Category: <span>thoughts by Sylvia Gunter</span>

by Sylvia Gunter

You may be standing in a desperate situation in the battle of a lifetime. You may feel that you are in the darkest storm of your life. You may be the parent of an out-of-control child, and it seems that everything in your world is out of your control. Good news! It is! But God is still in control. El Roi, the God who sees, knows it all and has a plan that he is working out. God will change your prodigal inside out, not just clean up his act.

Once my heart cried with a friend for her wayward young prodigal. My friend said, “We were in a new place of desperation of soul that could only squeak ‘Jesus‘ or ‘God, help me‘ or ‘God, do something.’ These are incredibly powerful squeaks because of the desperation that throws itself entirely on God.” This is the cry from a parent’s desperate heart for God to do what only God can do.

God gave the vision of the valley of dry bones to his prophet Jeremiah because his heart weeps over the dry bones of his people, as Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem. The Spirit of God wants to breathe new life into vast areas of spiritual dryness, barrenness, and deadness. I identified with the need of that family and prayed for the barrenness in that young life through Ezekiel’s word picture in Ezekiel 37.

This passage can be intensely personal. Take strength and comfort from these prayers. Re-center yourself on God’s purposes and promises, and take up new prayer weapons to fight the real enemy, not the person. Ask for a weeping heart of mercy, not judgment, to carry the gift of discernment for repentance. Until you can put your tears and your life on the line for the person, marriage, family, church, city, or nation that needs God, you are not in the position of having the heart and mind of Jesus for them. Open your Bible to Ezekiel 37 and read the verses, crying out to God for your own “dry bones” situations in your family.

Ezekiel 37

37:1 Father, your hand is upon us in Spirit-led intercession for _______. Purify our hearts by your Spirit and deposit your burden of prayer in us, unmixed with unsanctified sympathies, anger, bitterness, or human judgments. We are trusting you to bring us through the valley of the shadow of death, as you promised. Lead us to pray as large, deep, and wide as your providence in this situation. Give us a heart of wisdom and mercy that rejoices against judgment for ________.

37:2 We trust that you have gone before and are working, even when we don’t see your purposes. Spirit of the Lord, lead us to rightly discern the real condition of _________, not just react to what we think or have been told. You see the dry bones of barrenness and desolation. You know the entrances that ______ has given the kingdom of evil.  _______ is oppressed, fragmented, miserable and unhappy, alienated from your blessing, morally compromised with sin and deception, rebelling against their parents and your Word, and in great danger. Their present condition is not hopeless to you. In darkness, you are light.

37:3 Spirit of counsel, you know everything. You don’t need us to inform you. You want from us restful, trusting communion and absolute surrender to your will, your ways, and your timing. We humbly acknowledge our total dependence on you for faith to stand, for knowledge and counsel, for comfort and security, for direction and outcome. Let us speak only your prayers. Let us not accept as final the circumstances of wickedness and iniquity that our eyes see. You alone know the end from the beginning, and you are the God of the impossible.

37:4 Say to deaf ears, “Hear the word of the Lord!” At your direction, let us discern and pray your purposes for ______ and the entire family. Speak your words to them and cause them to respond obediently to you. Enable us to pray your prayers for the dry bones of ______’s body and soul (heart, mind, will, and emotions). Holy Spirit, call forth your purposes and the future and hope that you have planned for _________.

37:5-6 Sovereign Lord, speak your creative and restoring miracle to the barrenness in ________’s life with the same resurrection power that brought Jesus to life from the dead. Breathe new life into them by your Spirit. Set everything in place in working order in their life, so that ________ will know that you are Lord, Sovereign Ruler, rightfully due their loyalty and obedient service.

37:7 By faith, we believe you, obey you, and pray as you command. Answer by your Spirit and open a way where there seems to be no way. You go before, for you are the God of break-through. Give us a sign of encouragement. Let us hear the “rattling bones” coming together as you make ______ who you intend them to be: healthy, whole, functioning, life-giving. By your blood, Lord Jesus, regenerate life in them and cause the marrow of their inner being to begin to sustain life.

37:8 Thank you for every sign of Your goodness we see, no matter how small. You are answering, and we ask You to do it thoroughly. Superficial answers, cleaning up their act, and looking functional are not enough! Stop short of nothing less than a new heart, a new spirit, a new life. Enable us to reach deeper into Your heart to pray Your promises until Your full purposes are accomplished in all the family.

37:9 Sovereign Lord, call forth from the north, the south, the east, and the west the breath of life for ________. You formed them in their mother’s womb, and as you breathed in them the first breath of their life, breathe into them the new life of the Spirit in all your favor and purpose. Restore them to wholeness. Speak to them, “Choose wisdom, choose righteousness, choose freedom, choose life!”

37:10-11 No situation is hopeless to you. Sovereign Lord, break off the shackles of captivity. Cause _______ to stand up in all the fullness of your redeeming power. Make _______ mighty in your Spirit. Deliver them as an effectual weapon in your hand. Set into them your spiritual gifts and calling among their generation of yet-to-be evangelists, preachers, disciplers, and world-changers that Satan is working overtime to annihilate. Let us see your glory in these things that were intended for evil.

37:12 You have the keys to open the prison doors of sin, bondage, and the pit of destruction. Bring this captive out into all their true inheritance in you. Restore them to the family and the family of God.

37:13-14 Father, act in such a way that ________’s transformation will be a testimony to your redemptive power. What you are doing, do quickly. In Jesus’ name, amen.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2010/06/26/sg_dry-bones-praying/
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Thoughts by All thoughts by Sylvia Gunter Thoughts by Women

By Sylvia Gunter

During the month in which we honor earthly fathers,
this is a reprise of a devotional on the Father Heart of God.
I never tire of talking about it nor receiving it.

We have a crisis of fathering in this country.

A hundred years ago Teddy Roosevelt said, “What we need in our public officials is not genius, not even brilliancy, so much as the exercise of the ordinary, rather commonplace qualities of honesty, courage, and common sense — the qualities that make a man a good husband, a good father, a good neighbor.” Our crisis in good fathering is ultimately more serious than any economic or political crisis. Very few people have been fathered in spirit and soul. We need to receive from Father God his re-parenting us as true sons and daughters. The good news is that God wants to be our Father. Jesus came to show us His Father and ours.

Receiving the perfect Father nature of God is essential if we are to love Him and be assured of His love, trust Him, be secure in Him, pray to Him, yield to Him, live holy before Him, receive His guidance, serve Him, be like Him, and much more. Spend time with your Father in His Word, His love letter to you. Receive His Father love for you.

He is our Father by right of the blood of Jesus (John 1:12).

Our basis of eternal security is being in the Father’s hand (John 10:28-29).

We pray to the Father in Jesus’ name (Matthew 6:9).

God’s Father love for us is our highest motivation to holiness (1 John 3:1-3).

His Fatherhood is the basis of understanding His guiding hand (John 5:20, 10:3-4, 27).

Every family derives its name from the Father, so God the Father is the model for headship in our families (Ephesians 3:14-15, Psalm 68:5-6).

Our Father wants us to yield to His gentle parental authority (Hosea 11:1, 3-4, Ephesians 6:4).

The basis of trusting Him is seeing Him as our totally able and faithful Father (Matthew 18:19-20, Hebrews 13:5, 2 Timothy 2:13).

When we know Him as Father, we will trust His parental generosity (Matthew 6:32-33, James 1:17, Psalm 37:3-5).

Knowing Him as Father is the basis of receiving His parental affection (John 17:23, Hosea 11:4, Jeremiah 31:3, Deuteronomy 33:12).

His Father-heart is the basis for His parental attentiveness (Matthew 6:25-26, 31; 1 Peter 5:7).

When we rightly knowing Him as Father, we are secure in his acceptance and rest securely in Him (Galatians 4:5-7, Romans 8:15-16, 32-33; Zephaniah 3:17).

His relationship to us as Father is the legal basis of receiving all our inheritance in Christ (Ephesians 1:13-14, Colossians 1:12, 1 Peter 1:3-4).

The Father is seeking worshipers. When we understand His Father heart, we will worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24).

Knowing our loving Father is the foundation for intimate relationship with Him.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 is a picture of the Father’s love. Personalize it, and receive it for yourself. My Father who loves me is patient with me, kind to me…. My Father’s love is not rude, nor self-seeking, not easily angered, and keeps no record of wrongs. My Father’s love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. My Father’s love always protects me, always trusts me, always hopes [believes the best about me], always perseveres and never gives up on me.

My Father’s love for me never fails.

Now that’s shouting ground!

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2010/06/18/sg_the-fathers-heart/
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Thoughts by All thoughts by Sylvia Gunter Thoughts by Women

by Sylvia Gunter

Beloved child of God, listen to your Father’s heart and his ways for you in Galatians 5:22-23,25.  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control… Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

Galatians 5:16 says “Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” Romans 8:5, affirms this. “Those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”

Ponder the immense self-control of Jesus. Isaiah 53:7 says, “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” When he was abused, whipped, and crucified, he uttered only forgiveness. He was taunted and insulted and did not retaliate, not one word of bitterness. When he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly (1 Peter 2:23).

Hear the Word of God in Hebrews 12:1-3. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Jesus is the model of biblical self-control. The daily cross you take up is your opportunity to let your silent Lamb live through you the joy set before him in all circumstances of opposition, criticism, and shame. Jesus was fully God and completely a man and he learned obedience by what he suffered. He is the source of your resistance to every temptation to surrender to sinful words and actions (Hebrews 5:8-9).

Your greatest weapon is the presence of the Spirit of God in you to do your Father’s will. Be blessed with victory that comes from having the nature of Christ in your heart and spirit. Be blessed with his correction and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16) which yields peace for those who are conformed to it (Hebrews 12:11). Be blessed to apply the same determination of an athlete for physical exercise to spiritual disciplines for training in godliness (1Timothy 4:8; 2 Timothy 2:5). Be blessed with being in control of your flesh and your mind and being free of the control of the appetites of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Be blessed with a disposition that is even-tempered and does not react to self-indulgence, senselessness, and selfishness.

Be blessed with Proverbs 16:32. “Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.” Be blessed to rise to be all God created you to be in him.

Be blessed with the fruit of the Spirits’ control that he produces in you –  because he lives in you (Galatians 5:23).

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2010/04/22/sg_self-control/

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Thoughts by All thoughts by Sylvia Gunter Thoughts by Women

By Sylvia Gunter

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance. Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord.”  Psalm 33:12, 144:15.

When we sing “God Bless America,” we are singing a blessing on this country. Can we ask God to bless this nation in its present state of heart and soul? Can we ask God to bless us while we murder unborn babies, make merchandise of alcohol, drugs, and pornography, idolize over-paid sports heroes, and totter dangerously close to the edge of violence and anarchy?

We can pray for us to be a nation that is blessable by God. Pray that God will do what only He can do: change the hearts of kings (decision-makers in all areas of our economy and government) to follow after Him and His word. Let’s pray this especially for the four who are running for the office of president and vice-president, because two of the four will surely be our leaders for at least four years, regardless of whether you vote red or blue. Let’s pray this for all those in authority: Cabinet members, Senators and Congressmen, Wall Street, bank Presidents, oil company presidents, local officials, and candidates for office. We need a revolution of blessedness in those in authority.
Pray these “blessed” descriptions of godly leaders.

Lord, give us men and women who…

  • Do not walk in counsel of ungodly. Psalm 1:1-2
  • Delight in the law of God and meditate on it. Psalm 112:1
  • Take refuge in the Lord. Psalm 34:8
  • Know that their transgressions are forgiven, sins are covered and not counted against them, and in whom there is no deceit. Psalm 32:1-2
  • are generous and lend freely. Psalm 37:26
  • Trust in the Lord. Psalm 40:4
  • Do not look to the proud, nor turn aside to false gods. Psalm 40:4
  • Have regard for the weak. Psalm 41:1
  • Come near to Him for praise and worship. Psalm 65:4
  • Walk in the presence of God. Psalm 84:4
  • Know that God is the source of their strength. Psalm 84:5,7
  • Who are going on with God. Psalm 84:5
  • Acclaim God, publicly praise Him. Psalm 89:15, 84:14
  • Receive the discipline of the Lord and learn from it. Psalm 94:12
  • Maintain justice and do what is right. Psalm 106:3
  • Recognize that their provision comes from God. Psalm 107:38
  • Fear the Lord. Psalm 112:1
  • Are the generation of the upright. Psalm 112:2
  • Come in the name of the Lord. Psalm 118:26
  • Whose ways are blameless. Psalm 119:1
  • Walk in God’s way. Psalm 119:1, Psalm 128:1
  • Keep His laws. Psalm 119:2
  • Seek Him with all their heart. Psalm 119:2
  • Treat children as blessed. Psalm 127:3,5
  • Whose help and hope is the God of Jacob. Psalm 146:5.

For the next week, bless the spirits of men and women of influence in the political and economic arena to fit the profile of those who are blessed of the Lord.

Question: Are you applying these Biblical principles to the leadership of government in your country?

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2010/04/06/sg_blessed-is-the-nation/
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Thoughts by All thoughts by Sylvia Gunter Thoughts by Women

by Sylvia Gunter

Beloved child of God, listen to your Father’s heart and his ways for you in Galatians 5:22-23,25.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

Listen with your spirit to Romans 5:5God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” Be blessed to know how dearly God loves you, because he has given you his Spirit to fill your heart with his love. You were created of your Father’s love. You are the evidence of God’s love deposited in you in lavish measure in making you just the way you are. Know deep within that your Father who is love speaks his love to you. He enjoys you and finds pleasure in who you are. You are not an “it.” You are you, the real you in your essence, your inner being, your spirit.

Deep inside, be blessed with larger-than-the-universe love, the faithful love of your infinite Father for you. Be blessed to know that you are shielded in his love that always seeks your highest good, no matter what you do. Be blessed with God’s kind of self-giving love that gives freely without asking anything in return. Be blessed with knowing deeply that you are accepted and affirmed in him. His love for you was forever settled on the cross. Be blessed with being completely persuaded that nothing can separate you from his love. He loves you with a mighty love that has no end. Marvel at the goodness of his holy love without measure. His love extends its covering over a multitude of sins. He perfectly loves you, and you need have no fear before him.

Be blessed to love others as the fruit of God’s love living in you. You love others because he first loved you and lives in you to love through you. Be blessed with the love of Christ that compels you. Be blessed with 1 Corinthians 13 unfailing love filling you through and through. Be blessed as you let that love flow through you to your family and everyone around you.

Be blessed to love by character and by choice, not by emotion. Love must give, whatever the cost. Be blessed with increasing and overflowing love for others (1 Thessalonians 3:12). God who is love lives in you to will and to do it.

Be blessed to display the fruit of the love of God that the Holy Spirit produces in you, your grace-inspired response from his love (Galatians 5:22).

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2010/03/01/sg_fruit/
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Thoughts by All thoughts by Sylvia Gunter Thoughts by Women

by Sylvia Gunter

“Sit still, my daughter.” Ruth 3:18 (NKJV)

My personal paraphrase of Ruth 3:18 is precious to me. God spoke to me and said, “Sit still, My daughter, the apple of My eye, waiting as long as it takes, until you learn (know, perceive, understand, discern, and distinguish as truth) how the matter, thing, question, or cause will turn out, because surely the Man Christ Jesus, your Kinsman-Redeemer, will not by any means be idle, or silent, or have any peace until He finishes His purposes, working until the job is done, in His eternal now.

Why is being still such an un-American activity? Ten years ago, our daughter Elizabeth was asking the same question. Read her story about learning to be still.

Come with me to a beautiful Saturday morning in October. It’s the third weekend of the month, and I am at a retreat center in the north Georgia mountains with twenty students to learn about student leadership. The weather is crisp, the sky is pure blue, and the sun is beaming. The day before I had spotted two swings overlooking a lake with the mountains in full fall colors as the backdrop. My soul and spirit, hungry for time alone with God, knew there was the perfect place for time with him. The announcement was made, “Go outside and spend 45 minutes alone with God.” As the assignment was being given, I got into my racer’s blocks waiting for the start gun. Why? Because I had to be the first one to the swing by the lake so I could have a meaningful time with God, of course. As the group split, I overheard several girls say, “Hey, let’s go to the lake where the swings are.” Immediate sirens went off and a red flag raised… they can’t go to the swing… that’s where I’m supposed to be! All of a sudden, the mission was clear: get to the swings first! The closer I came to the lake, the more focused I became. My pace was intense, my joy fleeting, and winning was all that was important.

As I approached the lake, I was almost in a full gallop. The swing was on the opposite side of the lake from me. The girls made a foolish error by going to the left. Ha ha! So I quickly dashed off to the right to make it around the lake first. If we only had a instant replay, you would see me as I ran around the lake. I rushed right past a small white chapel. I flew past a wooden cross on the shore.  I jumped onto the swing feeling good about my victory, but too wound up from the competition to be still and know that He is God.

As I sat there trying to catch my breath, it hit me. “This is what your life is like. You’re wrapped up in getting things accomplished, even good things, and you’re relying on your flesh and power most of the time for insignificant victories, all the while missing what’s important.”

Then I looked back around the lake and saw that in trying to be in control, I had missed things God had wanted me to stop and see along the way… the white chapel (faith), the cross (everlasting hope), and the gift of still time with the Savior sitting on a swing (love). It didn’t take a seminary degree to catch God’s reference. The words of 1 Corinthians 13 came ringing at me, “But the greatest of these is faith, hope, and love.”

John Piper says that as he approaches the Word of God, he prays for the gift of reading slowly, to truly hear God in His Word. That is my own desire, but I would take it a step further and pray that God would give me the gift to live life slowly. I want to hear God not just in sections of my day marked “Time alone with God,” but when He decides to speak in unexpected times and unique ways, I want my soul and spirit not to be racing around the lake but instead be in a place of continual stillness on the swing, so that I might drink deeply of what He has prepared to show me.

It sounds pretty on paper. And it is the longing of my spirit, and yet it is a daily, more like hourly, battle to embrace quiet. Since my theology lesson on the swing that day, I have been experimenting with stillness, solitude, and silence. I am realizing how addicted I am to activity and noise. I understand why David had to command his soul to be still and know that He is God. Being quiet is difficult and almost impossible for some of you. But I have discovered that my soul and spirit have been starving for stillness for a long time. And now that I have given my soul a taste of stillness again, it will not be satisfied unless it is a regular part of my day. Will you take 15 minutes to just sit and be quiet? (Driving a car with your cell phone turned off doesn’t count.) I mean so quiet and still that you can hear the clock tick. And just sit, look, listen, and remember what it’s like to be still.

Will you take the challenge to “Be still and know that I am God?” Will you take some time to sit and quiet your soul before the Lord? Ask God how He wants to meet you in His presence. Meditate on these “be still” verses.

Be still and see the salvation of the Lord. Exodus 14:13-14

Be still by the side of the Lord. Exodus 33:21

Be still so you won’t miss the great things God is doing. 1 Samuel 12:16, Job 37:14

Stand still and see the deliverance of the Lord. 2 Chronicles 20:17

Be still. It’s the antidote to fretting. Psalm 37:7

Be still and know He is God. Psalm 46:10

Be still before the Lord. Zechariah 2:13a

Let Jesus rebuke your storms, “Peace, be still.” Mark 4:39

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2010/01/19/sg_be-still/

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Thoughts by All thoughts by Sylvia Gunter Thoughts by Women

by Sylvia Gunter

Do you feel that God promised you something, and it has been too long in coming?  Maybe you are feeling desperate and even despairing.  Hope deferred makes the heart sick when it is set on our expectations in our time frame.  You’ve asked “Why, Lord?  Where is it?  What’s going on?  Why are You silent?  When will You fulfill Your promises?”  You have examined your heart to see if there is sin in your life.  It seems that God is far away, and the heavens are brass.  You’ve bargained and pleaded, maybe even pouted a little.

David knew that taking up his harp in the midst of pain connected him with God in a special deep way.  In Psalm 42 and 43, ten times he asked “Why?”  Two times he asked “Where?” and once he asked “When?”  He described abandonment, oppression, betrayal, and accusation at the hands of wicked and deceitful men.  In the course of two short psalms, he recorded a range of intense conflicting emotions: thirst and satisfaction, fear and courage, doubt and faith, dejection and hope, despair and assurance of blessing, disturbance and peace, impatience and resolve, pouting and praise, tears and singing, accusation and vindication, rejection and confidence, weakness and strength, darkness and light, oppression and deliverance, mourning and joy.

Amid all that, David heard God’s songs in the night and sang tephillahs, prayer hymns or prayers set to music.  Four times in 16 verses, he broke into praise and thanksgiving.  “I will praise You with the harp, O God, my God.  I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.“  The word yet means continuance, again, repeatedly, still, more, all life long.  David was saying that regardless of his circumstances, he was devoted to praising the Lord.  In another place, he said that his heart was fixed and steadfast, making music and praising God for His great love, which never changes.

As we come into His presence with sacrifices of worship, we come before Him in spirit and in truth.  In the presence of the King of glory, we enjoy His matchless power and care, and He brings to mind others that He wants us to present before Him.  The real heart of intercessory worship is seeking His Face, then seeking His heart, not His hand.

Intercessory worship employs the name of God to attract the presence and power of God into a time and place for particular people.  I have seen God do amazing things in response to praise and worship obedience, where I simply exalted Him as God by faith and let Him be God.  Intercessory worship is faith in action.  We don’t see the answer, but we know the character of the One who is faithful.  Intercessory worship is as simple as singing “He is Lord,” which declares the authority of the rule of Jesus in all things.

Intercessory worship praises God even when the situation doesn’t change immediately, because He places His presence in our hearts in His promises, His vision, and His purposes.  And we will yet praise Him for His answer that He will bring forth in His appointed time.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2010/01/03/sg_intercessory/

Thoughts by All thoughts by Sylvia Gunter Thoughts by Women

by Sylvia Gunter
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dsc_0105Did you know the Bible says that you are a priest? The basic functions of priests were to represent God to man to man before God. One of the duties was to bless the people. Our culture doesn’t understand blessing as it was practiced in the Bible. The Bible was written in and to a culture that was steeped in blessing – the blessing of shalom, blessing the child with his name, the patriarchal blessing to the sons, the blessing of God for his people, the blessing of Jesus, of the disciples, of the early church, of Peter, Paul, and James.

In the New Testament the priestly functions are transferred to all believers, and we are a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). We have authority and privileges as priests. Through Jesus we have the right to come into the holiest place in worship. We are called to offer spiritual sacrifices of praise and prayer (1 Peter 2:5), abiding in his presence, drawing near to him and dwelling in him, and he in us.
   
In the Bible, blessing flows three ways: from God to people, from people to God, and from person to person. Because Jesus is in us, we can pass on to his people the blessings of his heart for acceptance, identity, meaning, affirmation, legitimization, and God’s good purposes.

Here’s a blessing for your spirit in your identity as priest.

Isaiah 61:6 promises, “You will be called priests of the LORD and ministers of your God.” And,  Revelation 1:6. “[Jesus] has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father. To him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.”

When Jesus died on the cross, the veil of the holy of holies was torn from top to bottom. Now the awesome privilege of access to the inner court belongs to all believers. You may boldly come into the holy of holies to praise, worship, adore, and glorify your Father. Be blessed with knowing your free access to him. Receive the words of 1 Peter 2:5 and 9. You are a priest and minister to God. That is your duty and your privilege as a member of the royal priesthood. Be blessed in drawing near to him, abiding in his presence, and dwelling in him, and he in you, as you offer spiritual sacrifices of praise and prayer.

Be blessed as you minister to God in the secret place where he releases his heart to you. Be blessed as you seek him intimately and experience all of who he is. Be blessed to worship and adore him, being joyfully, willingly submitted to the One you love. Be blessed to meet him in complete surrender of all you are. Be blessed to draw near as the Spirit of the Lord abides in you, indwells you, rests on you, and anoints you.
 
Be blessed as you represent God to others by releasing his heart of blessing to your world. By standing in the gap in prayer, faith, intercessory living, and blessing, you open the door for restoration for yourself and your family. You are an instrument of renewal and rebuilding of generations of desolation and ruin. As God moves upon you, you can bless and minister to others, so that God can convict, woo, love, and reconcile them. He will make all things new and glorify himself as he ministers through you, and the glory of the throne room puts its stamp on all you are and do in his name.

You are blessed to be a blessing. Be blessed to speak deeply personal words of acceptance, identity, meaning, affirmation, and legitimacy. Be blessed to envision God’s special future for others as they come into the fullness of all he made them to be. Be blessed to let God’s presence and blessing flow through you to his glory and praise. Be blessed as you sow to the Spirit, and you will reap the things of the Spirit, for the one who sows to the Spirit reaps life. Be blessed in the Spirit of life (Romans 8:2).
Be blessed in the name of Jesus, your High Priest (Hebrews 3:1; 9:11).

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2009/05/03/sg_priest/

Thoughts by All thoughts by Sylvia Gunter Thoughts by Women

From: Sylvia Gunter
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Daily DevotionalThese days all of us are acutely aware of the job market, the stock market, or the status of last year’s earnings from filing our income taxes. It is that inevitable time of year. Our son Charley talked with God one day about his “balance sheet.” Can’t we all identify with this true accounting of the state of our hearts?
 
Heavenly Father, I have a large surplus and a great shortage.  I have a surplus of selfishness and wanting my own way, right away.  I have a great shortage of obedience and, by extension, love for You.  You said, “If you love Me, do the things I command you.”  I haven’t been loving You like I should.  It shows to me, if to no one else.
 
 Bankrupt me of my surplus.  Remove from me the selfishness and disobedience that I choose.  Replace it with a deep and growing love for You and teach me to know You.  Help me keep my mind set on things above, not on earthly things. 
 
God, I feel small and needy.  I need You infinitely more than You need me.  Yet You chose me before I knew You.  Amazing!  Hold on to me.  Keep me in Your love, in Your will, and in Your way.  Help me to live for You today.  I can’t change what was, and I can’t control what will be.  Help me to value the time that You give me, moment by moment, so that I will spend it doing things of eternal value, not storing up treasures on earth, not entertaining myself, not indulging my selfishness, not passing the time to pass the time.  Put me to work doing Your work, whatever You would have me do.  I’m willing and available, even if not qualified or able. 
 
You are my strength, my rock, my fortress, my refuge, and my shield.  Of whom then shall I be afraid?  You love me with a perfect love, more than I could ever earn or deserve.  Thank You, Father.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Written by:  Charley Gunter

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2009/04/19/sg_surplus-deficit/

Thoughts by All thoughts by Sylvia Gunter Thoughts by Women

by Sylvia Gunter
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Listen to the blessing of the Lord in Timothy 4:22. “The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.” “But Moses and Aaron fell facedown and cried out, ‘O God, God of the spirits of all mankind…‘ ” (Numbers 16:22).

I bless you in the name of the God of the spirits of all mankind. The Lord who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundation of the earth is forms the spirit of man. He stirs up your spirit and moves your spirit. In his providence he watches over your spirit, so commit your spirit to your Father and creator (Psalms 35:15). I bless you with the knowledge that God gave you life and shows you his unfailing love, and he preserves your life and times by his care (Job 10:12).

Beloved child, listen with your spirit to 1 Corinthians 15:45. “The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.”
1 Corinthians 6:17 states, “But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.” Our Lord Jesus prayed for you, that you may be one, just as the Father was in him and he is in you. Be blessed, for the Lord Jesus has given you the glory that Father God gave him, so that you may be one as they are one (John 17:20-23). I bless you with uniting yourself with the Lord Jesus, with being one with him in spirit and being life-giving to all you meet. I bless you with spiritual fervor, that you may speak and the things of God and be diligent and enthusiastic in serving him, being one with him and devoted to him in spirit, soul, and body (Acts 18:25, Romans 12:11,
1 Corinthians 7:34
).

The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joint and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” I bless you with being able to distinguish your spirit from your soul, differentiating between the thoughts of your spirit and the attitudes of your soul. I bless you with responding to situations and circumstances from the depths of your spirit, not from your soul. I bless you with being humble, contrite, and repentant, so that you will be revived and renewed in heart and spirit by the Holy One, who inhabits eternity (Isaiah 57:15). When you are overwhelmed and your spirit grows faint, I bless you with assurance that he knows the way you should go (Psalms 142:3). I bless you with the confidence that when you call for help, and the Father of your spirit hears you, because he is close to the brokenhearted and rescues those who are crushed in spirit (Psalms 34:18).

 I bless your spirit with being refreshed by others who are faithful to you, and I bless you with often refreshing others in their spirits (1 Corinthians 16:18, 2 Corinthians 7:13). I bless you with the spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline given by God, not of timidity or fear (2 Timothy 1:7).

I bless you with glorifying God in your body and your spirit, which are God’s, because you are bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20 NKJV). I bless you with praying and singing and praising God with your spirit
(1 Corinthians 14:14-16). I bless you with exalting the Lord and rejoicing in God your Savior with your spirit, as you celebrate his choosing you and recall all the great things he has done for you (Luke 1:46-49). I bless you with worshiping the Father in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24). I bless you in the name of the God of the spirits of all mankind.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2009/02/19/sg_god-of-the-spirits/

Thoughts by All thoughts by Sylvia Gunter Thoughts by Women

By Sylvia Gunter
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Listen to the blessing of the Lord. Philemon 25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.” “How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!” (Hebrews 12:9).
   
Listen to Zechariah 12:1. “The Lord, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundations of the earth, and who forms the spirit of man within him…” Ezekiel 36:26 says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you.”

I bless you with the understanding that your Creator, your heavenly Father, created and formed your spirit. I bless you with realizing that the very essence of who you are was placed deep within your spirit. There you carry the DNA of your heavenly Father. I bless you with a lifetime and lifestyle of discovering the character and nature of your Father and Christ in you the hope of glory. In discovering who God is, you uncover and awaken your spirit to who you are in him. I bless you with the good gift of God of an undivided heart, right desires, and a new spirit. I bless you with singleness and tenderness of heart to obey God as one who is truly his (Ezekiel 11:19, 18:31, 36:26).

 Beloved child, I bless you with distinguishing yourself from those of this world because of the excellent spirit, knowledge, and understanding your Father has placed within you (Daniel 5:12, 6:3). It is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives you understanding (Job 32:8). I bless you with wholeheartedness and loyalty to your Father in your spirit that is different than others, so that all his good promises of blessings can be yours and you will have a full, rich spiritual inheritance (Numbers 14:24). I bless you with renewal of your spirit in the Lord (Ephesians 4:23). I bless you with being an example to the others in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity (1 Timothy 4:12 NKJV).

Be blessed with realizing your need for God, for he promises that the kingdom of heaven will be given to you (Mathew 5:3). I bless you with being steadfast and fixed upon God (Psalms 51:10). I bless you with the presence of the Holy Spirit who restores to you the joy of your salvation and makes you willing to live consistently in obedience to him and in harmony with him (Psalms 51:12). I bless you with commitment to guard your spirit to keep godly covenants with family members (Malachi 2:15-16).

 Be blessed with a spirit in whom there is no deceit (Psalms 32:2). I bless you with a spirit that is totally committed to the God of truth (Psalms 31:5.) Be blessed with the inner unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight (1 Peter. 3:4). I bless you with becoming strong in spirit, filled with wisdom and the grace of God (Luke 2:40 NKJV). You are blessed in the name of the Father of your spirit (Hebrews 12:9).

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2009/01/02/sg_father-of-our-spirits/

Thoughts by All thoughts by Sylvia Gunter Thoughts by Women

By Sylvia Gunter
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All leaders are under the scrutiny of the media as never before. They have always been under the holy scrutiny of our holy God. The challenges in the days ahead will require God-molded and God-directed leadership. Pray all whom God chooses and enables to lead this nation. Pray that all leaders, both spiritual and secular, will be growing in these Biblical leadership qualities. The need is so evident.

Pray for all in authority in governmental, church, and economic positions to be men and women of…

Righteousness and blamelessness like Noah. Genesis 6:9
Faith like Abraham. Romans 4:18-21
Wisdom like Joseph. Genesis 41:33
Meekness like Moses. Numbers 12:3, 7b-8
The fear of the Lord and trustworthiness like the leaders Moses chose.
Exodus 18:21
Being sent by God like Miriam. Micah 6:4
Courage like Joshua. Deuteronomy 31:6
Wholeheartedness in following God like Caleb. Joshua 14:8-9, 14
A heart of intercession for the people like Samuel. 1 Samuel 12:23
Perseverance like Job. James 5:11
God’s validation like David. Isaiah 55:4
Capability like Ezra’s leaders. Ezra 7:28b, 8:16-18
Prayer life like Nehemiah by which the hand of God was on his leadership.
Nehemiah 1:4-11, 4:4,9; 6:9, 14; 9:6-38; 13:14, 22, 29, 31
Integrity like Daniel. Daniel1:8
Servant heart like Mary. Luke 1:38
Submission under God’s authority like the centurion. Matthew 8:9
Insight, not like the blind guides. Matthew 23:16, 15:14
Honesty like Nathanael. John 1:47
Evidence of having been with Jesus like Peter and John. Acts 4:13
Being filled with faith and the Spirit, with God’s grace and power like Stephen.
Acts 6:5, 8, 10
Certainty of God’s choosing and commissioning like Paul.
Acts 9:15-16, 26:16-20
Genuine interest in the welfare of others like Timothy. Philippians 2:20

Bless your leaders, asking God to shape them into a Christ-like leader…

with a shepherd’s heart like our Shepherd. Jeremiah 3:15, 23:1, 4;
Hebrews 13:20-21

with total submission to our Father. Mark 14:22
with a pure heart. Matthew 5:8
with total grace and truth. John 1:14, 16
with complete obedience. Philippians 2:5-8
with willingness to suffer. Hebrews 5:8
with compassion. Matthew 9:36
 
Jesus perfectly exemplified all of these leadership qualities and more. Study the perfect leadership of Jesus, on whose shoulders is the government of all God’s kingdom.

https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2008/10/31/sg_biblical-leadership/


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Thoughts by All thoughts by Sylvia Gunter Thoughts by Women