Ceasing from Futile Efforts

Much of what we do in this world is busyness. We get overly involved and double-booked in our schedule; yet make no time for play, worship and fellowship with family and friends.

We burn the candle at both ends until we burn out, making our self sick in the process. We have so many irons in the fire that we can barely keep everything straight even with a calendar and sticky notes.

We have so little of our self to put into each endeavor that they are all lacking to some degree or another. We constantly run from one plate to another to keep them all up in the air and spinning.

The rare person who learns the value and secret of entering God’s rest, ceases this striving in the flesh, follows the leading of God’s Spirit each moment of the day, and trusts in God’s overall plan for their life (Hebrews 4:7-10).

They are more interested in accomplishing the works which God preordained for them to do than in fulfilling their own goals and agendas (Ephesians 2:10).

They are not tempted by the world, the flesh or the devil to compete or to get ahead in this world. The trappings of life have lost their glitter and are no longer appealing.

They line up their desires with the purpose of God for their life. They love Him above all else and they hunger and thirst for the manifestation of His presence to fill their body, soul and spirit (Ephesians 3:18-19).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for Your law, which showed us the futility of attempting to reach fulfillment by human means and measures. We are so glad that Your law pointed us to Christ and His finished work on Calvary.

A life in Your presence is ours once we convert from a child of this world to Your child – forever free of the cares of this life and joyously cared for by You (John 3:16-18; Romans 3:19-25; 1 Peter 5:7). Thank You for using us to demonstrate Your righteousness to the world around us and draw us ever closer to Your rivers of living water within us.

Thought for the Day:
What time is there in life for rest, recreation, serenity and fulfillment amidst the turmoil of agitated rushing after useless pursuits in a state of disorder, the tyranny of cares and the mountain of depression rising within our soul?

Advertisements

Understanding the Trinity

People accuse Christians of having three Gods. They cannot conceive of the concept of three persons in one God. Yet, the Bible is very clear that we have one Body, one faith, one baptism and one God who is over all, through all and in all (Ephesians 4:4-6).

 

There are many examples to explain the Trinity. My favorite is to consider a man: he is a son, a father and a grandfather; yet, just one person with three functions.

 

Another is a basketball with the outer pig skin, the inner tube and the air within the ball giving it substance and form; one ball with three parts and functions.

 

Yet another idea is an apple with the skin, the flesh and the core; one apple with three distinct parts, serving three distinct functions.

 

A triangle has three equal sides, which together make one complete shape. To my understanding, the Trinity is just that simple.

 

The confusing part with the Trinity is when God calls Jesus His son; yet, Jesus makes it clear that He and the Father are one (John 10:30). He said that if those in His day saw Him, then they have also seen the Father (John 14:7-9).

 

He also said that He had to leave the earth so the Holy Spirit could come (John 16:7). Clearly, one God with three distinct functions. Understanding the Trinity is just that simple.

 

There are many diverse denominations of Believers, but we are all one Body in Christ with many parts (Romans 12:4; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27). God’s grace chooses us, claims us by faith, gives us hope for the future and sustains us throughout our whole life (Matthew 22:14; Jeremiah 29:11; 1 Peter 5:7).

 

Prayer:

Father God, regardless of the denomination in which we choose to worship, You fill every authentic Believer with Your Holy Spirit. He joins us as one Body, one church, one Bride and one faith just as You, Your Spirit and Your Son are one. We are all one in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

 

Thank You for sending us Your Spirit to comfort, guide and counsel us in Your Truth. We rely on His direction through every moment of every day. We are eternally grateful to Christ for His sacrificial offering in our place, and we bask in Your presence, which fills every fiber of our body, soul and spirit.

 

Thought for the Day:

Every authentic Believer is united with the Trinity who dwells within us; when someone as monumental as God moves in, there will be wondrous changes in our life.

 

True Wisdom

 

Most people dedicate their life to making this world a better place, but someone comes along right behind us and takes the credit or destroys our lifetime of accomplishments.

 

God has used many individuals to change our world, such us Richard Pearse’s airplane, Charles Babbage’s computer, Madam Curie’s radium, Alexander Fleming’s penicillin. Yet, we use their products without recalling their name or contribution.

 

The self-help gurus and life coaches in today’s society teach us that our real power comes from within our self. They tell us to trust our heart or our gut feeling. They promote intuition and self-reliance (Jeremiah 17:9).

 

They revel in all sorts of ungodliness and encourage others to do them as well (Romans 1:30-32). They set us up for failure, because apart from Jesus Christ we can accomplish little of any importance (2 Timothy 4:4; John 15:5).

 

We work diligently to inspire others; yet, we are just spinning our wheels. Apart from Christ in us we can do absolutely nothing that matters now or in eternity (Philippians 4:13).

 

Hopefully, as you sit in your quiet place, you will contemplate the presence of God in this world, realize your lack and cry out to Him for His salvation (Psalm 46:10).

 

Only when we come to Christ do we have true light and wisdom within us (Colossians 1:27; 1 Corinthians 2:14). With God in control of our life, we have the understanding and direction to accomplish His will for our life (James 1:5; Ephesians 2:10).

 

His Word lights our way in this dark and perverse world in which we live (Psalm 119:105). His presence gives us all that we need to live a Godly and fulfilling life on this earth (2 Peter 1:3).

 

Prayer:

Father God, teach us to prioritize our life according to Your principles and values (Ephesians 2:1-22). Humble us before it is too late for us, so that we can receive Your instruction and discretion rather than worldly gain (Proverbs 8:9-11, 17; Psalm 91:14; John 14:21; James 1:5).

 

True success in life comes only from pursuing You with our time and energy (Proverbs 3:16; 8:18, Psalm 119:1-2, 128:1-2; Matthew 6:33). Thank You for providing the opportunity for us to inherit Your Kingdom as co-heirs with Christ (Proverbs 8:21; Romans 8:17).

 

Thought for the Day:

God wants to give self-confident fools His true wisdom and truth along with an understanding heart. – Proverbs 8:5; Isaiah 32:6

 

We Never Die

Humanity searched for generations for the fountain of youth, so we could drink of it and never die. Reincarnation purports that we never die; we just continually come back to life in another form.

Our eternal destination depends on our choices while we live on this earth. The Bible proclaims the truth that we do not ever die. We leave earth to live either in heaven or hell for eternity (2 Corinthians 5:8; Matthew 25:46).

Every physical body will die and go to the grave, to be resurrected immortally at the coming of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:53-54). However, our soul and spirit never die, they live in the presence of Satan or God forever.

As an unbeliever, we die twice: once physically and the second death in hell for eternity (Revelation 20:14). The body and soul – the mind, will and emotions – of an unbeliever experience the unrelenting torment of a lake of fire (Luke 16:19-31).

Instead, as Believers we die to sin and the flesh now, and we live eternally in Christ. Our last breath on earth is followed by our next breath in heaven (2 Corinthians 5:8). Our immortal body, soul and spirit will enjoy Heaven forever.

God calls everyone to come to Christ for eternal life (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:4). Pride and rebellion prevent so many people from surrendering their life in total submission to God and His will for their life.

They believe the devil’s lie that this is our only chance at life and we must live it with gusto. They do not realize that God’s plan gives us blessings in this life, as well as an eternity filled with prosperity and hope (Jeremiah 29:11; Psalm 40:5).

Prayer:
Father God, there is no reason for anyone to choose an eternal existence in hell (John 3:18). You call us to give up sin, so that we do not earn the wages of sin, which is death both now and for eternity (Romans 3:23, 6:23). You give us reasons to choose eternal life instead.

Thank You for planning for this eternal life to start at the moment of our salvation (Romans 6:23). Help us to humble our self under Your mighty hand, so that we will never die; but enjoy Your abundant, immortal life forever (2 Timothy 1:2; James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:6).

Thought for the Day:
Jesus shared in our existence in flesh and blood; so that through His death, He could make Satan powerless over sin and death, and to forever free us from slavery to sin, fear and death. – Hebrews 2:14-15

God’s Fullness – His Love

God’s Fullness – His Love – Part 2

God has a rich storehouse of glory, which He provides to strengthen and protect us with His mighty power (Philippians 4:19). He does this in our soul and spirit, by the Holy Spirit and Christ who dwell in us.

God helps us to plant our roots firmly in His love by His dealings in our life. He teaches us to comprehend the firm foundation, which He gives us for our faith in the fullness of His love (2 Timothy 2:19).

The richness of God’s love is actually multi-dimensional. It is so grand that it has width, length, height and depth. He surrounds us in His love and allows us to experience its riches practically.

God’s love exceeds our human understanding and fills us through every part of our being with His whole Being (Ephesians 2:16-20, Amplified Bible). The more submitted we are to His Spirit, the more we feel God’s love cascading like a waterfall over our body, soul and spirit.

Our hope in God is never disappointed, and we never feel shame for our faith in His faithfulness, because He pours out His love into our heart and life (Romans 5:5).

As we wait for the manifestation of Christ, His mercy, His perseverance and endurance in our life, God’s love keeps us (Jude 1:21; 2 Thessalonians 3:5). God’s love is perfected in us as His Spirit enables us to keep His commandments (Philippians 2:12-13; 1 John 2:5).

The love of God empowers us with mercy and compassion for God’s Body and for the whole world around us (1 John 3:17). The steadfast love and faithfulness of the Lord never fail to watch over us (Psalm 61:7).

Prayer:
Father God, we miss out on the riches You already provided for us, because we are too busy with our own plans for our life to concern our self with Your will for us. Remind us that You created us for Your pleasure, not for our own (Ephesians 2:10).

Help us to experience the fullness of Your love, so that we can share it with the world around us, which is full of desperate people who are dying for a lack of Your presence in their life (Psalm 52:8).

Thought for the Day:
God proved His love for us by coming as a man and dying in our place; and there is nothing in this earthly world or in the spiritual world, which shall ever separate His Saints from His love. – Romans 8:31-39

Forgiveness and Boundaries

Human beings tend to suffer in silence. We fear rejection and criticism, so we internalize our thoughts and feelings rather than confiding in one another.

Inner voices, which do not line up with God’s Word, are lies from Satan Himself. The only way to dispel His lies is by speaking God’s truth (Philippians 4:8; 1 Timothy 4:1).
( http://www.theophostic.com )

Once we receive our forgiveness from God through repentance and faith in exchange for our sins, then God receives us as His own precious children (1 John 3:2).

We have Jesus’ example in order to forgive those who harm us. If they are repentant, we allow them back into our heart. If they refuse to repent, then we forgive them for our sake, but keep them at a distance.

Even though we forgive them, we do not condone their behavior toward us, and we certainly never allow them any opportunities to harm us again.

We derive our self-worth through Christ in us, rather than through our own achievements. This way our esteem does not depend upon people, circumstances or meeting our goals.

It depends on God’s faithfulness and the presence of Christ abiding within us. We are secure in who we are through Christ. We live the life to which He calls us (Ephesians 2:10).

This way too, we have no need to attempt to manipulate and control the behavior of others in order to make our self feel better, safer or more secure.

Prayer:
Father God, people do tend to maliciously use us, but You encourage us to love them with Your agape love and to forgive them and pray for them (Matthew 5:44). However, we can also be wise as snakes and gentle as doves in our dealings with them (Matthew 10:16).

We point them to Your love for them, but we never again allow them to take advantage of us or to use us for their evil gain. Their opinion of us does not matter anymore, because our identity and our good name come from You (Proverbs 22:1; Psalm 52:9).

Thought for the Day:
No one is more deceived than the person who will not admit that he or she is wrong; but we can forgive them anyway and erect boundaries to keep them from harming us again.

Temple of God – Symbolic

Many pieces of furniture in the Temple are wooden (our carnal nature) overladen with gold (God’s nature). The others are either pure gold or bronze – which denote the need for sanctification.

The Temple’s construction symbolically relates to our spirit, soul and body (1 Kings 8:10-11; 2 Chronicles 5:13-14). God fearfully and awesomely created us in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:4, 13).

The Holy of Holies denotes our spirit, and the Holy Place to our renewed life in Christ. The wooden supports to the hidden aspects of our human soul, the Inner Court to the acknowledge parts of our soul, and the Outer Court to our body.

Once our spirit is Born Again, the Spirit of God abides in our spirit, which is the Holy of Holies. We are in union with the Trinity in our spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17; Colossians 1:27; Galatians 2:20).

God turns our heart of hardened stone into a new heart of supple flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). God grants to our spirit His supernatural agape love, Godly wisdom and spiritual thought processes along with His power to do all that He calls us to do (Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 4:13).

God takes up residence in our spirit and makes us a new creation (John 14:23). The Trinity also works in our soul – our thoughts, will and feelings.

Our union life with God combines our spirit and soul with His Spirit and will. We no longer live isolated in this world, but are part of God’s family with His Spirit united with our spirit (Ephesians 2:19-22).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for allowing us to operate as Your dwelling place on this earth, so that You can affect the world around us by Your Holy Spirit. Teach us to live by Your Spirit, so that we do not hinder Your work by living by our fleshly, carnal, human understanding and desires.

We love how the Temple of Solomon is such an example of our life in the Spirit (Ephesians 2:21-22). Remind us to serve You in Your house within us (Revelation 1:6, 5:10). We have no need to rely on our self, because we can do all things through Christ who dwells within us (Philippians 4:13).

Thought for the Day:
We live a life filled within our spirit with God’s Spirit abiding in us, and we radiate His presence out to the world around us. – 1 Corinthians 3:16