The Call of Nature

In our world of higher education, instant information networks and self-reliance, the message of the Gospel of Christ makes no sense at all to most people.

 

The paradoxes and spiritual content of the Bible serve as a stumbling stone to those too proud to accept the self-effacing offer of salvation through Jesus Christ.

 

However, once we humble our self under the mighty hand of God, we immediately recognize that Jesus completely submitted to death on Calvary’s Cross to bring freeing redemption to us all.

 

We also surrender to the call of God to sacrifice our life for Him in return. The surrendered life is not one of defeat, but of relinquishing control. This means that we stop resisting the love of God and accept His courtship.

 

We acknowledge His substitution in paying the penalty of our sins and yield to His Lordship over our life. We recognize the superiority of God’s plan for our life over our own goals and ambitions.

 

We consult Him about all of our decisions and submit to His direction of our steps (Proverbs 3:5-6). We live in the reality of His presence now and look forward to the hope of His glory to come (Colossians 1:27).

 

Many people waste so much of their life running from God’s beauty and bounty. They live in rebellion to the call, which even nature makes for us to surrender to its Creator (Romans 1:20).

 

God never invades our life, but always waits to be invited. The beauty of the surrendered life is that we die to the carnal flesh and hide our life with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). We cease from our own labors and enter into God’s rest (Hebrews 10:4).

 

Prayer:

Father God, once we completely understand Your love for us, we go beyond obedience and also surrender our life entirely to You. Then, we learn what it means to truly live in abundant freedom and victory (Romans 6:16-18; Mark 8:35).

 

We no longer internalize the pain that life deals out to us, because we are hidden with Christ in You. Regardless of trials and anguish we may experience, we walk in spiritual serenity which elevates us emotionally, spiritually, mentally, physically and behaviorally. We find our constant joy in You as patience does her perfecting work in us (James 1:4).
Thought for the Day:

We enter a life hidden with Christ in God, which we formerly believed to be one of servitude, only to discover that it is actually a liberating union as a King’s kid. – Colossians 3:3-4

 

 

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Don’t Blame God

In God’s original plan for mankind, He created Paradise for us to enjoy. He delighted in fellowshipping with Adam and Eve in the cool of the Garden (Genesis 3:8). He never wanted us to experience one bad day in our whole lifetime.

In his rebellion and pride, mankind decided as he always does, to “do it his way”, and rejected Our Father’s ultimate plan for his life. Adam sowed to the flesh and reaped destruction, toil and hardship for us all.

Adam forfeited dominion on the earth to the devil when he sinned. Until Jesus comes again to take His rightful Kingship over the earth, Satan is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). Sin and destruction are his specialty.

Even creation is cursed by the effects of sin in this world. All creation groans for the unveiling of the sons of God to bring God’s total glorification back to the earth (Romans 8:19-22).

All of the misery, trials, disappointments and loss we suffer in this world are spawned by Satan. We are reaping what Adam and Eve sowed by their rebellion and pride.

So if something bad is happening in your life or in the life of some good or godly person that you know, don’t blame God. The “credit” actually goes to Satan. In salvation, God gives us back both now and in eternity what Satan stole from us.

God knew mankind would not appreciate His generosity; so He planned to become a man to pay for our sins, to redeem us back to Himself and to prove His unconditional love for us (John 10:30).

By providing a way for our salvation, God gives us all a chance to choose eternal life (John 3:16-17). If anyone refuses to believe, we condemn our self to hell in this life on earth and also in eternity (John 3:18).

If you repented of your sins and came to Christ for salvation, you are now a Saint (1 Corinthians 1:2). The Good News is that God will restore His Saints to Paradise in just a short vapor of time (James 4:14).

Prayer:
Father God, when we consider eternity, the 6,000 years of mankind’s toil on this earth are just a brief era. In Your perfect timing, Jesus will take His rightful place as ruler of this world and restore the Kingdom under Your government and order. There will be no more crying, toil, pain or hardship there (Revelation 21:4).

Those born on the earth during the following 1000 year Millennium will also have a chance to choose or reject Jesus’ Lordship; so that everyone will be allowed to exercise Your gift of free will (Revelation 20:3-7). All of those who stay faithful to You through to the end will serve You and enjoy Your blessings throughout eternity (Revelation 22:3; John 12:26, 30).

Thought for the Day:
God rejoices over us with singing, and He delights when His Saints pass from this world through death’s portal, and enter eternity to dwell forever in His presence. -Zephaniah 3:17; Psalm 116:15

The Mind of Christ

Paul encourages us to adopt the same mindset about life that Jesus had. He goes on to explain that Jesus proclaimed that He was equal with God. With Christ in us, we too have His Godly nature (Philippians 2:5-6).

Even with His divine nature and character, however, Jesus did not use this fact to build His reputation. He did proclaim His deity (John 10:30, 17:21), but He did not use this fact to promote Himself.

We learn this same humility in our daily walk (Philippians 2:7), which allows us to also serve one another (Mark 9:35). Jesus obediently paid the ultimate sacrifice on Calvary’s cross and taught us to lay down our life for one another (Philippians 2:8; 1 John 3:16).

When we realize that our sin crucifies again the Lord Jesus Christ, we run from sin and live in the will of God instead (Hebrews 6:6; 1 Peter 4:2). We want to honor God with our thoughts, words and deeds.

Jesus fulfilled the law through His birth, death and resurrection (Matthew 5:17). He kept God’s commandments and He helps us to keep them too. We abide in His love (John 15:10), and He gives us His wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30).

Through His death, God exalted the name and person of Jesus above every name, and every tongue will eventually proclaim His Lordship over all the nations of the earth (Philippians 2:9-11)

Jesus did not abandon us, but He sent us the Holy Spirit of God to teach us all things and to bring them to our remembrance. God’s Spirit teaches us to change our focus from one of carnality to one of spirituality (1 Corinthians 2:14).

The Spirit serves as our comforter and guide (John 14:26, 16:12-15; 1 Corinthians 2:11-13; Acts 8:29, 11:12), and helps us to be like-minded, loving and living in one accord with the rest of the Body of Christ (Philippians 2:1-11).

Jesus’ life and crucifixion exemplified perfect patience (1 Timothy 1:15-16). With the mind of Christ in us, we find spiritual support, comfort of love, fellowship with His Spirit, affection, mercy and joy in our relationship with Christ.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for giving us the mind of Christ, which helps us to make sense of this world of strife and confusion (Philippians 2:5). You inspire us to live in humility and to serve one another as Christ serves us. We look out for one another and protect each other’s interests (Philippians 2:3-4).

Although Jesus is equal with You, He still took the form of a man in order to redeem us from our wickedness and sin (Philippians 2:7-8; Matthew 20:28). We exalt His name in our hearts and with our lives and look forward to His rule and reign on this earth for eternity (Philippians 2:9-11).

Thought for the Day:
Once we learn to think as Jesus thought, then we can live, move and find fulfillment on this earth just as Jesus did in all of His humility, love and power. – Acts 17:28

Giving God Control

There are people who live in every generation who want to know God. They explore several venues provided by Satan and his minions, and many are taken captive by empty philosophies and spiritual sounding half-truths, which come from human traditions and the god of this world, rather than from God Himself (Colossians 2:8). These people stop short of the truth; and, instead, cheerfully believe a lie.

Then there are those who claim to know Christ as their Savior, but they have not made Him the Lord of their life. He is their helper and their insurance policy in times of trouble; they trust Him and they believe in Him, but He is not their Master and King. They have not yet come to a place of absolute surrender of every known area of their life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

However, if we want to live in a place of perfect peace, we will keep our mind constantly in tune with the Spirit of God (Isaiah 26:3). We will do the works, which God created for us to do. We will seek His pleasure in all things, rather than to seek our own pleasure in this life (Ephesians 2:10). Believers realize that the temporal, earthly aspects of this life are all passing away and only the eternal components will last.

Believers are living stones, fitted together into the dwelling place of God (1 Peter 2:5). We walk worthy of the calling He gives us (Ephesians 4:1). We avoid sin and deprivation by walking toward the Light of life (John 1:4; Matthew 5:16). Jesus died in our place and gives us the victory over both sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:57). We have faith in His faithfulness and walk in His divine power within us (2 Peter 1:3).

Prayer:
Father God, I totally surrender every part of my life to You. I want You to have it all. I want to walk in Your divine will and to do the works You created for me before I was ever born (Ephesians 2:10). I devote my every waking moment to You to use at work, at home and at play. Fill my heart with Your love for those You want to love through me.

Thought for the Day:
Everything in our life, which we surrender to God’s control, will come back to us refined and renewed.

What is a Born Again Believer?

Prior to our salvation, we had a body and soul, but our spirit was dead in sin. As a Born Again Believer our spirit is now alive and contains the Spirit of God. We can enjoy constant quiet time within our spirit, regardless of what is occurring in our body or soul. With this regular fellowship, our soul abides in a state of peace, which causes our body to remain in better health and vitality.

 

This does not happen before we are Born Again. In God’s presence, we refresh our soul. Even if He remains silent, we enjoy the companionable silence of His friendship and lordship in our life. Regardless of our circumstances, we live in serenity in our spirit. As we focus on our connection with Christ in our spirit, He heals the negative feelings of our body and soul.

 

We look at life from a spiritual rather than an earthly viewpoint. We love Christ immensely; our soul draws nourishment from His existence in our life. His Word comes alive in our mind, His presence comforts our fears and His love pours over us like a waterfall as we keep our mind focused on Him (Isaiah 26:3). We do not need to see Him with our eyes, because we hear him with our inner ear (Matthew 11:14).

 

We feel His Spirit within us (Colossians 1:27). We float through life as the Spirit of God stirs the waters. We flow with the ebb and current of God’s will. People see God’s life-changing power within us. So many turn a deaf ear or blind eye, preferring to believe Satan’s lies. Others want our same experience, so we travail in birth pains with them. We desire to win people to Christ, so they can live in the love of God with us.

 

Prayer:

Father God, You are the author and finisher of our salvation. Jesus made this possible by His sacrifice on Calvary’s cross, and Your Spirit drew us to Your precious heart. Thank You for loving us, caring for us and helping us in our doubts and fears. We look to You to provide our daily bread and to lead us away from every temptation, which might bring dishonor to Your name.

 

Thought for the Day:

Taste and see that the Lord is good. – Psalm 34:9

 

Our Futile Self-Life

Our Futile Self-Life

In our finite existence, we experience many areas of life, which are extremely painful and almost impossible to survive. However, with God, all things are possible (Luke 18:27). So, when God dwells in us, we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37), and we can accomplish whatever He calls us to do (Ephesians 2:10). Outside of His anointing, we are powerless and our efforts are futile (John 15:5). We reap no lasting value from all of our earnest, but frantic works for God.

In truth, God does not expect us to succeed apart from Him. As Paul declares, we often concede to sin when we actually want to walk in holiness. We cannot even achieve many of the spiritual goals we set for our self (Romans 7:15-24). There is no shame in this. The shame comes when we persist in living for God from our own self-efforts. We continually fall short, and we live in disgrace and depression because of our failures.

Our attitudes influence our body, soul and spirit. Criticism, gossip, self-pity, depression, anger and bitterness all strongly impact our soul, which in turn affects our body and spirit. Once we realize the futility of attempting holiness on our own, we can sigh in relief and stop disparaging and demeaning our character or someone else’s failings (Proverbs 15:4, 18:21). Living a holy life is impossible for us, but more than possible for Christ in us (Colossians 1:27).

Our part is to guard our body, soul and spirit and to live in surrender to God’s will (Proverbs 4:23; Proverbs 3:5-6). As we meditate on God’s precepts and guard what we focus on, we will mirror His Word and delight in His Truth (Psalm 119:15-16). We are all lost and undone on our own, but Christ is victorious in and through us. When we come to the end of our self-efforts and completely surrender to God’s Spirit and Lordship, then God can actually use us for His glory.

Prayer:
Father God, we know that Your power is manifest only in our helplessness. As we daily surrender to Your will, You conquer our self-life and fleshly carnality. We are in Your care and You live out Your will in our surrendered life. We are strengthened by Your might in our inner core (Ephesians 3:14-21). Holiness and consecration bring revival in us and in Your church, so help us to deepen our union with You in all things.

Thought for the Day:
It is only as we realize our utter human hopelessness, and depend entirely on God, that He can use us for His glory.

The Law of Life in Christ

When our spirit is Born Again by the Spirit of God in salvation, we are set free from the Law of Sin and Death (Romans 8:2). Jesus won this victory for us on Calvary’s cross. We are a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Jesus died to sin once and for us all. He bore the penalty of our sin and gave us His righteousness in its place (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 6:10). Our spirit is alive to God in Christ and our soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions – is now free from sin (1 Peter 6:11; Romans 6:7).

Our old carnal, human nature is dead and our new, spiritual nature resides in its place (Romans 8:2). We no longer struggle with the sin and depravity that used to plague our life. Paul records his struggle with coming to this conclusion in Romans chapter seven. Then, Paul triumphantly records the culmination of his struggle in the conclusion that the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus sets us free from the Law of Sin and Death (Romans 8:2; John 8:36).

Satan wants us to believe that we have to struggle with our flesh and go through a long, drawn out crucifixion process. Satan wants to keep us occupied with the struggle Paul describes in Romans chapter seven. However, when we realize the completed work, which Paul clarifies for us in Romans 8:2, we are no longer centered on the temporal, earthly aspects of life. We come to realize just how comprehensive Christ’s work on the cross really is (Philippians 2:12-13).

We focus instead on the eternal, Heavenly aspects of everlasting life, which is ours both now in this life and in eternity. We no longer live in selfishness, pride and rebellion, but we completely surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our life. Our carnal nature is totally dead by our faith in Christ, and is replaced by the fruit of God’s Spirit. We no longer reap the negative consequences of a carnal lifestyle, because we enjoy the eternal advantages of a life complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10).

Prayer:
Father God, I see as Paul did that there is no need to pray for more love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, meekness, self-control and faith, because they are all part of Your nature, which resides within us from the moment of our salvation. We really are a totally new creation with all the attributes of Your triune Being living within us (1 Thessalonians 5:23; Colossians 1:19). Our carnality is now dead, and our life is completely hidden with Christ in You (Colossian 3:3).

Thought for the Day:
Jesus Christ really is our whole life. – Colossian 3:4