I am a Person too – Part 1 – Freedom from the Tyranny of the Past

Our whole life consists of relationships with our loved ones, acquaintances, co-workers, neighbors, authority figures, friends, family members and even with our self.

 

We have a chance of receiving wounds and/or blessings from all of these associations; and our past, even our subconscious conflicts, influences each of these interactions as well.

 

Our relationship with our self includes our body, soul and spirit. Our body has internal and external influences, our soul includes our thoughts and feelings and choices, and our spirit is either dead in sin or free in Christ (Colossians 2:13).

 

Events in our life, involving this multiplex of individual influences, add flavor to or diminish our joy in life. The way people react to us helps to form our concept of our self. We learned to love or despise our self from their actions and opinions.

 

Subconscious memories of these interactions continue to create our self-concept and the way we relate to people as an adult. We may live with a wounded, defensive attitude or a carefree, happy outlook or an angry, combative defiance.

 

Trauma changes the way we see our self and our future. We can diffuse and disarm these subconscious memories and the way they affect our relationships today by surrendering our life to Jesus Christ.
 

We do not have to blame current issues on our self or anyone else. They usually occur from woundedness in one or both of us. Issues in adult relationships often stem from childhood suffering; but childhood wounds do not have to control our adult life.

 

We can learn a new way to set up boundaries, exercise discernment, stop victimization, redefine our attitudes, change our behavioral patterns and gain a new perspective on priorities and what is important to us by allowing God to expose Satan’ lies and to renew a right spirit within us (Psalm 51:10).

( http://www.theophostic.com )

 

Prayer:

Father God, You want to create a clean, pure, simple heart within us; one not tainted by the world and painful experiences, but one of freedom in Christ (John 8:36). You delight in setting our soul free from the pain of the past and giving us a bright and promising future (Jeremiah 29:11). Teach us that when people are not trustworthy, we can still trust in You.

 

As children we were more vulnerable and had fewer choices in the actions perpetrated on us by others. As adults, we can take a more active role by surrendering our future to You and listening to Your Spirit each moment of the day. Thank You for giving us Your wisdom in place of our human reasoning and for teaching us to have boundaries and how to ensure that we have input into our daily experiences.

 

Thought for the Day:

Our past has power over us only if we give it permission to do so; coming to Christ for healing helps us to find freedom from the tyranny of the past.

 

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Sharing Christ with Others

God’s invisible attributes, eternal power and divine nature are clearly seen in His Creation (Revelation 4:11). This takes away a person’s excuse for not believing in Him as their Savior.

We instinctively know that there is a God and that we should serve Him with all of our emotions, mind, choices and physical strength (Deuteronomy 6:4-5).

Yet, so many do not honor God or appreciate Him. They pursue futile activities, endless philosophies and fruitless enlightenment and their hearts darken further with each passing day. They think they are wise, but they are actually very foolish (Romans 1:20-22).

Authentic Believers trust in, rely on and believe in Christ even if we end up suffering for the sake of His righteousness. We learn to explain and defend our beliefs to those who ask us about the hope we have in Him.

Yet, we never impose our beliefs on someone who is clearly not interested in them (1 Peter 3:14-16). There is no point if the Holy Spirit is not drawing them to God. We never badger anyone about coming to Christ.

We share Jesus with gentleness, respect for the listener and a good conscience; even if someone slanders our good name or reviles our good behavior in Christ.

We are created for God’s glory and service, and we will spend all of eternity worshiping our worthy Lamb who was slain in our place. For now, we live for His glory while we dwell on this earth and do only those works for which He created us to perform (Ephesians 2:10).

Prayer:
Father God, break the yoke of bondage that our flesh feels to sin and replace our weaknesses with Your strengths. Help us to decrease so that You may increase. We praise You as our living Lord and thank You for giving us Your Spirit to abide within us all the days of our life.

You are the only one worthy of all honor, respect, praise, glory, wisdom, might and blessing. We look forward to joining the myriads of angels already around the throne in singing Your praises (Revelation 5:12). Lead us to share Christ with those whom You are drawing to Yourself.

Thought for the Day:
The abiding Holy Spirit teaches us to follow His lead as we share Christ with friends, relatives, associates and neighbors; so that we do not push too hard, ignore their body language or fail to read the feelings of their soul in their eyes.

WHO LOVES YOU – Part 2 – The Love of the Son

God proved His love for us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might live eternally through Him. Jesus loves you more than a pearl of great price (Matthew 13:45).

This is true, authentic love: we did not earn or deserve God’s love, but He loved us first and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 1:9, 4:19).

Jesus left all that was His, relinquished his kingly status, forsook the glories of heaven; and for 33 whole years, He lived on this sin-cursed earth.

Then, at the peak of His manhood, He purchased us back from Satan for the Father by suffering the horrendous death on Calvary’s Cross.

He gave His life so that we could live as God’s adopted children, joint heirs with Jesus to receive all that the Father owns. We will dwell in God’s Kingdom and enjoy fellowship with the Trinity now and for eternity.

We begin each day by sitting at His feet and learning from Him: talking to Him, listening to Him, reading His Word, meditating on what we read, praising Him and waiting on Him.

He stills the chaos in our body and soul – our thoughts and emotions. We remain in His presence until we feel His Spirit directing our next step (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Jesus empowers us throughout our day and night. He never, ever leaves us for any reason or circumstance (Hebrews 13:5). He meets life’s demands on us by using our body and soul to accomplish His will in and through them.

Prayer:
Father God, You give us the gift of new life each and every day. Just waking up is proof that You love us. We often take for granted things like air to breathe and eyes to see; but each of these miracles is evidence to us that You love us.

Remind us to appreciate You and not to take You for granted. All through the day, You send people, events and natural wonders to bless us. We want to live in Your divine will through the divine opportunities You provide for us.

Thought for the Day:
Trying to find a fulfilling relationship with another human being is close to impossible, and only the rare interdependent couple ever succeed; however, every human being can find fulfillment in the love of God and in Jesus Christ whom He sent. – John 6:29

Forgiveness and Boundaries

Human beings tend to suffer in silence. We fear rejection and criticism, so we internalize our thoughts and feelings rather than confiding in one another.

Inner voices, which do not line up with God’s Word, are lies from Satan Himself. The only way to dispel His lies is by speaking God’s truth (Philippians 4:8; 1 Timothy 4:1).
( http://www.theophostic.com )

Once we receive our forgiveness from God through repentance and faith in exchange for our sins, then God receives us as His own precious children (1 John 3:2).

We have Jesus’ example in order to forgive those who harm us. If they are repentant, we allow them back into our heart. If they refuse to repent, then we forgive them for our sake, but keep them at a distance.

Even though we forgive them, we do not condone their behavior toward us, and we certainly never allow them any opportunities to harm us again.

We derive our self-worth through Christ in us, rather than through our own achievements. This way our esteem does not depend upon people, circumstances or meeting our goals.

It depends on God’s faithfulness and the presence of Christ abiding within us. We are secure in who we are through Christ. We live the life to which He calls us (Ephesians 2:10).

This way too, we have no need to attempt to manipulate and control the behavior of others in order to make our self feel better, safer or more secure.

Prayer:
Father God, people do tend to maliciously use us, but You encourage us to love them with Your agape love and to forgive them and pray for them (Matthew 5:44). However, we can also be wise as snakes and gentle as doves in our dealings with them (Matthew 10:16).

We point them to Your love for them, but we never again allow them to take advantage of us or to use us for their evil gain. Their opinion of us does not matter anymore, because our identity and our good name come from You (Proverbs 22:1; Psalm 52:9).

Thought for the Day:
No one is more deceived than the person who will not admit that he or she is wrong; but we can forgive them anyway and erect boundaries to keep them from harming us again.

Trustworthy God

God resists the proud, but He gives an abundance of grace to those who humble themselves under His mighty hand (James 4:6). He loves the whole world, but especially His children (John 3:16; 1 John 3:1).

God gives His Saints, made righteous through the blood of Jesus, deliverance through all of our troubles (2 Corinthians 5:21). He hears our cries for help, stays close to the brokenhearted and heals those bruised in spirit (Psalm 37:17-18).

He loves those who honor Him with our life. He separates us from the penalty of our sin and remembers them no more. He understands our human frailties and has compassion on us (Hebrews 8:12; Psalm 103:12-14).

When life exhausts and discourages us with its many afflictions, God gives us hope and deliverance as we cry out to Him (Psalm 37:19). His love lifts us higher than the heavens (Psalm 103:11).

God gives us the fruit of our labors, which we accomplish. through blood, sweat and tears. He turns our mourning into dancing (Psalm 30:11-12, 126:5). He collects our tears in His bottle and avenges our suffering (Psalm 56:8; Romans 12:19).

We have no need to fret over those in our life with an evil intent or those who prosper in their iniquity. God takes care of every one of them (Psalm 37:1-2).

We can trust in Him with our whole heart, continue to work for His Kingdom, and He will bless us with the fulfillment of all of our efforts as He faithfully provides for all of our needs (Psalm 37:3).

Prayer:
Father God, we delight in Your presence in our life; we relish Your desires, which You place in our heart; and we trust in You to bring us success as we walk in Your will. We commit our every breath to Your service and acknowledge You before we take one step in the morning (Psalm 37:4-6; Proverbs 3:5-6).

We enter Your rest and wait on Your direction for each moment of our day. When we are tempted to worry, or to be jealous over someone else’s blessings, we remember that You are always faithful, and that Your children inherit Your Kingdom as co-heirs with Christ. (Psalm 37:7-11; Romans 8:17).

Thought for the Day:
God works out every negative trial for our ultimate good. – Romans 8:28

Paybacks

We experience trauma in this world in so many different ways. Even Jesus suffered in every area that we do; yet, without sin (Hebrews 4:15). We too can handle trials through Christ in us (Colossians 1:27).

There are people in this world who willingly, knowingly and purposely inflict anguish upon other people. They feel no remorse for the wounds they perpetrate.

They even take some perverse pleasure from hurting someone else. These people are wounded souls who find solace for their pain in demeaning, degrading and depriving others.

God tells us to be kind to our enemies because this uncharacteristic response to cruelty will prick the conscience of the offender, and may even cause them to turn from their wicked ways (Proverbs 25:22).

When we struggle to forgive someone, because they are being blessed in spite of their behavior; this causes us to feel further abuse. However, God protects His own (Matthew 5:45; Psalm 121:7).

If evil-doers remain bent on their course of destruction, they will reap paybacks for what they sow, either in this life or the next (Galatians 6:7). Eternity is the great equalizer (Psalm 37:7; 73:3).

Everyone is rewarded for their deeds, whether good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10). God promises to take revenge on those who inflict pain upon His children, and God never breaks a promise (2 Corinthians 5:10; Numbers 23:19).

Prayer:
Father God, when we view trauma from Your perspective, we realize that our current issues are nothing when we compare them to Your glory, which these trials reveal in us (Romans 8:18). This glory is a witness to a lost and dying world around us.

They see that we suffer with grace, dignity, hope and even joy (James 1:2); and it impresses them. Help us to always look for the seed of a miracle within each trial, which You allow to come our way (Romans 8:28).

Thought for the Day:
When we draw our security from the Son, instead of some substitute, our serenity in spirit and soul lasts for eternity.

God’s Purposes in Troubling Times

Have you noticed the slow deterioration of life, as we know it? Governments, financial affairs, justice, personal commitments, geography and climate are all failing. What hope does mankind have of surviving into eternity? There is only one sure hope and that is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

The coming of God’s Kingdom is just around the corner. We are only ready to enter into it if we realize how intensely our fleshly indulgences grieve God’s heart and that we need a Savior. God offers us His free gift of salvation. We simply admit that we are sinners, turn away from our selfish lifestyle and turn to follow Jesus.

There is an unprecedented time of intense suffering coming to the world. Yet, God is not willing for anyone to perish (2 Peter 3:9). He offers His ark of salvation for anyone who is willing to come aboard (Matthew 24:37). Like Jesus, we live to serve our living God. We dedicate our life to wholly yield to Him our thoughts, words and deeds.

Sometimes, we have to realize that the “prince of Persia” is hindering God’s answer to our prayers, and intense spiritual warfare is going on (Daniel 10:13). That is what my husband and I experienced when we followed God’s direction to sell our little brick, cottage home and to pay cash for a manufactured home in order to get out of debt.

It started with my six weeks of bronchitis, pneumonia and pleurisy. Then, we moved into a new home with termites, leaking roof, A/C breaking down every other week and a bank that had way too many hoops to jump through to refinance our former home as a rental. However, God is always the victor.

Today, He is blessing three of His families with our former home, and we started a Bible study group in our new mission field in our new community. We also have a growing number of new neighbors attending our church with us. God delights in blessing His children. He uses us in ways that we could never imagine and He always sweetens the bitter lemons of circumstances into lemonade (Romans 8:28)!

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that we need to confess with our mouth that “Jesus is Lord,” and to sincerely believe in our heart that You raised him from the dead. Then we are justified and reconciled to You for eternity (Romans 10:9-10). Give us a revelation of Your Kingdom so that we may advance its reach and prepare for its coming to the earth. Help us to have a heart for the lost that are heading for an eternity in hell. Give us opportunities to share Your love with those willing to hear Your Truth. May Your Kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as it is already done in heaven (Matthew 6:10).

Thought for the Day:
I am loving life in God’s presence, regardless of the circumstances.