Understanding God

 

If you’ve spent any time at all studying the Bible, I’m sure you came across something about God that you didn’t understand.  Precisely how God works or why He does things the way He does will likely always be a mystery.  From Eve and the serpent, Noah and the flood, Jonah and the whale, the walls of Jericho, all the way to the death and resurrection of Jesus, we may never know exactly the how and why of any of these incidents.  What we do know for certain are the lessons being taught by these events – trust God, love God, keep His commandments, and love your neighbor as yourself. Understanding the details of how something works isn’t always necessary.

Trusting God

Most of us use smart phones, computers, televisions, and automobiles without knowing any of the details as to exactly how they do what they do.  We are content with the results these things provide and are therefore satisfied with our basic understanding of how to make them function.   When we trust and love God, follow His commandments, and love our neighbor as God prescribes, we are blessed with the results of contentment and a joy-filled heart. All of us who have walked with the Lord for a number of years can identify precise results of our relationship with Him.  We can clearly see God working in our lives without fully understanding the precise details of how these things come about.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”  Proverbs 3:5

Listen for the Holy Spirit

As followers of Jesus Christ, we have been blessed with a direct connection to the mind of God.  The Holy Spirit lives inside every believer and points us in the right direction even when we are unclear precisely what God’s goal might be.  1 Corinthians 2:10-11 tells us this, “The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.  For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”  As children of God, we have access to the Spirit of God and are therefore able to know with some certainty the path God wants us to follow. Sometimes we may not understand why God is nudging us in a certain direction but we know in our heart it is His choice for our life.

Avoid the Enemy

There are many things vying for our attention in this world – money, power, pleasure. All of these things can be used by the enemy to pull us away from God.  When we trust our bank account more than we trust God, we are moving down a dark road to nowhere.  When we trust our intellect more than we trust God, we are on our way to an empty space disconnected from the truth.  In Jeremiah 9:23-24 we learn where the ultimate security comes from, This is what the Lord says:  “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.

The Essence of God

Simply put, understanding God is equal to understanding kindness, justice and righteousness.  When we take hold of these three concepts, we are embracing the essence of God.  We don’t need to know all the intricate details of how and why God is enacting His plan in our lives; what we need is the faith to trust and obey his guidance.  Praise God for sending His Son.  Praise God for the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Praise God for our eternal existence.  Praise God for providing us with all the understanding we need to love Him, trust Him, and to share that love with those around us.

 

All scripture references are linked to Bible Gateway so that you can read each verse in context.  Bible Gateway allows you to change the verse to your favorite translation and compare it side-by-side with multiple translations.  In addition, you can select to hear an audio version of any verse by clicking on the speaker icon.  Keep the Bible Gateway App on your phone so that you can visit the Word of God at any time during your day.

Working for God

 

 

 

Working for God

 

As followers of Jesus Christ, no matter what we are doing at work, at school, at home, ultimately, Jesus is the one we serve.  As children of God we no longer give just enough to get by; we strive to demonstrate to God the full measure of our devotion for Him.  In Colossians 3:23 we read, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”  Even when no one else is watching, our standard of work and concern for the needs of others has to remain high, because God is always watching.  We may feel as though we are under paid or under-appreciated in this world, but God will not forget our efforts in the world to come.  Our reward in heaven will be waiting when Jesus returns.

Serving God by Serving Others

Of course, it is possible to be successful in this world as well.  When we follow the teachings of Jesus, we discover that an attitude of humility within the boundaries of diligent work, is the best way to rise to the top. “Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” (Mark 9:35)  Serving others with a sincere heart is the key to reaching number one status in any endeavor.  When we truly take hold of this concept, our world will dramatically blossom into a ministry empowered by God.

Make God Proud

Wherever you are today, whatever you have on your schedule, it is all a result of God’s design for your life.  It doesn’t matter if you’re going to work in a high rise office building, on a factory floor, our out in the backyard; everything you do is an important part of God’s plan. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10)  As believers, our mission every moment of every day is to make God proud.  When we focus our lives around working for God, we discover a much deeper and meaningful existence.  God’s direction isn’t designed to stimulate His ego, far from it – God’s direction is designed to stimulate our lives to their full potential.

A Servant to All

Working for God means we recognize Him as our ultimate supervisor in all that we do; including our job, our school, our family, and in every encounter we have throughout our day.  When we follow the example that Jesus provided and consider ourselves to be a servant to all, we are on the path to victory.  In 1 Corinthians 10:31 we are reminded “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”  Nothing we do is in our own power.  The love we share with others comes from God.  The skills we use to accomplish any task come from God.  Therefore, let’s praise God in all that we do and seek to be servants to all as we focus our lives on working for God.

 

All scripture references are linked to Bible Gateway so that you can read each verse in context.  Bible Gateway allows you to change the verse to your favorite translation and compare it side-by-side with multiple translations.  In addition, you can select to hear an audio version of any verse by clicking on the speaker icon.  Keep the Bible Gateway App on your phone so that you can visit the Word of God at any time during your day.

God’s Promises

God’s Promises

 

The world we live in is filled with uncertainty.  Will we remain healthy?  Is our job secure?  Will the government make life better or worse?  Will we have enough money for the future?  What unexpected circumstance will tomorrow bring?  The amount of uncertainty in our lives is enormous. We do our best to make thoughtful plans that account for all the possibilities, but in the end, nothing is certain; everything is subject to change.

On the other hand, God’s promises are absolutely unchangeable.  Without question, we can depend on the promises of God completely and without reservation.  The promises of God are not subject to change.  When we place our trust in God, we have a constant source of spiritual energy that guides, supports, and protects us every hour of every day.  Our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus connects us to the promises of God directly through the Holy Spirit living inside of every believer.  We have been blessed with the ability to know and enjoy God’s presence in a personal way.

One Thing We Can Count On

God is the one thing we can count on without any hesitation.  Let’s hold firmly to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”  (Hebrews 10:23)  God will never let us down.  We connect with God today primarily through His Word and through prayer; listening carefully for the nudging of the Holy Spirit.  The more we study the Bible alone or along with a trusted teacher, the more we will be able to endure the uncertainty of the world we live in.  This world wants us to trust in our bank account, but as followers of Jesus, our trust needs to reside in the promises of God.  Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever abandon you.”  (Hebrews 13:5)  God will always be with us.

God Will Always Be With Us

God promised to never leave us, He promised eternal life to those who have trusted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, He promised the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and He has promised that Jesus will return for us one day.  The Bible includes thousands of promises made by God, some for specific people and others applicable to all believers.  We lay claim to those promises when we prayerfully consider the Word of God guided by the Holy Spirit.  There is no substitute for careful study of the Bible.  “All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man or woman of God may be fully capable, equipped for every good work.”  (2 Timothy 3:16-17)  The best way to discover God’s specific promises for your life is through a personal study of the Bible.

Consider the promises of God to be your firm foundation.  Trust God to deliver your every need exactly when you need it and at precisely the moment that He determines is the most beneficial to your eternal existence.  Patiently wait for Him to fulfill his promises on His schedule and not your own.  Search the Word of God for guidance, and listen carefully to the voice of the Holy Spirit pointing you in the direction of God’s plan for your life.  There is no better way to conquer the uncertainty of this world than to place you faith and trust in the promises of God.

 

All scripture references are linked to Bible Gateway so that you can read each verse in context.  Bible Gateway allows you to change the verse to your favorite translation and compare it side-by-side with multiple translations.  In addition, you can select to hear an audio version of any verse by clicking on the speaker icon.  Keep the Bible Gateway App on your phone so that you can visit the Word of God at any time during your day.

Following God’s Direction

Following God’s Direction

 

It would be great if Jesus came to our house each morning and gave us a list of exactly what we need to do to please God.  If we had a list from Jesus there would be no reason for doubt.  We would know for certain that everything on the list was precisely what’s needed to be done to please God.  The truth is those who have trusted Jesus as their Lord and Savior actually have access to God’s perfect direction living inside them.  The Holy Spirit is with you all day, every day, pointing you in the right direction.  The reason we’re not provided with a list is because our mission in this life is to learn how to connect with the Spirit of God.

God’s Direction Brings Blessing

We don’t follow God’s direction to avoid punishment – we follow God’s direction because it is the path to a blessing.  Good things happen when we follow God’s direction.  Bad things happen when we go off in the wrong direction. The enemy uses deception and manipulation to move us off in the wrong direction.  We have this foundational event in Genesis 3:1, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” We all know the answer to the serpent’s question.  NO, God did not say they can’t eat from any tree, but YES God did say there was a certain tree that has to be avoided.  The serpent started with deception and finished with a lie. “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.”(Genesis 3:4)  How many times in our life have we known for certain God wants us to go one way, but for whatever reason we decided to go the other way?  And what was the result?

How to Avoid the Enemy’s Deception

When we turn our back on God and go off in the opposite direction, we’re telling God that we’re smarter than Him.  Of course, that’s not even remotely possible.  What’s really happening is the enemy has found a way to convince us of something that’s simply not true.  So how do we avoid the enemy’s deception and remain focused on God’s direction? – The Word of God.  When we fill our minds with the Word of God, there is no room for deception. In Psalm 119:105 we read, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Nothing takes the place of regular Bible study in order to easily identify God’s path in your life.

Regular Bible study along with sincere prayer for guidance is the formula for a greater connection to the Holy Spirit living inside all believers.  It is the Holy Spirit that will bring to mind all of the lessons we learn from our time spent in God’s Word.  In John 14:26 Jesus tells us, “But the Advocate, 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.” These three things: Bible study, prayer, and our connection to the Holy Spirit, are the tools we use to identify God’s direction in our life.

Following God’s Direction is Not Always Easy

Of course, even with careful study and regular prayer, our advice from the Holy Spirit isn’t always easy to understand.  Sometimes God’s direction is unclear.  Keep in mind there will be times when God’s direction is to wait.  In these periods of waiting you can be certain the enemy will attempt to take advantage of you and push you off course.  Don’t let that happen.  Remember the words of Jesus from Matthew 10:16, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”  As you patiently wait for the Holy Spirit to point the way, be ready at all times to identify and destroy all the evil schemes of the enemy.

Following God’s direction won’t always be easy; nevertheless, God’s path forward is without question the best road to travel.  God loves you completely and His direction is always a reflection of that never-ending love.  There will never be a more rewarding and fulfilling course of action than to carefully follow God’s direction precisely and completely.  You will be greatly blessed.

 

All scripture references are linked to Bible Gateway so that you can read each verse in context.  Bible Gateway allows you to change the verse to your favorite translation and compare it side-by-side with multiple translations.  In addition, you can select to hear an audio version of any verse by clicking on the speaker icon.  Keep the Bible Gateway App on your phone so that you can visit the Word of God at any time during your day.

Surrender to God

 

 

 

Surrender to God

 

When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, things change.  We are no longer struggling through life on our own; we’ve started a new relationship with the Creator of the universe.  Our faith in Jesus renders us a child of God.  In 2 Corinthians 5:17, we are told Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”  As followers of Jesus, our mission in life is to serve God through the power He provides and through the direction of the Holy Spirit living inside of all believers.  God’s most cherished desire is for us to have an intimate relationship with him based on trust.  The quality of that relationship fully depends on our willingness to surrender to God.

Don’t Let the Enemy Distract You

Unfortunately, we have an enemy that wants to push us off in the wrong direction.  We have an enemy who constantly uses lies and distractions to disrupt our relationship with God.  Sometimes it’s hard to stay focused on our service to God when this world is telling us we need to earn more money, or reach other worldly goals.  It’s easy to get caught up in the everyday struggle of life and miss opportunities to further our relationship with God. When we feel overwhelmed by this world, we need to stop and remember that God is with us.  The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 8:32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”  We need to let go of the desires of this world and trust that God will provide.

We can’t forget the simple truth that our relationship with God is the most important aspect of our lives.  Unless we surrender fully to God, we will not experience His love completely.  If we our holding back our full commitment by keeping one foot in this world, we have lost our way.  We read in Galatians 5:24 “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”   We can’t let the enemy tell us that the things of this world are more important than our walk with God.  We have to put our worldly goals in the background and focus on our ultimate goal to serve God by serving others.

We Are Partners with God

When we fully surrender to God, we grow closer to Him.  The stronger our relationship is with God the more powerful we are in our impact with those around us.  We can accomplish far more with God’s help than we can ever do on our own.  1 Corinthians 3:9 tells us “For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.” God is counting on us to assist in his work and we can only accomplish that task when we fully surrender to His direction.

My prayer is that we all find a way to move closer to God today.  The Bible tells us that nothing is more important to God than our love and devotion.  The Bible also tells us that we love because He first loved us.  Indeed, the source of our love for others comes from God.  Unless we surrender completely to Him, we will be missing out on the full measure of the awesome power of His never-ending love.  There is no question that we all drift away occasionally; therefore, it’s important for us all too carefully evaluate our connection with God each and every day.

 

All scripture references are linked to Bible Gateway so that you can read each verse in context.  Bible Gateway allows you to change the verse to your favorite translation and compare it side-by-side with multiple translations.  In addition, you can select to hear an audio version of any verse by clicking on the speaker icon.  Keep the Bible Gateway App on your phone so that you can visit the Word of God at any time during your day.

Biblical Truth – God’s Plan for Your Life

 

Biblical Truth – God’s Plan for Your Life

 

I’ve been studying the Bible for several decades now and I want to share with you my basic understanding of what I’ve learned.  This is the truth as I see it, based on my own reading of the Bible and the instruction I’ve received from the many Bible scholars who have influenced me over the years.  What follows is my best explanation of who God is, what he’s up to, and how we fit into his plan.

What the Bible Teaches

God is the Creator of heaven and earth, me and you, and everything else that is not man-made.  This one true God has an adversary referred to in the Bible as the devil, or Satan.  A lot of people these days want to pretend that the devil is a metaphor and not a real spirit being – that is wrong – the Bible teaches that the devil is as real as God.  Both God and the devil are spirit beings.  We feel their presence in our lives every day.  When we act out of love for others and care more about others than we do ourselves, we are under the influence of God.  When we act out of our own selfish self-interest, with little regard for others, we are under the influence of the devil.  We are in a constant battle between good and evil.  God is good.  The devil is evil.  We all feel this spiritual battle going on inside ourselves.  The Bible clearly, without question, establishes this fundamental truth – God has designed this earth to be a battle between good and evil.

Why has God Created Earth as a Battlefield?

The Bible doesn’t tell us precisely why God created Earth as a battlefield.  Only God knows.  Nevertheless, there are some clues in the Bible that hint at why we are here.  The Bible teaches that we were designed by God to be eternal beings – the spirit that currently resides in our human bodies has the ability to go on forever – it could be in the body we have now, or another more perfect body, or as a spirit being without the need for a body.  God, in His infinite wisdom, has decided that this battle between good and evil is the perfect training ground for our eternal existence.  God could have created us with all the knowledge of the universe, however, for some reason he has determined it to be better for us to experience good and evil first hand.  Therefore, we live in a world that has horrific evil, poverty, hunger, pain, and distress, as well as wonderfully loving, caring, charitable, uplifting experiences.  We can’t truly know good if we don’t truly know evil.  This world provides us with a comprehensive learning experience that will prepare us fully for our eternal life ahead.

How Could a Loving God Put Us Through So Much Pain?

If you’re in horrific pain right now, it may be extremely hard for you to see any real value in the experience.  I’ve been in horrific pain, I’ve gone through life shattering experiences, and I know the overpowering feeling of despair that comes with both emotional and physical pain.  There is no explanation in the Bible for why some endure great pain and others almost no pain.  All we are told is that God is in control.  The Bible teaches that if we put our trust in God, he will see us through any amount of pain.  That doesn’t mean the pain will ever go away, it may be with us throughout our life on this earth; however, God will always be by our side to help us make it through each day.  That’s His promise.  Furthermore, the Bible implies that those in pain have been granted the power to endure that pain.  Keep in mind, your pain is a valuable teaching tool for others.  If we never see or experience pain, there is no reference for the true value of living a pain free life.

Will this Life Always Be a Battle?

Yes, our life here on this earth will always be a battle.  Even when life is going well, we don’t have to look far to find someone who could use our help.   There will always be circumstances beyond our own lives that could use our attention.  If we ignore those who need our help, we are traveling with the evil forces that are opposed to God.  This battle will continue until everyone on the planet is happy, healthy, and well cared for.

How Can We Achieve Victory?

Our victory is found in Jesus.  The Old Testament of the Bible clearly establishes the battle between good and evil.  The New Testament of the Bible is the battle plan for victory.  In the first book of the Old Testament, God took away our ability to live forever because Adam and Eve fell victim to the deception of the devil.  The entire Old Testament is dedicated to the understanding that there is an eternal consequence for turning your back on God.  Furthermore, the entire Old Testament is dedicated to the understanding that God created us to be dependent on Him.  God wants us to be connected to him – not disconnected.  The devil wants us to believe we can make it on our own – we cannot.  Don’t be deceived.  We cannot overcome evil on our own.  We need help.  This is why God provided us with a Savior.

How Are We Saved By Jesus?

Our salvation through Jesus Christ is all about the blood.  The life that God created for us is found in the blood that flows through our body.  Without that blood, we are nothing.  How is it that our blood keeps us alive?  This is not science – this is God.  God designed our blood to keep us alive.  The devil wants us to trust science more than God.  It is because of the devil’s deception that our eternal life was taken away by God.  The Bible does not precisely explain why God allowed this result; however, for some reason the devil was given some measure of power over life and death.  In order to demonstrate once and for all that our life is only in the blood because God put it there – God sent His Son to walk the earth as a man and then die on the cross – losing all of his blood – only to be brought back to life by God three days later.  This remarkable event demonstrated beyond any doubt that God is completely in control and the devil’s deception is a useless distraction.

Jesus taught that when we place our faith in his death and resurrection, we are once again granted the gift of eternal life.  We have been given victory over death once again because we have connected ourselves to God.  When we turn our back on the devil’s deception and trust God with all of our heart, we are guaranteed to live forever.  This is not a metaphorical tale, this is an actual event in history that happened over two thousand years ago and is why there have been followers of Jesus Christ ever since that day.

God supplied us with victory over death through his Son Jesus Christ.

How Can We Overcome This World?

We overcome this world by following the teachings of Jesus.  If everyone on earth followed the teachings of Jesus – that is to love God and to love your neighbor – there would be no room for evil in this world.  Unfortunately, that is not likely to happen until Jesus returns.  The Bible tells us that evil will be destroyed when Jesus returns.  What a glorious day that will be!  The Bible also implies that the more we follow the teachings of Jesus, the more quickly he will return.  We are not waiting on Jesus, he is waiting on us to move closer to him by following his teachings.

How Can the Bible be a True Story?

A better question is, would the world be a better place if everyone loved God and loved their neighbor?  This is what the Bible teaches.  From my point of view, love is without question the remedy for all the problems of this world.  That is, without question, absolute truth.

 

Faith Hope and Love

 

Faith Hope and Love

By the grace of God, through our faith in Jesus Christ, we’ve been given hope that one day all evil will be destroyed and we will live eternally in the kingdom of heaven.  Every moment spent in this world is preparation for that day.  God is giving each and every one of us a unique tailored-made spiritual education.  By far, the most important ingredient in that training is the understanding of the true meaning of love.  Jesus came to earth to demonstrate precisely what it means to live a life empowered by love.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  John 13:34-35

It’s not always easy to put the needs of others above your own needs, but that’s what we’re called to do.  Even when we’re facing our own personal struggle, we need to have a heart that’s open to the needs of others.

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”  Romans 12:9-10

God never stops loving us.  God’s love is always available for us to share with others.  No matter how difficult our life becomes, God continues to empower our path forward with his love.

“We know and rely on the love God has for us.  God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”  1 John 4:16

When evil forces disrupt our lives we need to call on God for strength and demonstrate our sincere trust in him by continuing to nurture those around us with love.

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.”  1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Praise God for sending His Son.  Praise God for giving us the hope of a glorious tomorrow.  Praise God for his never-ending love.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”  1 Corinthians 13:13

 

All scripture references are linked to Bible Gateway so that you can read each verse in context.  Bible Gateway allows you to change the verse to your favorite translation and compare it side-by-side with multiple translations.  In addition, you can select to hear an audio version of any verse by clicking on the speaker icon.  Keep the Bible Gateway App on your phone so that you can visit the Word of God at any time during your day.

Your Connection to God

Your Connection to God

 

God is spirit.

“God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”  John 4:24

When we look in the mirror, we see how the world views who we are, but the truth is we are far more than that human persona.  We are even far more than the content of our character, or the list of accomplishments that populate our latest job resume.  We are spirit beings like God; however, at the moment we are living inside human bodies.  Do you feel like you are more than the world sees?  You should, because you are.  Your spirit is your connection to God.

“The human spirit is the lamp of the Lord that sheds light on one’s inmost being.”  Proverbs 20:27

The spirit that lives inside our human bodies is illuminated by God with a constant source of heavenly guidance.  Our free will allows us to follow the light of God or turn our back on God and follow the path provided by this world.  If we are being honest, our spirit clearly knows the difference between God’s path and this world’s path.  In the end, our human bodies will be left in the dust of this world and our spirit will return to God.

“The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.”  Ecclesiastes 12:7

This world wants us to believe that wisdom comes from our experiences in this life, and while there is some truth in that understanding, the ultimate source of all wisdom comes from our spirit connection to God.  This world wants us to believe everything of value is in the here and now.  God wants us to understand that everything of value is found in our spirit connection to God.

“But it is the spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.”  Job 32:8

The real value in our life here in this world is found in our connection to God.  In the eternal world of our spirit existence, great material wealth, endless lustful pleasure, and enormous worldly power, are completely useless and empty.  These worldly goals will be left in the dust with our human bodies when our spirit returns to be with God.  All we will take with us are those things generated by our spirit connection to God.

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”  Galatians 5:22-23

It is your spirit connection to God that fuels a never ending reservoir of eternal wealth.  We all have the opportunity to be rich beyond measure when we respond to others out of sincere love, share a joy-filled spirit, seek to bring peace in all circumstances, offer understanding and kindness,  choose to do good, remain faithful, respond to others with a caring helpful hand, and remain in complete control of our emotions.  That is God’s formula for success and the blueprint for precisely how to connect with the Spirit of God.

Your bank account does not define you.  You are the sum total of your spirit connection to God.  Your worldly accomplishments do not define you.  How you treat others is the true measure of your character.    Mistakes you’ve made in the past do not define you.  Everything from this moment forward generated from your spirit connection to God, is the only thing that matters and ultimately will be enormously more rewarding than anything this world has to offer.

It is our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that brings our spirit connection to God alive.  Praise God for sending His Son!  Praise God for providing us with a clear path to eternal life with Him.  Praise God for His great love.

“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”  Ephesians 3:14-19

 

All scripture references are linked to Bible Gateway so that you can read each verse in context.  Bible Gateway allows you to change the verse to your favorite translation and compare it side-by-side with multiple translations.  In addition, you can select to hear an audio version of any verse by clicking on the speaker icon.  Keep the Bible Gateway App on your phone so that you can visit the Word of God at any time during your day.

What is God Saying to You?

 

 

What is God Saying to You?

 

I’m sitting here pondering this question:  What is God saying to me?  It’s very clear to me that He is telling me to write this message to you, but I honestly don’t know exactly what He wants me to write.  I’m staring at a mostly white computer screen with a blinking cursor waiting for me to continue.  I know God wants me to share something with you but at the moment I’m not sure exactly what that is.

Is God Speaking to You Right Now?

Can you hear God speaking to you right now?  Are you able to filter out your own thoughts from the thoughts placed in your mind by the Holy Spirit?  The more we know about God, by studying the Bible, the easier it is to identify His voice in our head.  Obviously, there are some things God will absolutely not ask you to do.  Those things that don’t conform to the Word of God are clearly not the voice of God. But what about the subtle thoughts that are not obvious Godly direction?   Is God talking to you right now?

I did a quick search on Google and discovered several links to articles describing how to hear God’s voice.  I read a few of the articles and didn’t discover anything beyond the obvious – test what you’re hearing with the Word of God – seek corroboration from wise counsel – make certain you are being guided in a Godly direction, but there doesn’t seem to be any scripture reference that precisely indicates how to know you are hearing God’s voice.

What God is Saying to Me Right Now

I’m hearing a voice in my head right now that’s telling me that when God speaks, you will know it’s him.  If you don’t know it’s him, then it’s not him.  That sounds simple and I believe it’s the voice of God telling me this, but I’ll leave it to you to decide if that’s true or not.  The bottom line is the simple fact that you know the difference between your own voice and God’s voice.  Now I don’t know what’s going on in your head.  I can only tell you what’s going on in my head and this very simple explanation makes perfect sense to me.

How do You Respond to God?

I can honestly tell you that sometimes when I hear God’s voice I purposely discount it as my own voice because I don’t want to go where God is asking me to go.  In my experience, God’s choices for my life are not always easy or comfortable.  The question we all need to contend with is, are we willing to go wherever God directs our steps?  I often find myself asking God if he’s certain I’m going in the right direction, because sometimes the path he’s placed before me seems to be moving in the wrong direction.  However, when I look back on my life, I can see obvious examples of what I thought was the wrong way to go, turning out to be the absolute best path forward.

Listen Carefully for the Voice of God

Here’s what I know for certain is truth:  We can’t hear God’s voice if we’re not listening.  My best advice:  Take the time to listen for God’s voice.  Finally:  When you know it’s God’s voice, start moving in that direction.  Go someplace quiet right now and listen.  I know God is talking to you.

 

Your Power in Jesus

Your Power in Jesus

 

Followers of Jesus have access to the unlimited power of God.  This is not myth or exaggeration; this is an absolute fact.  We tap into that power every time we respond to someone with love in our heart.  We can feel that power every time someone reaches out to us with love in their heart.  The energy generated from a sincerely loving heart, is without question, real.  We’ve all experienced God’s power in this way.  Just like electrical power – God’s power can be used in many different ways, to accomplish many different things, and to develop extraordinary outcomes.  Let’s explore how we can best use this awesome power.

Working Together

When we trust Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are hooked into a power grid with enormous potential.  Connected by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, believers are uniquely qualified to overcome modern day challenges.  There are countless examples of Christians around the world building food banks to feed the hungry, working together on community development projects, administering aide to the homeless population, reaching out to senior citizens who need help, and even building hospitals and schools.  Inspired by the teachings of Jesus, like-minded followers are accomplishing amazing things every day.

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.”  1 Corinthians 4:20

Trusting the Holy Spirit

As followers of Jesus, our hearts are directly linked to God through the Holy Spirit.  We are blessed with a special sense of God’s desire in our life.  When the enemy tries to push us in the wrong direction, we can instantly see the warning signs and the negative potential.  By trusting the nudging of the Holy Spirit, we have the opportunity to avoid the enemy’s deception and move forward in a positive way.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  Acts 1:8

Take Charge of Your Power

We employ our awesome power every time we make a decision to respond with love rather than anger, outrage, or insults.  The world we live in can be a difficult place at times, and it is in these difficult times that our powerful connection to God is most important.  Our faith provides us with a spirit of hope and an assurance that God is in control.  Even in the darkest times we can see the light of Jesus guiding us forward to a brighter tomorrow.  As followers of Jesus, we have been empowered with the strength to stand firm in our faith and never give up.

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”  2 Timothy 1:7

Move Forward with Power

We all need to make every effort to use our power wisely.  When faced with rude or inconsiderate behavior, we are to respond with love.  When challenged to make a sacrifice for someone who is underserving, we need to respond with love.  When asked to give more than our fair share, we should respond with love.

“If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.  In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.”  Proverbs 25:21-22

Our power is magnified in what others see as weakness.  When we demonstrate a sincere concern for others above our own needs, we release God’s power in miraculous ways.  Each day provides us with multiple opportunities to release our power into the world.  Each day provides us with opportunities to join hands with other believers to increase the magnitude of our connection to the power of God.  Your power is undeniable.  Put it to good use at every opportunity.

 

All scripture references are linked to Bible Gateway so that you can read each verse in context.  Bible Gateway allows you to change the verse to your favorite translation and compare it side-by-side with multiple translations.  In addition, you can select to hear an audio version of any verse by clicking on the speaker icon.  Keep the Bible Gateway App on your phone so that you can visit the Word of God at any time during your day.

God in Your Life