The Just Live by Faith

When we consider the sower of seed in Jesus’ parable, only one-fourth of the seed fell on good ground where it rooted and flourished.

When we realize the reception that Christ received while He lived on this earth, it puts things into clear perspective. If mankind would not receive Jesus when they could see Him, far fewer will believe in Him when they cannot see Him (Romans 10:14-15).

Most humans rely on finite, physical senses and limited mental powers in analyzing truth. If it does not feel right, then we reject it. Satan is right there making sure that the things of God make no human sense.

That is why faith is stressed so often in Biblical passages. The just live by faith and not by sight (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38). The unjust live by sight and not by faith. They mock faith and scorn those of us living by it.

Yet, we have more than blind faith. The Bible declared that the earth was round long before Columbus ever disproved the common myth that it was flat. Science is always catching up with the Bible.

Not one archaeological discovery ever disproved God’s written Word, while many historic finds prove the veracity of the Bible. Yet, people prefer to believe the lies, which Satan continually propagates as truth, rather than the Truth of God’s Word.

Unbelievers choose to trust in science, math and technology rather than in the reality of Jesus Christ. They believe in theories and hypothesis – even those with missing links – as if they are facts of truth.

Sadly, only one-fourth of the world’s population throughout the ages will ever believe in Christ and surrender their heart and soul to Him. Let us continually pray for and share our testimony with anyone who is willing to listen.

Prayer:
Father God, Jesus Christ generously gave His life to offer the whole world Your promise of everlasting life. It is for all people everywhere with no distinction of color, race, creed, shape, size or intelligence.

However, more people reject Your generous offer than receive it with whole-hearted devotion and thanksgiving. Pride and rebellion have always run rampant on the earth and self-reliance is the mantra. Give us opportunities to share Your truth with anyone who is willing to receive it.

Thought for the Day:
Good things are very often the enemy of the best things; yet, so many people are willing to take second best and base their entire life on it.

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Uncommon Love

Although God causes the sun to rise on the evil as well as the good, and although He waters the land belonging both to the righteous and the unrighteous, it does not mean that God approves of their evil or unrighteous behavior.

If unconverted people would really pay attention, they would recognize that the whole earth is actually full of the lovingkindness of the Lord (Psalm 33:5).

At times, evil people advance in this world quicker than the righteous, which seems totally unfair to us. As humans, we would take a totally different approach. We would zap our enemies and annihilate them.

Yet, God often makes sure that unbelievers experience the same joys and benefits from His love that Believers do. He draws them by His love, just as He drew us by His love, even while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8).

At times, we are frustrated by the sinner’s blindness to the goodness of God, and we lament that they do not praise Him for His love and kindness (Psalm 107:8).

They know about God; yet, most of them reject Him or even accuse Him for everything that goes wrong in their life. Their foolish hearts get darker and darker in the midst of God’s obvious wonders (Romans 1:21).

Nevertheless, God pours out His blessings on the unjust as well as the just (Matthew 5:45). Then, He calls us to mirror His love to our unsaved friends, relatives, associates and neighbors by laying our life down for them (Romans 5:7).

Prayer:
Father God, give us the same mercy and grace toward sinners that You showed to us. Keep us from expressing the frustration we often feel towards their resistance to Your love. Help us not to judge them, but to accept them right where they are; knowing that You will convict them in your timing and way.

Remind us often that we are no better than the sinner, because the only difference is that we are already saved by Your grace. Let us lay down our life for them. Give us the chance to prove to them that our motivation for serving them is nothing more than Your love for them in us.

Thought for the Day:
God desires that we continually pray for the salvation of the sinner; and that we utilize every opportunity to take as many of them to heaven with us as will have the humility to surrender to God’s love.

The Benefits of God’s Grace

God loves the whole universe, even those who do not believe in Him and those who curse His name (John 3:16). He allows both sinners and Saints to reap the benefits of His love (Jeremiah 12:1; Psalm 37).

God is drawing us all to Himself by sharing blessings to both evil and good people, and by sending refreshing rain to believers and unbelievers alike (Matthew 5:45).

The grace of God benefits everyone ever born. The whole earth overflows with His loving kindness (Psalm 33:5). If only everyone would turn to Him because of His benevolence (Psalm 107:8).

Although everyone ever born initially realizes the goodness of God, even through creation, most people fail to honor Him or feel gratitude, because our foolish heart is clouded by Satan’s lies (Romans 1:20-21)

The human tendency is to credit our good fortune to own efforts or to “fate”, rather than to God. We fail to see the goodness of God in our success. This causes us to condemn our self by our unbelief (John 3:18).

Our futile attempts to find a measure of happiness and success in life are empty prizes. We work throughout our whole lifetime to build our own little kingdom on this earth, only to lose it all in death.

We face eternity without the saving grace of Christ. God’s grace is His undeserved favor shared with every human being ever born. Yet, most people disdain His attempts to save them.

God calls us to a personal relationship with Him. His everlasting arms are open wide, encouraging both the good person and the foulest sinner to abandon their futile lifestyle and to trust Him.

He provides for all of our needs according to His glorious riches (Philippians 4:19; Ephesians 3:16). He shepherds us and keeps us safe (Psalm 23). He longs for our fellowship day and night (Exodus 33:14; 1 John 3:24; Revelation 21:3-4).

Prayer:
Father God, we can never thank You enough for the loving kindness You shower on Your creation (Psalm 145:9). You provide for us and protect us by Your mighty hand (Psalm 139:10). If You were to forget us for one second, destruction would overcome the universe.

Make us ever mindful of Your desire to fellowship with us. Remind us to take time to consult You for Your perfect plans for each moment of our day. Allow us to make a difference in the lives of the people You bring our way. Please come soon and restore Your order to the earth.

Thought for the Day:
God calls us to love all of humanity just as He does, sacrificing as His Spirit directs us for those He brings into our life. – Romans 5:7-8

Transforming Our Soul

Unbelievers are spiritually dead and do not understand the issues of God, because these truths are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14). There is hostility between them and God, due to this spiritual divide (Romans 8:7).

Unbelievers tend to live either legalistic or hedonistic lives. They attempt to find fulfillment without God. When we share Christ with them, many reject Him and close their heart to His Truth.

Believers are alive with Christ, and forgiven of every sin we ever committed (Ephesians 2:5; Colossians 2:13-14). Through His death, we receive victory over every principality and power, including demonic strongholds (Colossians 2:15).

Anyone can accept Christ, live as a Believer and reap the rewards of Christ’s righteousness, rather than the consequences of unbelief and a sinful lifestyle (Galatians 6:9; John 3:16-18).

Christianity includes more than one hour of worship on Sunday morning. It involves a complete change in thinking and acting, from living a self-centered life to a Christ-centered existence.

Christ is our whole life (Colossians 3:4). He changes us from the inside out…our soul’s transformation affects our outward behavior and appearance. Even our physical countenance improves due to His presence in our life.

We do not attempt to perfect our self before we come to Christ. Neither is there any deed, which we ever committed that is not already covered under His blood. His mercy and grace are complete.

However, this does not imply that our behavior is not important. Christ perfects us through sanctifying our soul – our thoughts, choices and feelings, and gives us a way to escape every temptation the devil uses to cause our mortal flesh to sin (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Prayer:
Father God, we feel so privileged to live by Your Spirit and to belong to Your family as we further Your Kingdom on this earth. Thank You for saving us through the blood of Jesus and giving us Your Spirit to perfect us from the inside out and to conform us to the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).

Remind us to walk away from any temptation to sin, so that we do not grieve Your Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). Help us to live an exemplary life so that others will see our good works and glorify You (Matthew 5:16). We love You with all of our heart, mind and strength, and we look forward to serving You for eternity (Luke 10:27).

Thought for the Day:
If we live in a lifestyle of any type of behavior, which the Bible calls sin, then we are not Born Again; because a Believer cannot live in sin, since the Holy Spirit within us is grieved by sin. – Romans 8:9; Ephesians 4:30; 1 John 3:9

Answered Prayers

The blessing of intercessory prayer is that we can pray wherever we are and no matter what we are doing. God’s Spirit prays through us, even for people we do not know. Family, friends, workmates, neighbors, church revival, the worldwide family of God and the unbelievers in every nation are all topics of our times of intercessory prayer.

Our persistent prayer, sometimes accompanied by fasting, actually makes a difference in our world. Tears are often the result of our fervent prayer, and they touch the heart of God (Psalm 56:8). Spirit-led prayers are the most affective, because if we pray in our own strength, legions of demons may attack us with doubt and discouragement. God’s will is the key ingredient for answered prayers (1 John 5:14-15).

Through prayer, Born Again Believers, who are filled with God’s Spirit, minister with holy boldness in areas where we have no natural abilities. We are delivered from relying on our flesh once we reach the place of totally resting in faith on our Father God. God’s Spirit takes us beyond our gifts and callings to places where only Christ in us can accomplish the will of God (Colossians 1:27).

We learn to pray in the Spirit, affecting those areas where God is most interested in ministering. We do not pray with a flowery profundity of words, but only with fervent, effectual prayers (James 5:16). If we say we love God, yet do not love the least of those whom He died for, the Bible calls us a liar (1 John 4:20). God’s love allows us to pray for people, and to identify with them in their plight.

Prayer:
Father God, we know that You often refrain from affirmatively answering our prayers, because You have a higher purpose for the issues in our lives. You use them to allow patience to have her perfect work in us; and You use them for Your ultimate glory. Remind us to pray for our missionaries and fellow Believers in foreign countries and around the USA. We want our prayers to be strategic and effective through Your Spirit’s direction.

Thought for the Day:
God often humbles us by not immediately answering our prayers, so that we take no glory in the future when He does answer them.

Beyond the Cross

At Salvation, God offers us an intimate relationship with Himself. He wants to work in and through us to affect the world around us. It is God’s consistency, the fact that He never changes, which makes Him extremely trustworthy (Numbers 23:19; Malachi 3:6). He never fails to be and to perform everything according to His Word. We can trust in His faithfulness. Our soul waits expectantly on the Lord (Psalm 62:5). No trial or circumstance can ever separate us from God’s presence.

Many people come to salvation through belief in Jesus, and then they camp around that fact for the rest of their life. They miss out on so much that is available to the child of God. They tend to live primarily through their body and soul – the mind, will and emotions. Yet, God is a Spirit (1 Samuel 16:7), and His Spirit dwells in us. We are thankful for Jesus’ sacrifice for us, but He also wants us to walk in the victory His death affords us, and to press on to the high calling of God in Christ (Philippians 3:14).

At our salvation, God converted our nature (2 Corinthians 5:17). It is now filled with His righteous and is truly holy (Ephesians 4:24). He fills our Born Again spirit with the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, and His Spirit conforms us to the image of Christ (1 John 4:17; 1 Corinthians 6:17; Romans 8:9; Galatians 4:6). As we walk in the Spirit, we no longer fulfill the desires of our fleshly, carnal nature (Galatians 5:16-25). Recognizing who we are in Christ causes us to stand apart from unbelievers.

Our Born Again spirit is totally sanctified. We are a prisoner of no one, but Christ (Romans 6:18). We realize that He will work everything out for the good of those who love Him and who are called into His purposeful service (Romans 8:28). His divine peace and joy give us victory over every adversary and circumstance, and this allows us to reflect the image of God to the world around us. We live for His glory and honor, out of the abundance of His power within us.

Prayer:
Father God, under the encouragement of Your promises, we exhibit Your divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). We see the calm in the coming storm (Psalm 107:29), and focus on Your purpose for us in it, rather than the stress of the situation itself. We view every situation as coming from You, and we know that Christ in us can do all things through us (1 Corinthians 3:6; Philippians 4:13). Your peace, which resides within us (Philippians 4:7), influences our actions and is displayed in our face and body language. We thank You for all You do for us each and every day.

Thought for the Day:
To know God more intimately, we wait on Him; we are still and listen; then we wait some more, if need be, until we hear His still, small voice. – Psalm 27:14; 1 Kings 19:11-13