Sealed with more than a kiss

There are many spirits in the world though only one of them is holy. When Apostle Paul spoke to the Corinthians, he made a point to encourage them that the Holy Spirit is what now unites all of the believers whether Jew or Gentile. Unfortunately, the Corinthians thought that with the benefits from the power of the Holy Spirit, they would no longer have to suffer and would have an easy ride. They did not realize that God’s promises extended far beyond the day-to-day temporal existence and would be fully realized at Christ’s second coming.

What God gives to Christians is not the immediate benefit of these promises but the guarantee, or proof, of them. That guarantee is God’s Holy Spirit, who is working in the life of every Christian.  It is by the workings of the Holy Spirit that when we suffer, we lean on the power of the Lord for comfort. Suffering is there to prove God’s mercy in that we can rely on him for all of our needs.

When we sign a check or a contract, there is often nothing immediately seen; however, the law of the transaction and payment is certain. So God’s Holy Spirit proves that a person has the benefit of what God has promised.

Apostle Paul describes the Holy Spirit’s work in four ways: It establishes believers in their relationship with Christ; anoints or covers us; seals us to mark that we belong to him; and is a guarantee of God’s promises.

Surrendering to win

In a world where the word surrender chafes the secular world view as one who’s not a winner or who lazily gives in to the enemy; in God’s economy, it means quite the opposite. Surrendering to the Lord is an act of the mind where we let go of ourselves and yield to the Almighty. It’s putting our faith and trust in Him alone and obeying what we know is right to do through his Word and the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

The world tells us we’re crazy or not using our heads when we put all of our faith into something we cannot see. While they struggle to be strong in their own flesh… we, as children of God, choose not to take over for the Lord but to let him have complete reign—of our hearts and minds as we serve out our days on earth.

The most telling example of surrender is Jesus, himself, who on the night before his crucifixion, prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane… “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Luke 22:42.

The word of God tells us to worship the Lord “in spirit and in truth” – John 4:24. May our hearts and minds be surrendered as we recognize the truth about who He is and give Him the honor, glory, and devotion He deserves.

Why are we here?

The sun seeps through the edge of the curtains and we lift an eye to greet the morning.  With thanksgiving in our hearts and praise on our lips, we thank God for protection through the night and his grace in granting us another day. Sometimes, a stray question crosses our mind:  What’s my purpose for today?

Among all of the souls on this great spinning rock called Earth, many have no idea why they’re here. It’s a mystery. They set their minds on earthly pursuits and basically go about to fulfill them. Often times, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and pride of life are at the forefront of their daily goals. Before Christ or even as babes in Christ, this, too, may have been our quest. Though, in God’s word, we see our purpose for being on this planet is pretty singular. Our purpose is to honor and to make Him known.

“For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” 1 Cor. 6:20

Through God’s holy word, we learn we are created to be part of God’s family. We are established to have a relationship with the King of Kings. We are given life not to glorify ourselves or seek our own but rather to give honor to the Lord. This is a lifelong script that we follow throughout our days through our sanctification… each of us learning and growing in the Lord as we are led.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:12)

Of course, the Lord doesn’t need anything from us. We don’t need to ask him what can I do for you, Lord? The answer would be nothing. There’s nothing we can do for the Lord. Our job is to be his hands and feet in sharing and teaching others about him, to love others, to seek his face in fellowship, to study his word, and to repentantly ask for strength and guidance as he gently molds us into the image of his son.

Whatever the question about our purpose on earth is, the answer can be found in Him.

Fighting the Good Fight

Where’s your battleground these days? Is it mental, physical, or emotional? Amid the tumult of political, cultural, and personal wars, it all boils down to the battle between good and evil. Wherever the storms of life toss you, there is no struggle that should overtake you as a Christian because all of them have already been won in Christ.

Ephesians 6:12 tells us, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Apostle Paul instructed Timothy that his business was to be a soldier for the Lord by faith and to continue fighting “the good fight”—to defend the gospel and to thwart Satan and those who did not regard the gospel above the law as did the false teachers. By using the sword of the spirit and the belt of truth, we can be mighty in our pursuit to overcome the enemy, particularly when we are wearing the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, and our feet covered with the “preparation of the gospel of peace.”

Using the strength of the Lord is the only way to win a battle. Artful words can make some good points, but ultimately it’s by his spirit that hearts are changed. Those who engage in battles for the Lord are sure of victory. By his grace, the gift of the crown of life, righteousness, glory, and exultation along with the Wreath Imperishable will be ours in heaven. We will always win when we put on Christ because God already fought the ultimate battle—and won. What more victory do we need?

Rebuilding our lives

After the Babylonian exile when Nehemiah took a look at the destruction that had befallen Judah, the sight of the brokenness stirred him to action. People, too, may have figurative walls in their lives that may also need repair. That is where Jesus can come in and build up all of the brokenness. Of course, the enemy will be the first one at the door saying, like the Jews did, “but we’ve lived this way for so long now, why not just let it be? It’s impossible to restore such a sad state.”

Proverbs 25:28 says, “Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls.”

Many lives are like a city with broken walls in major need of repair. God desperately wants to change them. As a servant of God, Nehemiah focused on what he needed to do. Our spiritual enemies have no recourse to foil our plans when we are committed to what we know to be God’s will for our lives.