Few That Find It

When we consider the parable of the sower of seeds, we realize that only one-fourth of the seed scattered actually falls on good soil and bears fruit (Matthew 13:18). That means that only a quarter of those who hear the gospel of Jesus Christ are actually converted.

When Jesus lived on this earth, a multitude followed Him; but just a few actually bore fruit from His ministry to them. Jesus, the personification of God Himself, presented a life and testimony of the reality of God’s existence; yet it did not impact the lives of most of those around Him.

Noah preached the Good News for 120 years and even built a huge ark for the known world at that time to see; yet, only his immediate family boarded the ark and were saved.

The reason for this is that there are two gated roads in life. One is broad and many find it; yet it leads to eternal destruction. Then, there is the narrow gate and road, which lead to everlasting life; but very few actually enter it (Matthew 7:13-14).

This fact causes me to weep uncontrollable tears for those people who allow pride and rebellion to keep them from entering the straight and narrow road to salvation. I intercede for them day and night to have a change of heart.

The toll has already been paid by the shed blood of Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:18-19). It is a free gift of God (Romans 6:23). Yet the multitude of people born on this earth condemn themselves by refusing to take that fork in the road, which leads to eternal life (John 3:18).

This highway is called the Way of Holiness for those who walk on it; yet the wicked and foolish will not travel down it; they will avoid it at all costs, even the cost of their own salvation (Isaiah 35:8).

God gives everyone a choice to totally surrender their life to Him (John 3:16-17). However, just a remnant of those born into this world will take advantage of the opportunity to live in abundant peace and joy now and throughout eternity (Isaiah 11:16).

Prayer:
Father God, we commit to daily pray for those still alive and those who will be born in the future to have the desire to walk on the straight and narrow road. Strengthen their inner being to respond to Your Spirit and to accept the sacrifice of Your dear Son as their own (Ephesians 1:16). They will gain the pearl of great price, the treasure in the field and Your eternal life (Matthew 13).

So many hear, but shut up the ears of their understanding. They look, but choose not to see. Their hearts are fat with self-indulgence and heavy with the cares of this world. Their ears are dull from the false doctrine of the world (Matthew 5:18-19).

They close their eyes and sleep to avoid responding to Your Truth. They will not turn to You and allow You to heal them (Matthew 13:14-16). I pray for them to allow Your Spirit to open the eyes of their understanding, so they can enjoy the riches of Your pleasures forevermore (Ephesians 1:18; Psalm 16:11; Proverbs 3:16).

Thought for the Day:
Jesus made it very clear that He is the only way, truth and life; and anyone who believes in Him shall never die, but will live eternally with Him in our Father’s Kingdom. – John 14:6

Our True Reality in Christ

There is no need for us to frequent the “self-help” shelf at the library or bookstore, because the Holy Spirit is changing us through His sanctifying process, until we come to the fullness of Christ in us (2 Corinthians 3:18).

When we come to the end of our self, God’s Holy Spirit, who dwells in us, becomes our comforter, guide, wisdom, encourager and the voice of Christ, who also dwells in us by His Spirit, as our way, truth and life (Colossians 3:4; John 14:6).

Christ in us is not a separate entity from who we are. He is as much of an integral part of us as He is to our Father God (John 17:21). Living in the center of God’s will is the happiest place on earth.

We surrender the control of our life over to God, because to think that we actually have any control over our life is ludicrous! Life happens and is always out of our control.

Just as Jesus did nothing of Himself, we follow His example. We die to our self and trust only in God. We live in union as one person with Christ in us. He is our whole life (Colossians 3:4).

The sooner we come to this place of total surrender to the will of God, content in the circumstance which He provides (Philippians 4:11), the freer and more joyfully we experience each day, captivated by His Spirit and His will.

As we decrease in our desires and control over our life, He will increase His control and put His desires in our heart (John 3:30; Psalm 37:4). Christ in us is our only true reality now and in eternity.

We are dead, and He now lives in and through us (Colossians 4:3-4). There are no formulas to follow, no effort on our part, no striving or quoting Bible verse, which can make this happen.

We simply surrender all to Him by letting go of our anxiety, negative emotions and idols, which imprison us, and letting God have His way in our life.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for revealing to us that this life in not about us; it is totally and abundantly about You in us (Colossians 1:27). You free us from bondage to the devil, the world and the flesh; and You allow us to walk intimately with Your Trinity abiding within us (Galatians 5:15-25).

Surrendering to Your rest is the only step we need to take to enter into this union life with You (Hebrews 4:10-11). We stop our stress, strain and list-making and follow Your Spirit during each moment of our day. When we walk in the center of Your will we find true peace, joy and rest in Your Spirit (Romans 14:17).

Thought for the Day:
It is no longer I, but Christ who lives in me, because we are unified as one being; He is the head and I am the body, which He uses for His glory. – Colossians 3:3-4

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

A Seed for a Miracle

The trials of life are inevitable. Tribulation even comes to those who walk uprightly before the Lord (Matthew 5:45). Paul learned two secrets through the things, which he suffered.

First, he learned to be content whether he had plenty or when he had nothing, when he lived in comfort or when he suffered deprivation, and when he saw the fruit of his ministry or when he simply planted or watered (Philippians 4:11-12; 1 Corinthians 3:6-7).

Secondly, he learned to count every trial and tribulation as a joyous event (James 1:2-18). I never understood this insane view of suffering; until the day that I suffered the dissolution of my family.

This was by far the worst thing that could ever happen to me. I can bear physical pain and death, but I was inconsolable from the magnitude of my emotional loss when I was literally cut out of my family circle.

God previously tried through numerous trials to teach me to surrender all to Him, to enter His place of rest and to have faith in His faithfulness (Proverbs 3:5-6; Hebrews 4:10-11).

Yet, through every trail I struggled, often in vain, to use my own human resources to remedy the situation. However, this time there was no repairing the rupture of my family unit through divorce.

This is when I learned the Serenity Prayer. I had no recourse but to hand this devastating trial completely to God to do with as He saw fit. What I learned from this situation changed my life.

Now when I experience a trial, I view it as a sidewalk. If I focus on the details of the journey, I experience fear and insecurity. If I remember that there is a seed for a miracle in every trial, I feel only hope and anticipation.

I look toward the end the trial with the eyes of faith (Hebrews 11:1), expecting to see a miracle just up ahead. I keep my mind focused on God’s Kingdom and His will for me in this trial.

I serve at the pleasure of our King Jesus. If He allows a loss or trial or tribulation in my life, it is for His glory and my good (John 9:3; Romans 8:28). I can count on Him, because He is always faithful (1 Corinthians 1:9).

God uses us in times of trial to share the Gospel with someone; to live through this storm as an example of Christ’s peace in us; and for God to form His character, the fruit of His Spirit, and Christ’s divine nature in us through the things, which we suffer (Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Peter 1:4; Ephesians 2:10)?

I count trials as a joyful experience now, as I focus on the eternal consequences and not the temporal aspects of each one. I look forward to the ultimate miracle, which this trial shall birth in my life.

Prayer:
Father God, trials also taught me that if I continually live in Your presence and walk by Your Spirit, I will experience far fewer trials than if You have to resort to trials to gain my attention.

Satan also uses circumstances to batter us with temptations and trials all throughout our life; but we thank You that Christ in us is greater than the god of this world (Job 2:3; 1 John 4:4). Remind us that Jesus already won the victory for us over every negative aspect of life (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Thought for the Day:
Trust your life to God’s capable hands.

The Holy Spirit Within

God gives us His Spirit when we admit our sinful state and cry out to Him for forgiveness and salvation. God gives us pardon for our past sins and His guarantees for our future. This provides deep peace, which never fades as long as we keep our mind on Him (Isaiah 26:3). He wants complete control of every part of our life. We hold nothing back.

As we live in total surrender to His direction and guidance, He orchestrates our body, soul and spirit. In exchange, we live in the joy of the Lord, which defies human description (1 Peter 1:7-9). It is never ending joy, which resides deep within our spirit and influences our body and soul. This is the same joy, which God gave Jesus when he faced the cross of Calvary (Hebrews 12:1-3).

When God’s Spirit moves in, He brings holiness, contentment and triumph with Him, which transcends every circumstance we ever encounter in life (Romans 14:17). These are not fleeting emotions, nor do they depend on any aspect in our life. They are resident within us by God’s Spirit no matter how devastating our life becomes. The Holy Spirit is an ever-present help in times of trouble. 

Continually dwelling within us, God’s Spirit transforms our carnal nature with His fruit and Christ’s divine nature (2 Peter 1:4; Galatians 5: 22-23). He provides the unity and love we receive from our relationship with the Lord of glory (Isaiah 60:1). God is our provider, protector, sufficiency, inspiration, peace and joy. We place our secular life under God’s Spirit’s direction and He leads us to succeed in every area of life.

The Holy Spirit is also the sanctifier who rules in our spirit and soul and gives us grace and mercy in our time of need. His joy is our strength (Psalm 28:7) as we face trials and tribulation. Through His Spirit, Jesus cherishes us with all of the benevolence, patience and love that a bride groom has for His bride (2 Corinthians 11:2; Mark 2:19; Revelation 19:7; Ephesians 5:22-33).

Prayer:

Father God, as Your Spirit transforms us with the mind of Christ, we have a Christ-like attitude at home, work and play, which makes a positive difference in the world around us. Your Spirit forms Christ in us to the extent that we live, move and have our entire existence in Him (Acts 17:28). He conquers sin within us, and casts out any idol, which we still cling to, as long as we willingly surrender it to Him. Help us to give every negative experience to Your safe keeping and remind us to respond in Your Spirit to everyone who comes against us.

Thought for the Day:

We give Jesus our whole heart and He gives our life back to us with more fulfillment and peace of mind than anything we could ever imagine.

God’s Divine Life and Love

God is love, and His divine love dwells within every Born Again spirit (1 John 4:8). We do not have to rely on the human emotion of love, but we can rise above the temporal realm and rely on God’s love in us instead (Romans 5:5). His love even flows to those in our life who are less than humanly lovable! God loved that person enough to die for him or her, and His love for them is in us.

 

As we rest in Christ, His love flows through us even when we are not aware of it. It is deeper than the words we speak and the actions we accomplish. It flows from our heart to theirs. Love is actually one of the fruit of God’s Holy Spirit. Through the power of God through Christ, we love our family, friends and enemies (Matthew 5:44). In fact, we exhibit all of God’s fruit through our fellowship with Christ, who is our Vine.

 

In many Christians there is a lack of divine power, because we fail to realize the full impact of our connection to the Vine. We work for God, but we do not give God the opportunity to work in and through us (Ephesians 2:10). As we understand our relationship as branches on the Vine of Christ, we enjoy our union with Him and His power in us.

 

God’s Holy Spirit is the “sap”, which continually motivates, energizes  and directs us. We are fully equiped to bear “much” fruit, because we are rooted and grounded in Christ’s love and faith, and led by God’s Spirit each moment of our day (John 15:8; Romans 8:14; Ephesians 3:17; Colossians 2:7). As we totally surrender our spirit, soul and body to God’s will, He lives His life in us and accomplishes His purposes through us.

 

Prayer:

Father God, let your Spirit, Your life, Your love flow through us in power and in truth. It is Your divine life that we want to manifest in and through our life to those around us. We want to decrease, so that You may increase (John 3:30). We want to live, move and have our existence immersed in Your divine life and love (Acts 17:28).

 

Thought for the Day:

We listen with our spiritual inner ear to the direction of God’s Spirit, because He has a purpose for our day that is infinitely more fruitful and fulfilling than anything we could ever plan for our self or even dream is possible.

 

 

Christ’s Place in Our Life

In today’s world, people are very touchy about what we say to them. If we even mention anything about God or Christ, they think that we are trying to proselytize them. We are simply living out who we are, and they accuse us of judging them. Of course, if they would join us, they would understand that He is not our hobby or our crutch. Christ is our very life (Colossians 3:4).

We are not trying to impose our beliefs on them, just living the truth of God’s Word. We do not condemn their behavior or their person, but offer them the opportunity to trust Christ for their life and to enjoy the wondrous benefits He provides for His children (1 John 3:10; Psalm 103:2). When we repent and believe in Christ, we no longer live as part of this world, even though we still live in it.

This happens, because God placed the weight of the vilest sins upon His own shoulders and paid the penalty for them in our place. Already accepted in His beloved family, we live by faith and not by works (Ephesians 1:6; 2:8-9). We no longer attempt to earn God’s acceptance by our performance to His standards. We live in total surrender to His will and accept His atoning work for our salvation.

Jesus freed us from deprivation, degradation and devastation in this life. He allows us to walk in a new life in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17). His anointing in us and through us breaks the yoke of all bondage to sin and deception (Isaiah 10:27). He exchanges our humanity for His divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). His Spirit lives in and through us and enables us to live in the happiest place on earth – God’s will (Galatians 2:20).

Prayer:
Father God, we are an extension of the ministry of Christ on this earth. His sinless perfection enables us to live free from sin as we depend on Him for our perfection. Thank You for sending Your Spirit to guide us, as Your Body on the earth, to supernaturally perform greater works than Jesus did by Your power in us (John 14:12). Remind us that You direct our paths, as we follow You in all of our decisions (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Thought for the Day:
When we grow weary, we can trust God to renew our strength and to help us to rise up with wings like eagles. – Isaiah 40:31

Our New Life

Jesus became sin for us and hung as a criminal on the cross in our place. After His resurrection, He walked the earth for 40 days, appearing to people and ministering to them. These eyewitnesses give us infallible proof of His resurrection. He was the first born of God’s children to come back from the grave and He now has total supremacy over the all things (Colossians 1:18).

For His entire life on earth, Jesus surrendered His will to God’s and He calls us to do the same thing. His resurrection power works in us, giving us the ability to do His will (Philippians 2:12-13). We relate to Jesus death through the death of our carnality and by our baptism into His life (Colossians 2:12, Galatians 2:20). We have perfect fellowship with our Heavenly Father, just like Jesus did (1 John 1:3).

God rewarded Jesus’ faithfulness with the glories of Heaven. Jesus demonstrated to us that when we give up our life for God, we gain the splendor of Heaven as well. We walk in the victory of God’s Spirit in our spirit, victory over sin in our soul and victory over death in our immortal bodies (1 Corinthians 15:53-54). Jesus lives out His life in us by God’s Spirit, who abides in us and leads us each moment of our day.

We receive Christ’s divine nature as we total surrender to and obey God’s will for our life. We are holy vessels, set apart for God’s service. We renounce all worldliness, rebellion and apathy as we admit our helplessness without Him, live in dependence on Him and accept our significance in Him. God’s Spirit works the holiness of Christ in us and gives us His life and anointing.

Prayer:
Father God, as our flesh dies with Christ, our spirit rises up to walk in a new life in Him (Romans 6:4). Like the three Hebrew children taken into slavery, we refuse to partake in the sin of this life. We keep our self holy and pure by fleeing from temptation and submitting to Your Spirit each day. Help us to live a life of responsibility, forgiveness and wisdom like Joseph did. We wait in breathless anticipation for our new adventure in Christ to unfold with each new day.

Thought for the Day:
Everyone in Egypt saw the hand of the Lord on Joseph’s life, because the Lord was with Him as He is with and in each of us. – Genesis 39:2

The Power of God’s Love

When a being as large as God moves into your life, you are going to notice some changes going on inside of you. This is one of the most convincing verifications that God is alive and well on planet earth! He makes a difference. No one who is truly Born Again will continue to willfully indulge in a carnal lifestyle. God’s Spirit now resides within us and we cannot continue to live in sin (1 John 3:9).

The Bible is full of typical illustrations of the changes, which God’s Spirit works into our life. The Apostle Paul is a great example of someone who persecuted Christ by tormenting and killing His Body. Christ turned this prideful, self-centered man into a paragon of virtue with the power of God’s Spirit to reach many for the cause of Christ (Philippians 1:13; Timothy 1:12-15).

Many are convinced that good people go to heaven and bad people go to hell. This is simply not true. Our eternal destination depends on where we currently place our trust (John 3:16-18). Do you trust in your own merits, or in the grace and mercy of God? God is in the life changing business. He opens our blind spiritual eyes. Our transformed life is a living testimony of the power of Christ to save.

God takes a human spirit, which is dead in Adam’s sin, and births new life in it through His life saving power (2 Corinthians 5:17). He totally transforms an angry, rebellious wounded soul into a serene and joyful one. The change in our life speaks volumes to everyone. We are no longer ashamed to proclaim to our world, the difference, which Christ made in our life.

The power of God brings a life-altering change to anyone willing to totally surrender to His love (Romans 1:16). The story of how God changed our life is a powerful tool for bringing others to the cross of Christ for their own salvation (Luke 8:39). A meek, empty person or a vile blasphemer can both witness the love of Christ in their life and melt under the conviction of God’s Holy Spirit.

Prayer:
Father God, we seek no other pleasure in this life than to bring delight to Your heart. We want no other success than to bring You glory. We cry out for nothing more than to see You more plainly, to know You more deeply and to love You more intimately through each successive day of our life. Your love for us transforms the carnality in our life until we love you with our whole heart (Luke 10:27; Psalm 119:10).

Thought for the Day:
Even while our life is rife with sin and degradation, God loved us enough to suffer the penalty of our sins and to set us free in His love.
– Romans 5:8

Sin No Longer Tempts Us

Human beings are born with a body, a soul and a spirit. At birth, our spirit is dead in the sin of the first Adam (Colossians 2:13; Romans 5:12). It remains that way throughout our life until we come to Christ, the second Adam, for salvation (1 Corinthians 15:45). This keeps us from experiencing the second death in hell (Revelation 21:8), because our spirit is Born Again through the blood of Jesus (1 John 3:9).

God’s Holy Spirit within us conforms us into the image of Christ through sanctification (Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18). This is a process in which we can cooperate and participate in order to have our mind renewed more quickly (Romans 12:2). If we fight the work of God in our life through our carnal nature, then we suffer longer from the effects of our pride and rebellion.

The good news is that God works in our soul – our mind, will and emotions – on several levels. Jesus delivered us from a life of carnality and death (Romans 7:24-25). He gives us both the desire and the power to surrender fully to God’s will and way (Philippians 2:12-13). His truth sets us free indeed (John 8:32-36). What we find impossible, Christ in us makes possible (Matthew 19:26; Philippians 4:13).

Once the Spirit of God does His regenerating work in us (Romans 7:17), we can face the sin that tempts us, without the need to give in to it (1 Corinthians 10:13). Over time, our desires are renewed, and sinful pursuits no longer have any value for us. The Holy Spirit renews our mind and sets us free from the need to live in sin (Romans 8:13). We walk in victory over both sin and death through Christ in us (1 Corinthians 15:57).

If you are still living a lifestyle of sin, and making excuses for it, then your spirit is still dead in sin (1 John 3:9). You have not been truly Born Again, even if you go to church and work for God. You simply need to choose to turn away from sin and to totally surrender your entire life to God (1 John 1:9). Yield your body, mind, will and emotions to God rather than to sin (Romans 6:13).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for not leaving us as orphans on this earth (John 14:18). Your Holy Spirit within us leads us into all truth (John 14:26, 16:13); so that we will despise sin as much as You do, and we will not follow deceiving spirits and lies taught by demons (1 Timothy 4:1). We are no longer blinded by the deceitfulness of sin, but we walk in newness of life (Hebrews 3:13; Romans 6:4). You cause us to die to sin and to live, move and have our existence only in Christ (Romans 6:8; Acts 17:28).

Thought for the Day:
Due to the anointing of the Holy One within us, we walk in the truth and no longer fulfill the lusts of our flesh.
– 1 John 2:20; Galatians 5:16-25