Moving Forward through Forgiveness

God became man in order to atone for our sins, because we could never pay the debt on our own (1 John 4:19). Jesus loves us more than a pearl of great price (Matthew 13:45).

Jesus relinquished his royal status and gave His life, so that we can live as God’s adopted children and joint heirs with Him to receive all that the Father owns in His Kingdom (Romans 8:16-18).

God forgives us of every transgression of His law; but unless we forgive our self, Satan keeps us under his bondage to degradation and sin. The shame we feel for our behavior is fed by Satan’s lies, which He whispers in our heart day and night (Revelation 12:10).

Satan knows that if we ever forgive our self, and dedicate our life completely to the God who saved us, he will lose us forever. There is no thought, word or deed, which we commit, that is too horrific for God to forgive (Romans 5:8).

Most of our choices are mistakes that we make without thinking, although some of them are premeditated. Yet, God forgives each one, which we confess, according to His mercy and justice (1 John 1:9, 3:9). He erases the injustice of our behavior with His goodness and grace.

God has a perfect plan for us and our true joy lies in following that plan (Ephesians 2:10). It is never too late to change. We can lay down our shield of lies and our heavy burden of pain at Jesus’ feet.

We come to God in our weariness and hopelessness, and He gives us rest for our soul and births life into our dead spirit, which we carried around within us for our whole life, until the day we repent (Matthew 11:28).

Prayer:
Father God, Your Spirit joins Your Bride in encouraging anyone who reads or hears Your Word to come to Your river of life (Revelation 22:17). Your voice penetrates the hard wall, which we build around our soul to keep out the pain of the past and the eventual pain of the future.

This wall crumbles when we face life’s difficulties with Christ in us. Help us not to patch up the wall of defenses and build it higher and thicker, and to realize that only Your love can protect us from life’s hardships and storms (Isaiah 4:6).

Complete surrender to Your call on our life will put us under Your umbrella of protection (Job 11:13-15). You give us a place of repose (Isaiah 28:12). You refresh and satisfy our faint heart (Jeremiah 31:25). You give us Your living water to drink for eternity (John 7:37).

Thought for the Day:
Forgiving others and our self is the key to freedom from the destructive aspects of life and it is the door to our freedom in Christ.

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Struggling with Our Faith – Part 2

Our struggles with our faith come because God does not meet up to our selfish human expectations. He does not answer our prayers or provide for us in the way that He does for other people who claim to preach His Word.

This faulty understanding of God is not scriptural, and must fail in time. Isolated verses from the Bible, taken out of the context of the verses around them and the rest of the verses pertaining to this same issue, are not firm enough on which to rest our faith.

Our faith only grows firmer and stronger as we increase our understanding of God and His ways by considering the whole Bible in its context (Romans 10:17). God’s Holy Spirit comforts, guides and nurtures us in our walk as Believers.

The Spirit of God within us is the truest proof of our relationship to God. We no longer live according to the dictates of our flesh, conscience or human instincts.

Our life changes; we grow discontent with this world and we look forward to serving God for eternity. Reading and believing God’s Word fortifies our faith and hope and fills our Spirit with spiritual food.

Prayer:
Teach us to humble our self and to minister in this world as a servant for Your glory (Matthew 20:26-28). We will stand firm in our faith regardless of either approval or criticism from other people, or how or when You choose to meet our needs. We pray that You will strengthen our loved ones in their inner being, so that they can believe in Jesus through Your Holy Spirit (Ephesians 3:16).

Thought for the Day:
As selfishness, pride and flesh decrease in us, God can fill us through all of our being with all of His fullness. – John 3:30; Ephesians 3:19

Head Over Heels in Love

We do not need another person in our life in order to feel loved, affirmed and validated. We do not need any one to complete us, because we are complete in Christ in us (Colossians 1:27, 2:10). The more time we spend in silence, peace and rest in His presence, the more we come to know His love, which transcends any human love ever possible.

God fills us through our entire being with all of His fullness (Ephesians 3:19). He proved His love for us by sending His one and only Son into the world, so that we might live eternally through and with Him. This is genuine, authentic love, which we did not earn or deserve. There is nothing we can think, say or do that would discourage His love for us.

Most Believers understand that God’s hand upholds the earth in perfect balance, and keeps us all living and existing on planet earth. However, we often take for granted those issues of life, which require no thought. Things like air to breath and eyes to see. However, each of these miracles is evidence to us that God loves us.

God gives us the gift of life each and every new day. The fact that we wake up is proof that He loves us. Sadly, so many people do not truly believe that God actually chose us and adopted us as His beloved children. All through the day, He sends people, events and natural wonders to remind us of His love for us.

God also reveals His love to us in nature, and by the numbers on a clock, through an escape from a catastrophe, a hug from a friend, a letter from a distant relative, a smile from a stranger, and through so many unexpected ways throughout the day. If we are not too busy to notice His little love notes, this makes us feel so precious, cared about and surrounded by God’s love.

Prayer:
Father God, Your unrivaled peace and joy flood our soul as we sit at Your feet. They flow through us and out of us to everyone You bring into our life. You restore to us the joy of our salvation when we fail You, and You hold us up by Your generous Spirit (Psalm 51:10-12). We can never thank You enough for the myriad of ways, which You prove Your love to each one of us individually. You always keeps us in the palm of Your hand (Isaiah 49:16). As long as we have Your love, it is enough to sustain us throughout eternity.

Thought for the Day:
In actuality, God is head over heals in love with us. – 1 John 4: 8-11

God’s Presence In Us

We often implore our Heavenly Father to give us more patience, love, peace, joy, compassion, faith and strength. What we do not realize is that we already have all of the fruit of the Spirit resident within us through our salvation in Christ. God’s Spirit and all of the attributes of God are already available to us.

The issue preventing them from manifesting is our flesh. Our flesh often masquerades as God’s direction and we follow the wrong path. When seeking God’s will, we are looking for a billboard, a loud speaker or a flashing neon sign, but it never comes. Our human reasoning quickly drowns out God’s true guidance.

We second guess our first impression and miss God. God directs us from His Spirit within our spirit in a barely recognizable impression or thought. God’s is a still, small voice, which is often overwhelmed by the cacophony of life’s trials and demands. As we submit our desires and thoughts to God’s Spirit and obey His direction for each moment of our day, we live in peace and rest.

It is only as we decrease, that Christ in us can increase (John 3:30). The more we minimize the influence of our flesh, the world and the devil in our life, the more we are able to access the fruit, gifts and power of the Trinity within us. God already has our life planned out for us (Ephesians 2:10; Psalm 139:16). We never need to deal with life in our own wisdom and resources.

Prayer:
Father God, nothing occurs in our life that is not already part of Your plan for us. There is no need to fear, attempt to control or to worry about our present and future circumstances. We can take a deep breath and exhale all of the tension and stress caused by negative emotions and life’s events; then breathe in Your peaceful presence in all of its fullness. Even negative circumstances are a new adventure, because You are in control. You are not bound by time and You have an eternal perspective. You know the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10).

Thought for the Day:
Christ in us is our glorious hope for a fulfilled life and our eternal reality. – Galatians 2:20

Going Crazy!

Have you ever felt like you were going crazy? Nothing makes sense in your life. You have no direction. You are squeezed into a mold where you do not fit. There is a war going on in your mind…like there is a whole crowd of people up there arguing! I have a simple explanation, and an even simpler solution. Our mind is the battleground where Satan wars against us.

Our soul includes our mind, will and emotions. Our mind affects every part of us, including our physical well-being. The imagination is where Satan likes to play. He perverts the truth and comes up with all sorts of lies, which, unbelievably, we accept as truth! Then they affect us adversely for the rest of our life.
( http://www.theophostic.com )

We live in this world, yet we do not wage war in the natural realm. Our weapons are not of this world. God gives us His divine power to demolish every spiritual stronghold we encounter. We can take authority over every haughty lie, which rises up against God’s spiritual truth and against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:5).

God gave us divinely powered weapons to demolish all of Satan’s strongholds. We do this by taking every thought captive and having the mind of Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:5). The Holy Spirit’s priority is helping us to know and to do the will of God in His power (Philippians 2:12-13). He does this by transforming our mind to the mind of Christ (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18).

Prayer:
Father God, Satan really refined his art of deception over the years. However, Your Spirit of truth abiding in us, guides us to Your truth. When we surrender to You, our God of peace in us, there is no more lunacy warring in our mind. Now we can stand against the devil’s wiles, which he shoots at us as fiery darts (Ephesians 6:11,16; John 16:13). You sent Your Holy Spirit in Jesus’ name to teach us everything we need to know and to remind us of what we read in Your Word (John 14:26-27). You give us victory over the evil one through the power of Christ in us (Colossians 1:27). In Jesus’ name, we take every thought captive and make it obedient to Your Word (2 Corinthians 10: 3-5).
Thought for the Day:
Do not conform your thoughts to the pattern of this world or Satan’s lies, but allow God’s Spirit to renew your mind to know the perfect will of God. – Romans 12:2

Hope in God

Jesus carried our sins and our sorrows to the cross (Isaiah 53:4). He lifts up everyone who falls and carries those who are exhausted (Psalm 145:14). He heals our broken heart and He binds up our wounds (Psalm 147:3). Everything is possible once we start to believe in God’s faithfulness (Mark 9:23). He rescues godly people from trials, because we put our hope in Him (2 Peter 2:9; Psalm 39:7).

God will give us grace only for today, because tomorrow’s grace will not come until tomorrow. As long as we are alive, we still have hope in His promises (Ecclesiastes 9:4; 2 Peter 1:4). When we put our expectation in God rather than in our self, people or karma, our soul is no longer depressed or worried (Psalm 43:5). We find rest in God alone, because our only real hope comes from him (Psalm 62:5).

God is our helper and we have no reason to live in fear. All we have to do is to cry out to the Lord and to pray to Him for help. He always hears us, because our cries reach His ears (Psalm 18:8). When trouble surrounds us on every side, He always gives us a way out. Even though life is hard at times, He strengthens us, helps us and holds us up with His strong right hand (Isaiah 41:10; 2 Corinthians 4:8).

Total surrender to God is the key to making sense of your circumstances. Surrendering our family and our future to God, walking away from the worries and leaving it all in His hands is the only thing that will keep us sane. Walking in obedience to His Spirit moment by moment through the day will bring us closer to intimacy with God than anything else we could ever do.

Prayer:
Father God, teach us that full surrender of our life to You is the safest place to live. When we get our eyes off our self and onto You, You keep us in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3). You lead us one step at a time (Matthew 6:31-34). Remind us not to look at tomorrow, but to look at today and to obey Your Spirit, even if we do not like what is happening and we do not want to obey.

Thought for the Day:
The Lord remains close to the desolate and He saves those who are trampled by life’s circumstances. – Psalm 34:18

The Family of God

God, our righteous Husbandman, grafts each of us as a branch into the vine of Christ (John 15:1, 5). He teaches us to balance our life. He reminds us to set apart time to worship Him, to fellowship with His Saints, to play with our family and friends and to help other people in their times of need. God gives us wisdom during our workweek, and shows us how to improve both the process and progress of our day.

God’s Spirit guides us supernaturally. He gives us power, as Christ’s Body on the earth, to perform greater works than Jesus did (John 14:12). We live for Christ, and He lives in and through us. We no longer strive, because we enter into His rest (Hebrews 4:10). We enjoy the transformed life with the nature of Christ in us. We do not rely on human effort and legalistic performances for salvation, but on Christ’s righteousness in us.

We are a fellowship of like-mind, authentic, Born Again Believers, and a Body with a common goal. We commit to prefer, honor, love, accept, agree with, serve, bear with, submit to, forgive, admonish, encourage, build up and fellowship with one another. We are humble, sympathetic, compassionate, hospitable, and devoted to each other (2 Corinthians 5:21; John 13:34-35; Romans 12:10, 15:7; 1 Corinthians 1:10; Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 4:2, 5:21; Colossians 3:13, 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 10:25; 1 Peter 3:8, 4:9).

God gives us the discipline of forgiveness to keep our relationships in right standing with Him and one another. We face the wounds and feel the grief deeply in our heart. Then we choose not to allow the offender to live rent free in our heart. If we do not forgive, He cannot forgive us (Matthew 6:14). We do not let him/her off the hook, but we put them in God’s capable hands to mete our His revenge on them (Romans 12:19).

Prayer:
Father God, You amaze us in Your goodness to us. You think of everything we need; sometimes even before we realize we need it (Isaiah 65:24)! We are so grateful to You for making us fellow citizens in Your Kingdom. We are no longer outsiders and aliens in this world, because You made all of us members of Your own household (Ephesians 2:19). Your Word helps us to make sense of this world. We look forward to living with You in the new heaven and the new earth (Revelation 21:1).

Thought for the Day:
Behold how good and pleasant it is for the family of God to dwell together in unity. – Psalm 133:1