Royal Priests!

Sunset-At-Seljalandsfoss-Waterfall-875x583God is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (1 Timothy 6:15) and there is only one mediator between man and God and that is Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5). So, when we come into relationship with God through His son Jesus, we are accepted into a royal priesthood.

As royalty our words carry weight. When a king speaks, he can be confident his orders are carried out. So, we bring life or death with the words we choose (proverbs 18:21). As priests we represent God. Even if we do not have a seminary degree or know Greek or Hebrew, as royal priests we can allow the love of God to flow through us in our kind acts of service towards others and in doing so, reveal Jesus’s servant heart for others (Mark 9:35).

Daily, as we choose to stand under the waterfall of God’s love and forgiveness, we will find this unfailing love flowing to others. As we remember that we are chosen and accepted, we can with ease proclaim the excellencies of our God who made a way to rescue us from darkness and bring us into this marvelous light in Christ Jesus.

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Soul Transformation!

The culture of the Kingdom of God is counter to the one in which we live. It is easy to become what we constantly see, for we are bombarded with negative images and bad reports at every turn. It is very easy to be conformed to this world if we do not allow God’s transformation process to change us daily.

When we spend time in our devotionals, we are being changed effortlessly into His image. Everytime we seek God through reading the Word or singing Worship songs or by being still in His presence, we are being transformed into the likeness of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This is a transformation process that comes by the Spirit, not a behavior modification process that comes from our efforts. The veil is lifted every time we behold the glory of the Lord, and the Spirit transforms us into that image from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). Thus, when we spend time with Jesus we become more like Jesus without trying.

However, when we get too busy or we believe the lie that God is mad at us, and we stop our devotional times and begin to try in our own efforts to be Christ-like, we will become very disappointed. We will ultimately give up. It is in our receiving and believing through our times with the Lord that we will ultimately prove God’s will in our life, that which is good, acceptable and perfect.

So stop trying and start receiving. It is in His presence we will find joy, peace, righteousness, answers, healing, hope and restoration.

Romans 12:2 – And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

You are a Masterpiece

It is easy to have questions in this life. We often wonder why we are here and what we are made for. When we come into relationship with our Heavenly Father through receiving Jesus in our hearts, we connect to our designer who planned us from the beginning for a purpose.

As we continually spend time in our devotions towards God, through prayer, Worship, and reading of the Word, we transform effortlessly into the person we were created to be. As we are gazing at our beautiful Lord Jesus, we are being transformed into His image by the spirit of the Lord (1 Cor 3:18). This process is not behavior modification but soul transformation.

Remember that you are His masterpiece. And while you are being transformed into your true identity, God sees you complete. He is infinite and not bound by time. He is the author and finisher of your faith (Hebrews 12:2). He sees you finished and whole through Christ Jesus.

Always know that you were made on purpose. You are not a mistake. God has planned you from the beginning and when you discover and embrace your identity in Him and this God-life, you will find that you are your most fulfilled.

So continue to receive the love and grace of our Heavenly Father and take those steps to be a part of the divine adventure He has called you to, knowing He is always with you.

Ephesians 2:10 – For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Connect and Shine!

Matt 5:16 (NKJV) – Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

When we receive Jesus in our hearts and we come into this relationship with our Heavenly Father, we are connected to the source of life.

For us to shine before men as the scripture tells us, we need to connect daily to the source of life. A lamp has to be plugged into the power outlet to shine and as much as it might try to create its own light without electricity, it is just not happening. It is the same with a candle. A candle can try to brighten a room but until that wick comes into contact with fire, it is going to fail miserably at shining.

When we come into our daily devotional times of intimate prayer and worship, we will be filled with the love of God. Our fire and passion will be lit again and again; and we will shine without striving because we are connected to the source of life, love and light.

God’s unfailing love overflows into every area of our lives. This love causes us to serve and love others not out of selfish ambition or self-serving purposes but out of a genuine natural love response to God. So connect to the source and shine! Shine into the dark places of this world, pointing to our amazing God who so greatly loved and dearly prized this world, that He gave up His only begotten son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

Rock Solid!

Psalm 40:1-3 I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.

There is a period of time between when we pray and when we see the answer manifest. This time is always different for every prayer. Sometimes the answer to a prayer can be almost instantaneous, especially when we feel we or our loved ones are in peril. At other times it can feel as though we have waited forever to see a particular prayer come to pass.

No matter the length of time between our prayers and the answer we can have confidence that God hears us. God is infinite, omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. If our prayer is a loud shout or a gentle whisper, He hears it.

When the Psalmist mentions the pit in this passage, he is most likely thinking of the water cisterns of the day. These cisterns were necessary for gathering rainwater during the year for seasons of drought. However, if someone were to slip in a muddy, slimy pit, and become stuck, the chances of survival were slim.

However, this Psalmist and we, who have come into relationship with our Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ, can confidently expect rescue from our dire circumstances.

God not only hears us, He rescues and safely places us on solid ground. He rescues us from the pit of our own making, and He establishes us on the rock. This Rock of salvation is our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:7). So let us confidently trust and rest in our God of salvation.

Magnify!

Psalm 103: 1-4Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

As we walk through life and times become difficult, let us remind our soul how good our God is and what He has done for us. If we will choose to praise God and reflect on all of the benefits that our Lord Jesus Christ paid for at the Cross at Calvary, we will see our fears, worries, pain and sorrows lift.

When King David wrote Psalm 103, God revealed to him a glimpse of the New Covenant paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ. This passage reveals God’s benefits of forgiveness of all sins, healing of all diseases, redemption from the pit of life. It also reveals a God who crowns us, His children, with lovingkindness and compassion, who satisfies our years with good things, so that we are renewed like the magnificent eagle.

God is so good! Jesus came to give us life and life more abundantly (John 10:10). When we remind our souls to bless God and praise Him for who He is and what He has done, despite our circumstances, we magnify Him in our lives. When we focus on Him, we can come to the realization of the truth that nothing is too big for Him (Eph 3:20).  So let us think about and meditate on the goodness of our God, and receive by faith all that He has won for us .

Think on Him!

Psalm 1:2-3 (The Voice) – For you, the Eternal’s Word is your happiness. It is your focus—from dusk to dawn. You are like a tree,  planted by flowing, cool streams of water that never run dry.

When we come into our daily devotional times and spend time reading the Word of God or meditating on passages of scripture, God speaks to us.

In the first chapter of the Gospel of John, the Apostle says “In the beginning was the Word (the Greek word Logos)… and, the Word became flesh.” The Eternal came to identify with us in order that we may ultimately and always place our identity in Him.

When we spend time in God’s Word daily we are watered by the washing of the Word. The dry places of our life are revived in His Word and our faith rises. The scriptures say that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ (Romans 10:17) (This Greek word is Christos not Theos.) So our faith comes by hearing Jesus.

So, when we spend time reading about Jesus, thinking about Jesus, and hearing from Jesus, our faith will rise. Jesus is the “Logos” that became flesh for you and me; and when we spend time reading His Word, we will hear Him speak through ancient scripture directly to our modern-day life.

Let us make time to meditate day and night on Jesus, and like the Psalmist, see the inexhaustible refreshing of the Word of Christ cause us to flourish in every area of life.

Right Side Up!

Philippians 3:9 (The Voice) – When it counts, I want to be found belonging to Him, not clinging to my own righteousness based on law, but actively relying on the faithfulness of the Anointed One. This is true righteousness, supplied by God, acquired by faith.

Paul the apostle wrote this passage to the church in Philippi. He had spent many years trying to earn a righteousness before God. When we earn our righteousness, we feel elated when we succeed and downcast when we fail. When we try to earn our righteousness before God it can feel like we are on an emotional rollercoaster.

When Paul came to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, he was introduced to the Great Exchange. In this exchange he would bring all of his unrighteousness, imperfection, fear, and grief and exchange them for Jesus Christ’s righteousness, perfection, peace and well-being that was paid for at the Cross on Calvary.

It is not bad to try to be righteous before God, it is just impossible. There has been one person who has been perfect and that is the person of Jesus Christ. He lived a sinless life, died for you and me, was raised from the dead and intercedes for us at the right hand of the father.

Paul came not only to believe that our righteousness now comes from our faith in Christ Jesus, he spent his life spreading this Good News and ultimately gave his life for this cause.

Let us daily receive the gift of righteousness of Jesus Christ and rest in God’s grace and unmerited favor which empowers and equips us to reign in life (Romans 5:17) and become all that God has designed us to be and do.

Mark of the Kingdom

Matt 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

When we come into this relationship with our Heavenly Father through receiving Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we become citizens of another Kingdom.

This Invisible Kingdom begins inside a person’s heart and works its way outward to their behavior. This work of the Kingdom starts with a humble heart, a heart that recognizes it doesn’t have all the answers, that knows it cannot make it on its own and a heart that is thirsty for the fulfillment only our creator can bring.

When this heart continually connects to an infinite God of love, the following attributes of the Kingdom are birthed: a willingness to be real and to take off the mask of perfection; gentleness and patience; a spiritual hunger for God’s righteousness; a desire to show mercy and kindness; a desire to rid the heart of selfish motives and to walk in purity of heart; a desire to seek peace and reconciliation with all we encounter (Matt 5:3-10).

Without a connection to God, we can try to have these attributes. However, these behaviors are coming from a flawed and finite person and will be exhausted over time. When we daily come to God, however, and receive His waterfall of love, forgiveness, and mercy, we will find grace to walk in these attributes, which are the fruit of our time spent with Him.

When we do walk in these attributes, we will be markers of this Invisible Kingdom, pointing upward to a God who revealed himself in perfect love, in the person of Jesus Christ, who died for us and reconciled us to the Father.

Invisible Hope!

sunset over hillHebrews 11: 1 (The Voice) – Faith is the assurance of things you have hoped for, the absolute conviction that there are realities you’ve never seen.

When we trust in God we may not be able to see the answers all lined up in the natural realm. However, when we first even whisper a prayer, God begins to move. The time between the prayer and the answer is the “faith realm.” It is impossible to please God without faith that He is who He says He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek after Him (Heb 11:6).

God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent. He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we can hope, think or ask (Eph 3:20). So, when we come to Him in prayer, we can have confidence that He not only hears us but that He is able to perform what He has promised (Romans 4:21).

When we look to God by spending time in prayer, reading the Word and singing worship songs or hymns, we will see our faith rise. However, when we look to our emotions or the natural circumstances our faith can begin to wane.

We have to remember that our emotions can be based on false assumptions, and natural circumstances can change in a heartbeat. How many times have we wasted our emotions on a miscommunication or made plans based on the weather that changed in an instant.

When we put our faith in God, the unchangeable infinite Creator of the Universe, we can confidently know that He is faithful and that our hope will not disappoint (Rm 5:5). So, no matter where you are in your walk with God, have faith in Him. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8). Know that God is always moving in your life to save, restore and empower you to do and be all that He has designed for you in advance.