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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Blooming Like a Garden

Human beings are slaves of whatever entity we obey: either Almighty God or the god of this world – Satan. Allowing the devil to entrench us in sin leads to destruction both now and for an eternity in the lake of fire (Romans 6:16).

Instead, we enjoy life so much more as slaves of God in obedience and holiness. This allows us to live in the Spirit rather than in the flesh, since God’s Spirit abides within us (Galatians 5:15-25).

Whoever does not have God’s Spirit does not belong to Christ (Romans 8:9). Yet, as we totally surrender our humanity to Christ, He saves us and adopts us into His family (Ephesians 1:5).

Satan continually attempts to draw us away from God through our body and soul. He trips us up with a single temptation. Then, it is easier for him to tempt us in the future to follow his will for us.

Yet, Christ in our spirit gives us a way to escape temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). As we ignore Satan’s lies and keep our mind on Christ, we are not tempted by his fiery darts and lies.

Our thoughts and emotions affect the decisions of our will. The decisions of our will determine our behavior, which motivates every area of our life: financial, relational, emotional, spiritual, physical, etc.

When we walk by the faith of Christ in us rather than by our human reasoning, we avoid so many of life’s pitfalls and live in a serene and victorious existence (2 Corinthians 5:7).

God gives us a free will both to choose His salvation; and then to choose to live in His will, rather than to follow Satan’s or our own plans for our life.

By submitting to God’s Spirit within us, we reap the blessings of His will. He sanctifies our soul and fills our spirit with His power, so that, as His Body, we bloom like a spectacular garden (Romans 12:1-2; Jeremiah 31:12).

Prayer:
Father God, we want to present our bodies to You as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1), to do Your will and to live in Your ways all the days of our life. Teach us to submit to the leading of Your Holy Spirit and draw us ever closer to Your presence within us.

Thank You for Your Spirit, who abides in our midst and fills Your house with greater splendor and glory than Solomon’s Temple (Haggai 2:4-9). Remind us that, as Your Body, we are perfectly joined together with Jesus, the chief corner stone, into Your dwelling place (Ephesians 2:19-22).

Thought for the Day:
As we walk in God’s Spirit, joined together by His love, we bloom where He plants us in His garden. – 2 Corinthians 2:15

We Live, Yet Christ Lives in Us

The concept of us living at the same time Christ lives through us, is confusing at best (Galatians 2:20). How much of our self is prominent and how do we give Christ preeminence in us?

Prior to coming to Christ, our spirit is dead, and our flesh is very much alive. We live in the flesh, plan for the flesh and we hunger after more of the flesh, the world and sin (1 Timothy 5:6; Romans 8:5-8).

Separated from God, we are blinded by the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). Yet, when we surrender our life to Christ, our penchant for sin wanes.

We have no more desire to reap the destruction, which is sin’s reward (Romans 6:23). Now, our spirit is born again, and our flesh is dead in Christ (John 3:3-4, 6:63; Colossians 3:4).

Knowing that we are in Christ, and that our old nature is already crucified with Christ, gives us the power over sin. We no longer live in slavery to sin and the flesh, but we are slaves to Christ who dwells in us (Romans 6:7, 12, 14; 8:9).

Each day, we submit to God’s Spirit as he crucifies our old carnal nature, and we grow further away from the habits and desires of our old life (Galatians 2:20, 5:15-25).

God sets us free from condemnation and the law of sin and death by His Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1-2). We live victorious lives as we walk in God’s will under the direction of His Holy Spirit each moment of our day (Galatians 5:15-25).

Prayer:
Father God, help us not to allow a distracted life to keep us from experiencing Your fullness for us. Fill us with the fruit of Your Spirit, so that we no longer have ungodly character and negative personality traits (Galatians 5:22-23).

Use us for Your glory as we make Christ preeminent in our life. Help us to decrease, so that You can increase within us (John 3:30).

Thought for the Day:
We walk in the Spirit, which prevents us from living in the flesh. – Galatians 5:15-25

Two-Stepping

Our Christian walk is a two-step process. We start by repenting of our former way of life, which was degraded by Satan’s lies and earthly desires (Ephesians 4:22). Each of us is distracted by various sinful elements.

Some of us lie, but God calls us to speak truth; or we steal and take what does not belong to us, yet God calls us to work and earn money to buy what we need, as well as to share with others (Ephesians 4:25, 28).

Some have trouble with anger; and though it is a God given emotion, we often harbor grudges, while God encourages us to forgive before the sun sets each day, so that we do not give Satan entry into our soul (Ephesians 4:26-27).

Other people use foul language, when God wants us to use our words to edify and minister grace to those who hear us. Some even take God’s name in vain and use degrading words, which grieve God’s Spirit (Ephesians 4:29-30).

All of us give in at one time or another to bitterness, quarreling, gossip, antagonism and forms of cruelty, when God calls us to live with humility, compassion, patience, gentleness and kindness, as we forgive slights and wrongs just as God forgives us (Ephesians 4:31-32; Colossians 3:10).

The second step is to renew our mind with the righteousness mind of Christ and to walk in true holiness all the days of our life (Luke 1:75; Ephesians 4:24). This may sound daunting, but Christ already did it for us.

We are buried with Christ through our baptism into His death, in order to be raised with Him from death in the glory of God, our Father. This allows us to live a fulfilled, blessed new life in Christ, as we exchange our corrupted character with the nature of Christ, promised to us by God Himself (2 Peter 1:4; Romans 6:4; Colossians 3:3-4).

Prayer:
Father God, by separating our self from the sin, which once bound us as its slave, we are freed from the law and allowed to serve You through Your Spirit, rather than by decrees and legalism (Romans 7:6). You enable us to submit to You as You transform our mind, rather than to be conformed to the design of this evil world.

We have no more desire to gratify the sinful desires of our flesh, and we walk as a new creation, Your handiwork, created in Christ to live in Your will, which You prepared for us prior to our birth (Ephesians 2:10; Romans 12:2, 13:14; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Colossians 3:10).

Thought for the Day:
My soul silently waits for God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my stronghold; I will never be shaken. – Psalm 62:1-2

Set Apart for God

Without God’s Spirit within, we do not belong to Christ or His family (Romans 8:9). God’s Spirit us makes us His children. We no longer live under the dominion of the flesh, the world or the devil, and we are not our own.

God owns our time, energy and resources (1 Corinthians 6:19). We are set apart for God. Though we live on this earth, we no longer have anything in common with sinners or the world (Psalm 4:3; 2 Corinthians 6:16).

If we continue to offer our self as slaves to sin, it leads to death; if we obey the dictates of holiness, we are part of God’s holy temple and He dwells in us by His Spirit (Romans 6:16; 1 Corinthians 3:16-18).

We are more concerned with spiritual aspects in our life than carnal ones. We have a new heavenly name (Revelation 2:17). Do you know the meaning of your earthly name? ( http://www.ohbabynames.com )

I like my name, Kathleen Anne. It means: pure one, innocent, God’s favor and grace. Someone with this name is usually dependable, solid, practical, hard-working, industrious, studious, conservative, spiritual, wise, peculiar, intuitive, imaginative, philosophical and solitary. This fits me to a “T”.

As a child, I yearned to be a good girl, so my parents would love me. I even wished on the first star every night that I would be a good girl, so I could be cherished and accepted.

At 18, I realized that that no one is ever good (Romans 7:18-25), and that I could not do enough good to be valued and approved. That is when I turned to Jesus Christ as my Savior. He loves me unconditionally (1 John 4:16).

God takes up residence in our spirit. He abides in His children and walks with us. He is our God and we are His people (2 Corinthians 6:16). We live as the church of the living God, and are the pillar and foundation of His truth (1 Timothy 3:15).

Prayer:

Father God, You accept us as part of Your beloved family (Ephesians 1:5-7). Our spirit, once dead in Adam’s sin, was Born Again by Your Spirit, and You came to live in us for the rest of our life and throughout eternity (Romans 8:10; Galatians 5:15-25).

Thank You for building us into Your house, as we firmly hold to our confidence and hope in Your glory. Christ is the faithful caretaker of Your House (Hebrews 3:6) and we realize the privilege, which You afford us, to allow us to take a part in all of Your plans.

Thought for the Day:

Anyone who leaves their sinful lifestyle, and believes that Jesus in God who came in human flesh as Emmanuel, will have a new name written down in Heaven. – 1 John 4:4

The Son’s Light

Have you ever sat in the sun, soaking up the balmy rays and receiving the vitamins, nutrients and minerals, which God provides for us through this giant orb of fire? We feel the heat warming us through our skin. This same sun penetrates through the ocean too, for miles below the surface, giving the plants the light they need to grow.

Jesus is the Son of God and He provides for us spiritually just as the sun functions physically. He dwells within us, penetrates every area of our life and gives us the nutrients we need to live spiritually healthy lives in this morally deficient environment. If we, by faith, are willing to trust in Him with our whole heart as He directs our steps, He responds through us in each situation, which we face (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Everything in life requires faith. Even something as simple as subconsciously sitting down in a chair, requires that we have the faith that it will hold us up. Therefore, it is easy to put that same faith in God, who does all things wondrously in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:11). The proof that God lives in our life is the activity of His Holy Spirit in our body, soul and spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

We experience His presence in our life each moment of the day, as we converse with Him about His love and guidance for us. People see Christ in us through His love in our eyes and our Godly actions toward them (Matthew 5:16; Colossians 1:27). God places His fruit in our soul and we live in contentment with all that He provides for us each day (Galatians 5:22-23; Matthew 6:11-13; Philippians 4:11-13).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for delivering us from Satan’s objectives for us, as well as from our bondage to this world. We are so blessed to live as Your slaves instead. Thank You that sin and death have no more control over us, since Jesus overcame them for us by His resurrection (Romans 6:9; 2 Timothy 1:10). This is how we are able to live fruitful and fulfilled lives for Your honor and glory (Romans 6:22). Keep us as the apple of Your eye and lead us by Your Spirit to do the works You created us to do (Zechariah 2:8; Ephesians 2:10).

Thought for the Day:
We know that God is alive, because we live, move and have our being in Him. – Acts 17:28