Focusing on the Eternal

I was born with a melancholy personality. Over the years of my life, God’s Spirit transformed many of the negative melancholy characteristics into His fruit. I went from a reclusive introvert to a spirit-filled extrovert.

I used to drown in depression, but now I only experience brief moments of melancholy. My former pessimism is swallowed up by optimistic faith in God’s faithfulness (Hebrews 12:2). It is all a matter of our focus.

Do we see the glass half empty or half full? We make innumerable choices every day, all day. If we use the Philippians 4:8-9 formula, we will choose to think about, say and do only positive words and deeds.

We keep our mind on eternal matters, rather than on worldly, carnal aspects of life. “God promises that if we take care of His business, He will take care of ours” – Kevin Bradley (Matthew 6:33).

Unless we are reaping some corruption, which we sowed into our life, there is nothing that will happen to us, which is not already part of God’s plan for us. Give the truth of this statement some time to sink into your soul.

We no longer tremble in fear of the next natural disaster, relational issue or financial loss devastating us. God has all of this, every single part of it, under His sovereign control. He has a perfect plan for our life (Ephesians 2:10).

Although the destruction accompanying trials seems horrendous at the time, there is always a seed for a miracle in the midst of the catastrophe, and it will eventually turn out for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28).

Prayer:
Father God, you never allow Your Saints, whom You make righteous in Christ, to go hungry (Proverbs 10:3; Psalm 37:25). When we honor and obey You, we lack no good thing (Psalms 34:9-10). When we trust in You, we prosper in every area of our life (Proverbs 28:25). We are Your adopted children, because of our position in Christ (Romans 8:29; 1 Corinthians 15:20). You are our good and loving Father and You care about every aspect of our life.

Thought for the Day:
We serve a living Savior and minister at the pleasure of our King.

Flowing from Our Union

God calls us to live as Spirit-filled Believers (Ephesians 5:18). This starts when we receive the Holy Spirit at salvation (Romans 8:9). A renewal of His fresh anointing in us each day allows rivers of life to flow from within us (John 7:38). This Holy Ghost power enhances our life and empowers our ministry for God’s Kingdom.

Sin clogs the communication between us and God and it grieves the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). Therefore, we confess every sin, great and small, on a daily basis. The Spirit leads us to live a consecrated life and to put down addictions and vices, which cripple us. Even an unkind word, a fit of temper, an unscrupulous act or a little white lie are all things we deal with on occassion.

Staying confessed of our sins humbles our flesh and gives us greater victory over those sins the next time Satan tempts us with them. Humility allows us to willingly surrender our day for God’s purpose. Of course, we must go to work to earn a living, but we can do our job directed by God’s Spirit. This way, we accomplish more and are in the right place at the right time to live out God’s will for us.

We are branches on the Vine of Christ (John 15:5). Consider a branch. It does not work or stress or struggle. It simply rests in the vine. That is the life God prepared for us. We rest in Christ and His life flows through us and nurtures us. When we bear fruit for Christ, it does not separate us from Him, but flows from our union with Him.

Our ministry is not a drain or wearisome, but a natural outpouring of the nutrients from the Vine to the branch. Ministry does not rob us of time for prayer, but is the result of prayer and our union with the Vine. The Spirit strengthens us with might from within (Ephesians 3:16). He anoints us to accomplish God’s will for our day. He blesses us with perfect peace, rest, joy and strength.

Prayer:
Father God, as branches of the Vine we are absolutely dependant upon the life of Christ flowing through us. You are the Vinedresser and You prune us so that can bear more fruit (John 15:1; 15:8). You know just where to separate us from the aspects of our life that are dead wood and preventing our fruitfulness.

Thought for the Day:
The branch depends on the vine for everything.