Don’t Blame God

In God’s original plan for mankind, He created Paradise for us to enjoy. He delighted in fellowshipping with Adam and Eve in the cool of the Garden (Genesis 3:8). He never wanted us to experience one bad day in our whole lifetime.

In his rebellion and pride, mankind decided as he always does, to “do it his way”, and rejected Our Father’s ultimate plan for his life. Adam sowed to the flesh and reaped destruction, toil and hardship for us all.

Adam forfeited dominion on the earth to the devil when he sinned. Until Jesus comes again to take His rightful Kingship over the earth, Satan is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). Sin and destruction are his specialty.

Even creation is cursed by the effects of sin in this world. All creation groans for the unveiling of the sons of God to bring God’s total glorification back to the earth (Romans 8:19-22).

All of the misery, trials, disappointments and loss we suffer in this world are spawned by Satan. We are reaping what Adam and Eve sowed by their rebellion and pride.

So if something bad is happening in your life or in the life of some good or godly person that you know, don’t blame God. The “credit” actually goes to Satan. In salvation, God gives us back both now and in eternity what Satan stole from us.

God knew mankind would not appreciate His generosity; so He planned to become a man to pay for our sins, to redeem us back to Himself and to prove His unconditional love for us (John 10:30).

By providing a way for our salvation, God gives us all a chance to choose eternal life (John 3:16-17). If anyone refuses to believe, we condemn our self to hell in this life on earth and also in eternity (John 3:18).

If you repented of your sins and came to Christ for salvation, you are now a Saint (1 Corinthians 1:2). The Good News is that God will restore His Saints to Paradise in just a short vapor of time (James 4:14).

Prayer:
Father God, when we consider eternity, the 6,000 years of mankind’s toil on this earth are just a brief era. In Your perfect timing, Jesus will take His rightful place as ruler of this world and restore the Kingdom under Your government and order. There will be no more crying, toil, pain or hardship there (Revelation 21:4).

Those born on the earth during the following 1000 year Millennium will also have a chance to choose or reject Jesus’ Lordship; so that everyone will be allowed to exercise Your gift of free will (Revelation 20:3-7). All of those who stay faithful to You through to the end will serve You and enjoy Your blessings throughout eternity (Revelation 22:3; John 12:26, 30).

Thought for the Day:
God rejoices over us with singing, and He delights when His Saints pass from this world through death’s portal, and enter eternity to dwell forever in His presence. -Zephaniah 3:17; Psalm 116:15

My Hiding Place

I have a secret hiding place. It is my safe house, my shelter and fortress, my place of rest and rejoicing. Whenever my soul is afraid, I run into it and find safety, balance and serenity.

My secret hiding place is called the spirit of man (1 Corinthians 2:11). Prior to our coming to Christ, this safe place is all boarded up and inaccessible. Sin destroyed it and it is uninhabitable.

Yet, when we surrender our life wholly to God, our spirit is born again. We meet God there. From the moment of our salvation, He dwells with us in our spirit by His Holy Spirit and He never leaves (Romans 8:9, 16; Hebrews 13:5).

As we mature in our walk with God, we no longer live through our body or soul – our mind, choices and emotions. We do not depend on our human skills, talents or capabilities, but we give God full reign in our life.

We walk this earth in our body in union with God’s Spirit who abides within us; but we function in life through our spirit rather than our body and soul (1 Corinthians 3:16).

God still uses our body and soul for His purposes in the earth. He transforms our personality and capabilities and makes us a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).

We are no longer tied to the earthly realm, influenced by sin and hindered by human insufficiency. Our external world my fall down around our ears, or people and experiences may attack our thoughts or emotions; but like Paul, we rejoice in the tribulation.

We experience life from our safe place: our spirit within us (Galatians 5:25). Our carnality is dead and it is no longer us, but Christ who lives in and through us (Colossians 3:3).

We are controlled, guided and filled through our entire being with all of the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:16-19). We experience eternal life as a reality even now, by intimately knowing the only true God and His Son, Jesus Christ, whom He sent (John 17:3).

Prayer:
Father God, due to Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary’s cross, we can leave behind the cares of this temporal world and touch the glories of Heaven. Our spirit is filled with Your Spirit and we feel safe and right at home there (Revelation 3:20). We live in step with Your Spirit from within our spirit, separated from our body and soul and viewing them as from a distance.

Regardless of what the world, the devil or our flesh attempt to entice us to participate in, or the amount of pain and grief they try to distract us with, they have no effect on us or lure for us, because we live in our spirit by Your Spirit and no longer through our flesh.

Thought for the Day:
Christ is our whole life and we live by His faith; He gave Himself for us, because He loves us completely and unconditionally.
– Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:4

Emotional Tanks

When my children were in high school, I created a poster with an emotional tank for each member of our family. The object was for each of us to signify how full our emotional tank was each day.

This way we could all deposit into one another’s tank, especially into those who were running low. Well, my idea bombed with my family, but I am hoping you might like this idea.

To add to someone’s emotional tank, we need to know them well, learn what is important to them, and then converse with them and provide for them according to their love language. (www.5lovelanguages.com )

Pay attention to the words they use and listen between the lines. Never belittle their ideas, hope or dreams. Deposit daily encouragement into their emotional tank and inspire them to follow God’s plan for their day.

Deposit your time, energy, understanding and godly wisdom into their emotional tank. Be there for one another and be patient and kind to one another.

Build a foundation of trust in your family. Love depends upon trust; and when trust is broken, it is hard to feel love. Keep promises, tell the truth, and be a person of integrity.

Admit when you are wrong, and deposit into their emotional tanks with sincere apologies and changed behavior. Love unconditionally so they will feel secure, safe and affirmed.

You may not agree with their behavior or choices, and you can discipline when necessary, but separate the person from their behavior and validate them as your special treasure.

Deposit second chances, change your focus, and utilize forgiveness in every breach of confidence. You do not need to be victimized, however; and you can establish boundaries, which are safe for everyone.

Interdependence is a well-adjusted relationship centered on God who dwells in the midst of us. Following the guidance of God’s Spirit moment by moment throughout the day will help us to deposit rather than to withdraw from one another’s emotional tank.

Prayer:
Father God, teach us to cooperate so that no one person makes all the sacrifices. Help us to accept one another for who we are and to request changes only when necessary for the peace of the household.

Remind us to enjoy one another’s company, to cherish our relationship, not to take anyone for granted and to value the priceless connection You have given to us all.

Thought for the Day:
Pray together, have family devotions, serve the community together, play together; but also give one another space to have time to pursue their own interests as you make daily deposits into one another’s emotional tank.

Overwhelming Love

Eros love is physical and human; Phileo love is what we feel for our friends; but Agape love comes from God. It does not depend on how we feel or even if we like the person or not. Agape is contingent only on Christ within us. God loved us while we were still vile sinners, and He calls us to allow Him to use us to love others in this same way (Romans 5:8).

We love God, because he first loved us and gave Himself for us as a ransom for our sins (1 Timothy 2:6). If we truly love Him, we will keep His commandments (John 14:15). God’s love for us does not depend on our lovability, and does not require that we act in a loving manner. God’s love is unconditional; however, any negative behavior on our part will break His heart.

God would not love us any more if we walked in perfection before Him, and He does not love us any less if we fail unexpectedly (1 John 3:6; Hebrews 10:26). His love for us is contingent upon His dependability, not on our deportment. Christ’s death on the cross is love in action (John 3:16). If we accept this sacrifice as the payment for our sins, we are justified and have peace with God (Romans 5:1).

Although we all deserve an eternity of condemnation, at the moment of our salvation, our spirit is reborn and our over-riding desire for sin dies. We are in Christ and He is now our whole life (Colossians 3:3-4). As authentic Believers, we no longer need to wonder if we are pleasing God or doing enough to earn His love, because Christ’s sacrifice already made us an acceptable member of His beloved family (Ephesians 1:6).

Prayer:
Father God, due to the saving work of Christ on the cross, we can draw near to You and enjoy Your blessings and presence every moment of every day (James 4:8). We enjoy our continual fellowship with You. Our sins are forgiven and Christ in us makes us suitable to fellowship with You (Galatians 3:16). Remind us to set aside time for You every day and to remain in Your presence all day long regardless of the duties of family and employment. We give You all of the praise, glory and honor for everything we are, everything we accomplish and everything we have in this life.

Thought for the Day:
We enjoy the privilege of being near to God, because we made Him our sovereign Lord; He is our refuge, and we enjoy His overwhelming love and all of His generous benefits.      – Psalm 73:28, 103:2

Judging Righteous Judgment

God is the lawgiver and the only qualified judge over any other being. God calls us to rightly discern whether a person’s behavior is righteous or not, but we do not place any judgment upon the person (John 7:24). We continue to love them regardless of their behavior, knowing that God will work in their lives.

God does not want us speak evil of one another (James 4:11), but to edify each other. He wants us to share His grace with everyone we meet. In this way we do not grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:29-30). Gossip only adds fuel to the fire of slander spreading rampant through the church. However, where there is no wood (contention), the fire (gossip) goes out (Proverbs 26:20-21).

God uses the same judgment toward us that we use toward others. If we do not forgive, He cannot forgive us (Matthew 6:14). He reminds us that the faults we see in others are actually magnified in our own life. If we condemn them, we are actually hypocrites. God wants us to deal with our own problems rather than to worry about others (Matthew 7:1-5).

We will all stand before God in judgment one day, and give an account for our self and no one else. Then, He will reward us for our deeds. All authentic Believers will join Him in heaven, but unbelievers already condemned themselves to eternal torment in hell (John 3:18). This can be remedied, however…by turning away from sin and toward God.

In the end, believers and unbelievers alike will bow our knee to King Jesus (Romans 14:11). Therefore, let us not judge one another, but resolve our issues so we do not cause anyone to fall away from serving God (Romans 14:10-13). As we use patience toward each other and don’t grumble, we establish our own heart toward God, and we are ready for His coming (James 5:8-9).

Prayer:
Father God, teach us the balance between those who are spiritual restoring those who are deceived by sin (Galatians 6:1), and judging one another. Help us to pay attention to our own behavior, and to make sure we are walking according to Your principles. We certainly should have discernment and not join our brethren when their behavior is obviously sinful or anti-Biblical, but we do not want to judge them either. We simply love them unconditionally and wait on You to show them Your truth.

Thought for the Day:
Behold how good and pleasant it is for the brethren to dwell together in unity. – Psalm 133:1