Set Apart for God

Without God’s Spirit within, we do not belong to Christ or His family (Romans 8:9). God’s Spirit us makes us His children. We no longer live under the dominion of the flesh, the world or the devil, and we are not our own.

God owns our time, energy and resources (1 Corinthians 6:19). We are set apart for God. Though we live on this earth, we no longer have anything in common with sinners or the world (Psalm 4:3; 2 Corinthians 6:16).

If we continue to offer our self as slaves to sin, it leads to death; if we obey the dictates of holiness, we are part of God’s holy temple and He dwells in us by His Spirit (Romans 6:16; 1 Corinthians 3:16-18).

We are more concerned with spiritual aspects in our life than carnal ones. We have a new heavenly name (Revelation 2:17). Do you know the meaning of your earthly name? ( http://www.ohbabynames.com )

I like my name, Kathleen Anne. It means: pure one, innocent, God’s favor and grace. Someone with this name is usually dependable, solid, practical, hard-working, industrious, studious, conservative, spiritual, wise, peculiar, intuitive, imaginative, philosophical and solitary. This fits me to a “T”.

As a child, I yearned to be a good girl, so my parents would love me. I even wished on the first star every night that I would be a good girl, so I could be cherished and accepted.

At 18, I realized that that no one is ever good (Romans 7:18-25), and that I could not do enough good to be valued and approved. That is when I turned to Jesus Christ as my Savior. He loves me unconditionally (1 John 4:16).

God takes up residence in our spirit. He abides in His children and walks with us. He is our God and we are His people (2 Corinthians 6:16). We live as the church of the living God, and are the pillar and foundation of His truth (1 Timothy 3:15).

Prayer:

Father God, You accept us as part of Your beloved family (Ephesians 1:5-7). Our spirit, once dead in Adam’s sin, was Born Again by Your Spirit, and You came to live in us for the rest of our life and throughout eternity (Romans 8:10; Galatians 5:15-25).

Thank You for building us into Your house, as we firmly hold to our confidence and hope in Your glory. Christ is the faithful caretaker of Your House (Hebrews 3:6) and we realize the privilege, which You afford us, to allow us to take a part in all of Your plans.

Thought for the Day:

Anyone who leaves their sinful lifestyle, and believes that Jesus in God who came in human flesh as Emmanuel, will have a new name written down in Heaven. – 1 John 4:4

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Serving One Another

The work of God’s Spirit within us depends upon our cooperation with Him. We cannot produce fruit without His presence in us; but He cannot produce fruit in us, if we are not willing to surrender every area of our life to Him. As the Spirit gives us God’s character and special gifts, we use them to serve one another (1 Corinthians 12:4).

The Holy Spirit enables us, by the grace of God, to be good managers of His diverse gifts within us (1 Peter 4:10). God instructs us to care for others, but He also cautions us to care for our needs as well (Matthew 22:39; Philippians 2:3-6). If we neglect our own salvation, or our physical, emotional and mental needs, then we will have no resources to share with others.

We will run out of emotional and physical energy. We will end up bitter and resentful, because we will do all of the serving. It is important for us to care for our self too. Some believe it is selfish to care for our self. I used to think that as I served others, they would serve me, and both our emotional tanks would be full.

This put an undue burden on others to give to me as much as I gave to them. They did not have the resources within them to do this, so we all ended up losing. My expectations were constantly disappointed and I battled to keep myself encouraged and motivated to continue serving anyway. What I finally learned was that codependence with other people is an illness.

We are to depend only on God in our life. We are to obey His Spirit’s direction each moment of the day. If we serve someone, without His direction, we may divert God’s dealings in that person’s life. As we function in God’s spiritual anointing, we never run out of energy to serve those to whom God leads us to minister. We can even meet our own needs as God’s Spirit brings them to our attention.

Prayer:
Father God, teach us to rely on You for every need in our life. Please encourage us with the truth that it is acceptable to ask for our needs to be met too, and to meet our own needs if no one else will. Help us to make friends who will bring blessings into our life rather than those who suck the life right out of us. Teach us to erect boundaries for those toxic people who attempt to take advantage of us. Remind us that we should minister to others only as Your Spirit directs us throughout the day. We will show the love of Christ to others as You make a way, not as our human compassion demands.

Thought for the Day:
Authentic Believers dwell in, exhibit and function from the righteousness and holiness of God in our service to those God brings our way.

Doubting God

We actually deceive our self when we think that we have life all figured out (1 Corinthians 3:18-19). God smiles patiently at those who profess to be wise. He considers human wisdom as foolishness (Romans 1:22). As foolish as Satan was to rebel against God, he is smarter than we are. God calls him the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Yet, we have power over Satan if we surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. We can take authority over Satan when he tries to take advantage of us, and attempts to get the victory in our circumstances (Daniel 10:13). As Believers we can refuse to rely on our human wisdom; and, instead, seek God in all of our choices and decisions (Proverbs 3:5-6; Isaiah 55:6).

At times, we are subjected to life’s fears, worries and anxieties. Actually, we are doubting God when we worry. Sadly, worry causes us to view our self as an orphan, alone in the world without nurturing caretakers (Psalm 68:5). We are saying that we can achieve a better, more sure change in our circumstances by worrying than we can by trusting in and waiting on our Father God (Matthew 6:27).

Often we worry our self right out of faith in God. We get discouraged and we cry our self to sleep, if we can sleep at all with all of the stress hormones ravaging our body. We look to people, places and things to make us happy, when all along the King of the Universe dwells right in our heart (Ephesians 3:17).

In Christ, we have an antidote to worry. Someone said, “Don’t sweat the small stuff. Everything is small stuff.” In other words, “Don’t worry. Be happy.” God is capable of perfecting orchestrating both the large and small details of our life. He daily cares for the birds and flowers; and we are even more important to Him than they are (Matthew 10:29-31).

God’s Spirit will give us the mind of Christ if we totally surrender our life to Him (1 Corinthians 2:16). Only God can save and provide for us in body, soul and spirit. We can live by faith in His faithfulness, because He never lets us down (Hebrews 13:5). We often forget that there is a seed for a miracle in each and every trial we experience.

Prayer:
Father God, the more trials we experience in this life, the more we fear we will have to go through. We insult You by limiting Your resources, power and love for us. Remind us that we can cast all of our cares on You, because You always care about us and what we need (1 Peter 5:7). Help us to depend only on You as our Savior, Lord and King.

Thought for the Day:
If we live in fear of the future, we forfeit the blessings of today.

The Flesh is Already Dead

The carnal person lives in rebellion to God’s desires for our life. The natural person resists God’s redemption and forfeits His peace and joy both on earth and for eternity. The focus of carnality is on the self and everything that benefits the flesh, regardless of any spiritual priorities or needs. Even Born Again people often cater to their flesh more than their spirit.

 

However, this carnal focus will not continue in the life of an authentic Believer. Our union with Christ makes a huge difference in our life. God’s Spirit will continually convict the sinful soul of His priorities. We find the freedom of forgiven sin, the contentment of acceptance in God’s Family and the security of our identity in Christ’s character within us (Galatians 5:22-23).

 

God’s Spirit renews our mind (2 Corinthians 4:16; Titus 3:5), transforms our emotions (Ephesians 3:16-20) and heals our body (Psalm 103:3). We enjoy worshipping our King more than serving our flesh. We willingly lay down the deeds of our flesh, because we realize that in Christ our flesh is already dead (Colossians 3:3-4). Spiritually alive, we experience victory over both sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:57).

 

Prayer:

Father God, by Your divine power, You provide us with every resource we need to live a godly life (2 Peter 1:3). The fact that You dwell in us by Your Spirit and that You will perfect us in spirit, soul and body relieves so much pressure from us on a daily basis (Ephesians 1:14). We do not have to perfect our self. You give us the desire and the ability to work out our own salvation, as we live in respect for Your authority and power in us (Philippians 2:13).

 

Thought for the Day:

Be filled with the Spirit and speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs; singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. – Ephesians 5:18-19

The Blessings of Relationship

The world in which we live has values, which they hold dear. People in our world judge each person according to their worldly standards. However, if we live in order to be accepted and esteemed in this worldly system, we end up as an abomination to God (Luke 16:14-15). If we follow Biblical admonitions, we cannot earn the world’s respect and admiration, although we will earn God’s pleasure (Ephesians 1:6).

There are a few people, like Mother Teresa, who honor God and also manage to earn the world’s respect. She gave up her life for the indigent and abused, making their life better in any way she could. God gave her a gift, and she responded to His call for her life. God has a special purpose for each of us too. It is up to us whether or not we fulfill His desire for our life (Ephesians 2:10). We may not reach world fame, but God will say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Our self-righteous attempts to please God with our natural efforts and accomplishments are worthless. They give off the terrible stench of human nature as we offer it to the Lord (Isaiah 64:6). It is not pleasing to Him, because He only accepts the sacrifices of those who rely only on the righteousness of Christ for their salvation (Romans 3:22). In God’s eyes, our good deeds are nothing more than dirty rags (Isaiah 64:6).

We cannot earn salvation or justification by our works (Titus 3:5-7). However, Jesus gives us His holiness as a free gift in exchange for our humanity. He took our sin and nailed it to the cross, triumphing over both sin and death (Colossians 2:14; 1 Corinthians 15:57). We trust in Christ alone and possess His righteousness as our own (2 Corinthians 5:21). Then, we radiate the love and light of Christ to the world around us.

Prayer:
Father God, we live in Your joy and take pleasure in each moment of our relationship with You. Christ is our only life (Colossians 3:4). Remind us to allow You to use us to bring reconciliation to the world around us (2 Corinthians 5:11-21). Many people will reject our message and may even reject us. However, You will delight in our ways. Remind us to use all of the resources You have given us, not for our own advancement in life, but to further Your Kingdom in the earth (Luke 16:1-18).

Thought for the Day:
If I think I am somebody, then God is not everything to me; but when I realize that I am nothing, God becomes my all in all. That is when He fully reveals Himself to me.

God Is On Our Side

God became to the earth as Immanuel and redeemed everyone humble enough to trust in His name. We live by faith in Jesus and according to His living Word. Tribulation, trials and persecution occur in everyone’s life. The difference between a Believer and unbeliever is that God is on our side! He wants to reconcile and bless everyone who calls on His name (Revelation 22:17).

If we are persecuted for Christ’s sake, He rewards us both now and in eternity (Hebrews 11:26). Those who persecute us are probably under conviction. They hate us because we remind them of their need to surrender to God. Our stance on Biblical Truth judges their actions and they blame us rather than repent. They turn against us, but they are actually rejecting Jesus, not us.

Satan uses our negative emotions, such as anxiety, grief and lust, to draw us away from God’s chosen path for our life (2 Timothy 3:12). We get so wrapped up in our circumstances that we neglect God. We lose our focus and our peace at the same time (Isaiah 26:3). In case you had not noticed, God did not die and leave you in charge.

You cannot possibly fulfill every perfectionist goal you create nor can you save the world single-handedly. Living as a martyr does not impress God or anyone else. You can never twist God’s arm in order to force Him to do your will. God holds all the cards, has all the world’s resources at His disposal. He does not need us at all.

Our only hope for a fulfilled life is to return to our first love (Revelation 2:4). Tribulation helps us to straighten out our priorities and to put Jesus first in our life. Rather than resist the trials God brings your way, look for God in the midst of them. He may have a message for you in them, a miracle for you at the end of them, or time to spend alone with Him through them. He loves us and has a perfect plan for our life.

Prayer:
Father God, help us to resist Satan’s temptation to pull us away from full devotion to You. Reveal to us the lies Satan uses to keep us under his bondage. Obliterate his deception with Your truth. Forgive us for putting other people, places and things ahead of You in our life. We know that You do not need us, but we thank You for caring about us so much.

Thought for the Day:
The question is not if God is on our side, but if we are on His side. Repent and believe in the name of Jesus Christ and be saved. – Acts 16:31

Enveloped in Love

The most comforting news that I have ever heard is that the soul of Born Again Believers – our thoughts, choices and emotions – are totally enveloped in the love of Jesus Christ both now and throughout eternity (Psalm 125:2). He is in us and we are in Him in God (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:3). We are in the world, but not part of the world (John 17:14-19). We live life separated from what is evil, but immersed in what is good, righteous and holy.

Love, in the person of Jesus Christ, is our focus. He is our only true life (Colossians 3:4). Our whole life is centered in God, whether we carpool the children, grocery shop, read our Bible, fellowship with Believers or put in a multitude of hours at work. We do not live to shop, to care for our family or to advance at work, but to do the will of our Father God in and through these opportunities, which He provides for us (Hebrews 8:10).

The beauty of faith in Christ is that once Christ returns, even nature will return to its original glory (Romans 8:22). We live in harmony with God through His Spirit. Our purpose in this life is to reconcile with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, anyone who will believe in Him. It is not our responsibility to convince them, but simply to share God’s Truth as it pertains to our own life.

The choice is theirs, as it was ours, whether or not to believe. We can share the gospel on our social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, ect. Then, those who read our words may realize that they need Jesus too. If we have the mind to do so, we can fellowship via the Internet, in the comfort of our own home, with Saints from all over the world.

A Godly life profits us in every area of our existence – body, soul and spirit (1 Timothy 4:8). We do not exist through our own efforts and resources, but through the power of God’s mighty Spirit who dwells within us. Through Him, we accomplish every action, which God designed for us to do before we were ever born (Ephesians 2:8-10). God works in us and through us, giving us both the desire and the power to accomplish everything for His pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13).

Prayer:
Father God, You give us the opportunity to harmonize with nature in our worship of You (Psalms 148:3-5). You give us Your power from on high as we wait in Your presence (Luke 24:29); and then we go forth into all the earth, informing everyone who will listen that You want to envelop them in Your love too. We thank You for the privilege of living, moving and having our entire existence in You (Acts 17:28). We vow to share Your love with everyone You bring into our day.

Thought for the Day:
God’s love gave us the fruit of His Spirit to provide us with His divine nature in this life on earth, which victoriously sees us through every circumstance we may encounter. – Galatians 5:22-23