Union with Christ – More than Religion

Christianity is not a religion. It is an intimate union with the Lord of Hosts who lives His divine life in and through every authentic Believer (1 Corinthians 6:17).

 

We do not earn a divine life in Christ by our good works; it is a free gift (Ephesians 2:8-20; 2 Peter 1:4). Unless we grasp the fullness of our identity in Christ, we fall short of all that God wants to do in us and through us.

 

As God Word strengthens us, we overcome this world and we also live victorious lives over the wiles of Satan (1 John 2:14). We scatter the darkness by turning on God’s Light.

 

Deceiving thoughts flee at the mention of Jesus’ name. Satan cannot initiate anything in our life without God’s permission; and if we submit to God and resist the devil, he is obligated to flee from us (James 4:7).

 

Satan may try to distract us from serving God, but as we keep our mind on Christ, we remain in perfect peace as His Spirit leads us through each moment of the day (Isaiah 26:3; Philippians 4:7).

 

We keep our focus on spiritual aspects of life and the carnal, temporal issues fade into the background. We do not stress and strain after more of this world, but allow our spirit and soul to enter into God’s rest (Hebrews 4:1-10).

 

We live to praise His name in our heart and mind as we go about the requirements of our day. We look for divine opportunities to share God’s love and life with those we meet throughout our day.

 

We let our light shine so that others will see Christ in us and glorify our Father God (Matthew 5:16). They will desire to have the same peace and joy in their life, which they see abiding in our life.

 

Prayer:

Father God, You gave all of Your spiritual blessings and everything pertaining to life and godliness, to Your Saints in the past, to those present with us now, as well as those which will be born in the future (2 Peter 1:3; Ephesians 1:3; 1 Corinthians 2: 20-21). We honor You and give You all the praise and glory that is due to Your name.

 

You work Your power in us and You are able to do more in us and through us than we can ever imagine or accomplish for You on our own (1 Corinthians 1:24; Ephesians 3:16, 20; Colossians 1:11; 1 Peter 4:11). You give us an abundant supply of power for everything we need in order to sufficiently accomplish Your will for our life (2 Corinthians 3:5, 4:7, 9:8).

 

Thought for the Day:

We do not pound out a meager existence for our self in this life, but we live an abundant life through Christ in us. – John 10:10

 

 

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Adopted by Our Holy God

In our humanistic society, it is impossible not to keep our focus on our self. We think about #1, sometimes to the exclusion of those whom we should cherish more than our own self.

 

We forget that Christ laid down His life for us and calls us to lay down our life for others. It is easier for most women to lay down our life, because our genes tend to be hardwired with the codependent nature.

 

However, there are also men in our society that have this emotional, compassionate nature that makes it easier for them to put others above their self.

 

The issue here is more about Christ increasing within our spirit and soul as our focus on our self decreases (John 3:30). We consider others as better than our self (Philippians 2:3-4).

 

This does not mean that we neglect our self – we are people too and we can minister to our needs in the same way that we care for everyone else. In fact, this habit keeps us healthy and more able to help others (Mark 12:31).

 

Yet, as we decrease, we are new creatures in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:23-24). We are offspring of our holy God and His divine nature infuses every part of our body, spirit and soul – thoughts, choices and feelings (Acts 17:28-29).

 

In eternity, Christ will even transform our body to mirror His glorious, immortal one (Philippians 3:21).  God’s Spirit completely sanctifies us, conforming us to the image and likeness of Christ, God’s first born Son (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You adopted us as individual members of Your Body and Jesus is our head (1 Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 4:15). Our body is Your temple and as the corporate Body of Christ, we are one with Your Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:17). The world recognizes that You sent us on their behalf, because our life is a testimony of You to them (John 17:21-23).

 

Jesus gives us the glory, which You gave to Him, so that we can be one with Him, You and with one another (John 17:22). Help us to be patient and diligent as You slowly mature our spiritual growth until we share in the divine nature of Christ (Ephesians 4:13).

 

Thought for the Day:

We are crucified with Christ, and therefore, we live in this world for the glory of Christ; yet, it is not we who live, but Christ who lives in us and through us. – Philippians 1:21; Galatians 2:20

 

 

 

Choosing to be Vulnerable

Too often I meet people who are destroyed by the unfaithfulness of people in their life. They are abused by a parent, disappointed by decisions made for them by those in authority over them, abandoned by a spouse, traumatized by infidelity, or overwhelmed by grief from some loss in their life.

 

Through life’s trials, I have learned that all people are inherently untrustworthy. You and I fall into that category as well. We never know how we will act or react to a moment of temptation and weakness. Yet, God calls us to love unconditionally.

 

If we withhold trust and love from others because we are wounded or fear the potential of being hurt, we cheat our self. We erect walls around our emotions and function in life from our mind only.

 

We refuse to feel anything because life is too painful for us. We do not emotionally invest in anyone, not even our spouse, children or church family. We simply show love by doing acts of service for them.

 

This attitude makes us feel like we are a success and doing our duty to others. Yet, this is a substitute at best – failing to fulfill us at the deepest levels of our soul.

 

This anxious arrogance actually makes us more vulnerable and increases our load of unwanted emotional baggage. We collect the incidents of abuse in our soul and hold grudges, forgiving with our mind but never from our heart.

 

God is the only entity in life that we can truly trust. He always has our best interest at heart. Even if He disciplines us or allows life to bruise us, He never allows life to totally break us (Isaiah 42:3).

 

This makes life worth the risk of allowing our self to be vulnerable to hurt, in order to experience the joy of unfettered love and acceptance. We can even more freely love our self if we allow our self to love others (Mark 12:30-31).
Prayer:

Father God, our soul can only find our true and complete rest in You alone. You are our only salvation and constant comfort and strength. You alone are our rock and fortress. No matter what life throws at us, we will never be shaken as long as we keep our focus on You (Psalm 62:1).

 

Remind us that it is easier to forgive others when we realize that they are as vulnerable and human as we are. We can actually expect to be wounded by other people, but it hurts less when we have our faith in You rather than in our fellow sojourners in this life. You give us Your agape love to share with the world and it is healing and complete.

 

Thought for the Day:

God is our only help and shield from the inherent pain life brings (Psalm 33:20), because He alone is our strength in times of trouble (Psalm 37:39), and our courage in this insecure world (Psalm 130:5); we wait in silence before Him and find our hope only from Him (Psalm 62:5).

 

Our Patched​ Humanity

Through a lifetime of fighting the circumstances, which life deals out to us, we are so encumbered by bandages that it is hard to function. Our body and soul often end up bruised, broken, patched up and and in the hospital – on crutches, just to traverse our day. Our spirit is already dead in sin, and no help to us at all (Ephesians 2:1).

 

Once we come to Christ through salvation, He heals us from the inside out. Our works of righteousness have no influence over God’s love for us or our eternal standing; but they are very necessary for our wedding garment as the Bride to our Savior, King Jesus (Revelation 19:8).

 

We start to focus more on the spiritual, eternal aspects of life rather than the humanistic, temporal issues. Life is no longer about us; but Christ is now our whole life (Colossians 3:3-4).

 

Even when our faith wanes, He helps our unbelief (Mark 9:24). Our spirit is perfect; but our soul – our thoughts, choices and feelings – is still in the process of healing and maturing in His faith within us (Galatians 2:20).

 

God elevates us as His adopted children and we no longer depend on our self (Ephesians 1:5). We turn our faith toward Christ and we live by the direction of His Spirit. His peace floods our soul and our pent-up anger dissolves (Isaiah 26:3).

 

God’s Spirit conforms us to the mind of Christ and transforms our nature to Christ’s divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). He exchanges our human weaknesses with God’s strength; so we can do all things through Christ’s presence within us (2 Corinthians 13:4; Philippians 4:13).

 

Prayer:

Father God, often when we pray, our mind is full of what we did and did not say or do. We cannot get in touch with our true needs, because we are not listening to our own soul. We are not listening to Your Spirit either, who wants to pray and function through us.

 

Yet, as we spend our time in complete and anxious-free prayers of praise, we learn to live unencumbered by things of this earth. We enter into a life of praising and worshipping our living Lord. As we trust in You alone, You make all things work together for our good (Romans 8:28). Our faith is built and strengthened as we see Your faithfulness in our life.

 

Thought for the Day:
Journaling our thoughts, feelings and prayers allows us to empty our soul from its load of cares and concerns; when we look back over what we wrote and the prayers of our year, we see God’s hand, working in the details our life.

 

Health for the Body of Christ

God’s plan for humanity is not a conglomeration of various unrelated events with a hodgepodge of results. It is as orderly and detailed as the planets in orbit around the sun.

 

God arranged the planets to all sit at just the right angle and spacing, especially the earth. Our world tilts at the exact slant it needs to support life. Its composition consists of the perfect combination of chemical elements and matter to ensure our existence.

 

King Jesus is also establishing His Kingdom on the earth in order to physically abide with everyone who is humble enough to accept His call on their life. He incorporates us into His Body of Believers throughout generations and nations from the beginning of time.

 

God designed His Body so that when one member suffers, we all suffer; and when one member rejoices, we all rejoice (1 Corinthians 12:26). Unfortunately, Satan makes sure that his character attributes of jealousy, covetousness and pride steal these ideal circumstances from us.

 

This causes God’s Body to operate dysfunctionally, to think more of our self than anyone else, to keep our own priorities as our focus and to lack any concern for those around us who, by their own choices (John 3:18), are lost and destined to spend eternity in hell.

 

Many people spend more time on vacations than in service to God’s Body; more money on their toys and gadgets than on the ministries of the church which promote God’s Kingdom, and more focus on their own agenda and endeavors than on the will of God.

 

They often reject one church Body for another, divorcing their former church family without one regret. They disfigure God’s Body – like an eye rolling down the path of life, leaving one church with only one eye and their next church with more than the two eyes it needs (1 Corinthians 12:14-22).

 

Sometimes, disgruntled people refuse to attend any church at all, despising a part of the Bride of Christ, which Jesus gave His life to redeem (2 Corinthians 11:2). They cut themselves off from the fellowship and blessings of their church family.

 

At times, certain people in our church Body may exasperate us or are irritating and hard to live with, but Christ is patient with us (Romans 5:8), and we can allow the fruit of God’s Spirit to help us to be patient with His Body as well (Galatians 5:22-23).

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us that when we determine to put our self first, to divorce Your Bride, or to stir up trouble with gossip and dissention, this says more about our character than the short-comings within Your Body. Help us to attain spiritual maturity through Christ in us, so that we can love Your Bride unconditionally and to serve with tireless devotion in the church where You plant us (Luke 6:32).

 

Your grace enables us to love others as Christ loves us, sacrificially, patiently and selflessly. You do not require us to “like” anyone else, but You do expect us to love them with the love of Christ within us. Help us to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem, by stepping up and serving Your Bride where we see areas of need.

 

Thought for the Day:

Our Great Physician is a skilled surgeon who continually operates on the heart of each of us, to give us new life in Him in order to resolve life’s most complex issues, to bring peace in the more tumultuous circumstances and to draw us to the truth of His Word as we all continually abide in His presence.

Union with Christ – Spiritual Rest and Victory

 

Very few people in these modern times abide in God’s rest (Hebrews 4:10). We are too overcome by the stress of the multitude of activities that we allow to rule our life, by the consequences of our choices and by the people with whom we fellowship.

 

We lack discernment, will power and wisdom; we take on too many tasks at one time; and we spend too little time in God’s presence, growing into a spiritually mature Saint (John 15:16; Ephesians 4:11-14).

 

Unless we grasp the fullness of our identity in Christ, we fall short of all that God wants to do in us and through us. We do not earn this divine life by our good works; it is a free gift which comes along with Salvation (Ephesians 2:8-20; 2 Peter 1:4).

 

Christianity is not a religion. It is an intimate union with the Lord of Hosts living His divine life in and through every authentic Believer (1 Corinthians 6:17).

 

As God Word strengthens us, we overcome this world and we also live victorious lives over the wiles of Satan (1 John 2:14). We scatter the darkness by turning on God’s Light.

 

Deceiving thoughts flee at the mention of Jesus’ name. Satan cannot initiate anything in our life without God’s permission; and if we submit to God and resist the devil, he is obligated to flee from us (James 4:7).

 

Satan may try to distract us from serving God, but as we keep our mind on Christ, we remain in perfect rest and victory as His Holy Spirit leads us through each moment of the day (Isaiah 26:3; Philippians 4:7).

 

 

 

Prayer:

Father God, You gave all of Your spiritual blessings and everything pertaining to life and godliness to all of Your Saints in the past, to those present with us now, as well as those who will be born in the future (2 Peter 1:3; Ephesians 1:3; 1 Corinthians 2: 20-21). Your love flows to all of us through thousands of generations of those who love and serve You with our life (Deuteronomy 7:9; Exodus 20:6).

 

Remind us that You work Your power in us and You are able to do more in us and through us than we can ever imagine or accomplish for You on our own (1 Corinthians 1:24; Ephesians 3:16, 20; Colossians 1:11; 1 Peter 4:11). You give us an abundant supply of power for everything we need in order to sufficiently accomplish Your will for our life (2 Corinthians 3:5, 4:7, 9:8).

 

Thought for the Day:

We do not pound out a meager existence for our self in this life, but we live in the fulfillment of abundant life through Christ in us. – John 10:10

 

No Longer a Sinner – Reaching Perfection through Christ in Us

Standing alone, we are not sinless, because we are not equal to God. We cannot trust in our self for salvation (Proverbs 28:26; John 15:5). Righteousness is not attained by human self-effort (Galatians 3:1-3).

 

The shelves of self-help books in the stores can give us a clue about what we need to change, and we may even discipline some character flaws out of our personality. However, we cannot perfect our self (2 Corinthians 3:5).

 

Paul chronicles his struggle with sin and death in Romans 6-7. In his desperation as a wretched human being, he calls out for deliverance (Romans 7:19).

 

It is then that He realizes that the law of the Spirit of life in Jesus Christ our Lord already delivered us from bondage to the law of sin and death (Romans 7:24-25, 8:2).

 

God gives us His grace and saves us through faith in Jesus’ work on Calvary’s cross (John 1:17; Ephesians 2:8). We no longer need to focus on sin or the world, but on the righteousness of Christ in us, who is our hope of living in eternal glory (Colossians 1:27).

 

Jesus in us already overcame sin, death and the devil by His death and resurrection (Colossians 3:15; Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 3:8). Therefore, God’s Spirit changes us over our lifetime by His anointing in our spirit, soul and body, (Romans 8:11; 2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

We walk in His ways by His Spirit within us (Ezekiel 36:27). We simply heed God’s conviction, obey His direction and live through faith in His faithfulness, so that we are able to walk in His holiness one moment at a time (Romans 1:5; 16:26).

 

Prayer:

Father God, create in us a spotless heart, and renew a righteous spirit within us (Psalm 51:10). Work in us according to Your good pleasure and perfect us until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6, 2:13). Give us Your power and anointing to accomplish Your will in the earth each moment of our day (Ephesians 3:16).

 

Thank You that You already perfected our spirit, because we are born again by Your Spirit – through justification; once we see Jesus, perfection will come to our body through glorification; and You perfect our soul – our mind, choices and emotions – from one stage of glory to another through a lifetime of sanctification.

 

Thought for the Day:

Christ in us is greater than both our carnal nature and also all of the powers of darkness in the world. – I John 4:4