Imperfection to Perfection

Have you ever noticed that we live in an imperfect world with imperfect people, circumstances, provision and relationships?

Jesus realized our frustration and gave us a solution. At salvation, He moves into our spirit. In Him we have peace, regardless of the trouble we encounter each day of our life (John 16:33).

Solomon even stated that we are tested by the praise, which we receive (Proverbs 27:21). Praise causes us to trust in our self, rather than in Christ; so turn human praise into praise for God instead.

Our human abilities are simply gifts from God, given to us to accomplish His will for our life (1 Corinthians 4:7). Pride distracts us from walking in God’s Spirit.

Life’s imperfections are distractions. They keep us in turmoil and steal our peace and joy. Yet, divine power and perfection from Christ in us enable us to do all things, which Christ calls us to do (Philippians 4:13).

Motivated by love for God, we confess our shortcomings and find compassion from God (John 14:15; Proverbs 28:13). We join those in the Hall of Faith as we obey God’s Spirit and His Word (Hebrews 11).

When that which is perfect comes, we are freed from this imperfect world (1 Corinthians 13:10). We press on for the prize of the high calling from Christ by depending on God’s Spirit who dwells within us (Philippians 3:12).

Prayer:
Father God, through our risen King Jesus, we have eternal hope in Your perfect promises. This gives us peace and assurance of ultimate victory over every trial (Romans 8:28). When we reap the benefits of living in service to You, our faith grows and we learn to trust You with our whole heart.

As we live a Godly example in this world for others to follow, they will see their need for repentance and faith in You as well. Remind us that every stranger is a potential friend and a potential member of Your family for eternity.

Thought for the Day:
We are encouraged in this imperfect world by the perfect promises of God concerning our eternal home in glory. – 2 Corinthians 4:17

The Name of the Lord – Our Refuge

Faith in Jesus’ name will strengthen us; and the faith which comes through Him, often gives us perfect health through Him; so that Jesus may be magnified (Acts 3:16, 4:10, 4:30, 19:17 James 5:14).

God justly remembers the work and love we show in His name as we minister to one another (Hebrews 6:10). We give thanks and praise to His name, and exalt His name as He delivers us (1 Chronicles 16:35; Nehemiah 9:5).

We praise His name as we assemble, and to the ends of the earth, and as we pay our vows forever and ever (Psalm 22:22, 30:4, 38:10; 61:8). Even the oppressed and needy praise and give thanks to His great, lovely, and awesome name (Psalm 74:21, 99:3, 106:47, 135:3).

His is the only name, which we exalt and worship (Psalm 148:13). We praise His name with dancing and with instruments because of all the good things He does for us (Ps 149:3; Jeremiah 33:9; Joel 2:26). The fruit of our lips continually gives thanks to and boasts in His name (Hebrews 13:15; Psalm 44:8).

God releases our soul from its prison here on earth, so that we may give thanks to His name (Psalm 142:7). Therefore, we exalt His name forever for His wonderful works, and His perfect plans, which He faithfully fulfills (Isaiah 12:4, 25:1).

Even in trials and persecution, we praise the name of the Lord (Ephesians 5:20; Psalm 74:21). Whatever we do in word and deed, we do it all in His name and for the glory of His name (Colossians 3:17).

Prayer:
Father God, all the earth will one day worship You with the glory, which is due to Your name (Psalm 66:4). There is no god like You, and we eagerly await the revelation of Your appearing, because You are the desire of our soul (Exodus 34:14; Isaiah 26:8). We love and take refuge in Your name and sing for joy because of Your shelter throughout our life (Psalm 5:11).

We cling to You and hold fast to Your promises and ways as we enjoy Your deliverance (Deuteronomy 10:20; Psalm 5:11, 9:10). Thank You for securely setting us high upon the Rock of Christ, because we experience the magnitude of Your name (Psalm 91:14).

Thought for the Day:
Due to God’s marvelous works, let us continually offer words of praise, even if it is a sacrifice for our soul to use our last ounce of strength to do it. – Hebrews 13:15

Admitting Faults

“I was wrong” is the hardest sentence in the English language to say. Due to perceived, as well as legitimate wounds in our past, we are afraid to admit that we have faults.

We think that we have to be perfect in order to be loved; and that we must earn the love, which we need, by making other people happy and proud of us.

We fear rejection so much that we will make excuses or lie to cover up our faults and mistakes. We wear masks so that people do not know who we really are.

If we admit that we did something inappropriate, we may fall into the black hole of condemnation and shame, which nips at our toes and plots ways to swallow us whole.

If we agree that we are wrong, we will topple over the edge of the dark abyss of shame, and we will be trapped, hopeless, useless and totally rejected forever.

In order to escape the bottomless pit of shame, we either do our best to become invisible, or fight tooth and nail to retain some semblance of order in our life, or hide behind a wall of pride and arrogance.

Bullies are motivated from their fear and insecurity. They surround themselves with controllable people who have qualities, which they feel they lack. When they hurt others, they feel powerful and in control of at least one part of their life.

Once we come to Christ for forgiveness, He exposes Satan’s lies and frees us from the evil task master of shame. Then we no longer experience the devil’s condemnation (Romans 8:1).

If we could be perfect, Christ would not have suffered that horrendous crucifixion. Through His sacrifice, we enter His rest and are able to breathe unhindered by stress, fear and insecurities.

If one person abandons us, or turns against us, we have a whole family of Believers who will love us for who we are, even with all of our faults, insecurities and over-reactions (Ephesians 4:32).

Prayer:
Father God, often another person’s wounds expose our wounds and weaknesses, and we fear rejection. Therefore, we walk away from them, before they get a chance to reject us. We dispose of them from our life, rather than working out our issues together.

Help us to look deeper, beneath the surface of a person’s words and actions, to see the real person, which they are hiding behind their false facade. Remind us to show mercy and grace to everyone, and not to reject someone just because they are wounded.

Thought for the Day:
Make allowances for one another’s faults and idiosyncrasies; so, that if someone offends you, you can forgive them time and time again, as you help to strength them to feel secure through God’s love within you. – Matthew 18:21-22; Colossians 3:13

God is Not Our Co-Pilot

When the phrase, “God is my co-pilot” first hit the scene, it caused us to focus our attention on God being a huge force in our life. The popularity of this phrase grew over the years.

It gave me comfort to think of God next to me, traversing the issues of my life and ready to back me up if necessary. However, something always bothered me when I heard this phrase.

God showed me that He wants more intimacy and control of our life than a co-pilot. He does not want to step in only during an emergency, which we find too challenging.

God wants to reign as Lord and King of our life. He is much better suited to Pilot our life than we could ever hope to be. He knows the end of our human lifespan from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10).

He saw us in our mother’s womb and knit our bones together with His special purpose in mind (Psalm 139:13). He has a unique plan to provide for each one of us.

For instance, God chose to leave out four of my permanent teeth. Then He proved His love for me by allowing those baby teeth to serve me for several decades into my adult life.

He has a perfect will for each life, including yours (Ephesians 2:10). As we totally surrender to His Spirit’s direction for every moment of our day, He guides us from one divine appointment to the next.

God uses us for His glory and blesses us in the process. We help to further His Kingdom on the earth and to contribute to the population of Heaven for eternity.

Complete capitulation to God’s Spirit is our best recourse in life. We never feel concern over the past, or fear of the future or stress in the moment, because we cast all of our worries on our Father God, who cares about us (1 Peter 5:7).

This helps us to lose our temporal mindset and to focus on the eternal instead. Satan’s temptations no longer appeal to us. We rise above the carnal cares of this life, because we trust God to supply all of our needs with His glorious riches (Philippians 4:19).

Prayer:
Father God, as we submit our life to you, there is no event, which will ever occur in our life, that is not already part of Your plan for us. We trust in Your loving kindness, because You have our best interest in Your heart. You weave the moments of our day into a perfect tapestry, which turns the focus away from us and puts it fully on You (Matthew 5:16).

We give You all of the praise and glory for the successes of our life, and we know that You will turn the ashes of our failures and suffering into a beautiful experience in Your time and way (Isaiah 61:3; Ecclesiastes 3:11).

Thought for the Day:
God wants complete control of every area of our life; and once we submit to His will, we find fulfillment, which is better than anything we could ever plan for our self.

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

Understanding Emotions

God gave us emotions to express our self and the mood we are experiencing at any given moment. They are an important part of our soul, which includes our intellect, emotions and choices. Each emotion has many variations of intensity and nuances of feeling, such as annoyed, angry and enraged. We often think that we are too vulnerable when we express our true feelings, so we hide behind masks, which help us to pretend.

We suppress our feelings in an attempt to be patient and to get along with people, trying not to nag or to complain. Once our patience runs out, however, this usually compounds the problem due to a rise in the intensity of our feelings. Prior to the point of frustration and anger, it helps if we will calmly express how someone’s negative behavior or words are affecting us and making us feel. No one is perfect, and we all have value and worth.

As we take frequent stock of our emotions, we get a clue as to how we are really doing in that moment of time. If we are not being treated properly, our emotions give us a clue that this abusive behavior is not acceptable. Our underlying thoughts fuel our behavior. We simply need to get alone and take the time to journal or to think, in order to get in touch with how we really feel at the core of our soul.

Sometimes, following the roadmap that emotions give us leads us back to the disturbing incidents in our past, which still affect us today. Then, once we understand the cause of our emotions, it is much easier to explain to others how we really feel. Their offensive behavior may be just a misunderstanding, or a lack of discernment or manners on the part of the other person. That is why relationships work out better if we express how we really feel before our soul hides behind a mask.

If the other person sees no problem with their words or behavior, or if they consistently disregard our needs, we can erect boundaries to protect our soul from their painful words and behavior. Putting distance between them and us, or changing our focus about how their actions, opinions or beliefs affect us, will ensure that our heart is not constantly bombarded by their insensitivity and callous behavior.

Prayer:
Father God, help us to choose our words carefully and to speak up when we are violated by another person’s words or actions. Help us to change our focus about their behavior, so that we can maintain the relationship without severing the unity between us. When the whole world misunderstands or criticizes us, You are holding out Your arms, ready to pour out Your love and grace on us in our time of need. We can unburden our heart to You, sharing with You our deepest feelings without any fear of censure or ridicule.

Thought for the Day:
We can pay attention the red flags that our negative emotions give us and use our words to express how we really feel before we let our emotions dictate our behavior.

Drawing Near to God

The world in which we live, and everyone in it, is held captive by sin. However, through faith in Jesus Christ we are given God’s promised salvation (Galatians 3:22-23). Now, with a sincere heart, we can draw near to God. Our mind, sprinkled by the blood of Christ, is cleansed from a guilty conscience and the pure water of God’s Word washes us clean (Hebrews 10:22).

We can only abide in God after we first seek Him and His Kingdom, and live in the truth that He lives in and through us. He will never, ever, for any reason leave us (Hebrews 13:5). As we wait on Him day by day, He grants us the grace to abide in Him. We rejoice in His fellowship and we work in His power. We completely give up our self to Him and live by faith in His faithfulness.

God allows trials to test our faith, which increases our perseverance through them (James 1:3). Thankfully, Jesus is both the developer and the perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Even the prophets of old knew that the righteous live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4: Romans 1:17). Since Jesus’ faith and Spirit abide within us, we multiply the works of Christ on this earth (John 14:12).

The core truths of God’s Word energize the authentic Christian and thrill our soul. First and foremost, we wait on the Lord, we live in His presence continually and we enter into His eternal rest on a daily basis. Once we completely surrender to Christ, God takes us up spiritually into His Holy Temple (2 Corinthians 5:1). We abide in His rest, and all of our work on earth is done only through Him.

Prayer:
Father God, even if other people refuse to believe in You, their unbelief does not make our faith in You worthless (Romans 3:3). Through the blood of Jesus, we become Your righteousness, and You wipe away our sins through Your love and forbearance (Romans 3:25). Help us not to grow weary or to lose faith in Your promises, but to remain strong in Christ’s faith in us, as we give You all of the glory (Romans 4:20).

Thought for the Day:
We are justified and reconciled to God by faith, not by our own good deeds. – Romans 3:28, 4:14; Ephesians 2:8-9