Saturday, May 22, 2010

Growing Spiritually (6) - Becoming More Like Jesus Christ

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

Becoming like Jesus Christ is a way of life. It encompasses everything we do including our thinking process. It includes our every waking moment, our culture, our countenance, our relationships, our jobs, everything. Making a conscious effort to behave like Jesus Christ at every one of these times, like ticking off a checklist, could be a bit overwhelming. We would be bound to forget at times. Our human nature will seek to rule at other times, and we could only be left with guilt and depression at the outcome of our self effort.

Jesus characterized a wholesome person. He was tried many times and in different situations, but each time He came out with a character consistent with His core belief - His faith in God. For Him it was His way of life, His very nature.

In John 14:26, Jesus shows an understanding of our human nature, knowing we could not be like Him when our flesh is constantly at war with everything good in us. Jesus offers us help that will enable us be like Him. He gave us the Holy Spirit to be our helper. He will be our counselor, He will be the still small voice who knows what it takes to be like Jesus Christ in every situation. He will teach us and remind us in love everything we have learnt of the character of Christ.

Seeing that the ace in becoming like Jesus Christ is walking with the Holy Spirit, let us embrace Him more and more. If you ask your Loving Father,  you will receive. Ask today that the Holy Spirit will fill you and walk with you daily, that you may attain the height of Christ-like living.

Prayer: My Loving Father, You have understood the challenge of walking like You in the environment I find myself in. I appreciate Your love Lord and ask that You fill me with the Holy Spirit, Your presence that I will be like You in everything I do. I am aware Lord that with Your help I can overcome every human nature that has ruled me. I embrace the Holy Spirit to lead and rule me from now onwards. Let the glory of my life be returned to You in Jesus Name, Amen.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Growing Spiritually (5) - Increasing Your Faith And Trust In God

Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through trial comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it's your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of His victory.

There are many situations in life that can challenge your faith in God. This can happen especially during times of sadness, loneliness, sickness, pain, depression or fear. Your Loving Father does not cause you to suffer, but as ironic as it may seem, in many cases He allows you to go through such situations in life because He knows that they are instruments to help you grow in faith and ultimately grow spiritually. Faith grows as it is exercised.

Faith is more than claiming a biblical promise and asking God to fulfill it. It involves knowing His plan and purpose related to your situation. Everyone is given a measure of faith. You get more faith as you hear the Word of God - not just the word you read or a message you listened to, but a revelation of the word in your spirit.

When those faith-building situations come, realise that it is your faith that God will use as evidence of His victory. Your faith will be evident as you learn to depend on Him, as you trust that He is able to work out your situation, as you hold on to His promises (written and spoken), and believe that He is not trying to hurt you, but wants you to grow from your experience.

Prayer: My Loving Father, thank You for always desiring the best for me. I am amazed at how important my faith is to You. I pray, Loving Father, that I will have the ability to see my experiences as opportunities to grow in faith and grow spiritually. May the Holy Spirit, who is my comforter and helper, help me to grow in my faith in You. May my faith come out proved genuine to Your glory. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Growing Spiritually (4) - Increasing Your Practice Of Christ-like Qualities

For we all make many mistakes, and if any one makes no mistakes in what he says he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also.
[James 3:2, Revised Standard]

Our Loving Father wants us to be more and more like Him and He understands that it requires daily practice. The way we speak and the things we say have an effect on the outcome of our Christian lives. These words also have an effect on the people around us, whose relationship with us can encourage our walk with God or diminish our efforts.

The tongue is a tiny part of our body but boasts great things. The tongue is not easy to train; it can set our whole life on fire. If we allow the spirit of God to guide us in the area of our words, He will remind us of things to say that will not hurt us or the people who hear us. Speaking positive words to ourselves and encouraging words to others can change the atmosphere around us. It can set the stage for victorious living. On the other hand, negative, hurtful words set the stage for unhealthy emotions and actions.

When we allow the Holy Spirit to train our tongues we are able also to keep our whole body in check, we are able to walk in Christ-like perfection that glorifies our father. If you find this a challenging part of your Christian walk, focus on it as you talk to God and He will give you help to overcome.

Prayer: Dear Loving Father, thank You for reminding me of the importance of words I speak. Holy Spirit of God my helper, please teach me to speak life giving words. Let me be more and more like Christ by the words I speak. I pray that the fruits of my words will glorify You dear Lord in Jesus Name, Amen.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Growing Spiritually (3) - Diminishing The Sinful Nature

Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?

An important part of growing spiritually is to continually reduce the frequency and severity of sin. When you accepted Jesus Christ into your life, you died to sin spiritually. But your body and your mind, already well acquainted with the old sinful nature, are in continuous war with your new nature - your spirit. The physical end to sin is not automatic.

Your Loving Father, who is full of grace and mercy, is ready to forgive you when you make mistakes. As a new creature, you cannot continue to live the way you used to before you accepted Jesus Christ into your life. The Spirit of God in you has to find expression and yield fruit in your life. Diminishing the sinful nature is a continuous process and you need help from God.

If you find yourself backsliding, do not remain in that place where the Spirit of God in you is dormant because the flesh is dominating. Go back to your Loving Father, whose arms are always open wide to receive you.

Prayer: My Loving Father, thank You for I am a new creature who is alive by Your Spirit. Thank You, Father, that I am dead to sin.  Lord, teach me not always to believe what I feel about my relationship to sin, but to believe the truth that I am dead to it.  May the effect of my flesh continue to decrease so that the fruit of Your Spirit will increase in my life. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Growing Spiritually (2) - The Value Of The Word Of God

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work.

Your Loving Father desires that you grow spiritually. For you to grow spiritually, you need to increase your knowledge and understanding of His Word. The Word of God is important to help you realize what He wants of you. It is important to prepare you for every thing that comes your way and to help you function effectively in what He has called you to do. Spending time with His word builds an intimate relationship with Him, as it is through His word that you get to know more about Him and His will.

God Himself honors His Word [Psalm 138:2]. It is the work that He has magnified because it is perfect, holy, complete, living, powerful, and transformational. It tells you all that He wants you to know and everything that we need to know. It is important to God.

As you desire spiritual growth, may you find help and answers in the Word of God. 

Prayer: My Loving Father, thank You for Your Word. You honour Your Word, which You have given me to enlighten me, teach me and equip me. Gracious Heavelnly Father, as I continue my walk with You, may my hunger and thirst for You and Your word never wane but grow with each passing day. Even if I do not currently see the great transformation Your Word has in my life, may I always realize that I am growing spiritually as I spend time in Your Word. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Growing Spiritually (1) - Being The New Creation

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
[1 John 5:11-12, NIV]

The life referred to in the scriptures above is spiritual life. When the first man sinned, death came into the world. This was spiritual death, which ultimately impacts on the physical. It is your Loving Father's desire that all will come into relationship with Him and have eternal life. Since He is Spirit, the required transformation has to start from the spirit.

In order for spiritual growth to occur, you need to possess a true spiritual life through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. When you believe in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit lives inside of you and you are a new creation in Christ. Your old nature, which is dominated by sin, is replaced with a new nature that is under the influence of God's Spirit. Spiritual growth can only occur in a person who knows the Lord Jesus Christ as his or her Savior.

If you desire to grow spiritually but you have not accepted Jesus Christ, or you have backsliden, you need to go to God in true repentance. Ask Him for forgiveness of sin knowing that He is the One who truly forgives and then forgets - Your Loving Father does not keep record of your sins.

Prayer: My Loving Father, thank You for eternal life. Thank you that because of Jesus Christ, I can be one of Your creatures filled with Your Living Spirit. As I desire to grow spiritually, I ask that you show me if there is any unconfessed sin in my heart. I ask for forgiveness for any of such sin. I thank You that I have Your Spirit to help me walk as a new creature. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The God Who Sees You

She answered God by name, praying to the God who spoke to her, "You're the God who sees me!

Hagar, Sarah's handmaid, was being treated unkindly by Sarah, so she fled into the wilderness. As Hagar stood beside a spring in that desolate and lonely place, the Angel of the Lord visited her. He assured her that God Himself was aware of her situation. Hagar responded, "You're the God who sees me". She found great comfort in knowing that the Lord God saw her and knew about her distress. In her darkest hour, God saw her need and heard her affliction. He knew right where she was, and He knew what she had been through. He came to her, comforted her, gave her direction for survival, and spoke to her His promise of blessing [Genesis 16].

Your Loving Father sees you. He is intimately and intricately aware of your life and all that is going on around you. Be encouraged by this "revelation" of God to Hagar and remember that in your most painful trial you too may have your most intimate and personal encounter with your Loving Father. Be encouraged that you do not have to do things in isolation, but you can call on Him who already knows where you are. He does not only see you, He is aware of everything that concerns you - past, present or future. And because He sees it all, He knows how best to fix things. He is the God who sees you with a heart full of love.

Prayer: My Loving Father, knowing that You see clearly and completely every moment of my life gives me peace. May I always be able to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, my El Roi, who is the Author and Perfecter of my faith.  In Jesus Name, Amen.