Monday, January 30, 2012

Living life in the "Spirit"

How do you live in God's Spirit and Truth each day? Saint Teresa of Avila said:

"Christ has no body on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ's compassion for the world is to look out; yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good; and yours are the hands with which He is to bless us now." 

2 Timothy 2:15 says to "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth." 

                                                         We are Jesus' Hands and Feet in this world~

We are indeed Jesus' Hands and Feet in this world!! I want to walk in His Word of Truth each day, how about you? And to do that--- to walk Lord's path each day takes determination and a lot of courage. Many people are looking at Christians and are just waiting for us to trip up so they can point the finger at and say, "See, he or she is no different than anyone else, they do the same thing we all do." That's true to one extent because we are all sinners, but the big difference in us Christians is that we are Forgiven by the blood of Jesus and sealed to the Kingdom of God. We get back up, confess our sins by repenting them to our Lord and Savior, and move on to the next thing.We don't dwell in the past, at least we're not supposed to. We've got too much to do. Winning souls for the Kingdom is our top priority, we haven't got time to wallow in regrets.

I read on the internet yesterday that Christianity is the keyhole with which the world sees Jesus. What a profound statement that is! It's not easy being a disciple of Jesus Christ, but this is my mission during my time on this earth. I want people to see Jesus in me, everyday. I want people to look at me and say, "there's something unique and different about her....and I want to know what that is, and I want that peace that she has."
                                 For many people, you may be the only Jesus' they ever see. Do Him Proud!

So, how do try to accomplish that? How do I set about to be the hands and feet of Jesus each and every day that He gives me breath? Here are the simple things I do each day to help me live in Jesus' Fruit of the Spirit~ I do have a plan and here it is:

1. PRAY. I pray each morning and each evening and many times during the day. I begin my day with prayers before my feet even hit the floor. I thank the Lord for my many blessings and pray for things that are close to my heart. I ask Him to show me His truth and reveal anything to me that I need to work on to be more in alignment with His will for my life. I ask for His guidance and love to be with me throughout the day. 
As my day moves along and someone comes to mind that I need to pray for, I do it, right then and there. It doesn't have to be a long prayer, just a short one~ the Lord hears all of our prayers, each and every single one. He does not turn a deaf ear to His people. And, you never know how your prayers can affect someone else's life. If the Lord puts that person on your heart, there is often a reason. The Bible tells us in James 5:16 that "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." So Pray! 

                                                         "The prayer of a righteous man avails much"

2. READ and SEEK HIS WORD! Each morning I read a devotional or read some verses from my Bible. It helps me to remember His truth as I enter the world for the day. For me, often there are days I do not even leave the safety of this house, but it doesn't mean I don't enter the world. Nowadays, the world is readily available through smart phones, Facebook and all of the internet and other social media sites. I try to put on the whole armour of God before I venture out for the day. Ephesians 6: 10-18 instructs us to  "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. I truly believe that the devil is alive and well in 2012 and battling for the hearts and souls of all of us. I try really hard not to let him win the battle of my mind, heart and soul on any day. 

It's also very important to get connected to a good church that teaches the Word of God. You will need the strength you get by being surrounded by other followers of Christ and Christian Prayer Warriors. Don't be fooled but a "feel good" congregation. Seek out a church where the Word of God is unashamedly taught and followed. Go where Scripture is preached and classes are being taught to all ages, seeking God's truth. Go where a choir and church members sing to the Glory of God. The Bible warns about false prophets in the end days. Many will come claiming to speak the truth, but they do not. Beware! Matthew 7:15-16 warns us "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits." There is only One Truth and One Word, which is the Word of God. The rest falls away~ Seek God's Truth and Speak it! 

Read His Word each day through a devotional or 
just pick out a chapter in the Bible and get going!
Having a good attitude each day makes a big difference in the way people in your life see you. If you are going around crumbling about how bad things are, you're not going to be an inspiration to yourself or anyone else. How can you be a testament to what Christ has done for you, if you seem miserable to everyone else? The Lord wants us to be joyful! He wants us to be fruitful for Him and bring others onto Him. Galatians 5:22-23 explains the Fruits of the Spirit and wants us to live them to be a perfect example for God. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control." 

                                          God wants us to enjoy and reap the fruits of the Spirit each day~

It takes a lot of awareness of what you are doing and saying, to try and live in the "Spirit" daily. I need to be very aware of every thought that I have, or that every word that comes out of my mouth should glorify God. That is a really tall order, isn't it? Ephesians 4:29 says "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  If I have a day where I wake up in a bad mood, I immediately put on some Christian or Inspirational music! That helps me every time. It helps me to drive out the bad thoughts and replace them with the good thoughts. Remember, the glass is always half full, NOT half empty.

We can all get frustrated and angry with situations and people that are in our lives. But, it's important to take a step back and evaluate thing before you open your mouth. It's so important not to tear people down or verbally or emotionally beat them up with our words. Stop before you talk. Is this going to hurt or help the situation? If this going to build up or tear down the one I'm talking to? You can't take back words that are spoken in anger, and they can cut deep into the soul of someone you love the most. Colossians 3:8 says "But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips." That is not a suggestion, that is the way the Lord wants us to live each day. Embrace it, it will change your life.

                                 Think before you talk! Am I building up or tearing down with my words?

Life isn't easy for any of us, by any stretch of the imagination. God knows that. This life is a test for all of us. We are on a journey to our eternal destination. Living on this earth and facing the many difficulties that come to all of us during our time here seem small when you look at them in the light of eternity with the Lord! He wants us to enjoy ourselves while we are here and He wants us to Praise Him and Give Thanks in the good times and in the bad times. Not always easy, right? But, here again, the Bible instructs us to Praise and Glorify Him in all times: Thessalonians 5:18 says  " In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." It's so important to Praise Him for who He is each day. Psalm 103:2 says "Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me." It's such an easy thing to do. Stop and give Thanks and Praise to the one who truly deserves it!

                                         Give Praise to God in All circumstances for this is His will for you!

How is that accomplished? By reaching out to others in need. By being a blessing to someone you love or know. If you see someone that needs help, help them. Maybe it's a phone call to a sick friend. Maybe it's taking someone to the doctor if you can still drive, or going to the grocery store or run some other errand for them. Send a card to someone you know who lost a loved one or friend. Make a meal, send a book or pamphlet that would encourage them. If you see someone who needs to talk or just needs prayer, do that with them. Help out at a homeless shelter. Give to a clothing drive, or give used furniture to the Goodwill or Salvation Army. Donate to a food drive. Anonymously pay a bill for a family that is struggling. There are so many ways and so many things you can do to help others who have less fortunate than you. Anything you do will help you live like Jesus, reaching out to those in need! 

Jesus came for the downtrodden and hopeless, the sick and weak. He didn't discriminate or ignore those most in need; the homeless and the hungry. Matthew 25:35-30 says "For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?".... 
There are so many that are suffering in this world. Reach out and help where you can~

That's the basic outline for how I try to live my life. It's a conscious effort I make each day to live more like my Savior. It's never easy, some days are harder than others, but it's something I try to do each and every day that He gives me. I am always striving to live in God's word so I can enjoy all of the "Fruits of the Spirit."  Each day is truly a Gift from the Lord. That's why it's called the Present! Enjoy each minute! 

My verses for today are above in red.

My prayer for today:

Dearest Heavenly Father:

Thank you Lord for another beautiful day in Sunny Florida. What a glorious way to spend a day, thinking and meditating on Your Word. I pray Lord, that the words that I have written will touch the hearts of those who read them and penetrate their souls to begin to make a difference in their lives for you.

I praise Your Holy Name and Thank you for my life, my family and my many blessings. Reach out and touch someone with these words that you have given me, Lord.

In Jesus Name,

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