The Power of God’s Love

When a being as large as God moves into your life, you are going to notice some changes going on inside of you. This is one of the most convincing verifications that God is alive and well on planet earth! He makes a difference. No one who is truly Born Again will continue to willfully indulge in a carnal lifestyle. God’s Spirit now resides within us and we cannot continue to live in sin (1 John 3:9).

The Bible is full of typical illustrations of the changes, which God’s Spirit works into our life. The Apostle Paul is a great example of someone who persecuted Christ by tormenting and killing His Body. Christ turned this prideful, self-centered man into a paragon of virtue with the power of God’s Spirit to reach many for the cause of Christ (Philippians 1:13; Timothy 1:12-15).

Many are convinced that good people go to heaven and bad people go to hell. This is simply not true. Our eternal destination depends on where we currently place our trust (John 3:16-18). Do you trust in your own merits, or in the grace and mercy of God? God is in the life changing business. He opens our blind spiritual eyes. Our transformed life is a living testimony of the power of Christ to save.

God takes a human spirit, which is dead in Adam’s sin, and births new life in it through His life saving power (2 Corinthians 5:17). He totally transforms an angry, rebellious wounded soul into a serene and joyful one. The change in our life speaks volumes to everyone. We are no longer ashamed to proclaim to our world, the difference, which Christ made in our life.

The power of God brings a life-altering change to anyone willing to totally surrender to His love (Romans 1:16). The story of how God changed our life is a powerful tool for bringing others to the cross of Christ for their own salvation (Luke 8:39). A meek, empty person or a vile blasphemer can both witness the love of Christ in their life and melt under the conviction of God’s Holy Spirit.

Prayer:
Father God, we seek no other pleasure in this life than to bring delight to Your heart. We want no other success than to bring You glory. We cry out for nothing more than to see You more plainly, to know You more deeply and to love You more intimately through each successive day of our life. Your love for us transforms the carnality in our life until we love you with our whole heart (Luke 10:27; Psalm 119:10).

Thought for the Day:
Even while our life is rife with sin and degradation, God loved us enough to suffer the penalty of our sins and to set us free in His love.
– Romans 5:8

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Christ Dwells in Us

Jesus actually stands at the door of our heart and asks to come in and live in us (Revelations 3:20). Those who live in Christ are the most blessed people in the world. We live and move and have our entire being in Him. If you want to join our ranks, you simply seek the Lord and cling to Him. You will find Him, because He is not very far from any one of us (Acts 17:24-28).

If we love Him and keep His Words, He will love us and come to dwell in us. He walks in us and claims us as His own (2 Corinthians 6:16; Leviticus 26:12). Our body is God’s temple and His Spirit dwells in our spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16). He helps us to realize that we are children of God, and co-heirs with Christ (Colossians 1:27; Galatians 4:6; Romans 8:17). He fills us throughout our entire being with all of His fullness (Ephesians 3:16-19).

God is one God, and once we come to Him in full surrender, the entire Trinity dwells within us (John 14:16-17). The Trinity strengthens our Born Again spirit (Ephesians 3:14-19). God is our Father and He loves and cares for us. God even uses our suffering to reveal His glory in us (Romans 8:18). With Christ in us, we take on God’s divine nature (Romans 8:9-10; 1 Corinthians 6:17; Philippians 1:1; 3:9; 2 Peter 1:4).

God commanded the light to shine from the darkness; and His light shines in us to give us the knowledge of His glory, which shone from the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6). If we immerse our self in the scriptures, the Word of Christ will richly dwells in us and give us wisdom to teach and admonish one another (Colossians 3:16). As we love Him, He loves us and brings us to abide in Him forever (John 14:23).

We become the gospel of Christ to the world around us (John 6:47-51). God gives us both the desire and the ability to abide as Christ in the place in which He calls us to live and obey Him (Philippians 2:12-13; Ephesians 2:10). We serve Jesus, our Lord, with every fiber of our being (1 Corinthians 12:3), because God fills us with His Holy Spirit to accomplish His works with our life (Ephesians 5:18-19).

Prayer:
Father God, we bow down and worship You as part of Your family. Strengthen our spirit and soul, according to Your glorious riches. As Christ dwells in our heart by faith, fill us through our entire being with all of Your fullness. Ground us in Your love, so that all of Your Saints will experience the width, length, depth and height of Your love through us, and to come to know the love of Christ by Your Spirit (Ephesians 3:14-19).

Thought for the Day:
God has plans for us, which will give us hope and a future and will see us through all harm. – Jeremiah 29:11

To Apprehend Christ

Every person alive, no matter how good their behavior, deserves to go to hell. That may sound harsh, but it is our ultimate destination. Our load of sin is too heavy for us. We can never atone for it by ourself. That is why God became a man. The Word became flesh (John 1:14). He is our substitute, our sacrificial Lamb, who paid for the sin of the whole world.

Unfortunately, many people are too smart for their own good. They see no need for a substitute to die in our place. People cannot reconcile in their mind how Jesus can be God, and yet commune with the Father as a man all at the same time. Have you ever talked to yourself? Had a conversation with yourself, asked yourself a question or tried to give yourself some advice?

One man can be a son, a father and a grandfather – three persons in one man. Even so, the Trinity is made up of the Father, the Son and the Spirit, working together in three separate aspects of one Holy God. This holy God demands justice and restitution for sin. In the natural realm, we pay the penalty when we break the law. In the spiritual, Jesus wants to pay your penalty for breaking God’s law (James 2:10; Galatians 5:3).

If we die in unbelief, then we pay our own penalty in hell for eternity (John 3:16-18). Our body goes to the grave, but our soul – our thoughts , desires and feelings – goes to hell. However, if we surrender to Jesus, believing that he is the God in the flesh, then the angels will carry our soul to heaven with our Born Again Spirit.

Once Jesus returns to the earth, the soul of both Believers and unbelievers will unite with our own immortal body. Can you imagine eternal torment in a body that will never die? That is what happens to those who do not repent of their sin and trust Jesus for salvation. Those who do repent and surrender to Jesus will live with our immortal Trinity forever.

In the meantime, Jesus dwells in our Born Again spirit. If we are willing to walk after His Spirit instead of according to the depravity of our fleshly, carnal nature, He will not only atone for our sin, but also live His perfect life in and through us (Galatians 4:16,25). Jesus lived His own life for the glory and honor of His Father (John 4:34). Now, He lives His life through us for His glory, as we have faith in His faithfulness.

Prayer:
Father God, we are willing to perfectly trust in Jesus to not only pay the penalty of our sins, but also to live in and through us by Your Holy Spirit (Luke 22:42). We willingly lay down our self-life in order to live the life You prepared for us before we were even born (Ephesians 2:10). Thank You for loving us so much.

Thought for the Day:
Accept Christ in all of His fullness, and allow Him to live and move and have His being in you both now and forevermore. – Acts 17:28

A Yielded Life

The cross is an instrument of death, like the guillotine, a firing squad or a lethal injection. At Salvation, our old nature literally dies, and God births His life within us (Colossians 3:3). If we do not take up our cross every day, we are not worthy of Christ (Mathew 10:38). We are slackers and we are showing contempt for the sacrifice Jesus made for us (Luke 14:27).

God challenges us to live as His disciples, mirroring the life of Christ in our thoughts, words and actions. We have no desire left to participate in sinful activities or to entertain unholy thoughts. We cannot even be around people, vote for candidates, or watch TV or movies, which portray ungodliness. Jesus’ holiness is all that is left once His sanctifying work is complete (Galatians 2:20).

There is a paradox here. Christ lives in us (Colossians 3:4). If we surrender our life to Christ, we find it more fulfilling and successful than if we continue to attempt to live by our own direction (Matthew 10:39). God is love, but He is also righteous, just and holy. He has a standard of living, which He requires from all of us. Of course, He does not expect us to reach this standard by our self.

He is the one who actually does the work in us (Philippians 2:12-13). As we take up our cross, He crucifies our old, carnal nature until we walk in His holiness (Luke 9:23). We no longer sit on the throne of our life, but we yield to His Lordship and wisdom, as we follow the leading of His Holy Spirit. We no longer dictate to Him, but we submit to His will for our life (Ephesians 2:10).

The more our soul walks in the holiness of this completed work, the more peace and fulfillment we enjoy. We no longer struggle with sin, because it is no longer a part of our nature. We have no desire to partake in the base, carnal aspects of this world. We draw near to God, resist Satan and He must flee from us. We live and move and have our being in Jesus Christ, our Lord, Savior, Master and King (Acts 17:28).

Prayer:
Father God, we no longer abide in this temporal world, even though we remain in it physically. We focus on the eternal, immortal aspects of life in Christ and find our righteousness, peace and joy in You (John 16:33). We follow Christ as He followed You. We believe in, trust in and cling to Him for every thought, provision and emotion in our life (2 Corinthians 4:16-17). We confidently approach Your throne as we greet each new day, and we walk in Your Spirit as we focus on each moment of our day in You (Galatians 5:15-26).

Thought for the Day:
Every authentic Born Again Believer finds the secret to contentment in total surrender to the will of God for our life. – Philippians 4:12

Sin No Longer Tempts Us

Human beings are born with a body, a soul and a spirit. At birth, our spirit is dead in the sin of the first Adam (Colossians 2:13; Romans 5:12). It remains that way throughout our life until we come to Christ, the second Adam, for salvation (1 Corinthians 15:45). This keeps us from experiencing the second death in hell (Revelation 21:8), because our spirit is Born Again through the blood of Jesus (1 John 3:9).

God’s Holy Spirit within us conforms us into the image of Christ through sanctification (Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18). This is a process in which we can cooperate and participate in order to have our mind renewed more quickly (Romans 12:2). If we fight the work of God in our life through our carnal nature, then we suffer longer from the effects of our pride and rebellion.

The good news is that God works in our soul – our mind, will and emotions – on several levels. Jesus delivered us from a life of carnality and death (Romans 7:24-25). He gives us both the desire and the power to surrender fully to God’s will and way (Philippians 2:12-13). His truth sets us free indeed (John 8:32-36). What we find impossible, Christ in us makes possible (Matthew 19:26; Philippians 4:13).

Once the Spirit of God does His regenerating work in us (Romans 7:17), we can face the sin that tempts us, without the need to give in to it (1 Corinthians 10:13). Over time, our desires are renewed, and sinful pursuits no longer have any value for us. The Holy Spirit renews our mind and sets us free from the need to live in sin (Romans 8:13). We walk in victory over both sin and death through Christ in us (1 Corinthians 15:57).

If you are still living a lifestyle of sin, and making excuses for it, then your spirit is still dead in sin (1 John 3:9). You have not been truly Born Again, even if you go to church and work for God. You simply need to choose to turn away from sin and to totally surrender your entire life to God (1 John 1:9). Yield your body, mind, will and emotions to God rather than to sin (Romans 6:13).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for not leaving us as orphans on this earth (John 14:18). Your Holy Spirit within us leads us into all truth (John 14:26, 16:13); so that we will despise sin as much as You do, and we will not follow deceiving spirits and lies taught by demons (1 Timothy 4:1). We are no longer blinded by the deceitfulness of sin, but we walk in newness of life (Hebrews 3:13; Romans 6:4). You cause us to die to sin and to live, move and have our existence only in Christ (Romans 6:8; Acts 17:28).

Thought for the Day:
Due to the anointing of the Holy One within us, we walk in the truth and no longer fulfill the lusts of our flesh.
– 1 John 2:20; Galatians 5:16-25

Complete Trust

A man came to Jesus for healing; but knowing his human soul, he honestly admitted, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief” (Mark 9:23-25). Trusting in a Being, which we cannot see, is a bit overwhelming, especially as a new Christian. The secret lies in realizing that Christ lives IN us, and we function through His faith, His desire and His ability (Galatians 2:20). God has a special calling for each of us (Ephesians 2:10).

Therefore, we imitate Christ and do the works, which He did (1 Corinthians 11:1). Surrendered to God’s Spirit, we live in serenity even through life’s negative circumstances. Depending on Jesus for everything in our life, we trust Him to know what is best for us (Jeremiah 29:11). Our union with Christ eliminates the stress of life. Born Again Saints, who live in stress, are not living a surrendered life.

Like Christ, we receive our life from God. God reconciles us to Himself. Then, we surrender our life back to Him and walk in His resurrection power. God does not renew our life so that we can pursue our carnal dreams, but in order for us to live in His will (Ephesians 2:10). We are freed from the death of sin to surrender our life to God (2 Timothy 2:15). We have the life of Christ filling our entire being.

God perfects everything, which pertains to us (Psalm 138:8; Philippians 1:6). We can trust in His unchangable nature (Malichi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8). Like Jesus, we commune with our Father and we live in obedience to His Spirit’s guidance each moment of the day. We do this through the anointing of Christ IN us. As we enter into His rest, we abide in the perfect faith of Christ, completely trusing in God’s faithfulness (Hebrews 10:4: Galatians 2:20).

Prayer:
Father God, we have confidence in Your will for our life. We are not sufficient in ourselves to accomplish anything on our own. Our adequacy comes only from You. You make us competent ministers of Your gospel message, mercy, grace and truth. We do not minister by the letter of the law, because legalistic adherence kills; but Your Spirit gives us life (2 Corinthians 3:4-6).

Thought for the Day:
Trust in the Lord with every fiber of your being, and do not rely on your own plans. – Proverbs 3:5-6

His Exact Replica

After Salvation, we often focus our attention outwardly. We see God on His throne in Heaven, but we see our self as struggling alone in life and in need of His divine help. Some people say we are nothing but puppets, forced to serve as our Divine Manipulator dictates. However, we are more like a glove. Christ exactly fills us and we are perfectly molded to His character and nature (2 Peter 1:4).

Our union with Christ involves our spirit, soul and body. He unites them in vision and purpose with Christ. Through this union, God expresses His heart through us in sympathy for the hardships of others, in patience in tribulation, and in devotion in Bible study, prayer and fellowship with other Saints of God. Consequently, God fulfills through us His purpose for us in the earth (Ephesians 2:10).

In this manner, the union between the Creator and the created, the divine and the human, the eternal and the temporal is complete (Colossians 2:10). The Spirit directs us, and we move as His exact replica on the earth. Jesus also walks beside us, as well as living within us. He completely surrounds us, finishing His work of sanctification in our soul. We live, move and exist in Him (Acts 17:28).

Christ redeemed us from sin by the cross, and He works out His intentions in us and through us (Ephesians 2:10; Colossians 2:9-10). Jesus is our all in all (Colossians 1:17). He justifies our spirit; sanctifies, inspires and directs our soul; and will eventually glorify our body. Jesus is the expression of God’s glory and the exact image of God’s being (Hebrews 1:3). He speaks the oracles of God through our voice (1 Peter 4:11).

Also, Jesus heals a sick body through the laying on of our hands (Mark 1:41; 6:5; 5:3; 7:32, 33; 8:23, 25; 16:18; James 5:15). He sees a need and meets it through the resources He provides for us (1 John 3:17). He will even raise the dead, cleanse the leper and cast out demons in and through us (Matthew 10:8). As we walk in union with Christ, by the direction of His Spirit, we walk as shining stars, shedding His light in the dark, lost world around us (Colossians 1:27; Philippians 2:15).

Prayer:
Father God, Your will flows from a combination of Your divine love and wisdom. Harmony in our relationship with You increases as we live in union with Christ. This guarantees that more accord abides between our will and Yours. We soon find that our purpose is to do nothing more in life than to allow Christ to work through us. Fill us with the spiritual gifts and fruit of Your Spirit, and help us to lay down our plans and expectations, so You can use us for Your purposes each moment of our day.

Thought for the Day:
If we only focus on Christ on the cross, we may forget the fact that the risen Lord dwells within our spirit.