Life is No Longer a Struggle

After surrendering our life to Christ, we experience a struggle between our soul and spirit. Our spirit is born again by the Spirit of God at salvation. Our carnal nature is now dead, and our life is hidden with Christ in God. Christ is our whole life (Colossians 3:1-4).

Yet, there are predispositions in our life through habits and addictions, which continually pull us back to the deeds of the flesh (Romans 7:14-24). Thankfully, our redemption through Christ rescued us from serving a slaves to sin (Romans 7:25).

We can trust His Spirit to slowly sanctify us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). The result is that we walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:15-26). We bear holy fruit in our life and share this fruit with those God brings our way (Galatians 5:22-23).

We cannot accumulate enough good works to earn God’s love (Ephesians 2:8-9). While we were still sinners, He already gave us His unconditional and unmerited love as a free gift (Romans 3:23, 5:6-8, 6:23).

He gives us an example of how to love our children, spouse and other family members and friends. Our love for them is not based on their behavior or accomplishments, but as a free gift.

When we believe that our self-worth is based on our performance, we lose respect for our self if we fail. When we base our identity on Christ in us, we always succeed because we follow His Spirit on a daily basis.

This frees us from wearing masks to fit in or lying or living a hypocritical life in order to live up to the image we believe people expect from us. Receiving our worth from Christ in us keeps us humble and totally dependent on God.

We rely on God to point out our inconsistencies, to effect these changes in us and to help us to accomplish the works He pre-ordained for us to do (Psalm 139:23-24; Ephesians 2:10). He is our all in all through every moment of every day (Ephesians 4:6).

Prayer:
Father God, we choose to enter Your rest and to bear fruit through Your Spirit and by no effort of our own (John 15:4). We trust in the saving work of Christ on Calvary’s cross rather than on our good works; and we accept our holiness, righteousness, justification and sanctification as gifts from Your Spirit.

Thank You for rooting and grounding us in the soil of Your love and for caring for us as our Vinedresser throughout our entire lifetime. We pray that as we submit to Your will for our life, we will glorify You by bearing much fruit for Your Kingdom through Your Spirit’s work in our life (John 15:8; Galatians 5:15-25).

Thought for the Day:
God searches our heart and tries us, seeing our fears and anxiety and healing us of every hurtful memory as He leads us in His everlasting way.
– Psalm 139:23-24

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I GIVE UP

“I can’t!” and “I quit!” are two powerful statements. They denote a desire and decision to stop trying in our human efforts. They lead us to realize that we can, only in Christ (Philippians 4:13).

They help us to die to our self and to rise to walk in the new life, which God has planned for us (Mark 8:34-35; Ephesians 2:10). His peace in our spirit confirms His will, and His joy is our strength (Philippians 4:7; Psalm 28:7).

We are dead, and our life is now hidden with Christ in God. Christ is our whole life (Colossians 3:3-4). We empty our self of all of our plans, goals and dreams, and live according to God’s counsel (Ephesians 4:11).

God changed us from sinners to Saints, His adopted children who will inherit His Kingdom. All that is His, now belongs to us as well (1 John 3:2; Ephesians 1:5; Galatians 3:26). We are no longer strangers and aliens, but we belong in God’s family (Ephesians 2:19).

The Christian life involves much less striving than many Believers think. There is no need for us to use our humanity to accomplish anything in the Spirit (Ephesians 2:8-9).

We walk in the Spirit and exhibit His fruit in our character (Galatians 5:15-25). This enables us to trust in the Lord with every fiber of our being and not to depend on our human reasoning at all (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Jesus died for our salvation from sin and eternal death (John 3:16 -18). Offering our life to His service in our vocation and calling is our daily commitment to Him in return.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for validating our worth through Your presence in our life. You set us free to live, move and have our being in You (Acts 17:28). Your mercy and love granted us forgiveness while we were still sinners (Romans 8:5), so that we in turn can forgive our self and others who wrong us during our lifetime (Matthew 6:14).

Teach us to discern the difference between the carnal or satanic voices and Your voice in our mind; so You can lead us throughout our day. Remind us not to expect certain results when we obey Your promptings, because Your ways are so much higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Thought for the Day:
We do not allow success or problems to approve or negate God’s will for us, because we may not see the eternal plan, which God accomplished through us regardless of the results. – 1 Peter 4:12

Raised to Walk in a New Life

– Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12

Jesus poured out His life on this earth for all of mankind. During three years of ministry, He had no place to lay His head (Luke 9:58). He was criticized for eating with publicans and sinners (Matthew 9:10). He experienced rejection, even from his own people (Matthew 13:57). Jesus ultimately laid down His life on Calvary’s cross for the salvation of anyone willing to accept His redemption (Rev 22:17; Acts 17:11).

Then on the third day, He raised up His own life again to exactly fulfill the Biblical prophecies about His life, death and resurrection (Isaiah 7:14, 53:12; Psalm 49:15, 24:7-10). Jesus then delivered those who died prior to His death and set them free (Ephesians 4:8-9). He became the first child of God to raise from the dead (Colossians 1:18). Then God lifted Him up to the greatest measure of His glory and authority (John 17:5).

God raises us to walk in a new life as well. Since Christ now lives within us by His Spirit, His power and authority are working in the life of every authentic Born Again Believer. As we walk in His Spirit, we fulfill the will of God. We mature in our walk of faith and we realize the awesome attributes of God in us. This humbles us and causes us to bow to Him in complete surrender.

God’s Spirit points out sin in our life, and then we cooperate and allow His Spirit to transform us both with the mind and character of Christ (2 Peter 1:4; Philippians 2:12-13). He frees us from sin and the corrupt desires of our flesh. He cleanses us from the root issue causing our penchant for sin. We die to our humanity and allow God to mature us in the Spirit, so we can live in the fullness of His resurrected life (Ephesians 3:19).

Prayer:
Father God, You never, ever leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8; Hebrews 13:5). We have faith in Your faithfulness. We rely on You and relinquish to You our worries, fears and insecurities (Matthew 6:25-34). Your love provides us with safety in the storms of life, as well as the provision we need in order to walk in our new life on this earth. Help us to glorify You on this earth just like Jesus did (John 17:4).

Thought for the Day:
Love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, meekness, self-control and faith are not dependent upon our circumstances or our feelings or even our health, but only on the Holy Spirit within us in our new life.

A Secure Life

Every trial in life threatens our stability. Physical illnesses, emotional trauma and mental stress take their toll. Sometimes they cause us to lose our job, home, mate, family, bank account and our security. We have nowhere to turn and we end up defenseless, scared and lonely.

Our human independence drives us to deal with life’s stresses on our own. We pridefully believe that we can conquer every obstacle without anyone’s help. In his day, Paul called people like this “foolish” (Galatians 3:1-3). God did not redeem us to forsake us (Isaiah 43:1). We cannot save our self for eternity and neither can we save our self on a daily basis.

There is only one stable place on this earth, and that is in the loving arms of our Heavenly Father. He sacrificed His Son in order to pay the penalty of our sins and to give us free access to His throne (John 3:16; Hebrews 4:16). He invites us to call upon Him anytime. He will answer us, give us security in our soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions – and work out our circumstances for our ultimate good (Jeremiah 33:3; Romans 2:28).

As authentic Born Again Believers our house is no longer built on the sand of Satan’s lies, but on the solid Rock of Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:26; Psalm 18:2). Jesus is our chief cornerstone and He keeps us secure through all of life’s stormy trials. God’s Spirit within us provides us with a solid foundation (Matthew 7:24-27). As we cast our burdens on our Father God, He tenderly cares for us (Psalm 55:22; Proverbs 16:3; 1 Peter 5:7).

We cannot be good, holy or spiritual enough to deserve God’s blessings; therefore, He loved us while we were still sinners (Isaiah 43:4; Romans 5:8). As we trust in Him, God manifests His glory in and through us during our entire lifetime (Titus 3:4-6; Ephesians 2:8-10). Once we enter God’s rest, we no longer strive in our human carnal efforts (Deuteronomy 33:12; Hebrews 4:9-12).

Prayer:
Father God, if we consider more than this one moment of time, we will feel remorse for our past and fear for our future. As we realize that in this one moment we are blessed beyond measure, we can dwell in peace with our confidence in You. You give us peaceful dwellings, secure homes and undisturbed places of rest now and for eternity (Isaiah 32:17-20). Only in You do we have a secure life.

Thought for the Day:
Regardless of life’s circumstances, nothing can separate us from the love of God. – Romans 8:31-39

Free at Last

Once we walk with God for any amount of time, the spiritual life is more familiar and natural to us, than the ungodly, sinful lifestyle we lived before we were Born Again. We are uncomfortable around sin now. Watching, listening to and speaking sinful words or concepts are no longer entertaining. The Spirit of God within us is grieved over what grieves God’s heart. Our self-life is no longer supreme, and the will of God transforms any goals or desires we used to entertain.

Satan wants us to believe that we are helpless victims of the flesh, the world and his demons; however, with every temptation, God gives us a way to escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). When we draw near to God and resist the devil, he has to flee from us (James 4:7). The more we mature spiritually, the less Satan finds in us to tempt us (John 14:30). Christ truly reigns as the master over our life. God’s divine nature now dictates our thoughts, words and deeds (2 Peter 1:4).

As God renews our mind, we move from one level of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:18). We are holy, as God is holy, through the blood of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 10:10,14,19). We live a holy life because of our intense love for the Lord and His Kingdom. Holiness is our new nature and we despise whatever grieves God. We no longer exhibit the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21); but instead, the fruit of the Spirit shines from both our spirit and soul (Galatians 5:22-23).

This is not to say that we refrain from serving or socializing with the “publicans and sinners”; but we no longer imitate their behavior. We love them with the heart and mind of Christ. Our carnal nature is dead (1 Corinthians 2:16; Ephesians 2:5; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:3). We no longer entertain sinful desires. We realize once and for all time that we are free indeed (John 8:36). What used to tempt us no longer has any value to us. Our only desire is to please our Heavenly Father.

Prayer:
Father God, we may have certain sinful habits that linger over the years of Your regenerating work within us, but there is no way that they can persist as we walk by Your Spirit (Galatians 5:16,25). Our yoke is easy and our burden is light, because they come from You (Matthew 11:30). We relate to life, people and government on a daily basis, but we allow Your Spirit to give us wisdom and direction on the best way to influence our sphere of society.

Thought for the Day:
Jesus is not ashamed to call us His family. – Hebrews 2:11