All Part of God’s Plan

God’s wrath over sin fated Jesus to a brutal crucifixion before the creation of the world (Revelation 13:8; 1 Peter 1:20). Jesus became sin for undeserving sinners like us (Isaiah 53:10). As we confess Him before our Father, He becomes our Lord (Philippians 2:11; Isaiah 53:11). His words of life bring us joy (John 15:11). He is our eternal life, and our fulfillment is in His presence both now and in eternity (Psalm 16:11).

When we come to the awesome revelation that not one thing occurs in our life that is not part of God’s plan for us, we can relax and go with His flow and follow His directives during each situation, just like Jesus did (1Thessalonians 5:18). This absolute truth allows us to live in His perfect peace. Our joy is no longer affected by our circumstances, but simply by the presence of Christ within us (Colossians 1:27).

During our lifetime our thoughts, words or deeds may cause us to reap negative circumstances, but God even uses this to discipline and mature us as His Saints. The Lord is God, He made us, and we belong to Him (Psalm 100:3). He gave us Jesus as our Way, Truth and Life (Johan 14:6). God never leaves us, so our joy is always complete (Hebrews 13:5; John 15:11).

God calls His children to live with gratitude to Him in our heart in every situation, which life throws at us (James 1:2-5; Hebrews 12:3-13; 1 Peter 2:20-21). Due to God’s goodness, mercy and everlasting truth, words of thanksgiving and praise fill all of our days (Psalm 100:5). This gives us continual victory. In our gratitude to Him, we sing songs of praise and we serve Him with His joy as our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

Prayer:
Father God, we always give thanks to You, in the name of Jesus, for everything in our life, even the negative aspects (Ephesians 5:20). You did, You do and You will always do so much for us, for which we thank You. Thank You that Jesus gave His body, broken for our redemption (Luke 22:19). Thank You for Your Holy Spirit, who keeps us from living on this earth as orphans (John 14:18). Thank You for Your presence in our life. We look forward to dwelling with You in eternity (John 17:3).

Thought for the Day:
We live in praise to God, because He promises that He will work out all things, even the negative aspects of our life, for our good. – Romans 8:28

Enduring Gratitude

Enduring Gratitude

At the last supper, Jesus gave thanks to our Father in spite of already knowing the horrific suffering awaiting Him in just a few hours. Even in the garden, He wrestled with the part that He must play in securing mankind’s salvation through the centuries. Yet, He did not falter or run away.

In the garden, as He sweat drops of blood at the thought of becoming sin for us, He changed His focus from the upcoming crucifixion to the eternal glory, which awaited Him just beyond the grave (Luke 22:44). Jesus both authored our faith and also prefects it (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). That leaves no responsibility for us, except to respond positively to His overtures (Galatians 2:16).

Jesus not only forgave our sins and supplied our salvation, but also provided the best future for us that we could ever envision (Romans 6:23; Romans 8:17). He provides all of our needs with His glorious riches, both now and in eternity (Philippians 4:19). This allows us to live in everlasting and enduring gratitude to our Father.

Jesus’ sacrifice made it possible for us to skip the stages of death, in order to enter. Our last breath on earth is followed by our next breath in Heaven (1 Corinthians 15:52-53; 2 Corinthians 5:8). In our immortal body, we will live in eternal bliss without sin and corruption (Psalm 16:11, 43:4; 1 John 3:2; Romans 8:21). We will sing with angels around the throne and rule and reign with Him forever (Revelation 7:11; 2 Timothy 2:12).

Prayer:
Father God, You give us all of Your grace in our times of need in order to help us to see Your hand in every trial (2 Corinthians 9:8). Change our focus from the trauma we feel now to the fact that this light and momentary affliction pales in comparison to the miracle You plan for us through this trial (2 Corinthians 4:17). We have so many reasons to live a life of enduring gratitude to You both now and in eternity.

Thought for the Day:
Born Again Believers have so much to be thankful for, both in this life and the next.

The Beauty of Holiness

What most people do not realize is that there is beauty in holiness (Psalm 29:2, 96:9). There are church denominations, which add to Biblical law and fence members of their congregation into a narrow, legalistic lifestyle, which is more rigid than God ever intended. The standard by which we judge our behavior is not by human dogma, activities or acceptance, but the Truth of God’s Word.

However, there is also a tendency today to skirt Biblical directives and to partake in sinful activities, which we justify in our own heart as harmless. When we flirt with the flesh, the world and Satan, we walk a fine line between God’s Truth and Satan’s lies. We compromise our character. By our thoughts, words and deeds, we tarnish the name of our Father God.

We even shut up the Kingdom of Heaven for some, because of our hypocritical lifestyle (Matthew 23:13-14). God is holy, and He dwells within us; therefore, He desires His habitation to be a place of holiness (1 Peter 1: 15-16). Before He even created the world, God planned for His Saints to live a holy, blameless life before Him, out of our love for Him (Ephesians 1:4, 2:10).

Human beings are so self-centered that we cannot comprehend the fullness of life beyond the grave. We think that we have to experience all that life on this earth has to offer, because we only have one life to live. This is a lie straight from the pit of hell. Our earthly life is merely temporary (James 4:14). It is our life in God’s eternal Kingdom that is our true life.

Prayer:
Father God, our sinful habits and our sinful lifestyle spit in Your face (1 Thessalonians 4:7). We focus on issues in this life, when that is not what You are really concerned about at all. Many people wonder what Your will is for them. Your will is more about our sanctification than our place of employment, brand of car or style of clothing (1 Thessalonians 4:3). Giving thanks for our lot in life is also Your will for us (1 Thessalonians 5:18). You actually put us in the neighborhood and occupation in which we can further Your Kingdom, and that should be our daily focus.

Thought for the Day:
God calls us to be a living testimony of the change His presence makes in our life and as examples of righteous living to the praise of His glory. – Ephesians 1:12

Spiritual Healing – Part 1

Understanding Bitterness and Anger

Once we repent, our sins are always forgiven (1 John 1:9). However, some sins often continue to plague us relentlessly for two reasons. They are caused by a subconscious lie from the pit of hell, and this lie is still affecting us every day of our life. What is the sin, which so easily ensnares you? (Hebrews 12:1) What happened in your past that draws you to that sin over and over again?

For instance, my besetting sin is anger. I use anger to protect myself from abuse and neglect. Why do I do that? I had incidences in my life of both abuse and neglect. My soul – my mind, will and emotions – do not want to experience either of these issues again. Therefore, I use anger to fight against anything that even remotely appears to resemble either exploitation or abandonment.

I fight the circumstance and I clash with the person whom I perceive is abusing or neglecting me. I do not even think about it before I react. I automatically over-react to any behavior that involves me, which even hints at being abusive or negligent. This over-reaction in anger is a sin, because it is telling God that I do not trust Him to care for me. I want to control the situation to keep myself safe.

As humans, when something upsets us, it triggers the wounds from our past. We react from the anguish of our soul and complain bitterly about the current issue, because of these ancient wounds (Job 7:11). This bitterness, rooted in the hurtful experiences of our past, will spring up and cause us all sorts of trouble. It will even spoil our current relationships and hinder our walk with the Lord (Hebrews 12:15).

Prayer:
Father God, bitterness and anger reside in our heart over past wounds. Show us the root of Satan’s lies, which stand against Your truth (James 3:14; http://www.theophostic.com ). We need Your forgiveness for sin, as well as Your healing and cleansing from the root of the sin, which allows that sinful behavior to perpetually manifest in our life. Remind us that when Your Son sets us free, we are free indeed (John 8:36).

Thought for the Day:
God wants to cleanse our soul from bitterness and anger and allow His sweet, living water to flow from our soul instead of putrid, bitter water from the painful experiences in our past. – James 3:11

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

God’s Plans

Did you know that the Lord desires our continual fellowship and communion? He created us in His image and gave us Paradise to dwell in for eternity. Even though sin forfeited our chance to live in Paradise during our lifetime, God makes all things work out for our good, even in this sin-cursed world; and He promises us Paradise in the future (Romans 8:28; Luke 23:39-43).

God brings us out of the bondage to sin and frees us from the cravings of our soul, which bring dishonor to His name. He sets our feet on high places (Psalm 18:33). He delivers us from darkness and deprivation and gives us His glorious, new life (Colossians 1:13; 1 Peter 1:3). God always supplies all of our needs with His glorious riches in heaven (Philippians 4:19).

Many of us cheat our self out of receiving all that God has prepared for us, because we fill our life with our own daily concerns. The plans God has for us actually give us hope and are for our good (Jeremiah 29:11). Nothing takes God by surprise. He even rescues us from life’s negative circumstances, and works them out for our benefit, if we put our hope only in Him (2 Peter 2:9; Psalm 39:7).

God made provision for us long before we were even born (Psalm 139:13). Our trials are never too painful or too long, because they cannot separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:35-39). We are more than conquerors because of Jesus, who loves us so much that He forfeited His life in glory for 33 years and lived on this earth. He suffered and died in our place, so that we might live victoriously (Romans 8:37; Philippians 2:5-11; 2 Corinthians 5:21).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for Your presence every hour of our day. We cast our spirit, soul and body on You because You care about us. You provided us with salvation for our spirit, You are bringing salvation to our soul through sanctification, and You will even replace our body with an immortal body. Thank You for Your fellowship, which remains unbroken as long as we do not sin and grieve Your Spirit. Thank You too for restoring fellowship with us the moment that we repent.

Thought for the Day:
God provides a place of rest for our weary soul, an abundance that we never dreamed possible, a serenity of soul, which surpasses anything this world has to offer with all of its methods of meditation, karma, self-discipline and higher powers other than Christ.