A Changed Attitude

At any given moment of the day, when we least expect it, circumstances arise that cause fear and despair to darken our attitude. Heaviness shrouds our spirit and joy flees in retreat.

Eventually anger may arise to shield us from impending pain and we explode and strike out at those around us. For the smallest offense, we react with severe sharpness that leaves the other person cut to shreds.

Our soul pours forth a storm of abuse that drenches the recipient to the point of drowning! Then we feel guilty for over-reacting and causing someone else pain and unhappiness.

Our anxiety and depression deepen and we withdraw into a stoic abyss. James did not believe in his half-brother’s deity until after His resurrection.

However, God used James mightily to further His Kingdom in Jesus’ footsteps. He remembered things Jesus taught and shared them with the Body of Christ both then and now.

One very famous concept was something very similar to what the apostle Paul taught. James reminds us that when we are tempted to sin, we can consider it a joyous time.

This occurs because we know without a doubt that when our faith is tried, the circumstances allow God’s Spirit to use our faith in Christ to work patience into our life.

As we learn patience, we lose much of the anxiety and grief which circumstances used to spawn in our life. Life is much simpler; we want less of this world and more obedience to His Spirit.

We realize that regardless of issues we are experiencing, we have need of nothing. God is our supply, and He has everything in His control (James 1:2-4).

Prayer:
Father God, You are the same Creator who made the majestic mountains, the depths of the sea, the myriad of galaxies in the heavens and the variety of species of plants and animals on this earth. You also have a wonderful plan for each of us, filled with love and peace through our Rock, Jesus Christ.

Most people prefer to make our own rules and live according to the dictates of our own heart, rejecting You for much, most, or all of our life. Some of us totally spurn Your offer of love and lead a hate campaign against You. Others attempt to earn our salvation by our good works.

A few of us will receive Your free gift of salvation through Christ (Romans 3:23, 6:23). Even then, we look to You to forgive us each day for transgressing against Your will and way for our life.

Thought for the Day:
As we allow God to sanctify our carnal nature, we grow into a more mature Christian, exhibiting the fruit of His Holy Spirit and having the nature of God as we readily and fully surrender to God’s sanctifying process.

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Our Identity in Christ – Part 1

Our identity in Christ comes when we totally surrender to God’s love in our life, we allow God to fashion us into a new creation and as we have faith in His faithfulness, which gives us assurance (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 4:19).

God chose us for the praise of His glory, and uses us as a spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3, 1:11-12). We can always approach the throne of God with confidence (Ephesians 3:12).

At salvation He forgives our sins and wipes our slate clean (Ephesians 1:7; Psalm 103:12). With our identity in Christ, we have no shame or condemnation, because we love Him and keep His commandments (Romans 8:1).

God replaces our negative personality traits with His fruit (Galatians 5:22-23). As we live in the moment and keep our focus on Him, He replaces our destructive, stress-filled thoughts with His peace (1 Corinthians 2:16; Isaiah 26:3).

We are in Christ and Christ is in us (1 Corinthians 1:30; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:3). We have the wisdom of God and our labor is not in vain, because we follow His Holy Spirit’s leading through each moment of our day (1 Corinthians 15:58).

God gives us the incomparable riches of His grace and the guidance, which we need to minister in His name (Ephesians 2:7; 1 Corinthians 1:30). We can perform anything He calls us to do, because He dwells within us (Philippians 4:13; Ephesians 2:10).

God seats us in heavenly places and makes us His light shining in this dark world (Ephesians 2:6, 5:8). He causes us to walk in holiness and faithfulness to His calling on our life, until we come into maturity in Christ (Colossians 1:2, 28).

He takes individuals and forms us into His Body (Romans 12:5). We are also His church, His children and His bride (Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 2:22, 5:25-27). We look forward to living with Him for eternity (2 Corinthians 5:1).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for supplying all of our needs with Your glorious riches (Philippians 4:19). You hold all things together and we cling to our hope of sharing eternal glory with You (Colossians 1:17, 27). You are beautiful beyond description, the worthy Lamb and our alpha and omega. Our life rises and sets in Your Son.

Thought for the Day:
In Christ, we have everything we ever need to live a fulfilled life, and nothing can ever separate us from His love. – Romans 8:38-39

Our Future with Christ

As you know, Jesus is God; yet, He became a man to pay the penalty for our sins. He endured the cross by keeping His focus on the joy that awaited Him back in Heaven. We too can enjoy this same love and peace, as we keep our mind focused on Him (Isaiah 26:3). Through Christ, everything in the universe was created (Colossians 1:16). His everlasting joy can reside in our heart forever (Psalm 16:11).

God’s gifts for us are free and include our ticket to Heaven through the forgiveness of our sin (Romans 6:23). We do not need to earn our own salvation or pay the penalty of our sins (Galatians 2:16). He completes the work in us, which He began on Calvary (Philippians 1:6). Jesus also perfects our faith, as He sits on His throne with God in Heaven (Hebrews 12:2).

God always gives us His grace to avoid temptation and to accomplish the works He created us to do (Ephesians 2:10; 2 Corinthians 9:8). All the grace we need in any and all circumstances are just a prayer away (2 Corinthians 9:8). He also supplies all of our financial, physical, mental and emotional needs in this earthly existence as we walk in His Spirit and obey His Word (Philippians 4:19).

We will all pass from life through death; however, angels escort authentic Believers to the presence of God (Luke 16:22). Our last breath on earth is followed by our next breath in Heaven. We will never sin or die again (Romans 8:21; 1 Corinthians 15:52-53). In eternity, we look forward to serving Christ and having the fullness of His character and divine nature complete in us (2 Corinthians 5:8; 1 John 3:2).

Prayer:
Father God, regardless of the pains and suffering that we endure on this earth, we are assured that You gave us an advocate in Christ (John 16:33; Hebrews 4:15). Thank You for sending Jesus to free us from our debt of sin and to help us to bear the pain of our current situation (2 Corinthians 4:17). We thank You that Christ is in us and is our hope of eternal glory with You (Colossians 1:27). We look forward with great joy to living as a co-heir with Christ of Your entire Kingdom (Romans 8:17).

Thought for the Day:
We will enjoy the presence of God for eternity and our joy will be exceedingly full. – Psalm 43:4; 1 Peter 3:18

Know That He is God

God brought Israel out of the bondage of Egypt to give them the promised Canaan Land. Even after that miraculous deliverance, the Isrealites discounted the benefits of their freedom from bondage. They missed the delicacies of Egypt. They forgot that their 40 years of wandering were the result of their disobedience to enter the land after God delivered them from Pharoah’s army.

 

Even after that disobedient generation died, the next generation also despised God’s provision for them. Our Father God wants to provide a blessed life for us, as we follow His will during each of our days. We may not have the delicacies of this world, but we will have more than we need. God desires for our focus to change from self-reliance to reliance on Him for everything.

 

The more we take our eyes off our self and focus them clearly on the Lord, the more peace we experience in our life. We have no idea what God is capable of doing and providing for us until we put our total trust in Him. He is faithful and worthy of our faith in Him. He often provides our needs before we even ask Him. He cares about every area of our life.

 

Sometimes, we demand blessings from God. We attempt to hold Him over a barrel, as if we have something to bargain with that God actually wants. God does not want us to grasp at the gifts He is waiting to supply. He wants us to sit still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10). He wants us to wait with open arms to receive all that He has for us. He has a blessed life just waiting for us to receive.

 

Prayer:

Father God, our unbelief keeps us from entering Your promised land, just like it did the Israelites. Help us to relinquish the secret sins, which we think we cannot live without. We want to devote more time to seeking You than we do to pursuing an income, a family, our hobbies and our earthly priorities. Remind us to obey by faith instead of trusting only in what we can see with our natural senses. You will supply all of our needs, according to Your glorious riches, if we simply trust in You (Philippians 4:19).

 

Thought for the Day:

God gave His own life to ransom us from sin; yet, we defile His gift with our disobedience and rebellion.

Our Abba Father

Our Father God is kind, generous and loving (1 John 4:8). Paul called Him “Abba Father” (Romans 8:15), which means “Daddy”. We have this intimate relationship with God that is sweeter than the best of human fathers. I grew up in an abusive home. My bipolar father never got treatment and took his mood swings out on my mother, brothers and me. I was afraid of Father God in my early days of faith. I viewed Him as the terrifying, smoky vision presented as the wizard of Oz.

One day, as I entered God’s courts in praise and prayer, God reminded me about the little man behind the curtain in Oz, who actually controlled that smoking mask. God showed me that He is not a terrifying being, or selfish ruler of the universe, but the caring God who actually helps us to have faith and hope, and who provided our salvation through Christ. We enter His throne room without fear, and with confidence that He hears our prayers and works in our behalf (Hebrews 4:16; Ephesians 3:12; 1 John 5:14).

Our Father God gives us an effectual, abundant life now, as well as later in heaven. He provides us with a myriad of blessings each and every day. He does not lead us into temptation (Matthew 6:13); but with each temptations presented to us by Satan or the world, God gives us a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). He provides us with an abundant supply, safety and security as we look to Him to provide (James 4:2; Psalm 91). He gives us victory through Christ in us (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Satan accuses and torments us, but God gives every authentic Born Again Believer our identity in Christ as His beloved child (Revelation 12:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17). We are free from sin, and we are raised in Christ to live a new life, which is directed by God’s Spirit (Romans 6:4,10; Romans 8:14). We are God’s children and we fix our hope on Him as He perfects us (1 John 3:2-3). Every good and perfect gift in this life comes from Him (James 1:17). God abundantly meets all of our needs (Philippians 4:6,19).

Prayer:
Father God,
Thank you for renewing our mind and for perfecting us in holiness (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18). Remind us to walk in Your Spirit, so we do not fulfill the desires of our flesh (Galatians 5:16-25), because our flesh is dead and buried with Christ in baptism (Colossians 3:3; Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12). Help us to shed Your light from within us on all of humanity around us, because they are dying in darkness and sin (Romans 5:8).

Thought for the Day:
What we do in the flesh does not make us who we are in the Spirit. God will transform our flesh to walk in newness of life.