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

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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

The Breaking Point

People often think that the life we know is better than the life we do not know. That is why women stay in abusive marriages and continue to suffer the torment. They believe they do not deserve better.

When we come to Christ, He humbles us; yet He gives us His holy boldness. We start to realize that we are not defective; and that in Him, we are “enough”.

Christ in us transforms us into all that He intends for us to be. We no longer need to strive for perfection, because God’s Spirit within us changes us from one stage of holiness to the next (2 Corinthians 3:18).

We find our true identity and fulfillment in Christ alone (Colossians 3:3-4, 2:9-10; Philippians 1:13-2:16). We are adopted as God’s children, conformed to Christ’s image and co-heirs with Christ of God’s Kingdom.

Most of us need a breaking point in our life in order to step over the line from self-effort to Christ-reliance. The trials, which God allows in our life, are designed to bring us to the end of our self.

My breaking point was when the love of my life decided that there was no option for us, but divorce. I had no job, no alimony and no foreseeable future.

In this bewildering new world, my only option was to rely totally on God for each moment of my day. As I did, I entered a deeper relationship with our Lord; one that I continue to this day.

As I listened to His Spirit within, He led me to get a job at a Montessori school where my training and relationships taught me to nurture my own soul.

He also gave me two other jobs, so I could pay my bills and save for a rainy day. Eventually, in His perfect way and timing, He brought a nurturing, appreciative husband into my life as well, and restored my ministry as a Pastor’s wife.

Prayer:
Father God, You brought me to the place in my life where I stopped trying and gave up. I cast all of my cares on You, because I had no doubt that You cared for me. You taught me that Your Spirit will put us in the right place at the right time, if we will listen to that still, small voice within us (1 Kings 19:11-13).

Remind us that the sooner we stop trying, and enter into Your rest, the sooner our life will hold unspeakable joy, even in the midst of sorrows. Your Spirit leads us to be productive for Your Kingdom; and in the process, all of our needs are met.

Thought for the Day:
As we totally surrender our heart to God in prayer, we give Him our weaknesses and failings – even the sins we commit in secret. We no longer live in shame, but in the fearless confidence and identity of Christ in us. – Job 11:13-15; 1 John 1:9; Colossians 1:27

Greater Value

Speaking or thinking negative thoughts about our self has no place in the Christian mind. God created the lily and clothed her in all of her glory; so too He created His children to bloom with our unique colors and shape.

As we cast our burdens on God, we bloom vibrantly where He plants us (1 Peter 5:7). Satan will plant weeds in our lives. They are particular people, activities and materialism, which thwart our progress toward our heavenly goals.

When the heat of trials bear down on us, God gives us a core of strength through His Holy Spirit. We will not droop, under our load of cares, into depression and defeat, because God gives us shade under His wings (Psalm 17:8).

As my fiancé, my husband reacted with surprise to discover that I do not like to shop. I find no fulfillment in material possessions. I love to have pretty belongings around me, but I prefer to treasure hunt for them in a thrift store.

I find greater value in belonging to God’s Kingdom, than in participating in mundane, worldly activities. I treasure God’s presence much more than any presents the world has to offer.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for sanctifying our soul and giving us Your spiritual mind. You help us to care more for Your Kingdom than for building our own little kingdom on this earth. As we cast our burdens on You, we bloom vibrantly where You plant us!

Thank You for Your deep peace and joy, which exceeds all human comprehension (Philippians 4:7). As we dwell in You and You abide in us, we live in tranquility (John 15:4-5). Those whom You lead to come to walk in life by our side will enjoy Your fragrance from within us.

Thought for the Day:
What we sow into life will determine what we reap from life.

Do Not Be Deceived

Do Not Be Deceived

The Bible warns us in several passages to be aware of deception (2 Corinthians 11:3). Evil people and impostors will increase, especially in the last days, both being deceived themselves and deceiving others (2 Timothy 3:13). Satan’s mission is to deceive millions through his lies, such as humanism and liberalism to mention a few (Revelations 12:9).

Cults prey on people who know very little about Biblical truth. These unwitting people rarely read the Bible, have a private devotion or compare what people say with Biblical Truth (Acts 17:11). Without discernment from God’s Spirit, they are easy targets. They accept many a false teacher at face value and are deceived (Matthew 24:4-12).

Satan also uses comedians, commentators, newscasters, bar tenders and the man on the street to cheat people out of a relationship with God. The ungodly fill innocent minds full of human philosophy, empty deceit, vain traditions and the principles of the world, which are the antithesis of Christ’s teachings (Colossians 2:8).

However, God made creation as a silent preacher. Nature declares God’s eternal power and the invisible attributes of His glory. No one has a real excuse for not believing in God. It is their foolish heart, which darkens their understanding and causes them to think they know the truth, when they actually believe and live a lie (Romans 1: 18-22; Obadiah 1:3; Proverbs 28:26, Jeremiah 17:9).

Prayer:
Father God, You never tempt us to sin. We are drawn away by our own deceptive thoughts and desires. Help us to make the choice to walk away from Satan’s fraud, to focus on Jesus and to accept Your eternal gift of Salvation (James 1:12-17; John 3:16-18). Remind us that walking in Your Spirit helps us to live in Your eternal plans for our life (Galatians 5:15-25; Ephesians 2:10).

Thought for the Day:
If we practice a lifestyle of sin, we will not inherit the Kingdom of God as co-heirs with Christ, because only those who are washed by the blood of the Lamb, justified in our spirit and sanctified in our soul by God’s Spirit will have a place in God’s eternal Kingdom.
– 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Revelation 21:8; Matthew 7:21-23

The Prince of This World

There are spiritual forces of darkness in this world, which influence us every day (Ephesians 1:18-19). In these modern times, they are even able to use multi-media, technology and college professors. People and life’s circumstances are not really our problem. We are actually facing rulers, authorities and powers of evil and darkness (Ephesians 6:12). Jesus gave us an example of how to overcome with spiritual warfare.

 

When Satan came to tempt Jesus after 40 days and nights of fasting and prayer in the wilderness, the prince of this world found nothing He could use to tempt our Savior (John 14:30). Jesus had no connection to the things of this world. Clothes, food, friends, family, housing, transportation and land were the last things on Jesus’ mind (Matthew 8:20). His total focus lay in the spiritual, heavenly realm.

 

Some people, who claim they are Christians, receive more joy from earthly pleasures and conveniences than from spiritual endeavors. They take pleasure in the fellowship of God’s people and the benefits their soul – thoughts, choices and emotions – receives from church attendance. However, when it comes to giving and sacrifice, they turn a deaf ear and only attend church services one hour a week.

 

Jesus lived on this earth, but He dwelt in the Kingdom of God. He calls us all to join Him in His Kingdom mindset and reality. He wants us to place our affection on things above, not on things of this earth (Colossians 3:2). We find our life and joy only in our Messiah, Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:3). When we do, Satan has no power over us. His fiery darts find no mark in us, so they just bounce right off (Ephesians 6:16).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You teach us that gratification and convenience are not worthwhile goals on our list of priorities. Neither are items that money can buy. The only valuable focus in life is to follow after You as our first love, and to seek to do Your perfect will. To do anything less gives Satan a foothold into our life. Remind us to live soberly and to watch out for the wiles of the prince of this world (1 Peter 5:8).

 

Thought for the Day:

Satan’s deception blinds our eyes to the authority and divinity of Christ in us, who is our hope of a glorious eternity with God. – 2 Peter 1:4; Colossians 1:27