Exacting Revenge

Revenge is sweet, or so they say. We plot and plan our next encounter and how we will get the jump on our enemy’s rude and spiteful behavior.

We set up a cycle of events in order to position our self to put our enemies in their place and to hurt them before they can hurt us. We despise them more with each breath we take.

Yet, revenge leaves us feeling empty. As Believers we even regret our display of ungodly behavior. Our vindictive and vengeful thoughts and actions take a toll on our spirit, and grieve the Holy Spirit within us (Ephesians 4:30).

It seems impossible to love our enemies. They taunt us, thwart us and stab us in the back every chance they get. We are willing to struggle with the concept of not hating them; but loving them is going a bit too far.

There is good news. We do not need to feel emotional affection to love our enemies, just a heart, which is surrendered to Christ.

When we love Christ more than we love our self, we can love our enemies with His Agape love. We grow to desire that our enemies will prosper and to experience the love of God, which we enjoy.

We can minister to our enemy’s physical, emotional, spiritual, financial and mental needs when God prompts us. He shows us opportunities to share His love with them.

God’s Word, which richly fills our soul, helps us to have meekness in order to walk away from the temptation to inflict revenge on our enemies (James 1:21).

God walks with us and in us through the dark night of our soul (Psalm 139:17-18). He rewards our faithfulness to walk in His truth. He roots us in His love and builds us up in His presence.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that vengeance is Yours and You will repay our enemies for their treatment of us. Help us to kill our enemies with kindness, pricking their conscience with our loving behavior toward them (Romans 12:20).

Soften their heart toward us. Show us the root of their feelings, which cause them to despise us. Use us to help them to heal from their wounds which cause them to bully us and others.

Cause their reasons for attacking us to diminish; and if nothing else, make them just walk away and leave us alone. In all things, help us to prosper even as our soul prosper when we follow Your will for our life (3 John 1:2).

Thoughts for the Day:
God establishes our faith in His faithfulness; and we abound in our gratitude to Him. – Colossians 2:6-7

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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

The Bread of Heaven

All of humanity is made in the image of the Trinity (Genesis 1:26). We are a triune being: body, soul and spirit. Prior to salvation, our spirit is dead in sin. We enjoy controlling our own life and we have no need or desire to think about God. In fact, thoughts about God, which intrude on our conscious mind, disturb us and make us feel uncomfortable.

We run from this conviction and reject people who cause us to feel this way. We forget that the “Hound of Heaven” is constantly pursuing us to draw us into His loving embrace. Once we capitulate to His sovereignty, we wonder why we took so long to submit to His call and relinquish control of our life to Him. When we finally surrender to God, life is no longer a struggle (Romans 8:28; Hebrews 4:10).

Salvation is the first step in our walk with God. The next step is sanctification: the process of holiness. God’s Holy Spirit changes us from one stage of glory to the next (2 Corinthians 3:18). Each stage brings us closer to perfect union with God (Ephesians 2:1-5). The more intimate our relationship with Him grows in the Spirit (John 4:24), the more intimacy we want with Him.

Some Believers are content with their fire insurance from hell and they live a shallow, carnal life, without this intimate union with God. Yet others often feel like we are in a desert, so we thirst for more and more of His Living Water (John 4:14). We hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matthew 5:6). Our spirit longs to receive more nourishment from the Bread of Life (John 6:35).

Prayer:
Father God, even though we cannot sense you in our physical body, our spirit and soul – our mind, will and emotions – feel Your presence every day of our life (Deuteronomy 31:6). We form this union with You by spending time in Your presence as we go about our day, consulting You and relying on You as we follow Your Spirit’s direction. When we pray, remind us to listen, as well as to commune with You from our heart.

Thought for the Day:
Do not despair if God seems silent; He is simply enjoying your companionable silence.

Fathomless Tranquility

The life of the authentic Christian is one of complete dependence on God. This dependence develops a deep restfulness that permeates every area of our life. There is no reason to struggle and strive in life. When stress tries to overwhelm us, we can go to our solid Rock who is higher, stronger and more stable than we are and find rest for our soul (Psalm 61:2).

God gives us a firm footing on which to walk in this unstable world in which we live (Psalm 37:23; 40:2). He makes our path level so we do not stumble or fall (Isaiah 26:7). He guards our feet. It is not by strength that we prevail, but by the power of God in our life (1 Samuel 2:9). When we hide God’s Word in our heart, our feet do not slip as we work to increase the Kingdom of God by His Spirit’s direction (Psalm 37:31; 66:9).

We do not use obnoxious gimmicks in ministry, but we simply present the gospel in a kind manner to whomever will give us their time to listen. It is not our responsibility to make anyone believe. They come only as the Holy Spirit draws them (John 6:44). However, it is our responsibility to go into the entire world and to make disciples for Christ of anyone who wants the blessings and relationship we have with Him.

The Vine and branch is such a special, reciprical relationship mutually benefitting one another; and we rest in our union with the Vine. He is also the Potter, we are the clay; and we rest in His hands as He molds us into a vessel of His choosing. Another analogy is that He is the Head and we are His Body. Our body never moves unless our mind tells us to do so. This is the same as with our relationship with God.

We depend on God entirely for our every need. The deeper our union, the more we listen to His Spirit. We never move unless He directs. Our love for Him and our passion for winning the lost and growing His Body increases with each passing day. The days get sweeter and even in negative circumstances, we maintain the positive attitude, which faith provides.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, we sit at Your feet and learn from you, just as Mary did when she chose the wiser part in your visit to Your friends’ home (Luke 10:39). We bask in the peace and rest, which increases in us as our knowledge of You and relationship with You increases. We give you all of our anxieties, because You care for us (1 Peter 5:7). Give us Your divine promises, love and abilities in order to affect a change in our world.

Thought for the Day:
We rest in our relationship with God in fathomless tranquility.

Entering the Promised Land

When we succomb to hopelessness and anxiety, this is a sign that we are not seeking our comfort from God. We are wandering in the wilderness of desires, rather than in the Promised Land, which God prepared for us. In the Wilderness, Israel constantly struggled with discouragement, toil and deprivation. Their rebellion and unbelief brought this hardship upon them. They even despised the food God provided and were not grateful that their belongings never wore out (Numbers 11:1-5; Deuteronomy 29:5).

Our unbelief in God causes us to suffer from the stress of life too, because we rely on our self, rather than on God. We use our human effort to attempt to procure what we deem is necessary for our happiness. However, if we abandon human reasoning and rely totally on the Spirit of God, He gives us direction, provision and hope. The divine life of Christ abides in our spirit (2 Peter1:4; Colossians 2:10), expresses through our soul, which in turn strengthens our biological body.

When we come to the end of our self, to our wandering in our wilderness, to our attempts to equip our self and to succeed at life, we place our complete faith and trust in God, who deserves more than we could ever repay. We relinquish all, in order to receive the pearl of great price (Matthew 13:45-46), to win the race (1 Corinthians 9:24; Philippians 3:14), and to come into His divine presence, never to leave again. We enjoy fellowship with Him and His Saints each moment of our life.

We resist all desires birthed by the finite, carnal nature, which is dead in Christ (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:3), and pursue the realm of the Spirit instead. Peace comes as we completely trust in God. We live in faith, as we serve our Living Lord (1 Thessalonians 1:3), and He provides for us in every area of life, which concerns us (Psalm 138:8). We enter God’s rest (Hebrews 4:10) and find contentment regardless of any emotional, mental, financial or physical issues.

Prayer:
Father God, You are worth so much more than anything or anyone that we hold precious in this life. You deliver us from darkness and bring us into Your Kingdom of light (Colossians 1:13). You rejoice over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). Your mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:33-23). When we enter into the place of perfect rest in Christ, You give us all things as co-heirs with Jesus (Psalm 62:1-2; Romans 8:17). Help us to walk worthy of the calling You placed on our life (Ephesians 4:1), and always remind us to seek first Your Kingdom (Matthew 6:33).

Thought for the Day:
We receive infinite fulfillment and joy in this life, corresponding with the extent to which we surrender to God. – 1 Samuel 2:30