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

Temple of God – Personal

As the temple of God, we are blessed that God lives within us, walks among us and calls us as His own unique people (2 Corinthians 6:16; 1 Peter 2:9).

As we maintain our confidence and hope in Him, which is our delight, we are actually God’s house (Hebrews 3:6), a fact, which I find amazing!

We rarely appreciate how wondrous it is to actually be the holy temple of God, with His Holy Spirit dwelling within us. Nothing is allowed to destroy us or they ultimately will be destroyed by God (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).

In Christ, we are co-workers in God’s service; we are his field of ministry and His building made without human hands (1 Corinthians 3:9; 2 Corinthians 5:1). We cannot earn any of this by our works (Ephesians 2:8-9).

We no longer belong to our self, nor do we depend on our self or live according to our own plans (1 Corinthians 6:19). We spend each moment of every day walking according to the direction of God’s Holy Spirit (John 15:4).

Jesus entwines us together as His Body, until we are so united that we rise as spiritual stones to corporately become His spiritual Temple as well, and God abides with us forever (1 Peter 2:5; Ephesians 2:21-22).

Christ, as the Son of God, is faithful to provide for and to protect us as God’s house (Hebrews 3:6). He calls us to live healthy lives, free from addictions and excesses, with our thoughts focused on His Word (Proverbs 15:30; Philippians 4:8).

This maximizes our effectiveness for His Kingdom. We bring Him glory even in our infirmities, which He allows into our life (John 9:2-3). He uses us as living stones for His Temple, His called out ones (1 Peter 2:4-6, 9).
Prayer:
Father God, there is not one thought, idea or desire, which we have as human beings, which amounts to anything worthy of You. Yet, You have a perfect plan for each life, which You decided upon before we were ever born (Ephesians 2:10).

Remind us to walk in Your Spirit, so that we do not fulfill the lusts of our flesh and end up living under the dominion of the god of this world – the devil. Help us to see that nothing good dwells in our self-efforts (Romans 7:17-18).

We are hopeless without Your presence dwelling in our spirit; but, when we abide in You, we have no lack in our body, soul or spirit (Philippians 4:19). Thank you for fashioning us into Your Temple for Your dwelling place.

Thought for the Day:
Walking in the Spirit as God’s Temple does not give us spiritual pride or place us above anyone else, but is merely humble reliance only on God’s love, mercy, strength, wisdom and direction – one moment at a time.

Redemption Story

On Calvary’s cross, Jesus paid the ransom for our sins and gave us freedom in Him (John 8:36). As our Refuge, He is our redemption and He replenishes, rejuvenates, re-establishes and restores us.

When our soul is in anguish and we see no way out, or when we are lost in a cave of darkness and are chilled to the bone, our God is right there with us (Hebrews 13:5).

Sometimes, our determination wanes and our body grows weary (Psalm 31:10). We may cause our self to suffer physical illness, if we do not surrender our disappointment and stress-filled life to God.

As we weary of living with the consequences of our mistakes, we stop attempting to live life for our own purposes, with our human resources and in our own power and effort (Psalm 31:14-20).

When we learn not to take even one more step in our human strength, we cast all of our cares on God and He proves His care for us by changing our life for the better (1 Peter 5:7).

Once we are surrendered to Him, even when our pillow is drenched with tears caused by physical, mental, financial and emotional suffering and disappointment, God is in control (Psalm 56:8).

We totally surrender to God, not holding back or relying on our self in any way. Then, our God of grace restores us and re-establishes our life in the center of His will (1 Peter 5:10).

We often look for fulfillment on this side of Heaven. We may succeed in certain areas, but complete fulfillment only happens for those who totally surrender to God and walk in His Spirit.

Sometimes, for His glory, God allows us to walk in continual trials until His ultimate healing in Heaven (John 9:3). Even then, we have the power of His Spirit within us to find His joy and contentment in our circumstances.

When we place our faith in God’s faithfulness, His presence within us gives us His peace, wisdom and power, and He strengthens our body to accomplish those tasks, which He calls us to do (Proverbs 31:17).

Prayer:
Father God, Your Word is our truth and our hope (Psalm 119:114). Keep us safe from destructive people and accusing tongues (Psalm 31:20; Proverbs 29:25). Watch over us and shade us from the fiery darts of the enemy (Psalm 121:5). Continue to provide a refuge for the poor and needy all the days of our life (Isaiah 25:4).

When we serve You with our whole heart, mind, spirit and energy, You lift our burdens and bring us continual new life. We offer back to You the gifts, which You give to us, and we ask you to empower us to perform every ministry, which You lead us to do. Remind us to breathe out life’s stresses and to breathe in Your calming presence all throughout the day.

Thought for the Day:
In this world, we are guaranteed to have problems at home, work and in society; but as we trust Christ’s complete redemption, His joy is our strength, and He is our refuge and fortress forever. – John 16:33; Nehemiah 8:10; Psalm 18:2, 91:2

Free from the Ravages of Sin

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

We are free from the law of sin and death, by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2). We daily live as a witness to others of the love and nurture of the eternal 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). 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).

God’s Spirit, who raised Christ from the dead, now lives within our body, and give us His life (Romans 8:11). We belong to Christ, who raised us from the dead, and now we bear fruit for God’s Kingdom (Colossians 3:3; Romans 7:4).

Christ lives in us, and we are united with Him, just as He is one with our Father (John 14:20; Colossians 1:27). We are joined to and united with God’s Spirit in the intimacy of a branch with a vine (1 Corinthians 6:17; John 15:4-5).

The Trinity’s divine power enables us to excel in our vocation, ministry, calling and family through God’s divine Spirit within us (Colossians 1:27). We also pray by the direction of God’s Spirit and petition Him for the needs of all of His Saints (Ephesians 6:18).

God’s Spirit will endow us with 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).

Prayer:
Father God, help us to actually see the reality of the fact that we do not need to sin; because the law of 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 in every area of our life (John 8:36).

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; Galatians 5:15-25).

Thought for the Day:
Since the Son of God set us free, we are absolutely free to live in holiness – John 8:36; Romans 6:18

The Most Vital Ministry

If you are an active person, a doer like I am, then sitting still and just “being” is very hard to do. ADHD affects more people than we realize, and it drives us to keep busy. We even multitask in an attempt to accomplish twice as much with our time. We do not let up until we are exhausted and fall into bed. In fact, as we lose our physical abilities, we fail to grow old gracefully.

Our hearing and eyesight diminish; our limbs freeze up or wear out; our mind wanders and our thoughts flow through it like a sieve. We may even get some terrible, dreaded disease and are bedridden, hospitalized or moved into a nursing home. We feel isolated, rejected and unloved by our family and especially by God.

When I remind the aging and infirmed that they can still pray, they look at me as if I have two heads. They know they can pray, but that is not what they want to do. They desire to be active again, to sing in the choir, to teach bible studies, to play with the babies in the nursery, to help around the church’s facilities or to cook in the church’s kitchen.

They listen to Satan’s lies and forget that God is never finished with us on this earth until our final breath. Although we can no longer perform in the ministries we once loved, there is one ministry that is always available to us. We can pray. Most people have the opinion that prayer is the least valuable of all the ministries in which a Believer may participate.

However, prayer changes things; it can move mountains (Mark 11:23). We always encounter God in our quiet times of prayer. We can pray regardless of where we are, our state of health or how old we are (Psalm 86:6-7). Many of God’s children enter a prayer ministry at a young age and recognize it as the most vital ministry given to us by God.

Prayer:
Father God, prayer keeps us connected to You, allows us to receive Your guidance, apprises You of our needs, removes our fear, proves that we have faith in You, allows us to confess all of our sins and keeps us surrendered to Your will. Remind us that through the power of prayer we can preach, cast out devils, heal the sick, cleanse the leper and raise the dead as we are guided by Your Holy Spirit (Mark 11:24; Philippians 4:6-7; James 5:16; 1 John 5:14-15; Matthew 10:8).

Thought for the Day:
Prayer is communion with God and that is what the Christian life is all about.

The End-Time Church

The End-time Church

Many in the last days Church are hardworking and never grow weary of serving the Lord in every way we can (Revelation 2:2-3). We have a passion for working for Christ, but we often forsake our quiet times with God, in order to fill our time with religious activities. We work in ministry for our own fulfillment, rather than for the love of God in obedience to His direction (Ephesians 2:10).

Like the Church of Ephesus, the modern church has forsaken our first love (Revelation 2:4). Like the Church of Laodicea, the Spirit left and we function in our human energy and effort. We do not even recognize that we are spiritually poor, lame, wretched, naked and pitiful (Revelation 3:17). We look at numbers to gauge our success rather than changed lives.

Others of us are hearers of the Word, but not doers. We do not serve in any ministry. We attend conventions, buy books and sermons, and follow the most popular preachers, but we fail to obey the Lord (James 1:22; John 14:15, 23). We are ever learning, but never walking in the Truth (2 Timothy 3:7). We have a personal relationship with Christ, but not a heart full of love for Him (John 14:21, 23; 1 Corinthians 16:22).
God warns us of judgment for our disobedience and immorality, and He calls us to repentance (Revelation 2:5). Jesus promises that if we heed His Word, we will overcome the deception and lusts of this life. He is preparing a place for authentic Believers to eat from the tree of life and to dwell for eternity in the paradise of God (Revelation 2:7, Revelation 21-22).

Prayer:
Father God, the blessed assurance that we enjoy as Believers is that Christ lives within us (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:3-4). Remind us not to fall under Satan’s deception to crave the world or to minister through our own abilities. Make us defenders of Your Word, so that we do not compromise our love of Your truth. Help us to persevere in persecution and not to grow weary of following Your Spirit’s guidance every moment of every day (Revelation 2:2-3).

Thought for the Day:
The light of our modern church went out, and we do not know it.
– John 8:12; Matthew 5:14

Lightening Our Load

There are times when circumstances overwhelm us. Our life is riddled with disease, broken relationships and material losses. Negative emotions fill the void left behind by these severe issues. They cause us to withdraw, to lose hope and to feel weary and uninspired. We cannot seem to lift our head up off the pillow.

There are thousands of people in your sphere of influence, who all feel the same way that you do. They are looking for someone like you who will understand the place that they are in and to reach out to them and pray for them. You can take tiny steps at first. Go to your small group and share your experience. You may find others there who can relate to your experiences.

As you feel better, you can learn a new hobby. You will meet new people in the classes you take, which are potential new friends. Some of them will encourage you, and you will encourage others. You can join the YMCA or a fitness club and lose weight. That will enhance your self-image and physical well-being. Volunteer at your church by serving in a ministry or helping in the office or the nursery.

Play a game on the computer to improve your mental concentration and to bring some joy into your life. Get interested in your neighbors and lighten their load in some way. Giving your time and attention to others will also ease your burden and give you less time for Satan to drench you with self-pity. Follow your passion and get involved, so you can put down your heavy burdened, and feel less lonely.

Prayer:
Father God, help us to turn to You in our time of need. You provide these trials to draw us closer to You. Remind us that being busy is helpful, but spending time with You is even more appealing. We grow in our intimacy and love for You and we receive direction from Your Spirit. Remind us to allow You to use us to lighten the burden from someone else’s shoulders (Galatians 6:2).

Thought for the Day:
As we help others to deal with their issues, we will help our self at the same time.

God’s Presence in Trials

God’s goal, through His Spirit, is to sever our connection to the vine of the flesh, the world and the devil, and to graft us into the Vine of Christ. He does this through the process of salvation. Then God’s Spirit continues to convict us of our sins, as well as to give us the desire and the power to relinquish it (Philippians 2:12-13).

Our Savior dwells within us, and cannot associate with fleshly pursuits. He provides trials to insure that no flesh glories in His presence, but that He receives all of the glory due to His name (Psalm 29:2). God never uses trials for punishment, but He will use them to discipline us for our protection. God only withdraws His presence from us when we sin.

God also allows failure in our ministry or personal life to humble us into realizing that we do not live life according to our will, but according to His will. God may even allow our body to fail in some area, as a testimony that prayer is the only reason we are still living. In fact, God may chose not to heal us on earth, but to take us Home with Him in Heaven.

We do not need to live in fear and desperation; but simply to live in intimate fellowship with our Jesus, who abides within us. We get lost in His presence and affection. He fills us with His Spirit and thrills our soul with His blessings. There is no relationship on earth equal to this, because He knows us from the inside out.

We do not name and claim the victory, but we cooperate, as Christ in us works out our deliverance and sanctification (Psalm 18:6). Even our negative circumstances, when they are in the will of God for us, work out for our good (Romans 8:28). God will use trials to draw us back to Himself and to prove His love for us (2 Chronicles 15:4).

Prayer:
Father God, the Rock of Ages is our foundation, which no person or demon can ever shake. You allow us to be tested beyond our strength; often pressed out of the area of our expertise and abilities; but not beyond Yours. You do this so that we will learn not to trust in our self. Give us Your grace, as You use trials to prove us. Remind us to take You at Your Word and to believe in Your promise of ultimate victory.

Thought for the Day:
God purifies our life through fire, proves our faith as genuine when we go through various trials and suffering, and He will present our faith at the return of Christ to the earth. – 1 Peter 1:7

Raised to Walk in a New Life

– Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12

Jesus poured out His life on this earth for all of mankind. During three years of ministry, He had no place to lay His head (Luke 9:58). He was criticized for eating with publicans and sinners (Matthew 9:10). He experienced rejection, even from his own people (Matthew 13:57). Jesus ultimately laid down His life on Calvary’s cross for the salvation of anyone willing to accept His redemption (Rev 22:17; Acts 17:11).

Then on the third day, He raised up His own life again to exactly fulfill the Biblical prophecies about His life, death and resurrection (Isaiah 7:14, 53:12; Psalm 49:15, 24:7-10). Jesus then delivered those who died prior to His death and set them free (Ephesians 4:8-9). He became the first child of God to raise from the dead (Colossians 1:18). Then God lifted Him up to the greatest measure of His glory and authority (John 17:5).

God raises us to walk in a new life as well. Since Christ now lives within us by His Spirit, His power and authority are working in the life of every authentic Born Again Believer. As we walk in His Spirit, we fulfill the will of God. We mature in our walk of faith and we realize the awesome attributes of God in us. This humbles us and causes us to bow to Him in complete surrender.

God’s Spirit points out sin in our life, and then we cooperate and allow His Spirit to transform us both with the mind and character of Christ (2 Peter 1:4; Philippians 2:12-13). He frees us from sin and the corrupt desires of our flesh. He cleanses us from the root issue causing our penchant for sin. We die to our humanity and allow God to mature us in the Spirit, so we can live in the fullness of His resurrected life (Ephesians 3:19).

Prayer:
Father God, You never, ever leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8; Hebrews 13:5). We have faith in Your faithfulness. We rely on You and relinquish to You our worries, fears and insecurities (Matthew 6:25-34). Your love provides us with safety in the storms of life, as well as the provision we need in order to walk in our new life on this earth. Help us to glorify You on this earth just like Jesus did (John 17:4).

Thought for the Day:
Love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, meekness, self-control and faith are not dependent upon our circumstances or our feelings or even our health, but only on the Holy Spirit within us in our new life.

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

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