No Condemnation in Christ

No Condemnation in Christ Devotional Reading

What are the most profound statements you have heard or read in your lifetime? To qualify, it should be words that you will never forget because they initiated a shift in your outlook on life and caused you to redefine your values.

I will share two that initiated a deeper love relationship within me for Jesus Christ. 1. “For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). 2. “Why would you want to die for your sins when Jesus already died for them?”

I had to do some deep soul-searching and confront myself for having a spirit of ingratitude toward Christ. Am I the only one facing this vicarious predicament of not loving Jesus as I should?

We know that Jesus died and rose again to complete the plan of Redemption. Still, our thoughts of Jesus’ sacrifice are usually fleeting and superficial. In our carnal thinking, we cannot appreciate the greatest miracle humanity has received–the gift of Spiritual Transformation.

Our love gift from God, the Father is one of forethought and commitment. He accepted Jesus’ sacrifice to save our souls even before humanity was created. Jesus ransomed us from the second and final death by giving His life for all–the people who once lived, those who are living presently on this earth, and all future births.

Yes from Adam and Eve to everyone born up until His Second Coming, Jesus has promised us, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man. The things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). Hallelujah! The righteous will receive more than this earthly life that is full of trials and sorrows.

Jesus’ Offer is Salvation Not Condemnation

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. –John 3:17-19

Yet, as with all of God’s promises, they are conditional. We must do our part. There is no guessing or confusion, the Scriptures tell us exactly what God will do for us if we surrender and faithfully obey His commands. The greatest problem that we face is the condition of obedience always causes ambivalence–we must decide between God’s will and our desires. If we choose to live according to our desires, then we choose to place ourselves in the darkness of self-condemnation.

The Invitation: Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dine with him, and he with Me.” –Revelation 3:20

It’s Time to Look Back: When Jesus knocked at the door of our hearts and we accepted His invitation to wholeheartedly follow Him, we were in love with the Savior. As time passed, we begin to waiver in our desire to live righteously. Nor did we understand the conditions required to sustain the love relationship between ourselves and Christ. Discipleship is a life of servitude that requires us to obey God.

Initially, we were excited by our spiritual rebirth, but we failed to realize that Sanctification, to be transformed into the likeness of Christ takes a lifetime of humility and self-denial. We became weary from the continuous internal conflict of obeying God versus giving in to our plans and goals. We failed to remember that our lives are ordered by God for His purpose and glory. Gradually, a change of heart happened and we started living for ourselves.

The Missing Element: Love

“Teacher, which commandment is the greatest in the Law? Jesus declared, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.…'” Matthew 22:36-38

The Bible is a Love letter from God to us. As we study the Scriptures, we come to know God as a loving, Heavenly Father who desires the best for His children. Yet, love must be reciprocal. Keeping Jesus’ loving sacrifice in the forefront of our minds results in spiritual growth, understanding, and wisdom. Love for God keeps us in alignment with Him. The Holy Spirit empowers us to understand and accept that God’s thoughts and plans are perfect and always end in victory.

As our love relationship with Christ grows it is with a cheerful heart that we seek God’s will through prayer and study of the Scriptures. Our daily prayer of surrender to God is fueled by love, faith, and obedience. Abiding in Christ gives us the strength to remain steadfast. We no longer veer to the right or the left, leading us wayward into the pit of self-condemnation.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” –Romans 8:1

Godly love ensures that we look straight ahead. Love keeps us focused on Jesus, our Lord, and Savior who promises to keep us on the Path of Righteousness when we put forth the human effort to follow Him. Yes, through surrender to Christ, we are freed from the indwelling sin which condemns us to death, and we receive His promise of life eternal. Amen!

Prayer: God, we pray for Your help to return to our first love, Jesus Christ. We ask for forgiveness of self-seeking behaviors that have separated us from You and Your purpose in our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Praying for Opportunities

Praying for Opportunities Devotional Reading

The process of progressive discipline by employers did not always exist. Many employees with tenure and excellent job performance were terminated because of personal dislike from their supervisors. Before 1991, we worked under a dark cloud of fear, never knowing if we would have a job from one day to the next.

“The Civil Rights Act of 1991 made major changes in the federal laws against employment discrimination enforced by EEOC.”

Yet, we had those who recognized the opportunity to take a stand. No matter the cost they worked tirelessly for federal laws that protected employees against discrimination and unfair treatment. These forgotten heroes demanded from the government enforced laws that prohibited the practice of immediate termination without progressive discipline [exceptions were extreme infractions against company policy].

Seeking opportunities to help others is God’s expectation of all Christian believers.

To whom much is given, much will be required (Luke 12:48). If you have heard that line of wisdom, you know it means we are held responsible for what we have. If we have been blessed with talents, wealth, knowledge, time, and the like, it is expected that we benefit others. https://law.utk.edu/2016/05/10/to-whom-much-is-given-much-will-be-required/

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” –Micah 6:8

Micah 6:8 is a clear, crisp, and simple summary of what God expects from you and me. These three things that matter so much to God are the three things God wants to see in us: justice, kindness, and humility. To act justly is to treat people fairly and respectfully. http://www.bible.com

Although it is against our naturally selfish hearts to seek opportunities that benefit others, we are committed to being like Christ. Every day we should pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal opportunities to witness and alleviate the suffering of those who need our help. Random acts of kindness do not fulfill our duty to God and humanity.

Our love for God ensures that we maintain our spiritual connection with our Heavenly Father through prayer and study of the Bible. We form a bonding relationship with Christ that produces a never-ending river of love that flows from His heart to our hearts. Pray for guidance and the humility to willingly accept your assignment to show the love and mercy that Christ gave to others throughout His life on earth.

“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work.” –Revelation 22:12

Prayer: God, we ask for forgiveness for having a mindset to seek after our desires. We pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal the opportunities that fulfill our daily requirement of discipleship. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

The Duality of Humanity

The Duality of Humanity Devotional Reading

The high calling of living righteously every day and preparing for eternal life appears to be a source of conflict in our lives. With the demands of daily living, how can we look beyond our day and also prepare for life in the New Heaven and New Earth? Is it possible to achieve both simultaneously?

Has God set unachievable standards for those created in His image? Most worldviews are in opposition to God’s truth except one, Work Smarter, Not Harder. Let’s expand the concept from Work Smarter to “Live Smarter, Not Harder.”

When studying Creation, we learn that God has a systematic approach that ends in completion. His goal was to create the world. God did not multi-task when creating the world. No unfinished tasks had to be pushed to the next day. Humanity has been given a Divine Blueprint for how we are to live.

Divine Intervention: God’s ultimate goal is for us to receive the reward of eternal life. Human Effort: Our daily lives reflect the spiritual steps we are taking to live in harmony with God’s plan for us.

Sanctification is the lifelong journey of daily spiritual growth and development into the likeness of Christ. Our spiritual journey is a continuous struggle because our transformation requires the continuous acquisition of knowledge and wisdom through the anointing of the Holy Spirit, prayer, and study of the Scriptures. Still, many Christians reject God’s perfect plan for their lives to Live Smarter, Not Harder as reflected by their lifestyle.

Can you imagine having a friend who says to you, “I really hate technology and all the changes in this world because of it?” I would remain silent and with a giant wave of sorrow, accept that the relationship with my friend has just ended.

We look at others in disbelief who do not embrace advancements to make one’s life function at an optimal level of wellness. Life is dynamic–Change must and will happen whether we willingly accept progression or not.

God Requires Spiritual Progression: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” –Jeremiah 29:11

Sadly, many Christian believers fall into the statistics of having a resistant mindset. We also choose to live harder. Exclusion of God and His divine plan for our lives places us in the same predicament as the transgressor [God says their way is hard]. The acceptance of a worldview of doing it our way not only proclaims that we do not need God, but we also develop a spirit of pride that deceives us into believing that we have the strength, knowledge, and power to plan, achieve our goals, and to resolve any adverse event that will happen in our lives.

Self-reliance always produces the loss of the spiritual benefits we receive from having a relationship with God. Instead of enjoying the peace and contentment that comes from the Triune God [God, the Father, God, Jesus the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit [who has an angel army to serve humanity], we transition into the dark side of life where worry, insecurity, anxiety, and discouragement reside. 

“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).

Opposition to God results in spiritual blindness–we cease to see the purpose of serving and obeying God. Nor is it a priority for us to have a relationship with Jesus and to have the characteristics of the Fruit of the Spirit. Abiding in Christ and producing fruit that prepares us for the transition from this earthly life to one of immortality in the New Heaven and New Earth are no longer our desires.

Created in the image of God with a dependency on His Divine Intervention throughout our lives is God’s unchangeable plan. Dualism arises when our views are in opposition to God’s righteous standards. The spiritual conflict caused by doing things our way creates a growing chasm between us and God.

“O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.” –Jeremiah 10:23

The time will come when our plans or solutions fail. When our lives begin to fall apart, we usually resort to the emotional responses of anger, disappointment, and despair. Why is it so easy for us to blame God for the negative outcomes that come from our decisions? Have you ever thought that it’s just too hard to serve God? Do not give in to your emotions, with God, we are never alone!

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” –John 16:33

Without God, the rapid progression of life easily places us into the spiritual dilemma of mismanaging our daily lives and the loss of our reward for eternal life. We need Divine help every day! The dependency of humanity on God was designed to bring us through the vicissitudes of life and ensure that we receive the strength and power from the Holy Spirit to live for today and to prepare for eternal life simultaneously.

““And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work.” –Revelation 22:12

Live every day with the joyful expectation that Jesus’ promise of Revelation 22:12 will be fulfilled. The challenge is to overcome the spiritual warfare of self-seeking desires that prevent us from total reliance on Divine Intervention. Still, how do we bridge the gap that exists between accomplishing the tasks of living for today and preparing for eternal life?

Humanity requires help! We were created to have a forever relationship with God. Jesus knows that our journey is filled with struggle. The reality is that life with Jesus is meaningful and filled with accomplishments. Let God sustain your life! Go ahead and give every burden to Christ. The practical way to do that is by praying for Divine help and guidance in the routine activities of your life as well as the challenges.

Peace and joy are the gifts we receive when we willingly surrender to His will and plans which are custom-made for every person.

How deep is your level of commitment to God? Are you willing to surrender Your will in obedience to God? Each morning, take at least 15 minutes or more to have meaningful worship with our Heavenly Father. Approach God with a spirit of gratitude and confess your need for Him. Ask for the anointing, wisdom, and discernment from the Holy Spirit upon your life.

Time with God allows the Holy Spirit to give you the spiritual blessing of the Divine strength to endure, persevere and overcome for today and eagerly look forward to your reward of eternal life.

Prayer: God, we need You. We ask for the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer that we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

His Strength, Our Weakness

His Strength, Our Weakness

“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.'” –2 Corinthians 12:9

Focusing on ourselves or our circumstances produces fear and cancels our faith and dependency on the power of Christ. Pride is the seed from which the sin of self-reliance grows. Self-reliance rapidly infiltrates the heart producing the thorns of anxiety, worries, and mental and spiritual instability. Our spiritual outlook changes as we become weaker from the weeds of insecurity and hopelessness that ultimately destroy our faith in God. Although the answer to our dilemma is simple, we are functioning on emotions that leave us feeling overwhelmed. As we try to figure things out, nonexistent faith makes us forget that we have a Savior waiting to help us.

Jesus Christ is Our Foundation–Jesus forewarned us of self-reliance’s consequences: “You can do nothing without me!” Surrendering ourselves to the Vine prevents keeps us nourished with strength, empowers us to face opposition, and binds us closer to Christ. We remain confident as His strength permeates our hearts and soul. Every day, pray to receive strength from our only Source, Jesus Christ.

The Pursuit of Happiness

The Pursuit of Happiness Devotional Reading

When I greeted the cashier, we immediately started chatting about the joy of retirement which led me to believe that she was only working part-time and happily enjoying a life of bliss. But then she expressed the agony of working six more years to reach full retirement age. The atmosphere created by her words of hopelessness threatened to produce a doom-and-gloom conversation.

Looking at her prematurely aged face, I thought about having a job in mid-life that required eight hours of constant standing, never-ending customer interaction, and produced mental and physical exhaustion by the end of the day. I knew this would be my only opportunity to provide uplifting words of hope to combat her heavy burden of despair.

I eagerly expressed the benefits of taking early retirement at 62 with the ability to work if the monthly income did not exceed $1700. As we chatted, God’s divine intervention kept other customers from choosing her checkout line. As she placed my items in the bags, a bright smile and the words, Thank you, now, I have something to look forward to in life produced happiness in two women who would probably never see each other again. Leaving the store, I said a silent prayer of thanksgiving for the opportunity to alleviate her mental suffering. Yes, as I walked away, I felt happy.

Happiness is an emotional response to things going well. Yet, we have rapidly progressed to a time where most people are unhappy even though their lives are productive. “Americans are the unhappiest they’ve been in 50 years, The poll finds, Just 14% of U.S. adults say they’re very happy.” https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/americans-are-unhappiest-they-ve-been-50-years-poll-finds-n1231153

Where do you stand? Are you included in the 14% of the population who is very happy? Sadly, many believers are very unhappy with their present circumstances. How did we progress from thanking God for His abundant blessings to an internal state of dissatisfaction? We have embraced the worldview that produces unhappiness–to always be discontent.

Many have offered little resistance to society’s prevailing drive for the pursuit of happiness. The competitive edge is to always strive for more–we agree that enough is never enough!

God’s Standard: “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

For the faithful, God always gives us the necessary provisions to sustain our well-being. Despite the satanic warfare of natural disasters and humanity’s continuous destruction of the planet earth, God has allowed the abundant beauty in nature to remain steadfast. Truthfully, our Heavenly Father always provides for the righteous. Most believers are well-fed and have financial stability.

Why do we constantly desire more things for ourselves? Our discontent reveals our perception of God. Instead of focusing on the blessings received from the open windows of heaven, we begin to view God as a restrictive God who controls humanity. When will God give us a successful career, a new home, a luxury vehicle, or a husband or wife? With a driving passion, we take the necessary steps to satisfy our heart’s desires.

Our feelings place us in a heightened mental and emotional state of living for the pursuit of happiness. We become fixated and strategize to obtain our desires by any means necessary. There are repercussions, the loss of peace, joy, and contentment. Even more devastating, our disobedience completely severs our relationship with God. Eventually, we obtain our desires, but the giver is not God.

Why would God withhold from us what others so easily obtained? God’s thoughts will never be our thoughts. We were created to worship Him in our earthly lives and have immortality forever.

  1. “Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory;
    I have formed him, yes, I have made him” (Isaiah 43:7). God’s purpose for humanity is to worship Him.
  2. “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work” (Revelation 22:12). The New Heaven and New Earth will be the forever home of faithful, righteous, and obedient believers.

Still, does God select only certain people whom He blesses with the things that produce happiness? “…that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45).

In studying The Creation, it is evident that God withheld no good thing from Adam and Eve. The problem is that we cannot think beyond our present state of existence. The home or vehicle that we desire requires long-term financial stability, and the prospective husband or wife with whom we desire to make a lifelong covenant does not love God first and foremost nor do they desire to live eternally.

Would God bless us with tangible items or a marriage partner just to make us happy? In His Omnipotence–knowing the beginning to the end, place all of your faith and trust in God’s answer of no. If we do not receive the things that we think will make us happy then be confident that God’s objective is to save our souls.

Our pursuit of happiness will always overshadow the reason that we made a covenant vow with Jesus, to do the Father’s will. Never forget that we are servants of the Most-High God who are promised peace and joy in this life and the life to come. The fleeting happiness of this earthly life is on the verge of ending. Our King of Kings and Lord of Lords is coming to give us an eternal life of happiness.

Desire happiness? “But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.'” 1 Corinthians 2:9

Prayer: God, we have lost our way. We need Your help to get us back on the Path of Righteousness. In Jesus’ Worthy name, we pray. Amen.

Distractions–The Enemy that Always Wins

Distractions—The Enemy that Always Wins Devotional Reading

So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom. –Psalm 90:12

Think of your plans and goals for yesterday, how well did you do? Did you accomplish the tasks according to their priority on your to-do list? What did you do with the leftover time? And did you fall asleep with peaceful thoughts from the joy of your accomplishments?

The War of Distractions

The questions are pertinent because we are involved in an intense battle of strategic spiritual warfare intended to make us lose everything God has planned to bless us with now and eternally. As one contemplates the busyness of life, we have grown accustomed to accepting distractions as a natural element that rightfully belongs in our lives.

Distractions are often hidden from plain sight. Always have a million things on the to-do lists or make promises to help because you can’t say no without feeling guilty? Distractions make us waste valuable time from our lives that we can never retrieve.

Distractions make us lose the ability to dream, and prevent us from developing our spiritual gifts and natural talents. Nor can we receive the blessings from using our God-given spiritual assignment to tell others of the love of Jesus Christ because Distractions rob us of the life-giving sustaining power of God.

Distraction Alert!!! The Covert Strategy of Multitasking is a Manmade Concept!

Biblical references prove that God is Completion. Let us look at the story of Creation. In six days God used a systematic approach for the completion of His work for that day. The affirmation “And God saw that it was good.” is repeated four times. There were no thoughts about manipulating tomorrow’s schedule to squeeze in the things that were not completed in the day’s 24-hour cycle of time.

“God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.” Genesis 1:5

Our concept of time is out of sync with God’s time. Sunset is the beginning of a new day. In the evening, say a prayer, and ask God to give you the wisdom to change your present routine. Develop one or two realistic goals before you go to bed. Be specific by placing a one or two-hour-time parameter that you will complete during your daytime hours.

Eliminating distractions requires courage and discipline! Stand your ground against all distractors. Perform an honest self-evaluation. Are you embracing distractions? If yes, then admit that you are working against yourself and take aggressive steps to remedy the situation.

The Restorative Benefits of Completion–“A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul.” Proverbs 13:19

When our lives are out of sync with their natural order, we will never enjoy the blessings of peace and joy that come from making accomplishments. King Solomon says that accomplishments are sweet to the soul, indicating the spiritual aspect of completion. We do not find peace in tranquil locations nor achieve optimal mental, emotional, and physical health without following God’s plan for the human beings He created in His image.

The Journey to Complete Spiritual Restoration includes the Challenge of Overcoming Distractions

“Teach me Your way, O Lord, And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.” Psalm 27:11

We have a choice to make. Eliminate the struggle caused by oneness—we have Divine Intervention available. God’s promise to never leave us or forsake us is lifelong. Yes. God is a God of Completion. When Jesus created us in their image, He knew the forever dependency that was required to sustain humanity.

Stopping the repetitious cycle is possible! Do not live in misery because of Satan’s spiritual warfare of distractions. Let go of your learned thought processes from the influencers who can do nothing but give misconstrued advice. Let go of habits and people who constantly introduce suffering into your life. Satan uses the familiar to keep us overwhelmed.

Embrace God’s Righteous Standard of Completion to overcome the Enemy of Distractions. God Always Produces Victorious Overcomers!

“I brought you from the ends of the earth and called you from its farthest corners. I said, ‘You are My servant.’ I have chosen and not rejected you. Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will surely help you; I will uphold you with My right hand of righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10

God created us to live on this earth in the peace and prosperity that comes from receiving His abundant blessings. Our willingness to have a heartfelt relationship with Christ not only gives us joy, contentment, peace, and happiness, but we also receive knowledge and wisdom from the Holy Spirit to live productive and structured lives. Created in His image, we receive the power to achieve completion of the tasks to maintain a life of spiritual equilibrium.

Prayer: God, we desperately need Your help. Please reveal the distractions that prevent us from making accomplishments and having the daily joy that comes from completion. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

The Misconception of Spiritual Defeat

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33 NIV

Faith allows us to have a deep dependency on God. We abide in Christ to receive His fortifying protection from the continuous spiritual warfare that many believe will produce the destitution of Defeat.

Satan can only be successful in his ploys to defeat us when we help him. Sounds crazy? Distractions are his proven strategies to bait and switch our focus from Christ to our circumstances.

Loving and Trusting Jesus allows us to receive His never-ending power. Jesus is our only Hope. Human Effort plus Divine Intervention equals Victory!

2023: Invest in Your Health

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3 John 1:2

Today I researched holistic health strategies as related to achieving the wellness of optimal health. Did you know that home cooking your food is the number one preventative against poor health?

For many, cooking involves the use of air fryers and microwaves. Yet, cooking on a stove and using a conventional oven allows one to receive the highest level of nutrients for digestion and assimilation on a cellular level in the human body.

What are the guidelines for choosing healthy foods? Moderate in calories, low salt, low fat, and no processed sugars. 2,000 calories per day should provide necessary nutrients for the average adult.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are the building blocks for maintaining a Be Ready Stay Ready Immune System. The colors green, orange, red, yellow, and purple should be consumed daily. Complex carbohydrates along with adequate protein from legumes, fish, and poultry will leave you energetic and change your perception of life in general.

Be creative. Personally, I do not care for one pot meals. Who says our plate has to be limited to only three varieties of food?

Healthy eating is part of having a healthy lifestyle. It is not a diet. Your mind and tastebuds require retraining to achieve optimal health.

Change is intentional. A healthy lifestyle requires an alteration in our thought processes along with strategic planning. Because our choice of food is from learned behaviors, we require Divine Intervention to change from eating foods that supply little nutrients.

Our health is of the utmost concern to God. Throughout Jesus’ ministry on earth, He healed many who had mental, emotional, and physical illnesses. When we consume foods based on taste or habits our bodies will fail us by succumbing to chronic diseases. We were created in God’s image to live long, productive, joyous lives.

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:19

Involve God in your desire to take care of your temple. Pray for help! Develop your goals. Purchase a journal. Eliminate time-consuming distractions. Learn your body’s rhythm. When are you hungry? Consider taking a mid-afternoon snack to work to prevent raging hunger that results in ordering fast food on the way home.

Be intentional with your food choices. Purchase your food weaknesses in smaller sizes–one pint of ice cream instead of a half gallon. Consider making your own ice cream with fruit. Shop for food on a full stomach–the junk stuff will be less appealing.

The most exciting part of pursuing optimal health is the body’s response–high energy, weight loss, mood stability, increase in mental acuity, and the overall feeling that comes from your accomplishment of loving you.

The only way for us to achieve optimal health is to lovingly care for the fearfully and wonderfully made minds and bodies gifted by our Heavenly Father.

I have achieved and maintained optimal health for two years. Go ahead! It’s a great way to live!

https://www.aetna.com/health-guide/health-benefits-of-home-cooking.html

Christian Characteristics Necessary for Life In Heaven

During every passenger plane landing, the instructions are given to prepare for landing. Because this directive may be perceived in many various ways the flight attendants give specific directions for preparation to land. They perform a final walk through to complete the pre-landing regulations before taking their seats.

Jesus has given us precepts and commands to guide us to our final destination in the New Heaven and New Earth.

“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.'” –Revelation 22:20

With urgency, in Revelation chapter 22, Jesus gives us a promise that is also a warning. Three times He says, I am coming quickly. We are given a preview of heaven, we are told that the time is near, and we receive information on how to prepare by keeping His Commandments. The chapter ends with the repetitive and third promise/warning from Jesus that His coming is timely and definite.

Note: In studying the Scriptures, Jesus rarely repeated His words while ministering to others. We become aware that “I am coming quickly” is a life or death warning for us to do our part [daily preparation] if we expect to receive eternal life.

Most of us possess the skills of preparing ahead. We have our mental to-do lists and are accustomed to preparing the night before or early morning to identify and achieve daily repetitive tasks. Yet, when preparing for vacations or an intentional getaway, we use focused planning strategies. If you need some quiet time, you would not book an Airbnb in a city with never-ending noises.

How many Christians are excitedly preparing day-to-day to live eternally?

Preparation for eternal life is intentional. Every aspect of our earthly activities of daily living require heightened awareness and intentional planning. Without complete knowledge of how we use our time, distractions will prevent us from preparing for eternal life. We never fully comprehend the meaning of Jesus coming quickly because we are unaware of the shortage of time we have to get ready.

“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work” (Revelation 22:12).

Jesus also clarifies that we have spiritual assignments for which we will receive the reward of living with Him forever and ever. Our Heavenly reward is not given because we were dedicated employees working 40-hour work weeks that provided the necessary income to sustain our lifestyles.

The question, What did you do with your spiritual gifts that I gave you? Did you strive to live a righteous life? The conviction to remain faithful and obedient by overcoming temptations, the courage to say no to sin, [even if it means losing family and friends], and the commitment to love and put God first are righteous standards mandated by the law of God.

Use your spiritual gifts and the resources of time, effort, and money for discipleship–service to God and to others which is the work that Jesus Christ rewards. Read The Great Commission, Matthew 28:18-20.

Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the changes in your lifestyle that you need to make to be ready for Jesus’ Second Coming. Live everyday with the mindset that Jesus is coming quickly! We have wasted too much time watching, listening, and doing things that do not count toward preparation for eternal life.

The Journey of Sanctification

We can only take one thing to heaven and that is our character. The Holy Spirit breathed the words of God to the apostles, Paul, James, Peter, and John of the necessary characteristics that we must have in our lives now to be holy and acceptable for life in heaven.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. –Galatians 5:22-23

Most are familiar with the righteous traits of the Fruit of the Spirit. Still, “1 Corinthians 13, Ephesians 6, Hebrews 11, James 1-2, and 1 Peter 1” also give us a foundation for possessing a Christ-like character. Sanctification, the lifelong spiritual journey of spiritual growth and development requires human effort plus Divine Intervention through Jesus Christ.

Secretly, some Christians think that striving for righteousness is overwhelming and that God has placed a burden on us to be holy.

Consider your employer who has greater demands than our Heavenly Father. You are expected to have almost 100% competency in performing your job duties, reach productivity standards, possess time management skills, complete ongoing educational trainings, and have an acceptable attendance record. Nor will you receive continuous help from management staff.

We have the Divine Intervention of the Spiritual Team of God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the angels to help us every day. Doing our part requires putting God first and praying for help. Pray and Study the Bible every day. We determine our destiny!

Why is it taking so long for Jesus to come? “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” — 2 Peter 3:9

Thankfully, we have a merciful Father who patiently loves us. Even so, our lifespan remains a mystery Tomorrow is not promised to us. Prepare everyday and stay ready.

Prayer: God, we pray for ourselves today because we realize that we are not preparing for Jesus to come. Holy Spirit please reveal the obstacles in our lives that are causing roadblocks in our spiritual journey. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Prayer Increases Faith and Courage

Devotional reading–Prayer Increases Faith and Courage is available as a podcast on Spotify

Have you ever had a life-changing decision to make that threatened your peace of mind? Or an unexpected life event that produced a financial deficit or health issue?

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow worry about itself it’s on things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34

Our average Floridian temperature in the 70s plummeted to 30 degrees on Christmas day. I had an unexpected health issue arise when I turned the heater on. Fumes and smoky residue flooded my apartment from the AC/ Heater unit triggering the smoke/ carbon monoxide detector, and I had an asthma attack immediately following.

My first response was to quickly set up my nebulizer rescue medication and open the door for the frigid fresh air to enter and clear the toxic environment. Thankfully, I was prepared with a couple of wintry throw blankets and clothing from a previous life that included winter weather.

As the tears fell from my eyes and thoughts of Christmas day being ruined, I began to pray, God, help me. From my short, desperate prayer, I received immediate comfort from the Holy Spirit. But then something unusual happened I had increased mental and emotional strength. The air cleared, the smoke alarm stopped, and my small backup tower electric heater began blowing hot air.

But most importantly, my respiratory system reached homeostasis. I whispered another prayer of thankfulness because God’s Divine Intervention took control and safely guided me through and out of harm’s way.

Every one of us faces unexpected daily challenges that can bring chaos and despair. Changing our response to include God in every aspect of our everyday troubles–great or small builds our faith and gives us a habit of relying on God’s Divine Intervention to help us in every trial.

Forming the habit of consistent prayer changes our perception and awareness that God is an Awesome Heavenly Father. Our minds transition from innate weakness to one of strength and courage. No, we do not let pride give us false confidence in our own abilities, we build a love-trust-dependent relationship with God who is always faithful.

“Let us, therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

As Christian believers, we have 24/7 access to the Throne of Grace. Head knowledge of the Scriptures is not enough. Our dependency on God is evidence of a heart-to-heart relationship with His Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ. We are preparing now for an eternal life of worship based on the love and faith we possessed in our earthly lives.

Bible Study: Matthew chapter 6

Prayer: God, we are thankful for Your faithfulness. We pray for a closer relationship with Jesus based on faith, trust, obedience, and active communication through daily prayer and study of the Scriptures. Thank You for Your love and Divine Intervention that is always available. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.