Take Courage

With persecution of Christians increasing in the world, including in the good ole USA which was founded on religious freedom, we have to remember that the main thing is still the main thing: God will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

Regardless of how many God haters rise into power, God is still in control of our individual lives. Our fears and anxiety will only add to the stress and ill health caused by their persecution.

If we learn to enter God’s rest now, while we still have our freedoms, it will enable us to better traverse the unknown treatment, loss and deprivation which we may face in the future.

God reminds us that we are actually blessed when we are persecuted for His sake. We take courage from the example set by lives such as Paul and the Old Testament prophets (Matthew 5:10-12).

We rejoice, because although we may face scarcity now, we are storing up rewards in heaven for eternity. This concept allows us to rejoice and continue to serve as the salt and light of the earth (Matthew 5:12-15).

God uses us to preserve the lives and to light the path of those around us and to lead them to Him. When they see His love, peace and joy in our life, regardless of circumstances, they too will honor our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us to take the focus off our self and to share Your love with those who are also suffering all around us. Remind us that the endurance of Christ fills our soul, because He abides within us. Any persecution is light and momentary when compared to the glory You prepared for us in Heaven.

As Your righteous ones, we live by faith and You preserve our soul, so there is no need for us to shrink back in fear but to continue to show Your love even to our persecutors (Hebrews 10:32-39).

Thought for the Day:
Regardless of those who are elected as our officials, how much power terrorists gain in the world or how many laws are passed against us expressing our faith with words, buildings, external crosses or religious trappings, nothing can separate us from the eternal rest and love of God dwelling within us. – Romans 8:35-39; Proverbs 21:1

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Intercessory Prayer

There is nothing as sweet as time alone (all-one) with God, a time of separation from the world and spiritual renewal, a time of grace, mercy and unity with both Christ within us and our Father on His throne. Jesus is our intercessor, constantly serving as our advocate with our Father. He suffered the torture and agony of the Cross to provide for our earthly liberation and our eternal glory (1 John 2:1).

The Holy Spirit also intercedes for us, often with utterances, which we do not understand (Romans 8:6). We are the temple of God’s Spirit, and He dwells within us and sanctifies us over the course of our lifetime (2 Corinthians 3:18). He slowly crucifies the old nature in us as we cooperate with Him, by starving the little fellow to death at the same time that we feed our spirit with spiritual food (Ephesians 4:24; Romans 6:6).

God’s Word is an infinite source of wisdom and practical advice, especially the Psalms and Proverbs. Reading them daily can improve the way we handle and react to life. God’s Word is a lamp and light for our life (Psalm 119:105). Praying God’s Word allows us to identify with the prophets and psalmists as they interceded for themselves and their world.

During our times of oneness with God, He gives us His heart for the world (John 3:16). When we feel the torment of others, we can join Christ in interceding for that person or people group. Intercessory prayer facilitates our unity with God. We identify with God’s heart and learn to despise what He disdains and embrace what He holds dear, as we spend time mediating for others through prayer.

Prayer:
Father God, You make us aware of the spiritual warfare, in which we engage with each prayer we breathe. By Your Spirit, we put to flight tens of thousands of demonic predators, which roam the earth, seeking people to oppress or possess (1 Peter 5:8; Mark 3:15). The more intimate our unity with You, the more authority You give us over the demonic forces we battle through intercessory prayer.

Thought for the Day:
The pain of those we pray for becomes so real to us that it is almost as if we are pleading for our self as we pray for others.

God’s Truth or Satan’s Consequences

There is no mystery in life for the Born Again Believer. The Spirit will prompt us each moment as we ask for His direction, wisdom, insight and inspiration in every task we face. The Bible teaches us about nine fruit, which the Holy Spirit gives to us as He chooses (Galatians 5:22-23). He also gives us gifts for the benefit of God’s Body (1 Corinthians 12:7, 31; 14:1,39).

The Spirit also protects us from the devil, who roams the earth seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Satan comes as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14) to deceive us and to sidetrack us from experiencing God’s Truth. His counterfeit tactics will give us the impression that what we are experiencing is from God, when it is actually drawing us away from God.

One way to detect whether an experience is from God is if it brings peace or confusion. Satan is the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). If you hunger after more of God, then you are safe. If you want more of a person or a certain experience, then it is Satanic. If your experience does not align with God’s Word or if you feel a red flag in your spirit, don’t walk away…run!

God inspires us to go deeper into His Word while Satan encourages us to spend more time on our self and to neglect God’s Word, our family and our church family. As we sit in God’s presence and walk in His Will, then His Spirit empowers us to do the works, which God chose for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). As we pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), we commune with God throughout the day.

Prayer:
Father God, give us discernment by Your Spirit to know when something is of You or Satan’s counterfeit. In these last days, he wants to draw away as many people from You as he can. He is sending false prophets into the world to preach a false doctrine and to cause people to focus on their self instead of on You. Help us to relinquish everything in our life, which hinders us from growing in our relationship with You. Remind us to walk in Your truth each moment of the day, so that we do not reap the consequences of an evil life.

Thought for the Day:
Doing things God’s way is much more productive than doing them to the best of our human ability.