Fall on the Rock

Do you ever feel like a meteor fell out of the sky and landed right on top of you? Is there trouble at every turn and nothing ever works out as it is supposed to happen?

Jesus advises us to fall on the Rock, before the Rock has to fall on us (Matthew 21:44). This insinuates that we can prevent certain negative events from occurring if we trust in Christ alone.

In the center of God’s will nothing will actually harm us and anything that rises up against us will not stand or prosper (Romans 8:31; Psalm 118:6). Outside of the will of God, Satan can attack us or cause us unpleasant experiences without God’s protection.

When we step outside of God’s will, He usually disciplines us in order to return us to the straight and narrow road of His choosing for our life. He does not discipline to harm us, but to keep us safe and to bless us.

As vigilant parents, we attempt to keep our children out of harm’s way and walking in safety, security and blessings. God disciplines us for the same reasons – for our good and to give us a life of peace and joy.

He is not vindictive or harassing us or seeking to punish us, but is focused on our protection and rewards. As the Bible repeatedly illustrates to us, God never, ever sends judgment without first giving a warning.

If we obey right away, we avoid the need for discipline or reaping the negative results of what we sow. We do not sow to the wind and reap the whirlwind, but the calm surroundings of green pastures and still waters (Hosea 8:7; Psalm 23:1-2).

God always restores our soul to equilibrium after the world attempts to inflict us with trials and troubles (Psalm 23:3). He showers us with new mercies with each new dawn (Lamentations 3:22-23). Sorrow is fleeting, and joy always comes with the morning (Psalm 30:5).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that if we insist on living life our own way, You will have no alternative but to reprimand us and allow us to reap the natural consequences of our disobedience. Only in the center of Your will do we find true joy and peace. Keep our feet from wandering off the straight and narrow road, which You prepared for us (Matthew 7:13-14).

Help us to totally surrender to You rather than to insist on living life our own way. Remind us that You have a perfect will for every member of Your Body, so that we will function together perfectly as we further Your Kingdom on the earth. Draw us ever closer to You and allow us to reap the fruit of our labors.

Thought for the Day:
God anoints our head with His peace and our cup overflows with abundance as He lavishness us with plentiful provision in the midst of our enemies. – Psalm 23:5

Fall on the Rock

Do you ever feel like a meteor fell out of the sky and landed right on top of you? Is there trouble at every turn and nothing ever works out as it is supposed to happen?

Jesus advises us to fall on the Rock, before the Rock has to fall on us (Matthew 21:44). This insinuates that we can prevent certain negative events from occurring if we trust in Christ alone.

In the center of God’s will nothing will actually harm us and anything that rises up against us will not stand or prosper (Romans 8:31; Psalm 118:6). Outside of the will of God, Satan can attack us or cause us unpleasant experiences without God’s protection.

When we step outside of God’s will, He usually disciplines us in order to return us to the straight and narrow road of His choosing for our life. He does not discipline to harm us, but to keep us safe and to bless us.

As vigilant parents, we attempt to keep our children out of harm’s way and walking in safety, security and blessings. God disciplines us for the same reasons – for our good and to give us a life of peace and joy.

He is not vindictive or harassing us or seeking to punish us, but is focused on our protection and rewards. As the Bible repeatedly illustrates to us, God never, ever sends judgment without first giving a warning.

If we obey right away, we avoid the need for discipline or reaping the negative results of what we sow. We do not sow to the wind and reap the whirlwind, but the calm surroundings of green pastures and still waters (Hosea 8:7; Psalm 23:1-2).

God always restores our soul to equilibrium after the world attempts to inflict us with trials and troubles (Psalm 23:3). He showers us with new mercies with each new dawn (Lamentations 3:22-23). Sorrow is fleeting, and joy always comes with the morning (Psalm 30:5).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that if we insist on living life our own way, You will have no alternative but to reprimand us and allow us to reap the natural consequences of our disobedience. Only in the center of Your will do we find true joy and peace. Keep our feet from wandering off the straight and narrow road, which You prepared for us (Matthew 7:13-14).

Help us to totally surrender to You rather than to insist on living life our own way. Remind us that You have a perfect will for every member of Your Body, so that we will function together perfectly as we further Your Kingdom on the earth. Draw us ever closer to You and allow us to reap the fruit of our labors.

Thought for the Day:
God anoints our head with His peace and our cup overflows with abundance as He lavishness us with plentiful provision in the midst of our enemies. – Psalm 23:5

Rest in the Lord

We are driven in today’s society to have, to achieve, to acquire and to work toward prizes, which turn out to be nothing more than an empty box or trivial pursuits that never satisfy us.

Yet, for some reason, we continue to seek after that illusive prize that will make us truly happy and fulfilled. We look for the mate that will complete us, and the vocation, house and car which will give us status.

We buy a bigger television, more electronic toys, more lights to hang for Christmas than our neighbor did last year; and yet, they leave us flat-lining and they put our soul in the “hospital”.

Our soul continually cries out for rest, peace and lasting joy and fulfillment. We do not really want to respond to the drive to earn more in order to buy more; but we cannot seem to help our self.

Like the Israelites, our disobedience and prideful, rebellious heart prevent us from entering God’s rest (Hebrews 3:11). We live our whole life and fall short of entering His rest (Hebrews 4:1).

God gives us a clue during His days of creation by resting on the seventh day after six full nights and days of speaking the cosmos into existence. He calls us to join Him in that rest, so that He can restore our soul (Psalm 23:2-3).

If we respond, we will enjoy true riches for the rest of our life, because we will prosper even as our soul prospers (3 John 1:2). As we believe God, we receive all that He provides for us, and we have the faith to enter into His promised rest.

Prayer:
Father God, help us to cease from striving to enter your rest through the power of our flesh in a futile exercise to attain holiness (Romans 7-8; Galatians 3:1-3). Remind us to enter Your rest and to allow Your Spirit to work in us to attain that Godly life You offer (Romans 8:10-17).

Through Your Word, we clearly see that as we abide in You, and allow Your Spirit to do His transforming work in our nature and character, we will see Your fruitfulness in our life (John 15:1-14; Galatians 5:22-23). Give us the faith of Your dear Son, Jesus, to enter into Your rest now and forever (Hebrews 4:2; Genesis 2:2)

Thought for the Day:
Once we finally recognize our insufficiency to accomplish the works in our own strength, which God pre-ordained for us to do, we surrender our life in whole-hearted obedience to Christ and enter into His rest. – Ephesians 2:10: Hebrews 4:1-10

Exacting Revenge

Revenge is sweet, or so they say. We plot and plan our next encounter and how we will get the jump on our enemy’s rude and spiteful behavior.

We set up a cycle of events in order to position our self to put our enemies in their place and to hurt them before they can hurt us. We despise them more with each breath we take.

Yet, revenge leaves us feeling empty. As Believers we even regret our display of ungodly behavior. Our vindictive and vengeful thoughts and actions take a toll on our spirit, and grieve the Holy Spirit within us (Ephesians 4:30).

It seems impossible to love our enemies. They taunt us, thwart us and stab us in the back every chance they get. We are willing to struggle with the concept of not hating them; but loving them is going a bit too far.

There is good news. We do not need to feel emotional affection to love our enemies, just a heart, which is surrendered to Christ.

When we love Christ more than we love our self, we can love our enemies with His Agape love. We grow to desire that our enemies will prosper and to experience the love of God, which we enjoy.

We can minister to our enemy’s physical, emotional, spiritual, financial and mental needs when God prompts us. He shows us opportunities to share His love with them.

God’s Word, which richly fills our soul, helps us to have meekness in order to walk away from the temptation to inflict revenge on our enemies (James 1:21).

God walks with us and in us through the dark night of our soul (Psalm 139:17-18). He rewards our faithfulness to walk in His truth. He roots us in His love and builds us up in His presence.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that vengeance is Yours and You will repay our enemies for their treatment of us. Help us to kill our enemies with kindness, pricking their conscience with our loving behavior toward them (Romans 12:20).

Soften their heart toward us. Show us the root of their feelings, which cause them to despise us. Use us to help them to heal from their wounds which cause them to bully us and others.

Cause their reasons for attacking us to diminish; and if nothing else, make them just walk away and leave us alone. In all things, help us to prosper even as our soul prosper when we follow Your will for our life (3 John 1:2).

Thoughts for the Day:
God establishes our faith in His faithfulness; and we abound in our gratitude to Him. – Colossians 2:6-7

The Impotence of God

Many who do not know the Lord, will say that God is impotent and that there is no help in Him; that He causes bad things to happen to us and our loved ones without compassion or concern over the devastation caused by these trials and afflictions (Psalm 3:2).

God created Paradise and wanted us to live there. He only gave Adam and Eve one directive or restriction. They chose to listen to Satan and we all now bear the curse from their choice.

Satan delights in ensnaring the lives of every human ever born on earth. He offers them delights of the flesh; and makes sure they reap its destruction (Romans 1: 32, 6:23; Proverbs 11:19).

The devil’s plants his lies in our mind, and encourages us to falsely accuse God, to turn His glory into shame, to turn away from Him and to seek the false gods of pleasure, money, fame, success and power instead (Psalm 4:2).

God knew this would happen and provided the ultimate sacrifice for our sin. He became a man, Emmanuel, and paid our sin debt for us. Yet, many still refuse to put their trust in Him and they continue to reap sin’s curse (John 3:18).

Authentic Believers realize that there is no reason to fear anything in life (Psalm 3:6). If we are walking in His Spirit, nothing will ever happen to us, which is not already part of His plan for us.

Evil, hardship and loss come from the god of this world, the devil. God will save anyone who surrenders their life to Him. When we are surrounded by evil all around us, with no way of escape; God is right there waiting for us (Psalm 3:6).

We can enjoy a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. We know without a doubt that God’s shield protects us. When we are drowning in life’s circumstances, He lifts our head high above the waves of adversity (Psalm 3:3).

Prayer:
Father God, You call us to live a holy life and to trust in You. When people around us scoff at us for trusting in You, let us stand strong in our faith in Your faithfulness. Let them see Your goodness in Your provision and care for us.

Let Your light shine on us and let everything prosper, which we do according to Your will. Fill our hearts with Your peace and joy and allow us to enjoy deep and restful sleep. Keep us safe for the glory of Your name (Psalm 4:5-8).

Thought for the Day:
God calls us not to sin (Psalm 4:4), to trust in His goodness and love, and to stand still and see the salvation of our God. – Exodus 14:13

Experiencing God’s Presence

There is no place on earth more fulfilling than living in God’s presence. He reveals to us the path of life, fills us with His joy and gives us pleasures, which last for an eternity (Psalm 16:11).

His presence abides in us and He gives us His rest (Exodus 33:14). We continually commune with Him through prayer (Psalm 145:18-19). When we draw near to Him, He comes closer to us (James 4:8).

At times, we do not sense His presence, but He is always near to us, living within us (Genesis 28:16). We find Him if we take the time to seek Him with our whole heart and soul (Deuteronomy 4:29).

Regardless of our behavior, His graciousness, compassion, attention, mercy and love accompany the presence of God in our life; although our sins will break His heart and grieve His Spirit (2 Kings 13:23; 1 Thessalonians 5:19).

Brokenhearted people find soothing comfort in God’s presence; and, in our humility, He will save us from every one of our afflictions (Psalm 34:18-19).

God’s goodness is magnanimous to those who submit to Him. Words fail to describe what He has planned for those who trust Him (Psalm 31:19-20).

As our refuge and strength, God keeps us safe from every enemy, from strife and from gossips (Psalm 46:1). His plans are not evil, and He intends for us to prosper in Him (Jeremiah 29:11).

Prayer:
Father God, create a clean heart in us, and help us to refresh our commitment to You. We thank You for not casting us away from Your presence or removing Your Spirit from within us when we fall into sin (Psalm 51:10-11).

We come into Your presence with gratitude for all that You do for us, and we shout joyfully in praises to You. You are our great King, our Savior and God (Psalm 95:2-3).

Thought for the Day:
We joyfully serve the Lord and dwell in His presence with a continual song in our heart and on our lips. – Psalm 100:2

Words Matter – Part 1

The reservoir of a good heart produces encouraging words. The abundance of an evil heart generates evil results (Luke 6:45). Our words are the product of how we think, what we feel and our beliefs (Matthew 12:33-35).

Rash or too much talk can lead to sin (Proverbs 13:3); therefore, it is sensible to keep a guard over our words (Proverbs 10:19). To bridle our tongue is a talent that only the perfect person masters, but it would help us to control our whole body (James 3:1-2).

Lies and negative thoughts are like a skein of matted thread, so tangled that they are impossible to unravel. They weave confusion and cause us to miss God’s best for us.

When we believe Satan’s lies, complain or focus on the negative aspects of life, we miss the hand of God bringing blessings from the midst of all our trials (Romans 8:28).

Disparaging thoughts come from a troubled heart and never help us to prosper. They lead to negative words and actions, which cause trouble in so many ways (Proverbs 17:20).

Before we speak, a good rule is to pray first in order to speak the words, which God gives us to say and which will bring glory to Him (1 Peter 4:11). Wholesome, positive, uplifting words.

This is hard to do, especially in any moment of controversy. We are either exonerated or ruined by what we say and do (Matthew 12:37). Praying first gives us the needed boundaries.

Our thoughts affect our beliefs, our emotions and our attitude. We reap the consequences of our words, and they affect our relationships and even our health (Proverbs 8:21).

Therefore, we reap a blessing if we choose to think only about those things, which are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable (Philippians 4:8).

Prayer:
Father God, help us to submit to Your Spirit as You transform our mind, so that we may prove what Your good, acceptable and perfect will is for our life (Romans 12:2). Only a fool keeps on talking (Ecclesiastes 5:3), and an evil man is trapped by his sinful talk. Help us to live a righteous life in our thoughts, words and deed, so that we may escape trouble (Proverbs 12:13).

Thought for the Day:
Let us conduct ourselves in a manner that is worthy of the gospel of Christ, and to live with each other in one mind and spirit rather than in arguing. – Philippians 1:27

The Cost of Compassion

Consideration for others is a lost art today. We are too busy to care too deeply for anyone, not even for our self. We streak through life fast enough to repel anyone, which we think will weigh us down.

One group of people are so focused on themselves that they have no time for anyone else. They plan their day, follow their agenda and fall asleep at night with little interaction with the people who love them.

There are video games, overtime at work, television series, sports, hobbies and extra-curricular activities, which keep us so occupied that we take everyone else in our life for granted.

Another group of people are so wounded from their past, that they have little emotional energy to expend on anyone else. The cost of showing compassion is too high, and they are emotionally bankrupt.

When we see a need, which God directs us to meet, yet we walk away, the love of God does not dwell in us (1 John 3:16-17). We are unwilling to pay the cost of compassion.

We have another purpose for our time and money and do not want to share with anyone else. Sadly, our joy from our own plans will quickly fade; and since we are out of the will of God, we cannot prosper.

Jesus gave us the example of the Good Samaritan and the father of the Prodigal Son to teach us to care about other people and to give them a second chance (Luke 10:25-37, 15:11-32).

As we walk in the Spirit, we will give away more and more of our self, and we will receive more of God in return (Luke 6:38). God is love, and the more love we share, the richer we enjoy God’s presence in our life (1 John 4:8).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that negative emotions within our soul come from the wounds in our past, placed there by the devil. They will prevent us from showing Your love and compassion to others (Ephesians 4:26-27). Help us to seek Your truth about every satanic lie, which births these destructive feelings within us ( http://www.theophostic.com ). Once we are free from this woundedness, we are also free to receive the fruit of Your Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

Remind us that whether we are preoccupied with pain from the past or our current self-centered pursuits, obedience to You is the only way we can reap Your rich rewards. When we empathize with the pain and rejoice in the joy of others, and share Your kindness and mercy with our self and them, we will truly and eternally prosper (Romans 12:15; Luke 6:35-36).

Thought for the Day:
If we say we love God, yet hate someone else, then we are a liar and do not know God; yet, if we are truly in love with God, we will love His children too. – 1 John 4:20-21

We Can Trust in Our God

We trust in the Lord and live righteously, because His faithfulness sustains us. Our delight is found in the Lord, and He puts His desires in our heart. When we commit our life to His service, He brings His will for our life to full fruition. We prosper in all of our ways and we do not have to worry about evil people irrevocably harming us (Psalm 37:3-5, 7).

God arms us with His anointing and power and works out everything in our life according to His perfect plan for us (Psalm 18:32; Ephesians 2:10). The Lord gives us a portion of His inheritance and our cup is full and runs over. He holds our destiny in His hands and He gives us a generous inheritance. He puts a perimeter around our life that provides us with a pleasant life (Psalm 16:5-6).

The Lord blesses us and keeps us safe and baths us in His victory. He shines His face on us and is gracious to us in every way. He observes us throughout our life and gives us peaceful paths to walk on (Numbers 6:24-26). He is the Lord of all mankind, and nothing is too difficult for Him (Jeremiah 32:27).

Our soul silently waits patiently for God alone, because all of our hope comes from Him. He is the only rock of our salvation and our safe refuge from a world, which often frightens us. He is our strong fortress and refuge, and He keeps us from getting shaken by the adversity in our world. He gives us glorious salvation and listens as we pour out our heart to Him (Psalm 62:5-8).

Prayer:
Father God, You dwell in heaven; yet You are great and awesome in everything You do for us. You keep a loyal covenant of love with those who love You and obey Your commandments. Your ear is continually attentive to our prayers and You watch over us. You hear the prayers of Your servants when we cry out to You both day and night. We confess our sins to You and You are always faithful and just to forgive us (Nehemiah 1:5-6; 1 John 1:9)

Thought for the Day:
We sing praises to the Lord, because He deals bountifully with us.
– Psalm 13:5-6

Build Up Your Faith

Our soul is the battleground where Satan tries to trick us into believing His lies. The appetites and desires of our body influence the thoughts, choices and emotions of our soul. The Bible calls our soul our inner man or hidden man. The sanctification process of holiness and perfection takes place in our soul. God’s Spirit sanctifies our thoughts, choices and emotions, and God’s peace gives our soul rest (Psalm 62:5).

In this world, we suffer all types of tribulation in our body and soul. God uses suffering to test our faith, which is worth more than gold. He refines our faith by the fires of trials, because He proves Himself worthy of our faith through each one we experience. He works out all the issues of our trials for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28). This life is filled with praise, glory and honor when Jesus returns for His Bride (1 Peter 1:6-7).

Whatever is within our heart will come out of our soul through suffering, whether good or evil (Matthew 12:34-35). God uses the fire of these trials to perfect us and to build up our faith. God enables us to live by faith in His faithfulness through every negative incident life drags us through. God strengthens our heart and our faith by the trials we overcome through Christ who dwells within us (Romans 12:3).

At times, the trials we experience seems to go on and on forever. However, in the grand scheme of things, they flee like a vapor of breath on a cold morning (1 Peter 5:10; James 4:14). God sees to it that we come out of this wilderness of testing more mature and complete in Christ within us (James 1:4; Colossians 2:10). Our soul is refined and brings forth only good treasure (Matthew 12:35).

Jesus recommended that we speak to the mountain of trials in our life and command them into the sea. We not only talk to our Father about our issues, but we also speak to the issues and command them to resolve in Jesus’ name and by the power of His blood. The words of our mouth bring forth death or life into our world (Proverbs 18:21). When we keep our speech wholesome and pure, we prosper (Philippians 4:8).

Prayer:
Father God, when our words are positive and full of faith in Your faithfulness, then we can flourish in this life, regardless of our trials. We can even speak to demons and they will obey us by Your Spirit and Your Word. However, when the demons flee and the negative circumstances change, we need to build up our most holy faith (Jude 1:20); otherwise, the demons and negative thoughts will return much more deceptively and powerfully than before we commanded them to go in Jesus’ name (Matthew 12:43-45).

Thought for the Day:
Seek the Lord, and His strength, seek His face forevermore; and those same demonic thoughts and desires will never return again. – 1 Chronicles 16:11