised and bleeding body on the cross (1 Peter 2:24). So, if we humble our self and confess our sins to God, He is faithful and just to forgive us for them (1 John 1:9).

We all sin and miss the mark of God’s perfection (James 4:8). Therefore, God freely justifies us by His grace through the redemption, which comes by Jesus Christ (Romans 3:23-24). God chooses those who are spiritual in His Body to help redeem a fallen Saint from the clutches of sin (Galatians 6:1; Matthew 18:15).

Prayer:
Father God, teach us to discern the sin in our own life before we go judging someone else’s indiscretions (Matthew 7:3; 1 Peter 1:8). We give our self away when we try to hide our sin, because You always reveal the truth eventually (Luke 6:45; Numbers 32:23).

Enable us to overcome the sins relating to our earthly nature and to walk the straight and narrow road by Your Spirit (Psalm 25:6-7; Galatians 5:15-25; Colossians 3:5; Proverbs 10:9). Thank You both for Christ’s sacrifice for us and for His second appearing to bring us Your complete salvation in body, soul and spirit (Hebrews 9:28).

Thought for the Day:
God orders our steps according to His Word to keep us from living under the rule of sin over our life. – Psalm 119:133

The Effectual Power of Prayer

Many people use this acrostic as a simple reminder of the ingredients of prayer:
A-adoration
C-confession
T-thanksgiving
S-supplication

However, this guide is very limiting, because there is so much more to the vital ministry of prayer. Passionate prayer is effective and powerful, and reaps many benefits and rewards (James 5:16)

Prayer is not a formula; but a living, breathing power swirling through the cosmos and changing the face of both the physical and spiritual world (Daniel 10:11-21).

Prayer is our tool for communicating with God and for accessing the power of God in order to storm the gates of hell and to do business for God’s Kingdom (Matthew 16:17-19; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

Before we pray, we put on the armor of God, which prepares us to draw near to God, to stand strong and to resist Satan’s influence during our spiritual battle with his demonic forces (James 4:7-8).

We start with a relationship with God through Salvation, which guards our body, soul and spirit with the righteousness of God (Ephesians 6:10-12). We walk in the spirit, which gives us God’s supernatural peace and power and transcends human effort and reasoning (Zechariah 4:6).

The faith of the Son of God within us shields us from the devil’s fiery arrows when he fights back (Galatians 2:20). By praying the scriptures, we use the power of God’s Word as our sword to do actual spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:13-17).

Prayer changes the spiritual world, as well as the physical, mental and emotional world (Mark 9:29; Psalm 107:28-30; James 5:1-16; Philippians 4:6-7). It tears down spiritual strongholds, moves mountains and makes the crooked places straight; so pray without ceasing (Matthew 17:20; Isaiah 54:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

Prayer:
Father God, reveal to Your children the seriousness of our prayer ministry and the spiritual power You give to us during prayer. Help us to pray without ceasing in order to do spiritual warfare on behalf of our self and the people You bring to our mind.

Remind us to communicate with You during every moment of our day. Impress on us the importance of staying alert and praying persistently for unbelievers to come to Christ; as well as for all believers everywhere, including those in our church family and those persecuted Saints in other countries (Ephesians 6:18).

Thought for the Day:
“Prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for Satan.” – John Bunyan