Surrendering to God’s Love

A pure heart is the key to knowing God (Matthew 5:8). His love overwhelms us with its joy and peace. His perfect love slowly, but surely, casts out all of our fears (1 John 4:18). When we trust in Christ and keep God’s Word, we become His dwelling place (John 14:23). He fills us through all of our being with all of His fullness (Ephesians 3:19).

As the Temple of the Holy Spirit, we experience more and more intimacy with the Trinity (1 Corinthians 3:16). The outer court of the temple is our body, the inner court is our soul and the Most Holy place is our spirit, where the presence of God dwells and fills our soul and body. As we present our body to God, as a living sacrifice, we die to our self and the destructive lusts of life (Romans 12:1).

God’s Spirit fills our soul with all of the characteristics of faith, hope and love. These are the greatest traits a person can possess (1 Corinthians 13:13). The more we walk in obedience to the directives of God’s Spirit, the more our faith increases. Our obedience to Biblical standards comes as we grow in love for God (John 14:15). Then, our love and faith increase our hope in God.

God’s love is wider, deeper and higher than any human emotion or any created thing (Ephesians 3:18; Romans 8:31-39). God’s proven love for us, over the years of our relationship with Him, helps us to have more love for one another (John 13:34). Surrendering to God’s love opens doors for us that we can only dream about, and brings fulfillment to our life in this sin-cursed world.

Prayer:
Father God, faith, hope and love are intertwined throughout our entire personality and relationship with You. They affect our lifestyle, and are the foundation of every other fruit of Your Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Teach us to surrender to Your love, and to allow Your light to shine through us, so that men will see our good works and give You the glory (Matthew 5:16). Perfect Your love in us and help us to bring You glory with our life (1 John 2:5).

Thought for the Day:
God is love and love is of God; everyone who loves is born again of the Spirit of God and knows God. – 1 John 1:7-8; Luke 10:27

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Knowing God Intimately

While visiting the hospital, I asked a lady I met in an elevator if she knew the Jesus who died on the cross, which was similar to the one she wore around her neck. She looked at me with widened eyes and declared, “Well, not personally, no I don’t.” I quickly encouraged her with the truth that He wanted a personal relationship with her, if she was willing.

There is a vast difference between the concepts of knowing about God and actually knowing God personally. When we intimately know God, we have eternal life (John 17:3). Earthly pursuits tie up our time and rob us of unity with God. Our Christian goal is to imitate Jesus in every time span and place in which God calls us to serve Him. We exchange our plans for His, and we live for Him one moment at a time.

Even at work or with the family at home and in services with our church family, God calls us to function in the ministry, which He planned for us to perform (Ephesians 2:10). Like the Apostle Paul, our main goal in life is to know God (Philippians 3:10). We live each moment of our life pursuing God’s Kingdom on this earth and living a lifestyle in harmony with Biblical principles.

God’s grace sustains us throughout life (2 Corinthians 12:7-12). He liberates us from the trauma of our past as we seek the root and cause of every negative emotion, which plagues our soul. In this way, God sets us free to serve Him with our whole heart, soul, mind, will and strength (Matthew 22:37). We may experience deep darkness in tribulation, but Christ is our life and light (John 6:47; Isaiah 60:19).

Prayer:
Father God, we want to intimately know the love of Christ and to be filled with all of Your fullness (Ephesians 3:19). Teach us how to walk worthy of You, so that we may please You in everything we think, say and do, bearing spiritual fruit and increasing in our knowledge of You (Colossians 1:10). Help us to share Your gospel of Christ with everyone who desires to know You.

Thought for the Day:
If we do not love, we do not know God, for God is love. – 1 John 4:8

(To deal with the trauma of our past and to seek the root and cause of every negative emotion, go to: http://www.theophostic.com )

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

Knowing God

The key to our life in Christ is to realize that as Born Again Believers, we are one with Him. Jesus gave us the glory that God gave Him, so that we can be united with Him just as He and our Father are one. He lives in us, our Father lives in Him and we are brought into complete unity with the Trinity – Father, Son and Spirit (John 17:22-23). We are one Spirit with them all (1 Corinthians 6:17).

We know God personally through prayer and Bible study and we come to know Him intimately through the experience of Him manifesting Himself in and through us. This personal relationship is what eternal life is all about (John 17:3; Mark 6:53-56). The only issue that blocks our connection with Him is sin. However, confessed and forgiven sin opens the door between us again.

God is more than our ever-present help in times of crisis (Psalm 46:1). He is our Father each moment of the day. Jesus is our Brother. He sits on His throne with our Father in Heaven; yet, lives within us at the same time. The power of Christ is evident through us to the world around us as we live in Him and He lives through us (1 John 4:9). We do not follow our own desires and will for our day, but Christ’s life flows through us (Ephesians 2:10).

He is the vine and we are His branches (John 15:5). We are hidden with Christ in God and Christ is our whole life (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:3-4). Another analogy is that we are God’s temple and He abides in us. He creates us as vessels, to be used according to His will for our life (2 Timothy 2:20). Rather than work for God, we submit to God working through us. We are united with Him and we do what we see Him do by His Spirit (Galatians 5:6-25).

During witnessing opportunities, we open our mouth and God fills it with the right words to speak (Matthew 10:19). If we are counseling or mentoring or discipling someone, God gives us the words to share with this counselee to set him/her free to honor God with their life (Psalm 81:10). We take no credit for the results and God gets all the glory. We can do nothing from our own human effort, but God manifests Himself through us (John 15:19).

Prayer:
Father God, if we lack wisdom, we merely need to ask and You fill us generously without finding any fault in us (James 1:5). We come to know You through our salvation and then through spending each moment of our day with You. Help us not to allow the flesh, the world and the devil to distract us from walking by Your Spirit, but allow us to keep our mind on You (Isaiah 26:3). Then You will keep us in perfect peace as we go about doing Your will for our life (Ephesians 2:10).

Thought for the Day:
The Holy Spirit teaches us at all times what we are to say. – Luke 12:12

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 Power of Knowing God

To know God personally is to relate to Him intimately as a man “knows” his wife (Genesis 4:1). This is not an intellectual pursuit, but an experienced unity. Knowing God provides us with eternal life (John 17:3). The Jewish culture looked for signs, and the Greek culture craved wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:21). When Christ came, He served as a stumbling block for both cultures; however, to those who are called in Christ, Jesus is both our power and the wisdom of God in us (1 Corinthians 1:22-24).

When I consider the size and magnificence of creation, I cannot comprehend it. It is too magnanimous for me to fathom. The heavens and skies declare the glorious works of God’s hands (Psalm 19:1). God uses creation to preach His gospel (Romans 1:20). Even in countries where missionaries have yet to preach, the heavens are proclaiming His righteousness and the people see His glory (Psalm 97:6).

Those who reject Christ are without excuse, and refrain from believing only because of their rebellion and pride (John 3:18). God does not need natural beauty, skill and talents, just a submissive person, emptied of him/her self. He does not want those who take the credit, only those who give Him the glory. He has no need for excellence, eloquence and elegance in His people. He simply looks for a surrendered life.

We labor with all the energy of Christ’s power working in and through us (Colossians 1:29). This is the same power, which raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him at God’s right hand (Ephesians 1: 19-20). Jesus knew Peter’s habit of depending on the flesh to fight his battles. That is why the transformation in Peter after Pentecost is so amazing! He learned that God needs no human talents or abilities, but only His Spirit working in and through us (Zechariah 4:6; Acts 2:14-36).

Prayer:
Father God, when I lay down to sleep, I remember all that You do for me. I meditate on Your goodness all through the night watches. You are my help, and I hide and rejoice in the shadow of Your wings. My soul clings to You for stability and comfort. You hold me up with Your powerful right hand (Psalm 63:6-8). You are my rock and You bring me true salvation. You are my strong fortress, which prevents me from being shaken by the storms and quakes of life (Psalm 62:2). I depend on You to move in me by the power of your Spirit.

Thought for the Day:
As Born Again Believers, we walk in the power of knowing God.