Mirroring the Heart of God

The Spirit of God urges men and women to enter into the purposeful ministry of prayer for the godless portion of humanity, which co-habitates this earth with us – in both big cities and country towns alike.

 

He gives us the burden of His heart for these dear souls who need to hear about Jesus and respond to His invitation to come just as they are. He also floods us with His peace and joy as we obey and pray.

 

God burdens our soul with His intense love for humanity and His concern for their eternal destination. He moves on our heart by His Spirit to dedicate our life to prayer and intercession until we actually mirror His heart back to Him.

 

God knows the intents and desires of our heart and answers our petitions as He brings circumstances to bear in a person’s life. Of course, it is still that person’s choice to reject or to accept God’s love.

 

Daniel, Ezra and other prophets of old such as Nehemiah served in this ministry of intercessory prayer for people in their day and time. They and we mourn with the burden of lost souls around us.

 

The Holy Spirit fills us with the burden of the sin all around us; and sometimes even in us, if we are not thoroughly cleansed by the blood of the Lamb. We mourn for their lost condition and their separation from God who is all in all (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).

 

As we quietly trust in God’s goodness, mercy and grace, His love shines in our heart and transforms us into the mind, character and nature of Christ in us; and we enjoy His unbroken fellowship.

 

Prayer:

Father God, we completely and wholly surrender our motives, goals and heart to You. We consider it such a privilege to partake in Your Kingdom as co-heirs with Your precious Son, Jesus Christ. We will stand with Him in that final hour as one Body, one Bride, one Army and deliver the Kingdom to You.

 

From the rising to the setting of the sun, we relinquish to You our life with all of its sorrows and joys. We walk in Your will and reap the benefits of serving You even now. We prove our love to You by dedicating our life to one of prayer, and obedience to Your Spirit and Your Word.

 

Thought for the Day:

Filling God’s ear with petitions, and demanding that He honor His myriad of promises in our life is not prayer; it is simply a spoiled child giving an ultimatum to our Heavenly Father. Instead, we enter the true life of prayer, which mirrors the heart of God back to Him.

 

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The Perfecting Work of Patience – He Who Began a Good Work

Is our salvation and sanctification our responsibility, or is it the work of God’s Spirit within us? Some will say, “We are to work out our own salvation.” (Philippians 2:12) Others will counter with, “It is the Holy Spirit who gives us both the desire and the power” to do that (Philippians 2:13).

Most people agree that salvation is through grace by faith; but believe that we have to work for sanctification (Ephesians 2:8). Yet, the foolish Galatians were reprimanded by Paul for attempting to perfect themselves through their own self-efforts (Galatians 3:1-3).

Paul was amazed that they actually believed they could sanctify their life by their works. Paul constantly reminds the early Saints that nothing in our Christian walk is by works, because then we could boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).

God is not interested in our ability, but in our availability to His Spirit. The works of the flesh can only be crucified by the work of the Spirit (Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:16). We live and walk only by the Spirit of God; otherwise, we spin our wheels and end up exhausted (Galatians 5:25).

We boldly claim that we can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13); but when we put the emphasis on “we” can do all things, we fail time and again. We pull our self up by our boot straps until they are totally worn off.

This verse is actually saying that we cannot do anything except “through Christ”. When we completely capitulate to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to both save and perfect us, we enter God’s rest (Hebrews 4:10).

It is the Spirit, not our self-effort, which transforms us from one stage of sanctification to the next (2 Corinthians 3:18). Even the armor of God, which Paul encourages us to wear, is the work of God’s Spirit in our life (Ephesians 6:10-18).

God’s Spirit transforms our mind to the mind of Christ (Romans 12:2). He also renews our character with the divine nature of Christ (2 Peter 1:4). He who began the work of salvation in us, will continue to perfect us through His work of sanctification (Philippians 1:6).

Prayer:
Father God, we humans do not want to admit that we are helpless without a Savior. We want to believe that even if we cannot save our self, we can attempt to perfect our self through our diligence and self-discipline by obeying Your Word.

Remind us that we can do good works only as we abide in the faith of Christ within us (James 2:17). We could not justify our self by keeping the law and we cannot sanctify our self through self-effort either. Keeping the law never gave us life prior to salvation and there is no way that walking in obedience to the law can perfect us after salvation. Without Your Spirit doing the sanctifying work, we are totally lost and undone.

Thought for the Day:
When we do choose to obey, the desire and ability is generated by God’s Spirit within us; God has a perfect plan for our life, and we find it only when we walk in the Spirit each moment of the day (Ephesians 2:8-10).

Loved and Forgiven

When we actually come face to face with God’s glory, we realize just how sinful we are. This encounter changes our very countenance, attitude, behavior, focus and prayer life (Exodus 34:35; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Ephesians 4:31-32).

We trust our life on earth to God’s perfect plan for us (Ephesians 2:10). We find fulfillment, peace and joy through His love and forgiveness (Romans 14:17). We keep our eyes on Jesus, regardless of our circumstances (Hebrews 12:1-2; Philippians 3:9).

We never pay back evil with more evil, and we do things in such a way that everyone can see we are filled with the honor, grace and love of God (Romans 12:17). We no longer condemn others, because we realize that we are sinners too.

We think and act with mercy, grace and compassion. We also realize the magnitude of God’s love for us, and we express His glory by allowing His love to flow through us to others.

The love of God is multi-dimensional with width, length, depth and height (Ephesians 3:17-19). It completely surrounds us in every way. There is no escaping the love of God.

We collapse into God’s waiting arms with the confidence that He will catch us and never, ever let us go (Hebrews 13:5). He abides in our spirit and makes a huge difference in our life both now and throughout eternity (Romans 8:11).

God does miraculous works for and through those who love Him and obey His Word (Deuteronomy 28:1-13; Hebrews 11:6). Our inheritance in His Kingdom is full of His glory (Acts 20:32).

When we flee from temptation and please God, we increase in the grace and knowledge of all that the Lord means to us (2 Timothy 2:22-24; 2 Peter 3:18). He is miraculous, amazing, magnificent and incomprehensible in human terms. He is the great I AM (John 4:26; 6:20; 8:24, 28, 58; 13:19; 18:5).

Prayer:
Father God, You are our peace and Christ is our very life (Ephesians 2:14; Colossians 3:4). Thank You for Your eternal covenant with Your Saints through the crucified body and shed blood of Jesus Christ. You are the great Shepherd and we feel so secure as Your people and the sheep of Your pasture (Psalm 100:3).

You equip us with every good thing, which we need to walk in Your perfect, pre-planned will for our life (Ephesians 2:10, 13:21; Philippians 1:6). You work out of us anything which displeases You, until we are holy in Your sight through our Lord, Jesus Christ. We will glorify You forever and ever (Hebrews 13:20-21).

Thought for the Day:
God never disciplines from anger or vindictiveness, but with the purpose of drawing us back to His love and forgiveness.

The Name of the Lord – Multi-faceted

As Believers, we are called by the name of the Lord. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture (Isaiah 43:7; Jeremiah 14:9). In His name we are washed, sanctified and justified in the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 6:11).

God chooses individuals to stand and serve in His name; and requires that some cities and houses are dedicated to His name (Acts 9:15; Deuteronomy 18:5, 7; 1 Samuel 17:45; 1 Samuel 7:13; 1 Kings 8:19, 18:24; 2 Kings 21:4, 7; 2 Chronicles 7:16, 12:13; Nehemiah 1:9).

Jesus is the King who came in the name of the Lord (Luke 19:38); His name is also Emmanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23). When we call on His name, we are saved (Acts 2:21).

Those who believe in the name of God’s Son receive eternal life (1 John 5:13). Those who do not believe in His name condemn themselves to eternal judgement (John 3:18).

When we receive Jesus and believe on His name, He gives us the right to become His children, and we receive forgiveness for all of our sins (John 1:12; Acts 10:43).

If we realize our reliance on God, obey His Word and do not deny His name, God opens doors for us, which no one can shut (Revelation 3:8). The power, provision and protection of His name are always near to us (Psalm 75:1).

The Lord appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as God Almighty, but He did not reveal Himself to them as Lord (Exodus 6:3). He set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the Ark, to serve Him and to bless His name (Deuteronomy 10:8; 18:5).

The one hundred and forty-four thousand will have the name of the Lord and the Father written on their foreheads (Revelation 14:1, 4). We also overcome our enemies in the name of the Lord (Psalm 44:5).

When we come in the name of the Lord, we are blessed (Psalm 118:26). The Father keeps and protects us in His name, which He gave to Jesus (John 17:11-12).

Prayer:
Father God, if we are hated, ostracize and insulted for our stand for the name of Christ, we are also blessed, because Your Spirit and glory rest on us (Matthew 10:22, 24:9; Luke 6:22; 1 Peter 4:14). We rejoice when we realize that we are considered worthy to suffer for Your name (Acts 5:41).

Remind us to make disciples from all nations and to baptize them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). Help us to cast out demons and to heal the sick in Your name (Mark 9:38; Acts 3:6); and whatever we ask, for the sake of Your name, we know that You will do it (John 14:13-14).

Thought for the Day:
The Holy Spirit, our Helper, comes from the Father in Jesus’ name to teach us all things and bring them to our remembrance when we need them. – John 14:26

I GIVE UP

“I can’t!” and “I quit!” are two powerful statements. They denote a desire and decision to stop trying in our human efforts. They lead us to realize that we can, only in Christ (Philippians 4:13).

They help us to die to our self and to rise to walk in the new life, which God has planned for us (Mark 8:34-35; Ephesians 2:10). His peace in our spirit confirms His will, and His joy is our strength (Philippians 4:7; Psalm 28:7).

We are dead, and our life is now hidden with Christ in God. Christ is our whole life (Colossians 3:3-4). We empty our self of all of our plans, goals and dreams, and live according to God’s counsel (Ephesians 4:11).

God changed us from sinners to Saints, His adopted children who will inherit His Kingdom. All that is His, now belongs to us as well (1 John 3:2; Ephesians 1:5; Galatians 3:26). We are no longer strangers and aliens, but we belong in God’s family (Ephesians 2:19).

The Christian life involves much less striving than many Believers think. There is no need for us to use our humanity to accomplish anything in the Spirit (Ephesians 2:8-9).

We walk in the Spirit and exhibit His fruit in our character (Galatians 5:15-25). This enables us to trust in the Lord with every fiber of our being and not to depend on our human reasoning at all (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Jesus died for our salvation from sin and eternal death (John 3:16 -18). Offering our life to His service in our vocation and calling is our daily commitment to Him in return.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for validating our worth through Your presence in our life. You set us free to live, move and have our being in You (Acts 17:28). Your mercy and love granted us forgiveness while we were still sinners (Romans 8:5), so that we in turn can forgive our self and others who wrong us during our lifetime (Matthew 6:14).

Teach us to discern the difference between the carnal or satanic voices and Your voice in our mind; so You can lead us throughout our day. Remind us not to expect certain results when we obey Your promptings, because Your ways are so much higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Thought for the Day:
We do not allow success or problems to approve or negate God’s will for us, because we may not see the eternal plan, which God accomplished through us regardless of the results. – 1 Peter 4:12

Hearing from God

In my attempts to walk in the Spirit, God is using some unusual object lessons to teach me some valuable lessons. For instance, during a shopping trip, God impressed upon my spirit to check out the sales in the shoe department for pool shoes.

I already possessed a wondrous pair of Speedo pool shoes, so I spent the rest of my time in the store praising God for His abundant provision for me.

The next day, the very next day, my shoes were stolen at the pool. My Father God attempted to provide for me before I even realized my need. However, I chose to praise instead of to obey (1 Samuel 15:22).

The fine tuning of my spiritual ears made a giant leap that day. I ended up ordering a cheap pair of pool shoes online; however, for the following week, I had to wear my shower shoes to the pool.

The flip flop construction of the shower shoes rubbed a bruise on the bones between the toes of both of my feet. Even after the new pool shoes came in the mail, those bruises were a painful reminder to not only listen, but also to obey the leading of God’s Spirit.

Another morning I woke up and the Spirit told me to go out and fertilize my garden plants. I anticipated doing this the next time it rained, but I did not want to go outside before I was even fully awake.

I listened to Mother Nature murmurings outside as I rolled out from under my covers, and realized that it was already pouring rain outside. I wanted to snuggle back under my covers and snooze a while longer.

Remembering my bruised toes, I immediately slipped on my house dress and pool shoes, grabbed the bag of flower fertilizer and went outside.

The rain instantly gentled to a slow drizzle while I spread the nutrients around my three flower gardens. As I washed my hands in the kitchen sink after the chore, I enjoyed the beauty of one of the gardens outside of my window.

I also noticed that the drizzle changed back to a pouring rain – God’s perfect timing. I am so glad that this time I obeyed His Spirit immediately, or I would have resembled a drowned rat if I waited until I fully woke up to obey.

God graciously gave me that perfect window of time to nurture my plants. I see a pattern developing. God rewards all of my efforts to obey, as I learn to walk in His Spirit each moment of my day.

Prayer:
Father God, You are not really interested in pool shoes and flower gardens, but You certainly do care about my obedience to Your Spirit. You have a perfect work for me to do with my life (Ephesians 2:10). As I walk in Your Spirit, I will see the fruit of Your labors through my body, soul and spirit (Galatians 2:20, 5:15-25).

Thank You for caring so much for each individual part of Your Body (1 Corinthians 12:12). We would never have enough time to give You the praise You deserve, if it was not for the fact that we will live for eternity and worship with the angels around Your throne.

Thought for the Day:
To obey the Lord is much more important than making sacrifices for His glory.

– 1 Samuel 15:22

Our Benefits as a Christ Follower

Christianity does not make us superior to anyone else. It simply initiates our spiritual birth and brings fulfillment into our life.
As we mature, Christ becomes our whole life (Colossians 3:4).

We have confidence and security in Christ (Galatians 2:20). He abides within us and knows us better than we know our self (Colossians 1:27).

God may withhold from us some of the desires of our heart, because they are not in His plan for us at this time. As we trust and obey, He fills us entirely with His love, joy and peace, and we overflow with assurance and hope through His Spirit (Romans 15:13).

When we insist on our own way, God allows us to fail, in order to teach us to wait on Him and His will, rather than pursuing our own will for our life. God is working out His plan for us each moment of our day.

If we follow the direction of God’s Spirit for our day, our efficiency increases and our stress level decreases. He teaches us to cooperate with His Body in order to increase our productivity for His Kingdom (1 Corinthians 12:12-27).

God supplies all of our needs and leads us by His Spirit as we concede to His will (Proverbs 3:5-6). He gives us one day at a time to prevent us from worrying about the past and fearing the future.

At times, we may feel idle and useless, or that God is not speaking to us. However, these are the times of companionable silence, which God enjoys with His Saints.

Our Father God demonstrated His love for us by becoming man to pay the penalty of our sins (Romans 5:8). He finds pleasure in an intimate relationship with each of us. He quiets us with His love and rejoices over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17).

Prayer:
Father God, You consider us as Your friends, children, holy nation, royal priests, Your own possession and chosen people (John 15:13-17; 1 John 3:2; 1 Peter 2:9). You will not allow any tribulation or distress, life or death, angels or principalities, the present or future, or any created thing to separate us from Your love, which dwells in us through Christ Jesus, our Lord (Romans 8:35-39).

Help us not to fail one another, wound each other deeply or cause anyone to stumble and fall away from You. Teach us to love one another as You love each of us.

Thought for the Day:
Living in the center of God’s will is the happiest place on earth; our enjoyment is amplified and our sorrows diminished as we maintain an eternal focus, rather than a temporal one. – Isaiah 26:3