YOU ARE GOD’S BELOVED
Ephesians 1:6 – to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
At the Jordan river, Jesus heard His Father say to Him, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:22) Later, in the wilderness, Jesus heard the devil say to Him, “If You are the Son of God…” (Luke 4:3)
Notice that the devil not only questioned Jesus’ sonship, but he also dropped the word “beloved” when he said to Jesus, “If You are the Son of God…” You see, the devil cannot remind you that you are God’s beloved because when you know this truth, whatever he wants to bring against you will not succeed!
Many girls are giving away their virginity because they need to feel wanted and loved. And young boys join gangs to feel accepted because they have been rejected and made to feel worthless by others.
But when you know that you are God’s beloved, no temptation can succeed against you, not even the “giants” who may taunt you. Consider David who slew Goliath. “David” in Hebrew means “beloved”. It takes a David to knock down a giant. In other words, it takes someone who knows that he is God’s beloved to win the fights of life!
You are God’s beloved not because of what you do. Christ did everything. He is God’s Beloved. But God put you in Christ. That is why you are “accepted in the Beloved”. And what God said to Jesus, He says to you today: “You are My beloved son. In you, I am well pleased.”
So if the devil tells you, “Hey, you call yourself ‘God’s beloved’ after what you just did?” have the assurance that it is not based on what you have done, but what Christ has done. And you are still God’s beloved because you are in Christ!
When you say that, I believe the devil screams in frustration because he has no power over you when you are conscious that you are God’s beloved. There is truly a place of safety when you know that you are His beloved.
My friend, we are not being proud when we call ourselves God’s beloved. How can we boast when we know that it is God’s grace that has made us accepted in the Beloved!
Thought For The Day
It takes someone who knows that he is God’s beloved to win the fights of life!
HEIR OF THE WORLD TODAY
Romans 4:13 – For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
God promised Abraham that he would be the heir of the world. Now, don’t be too quick to say, “Well, that promise was made only to Abraham and not me.” The verse says, “For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” So the promise was not just made to Abraham, but to “his seed” as well, that is, you and I who belong to Christ—“And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:29)
Notice that God did not say that you would be the heir of the country you are living in, but heir of the world! The Greek word for “world” here is kosmos, which means the universe as well as the whole circle of earthly goods, endowments, advantages and pleasures. All these are yours to inherit through the righteousness of faith in Jesus and His finished work at the cross. This righteousness is given to you as a gift from God, so you don’t have to earn it through good works.
For God to fulfill His promise, He has to prosper you. You can’t be the heir of the world and be in lack or in debt! Not only that, He must keep you healthy because you can’t inherit the world when you are sick and always flat on your back.
Don’t listen to people who tell you that you will only get to enjoy these blessings when you get to heaven one fine day. Why would you need riches in heaven? There, even the streets are made of pure gold. (Revelation 21:21) And why would you need healing in heaven? There is no sickness there. So you need the health and provision in the here and now!
Beloved, God wants you to be the heir of the world today. So lay hold of your rich inheritance today. Jesus paid for it with His blood. Don’t push it all to the sweet by and by!
BEHOLD THE GLORY OF JESUS IN YOU
2 Corinthians 3:18 – But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
When you look in a mirror, what do you see? Of course, you see yourself. But God does not want you to see yourself in the natural. You may be sick, weak, broke and depressed, yet God wants you to see yourself the way He sees you—healed, strong, favored and whole because Christ is in you. (Colossians 1:27)
God wants you to behold as in a mirror the glory of His Son who is in you by His Spirit. As you do this, His Word says that you are being transformed from glory to glory—sick to healed, loser to winner!
The world may say to you, “It can’t be that easy. You can’t be transformed just by beholding the glory of Jesus. No, you must do something about you. If you don’t put in effort, nothing will happen. If you don’t start making changes, nothing will change.”
But the world will never understand that as you are beholding the glory of the Lord, who is the successful one in you, you are being transformed from a failure to a success. And this is not accomplished by any effort of yours to get ahead in life, but by the Spirit of the Lord! (Zechariah 4:6)
As you behold the glory of the Lord who is the healthy one in your sick body, you are transformed from sickness to health. And this is not accomplished by any effort of yours to keep fit and eat well, but by the Spirit of the Lord!
My friend, what can be easier than beholding the beauty of the Son? So stop focusing on yourself and your efforts. Look away from these things and begin to behold the glory of Jesus who is in you right now, and you will begin to behold the miracles that you need!
TAKE THE LIMITS OFF …
He raised us up together with Him…that in the ages to come He might [clearly] show the immeasurable and unsurpassed riches of His grace… – Ephesians 2:6–7
We serve a God of unlimited grace, favor and blessing! He longs to show you His goodness and pour out His abundance in your life.
When God sees you, He sees unlimited possibility. He sees unlimited potential. He sees unlimited resources. It’s God’s grace and favor in your life that enables you to become what He sees. But first, you have to open your heart and take the limits off!
How do we limit God? In Mark chapter 6, it says that Jesus could do no mighty works in a particular town because of the unbelief of the people. It works the same way today. We limit God in our thinking with thoughts of doubt and unbelief. We limit God with unforgiveness which closes the door of our hearts. But when you choose to forgive, when you choose thoughts of faith and expectancy, you open the door for God to work in your life. You are giving Him the opportunity to multiply what you have in your hand. Today, choose faith, choose forgiveness, and choose to take the limits off!
AN INSIDE VIEW
The Lord looks at the heart. —1 Samuel 16:7
Retired physicist Arie van’t Riet creates works of art in an unusual way. He arranges plants and deceased animals in various compositions and then x-rays them. He scans the developed x-rays into a computer and then adds color to certain parts of his pictures. His artwork reveals the inner complexity of flowers, fish, birds, reptiles, and monkeys.
An inside view of something is often more fascinating and more significant than an exterior view. At first glance, Samuel thought Eliab looked like he could be Israel’s next king (1 Sam. 16:6). But God warned Samuel not to look at Eliab’s physical traits. He told Samuel, “People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (v. 7). God chose David, instead of Eliab, to be Israel’s next king.
When God looks at us, He is more interested in our hearts than our height, the state of our soul than the structure of our face. He doesn’t see us as too old, too young, too small, or too big. He zeroes in on the things that matter—our response to His love for us and our concern for other people (Matt. 22:37-39). Second Chronicles 6:30 says that God alone knows the human heart. When the God who has done so much for us looks at our heart, what does He see?
Dear God, help me to value what You value. As I follow Your example, I pray that You will be pleased with what You see in my heart.
The true measure of a person is what’s in the heart.
ONLY ONE WAY
Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? – John 14:5-6
Thomas knew Jesus. He just didn’t realize Jesus was “the way.” Likewise, people today know portions of God’s Word but they don’t realize that God’s Word is their way to victory. Often, people cry out for God to speak to them while their Bible lays unopened on their nightstand. God has spoken to us through His Word. We just need to believe it and receive its truths as our way to victory.
Jesus didn’t say: “I am a way, a truth, and a life.” He claimed to be the only way, truth, and life. No man can come to the Father except through Jesus. This means that anyone who claims to honor Jesus while advocating other ways to get to God, truth, or life, besides Jesus, is deceived or a deceiver.
Jesus’ claims about Himself, of which there is only one, left no room for other means to salvation. He is either who He says He is, or He is the greatest deceiver of all time. His own statements about Himself leave no other alternatives. Therefore, other religions that recognize Jesus and His teachings as wonderful examples, but don’t believe He is the only way to achieve salvation, are false.
The Word of God is a spiritual book written under the direction of the Holy Spirit. It was not written to our head but to the innermost part of our heart. This is why some people find the Bible so hard to understand. They are trying to comprehend it using only their mind. The Word of God has to inspire our heart before it can enlighten our mind.
OUR SUCCESS IS IN GOD
Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. – Matthew 26:33
Just like Peter, we are often more confident of ourselves than God is. Many Christians are devastated when they fail in some area that they thought they had long since grown past. We need to realize that as long as we are in this mortal body, we cannot fall asleep at our battle station against the works of the flesh. If we do, our flesh is just as capable of sin as anyone else’s. If we fall, it should concern us but not surprise us. We should simply realize with Paul, that “in my flesh dwelleth no good thing,” get back into the spirit through confession and forgiveness, and go on with Jesus.
The Lord has never had anyone who was qualified working for Him. Peter wasn’t qualified, and even at our best, neither are we. If we realize that we are nothing and have nothing, then we are prime candidates to be used by God.
Peter went on to become probably the best known of the twelve apostles. The Lord used him mightily. But He didn’t want him, or us, to forget that it was Christ in Peter and not Peter himself who was great.
This also illustrates the extent of our Father’s love and forgiveness. If God not only forgave Peter for his sin, but also reinstated and advanced him, then surely we have not pushed God’s grace beyond its limit. Where sin abounds, grace abounds much more.
God doesn’t see us as a failure – just a learner. God can redeem the worst “failure” and work it together for good (Rom8:28). We need to think like God.
WHAT DO YOU SAY?
I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my Refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust [with great confidence, and on whom I rely]! – Psalm 91:2, AMP
Your words have tremendous power. No matter what you may be facing today, the words of your mouth can help set the course for victory or defeat. When you wake up with an attitude of faith and expectancy and declare that God is your refuge, you will be strengthened and empowered by His Spirit. When you talk like you are blessed, when you walk like you are blessed, then you will live like you are blessed!
Understand that your words are like seeds. When you declare favor and blessing, you are sowing favor and blessing, and you will reap a harvest of favor and blessing in return. That’s why its so important to take inventory of what you are saying on a regular basis. Even when challenges and obstacles arise, you have to rise up and say, “If God is for me, who can be against me?” Every day, let go of the weeds of unforgiveness and bitterness. Water your seed with the Word of God so you can move forward into the abundant life He has in store for you!
REFLECT HIM …
Have this same attitude in yourselves which was in Christ Jesus [look to Him as your example in selfless humility] – Philippians 2:5, AMP
When you reflect something, you are exhibiting its likeness. You are displaying its characteristics. Like a mirror, the Bible tells us that we should reflect the character and likeness of Jesus. We should have His same attitude.
That may sound like a pretty tall order; after all, Jesus was the Son of God. But remember, when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior, we become sons and daughters of God, too. We become empowered by the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead. That means we have the same power, the same spirit of humility, the same strength, and the same love on the inside.
We are equipped to follow His example and do what He did. What did He do? Scripture says that Jesus went around doing good and bringing healing to others; physically, spiritually and emotionally.
Notice that today’s verse starts by saying, “Let…” In other words, we have to open the door for God to work in our lives. We have to be the ones to humbly invite Him in. Let that be your goal today—open your heart to Him so you can reflect Him in your attitude and actions!
‘ALL THAT I HAVE IS YOURS’
Luke 15:31 – …‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.
After running a few errands for his parents, a little boy went to his father and said, “I know why you and mummy had me.” “Why?” asked his father. “So that you guys would have someone to run errands for you!” exclaimed the boy.
Like the little boy, do you see God as a Father who demands obedience and service from you? Have you ever felt that unless you obey Him and keep all His commandments, you don’t have a right to be blessed by Him?
Jesus shared the story of the prodigal son to show how some of us call God “Father” and yet don’t know His heart. There are two sons in this parable. We know what happened to the prodigal son, but we can also learn something about the older son. This is what he said to his father when he discovered that his father had thrown a party to celebrate the return of his irresponsible, spendthrift brother: “Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends.” (Luke 15:29)
Now, this son believed that his father had brought him into the world to serve him. He saw his father as someone issuing commandments to him all the time. And he saw himself as someone who had to obey those commandments to enjoy his inheritance. But the truth is that the father had already given him his inheritance. (Luke 15:12) The father even reminded him lovingly: “Son…all that I have is yours.” And I am sure that that inheritance included more than one goat!
Have you, like the older son, failed to understand your Father’s heart? Your heavenly Father already gave you a rich inheritance in Christ when you became His son. He wants you to know that you have received the Spirit of sonship. (Romans 8:15) So call out to Him, “Abba, Father!” and know how much He loves you. Because you are His heir, all that He has is yours to enjoy today!
VICTORY is in your FUTURE! Keep TRUSTING, HOPING & PRAYING because through FAITH & PATIENCE, YOU will inherit GOD’S PROMISES!
WAITING FOR AN ANSWER
Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. —Psalm 9:10
When our daughter was 15, she ran away. She was gone more than 3 weeks. Those were the longest 3 weeks of our lives. We looked everywhere for her and sought help from law enforcement and friends. During those desperate days, my wife and I learned the importance of waiting on God in prayer. We had come to the end of our strength and resources. We had to rely on God.
It was on a Father’s Day that we found her. We were in a restaurant parking lot, on our way to dinner, when the phone rang. A waitress at another restaurant had spotted her. Our daughter was only three blocks away. We soon had her home, safe and sound.
We have to wait on God when we pray. We may not know how or when He will answer, but we can put our hearts constantly before Him in prayer. Sometimes the answers to our prayers don’t come when we would hope. Things may even go from bad to worse. But we have to persevere, keep believing, and keep asking.
Waiting is never easy, but the end result, whatever it is, will be worth it. David put it this way: “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you” (Ps. 9:10). Keep seeking. Keep trusting. Keep asking. Keep praying. —James Banks
What’s on your heart that you need to talk to God about today? Will you trust Him and keep praying? James Banks is an author who has written several books, including Prayers for Prodigals.
Time spent in prayer is always time well spent.
OUR COMFORT IS IN ETERNITY …
In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. – John 14:2
This is Jesus’ last teaching to His disciples before His crucifixion. Jesus’ disciples were about to go through the greatest test of their faith that they had ever encountered. Jesus said that He was saying these things so His disciples would not be offended. Jesus was preparing them for what was to come. Why then speak of preparing them a mansion in heaven? The reason for this was to comfort the disciples and help them put things in perspective. In 1 Thessalonians 4:18, Paul tells us to comfort one another with words about being gathered unto the Lord in the air. Paul said again, “I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18). Someday, all of our trials will seem like nothing and this can be a great comfort to us now.
Also, when we think about being with the Lord through all eternity, it helps us to put things in proper perspective. It is easy to get fearful about our problems and think all is lost. However, for those of us who are born again, if worse comes to worse, we still have the promise of Jesus wiping all the tears from our eyes and preparing a habitation for us where all our former sorrows will have passed away. This keeps us from despairing and makes us much stronger in our faith.
In heaven, there are many dwelling places and Jesus is preparing one for us.
The thing that is going to make heaven “heaven” is the fact that we will be with Jesus. No doubt, there will be things to see and do that will be wonderful, but nothing will compare to being with the one who loved us and died for us. A preoccupation with the details of what things will be like in heaven is missing the point.
…when the people complained, it displeased the Lord…’ Numbers 11:1 NKJV
If you think complaining is no big deal, read this: ‘…when the people complained…the Lord heard…and His anger was aroused. So the fire of the Lord burned among them, and consumed some in the outskirts of the camp.’ A wise man once said, ‘I complained that I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.’ God has blessed you in 101 different ways, and He doesn’t want to hear you whining. What were the Israelites grumbling about anyway? ‘Adversity’. For some of us adversity comes through illness. For others it’s a faltering career, not enough money to pay the bills, or a family situation that happened years ago and now you’re left shouldering the responsibility. Some of us made poor decisions earlier in life, and as a result our plans fell apart. Now we’re struggling with marital problems, blended families, and the consequences of our choices. We all have to deal with some level of adversity. We each have something in our life that God doesn’t want to hear us griping about! Understand this: it’s hard to live with adversity but, when you complain, you forego the grace that’ll get you through it. By choosing to complain and cling to the image of a perfect life, you forfeit the grace that’s available to you and will bring you victory. So change your way of thinking. Get down on your knees and pray: ‘Lord, I want the landscape of my life to be different; to experience the joy You give to those who leave the wilderness of ingratitude and move into the Promised Land of thanksgiving.’ That’s a prayer that will change you!
STOP COMPLAINING (2)
Do all things without complaining… – Philippians 2:14 NKJV
A lady who worked at the post office was approached by a customer who said, ‘I can’t write. Would you mind addressing this postcard for me?’ After addressing it for him and writing a short message, the postal clerk asked, ‘Is there anything else I can do for you, sir?’ The man thought for a moment and said, ‘Yes, could you add a P.S. at the end saying, “Please excuse the sloppy handwriting.”’ Now, there’s gratitude for you! The Bible says, ‘Do all things without complaining’ because when you don’t, you end up hurting: (1)Yourself. Complaining leads to anger and depression. God loves you and He doesn’t want you hurting yourself. (2) God. Complaining calls into question God’s care, His character and His competence. In reality, what you’re saying is, ‘Lord, You blew it! You had a chance to fulfil my demands and You chose not to.’ (3) Others. Your words affect the people around you and nobody enjoys spending time with a member of ‘the cold–water bucket brigade’. Complaining temporarily satisfies our selfish nature, but it changes nothing. When you complain, you explain your pain for no gain. But here’s the good news: The Bible says, ‘…the people became like those who complain of adversity…’ (Numbers 11:1 NAS) You didn’t start out as a complainer; you ‘became’ that way, and by God’s grace you can become a thanksgiver! Once you acknowledge your habit of moaning and fault–finding, it becomes possible to choose a better one. A bad habit is like a nice soft bed; it’s easy to get into and hard to get out of. So if you’ve fallen into the habit of ‘complaining’—stop it!
TRANSFORM YOUR THINKING …
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind… – Romans 12:2, NASB
Your life will move in the direction of your most dominant thoughts. You can choose to think according the world’s system or according to God’s system. The world’s system says, “Look out for number one…do whatever you can to get ahead…make yourself happy.” But in God’s system, it’s just the opposite. You find happiness and blessing by serving and putting others first.
God doesn’t want us to have an attitude that is self-centered, jealous or greedy. He knows that those attitudes end in destruction. God wants us to live a blessed and prosperous life, and that’s why Scripture tells us to renew our minds or transform our thinking. We have to make sure our thoughts are the same as God’s thoughts. Just like a computer, whatever you allow into your mind is what will come out in your attitude and actions. The more you meditate on God’s Word, the more you will transform your thinking to be like God’s thinking. Choose today to focus on His Word and allow your mind to be renewed. Transform your thoughts and experience His blessing!