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

Christ is Our All in All

Many people struggle to find confidence, assertiveness and fulfillment in this life, until we gain our identity and esteem through Christ in us (Colossians 1:27).

Jesus Christ is sovereign over this earth and heaven too. He wants to be our Savior, Lord, King and best friend. He gave His life to pay the ransom for our life (Matthew 20:28).

Once we totally surrender our entire life to Jesus, we have fewer trials and we find in Him our only true source of power, love and peace of mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

We trust in His Truth and realize that God’s Spirit is transforming our flawed human nature into Christ’s divine nature (2 Peter 1:4; 2 Corinthians 3:18). We belong to our beloved Savior and He belongs to us (Song of Solomon 6:3).

Jesus is our safe harbor and anchor in every type of trial or tribulation. He is our light in the darkness, rest for our weary soul and wisdom, which provides us with skill for living.

He is our Bread of Life to relieve our hunger (John 6:35). The Living Water to quench our thirst (John 4:14). The Tree of Life to pay for our sins (Revelation 22:2). The Alpha and Omega to provide for all of our needs (Revelation 22:13).

His grace is our sufficiency (2 Corinthians 12:9). His love warms our heart, His rest quiets our mind and His peace envelops us with a stress-free life.

Prayer:
Father God, Your Son existed before creation and He now holds all things together. He is our all in all (Colossians 1:17; Ephesians 4:6). We are content in His presence in our life.

You prepared Jesus as the sacrifice for our sins before You ever created the world (1 Peter 1:20), because You already know the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). You are forming us into the image of Christ, incorporating us into His Body, and perfecting us into His flawless Bride (2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 12:5; Ephesians 5:24).

Thought for the Day:
We are risen in Christ, who is our Savior, and who gives us complete salvation, complete forgiveness and complete victory, because we are complete in Him.

– Colossians 2:10; 3:1

This Free Gift is Yours

At the age of 18, I was plagued with negative emotions from betrayal by my father, who was supposed to protect me. I tired of my string of boyfriends, because I could not find my soulmate.

I wrote morbid poems about the devastation, which I felt inside, and I even contemplated suicide. This drove me to question the empty spot within myself, which called out to me for fulfillment.

Thankfully, during an extra work-day to ready our college yearbook for press, I met a vivacious red-head who shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with me (John 3:16-18).

This resulted in God giving me feet like hind’s feet to traverse the heights of His love (Habakkuk 3:19; Psalm 18:33; 2 Samuel 22:34). Since then, I feel no shame in proclaiming to the world that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Lord.

So often, we reject Christ, because we fear the rejection of our family and friends, as well as ostracism by those we respect and hold in high esteem. Yet, we are willing, by our unbelief, to alienate the King of kings for all eternity.

I share the free gift of the gospel of Christ with anyone who will listen. I view every stranger as a potential friend, and I realize that everyone I pass in a day’s time is a prospective member with me in the family of God.

Christ paid the ultimate price for our salvation, but He gives it to us as a free gift (Romans 6:23). We do not deserve it, and we cannot earn it (Ephesians 2:8-9). We simply receive it.

There is no end to God’s love. I want everyone to enjoy God’s bountiful benefits. There is no valid reason to miss out on His free gift (Psalm 103:2).

Prayer:

Father God, Your love is boundless and Your generosity is limitless. You spoil us as Your children and You share with us the inheritance of Your Kingdom for all of eternity. We simply need to believe and to surrender our entire body, soul and spirit to Your Lordship.

You do not demand perfection before we come to You; you perfect us from glory to glory once we trust You with our life (2 Corinthians 3:18). Your only requirement to receive Your free gift of salvation is that we love you with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength (Romans 6:23; Mark 12:30). This is so easy to do, because we simply respond to Your love for us.

Thought for the Day:

God gives us both the desire and the ability to walk in obedience to His ways. –  Philippians 2:13

Eternally Secure

Doomed by our sin, and following the crowd in a sinful lifestyle, made us servants of Satan, who is actually our adversary. Our life was full of evil and under God’s wrath (Ephesians 2:1-3).

But in His rich mercy, God loved us so much that even though we were still dead spiritually, He became a man to free us from the penalty of our sins.

God’s love for us is so great that He gave us His undeserved favor by sending Jesus to die in our place (Ephesians 2:4-7). He did not come to condemn us, but to save us (John 3:16-17).

Only those who refuse to trust in Christ for eternal salvation are already condemned, because of their refusal to believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation (John 3:18).

However, those who believe that Jesus is the son of God and our Savior are children of God. Christ in us helps us to love one another and to love our Father God as we obey His Word (1 John 5:1-4).

Once we come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as our Savior, there is nothing in heaven or on earth, which can separate us from His love (Romans 8:37-39).

Even though we have not yet seen God, He lives in us by His Holy Spirit. This is our proof that we are in Him and He is in us (1 John 4:12-17).

God began His saving work in us and will continue to sanctify us and to help us to grow in His grace until Jesus comes again for His Bride, the Church (Philippians 1:6).

Our eternally secure salvation gives us an anchor for our soul – our mind, decisions and emotions, because Salvation give us this connection to God.

God dwells in the Holy of Holies in heaven, as well as in our spirit, along with Christ, who is our great High Priest and constantly intercedes for us (Hebrews 6:19-7:1)

We are crucified with Christ, and the life we are now living on this earth, we live in the power of Christ within us (Galatians 2:20). We are citizens of God’s Kingdom and we belong to His household forever (Ephesians 2:19).

Prayer:
Father God, through Your kindness, You saved us when we trusted in Christ rather than in our self for our salvation. This is not a reward for our behavior, and we can take no credit for it (Ephesians 2:8:9).

You created us as human beings and provided us a new life in Christ before we were ever born. Therefore, nothing we do to earn our way to heaven will bear any fruit toward salvation (Ephesians 2:10-11).

Thank You for sending Christ to make us all, Jews and Gentiles alike, Your unified family, by breaking down all the walls, which used to separate us. Because of You, we are no longer strangers and aliens to heaven, but members of Your own dear family (Ephesians 2:14).

Thought for the Day:
Apart from God, and far away from a life in Him, we are His enemies; but in Christ we are God’s children and He is near to us, living in our spirit, and making us eternally secure – Ephesians 2:12-13

New Creation – Part 2

God started a good work in me and continues to make me a new creation (Philippians 1:6). Introspection was an affliction, which contributed to my low self-esteem and introverted tendencies. God’s Holy Spirit healed this burden by ending my negative self-talk and filling me with His fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).

I tended to be one-track minded and had no skill for multi-tasking, until my children were born – what mother does not learn to multi-task?

Fighting depressive thoughts and looking at the glass as half-empty were two other melancholic traits, from which God delivered me. He taught me to focus on the eternal rather than the earthly; eventually worldly cares and concerns stopped bothering me so much.

Feeling like a victim or a savior were two other traits, which God freed me from by reminding me that I am more than a conqueror and Jesus is the only Savior the world needs (Romans 8:37; 1 John 4:14).

Holding grudges caused me problems until God taught me about forgiveness – not only about forgiving others, but about forgiving myself as well (Matthew 6:14-15). Mercy and grace became my guide stones.

Worry is another weakness, which plagued my life until God taught me to have faith in His faithfulness and that He would eventually work out everything, even the most negative situation, for my good (Romans 8:28).

Prayer:
Father God, these negative natural tendencies crippled my life and gave me a pessimistic outlook. I could not see the joy You created all around me. As you transform me to have the mind of Christ, all of nature, each person I encounter and every detail of my day become an adventure and a blessing in my life. I look forward to each new day in Your presence. Thank You for making me a new creation.

Thought for the Day:
Transformation is a voyage of discovery of who we are in Christ. – 2 Corinthians 5:17

God’s Everlasting Love

Our help in times of tribulation and loss comes from the Lord (Psalm 121:1-2). He is the God of Creation (Genesis 1:1), Redemption (Ephesians 1:7) and Protection (Psalm 121:7). As Creator, He not only created the cosmos in the beginning, He will also restore all things with a new Heaven and a new Earth (Revelation 21:1). As Redeemer, God saves Believers and protects us so that we will never perish (John 3:16-18).

To receive these blessings, we admit our need for a Savior. We all fall short of His glory, and deserve death; however, God gives us eternal life when we turn from our sinful lifestyle and trust in Him to save us (Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:8). We confess that we are sinners, believe in our heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, and we shall be saved (Roman 10:9).

We can live in confidence, because we know that God is protecting us through every trial and in all of our grief. As with Daniel in the lion’s den, the Hebrew children in the fiery furnace and the valley of the shadow of death, God does not save us from the suffering; but as we live through it, He walks with us, as well as in us (Colossians 1:27).

God collects our tears in His bottle and He records the events in His book. He will bring revenge on those who hurt us (Romans 12:19). When we pray, God works on our behalf. We can trust Him without hesitation, realizing that no one can do anything to us without God’s consent (Psalm 56:8-11). We will live for eternity and no one can ever snatch us away from Him (John 10:28).

Prayer:
Father God, I confess that I am a sinner. I repent of my sins and I turn to You for salvation. I believe in You and trust You to take control of my life. Thank you for creating me, redeeming me and providing for me every day of my life. You are there for me in the light and the darkness. You carry me through every trial and comfort me in all of my grief (Psalm 68:19).

Thought for the Day:
As we flee from temptation and please God, we will increase in grace and knowledge of all that the Lord means to us. – 2 Timothy 2:22-24; 2 Peter 3:18

The Comings of Christ

There are three separate comings of Jesus Christ recorded in God’s Word. First, He came as a baby, born in a manger and lived a submissive life to His parents for 30 years. Then, after His ministry of three years, He died on the cross to save us from our sins, He resurrected from the grave and ascended back to heaven to be with our Father. He is building New Jerusalem for us, so that we can live with Him for eternity (John 14:2-3).

What we call the Rapture is the second appearing of Jesus, which happens in the clouds, when He comes to call His Bride of Believers home to Heaven. Those who are dead will rise first. Their spirit and soul are already with the Lord, but their mortal body will come from the dust of the grave and be changed into an immortal body as they go to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Isaiah 35:4). Those Believers still alive on the earth at that time will join them (1 Thessalonians 5:9).

This occurs prior to Jesus opening the first seal on the scroll and unleashing the reign of the anti-Christ on the earth for seven years (Revelation 5:1-10, 6:2). God will use the Great Tribulation to judge the ungodly nations of the world through the horrors of the Day of His Wrath. The governments of this world will topple and every unbeliever will be brought to their knees and realize that Jesus is Lord (Romans 14:10-12; Philippians 2:11).

God will also use the Great Tribulation to save Israel and to bring them into the land He promised their father Abraham. God’s third reason for the Day of His Vengeance is to put an end to Satan’s rule on this earth. This brings on what is called the second coming, when Jesus physically returns to earth with His Saints to defeat Satan’s Army and to rule the earth for one thousand years, and then on into eternity (Revelation 20-22).

Prayer:
Father God, the end time events strike fear in the heart of everyone who respects Your name. We know they will literally happen just as your life, death and resurrection literally occurred. We thank You for giving us the opportunity to work in Your Kingdom throughout the Millennium. Help us to reach as many people as possible now, to join us for eternity with You.

Thought for the Day:
Going to church and reading the Bible will not save anyone. God calls everyone to believe that we need a savior, that Jesus Christ is that Savior, and to surrender our life and our will to God. – John 3:16-18