Our Real Life

After salvation, Christ’s life in us is now our real life (Ephesians 1:23). Our fleshly leanings and desires are part of the old, carnal self, which is now dead in Christ (Galatians 2:20).

 

The sum total of our converted life is: Christ in me, and I in Christ (Colossians 2:9-10). He is all we need. His fullness dwells within us now. We are no longer our own, because Christ bought us with a price (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

 

Our life is so perfectly connected to Christ that people see Him instead of us, and they are drawn to His glory and love through us (Matthew 5:16).

 

Our whole spirit, body and soul – our mind, will and emotions – are kept holy and blameless by His Spirit until Christ returns (1 Thessalonians 5:23). He leads us in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake (Psalm 23:3).

 

We are competent as ministers of the Gospel of Christ only because of God’s spiritual covenant with mankind (2 Corinthians 3:6). Let us never pass up an opportunity to share with others the change that God brought into our life.

 

I once read this sentence, which greatly impacted my life: “Preach the Gospel at all times; if necessary, use words.”

 

We exemplify the Gospel in our words, thoughts and behavior. People see a difference in us, because Jesus abides within us. We are testimonies to others of the love of Christ in us and through us.

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to live as testimonies to Your Word, which dwells within us by Your Holy Spirit. We want people to see Jesus when they look at us, we want our behavior and words to mirror Your life in us in such a way that people will glorify You when they interact with us (Matthew 5:16).

 

Make us a city set on hill, and a light that shines in this dark and discouraging world. Allow us opportunities to share with others what You do for us each day. Help them to see that You make a difference in our life and that living in the center of Your will is the happiest place on earth.

 

Thought for the Day:

The evidence that we have passed from the death of self-centered sin into eternal life is the love of Christ manifesting through us toward our Christian brothers and sisters, as well as to the world around us. – 1 John 3:14

 

 

Our Tribute to Christ

God promises to rescue His children from temptations, which are greater than we can bear. His grace gives us a way of escape from them (1 Corinthians 10:13). We simply need to look for His help in our time of need.

 

If we live by the Spirit, we will never fulfill the lusts of our flesh (Galatians 5:16). We are crucified with Christ. We are dead, and He is living within us (Galatians 2:20).

 

Living a life of holiness is our tribute to Christ for the sacrifice He paid by becoming a man and dying in our place on the cross. We give Him the honor due His name by following in His footsteps of sinless perfection (2 Corinthians 7:1).

 

Therefore, we trust in Christ’s grace to give us the wisdom and the strength to stand strong and to overcome the desire for depravity, so that we shall come forth as pure gold (Job 23:10; Philippians 2:12-13).

 

We persevere in holy living until we come to the place of complete maturity in Christ (James 1:4). By God’s abounding grace it is possible to live one minute without sinning. If one minute, then we can go five minutes.

 

If five minutes, then we can live one hour without depraved behavior. If one hour, then we can live one whole day for the glory of God. If one day, then one lifetime can be lived in the perfection of Jesus Christ, who lives His life in and through us, if we dare to get out of His way.

 

Living in perfection is only possible, however, if we choose to live by the Spirit every moment of the day. Enoch walked with God and God took Him (Genesis 5:24; Hebrews 11:5). I want to follow Enoch’s example.

 

Prayer:

Father God, let there be peace in the world, and let it begin with Your Saints. Remind us that we are free from the law of sin and death by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1-2). We no longer live a lifestyle of sin, although we do fail to hit the mark of Your perfection once in a while.

 

As long as we humble our self, admit our failings and desire to live Godly in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:12), we remain in Your Spirit and follow His guidance to live in Your will each moment of our day. Thank You for empowering us by Your Spirit to live as Your ambassadors while we remain on this earth.

 

Thought for the Day:

Trials and temptations are opportunities to honor Christ with our life, and to prove that we can live by our convictions; we cannot take our faithfulness for granted, however, because our adversary the devil is a roaring lion, roaming the earth and looking for people to devour.

– 1 Peter 1:7, 5:8; Romans 5:1-5

 

 

 

Our Turning Point

Our spirit was once dead in sin, lost and incomplete (Ephesians 2:1, 5). We rejected the truth of God’s Word, because it sounded like nonsense to us. We had no way to understand these truths, because they were spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14).

 

After Salvation, our spirit is alive and our carnal humanity is dead and hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). We set our hope on the living Lord within us, because the Spirit of life gives us His righteous (John 14:6; Romans 8:10).

 

Our Salvation unites us with Christ in an eternal union that will never end. It opens up for us a whole new world. Neither death nor judgment will break this everlasting tie.

 

Now, it is up to us to surrender our life totally to God’s will, so that Christ is revealed through us to the world in which we live. This is our turning point. Then, we reap the victorious, joyful, righteous life of Christ in us rather than our former place of our lowly sinful nature.

 

The authentic Born Again Believer lives in Christ, who is our life (Philippians 1:21; Colossians 3:4). The Holy Spirit conforms our soul’s nature to possess all of Christ’s character.

 

God perfects us in Christ (Colossians 2:9-10). Our world sees the reality of Christ through our life as He dwells in our spirit and is formed in our soul through sanctification (John 17:23, 26; Colossians 1:27; Galatians 4:19).

 

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, we were once lost in sin and degradation, squandering our natural resources and bound up with making a living and finding fleeting, temporal success. Then, You came and transformed us from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Your glorious life.

 

You came to bring us abundant life both now and in eternity. We find peace, joy and fulfillment that do not depend on this physical world. We look forward to eternity with You in Heaven. We have perpetual, everlasting life in Your Son (1 John 5:11-12; Romans 6:23).

 

Thought for the Day:

Jesus lives, moves and has His being in and through us (1 John 5:5); and we live, move and have our existence in Him (Acts 17:28); we are renewed and holy; but more than that, God actually lives through Christ in us.

 

 

 

The Side-effects of Anger

When we feel like fighting back, God recommends that we are quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger (James 1:19). Anger is actually a God-given emotion to protect us from injury, not to inflict injury.

 

People will behave toward us in the way in which we teach them to treat us. If we allow others to abuse us either verbally or mentally or physically, we are inviting more of that same behavior in the future.

 

God allows us to feel the anger as a “red” flag, so that we know that something is wrong. Then, He cautions us to be slow to express it, and to guard against crossing over into sinful behavior with this possibly volatile emotion (Ephesians 4:26).

 

Anger allows other people to understand that what they just did or said is not acceptable to us; however, we can inflict great trauma on unsuspecting victims if we use uncontrolled anger to protect our self.

 

Over the last two decades, I developed a habit of journaling my feelings first; and then using premeditated wording to express my feelings, rather than to use hasty words to verbally attack the offending party.

 

My husband and I even use a notebook to write out our feelings to one another – positive and negative feelings. This way we do not speak off the top of our head and potentially hurt one another more deeply.

 

I am also learning to stand up for myself without hiding behind fierce anger and coarse words (Ephesians 5:4). Now I can use my words to say,

“I feel afraid when you ..”

“I feel like you spend more time with … than with me, and I need more of your attention.”

“Thank you for your opinion, but I do not agree with you.”

“I will not allow you to do that (or say that) to/about me anymore.”

“I think that you misunderstood the meaning behind my words/actions. Let me further explain to you how I feel (or why I took that action).”

 

God is teaching me to pay attention to my angry emotions in order to discover what is causing them, but not to express them verbally or physically so that I do not cause injury to someone else.

 

Prayer:

Father God, in the face of confrontation, remind us that we can still make it known in no uncertain terms that a person’s offensive behavior is no longer acceptable to us. Teach us to respond with a confident, businesslike and resolute attitude, rather than to attack the person with anger.

 

Thank You for teaching me, that even in the face of a verbal onslaught, we can state our feelings more clearly with firm, calm words than we can with angry, irrational ones. Help us to see things from the other person’s viewpoint too, and not to allow misunderstandings to drive a wedge between us.

 

Thought for the Day:

For our benefit, God encourages us to get rid of bitterness, rage, anger, slander, malice and our quarrelsome behavior; instead, He wants us to be kind, compassionate and forgiving, just as He forgives us. – Ephesians 4:21-32

 

 

Redemption in the Blood of Jesus

Once we surrender our pride and rebellion to God, and trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, we are accepted as His beloved Saints (Ephesians 4:12). We are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), united in Spirit as one Body with Christ (1 Corinthians 6:17, 12:27).

 

God’s Spirit replaces our former unregenerate nature with God’s divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). We are secure in Christ’s love for us. Even now, we are seated with Jesus in the Heavenly realm (Ephesians 2:6).

 

God gives us power, love and a sound mind to dispel any fear, which Satan tries to inflict on us (2 Timothy 1:7). Now, as we walk in the Spirit, we no longer fulfill the lusts of our dead, carnal flesh (Galatians 5:16, 25).

 

Complete in Christ, we have need of no good thing (Colossians 2:9-10; Philippians 4:13). God adopted us into His family, and accepts us as His dearly loved children (Ephesians 1:3-8; John 1:12). We have redemption in the blood of Jesus.

 

Jesus bought us with His blood and our life now belongs to God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Redeemed from the law of sin and death, we are forgiven all of our sins (Colossians 1:13-14). We are the apple of God’s eye (Zechariah 2:8).

 

We are hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3), having direct access to God’s throne in any time of need (Hebrews 4:14-16). Jesus is both our brother and our friend (John 15:15; Proverbs 18:24).

 

God anoints us to work in His service during our lifetime, seals us with His Spirit, and establishes our place in heaven (2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 2:20). We no longer live a lifestyle of willful sin and deprivation, because Jesus lives within us (1 John 3:9).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You raised us up to minister Your reconciliation to the lost and dying world around us (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). We can confidently approach Your throne day or night for any need we may have (Ephesians 3:12). Thank You for Your timeless love and grace.

 

You welcome us into Your beloved family (Ephesians 1:6). You also chose us as branches on the true vine of Christ. We bear the fruit given to us by our connection to You (John 15:5,16). We are also Your temple, Your army, Your bride and Your body. Thank You for abiding in the spirit of each authentic Believer (1 Corinthians 3:16).

 

Thought for the Day:

We are God’s Workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do the works He preordained for us to accomplish.

– Ephesians 2:10

 

 

The Spiritual World

We can only develop true balance in our life when we obey the direction of the Spirit of God for each moment of our day. Not a legalistic, trivial structure of religious works, but a fluid enjoyment of God’s gifts and divine nature flowing through us and then into the world around us.

 

The spiritual world is intangible and invisible, but God’s love and truth flow generously from our spirit when it is connected to God though Christ. When we live with a spiritually balanced body, soul and spirit, we successfully navigate through life.

 

We are simply the container from which God pours out His Spirit on everyone around us. If we primarily focus on fleshly, carnal aspects of life – even positive things such as our job, church, family and hobbies – they become idols.

 

If we focus only on religious aspects of life, we grow self-righteous and judgmental. God desires that we carry our spirituality into every detail of our daily lives (Colossians 3:17).

 

Many people have a tendency to look at life with an all or nothing attitude. We think that to enjoy the features of living on this earth is to be earthly minded; and to pray, read the Bible and do Christian work is to live a holy, spiritually-minded life.

 

If our attention is consumed with the natural aspects of life, our spirit will suffer, and our body and soul will endure deprivation as well. If we get religious in our thinking, we will miss opportunities for God to use us.

 

The goal in our spiritual walk is to focus on God’s will for each moment of our day, He will work out His perfection in us; and He will lead us to live a healthy life in body, soul and spirit.

 

Prayer:

Father God, You gave each of us gifts for your glory (Romans 12:6; 1 Timothy 6:17). You did not give them to us so that we could use them, however. You gave them to us, so that You can use them through us. We do all things through the strength and energy You supply for us. In this way, we cannot take any credit, but we will give You all of the glory and power forever and ever (1 Peter 4:10-11).

 

You even give us comfort so that You can comfort others through us (2 Corinthians 1:4). If we trust in our own abilities and wealth, we will fail; but as we step aside and allow You to bless others through us, we will prosper as well (Proverbs 11:28).

 

Thought for the Day:

We are only consumed by our human nature if we refuse to allow God to reveal Christ in us according to His good pleasure. – Ephesians 1:9

 

 

 

Living at Peace

God calls us to walk away from our former way of living in corruption and deceit. His Spirit gives us new attitudes toward life and wholesome thoughts in our mind. He gives us His true righteousness and holiness.

 

Jesus advises us to speak the truth in love and not to nurse our anger and allow it to fester, because this gives Satan a foothold into our life and relationships. He also cautions us not to speak unwholesome words, but only that which would build up the body of Christ.

 

God encourages us to live at peace with everyone (Romans 12:18). We cannot control another’s actions or responses towards us, but we can put distance between us and an abusive person.

 

When we take a step back and look at their actions from a spiritual frame of mind, we can pray for them and also about our response to them. We do this by speaking firmly, but kindly, in the face of any imposition or attack against us.

 

We can also take our hurt feelings to the Lord. He helps us to forgive the offender and to bless them (Proverbs 25:22), whether they respond positively or not.

 

How they feel about us or what they think of us has no bearing on who we are or on our relationship with our Lord and Savior. In reality, His opinion of us is the only one that really matters.

 

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, help us to put away slander, malice, coarse words and explosive anger. Remind us to use positive words to communicate how we feel and how we want to be treated. Let us kindly tell the truth in love, even when it hurts.

 

Thank You for saving us from a life ravaged by sin. Help us to have compassion on others and to freely forgive them for misjudging us, accusing us or criticizing us. Give us wholesome ideas on how to separate our self from abusive behavior and words, rather than to strike out in anger at their mistreatment.

 

Thought for the Day:

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” – Proverbs 25:11