Archive for the ‘relationship with God’ Tag

CULTIVATING HIS GIFT

For unto us
The Christ Child is born
His peace and love
Enter our hearts
Christ comes not
Just once a year
But every day
Our hearts can accommodate
His love
A miracle of divine origin
Transforming our hearts
Softening hard feelings
And melting hate
Originating acts of kindness
Propelling us
To go out of our way
To serve those less fortunate

His love
Now our constant companion
Not easily uprooted
From our hearts
A new life
Protected by
Our loving maintenance
Of His gift
By our humble acceptance
He is our Creator
Due all attention,
Honor, and worship

IMMANUEL — GOD WITH US

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God: the same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-4, 14).

Scripture clearly reveals Jesus Christ as our Creator and establishes His dual divine and human nature. Further, His life reveals God’s glory — His magnificence and astounding character. Christ came into this world to give us life — eternal life. He came to cast light in the darkness, giving us truth, showing us the way. With the promise of His birth fulfilled, mankind could now be assured of a Child to become their Savior who would shower them with grace.

From the time God walked and communed with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, through the Fall of Man, and with the passing of time, God’s intent has always been to dwell with humans. He is a God of relationships. Christ came to save us from our sins and to restore our relationship with God — God the Father whom we had disobeyed. We can now confidently approach the throne of God with petitions and prayers of repentence through the mediation of Jesus Christ our Savior.

This Christmas season as we contemplate the birth of the Christ Child, let us give thanks and praise for His mercy in saving our fallen race and for His everlasting love for us. Let’s reciprocate that love by using both His strength and the grace He offers freely to us to honor and obey His Ten Commandments. Our Creator and Savior is worthy of no less worship and adoration.

—Scripture quotations taken from KJV—

OVERCOMING THE DEVIL’S WILES

We’re all in this worldly mess together. Evil lurks everywhere. “Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

We all, at times, have thoughts critical of others enter our minds. Further, jealous feelings spring up in our hearts over others possessions or achievements. This is human nature. We easily find the thoughts and feelings too difficult to resist. We dwell on them and own them, thereby sinning. The devil tells us these are little sins; they don’t matter.

The word of God supplies a solution to resisting temptation: “Submit yourselves thereby to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you” (James 4:7,8). Develop a relationship with Jesus and abide in Him daily. He will give you His strength, making it possible for you to obey God’s law, as Jesus, Himself, was able to do perfectly while on earth, being tempted in every manner as we are tempted. When we resist the devil through Christ’s power, the devil flees from us because he knows he has no chance of overwhelming us. Then we can turn those initially critical thoughts to an acceptance that none of us is perfect. Also, we’ll transform the germ of jealous feelings over someone’s possessions into happiness for them and we’ll turn jealous urges over someone’s achievements into admiration of them.

Jesus offers us a promise we can internalize: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Phil 4:13). Many of us underestimate our ability to do what we are called to do by the Lord. That’s because we don’t recognize that the Lord will empower us if we believe in His ability to make marvelous things happen through us. We have to remember that we are His instruments and He is the Provider of success.

To work with the Lord requires a strong prayer life. We need to develop trust in Him to show us the way. He does this one step at a time. This is how God works when He is going to do something great. He doesn’t lay it all out ahead and let us agree or disagree that his plan will work for us, giving us a chance to bail. We need to trust Him one step at a time, in earnest prayer.

To have a relationship with God is imperative if we want to do His will. Only God can enable us to resist temptation. Only He can orchestrate His successes. Also, He is our only Friend who, if we seek Him in earnest prayer, always understands and can comfort.

God loves you. He is longing for you to tap into His strength, wisdom, and unconditional love. He wants you to have a full life. And being so endowed, you’ll be better able to introduce your family, friends, and even enemies to the love of your Lord and Savior.

—Scripture quotations taken from KJV—

OUR SAVIOR

I cannot be more thankful to You, Lord
For the wonderful life you’ve given me
You, the Creator of the universe,
Have kept Your watchful eye on me
A mere mortal
Having entered caves ready to collapse
Sailed churning seas that drown
Strode upon Satan’s field of snares
Laid to crush and kill
Contemplated taking his demon’s drugs
Distributed daily on the corners
Of my consciousness

You, Lord, tethered Your saving line to me
Not letting harm prevail
You led me to a haven of safety
Your bosom
To feel the warmth
See the pure light
Emanating from Your Being
While in a dream later in my life
Impressed upon me
The closeness of Your love for me
The bond you want to form
And Your sacred mission
To save not only me
But all mankind

OVERCOMING SATAN’S GRAND SCHEME

Why do we hurt? Is it because we have done something wrong and God wants to punish us? Or is it because we are weak, unable to overcome adversity? Perhaps we’ve drifted away from healthy living habits and incurred needless suffering upon ourselves.

After studying the Scriptures, I don’t believe God wants to punish us for erring. He does admonish and correct us through His Word or through a wise, caring person who points us in the right direction. God only wants the best for us because He loves us. He allows us to grow in character, that we may desire to maintain a love relationship with Him. We were created to commune with Him and were commissioned to help others obtain eternal life with Him. The people who will, on the final Day of Judgement, be punished by God are those who rejected Him and His everlasting love. Their destruction will be on their own heads.

Now, back to the present day. God has given us an invitation to join Him in this life. Jesus says: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Therefore, being weak and unable to overcome adversity will be our lot at times, if we refuse to join with, or abide in Him. The pain we suffer here can be alleviated by stretching out our arms and wrapping them around Jesus, our Good Shepherd, who protects His sheep from the harm Satan strives to inflict upon them.

Pain and suffering, to a large extent, have their root in the animosity Satan holds for Jesus and His creation. When Satan was in heaven, he was God’s honored covering angel, Lucifer. Still, Lucifer felt God was being unfair to him because God exalted Jesus above him. So God cast the long defiant, non-repentant Lucifer out of heaven. God warns us. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Satan would have all of us perish with him in the lake of fire after the Last Judgement.

But we have a savior, Jesus Christ who loves us. If we’ve drifted toward unhealthy habits causing us pain, Jesus is at hand to join with us in helping us overcome anything. We can claim Jesus’ promise for ourselves: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13).

—Scripture quotations taken from the NKJV.—

OUR DESTINY

What has God ordained for our lives? Above all, He longs for each of us to find in Him our best friend. There is no one on this earth who He doesn’t woo daily to accept an intimate realationship with Him. He will, however, not force us. In the book of Revelation 3:20, Jesus says: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Jesus is speaking to the church of Laodicea, who need His rebuke and His loving call for repentance. Historically, in prophecy, Jesus is also speaking to the church of the Last Days, you and me, the lukewarm church who doesn’t want to be inconvenienced or commit. He knows our dominant state of mind and heart. We think we have no need of a rebuke and are pretty much righteous in God’s eyes, when in fact He shocks us with knowledge of our true spiritual condition: “You are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” (Rev. 3:17). So now what do we do?

Jesus has it covered. He says: “I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you my be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and annoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see” (Rev. 3:18).

Jesus provides for us to be purified, sanctified, “refined,” through testing trials, that we may reflect His image. Our richness describes our character. Additionally, He offers to give us His “white garments” — His robe of righteousness if we would just claim it. For it is given by grace through faith in His atoning sacrifice. Only with His robe of righteousness can we appear blameless before God and enter heaven. Of equal importance is the eye salve He offers us. We need to be aware of or “see” our condition of wretchedness caused by sin, that we may repent.

God wants the best for us. He offers us an enriched life if we choose to enter into an intimate relatonship with Him. Only then can He transform us into the holy persons He has ordained for us to become.

–Scripture quotations taken from the NKJV–

What keeps you from having an intimate relationship with Jesus? Or, what keeps your heart connection with Him intact?

How has your relationship with Jesus changed your life? Please feel free to share. Your comments may enlighten another, aiding him or her in finding a closer walk with God.

MOLDED VESSELS

Why do we look for and find fault with each other? Could it be because we, ourselves, are not in line with our heavenly Father’s plan for our lives? We have strayed. We don’t look to Him to guide us in our daily lives. Instead, our focus is on ourselves. We don’t have the love relationship with God that He longs to share with us. Consequently, we find fault with others, perhaps in an attempt to camouflage our own imperfections.

The Lord wants to give us a rich experience in life, stemming from an intimate relationship with Him, which transforms us into people who want to focus on doing His work.

Once we are joined with Him, He will lead us day by day to reach out to others in selfless love. Only He can mold us into vessels capable of doing His work. Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Anything of value can only be done while abiding in the Lord.

We need to seek Him daily through prayer, Bible study, and in our life experiences. In the Bible, Moses relates God’s promise to the Israelites after their fall into idolatry: “But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deut. 4:29).

Seeking Him through prayer involves a heart connection. We connect to the Master of the universe through an intimate conversation with Him. By petitioning and praising Him we are enlightened, instructed, and blessed in His presence.

Bible study acquaints us with God’s character and His expectations of us. Nothing can replace the study of Holy Scripture for guidance and instruction.

When we seek God with our whole being, or soul, we experience Him fully in our lives. We come to know Him while abiding in Him.

Only the grace He extends to us allows us to view others as fellow wayfarers deserving of our love and encouragement. Yes, He can transform us, but we need to enter into that love relationship with Him first.

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