Christ in Us – A Clean Heart

We have been taught that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. This is a slight perversion of God’s Truth. It puts the emphasis on “I can”, rather than on Christ in me can.

 

The actual truth of this verse is: We can do all things only through Christ’s presence in us. His abiding existence in us provides us with God’s wisdom, strength and divine power.

 

We cease our self-effort, and we enter into God’s rest (Hebrews 4:10). Jesus actually gives us the desire and the power to fulfill His purpose for us in the earth (Philippians 2:12-13; 4:13; Ephesians 2:10).

 

Authentic Believers are already crucified with Christ; and therefore, we live in this world only for God’s glory. We no longer live as part of this world, looking out for our own interests (Philippians 1:21; Romans 2:20).

 

As our self-centeredness decreases daily, Christ will increase in us (John 3:30). When we walk in obedience to God’s Holy Spirit moment by moment, we do not sin or fulfill the lusts of our flesh (Galatians 5:16-17, 25).

 

We dwell in God’s rest and we no longer live for our own agenda, but Christ carries out God’s will for us as He lives in us and through us (Galatians 2:20).

 

Our negative emotions illuminate the areas in our life where we hoard our idols. As we surrender them to God, Satan has fewer areas where he can hinder our walk in Christ.

 

We experience more freedom to serve Christ with our whole body, soul and spirit. Our dedication, commitment and consecration to Him increases and we want less of this world.

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for redeeming us, calling us by Your name, drawing us closer to You each day and desiring an intimate relationship with us both in this world and in the next. You fill us with Your Spirit and presence, and sustain us through every trial we experience on this earth. We can never thank You enough for Your sacrificial love for us.

 

Create in us a pure heart, devoid of sinful desires, and renew a righteous spirit within us (Psalm 51:10). Continue to help us to crucify our flesh as we walk in Your Spirit until we have no desire to sin, but our only desire is to please You with our body, thoughts, emotions, choices and spirit.

 

Thought for the Day:

A person who desires true riches, will prefer the knowledge freely given to us in God’s Word and follows it pathway of righteousness and spirituality to gain true joy and peace; if we really believe God’s Word, we value it above all else and the world loses its tempting influence over us.

The Body of Christ – Safety in Numbers

As the body of Christ, we stick together, no matter where we live or how many miles separate us. We can stay connected through social media, even though we rarely see one another face-to-face.

 

In nature, it is the animal that wanders from the safety of the herd that gets attacked by a predator. Satan uses this same tactic on Believers. He finds us wandering alone and pounces (1 Peter 5:8).

 

God created Eve, because He saw that Adam suffered when he was alone. He also created us as His Body, because there is safety, encouragement and blessings when we dwell together in unity (Psalm 133:1).

 

Without the Body of Christ we get lonely, roam from the straight and narrow path, and make poor choices. Alone, we are vulnerable, but a three-fold chord cannot be broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12). The Body loves us and helps to protect us.

 

When we yoke with Jesus and other Believers, our load is lighter and we help each other with our burden of guilt, trials and storms in life. Our perspective is broadened by seeing things from another’s point of view.

 

Even Jesus chose 12 men to disciple and to keep Him company during His three years of focused ministry on His way to the cross. Daily, they walked together, healed the sick and reclaimed people from the devil’s kingdom of darkness.

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to lay down our pride, to take the risks of being vulnerable which are inherent in relationships, and to encourage one another. Remind us that a best friend and prayer partner help us to diffuse our negative feelings and experiences, because they give us someone with which to share our burdens.

 

Friendships can be messy and cause problems in our life, but life is enhanced by transparent relationships, regardless of the ups and downs they may create. Thank You that You are our closest friend and that You always stick closer to us than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).

 

Thought for the Day:

Jesus knew the value of walking together with other Saints, although many turned against Him or deserted Him in the final hours of His life on this earth; He chose to live vulnerably in front of both the multitudes and His disciples.

God in the Details

God does not often show Himself strong for us during a trial. Initially, this hurts our feelings and causes us to doubt His love for us. However, God’s love is exactly what prevents Him from rescuing us from life’s hurts and challenges.

 

God is teaching us that this life is inconsequential in His larger scheme of the ages. His goal in our life is to transform our body, soul and spirit from this humble, earthly state into conformity with His glorious eternal plan for us.

 

He also shows us that all things, even our health, finances, comfort, suffering, family and life are subject to Him (Philippians 3:20-21). As His Spirit sanctifies us, we learn to submit to His will and to surrender our entire life to His wisdom and direction.

 

This give us hope in God, rather than despair from overwhelming circumstances, thoughts and feelings. He is constantly at work in our life, planting seeds for a miracle in all of our trials.

 

We just have to patiently wait for Him to reveal them to us. He longs for us to trust in Him alone, and to desire His will instead of our own goals and plans.

 

We eventually learn that our suffering in this world cannot be compared to the glory of living in God’s presence both now and throughout eternity (Romans 8:18).

 

Hardships are merely temporary and fleeting, especially as we keep our eyes on Christ and the prize of our inheritance of the Kingdom of God (Acts 17:11; 1 Peter 4:12-13; James 1:1-13).

 

Prayer:

Father God, help us to meditate on the truth that You are in complete control of everything in this world. Allow this fact to penetrate deep within our soul – our thoughts, choices and feelings – so that we learn to trust You and not our human reasoning throughout every moment of our day. We do not need to understand Your thoughts, because they are so much more profound than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).

 

You simply ask us to remain open and willing to submit to and accept Your will and ways – even in the trials. You renew our human spirit by making Your truths known to us. We are created in Your image (Colossians 3:10), we have Your mind (1 Corinthians 2:16), and by Your Spirit we learn to walk as You would walk in our shoes (1 John 2:20).

 

Thought for the Day:

As the reality of the fact that our life is hidden with Christ in God becomes more of a reality every day, we draw away from the world, the flesh and the devil and find our true joy only in service to our King Jesus. – Romans 12:2

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

A New Creation

It is healthy for us to take an inventory of our thoughts and feelings every day (John 7:24). This prevents negative thoughts and emotions from piling up in our soul and exploding at the least provocation.

 

Satan’s lies, our own insecurities plus neurosis from our past, and the world’s judgment on us keep us enslaved to negative thinking. Yet, God’s Word admonishes us to take our thoughts captive in Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).

 

We tend to dwell on this temporal earth, embroiled by human reasoning and trapped by the hour glass of time – still eating from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil and attempting to save our self (Genesis 2:17, 3:5).

 

These negative constraints affect our thoughts and emotions. We attempt to improve our self, but whatever is conceived by the flesh can be aborted by the flesh. We live on a hamster’s wheel – always running, but getting nowhere fast. However, there is hope for us in God (Psalm 63:2:5; Romans 15:13).

 

God chose us and loved us while we were still sinners (John 15:16; 1 John 4:10; Romans 5:8). At salvation, He makes us His Children and co-heirs with Jesus (Galatians 3:26; 1 John 3:2; Romans 8:17). His Spirit is building us into His house (Hebrews 3:6).

 

We cannot craft any lasting changes to our character in order to earn His love. He makes us clean – not by our good deeds and intentions, but by the blood of Christ (John 15:3; Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Psalm 127:1).

 

Jesus makes us wise, righteous, redeemed and a new creation; so that we glory in the Lord rather than to take the credit (1 Corinthians 1:30-31). Christ in us continually draws us into a more intimate union with Himself and our Father (Colossians 1:20). We simply obey (John 14:15).

 

Prayer:

 

Father God, Your love frees us from doubt and condemnation, which are fed to us by our own insecurities, the world’s condemnation and Satan’s lies. Please draw our loved ones away from the seduction of this world, deliver them from the lies of the devil, and allow them to feel Your love and conviction cascading over them like a waterfall.

 

In You there is no shame for our failings and idiosyncrasies, only love and acceptance just the way we are (Romans 5:8). Your Spirit perfects us through a lifetime of sanctifying exercises (1 Thessalonians 5:23). You make us one with You and Jesus Christ through His residing presence and Your Spirit’s sanctifying work in us until You become our whole life (Colossians 3:3-4).

 

Thought for the Day:

Jesus is one with us in spirit and in truth; and He brings us into His rest in His perfect peace and love as we keep our soul focused on Christ in us. – Colossians 1:27; Isaiah 26:3

 

 

Union with Christ – Fully Human and Fully Divine

Jesus was fully human and fully divine when He lived on this earth. This same Christ is fully divine in us (1 Corinthians 2:12). As we live in union with Christ, we are also one in Spirit with Him (1 Corinthians 6:17; 1 John 5:12; Hebrews 3:14, 6:4).

 

Our belief in Jesus secures this merger (I John 4:15,16). We are now dead to sin because of Christ in us, and He lives His divine life in and through us (Galatians 2:20; 2 Corinthians 13:5; 2 Timothy 1:14).

 

In fact, the entire Trinity takes up residence within us (John. 14:23). God’s Spirit seals us and dwells in us, confirming our union with Christ and our adoption into God’s family (Romans 8:14; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 4:30; 2 Corinthians 1:22).

 

When this fact becomes a reality in our life, God’s peace permeates our thoughts, choices and emotions. As we mature in Christ, we grow deeper in the wisdom and knowledge of God, and we realize that Jesus within us already overcame Satan and his kingdom of darkness.

 

In the same way that Jesus denied His humanity and walked in the Spirit of His divinity, we too consider our humanity dead in Christ. We allow Christ to crucify the deeds of our flesh and to integrate us with Himself in God (Colossians 3:3; Ezekiel 36:26).

 

Christ in us conforms our spirit and soul into an expression of Himself, and this affects our body as well. Jesus functions in His gifts and ministries through us, and He gives us the power and direction to walk in His will (Romans 12:8; 1 Corinthians 12:7).

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us that all the power and authority of Christ’s divinity reside within us (Matthew 28:18). You pour out Your love into our hearts (Romans 5:5). You teach us all things (Ephesians 5:17). You prepare us for Your service, You strengthen us for the work and You give us victory over every challenge and obstacle as we walk in Your Spirit.

 

At Salvation, You crucify our humanity and fill us through our entire being with all of the fullness of Christ’s divine nature. You give us the desire and the power to do Your will with our life (Philippians 2:12-13). All of this comes from Christ in us, who is our Lord and Savior now and for all of eternity (Romans 10:9; Colossians 1:27; Philippians 2:11; 1 Peter 3:15).

 

Thought for the Day:
Once we realize that our humanity is dead in Christ, we walk in the Spirit of Christ in us and no longer fulfill the desires and lusts of the flesh; we live with our mind on the things of the Spirit rather than on the temporal aspects of this earth; we live on the earth, but we are not part of the earth except as He directs us to influence this world for His Kingdom. – Galatians 5:15-25

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

 

 

The Benefits of Emotions

Thoughts and emotions are not the enemy of our spirit or of the Spirit of God. God puts His desires in our heart, and uses negative thoughts and emotions as red flags to alert us to unmet needs and unresolved conflicts in our life.

 

As we take these issues to the cross, we gain God’s perspective on them, and His wisdom and truth on how to overcome or to fulfill them, until His peace rules in our heart.

 

The word “emotion” comes from the Latin word “exmovere” which means “to move out”. Our emotions motivate us to feel, and then to do something about them.

 

Emotions energize us, express how we feel, arouse our passions, spice up our life and restore our soul. Living without emotion is to live in a mental world of clinical, analytical thoughts without expression.

 

Embracing our emotions is healthy and fulfilling. Denying them is clinical and unhealthy. We block off a part of our self that is very much like our God, who exhibits emotion in so many ways.

 

Usually, an emotional person is empathetic, not weak; compassionate, not unstable; child-like, not childish. Emotions are very vital to our psychological and physiological well-being.

 

Emotions influence our attitude about our self, our world and other people. They also impact our actions. We think thoughts and then feel feelings.

 

Our personality influences our emotions and our emotions affect how other people perceive us. Owning our feelings without blaming them on other people is a healthy activity which allows us to effectively control them and to submit them to God’s Holy Spirit to perfect them and to make them more like His fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).

 

Prayer:

Father God, unto You I lift up my soul. My soul often grieves because of the cares of this world. Only You know how to best renew my mind with Your Word, restore my emotions to true joy and peace, and return my will to following after You.

 

You are my heart, and my soul rejoices before you. You set my feet to dancing the dance of joy, and I acknowledge You in all of my ways. We attest to the fact that all glory is due to Your name. You alone are worthy of all of our praises (Ephesians 3:4; Psalm 25:1, 29:2).

 

Thought for the Day:

Our soul is our personality. It contains our thoughts, our choices and our emotions. Faith brings light to our soul, and helps us to think before we speak, so we do not trip over our own words.

 

Inching through Life

We can ask God for what we want; and if He wants us to have it, He will give it to us (James 4:3). Yet, it is futile to waste time wanting what we do not have.

 

If we do, we are telling God that He is a poor provider and He does not have our best interest at heart (1 Peter 5:7). We are exhibiting a lack of faith in His faithfulness and exalting our self over Him.

 

We are also lacking in gratitude for all that He has already given to us (Philippians 4:6). We are keeping our focus on the temporal aspects of this life and functioning with human understanding.

 

Jesus died for us all, and rose again – giving us supernatural power so we will not live for our self, but for Him (John 3:16-18; 2 Corinthians 5:15). Jesus is the only way, truth and life; and no one comes to God except through Him (John 14:6).

 

Our Father God knows best. As we seek His Kingdom first, He provides us with everything we need for our spiritual, physical, emotional and mental wellbeing (Matthew 6:33). God also gives us wisdom as we ask for it, which guides us in our desires, thoughts and choices.

 

We stop inching through life as a caterpillar; and instead, we soar like a butterfly on the winds of adversity and trials. We mount up on wings like eagles (Isaiah 40:31); and rise above the earth as we glide on the air currents that God provides for us.

 

God gives us the wisdom we need to navigate through life, encourage the downtrodden, reject the devil’s temptations to sin, and to make the decisions which affect the rest of our life.

 

Prayer:

Father God, we do not have to spend one moment longing for anything or anyone but You. We no longer love this world nor the things, which it offers us. If we really need something in our life, which we do not have, You will give it to us. You will move us to another state; or give us a different car, vocation or house; or provide us with a spouse or a child, if it is Your will for us.

 

Remind us to trust only in You and in Your provision and timing. You have a perfect plan for each one of us and living in the center of Your will is the happiest place on earth. We seek You with all of our heart and we rely on Your wisdom and grace to help us to navigate the decisions in our life.

 

Thought for the Day:

Jesus is our gift and reward in this life and the next, because He is our all in all. – Colossians 1:17