Escaping Fiery Darts and Entrapping Sins

Satan attempts to use the sin in the world and in people dwelling all around us to inflict us with physical and emotional wounds. He delights in deceiving us and inflicting pain through the destruction of sin.

 

God tells us to draw near to him and to resist the devil, and the devil has to flee (James 4:7). We can avoid many of life’s tragedies and their consequences by walking in the Spirit instead of in the flesh (Galatians 5:15-25).

 

There are inevitable consequences of life on this sin-cursed earth, such as certain illnesses and death; yet, it is often the foods we eat and products we use on our body and in our home, as well as the people in our life, which contribute to our unnecessary illness and untimely death.

 

If we realize that we are raised with Christ and hidden with Him in God, we understand that God has ultimate control over our life. We keep our self free from the pursuit and love of money and escape undue stress and its effects on our body, soul and spirit.

 

Jesus calls us to seek Heavenly matters and wisdom from the right hand of God where He is sitting (Colossians 3:1-3). We learn to obey His Spirit and to live contentedly with what He provides.

 

God’s great love and compassion never fail and prevent us from being consumed by sin, the devil and the world. God faithfully provides His mercy for us each new morning (Lamentations 3:22-23).

 

We awaken to a whole new day of His provision and protection. As we are still before God and listen to His voice, we know God in an intimate relationship, and find His peace in uncertainty.

 

He never leaves or forsakes us and He abides within our spirit and protects our body and soul from the ravages of this world (Hebrews 13:5). Born of God, we overcome this world and enjoy His victory through our belief and faith in Christ (1 John 5:4-5).

 

Prayer:

Father God, life is so uncertain and we constantly wonder what will happen tomorrow to throw a wrench in the works. You give us the faith of Christ, which helps us to realize that life’s challenges are really adventures when You are involved in them with us. As we focus our faith in Your faithfulness, we enjoy life so much more.

 

You are Creator and Savior and are always in charge, even when we wander from Your will. Your love never changes and You always draw us back to the protection of Your straight and narrow road (Matthew 7:14). We look forward to You coming for Your Saints, but we thank You too for overcoming this world in and through us until You do.

 

Thought for the Day:

Christ in us enables us to escape the fiery darts of the devil and to protect us from reaping the destruction of the sins, which so easily trap us in their grip. – Ephesians 6:16; Hebrews 12:1

 

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Trusting in God’ Word

We can trust in God’s Living Word – sharper than any two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). Symbolism in the Bible speaks to us about the truth of His Word and the perfect timing of God’s plan for all of mankind.

For instance, Jesus – our perfect sacrificial Lamb – was crucified on the 14th day of the first month of the Jewish year (1 Corinthians 5:7). That was no accident.

This is the exact day and time that the Passover lambs are slain as a memorial of the Jew’s deliverance from the death angel while in Egypt.

Christ’s sacrifice makes us fully acceptable and totally pleasing to God by washing away our sins and giving us Christ’s righteousness. His Word gives us faith to believe in Him.

The Word informs us that God’s Spirit renews our mind and character, establishing in us the fruit of His Spirit and the character of Christ (Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Peter 1:3-10). Seeing our identity in Christ improves our self-image and deepens our union with Him.

Christ in us makes us the light of the world, a city high on a mountain top, which is impossible to hide (Matthew 5:14). However, this also means that any sin in our life is instantly visible and damages our witness for Christ.

Our words and actions affect our testimony either positively or negatively. That is why we are exhorted to keep our self unspotted by the world, and God’s Word helps us to do this (James 1:27).

God’s Word also makes us realize that Satan only has power over us if we give him something to devour (1 Peter 5:8). If we submit to God and resist the devil, he has to flee from us (James 4:7).

Trusting in God’s Word gives us peace of mind, the security of faith, and hope for tomorrow. His precepts and prophesies give us solid ground on which to stand in this world of shifting sand.

Prayer:
Father God, life on this earth is scary and unpredictable, debilitating and demoralizing, full of pain and suffering. If we had to live without You and Your Word, our hearts would fail us for fear (Luke 21:26). Yet, trusting in Your Word gives us strength within, which permeates all of our decisions and fuels all of our actions.

As we walk in Your Spirit through every moment of every day, there is no guesswork to consider, no mistakes to reap from and no mishaps for which You have not already prepared us. Thank You for not leaving us on earth without Your Word to comfort and encourage us.

Thought for the Day:
Criticizing the Word of God is human arrogance at its worst; only the wise will believe in His Word and trust in its insights. – 1 Corinthians 1:21; Romans 10:17

Successful Spiritual Warfare

Prayer is our lifeline to the Trinity. We continually communicate with God in prayer through each moment of the day (Matthew 7:8). We do not need a quiet place to kneel and pray.

We pray through the storms of life, the serene times of play, the busyness of our own making and the unforeseeable issues, which life unexpectedly throws at us.

Prayer changes us, the people we pray for, the circumstances surrounding us and the spiritual principalities and powers all around us.

In chapters nine and ten, the Bible records Daniel’s experience concerning answers to his prayer. One was a quick response and the other a delay of about three weeks.

In the later, when God’s archangel finally broke through Satan’s lines of hindrance drawn in high places to prevent the answer from being delivered, he explained all of this to Daniel in detail.

These are some of the most amazing verses in the Old Testament. It enables us to realize the spiritual warfare going on around us as a reality and an entity to take seriously.

These verses encourage us to “pray-through” in every situation and to persevere until God delivers His answer, rather than to give up after a weak attempt to petition our Deliverer.

Sometimes, our prayers are carnal and self-centered; designed too heap on our self the riches of this world (James 4:3). God does not always provide what we want, especially if He knows it is not for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28).

Yet at other times, Satan steps up his resistance in order to discourage us from believing in God, trusting Him with our life and walking in His order for our day.

God inspired James to tell us that if we submit to God’s will and resist the devil, he has no option but to flee from our presence (James 4:7-9). This is the secret to successful spiritual warfare.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for deigning to form an intimate, personal relationship with us – the Creator with the created. You desire our continual fellowship while we live on this earth and look forward to our death when we come to abide in Your presence forever (Psalm 116:15).

Your angels rejoice when one sinner repents and crosses over from eternal death into life, adding yet another Saint to Your Kingdom (Luke 15:7). You rejoice over us with singing and You love us with an everlasting love (Zephaniah 3:17). We can barely grasp the full meaning of this relationship, which You offer to everyone ever born on this earth.

Thought for the Day:
Most people never avail our self the opportunity to enter into this intimate union with our Creator and King, because we despise the shame of the cross and resist the opportunity to totally surrender our will to His.

End to the Beginning

End to the Beginning

Whenever I read a book, I always read the last chapter first. That way I eliminate the mystery, suspense and unpredictability of the story line. Then, I can read from the beginning, without the stress of not knowing how it will turn out.

Some of you may enjoy horror movies and suspenseful mysteries, but they cause my psyche too much anxiety. I love to watch Hallmark movies, because as my husband derisively points out, the endings are predictable. There is very little stress and suspense in these wondrously sappy romances.

I did this with the Bible too. I read Revelation first. This colorful depiction of symbolic drama gives us a bird’s eye view of the culmination of time as we know it.

Revelation confirms the prophetic books of the Bible, such as Daniel, Ezekiel and Isaiah – as well as the New Testament letters such as the gospels and Thessalonians. They report to us God’s intention for creation, redemption and restoration.

When we know how the end plays out, these facts remove the guesswork from life and give us a fool proof game plan to follow in our walk of faith through the Son of God.

God made His will plain and stress-free for us through the Biblical account of His clear timetable of events leading up to His final return to earth and His eternal plans for humanity.

God does not dwell in time. The 6,000 years since creation are all in the present to Him. He is not restrained, directed or controlled by the hands on the clock like we are (Psalm 90:4; 2 Peter 3:8).

Our Creator and King dwells in eternity. He invites us to join Him in this place of unhindered existence through salvation in His Son. Jesus won this privilege for us by taking on the form of a man and dying in our place (Philippians 2:6-8).

God also provided us with His Word in order to afford us hope for a joyful future and instructions for living in a peaceful existence through every moment of each new day regardless of our circumstances (Jeremiah 29:11).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for Your Word, which takes the guesswork right out of life. Remind us to check with You before we do anything, so that You can direct our plans (Proverbs 3:5-6). When Satan attempts to hinder us, teach us to use spiritual warfare through the power of Christ in us to withstand his onslaughts.

Thank You for always answering our prayers, and for not always giving us what we want, but what is in our best interest. We squirm under the pressures of life and often feel like we know how to alleviate these trials; but we often jump out of the frying pan into the fire. Keep us in the center of Your will and walking in the fruit of Your righteousness.

Thought for the Day:
Our Father is God and there is no one like Him; He declared the end to the beginning. – Isaiah 4:9-11

The Just Live by Faith

When we consider the sower of seed in Jesus’ parable, only one-fourth of the seed fell on good ground where it rooted and flourished.

When we realize the reception that Christ received while He lived on this earth, it puts things into clear perspective. If mankind would not receive Jesus when they could see Him, far fewer will believe in Him when they cannot see Him (Romans 10:14-15).

Most humans rely on finite, physical senses and limited mental powers in analyzing truth. If it does not feel right, then we reject it. Satan is right there making sure that the things of God make no human sense.

That is why faith is stressed so often in Biblical passages. The just live by faith and not by sight (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38). The unjust live by sight and not by faith. They mock faith and scorn those of us living by it.

Yet, we have more than blind faith. The Bible declared that the earth was round long before Columbus ever disproved the common myth that it was flat. Science is always catching up with the Bible.

Not one archaeological discovery ever disproved God’s written Word, while many historic finds prove the veracity of the Bible. Yet, people prefer to believe the lies, which Satan continually propagates as truth, rather than the Truth of God’s Word.

Unbelievers choose to trust in science, math and technology rather than in the reality of Jesus Christ. They believe in theories and hypothesis – even those with missing links – as if they are facts of truth.

Sadly, only one-fourth of the world’s population throughout the ages will ever believe in Christ and surrender their heart and soul to Him. Let us continually pray for and share our testimony with anyone who is willing to listen.

Prayer:
Father God, Jesus Christ generously gave His life to offer the whole world Your promise of everlasting life. It is for all people everywhere with no distinction of color, race, creed, shape, size or intelligence.

However, more people reject Your generous offer than receive it with whole-hearted devotion and thanksgiving. Pride and rebellion have always run rampant on the earth and self-reliance is the mantra. Give us opportunities to share Your truth with anyone who is willing to receive it.

Thought for the Day:
Good things are very often the enemy of the best things; yet, so many people are willing to take second best and base their entire life on it.

Lead Me to the Rock – Psalm 61

Jesus Christ is our solid Rock on which we stand when the storms of adversity stir up the quick sand of life. These menacing pits of destruction attempt to swallow us whole, sucking the life right out of us inch by inch.

As our heart grows faint, we cry out to God from the lowest parts of the earth and He leads us to the Rock, which is so much higher than our debilitating circumstances (Psalm 61:1-2).

Safely entrenched on the Rock of Christ we rise far above these destructive elements from Satan, the world and the flesh, which come to rob us of our joy and peace and make our testimony for God ineffectual and tarnished.

As our refuge and strong tower, He protects us from our enemies, takes us into His dwelling place, shelters us under His wings and showers us with His blessing (Psalm 61:3-4).

He hears our vows to serve Him with our life and He gives us His heritage in exchange. He increases our days and provides for our children and grandchildren for thousands of generations in the future (Psalm 61:5-6; Exodus 20:6).

God gives us a place in His royal priesthood and shares with us the throne of Christ. He showers us with His love and faithfully protects us (Psalm 61:7).

His goodness, grace, love and mercy cause us to praise His name forever and to keep our vows to Him day after day (Psalm 61:8). We want nothing more from this life than His perfect will for us.

Prayer:
Father God we wait patiently for You and You always hear our cries. You lift us out of the slimy pit of doom, out of the mud and mire and safely stand us on the Rock of Christ (Psalm 40:1-2, 62:1-3). You put a new song in our heart, which is a testimony to everyone in our life (Psalm 40:3).

Your love fills us with peace and joy regardless of the outward circumstances attempting to beat us down and debilitate us. We look for the seed for a miracle, which You plant within every trial threatening to overcome us. We depend on Your Spirit to guide us through each moment of our day.

Thought for the Day:
When we face the issues bombarding our life, we remember that the peace of God protects us when we are firmly standing on the Rock of Christ.

We Never Die

Humanity searched for generations for the fountain of youth, so we could drink of it and never die. Reincarnation purports that we never die; we just continually come back to life in another form.

Our eternal destination depends on our choices while we live on this earth. The Bible proclaims the truth that we do not ever die. We leave earth to live either in heaven or hell for eternity (2 Corinthians 5:8; Matthew 25:46).

Every physical body will die and go to the grave, to be resurrected immortally at the coming of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:53-54). However, our soul and spirit never die, they live in the presence of Satan or God forever.

As an unbeliever, we die twice: once physically and the second death in hell for eternity (Revelation 20:14). The body and soul – the mind, will and emotions – of an unbeliever experience the unrelenting torment of a lake of fire (Luke 16:19-31).

Instead, as Believers we die to sin and the flesh now, and we live eternally in Christ. Our last breath on earth is followed by our next breath in heaven (2 Corinthians 5:8). Our immortal body, soul and spirit will enjoy Heaven forever.

God calls everyone to come to Christ for eternal life (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:4). Pride and rebellion prevent so many people from surrendering their life in total submission to God and His will for their life.

They believe the devil’s lie that this is our only chance at life and we must live it with gusto. They do not realize that God’s plan gives us blessings in this life, as well as an eternity filled with prosperity and hope (Jeremiah 29:11; Psalm 40:5).

Prayer:
Father God, there is no reason for anyone to choose an eternal existence in hell (John 3:18). You call us to give up sin, so that we do not earn the wages of sin, which is death both now and for eternity (Romans 3:23, 6:23). You give us reasons to choose eternal life instead.

Thank You for planning for this eternal life to start at the moment of our salvation (Romans 6:23). Help us to humble our self under Your mighty hand, so that we will never die; but enjoy Your abundant, immortal life forever (2 Timothy 1:2; James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:6).

Thought for the Day:
Jesus shared in our existence in flesh and blood; so that through His death, He could make Satan powerless over sin and death, and to forever free us from slavery to sin, fear and death. – Hebrews 2:14-15