Our Righteous Judge

Serving God as a Pastor’s wife is a unique position. People at our community pool will apologize for their language when I’m around. One lady said, “Oh you brought your husband with you today. I’d better watch what I say and do.”

Yet, the Psalmist said, “You have looked deep into my heart, Lord, and you know all about me. You know when I am resting or when I am working, and from heaven you discover my thoughts. You notice everything I do and everywhere I go” (v. 1-3, CEV).

People will do before God, who is our only righteous judge, what they would never do before the preacher and his wife. I actually tell people, “I am not your judge, God is; and He is watching you all the time.” (James 4:12; Romans 14:4)

This makes them pause and think for a moment. Hopefully, it will make them realize that they answer to God for every thought word and deed (Revelation 20:12). I pray they will come to repentance and be saved (Isaiah 33:22).

The choices we make on this earth will determine our eternal destination, and God is the only judge who will make that final ruling (Matthew 10:28).

If our sins are covered under the blood of Christ, He paid their penalty for us. If we are not Born Again by the blood of the Lamb, we condemn our self already (John 3:18).

No one has an excuse (Romans 1:20). When we stand before God, He will not hear our pleas and explanations. It will be too late for apologies and repentance then.

Now is the time for salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). We are not guaranteed one more breath of life. We may enter eternity and meet our righteous judge before we repent; and then it is too late.

There is no purgatory in which we can pay for our sins. There are no indulgences which we can pay to convince God to allow our loved ones to enter into His Kingdom. Jesus already paid the debt we owe. Come now and repent and believe (Mark 1:15).

Prayer:
Father God, our carnality has desensitized us from realizing Your awesome holiness and fearing You more than we fear people. We do not want anyone to tell us what to do or how to behave or what to think; yet You already removed the burden of righteousness from our shoulders by giving us the righteousness of Your dear Son.

No one is capable of fully obeying the law. You gave it, not for us to keep, but for us to realize the futility of our trying to make our self holy by attempting to conform to it. You provided the law to show us our need to accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord (Galatians 3:1-19; Romans 3:20). We thank You for giving us this way to know You now and throughout eternity (John 17:3).

Thought for the Day:
Once we surrender our life and destiny to God through repentance and salvation, His Holy Spirit conforms us to the image of Christ one step at a time. – 2 Corinthians 3:18

No Longer Condemned

Regardless of our struggles as Believers in Christ, no action on our part can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:31-39). We are no longer condemned, because Christ set us free (Romans 8:1).

When certain sins continue to entice us, we can ask God to reveal the need in us, which they supply. He gives us wisdom on how to meet those needs in a Godly fashion, and we no longer desire sin.

All sin is rooted in unbelief, because whatever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:22-23). Satan will even attempt to condemn us with shame for our lack of faith; yet, we can cry out to God, “I believe, help my unbelief” (Mark 9:23-25).

We reject the devil’s condemnation, and respond with repentance and surrender to the conviction of God’s Holy Spirit. As we strive to enter God’s rest, we abide in His peace and joy (Hebrews 10:4; Romans 14:17).

Choosing to refrain from running off on our own tangents, we reduce our need to cry out to God to find us and restore us back to a life in the center of His will (Luke 15:4).

Centering our life with our source in Christ in us, we do only those works, which God preordained for us to do (Ephesians 2:10, 3:17). We walk in the Spirit instead of in the flesh (Galatians 5:15-25).

We find our fulfillment in this life by walking the straight and narrow road (Matthew 7:14). We rejoice in the Lord always in every situation, because of His love and presence residing within us (Philippians 4:4).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for providing for us the pearl of great price to pay the ransom for our sins and to set us free from Satan’s lies (Matthew 13:45-46). We rejoice in knowing that we are wholly Yours and that You have a purpose for our individual life (Ephesians 2:10).

Remind us that we no longer live, but Christ lives in and through us, directing our day and giving us the desire and the power to accomplish Your will for each moment (Philippians 2:12-13; 2 Corinthians 4:11). We give You all of the praise and glory forever and ever.

Thought for the Day:
Satan tells us that we will never measure up and be enough, but Christ died for us and reminds us that in Him we are complete. – Job 19:26; Colossians 2:10

Why Be Born Again?

From the moment of our birth, we are a living body and a never-dying soul – our mind, will and emotions; but our spirit is dead in Adam’s sin (1 Thessalonians 5:23; Genesis 2:7; Luke 16:19-31; Ephesians 2:1).

Once we come to Christ, in humble repentance of our sins, we receive His salvation, and our spirit is Born Again (Romans 8:16). In Christ, we are body, soul and spirit (Job 32:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:23).

God’s Spirit abides in our spirit and we have an authentic life in Christ. Our renewed spirit is swept clean of Satanic influence by Christ’s redemption (Matthew 12:38-45).

God’s Holy Spirit moves into our rebirthed spirit to occupy our body, sanctify our soul and fill our spirit with the presence of Christ in us (John 17:17; Romans 8:10; Galatians 2:20).

We are eternally joined to the Lord as one Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17). God’s Spirit continually abides in our human spirit and perfects our soul in holiness (Proverbs 20:27).

Our body is now the temple of God’s Spirit and we continually commune with God in our spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; John 14:23; 1 John 1:3). We live, move and have our entire being in Christ (Acts 17:28).

Most people function from the soul – our thoughts, decisions and emotions. However, God desires that we live in and walk by His Spirit (Romans 8:4-6; Galatians 5:16).

This prevents us from acting on carnal impulses, which might filter through our soul. We do not make our own plans, envision our own dreams or list our own goals.

God is Spirit and desires that we worship Him in Spirit and in truth (John 6:63, 4:24). God’s Spirit abides in our spirit and we have no life except in Christ.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us not to attempt to make our own plans for our life, nor attempt to understand life apart from You; but simply to listen to and obey the direction of Your Spirit, who gives us wisdom and guidance one moment at a time (Job 32:8).

Corporately, we function as the Body of Christ; living stones, which You fit together into Your temple (1 Peter 2:4-6; 1 Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 2:21-22). Thank You for our sanctification through Christ and for joining us together into His Body.

Thought for the Day:
God calls us to abide entirely in our spirit, where His Spirit directs us as we live one moment at a time.

Worthy of Our Love

Authentic Christians are so in love with God that things in this world lose their appeal. As we contemplate His goodness, the memories warm our heart. We burst out in joyful songs because of His righteous treatment of us. He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and great in loving kindness. He is good to us all and all of His works are full of His tender mercy (Psalm 145:7-9).

God is the Lord of hosts of angels and His magnificence fills our hearts with respect and awe (Isaiah 8:13). As we read about His work through the ages, we realize that His thoughts and methods are much higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). Sometimes they do not make sense to our finite, human mind; however, hindsight always gives us a glimpse of His wisdom.

We trust in God’s loyal love and rejoice in the salvation that Christ’s redemption provides for us. We sing of the benevolent and bountiful ways in which He deals with us (Psalm 13:5-6). He hears our prayers and is our shield from danger and our strength to deal with life’s unpleasant experiences. Our heart trusts in His goodness, because of the ways He always works out everything for our good (Psalm 28:6 Romans 8:28).

We cannot help but to rejoice in God’s bountiful provision and give Him continual thanks night and day for all that He does for us (Psalm 28:7). God is high and lofty above the earth and lives in a high and holy place with our Lord Jesus Christ. Our Father inhabits eternity, yet cares enough to revive the spirit of the depressed and to forgive the heart of the contrite (Isaiah 57:15).

Prayer:
Father God, heaven is Your throne and our earth is Your footstool. You made all of these things by Your wisdom, understanding and power, or they would never have come into existence (Jeremiah 10:12, 51:15; Isaiah 66:1-2). You are the one and only, true living god, our eternal King. The earth and nations tremble at Your righteous anger, and many come to You in repentance (Jeremiah 10:10).

Thought for the Day:
God is always nearby and never far from any one of us, even though He fills both the heaven and the earth. – Jeremiah 23:23-24

There is No Condemnation

Satan loves to use condemnation to defeat God’s Saints. His condemnation causes us to sink into the quicksand of shame with no visible way out. We see our faults and are burdened by our failings. Satan plants lies in our soul during each perceived failing; and we readily believe them, because of our feelings of hopelessness.

God, on the other hand, does not condemn us, He convicts us. Conviction reveals our guilt with a desire for repentance. Repentance means to turn away from sin and move toward holiness. Even if we never commit some gross sin of immorality or murder, we are still sinners (Romans 3:23). No amount of good works or self-effort can free us from the penalty of our sins.

Trusting in Jesus is our only means of salvation (John 14:6). His Holy Spirit breathes God’s breath of life into us and our spirit is no longer dead in sin. We completely surrendered our goals, dreams and aspiration in life to God’s will for us (Ephesians 2:10). We serve God with authentic devotion each moment of the day. We no longer desire a life of worldly pursuits and willful sin.

God’s Spirit converts our sinful nature to the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). We realize that God’s presence is within us and the Holy Spirit is sanctifying us. We are truly saved from hell and going to heaven (2 Corinthians 13:5-6; Lamentations 3:40-42). God removes our condemnation by washing us as clean as snow, and giving us a new heart and spirit within us (Ezekiel 36:25-27).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for washing us clean, and giving us righteous desires and Your Spirit to direct us (Colossians 2:13-15). Thank You also that Jesus nailed our sins to the cross and blotted out the charges proved against us. Remind us not to live for You in our human effort. Help us to allow Christ to richly dwell in us as Your Body, so that whatever we do in word or deeds, it is all done for Your glory and honor (Colossians 3:16-18).

Thought for the Day:
God took away Satan’s power over our life and openly displayed to the whole world the triumph of Christ over Him; so that there is no longer any condemnation for those who love God and who are called to serve Him in His purpose for our life. – Romans 8:1; Colossians 2:15

Unity with God, Our Maker

Once we come to Christ in repentance, asking for God’s forgiveness, He exchanges our sin for His righteousness, and we enter a spiritual union with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). The powerful life of the triune God dwells within us from that point throughout the rest of our life. We enter an intimate relationship, which includes a unified life with the Trinity.

God purifies us step-by-step, burning deeper with each stroke of His holy fire, until we radiate Christ’s nature from within us. He replaces our carnal nature with the fruit of His Spirit, which is actually the very nature of God (Galatians 5:22-23). The less we function through our humanity, and the more we wait on God, the more He expresses His divine character and nature in us and through us (2 Peter 1:4).

Resting in Christ is not another religious activity to perform. It simply involves complete surrender of our human life to the Kingship of Jesus Christ (Matthew 11:28-29). Our human way of thinking and feeling passes away, and we are now an entirely new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). We bow before our God and Maker (Psalm 95:6).

We embrace God’s presence in our soul as well – in our thoughts, choices and emotions. We are constantly responsive to this holy relationship and to our ever-increasing intimacy with Christ (Colossians 3:4). We walk in communion, fellowship and one accord with Christ within us (2 Corinthians 6:14-15). We freely choose to follow the leading of God’s Spirit each moment of the day (Romans 8:14).

Prayer:
Father God, due to Your work in our life, we manifest Your nature in ever-increasing levels of maturity and glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). By faith, Your divinity freely flows through our body, soul and spirit (2 Peter 1:4). Our intimate bond with You is broken only by our propensity to sin. However, if we walk in accord with the direction, wisdom and love of Your Spirit, we will never fulfill the lusts of our flesh (Galatians 5:15-25).

Thought for the Day:
We belong to God’s household as priests and saints, and are co-heirs with Jesus.

All Things Are New

Every person ever born inherits a sin nature from the first Adam, which results in our fall from God’s grace (1 Corinthians 15:45). That is why God gives us both the desire and the power to walk in His salvation (Philippians 2:12-13). He purifies us in order to present us holy, blameless and beyond criticism. Holiness unites us with the Trinity of God (John 17:21).

Holiness does not involve legalism, stoicism or an angry God. There is nothing we could ever do, which is too hard for God to forgive. He knew we were going to commit sins before He ever created the world (2 Timothy 1:9). He sent Jesus to pay the debt for each sin we commit, as well as those things, which He led us to do and we failed to obey (John 1:29).

When we come to Christ in repentance, Jesus makes us a brand new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). He moves in and gradually removes every area, which stands in opposition to God. Then He remodels and restores us from the inside out (Romans 2:4, 12:1-2; Acts 11:18). God changes our will and our intentions. He is purifying for Himself a people who are passionate about obeying Him (2 Corinthians 5:15).

God helps us to stand firmly on the Rock of Christ, to remain steadfast in our devotion to Him and to cling to the hope He gives us through the Gospel of Christ (Psalm 18:2; Colossians 1:22-23). The entire Godhead is found in Jesus, and He and His divine nature abide in each of us (Colossians 2:9; 2 Peter 1: 2-4). I heard it said, “God cares about every aspect of our life, from the nursery to the nursing home.”

Prayer:
Father God, by Your Holy Spirit and with Christ in us, we contain the fullness of Your power, authority, fruit and gifts (Galatians 5:22-23; 1 Corinthians 12; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 3:19). You call us to be light and salt in the earth so that people will see You in us (Matthew 5:13-16; Colossians 1:27). Remind us to cooperate with Your Spirit as He transforms us into the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). Thank You for loving us enough to send Jesus to die in our place (Romans 4:25).

Thought for the Day:
God has good plans for our future; and He always gives us hope, regardless of our circumstances in life. – Jeremiah 29:11