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

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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.

 

Emotional and Mental Health – The Center of God’s Will

Most people are either on top of the world right now, or buried under the burden of frustration, discouragement and disappointment. Jesus Christ makes the difference in both of these instances.

 

Even if someone is totally successful and right where their goals led them over the last few years, they may be as unsatisfied and unfulfilled as they were when they started their journey to the top.

 

Many people give up at this point and opt for a simpler life, downgrading their salary and vocational expectations for a quieter and less stressful lifestyle.

 

For Believers, living in the center of God’s will is the only place where we find complete contentment. He may continue to lead us in the vein in which we started – adding an altered mindset, or He may change our circumstances completely.

 

It all hinges on finding and fulfilling God’s directives for our life (Proverbs 3:5-6). We completely surrender our will and plans to Him, and live by the direction of His Holy Spirit instead of our human desires.

 

Even if God leads us through some valley or trial, we find His purpose for us in it. We can witness of His mercy and grace to a fellow traveler, learn a needed lesson, view His provision for us in a whole new light, and grow in our intimacy with Him through it all (1 Peter 4:12).

 

We learn to depend on His Body during our trials, to grow closer to our spouse, family and church family; our faith grows in the fact that we can count on certain people to help us and that God never fails us.

 

Prayer:

Father God, some trials devastate us to our very core. They shake the foundations of our trust in You and our faith in humanity. Yet, we often survive these unhappy circumstances with enduring blessings that we never would have experienced without them. Remind us to focus on You in the good times and the bad, giving You praise for each instance as we focus on You – You never change (Hebrews 13:8).

 

Help us to see life from Your viewpoint rather than our limited, human perspective. Spur us to remain faithful to You in spite of them. We look at life now through Your unfailing love and comfort, according to Your promises and provision (Psalm 119:75-76). Demonstrate Yourself to us in all of Your power and majesty.

 

Thought for the Day:

Prayerfully surrendering our trials to God allows us to gain His perspective on what seems like a turn of bad luck; we ask God’s Spirit for His wisdom and direction; and we come through these times of testing with a deeper faith and stronger spiritual, mental and emotional fortitude than we ever experienced in our life in the past.

 

 

Dividing the Soul and Spirit

Scholars across the ages attempt to mingle the concept of spirit and soul as one entity. However, Bible truth differentiates between these two realms within our human essence.

 

Our spiritual union with Christ takes place in our spirit, which is Born Again at Salvation (John 3:5-6; Romans 8:9, 16; Acts 26:18). Then the Holy Spirit spends our lifetime sanctifying our soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions.

 

Paul makes this clear when he refers to the entire sanctification of body, soul and spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23). God’s Word will actually divide the soul and spirit (Hebrews 4:12). The more we submit to His holiness, the more fully we partake in His divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).

 

Prior to salvation we lived for our self. After salvation, we are crucified with Christ and receive a whole new life with a new pliable heart (Romans 6:4, 6; Ezekiel 36:26; 2 Corinthians 5:17).

 

As we live in Christ, our humanity decreases and His life in us increases (Romans 6:6; Ephesians 4:22; Colossians 3:9; John 3:30). God writes His laws on our heart (Hebrews 8:10). He sees us as perfect in Christ (Philippians 3:15; Hebrews 12:23).

 

God’s Spirit renews us day by day (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23). We live in the righteousness of Christ within us, resisting by Jesus’ strength, the devil’s temptation to sin (Romans 6:11; 1 John 3:9; 1 John 2:1).

 

Christ in us changes us from sinner to Saint (Romans 5:19, 8:9; Ephesians 4:12). We are dead to sin, slaves to righteousness and Christ reigns as Lord and Savior in our life (Romans 6:2, 11, 17; 1 John 3:8).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we thank You for the fact that our authentic Christian identity is no longer rooted in our personality, but in Christ. Our fleshly desires have less and less control over our soul as we walk in our union with Christ in us (Galatians 5:17; Romans 7:25-8:5).

 

Our desire is for Your divine character, power and authority to completely take over our body, soul and spirit. We thank You for redeeming us through Christ’s sacrifice and for filling us with Your Spirit, so we can walk in Your will each moment of the day.

 

Thought for the Day:

As God reveals a sin or negative leaning in our character or an idol in our life, we willingly submit it to His Lordship; then His Spirit cleanses us from these sins and replaces our defective human character with His fruit.

– 1 John 1:9; Romans 13:14; Galatians 5:22-23

 

 

Union with Christ – Enoch Walked With God

Enoch walked with God. This was the testimony that Enoch exhibited before God and his neighbors. Enoch also instructed his family in the ways of God, even his great grandchildren.

 

Scholars tell us that Enoch saw great visions from the Lord about heaven, Satan’s rebellion, worldly nations throughout the ages, as well as the consequences of wickedness and the rewards of the just.

 

Jude tells us that Enoch was the seventh generation from Adam, and that he prophesied about the Lord returning with His Saints and executing judgment on the ungodly for their unbelief (Jude 1:14-15).

 

Enoch walked in the ways of the Lord and all went well with him and his descendents (Deuteronomy 5:33). He lived to the age of 365. He saw a vision of the great flood and told his children about it.

 

Noah lived by his great grandfather’s example, and walked with God as well (Genesis 6:9). The more Enoch knew God, the more he loved Him, and his love for the world dwindled (1 John 2:15).

 

Enoch was a man of integrity and a pure heart. He saw righteousness flowing like water, and mercy scattered like dew over the whole earth. In a wicked and perverse world, Enoch longed to dwell with the righteous.

 

He realized that the Lord strengthens the spirit of the righteous for the sake of His own righteousness, and that many actually see Heaven without tasting the sleep of death.

 

Therefore, rather than allowing Enoch to enter heaven through the path of the grave, God translated Him to Heaven and he did not see death (Ephesians 5:10; Hebrews 11:5).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we want to walk with You, commune with You, listen to Your wisdom and direction, and walk by Your Spirit moment by moment throughout the day. Reveal Yourself to us in Your secret places, and teach us to walk in Your ways (Palm 91:1). Your mercy is great as is Your patience with us.

 

All of your powerful works are wondrous for us to behold. You reveal all things to Your Saints, to Your elect. You write all of our deeds in Your books, and nothing we do escapes Your sight. Let us walk in justice and righteousness for Your name’s sake now and forever. If our ways please You, translate us to Heaven as well.

 

Thought for the Day:

If Enoch can walk with God in this devoted intimacy, we can too.

 

 

 

Split Personality

If we live life with one foot on the dock, and the other foot in the boat, we will end up getting dunked, once the boat moves from the dock for any reason. The slightest turmoil in the water will cause us to lose our balance.

 

God says that lukewarm people – those who live with their feet in two separate places at once – make Him sick to His stomach! He would rather that we live up to our convictions and either follow Him wholeheartedly or not at all.

 

To live any other way is hypocritical and smears the name of Christ in front of the world. Even unbelievers know how Christians are supposed to act, and they lose respect for us and for God if we are hypocrites.

 

God prefers that we live in total surrender to His will and way. He knows that Biblical principles allow us to reap only good things in life. If we have a mixture of both secular and Biblical ideals in our world view, we end up reaping the negative consequences from the corruption we sow.

 

God wants us to follow Him completely, and to give Him His rightful place in our life. At the center of complete surrender we realize that we no longer live for our self, but Christ lives in and through us (Galatians 2:20).

 

Our obedience proves that we actually know God (1 John 2:3). He circumcises our heart, cutting away the flesh from our life, so we can live in harmony with His Spirit and one another (Romans 2:29).

 

We walk in the fruit of the Spirit by the power of the Spirit, and Christ’s divine life replaces our carnality and worldliness (2 Peter 1:4).

 

Sanctification has various fluctuating tempos in our life. Sometimes, the process is fast; at other times, painfully slow. It is constant, however; and God gives us His patience and fortitude to press on through this cleansing process until our personality and goals reflect and are focused on Christ alone (Colossians 3:3-4).

 

Prayer:

Father God, thank You for making us a new creation by Your Spirit – with the mind and divinity of Christ abiding in us. Keep us in union with Your Spirit and hold us close to You as You use us to further Your Kingdom in the earth (Galatians 5:15-25).

 

Our spirituality is not complete until You give us our glorified, immortal body when we see Jesus. We need You every hour, every moment of our life. Teach us not to speak with words of carnal, mortal wisdom, but to utter only the Words taught to us by Your Spirit and full of Your glory (Philippians 3:10-12; 1 Corinthians 2:13).

 

Thought for the Day:

Our goal in life is to bring God glory through our every thought, word and deed, living in the fullness of His Spirit by the power of His resurrection; a surrendered life of one who is born of the Spirit and will never perish. – Peter 1:3-4

 

Emotional and Mental Health: Be a Kid Again

 

When was the last time you acted like a kid, did something just for the fun of it, or did more on your day off than catch up on chores? We all have our favorite things from childhood.

 

That favorite toy, or the one you always wanted, but never received is a clue to what made you happy as a child. Consider purchasing that toy now; just google it and see what you can find. Put it on a shelf as a knickknack, or if possible play with it.

 

Blowing bubbles, casting a yo-yo, jumping on a trampoline, swinging at the park, playing board games, catching the wind with a pin wheel (windmill), making crafts with grandchildren or the children in your church Body, racing cars on a track, finger painting, flying a remote plane or drone, etc. are all very therapeutic.

 

Gazing at that favorite Tonka truck sitting on the bookshelf in your den will feed your soul. Dolls come in all sizes and shapes; buy one that catches your interest and get a few sets of clothes to redress her now and then as she sits pretty on your bedroom shelf.

 

Some men go mudding in their truck; ever wonder why? It is therapeutic to their soul. Women love to dress up and wear extensive make-up, high heeled shoes and sparkling jewelry, because it brings out the princess in them.

 

Give yourself time to play with friends – laugh, love, relax and unwind. Take time to ride the attractions at theme parks or to see the shows. Attend a concert or view a production by your local thespians.

 

Go skiing, surfing, fishing, hiking, biking, boating, fly a kite, etc. Play in the rain or run through the sprinkler; model at your local clothing store; take a music, cooking, baking or woodworking class, etc.

 

Volunteer at the local animal shelter or rescue; and give those frightened, lonely animals some attention. Serve food at a local soup kitchen or visit a homeless shelter or nursing home and show care to the people there.

 

Purchase an adult coloring book and felt markers to take time to color. Play a video game. Construct a cardboard puzzle, or buy a book of word puzzles and use it to wind down before bed. Giving the kid in us a chance to play improves our physical, mental and emotional health.

 

Prayer:

Father God, we are Your children, co-heirs with Christ of Your Kingdom, and You delight over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). You spoil us by providing all of our needs in abundance and keeping us safely tucked under the shadow of Your wings. As Christians, we tend to be stuffy, overly serious and we spurn good, clean fun.

 

Help us to connect with the child in us that You created, and who even now still dwells in us (Matthew 18:3). As we age, we often lower our defenses and allow the child-like part of our personality more freedom of expression; but please teach us to embrace the humility, creativity and innocence of that part of our self regardless of our age.

 

Thought for the Day:

Allowing our Inner Child out of whatever box, hole or closet we hid them in, so they would not embarrass us, is a very healthy step to take; we put away childish things and don the responsibility of an adult (1 Corinthians 13:11), but we should not attempt to murder or imprison that creative, fun-loving aspect of our personality (Psalm 131:2).