Manifestation of God

Most of humanity does not know Jesus as the Christ, nor do they care at all about Godly principles. Hypocrisy in the lives of so called Christians exacerbates this problem.

 

If unbelievers see no distinction in their daily walk with that of a professing Believer, this disillusions them. They want nothing to do with Christ or with us.

 

We have a problem with our connection to the Vine (John 15:5). We may even have a false hope of Heaven, because we never truly repented or made Jesus the Lord of our life.

 

If, however, we are grafted into the Vine, their reason for rejecting His truth may be that we are hiding His light within us and they cannot see it (Matthew 5:15-16).

 

Once we surrender our identity over to the Ruler of the universe, God makes a huge difference in our habits, language, personality and interests.

 

When we fully submit to God for Him to use as He pleases (Isaiah 29:16), our life takes on the character of Christ. This is when people see us as authentic Christians. We are a manifestation of God on the earth.

 

We have God’s peace in trouble, His perseverance in trials, His love for our persecutors and His joy during periods of grief.

 

They see us exhibiting patience in trying times, using self-control when others give in to debauchery, displaying meekness rather than having a haughty attitude, relating to others with kindness and basing our life and decisions on faith in our faithful God.

 

We lay down our preferences and care about the needs of others over our own agenda, without compromising who we are in Christ.

 

Others see truth and reality in our lives. We are capable of this behavior, not because we are exemplary human beings, but because of God’s Holy Spirit within us (Galatians 5:16:25).

 

This is when other people want for themselves what we have within us.

 

Prayer:

Father God, Jesus prayed that no one would snatch us out of Your hand. You are greater than all, and we are perfectly safe in Your everlasting arms (John 10:28-29). Fill us completely full of Your Spirit and keep us as the apple of Your eye (Ephesians 3:16-19; Psalm 17:8).

 

Draw us close to You and never let us go. Your unfailing love is our priceless treasure and we run to the refuge of the shadow of Your wings (Psalm 36:7). When we draw near to You, and resist Satan’s efforts to sidetrack us, he has to flee from Your presence within us.

 

Thought for the Day:

The Holy Spirit is our source of power; and we can ask Him to manifest Himself in and through us all the days of our life; so that others see Christ in us.

 

 

 

The Call of Nature

In our world of higher education, instant information networks and self-reliance, the message of the Gospel of Christ makes no sense at all to most people.

 

The paradoxes and spiritual content of the Bible serve as a stumbling stone to those too proud to accept the self-effacing offer of salvation through Jesus Christ.

 

However, once we humble our self under the mighty hand of God, we immediately recognize that Jesus completely submitted to death on Calvary’s Cross to bring freeing redemption to us all.

 

We also surrender to the call of God to sacrifice our life for Him in return. The surrendered life is not one of defeat, but of relinquishing control. This means that we stop resisting the love of God and accept His courtship.

 

We acknowledge His substitution in paying the penalty of our sins and yield to His Lordship over our life. We recognize the superiority of God’s plan for our life over our own goals and ambitions.

 

We consult Him about all of our decisions and submit to His direction of our steps (Proverbs 3:5-6). We live in the reality of His presence now and look forward to the hope of His glory to come (Colossians 1:27).

 

Many people waste so much of their life running from God’s beauty and bounty. They live in rebellion to the call, which even nature makes for us to surrender to its Creator (Romans 1:20).

 

God never invades our life, but always waits to be invited. The beauty of the surrendered life is that we die to the carnal flesh and hide our life with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). We cease from our own labors and enter into God’s rest (Hebrews 10:4).

 

Prayer:

Father God, once we completely understand Your love for us, we go beyond obedience and also surrender our life entirely to You. Then, we learn what it means to truly live in abundant freedom and victory (Romans 6:16-18; Mark 8:35).

 

We no longer internalize the pain that life deals out to us, because we are hidden with Christ in You. Regardless of trials and anguish we may experience, we walk in spiritual serenity which elevates us emotionally, spiritually, mentally, physically and behaviorally. We find our constant joy in You as patience does her perfecting work in us (James 1:4).
Thought for the Day:

We enter a life hidden with Christ in God, which we formerly believed to be one of servitude, only to discover that it is actually a liberating union as a King’s kid. – Colossians 3:3-4

 

 

Freedom from Anxiety

Anxiety robs us of our peace and joy, spawns other negative emotions and adversely affects our physical health. It is a “killer”. God has a tip for us to use to receive freedom from anxiety.

 

He advises us not to allow anxiety to enter our soul on any level (Philippians 4:6). He shows us the futility of worry by pointing out that anxiety cannot change anything anyway (Matthew 6:27). Then He tells us a secret.

 

We can avoid these debilitating, negative emotions. The first step is to continually rejoice in the love of the Lord and to realize that He has His best in store for us regardless of our circumstances (Philippians 4:4).

 

When we realize that the Lord is near to us, even dwelling in our spirit within, we walk in gentleness and peace (Philippians 4:5). We lift up every concern to God in prayer.

 

In faith, we thank God for dealing with the issue before we ever see the first sign of evidence that He cares about our immediate problem. We lay out our burdens and leave them in His capable hands (1 Peter 5:7).

 

He gives us the wisdom to know how to deal with the issues our self, or the courage to leave them for Him to resolve in His way and time. He may just give us grace instead of resolution, the way He did Saul’s thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthian 12:9).

 

When we compare our distress with the weightier matters of life, or the reality of eternity, we may see our anxiety evaporate before our eyes. The magnitude of eternity’s reality erases most concerns from our troubled soul (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).

 

God provides for the birds and flowers of the field; and He cares about us so much more, because we are made in His image. As we make His Kingdom our priority, He works out everything else for our good (Matthew 6:25-34; Romans 8:28).

 

Prayer:

Father God, draw us close to You and never let us go. Remind us of Your saving grace throughout our lifetime and build up our faith with this continual evidence of Your goodness and provision for us. Flood our soul with a waterfall of Your love and allow it to vanquish our fears (1 John 4:18).

 

The fruit of Your Spirit replaces our carnal nature and we find it easier to walk in Your Spirit and to trust in Your goodness rather than to fear the future. Remind us to ignore Satan’s lies and our negative self-talk, which pull us away from faith in Your faithfulness. Thank You for giving us Your freedom from anxiety concerning the temporal issues of this life.

 

Thought for the Day:

Consumed with worry, we cannot enter and remain in God’s rest; yet, if we walk in the center of God’s will, we abide in the happiest place on earth. – Hebrews 4:10-11

 

The Divine Life of Christ in Us

Christ lives in us, and we are united with Him, just as He is one with our Father (John 14:20). We are joined to and united with God’s Spirit, as a branch to a vine (1 Corinthians 6:17; John 15:4-5).

 

We are free from the law of sin and death, by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2). Daily, we live as a witness to others of the love and nurture of the eternal, triune Godhead living within us (Romans 8:4).

 

Sin no longer has power over us, because of God’s grace ruling in our heart (Romans 6:14). Since the Son of God set us free, we are absolutely free to live a life of holiness (John 8:36; Romans 6:18).

 

His divine power enables us to excel in our vocation, spiritual calling and family relationships through His divine life within us (Colossians 1:27). The fruit of His Spirit replaces our carnality (Galatians 5:15-25)

 

God’s Spirit also enables us to have the courage to boldly share the gospel with everyone we meet. Not in a preachy or condemning manner, but in the spirit of love and peace with the words He gives us (Ephesians 6:19).

 

Jesus delivers us from our sinful nature, which used to serve sin; and He gives us a mind, which is now a slave to God’s nature, principles and Kingdom (Romans 7:25).

 

As slaves of God, we are set free from the slavery to sin in order to reap the blessings of holiness and eternal life (Romans 6:22). We belong to Christ, who was raised from the dead, so that we will bear fruit for God’s Kingdom (Romans 7:4).

 

We pray through any rocky stretches of road by the direction of God’s Spirit and we petition Him to meet our needs and for the needs of all of His Saints (Ephesians 6:18).

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to actually see the reality of the fact that we do not need to sin; because the spirit of life in Christ sets us free from the law of the spirit of sin and death (Romans 8:2). When Christ sets us free, we are truly free (John 8:36). We bask in Your presence and praise You for including us in Your eternal plans.

 

Thank You that we are no longer strangers and pilgrims in this world, but part of Your universal family. We are fellow citizens of the Kingdom of God and Saints in Your holy presence. Our love for Your Body is very important, because You prepared us for a holy dwelling place for Your Spirit. Jesus is our chief cornerstone and You are building us into Your eternal dwelling place (Ephesians 2:19-22).

 

Thought for the Day:

God gave us Christ as our redemption, not so we can sit back and continue living a life of sin with the false hope of escaping eternal judgment, but so that we can enjoy an intimate union with Him filled with all of His glory and the greatest measure of His spiritual presence. – Ephesians 3:16-19

 

Dreaming Dreams

God used dreams throughout the Biblical accounts of His interaction with mankind (Job 33:15-16; Acts 2:17). He spoke through dreams to Kings, prophets and Saints of old (Genesis 15:12, 17-18; 28:12, 37:5, 46:2; Daniel 7:1-9; 1 Kings 3:5).

He also used dreams with New Testament characters such as to calm Joseph’s fears about marrying Mary and to save Jesus from sure death (Matthew 1:20-21; 2:12-13, 19; Acts 2:17, 16:9-10, 18:9-10). Pilate’s wife dreamed that he should not condemn Jesus in spite of the insistence of the Jews (Matthew 27:19).

The Word of God makes it clear that God uses dreams in our life (Joel 2:28-31). He gives us wisdom, insight and guidance to bring a resolution of issues in our life.

In our sleeping state, our soul and spirit are still very active. They are less influenced by our issues, fears and insecurities, which plague us during our waking moments.

Through dreams, God often reveals to us His character, intentions and lessons that He wants us to learn.

He will use dreams to give us wisdom on puzzling experiences in our life, peace which transcends human reasoning and direction for some activity He calls us to perform.

Satan and our own soul can inspire dreams as well as God (1 John 4:1). They are often brief and unrealistic (Psalm 126:1; Isaiah 29:8). The interpretation of our dreams will never contradict the Word of God (James 1:5).

Sleep and dreaming restores our soul to equilibrium. If dreams badger us during our sleep, we can ask God to give our soul peace and allow us to enjoy uninterrupted sleep (Psalm 127:2).

As we dream about issues that need resolution, and which we ignore during our waking moments (Ecclesiastes 5:3), God heals our soul. Our spirit sings praises to God as we sleep and we often awaken to our soul singing and making melody in our heart to the Lord.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for giving us such a fail proof and complex brain that works like a computer as we sleep. It categorizes, files and works through issues which need resolution. Once we are Born Again, Your Spirit who abides in our spirit, will influence this series of chemical impulses and the outcome of this activity in our brain.

We would probably explode or self-destruct with the intensity of our anxiety and other negative emotions if You did not give us the ability to work out these issues in our dreams. You are our great and mighty God; and we can never thank You enough for Your vigilant care over each and every one of us in every facet of our waking and sleeping life.

Thought for the Day:
Dreams are tangible and helpful; they are made of memories, concerns, direction, hopes, vision and reality all rolled into one plot with several sub-plots and they influence the story of the rest of our life.

Few That Find It

When we consider the parable of the sower of seeds, we realize that only one-fourth of the seed scattered actually falls on good soil and bears fruit (Matthew 13:18). That means that only a quarter of those who hear the gospel of Jesus Christ are actually converted.

When Jesus lived on this earth, a multitude followed Him; but just a few actually bore fruit from His ministry to them. Jesus, the personification of God Himself, presented a life and testimony of the reality of God’s existence; yet it did not impact the lives of most of those around Him.

Noah preached the Good News for 120 years and even built a huge ark for the known world at that time to see; yet, only his immediate family boarded the ark and were saved.

The reason for this is that there are two gated roads in life. One is broad and many find it; yet it leads to eternal destruction. Then, there is the narrow gate and road, which lead to everlasting life; but very few actually enter it (Matthew 7:13-14).

This fact causes me to weep uncontrollable tears for those people who allow pride and rebellion to keep them from entering the straight and narrow road to salvation. I intercede for them day and night to have a change of heart.

The toll has already been paid by the shed blood of Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:18-19). It is a free gift of God (Romans 6:23). Yet the multitude of people born on this earth condemn themselves by refusing to take that fork in the road, which leads to eternal life (John 3:18).

This highway is called the Way of Holiness for those who walk on it; yet the wicked and foolish will not travel down it; they will avoid it at all costs, even the cost of their own salvation (Isaiah 35:8).

God gives everyone a choice to totally surrender their life to Him (John 3:16-17). However, just a remnant of those born into this world will take advantage of the opportunity to live in abundant peace and joy now and throughout eternity (Isaiah 11:16).

Prayer:
Father God, we commit to daily pray for those still alive and those who will be born in the future to have the desire to walk on the straight and narrow road. Strengthen their inner being to respond to Your Spirit and to accept the sacrifice of Your dear Son as their own (Ephesians 1:16). They will gain the pearl of great price, the treasure in the field and Your eternal life (Matthew 13).

So many hear, but shut up the ears of their understanding. They look, but choose not to see. Their hearts are fat with self-indulgence and heavy with the cares of this world. Their ears are dull from the false doctrine of the world (Matthew 5:18-19).

They close their eyes and sleep to avoid responding to Your Truth. They will not turn to You and allow You to heal them (Matthew 13:14-16). I pray for them to allow Your Spirit to open the eyes of their understanding, so they can enjoy the riches of Your pleasures forevermore (Ephesians 1:18; Psalm 16:11; Proverbs 3:16).

Thought for the Day:
Jesus made it very clear that He is the only way, truth and life; and anyone who believes in Him shall never die, but will live eternally with Him in our Father’s Kingdom. – John 14:6

Our Identity in Christ – Part 2

Our reality in life has nothing to do with this world, and everything to do with Christ (Colossians 2:17). We are risen with Christ, our life is now hidden in Him and He is our whole life (Colossians 3:3-4; 1 Thessalonians 4:16).

In Christ, we enjoy all of the assets of insight and understanding, which we need in this life (Colossians 2:3). We are planted and nurtured in Him (Colossians 2:7). Through Christ in us, we have His character and nature in us (Colossians 2:9-10; 2 Peter 1:4)

Due to our union with Christ we give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18); we have the promise of life, faith, hope, and love (1 Timothy 1:1, 14; 2 Timothy 1:1); and we stand firm in our assurance in Him (1 Timothy 3:13).

As we gain our identity from our union with Jesus Christ, we can laugh at our short comings and find our fulfillment in the fact that He abides within us. We take our focus from our self and keep it on Christ.

Our identity in Christ leads us to lose interest in this life and in accumulating wealth and possessions. Instead, we turn our focus on spiritual matters and furthering God’s Kingdom now and for eternity.

We spend every waking moment praying for the lost and sharing with our friends, relatives, associates and neighbors about what Christ does in our life each day.

Many will reject us, but some will have spiritual ears to hear what God’s Holy Spirit is speaking to their heart through us (Mark 4:9). We will have the joy of watching another sinner, saved by grace, come to completion in Christ (Colossians 1:10).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for making it possible for us to be part of Your family for eternity. We know that Christ paid a horrendous price as a man on this earth to make this possible. We give Him all the praise, honor and glory as the Lamb slain before the formation of the earth (Revelation 13:8).

Remind us that sharing with the world about Your glorious provision in our life is such a small price to pay for all that You have given us. Give us the courage of our convictions to share our faith and Your faithfulness with everyone we meet.

Thought for the Day:
In Christ, our joy overflows. – Philippians 1:26

The Soul’s Rest

In the Old Testament, Believers worshipped in temples of stone and mortar. Their contact with God was from the first five books of our Bible. Today, God dwells in us, not in temples made with human hands (Romans 10:9). In the New Testament, we have 66 books of God’s Word to encourage and instruct us, along with God’s Spirit within us.

 

Jesus is the chief cornerstone on which all of us, as “living stones” in His Temple, are centered (1 Peter 2:4-6). We have a deepening understanding of the reality of Christ who dwells in us (Colossians 1:27). This reality changes our outlook on life and affects our body, soul and spirit. We enter God’s rest forever (Hebrews 4:9-10).

 

God rested after He created the universe. Jesus rested after carrying the burden of our sin to the cross. Now, we can rest from serving God through compulsion. Instead, we serve Him from a place of love. The doorway to this rest is through total surrender to God’s will and to Christ in us, which is our hope of living in glory both now and in eternity (Colossians 1:27).

 

Our humanity is dead and we are a new creation with Christ living in and through us. We decrease so that He can increase (John 3:30). We cease from our human striving and follow God’s Spirit through every moment of every day (Galatians 5:16-25). Our ultimate rest will be when we leave this sin-cursed world behind and live instead in the Kingdom of Heaven (2 Corinthians 5:8).

 

Until then we dwell in Christ, as Christ abides in us. We die with Christ and He raises us to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4). We live by the faith of the Son of God, who loves us and gave Himself for us (Ephesians 5:2). We seek His will and He directs our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). The peace of God rules in our hearts (Colossians 3:15; Philippians 4:7).

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us not to strive in our life, but to submit our will to Yours each and every day. Help us to accomplish the works, which You prepared for us to do before we were ever born (Ephesians 2:10). Bring people our way to whom we can share Your love and give us the boldness to proclaim to them Your truth.

 

Thought for the Day:

Yoke up with Jesus and find rest for your soul. – Matthew 11:29

God in the Darkest Hour

Our human will drives us to retain control of our life and to live as we choose, rather than to live in submission to anyone else. We often feel the need to manage our own life, as well as the life of all those who have influence over our existence in any way. We do not want anyone to disturb the orderly peace we create in our sphere of reality. If anyone tries to disrupt our serenity, we fight them with our whole being.

In reality, we can never attain any amount of true peace through our own vigilance over the order of our life. Our only victory is in submission to God. He teaches us to respond in kindness to those who attempt to abuse us, because we rest in the fact that God will use all of our trials for His glory. When the situation is impossible to bear, we can remove our self from an unsafe or unsavory situation. There, we wait on God to work out everything for our benefit (Romans 8:28).

There is absolutely no reason to divorce another person, even for sexual infidelity. God allows divorce in this case because of uncleanness; but if possible, we simply move out in order to have some space and protection from the situation. God desires reconciliation in every case, where both parties submit to one another and do His will. However, if one person does not want to reconcile, God will always protect His Saints in their darkest hour.

God will influence the offender’s decisions, but He will never force His will on them. He has unconditional patience, giving the hardened person plenty of time to repent and to reconcile. Even Believers, who are imprisoned for their faith and unable to escape, find that He sustains them from the inside out. He gives us His supernatural comfort and joy in our darkest hour, which surpasses all of the horrifying circumstances, which we are forced to experience (Philippians 4:6-8).

Prayer:
Father God, teach us to submit to You rather than to attempt to control our own life. Help us to bear the unsavory circumstances we encounter in this life and to be a witness for You through it all. We will walk by Your Spirit on the narrow road to Heaven. Through Christ in us, help us to influence this generation, which is walking on a wide road that leads to destruction. Use us in our sphere of influence to point people to Jesus, so they will choose to end their life of abuse, addictions, divorce and devastation.

Thought for the Day:
Authentic Christians live in quietness and confidence, which is our strength; and we dwell in peace and safety forever, regardless of our circumstances. – Isaiah 30:15, 32:17-18

Contentment and Godliness

Many people disparage the idea of feelings in the Christian life. They consider emotions as a negative aspect belonging only to the carnal nature. However, God gave us emotions to express the needs of our body and soul, and to effectively communicate the reality of Christ within us. God is not an impassive, immovable being; but according to scriptural verification, He is full of all of the same emotions, which we feel within our soul.

God is the perfecter of our feelings and the supplier of all of our needs. He advises us to weep and to rejoice with one another (Romans 12:15). He comforts us in our fears and encourages us when we are disheartened. As we abide in divine communication with our Creator, we receive from Him everything we need to live in contentment and godliness (1 Timothy 6:6-11). Our whole being, body and soul and spirit, receives and lives in divine life through Christ Jesus our Lord (2 Peter 1:4).

Nothing inspires fear and anxiety within us more than the idea of living in this world without the resources we need. Christ in us is our only hope of living in glory both now and in eternity (Colossians 1:27). God’s forgiveness inspires our devotion and His grace keeps us ever faithful to His service. He conforms us day by day into the likeness of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). Without Him, we cannot reach our ultimate goal of tranquility and enlightenment (James 3:17).

God prunes and cleanses us through sanctification until we are empty of our self and filled with all of His attributes. This is accomplished one moment at a time. God inspires our thoughts, which control our decisions and actions (Philippians 4:8). The nature of God, which is the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), replaces every carnal impulse within us that is enmity with God (James 4:4). We confidently place our self under the nurture and direction of our holy God (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Prayer:
Father God, You show us what is good and right, and what You require of us. You simply want us to act justly and to show love and mercy to everyone everywhere, and to live in and through You with humility (Micah 6:8). You do not care about our human power or abilities, because it is only by Your Spirit that we accomplish anything of value on this earth (Zechariah 4:6). Our divine union with You applies to and supplies every aspect of our life, even the mundane issues such as what we eat and drink (1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17). Therefore, everything we do is for Your glory.

Thought for the Day:
The divine life of the Trinity dwelling within us enables us to dwell in godliness and contentment (2 Peter 1:4).