The Breaking Point

People often think that the life we know is better than the life we do not know. That is why women stay in abusive marriages and continue to suffer the torment. They believe they do not deserve better.

When we come to Christ, He humbles us; yet He gives us His holy boldness. We start to realize that we are not defective; and that in Him, we are “enough”.

Christ in us transforms us into all that He intends for us to be. We no longer need to strive for perfection, because God’s Spirit within us changes us from one stage of holiness to the next (2 Corinthians 3:18).

We find our true identity and fulfillment in Christ alone (Colossians 3:3-4, 2:9-10; Philippians 1:13-2:16). We are adopted as God’s children, conformed to Christ’s image and co-heirs with Christ of God’s Kingdom.

Most of us need a breaking point in our life in order to step over the line from self-effort to Christ-reliance. The trials, which God allows in our life, are designed to bring us to the end of our self.

My breaking point was when the love of my life decided that there was no option for us, but divorce. I had no job, no alimony and no foreseeable future.

In this bewildering new world, my only option was to rely totally on God for each moment of my day. As I did, I entered a deeper relationship with our Lord; one that I continue to this day.

As I listened to His Spirit within, He led me to get a job at a Montessori school where my training and relationships taught me to nurture my own soul.

He also gave me two other jobs, so I could pay my bills and save for a rainy day. Eventually, in His perfect way and timing, He brought a nurturing, appreciative husband into my life as well, and restored my ministry as a Pastor’s wife.

Prayer:
Father God, You brought me to the place in my life where I stopped trying and gave up. I cast all of my cares on You, because I had no doubt that You cared for me. You taught me that Your Spirit will put us in the right place at the right time, if we will listen to that still, small voice within us (1 Kings 19:11-13).

Remind us that the sooner we stop trying, and enter into Your rest, the sooner our life will hold unspeakable joy, even in the midst of sorrows. Your Spirit leads us to be productive for Your Kingdom; and in the process, all of our needs are met.

Thought for the Day:
As we totally surrender our heart to God in prayer, we give Him our weaknesses and failings – even the sins we commit in secret. We no longer live in shame, but in the fearless confidence and identity of Christ in us. – Job 11:13-15; 1 John 1:9; Colossians 1:27

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The Name of the Lord – His Chosen Nation

God loves Israel, regardless of their behavior toward Him, because of His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He continually calls Israel to return to Him, to exalt His name and to keep His Word (Psalm 69:35-36).

He never abandoned Israel, even when she was not a nation, because it pleases Him to make them a nation for His great name’s sake (Isaiah 12:22). This increases our faith in God’s faithfulness.

God redeemed Israel continually through the generations to make a name for Himself, as He did great and mighty things for them. He even divided the waters before them (2 Samuel 7:23, 26).

He restored part of the Promised Land to Israel over and over through their history; and again in 1948, after the great persecution and judgement He sent on them because of their unbelief (2 Kings 21:4, 23:27).

He formerly scattered them among the nations of the earth, as He prophesied that He would; but now He calls them back to Himself for His own name’s sake (Nehemiah 1:9; Jeremiah 3:17).

People wonder how God can turn to the Gentiles and shut up His Kingdom to Israel for 2000 years; but He gave Israel 4,000 years to turn their hearts to Him.

Even now, many Jews return to God and find completion through Jesus Christ. For His name’s sake, He will use the Great Tribulation to give them yet another chance to take refuge in His name (Jeremiah 23:6, 33:9, 50:34; Micah 5:4; Zephaniah 3:9,12; 13:9).

Some people are blinded to God’s true character and provision by Satan’s lies and they curse Him, because they see only the trials, which come on us on this earth (Revelation 16:9).

Yet, people from every tribe, tongue and nation of the earth come before Him to worship His name and glorify Him, because of the blessings God pours out on His people (Revelations 15:4).

Prayer:
Father God, you are jealous over your people who glory in Your holy name (Exodus 34:14). Our heart is glad continually over Your provision for us in our life on this earth (1 Chronicles 16:10). We boast in You so that the humble will hear about Your provision in our life and come to You (Psalm 34:2).

There is salvation in no other name or means than Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). As the perfect Lamb, He is the only way, truth and life (John 14:6). Whatever we ask in Your name, in order to perform the works You created us to do for Your glory, You will supply (John 14:13). There is no God like You, and we exalt Your name, which is great in power and might (Jeremiah 10:6).

Thought for the Day:
Jesus, the true King of Israel, is most highly exalted; and God bestowed on Him the name, which is above every other name; so that at His name, everyone who is in Heaven, on the earth and even under the earth will bow their knee to Him. – Philippians 2:9-11

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Redemption Story

On Calvary’s cross, Jesus paid the ransom for our sins and gave us freedom in Him (John 8:36). As our Refuge, He is our redemption and He replenishes, rejuvenates, re-establishes and restores us.

When our soul is in anguish and we see no way out, or when we are lost in a cave of darkness and are chilled to the bone, our God is right there with us (Hebrews 13:5).

Sometimes, our determination wanes and our body grows weary (Psalm 31:10). We may cause our self to suffer physical illness, if we do not surrender our disappointment and stress-filled life to God.

As we weary of living with the consequences of our mistakes, we stop attempting to live life for our own purposes, with our human resources and in our own power and effort (Psalm 31:14-20).

When we learn not to take even one more step in our human strength, we cast all of our cares on God and He proves His care for us by changing our life for the better (1 Peter 5:7).

Once we are surrendered to Him, even when our pillow is drenched with tears caused by physical, mental, financial and emotional suffering and disappointment, God is in control (Psalm 56:8).

We totally surrender to God, not holding back or relying on our self in any way. Then, our God of grace restores us and re-establishes our life in the center of His will (1 Peter 5:10).

We often look for fulfillment on this side of Heaven. We may succeed in certain areas, but complete fulfillment only happens for those who totally surrender to God and walk in His Spirit.

Sometimes, for His glory, God allows us to walk in continual trials until His ultimate healing in Heaven (John 9:3). Even then, we have the power of His Spirit within us to find His joy and contentment in our circumstances.

When we place our faith in God’s faithfulness, His presence within us gives us His peace, wisdom and power, and He strengthens our body to accomplish those tasks, which He calls us to do (Proverbs 31:17).

Prayer:
Father God, Your Word is our truth and our hope (Psalm 119:114). Keep us safe from destructive people and accusing tongues (Psalm 31:20; Proverbs 29:25). Watch over us and shade us from the fiery darts of the enemy (Psalm 121:5). Continue to provide a refuge for the poor and needy all the days of our life (Isaiah 25:4).

When we serve You with our whole heart, mind, spirit and energy, You lift our burdens and bring us continual new life. We offer back to You the gifts, which You give to us, and we ask you to empower us to perform every ministry, which You lead us to do. Remind us to breathe out life’s stresses and to breathe in Your calming presence all throughout the day.

Thought for the Day:
In this world, we are guaranteed to have problems at home, work and in society; but as we trust Christ’s complete redemption, His joy is our strength, and He is our refuge and fortress forever. – John 16:33; Nehemiah 8:10; Psalm 18:2, 91:2

The Restoration of All Things

During the time prior to the Great Tribulation, God will allow the anti-Christ to bring peace to global conflict and to conquer the world by his cunning political methods. In addition, God will send strong delusion on anyone who did not receive the love of His Truth in order to be saved. They will believe the anti-Christ’s deception and take pleasure in wickedness. God will bring judgment on these rebellious people (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12).

In spite of Satan’s promises through the anti-Christ, the world will experience widespread famine, pervasive human and animal loss, the wholesale martyrdom of Israeli believers in Christ, unparalleled earthquakes and fires and cosmic disturbances, the contamination of the world’s water supply, diminished light from the sun and moon and stars, terrible plagues, and angelic forces who use a demonic army to destroy even more of the earth’s population (Revelation, Ezekiel, Daniel).

Once God purges the earth of evil, He creates a new eternal heaven and earth, which will eclipse the beauty and splendor of our current world (Isaiah 65:17, 66:22). He will establish His Kingdom on the earth and we will serve Him (Revelation 22:3). God will restore to His beloved Saints everything which Adam and Eve relinquished to Satan in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 1; Revelation 20-21).

God does not send good people to heaven and bad people to hell. In fact, God never sends anyone to hell, nor does He condemn us (John 3:16-17). We actually condemn our self to hell by our unbelief (John 3:18; 1 John 3:21). Adam and Eve chose to believe Satan’s lie, rather than God’s truth, and most of mankind has followed suit ever since. God’s benevolent plan for mankind from the beginning of time, and still is for us to spend eternity with Him in His Paradise.

Prayer:
Father God, You love us so much that You sent Your only begotten Son to save us from the penalty of our sins. You never send judgment without first sending a warning. In fact, You gave us Your prophets, apostles, pastors, evangelists and teachers to remind us about the truths of Your Word. Thank You for giving us the opportunity to repent of our sins and to receive the saving work, which Jesus Christ obtained for us on Calvary’s cross.

Though for the Day:
Jesus returned to Heaven until the time comes for Him to restore all things to Himself.

– Acts 3:21

Health and Well Being – Part 3

Our Spirit, Body and Soul are all interconnected and depend upon one another for complete health. God shows mercy on our troubled soul and infirmed body; and He wants us to respond when He calls us to help each other (Psalm 6:2-3). If we see the anguish in someone’s soul and do not obey the Spirit’s direction to help alleviate that distress, God finds us guilty of neglect (Genesis 42:21).

With God as our gentle shepherd, there is nothing we need, which He will not supply. He gives us more than we need physically; and He also restores our soul, after we experience a wounding and upsetting situation (Psalm 23:1-3). As we wait on God, He feeds our body and spirit as He delivers us from the prison of our wounded soul (Psalm 62:1, 142:7; Proverbs 13:25).

The more depressed our soul is, the more God encourages us to hope in Him and to praise Him through our trials. He brightens our emotions and body language, while He delivers our soul from grief (Psalm 42:5-6, 11). As we grow spiritually, we long to walk in the courts of our living God, and we cry out for a deeper union with Him (Psalm 84:1-2). Our intimate relationship with Him gives us a new perspective on life.

Attending church services, reading our Bible, praising God continually, fellowshipping with Christian friends and staying in tune with God all day long, through communion with His Spirit, will help to strengthen our spirit. This causes our soul to blossom and brings health to our body all at the same time (3 John 1:2).

Prayer:
Father God, Your sound wisdom and discretion give life and grace to our soul. You allow us to walk safely without stumbling, even during treacherous experiences throughout our lifetime (Proverbs 3:21-23). Remind us to be aware of our own and also our neighbor’s need for nurturing; and lead us by Your Spirit to help us in these times of necessity. We incline our ear to You and follow hard after You, so that we may hear Your life-giving Words (Isaiah 55:3).

Thought for the Day:
Our soul clings to God for comfort in times of both stress and distress. – Psalm 63:8

That Feeling of Intimacy

So many people tell me that they no longer feel God’s intense presence like they once did, and they want that feeling back. They say that God left them alone in the wilderness, and they cannot find His presence. This is impossible. God lives within us (Colossians 1:27). There is no way that He would ever leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

If we do not feel His presence it is for one of two reasons. Maybe we sinned and grieved the Holy Spirit. When this happens, God turns His back because He cannot look upon sin (Habakkuk 1:13). The other reason is that He is enjoying some companionable silence with us; and in our insecurity, we fail to realize that He is still and always will be right here within us.

God is constantly near us. He sees us no matter where we are or what we are doing (Psalm 139:8). He fills the heavens and earth, and this includes the lives of those who put their trust in Him (Jeremiah 23:23-24). The first step in restoring our intimacy is to allow God’s Spirit to search our heart (Psalm 139:23-24). He will point out to us any idol or sin, which is blocking the connection between Him and us.

The second step is to relax and enjoy God’s companionable silence. We do not need goose bumps, constant revelation from His Word or His still, small voice within us in order to believe that He is with us. We have His promise that He is there, and that is all we really need. Rather than seeking a feeling, just spend time praising God, because our connection with Him can never be lost.

Prayer:
Father God, You inhabit the praises of Your people (Psalm 22:3). There is no quicker way to connect to Your presence in us than to praise You with an obedient heart full of gratitude and trust. Remind us that once we are free from unconfessed sin, empty of all known idols and trusting in Your goodness, we will bask in the waterfall of Your love, which You pour over those who rest in Your will.

Thought for the Day:
Never allow Satan to convince you that this perceived “dry spell” means that God is withholding His presence from you; confess known sin and then enjoy His companionable silence by sitting still and knowing that He is Your God now and forever. – Psalm 46:10

Not Limiting God

Believers are actually foreigners here on this earth, because this is not our permanent home (John 17:16-18). We are camping out in this tent of flesh, until God calls us home (2 Corinthians 5:1). Our eternal life starts at Salvation, because it is simply an intimate relationship with God and with Jesus, whom He sent to restore us to Himself (John 17:3).

Satan no longer has dominion over us due to Jesus defeating Him and sin and death at His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:57). God redeemed us through Christ and He purifies our life through sanctification (Titus 2:14; Galatians 3:13; Psalm 66:10). The only limits placed on God are those we impose on Him by our unbelief, because with God all things are possible, if we only believe (Luke 1:37).

In the Christian walk, we surrender our life, goals and plans to God’s will for us. We do not make plans and ask God to bless them, because this limits God and what He wants to accomplish through us. God does not want us to work for Him. He gives us the opportunity to give Him control over our life, so that Christ can live in us and work through us (Galatians 2:20: Colossians 3:3).

Jesus does this through His Holy Spirit, whom we receive at salvation. God’s Spirit dwells in us and fills us with His wisdom and power (Romans 8:9; Acts 1:8). We take our focus off the things in this life, because we realize that our citizenship is actually in Heaven (Ephesians 2:19; Philippians 3:19-21). This allows us the privilege of dwelling with God for eternity as His adopted children (Ephesians 1:5).

Prayer:
Father God, we long for the day in which we can live under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, with the government on His shoulders (Isaiah 9:6; Hebrews 11:13-16). Thank You for using creation to preach the gospel to anyone willing to see Your truth (Romans 1:20). In fact, the rocks will cry out if we fail to tell the world of Your love (Luke 19:40). Remind us to faithfully share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with anyone willing to listen. We thank You for redeeming us, for freeing us from the bondage of Satan, death and sin, and for making us part of Your family of Saints. We look forward to You living in us as Your Body for as many years as You have us on this earth; and then living with You, and knowing You even more intimately as the Bride of Christ throughout eternity.

Thought for the Day:
God makes us a holy city and sets us on a hill, so that the whole world can see Him in us (Matthew 5:14-16). We do not belong in this world; we are simply passing through.