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

 

 

No Longer a Sinner – Accepted in Christ

Jesus is the picture of humanity at its finest, devoid of the depravity of sin and filled with the power of God. What Satan stole from humanity in Genesis 1-3, Jesus – the Sacrificial Lamb and the soon and coming King – restores to us in Revelation 20-22.

 

As authentic Believers, we see God’s glory with an unveiled face as He transforms us into the appearance of Christ by His Spirit. We are changed into His image from one stage of glory to the next (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

Christ abides within us and redeems us from sin, as God writes His laws on our heart and adopts us as His children (Hebrews 8:10-13; Ephesians 1:5). God’s Spirit gives us liberty from the flesh and fills us with His fruit (1 Peter 1:19; Galatians 5:22-23).

 

This is an experience common to every Believer, with no respect to one person above another. It is a free gift, just as Salvation is free (Romans 6:23; Galatians 3:1-3). We all see the face of Christ reflected in us and in one another (1 Corinthians 15:48-53; Romans 8:17; 1 John 3:2).

 

Christ is our whole life (Colossians 3:4). We gaze upon His face in our private moments with Him, and feel His Spirit and His presence filling us to overflowing throughout the day.

 

Sin no longer claims our attention; its debauchery is disgusting to us; we have no desire to continue to reap the destructive consequences of its power. We abide in Christ and He in us (1 John 4:15).

 

We come to know God, and Jesus whom He sent, which provides us with eternal life now as well as for eternity (John 17:3). We see His glory in us, which comes from God and fills us (John 1:14, 17:24). Sin has no part in our life.

 

Prayer:

Father God, it is Your plan that all of humanity enjoy the benefits of Christ’s death on Calvary, the glory of His resurrection from the grave, and the proximity to You from His vantage point on His throne in Heaven as we walk in the ever-increasing glory of holiness.

 

We are accepted through Christ into Your beloved family (Ephesians 2:19-22), pure, as He is pure; and our life reflects His perfect image. You provide us with every good thing that we need to fulfill Your will for our life (1 Timothy 6:17); and You sustain us through every trial that we encounter in life. For this we give You all of the praise and glory that is due to Your name.

 

Thought for the Day:

Through the processes of Justification, Sanctification and Glorification, we move from obscure sinner to sacred Saint in Christ, as we are filled with an increasing measure of the fullness of Christ through God’s Spirit who abides within us. – Ephesians 3:16-19

 

Heavenly Treasures

God teaches us that storing up treasures on earth is futile (Matthew 6:19-21). They will burn up like wood, hay and stubble and not help us in our eternal life in His Kingdom at all (1 Corinthians 3:12).

 

We cannot take anything from this life with us into the next life. We can, however, store up for our self treasures in heaven that will last for eternity. Moths and rust will never destroy them, and thieves are not able to steal them (Matthew 6:20).

 

Today, I noticed a woman crying about a lost jewel from her bracelet. One of the expensive stones was missing and she was very distressed about it. I tried to comfort her, but she was inconsolable. She really cherished that extravagant gift from a special friend.

 

Authentic Believers have also received a cherished gift from a beloved friend. Jesus laid down His life to bring sinners to repentance. This is a free gift from God for all of us (Romans 3:23, 6:23).

 

However, we often rejoice more when we acquire an earthly treasure than when we come to Christ for Salvation. We frequently take God’s love for granted, rather than recognizing the intrinsic value of this only true treasure.

 

Jesus told us a parable about a woman who lost one of her gold coins. The item was valuable to her, not only because of its monetary value, but because of its sentimental value as well (Luke 15:8-9).

 

He tells us that her joy in finding her coin is similar to the rejoicing going on in heaven when even one sinner repents and turns his/her life over to God for salvation (Luke 15:10).

 

We can develop this same eternal mindset, which sets us free from the cares of this life. We learn to care more for spiritual matters than earthly ones, and the trials of life no longer devastate us.

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us that putting our treasure where moths and rust cannot destroy it, and where thieves cannot break in and steal it, is so much more worthwhile than amassing worldly goods. Help us to treasure our relationship with You more than anything this carnal world has to offer.

 

Teach us to set our mind on things above, rather than on things of the earth (Colossians 3:2). Help us to value our spiritual life more than our temporal life, and heavenly treasures as more valuable than earthly ones. We set our hope and trust in You and we look forward to spending eternity with You.

 

Thought for the Day:

Our life in Christ is a priceless, dependable treasure, which we cannot lose, and which will never be destroyed.

No Longer a Sinner – In Union with Christ

Jesus calls us to enter into His Body, to fellowship with Him minute by minute of every day and to enjoy eternity with Him in the new heaven and the new earth (Romans 8:17; 2 Thessalonians 2:14).

 

We relinquish our human personality and surrender our individuality until we become more like Christ every day. We live in union with our risen Lord and Savior who justifies, sanctifies and will ultimately glorify us.

 

The Father is in the Son, and the Son is in us by the Spirit of God. We live in union with the Trinity through every moment of our life, listening to the Spirit’s direction and not being conformed to the expectations of this world.

 

Filled with God’s Spirit and controlled and guided by Him, we reach spiritual heights we never thought possible. We experience Him working in and through us as He conforms us to the image of Christ.

 

We press toward the goal of the high calling of God until we reach the measure of the full stature of Christ in us (Ephesians 4:13). We do not stop maturing and growing in Christ until we reach perfection, controlled and guided by the Spirit of God (Matthew 5:48; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:3; Ephesians 3:19).

 

When Christ resurrects the dead in Christ and raptures the church remaining on the earth, we will gain the same immortal body that Christ enjoys right now. We enter the glorious realm of the risen Lord.

 

We will not age, experience corruption and sickness, or feel emotional and mental distress and anxiety any longer. Even death is swallowed up in the victory of the cross of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:55).

 

Prayer:

Father God, awaken our apathetic soul and raise us from spiritual death (John 3:16-18). Remind us that Christ lives as a light within us (2 Corinthians 4:6). Help us to pay attention to how we live, so that we use Your wisdom in all that we say and do. Remind us to make the most of the time You give us and not to foolishly use it for our own selfish gains.

 

Show us Your will for our life and help us to walk in it (Ephesians 5:14-17). Help us to hear the way in which we should walk and to lift up our soul to You alone (Psalm 143:8). Keep us in step with Your Spirit through every trial and blessing we experience (Ephesians 5:14-17).

 

Thought for the Day:

Live life in full awareness of the immense potential available to us though our union with Christ.

 

Spiritually Minded

The Lord Jesus Christ is God (Matthew 1:23). He saves us, rejoices over us with gladness, quiets us with His love and rejoices over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). He dwells in the midst of our life.

 

Jesus provided this union for us with the triune God through His death and resurrection. We have a personal, intimate relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

 

Walking in the Spirit is not reserved for a few individuals, but is available for all authentic Believers who are willing to lay down their life and to allow Christ to live in them and through them (1 Peter 2: 21-25).

 

His Holy Spirit steadily draws us toward perfection as He convicts us of sin, and empowers us to walk in victory over these alluring transgressions. Slowly, our soul – our mind, will and emotions – is sanctified, and readily rejects worldly pursuits.

 

We come to desire nothing more than to remain hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). As we fully absorb the concept that Christ now lives His life in and through us, we, as the Body of Christ, will truly make a difference in the world around us. We seek eternal goals and dreams, rather than material ones.

 

Christ in us put an end to sin and death in us. Now we can concentrate on His spiritual truth, rather than carnal limitations that we face in life. We are dead in Christ, but also risen with Christ, in all of His wisdom, power and strength (Galatians 2:20).

 

God has a perfect will for our life, which surmounts the physical restrictions of this earthly realm (Acts 8:39). With Christ in us, time, space and matter no longer confine us. Jesus proved this when He walked on water and raised the dead.

 

If God needs us to walk on water, move a mountain or raise the dead, He is in us to break these yokes (Matthew 17:20). The negative aspects and encounters we face in life take on a new meaning. We see them as instruments of God to improve our obedience and to perfect our faith.

 

We view trouble and trials from an eternal mindset now. They no longer cause worry or stress, because we know without a doubt that God is in control even in these difficulties.

 

Maybe our house burned down, the boss increased our quota, our loved one passed away, our mate divorced us, the bank account is empty or a child is bent on rebellion, etc. However, God is in control of even these trying times.

 

The soul in union with Christ no longer wastes any energy on worldly issues. We keep our focus solely on God, and His peace reigns in our heart (John 14:27). We live in Him and by Him, because He dwells within us.

 

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, we long to live as exact replicas of You. You lived in love, humility and surrender to our Father. Help us to pattern our life after You, so that everything we say and do will last throughout eternity. Your coming brought eternity into the present for all Believers.

 

We live in eternity with You now, because You reside in our spirit. Thank You for Your sacrifice and for opening Your heart to us and including us in Your Body. You are our joy, our life, our peace and our salvation. We eternally lift up our praises to You.

 

Thought for the Day:

We experience God’s best when we completely surrender our life to Him.

 

Praying without Ceasing

There is a penchant in humanity to take things to the extreme. Many in our society will make desperate attempts to gain more intimacy with God to the point of neglecting their duties to family and society.

They will cloister their self from life and spend their time in their prayer closet, reading God’s Word and listening to sermons. In an attempt at holiness, they desert all aspiration to communicate with anyone other than God.

Yet, in doing this they prevent God from using them to reach the lost and dying world around us. God instructs us to pray without ceasing at the same time that we do every mundane task of life for His glory (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, 1 Corinthians 10:31).

Until the day on which He returns to claim His Bride for His own, God calls for His Saints to give Him a balance of devotional prayer in our closet and obedience to His will (1 Samuel 15:22; John 14:15).

Then He will take us home to be with Him for eternity. Our current position in Christ allows us to see life from God’s perspective and to choose our words and actions according to the will of God.

In this way, we are always moving toward perfection, which is the prize of the high calling of God (Matthew 5:48; Philippians 3:14).

 

Carrying on throughout our day, we pray without ceasing each moment in order to remain in His will (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Jesus taught the disciples how to pray using this formula (Matthew 6:9-13):

1.) Praising God’s majesty

2.) Anticipating the coming of His Kingdom

3.) Requesting our needs to be met

4.) Repenting of our sins

5.) Forgiving those who sin against us

6.) Acknowledging His Lordship

As we live in a place of communion with God during every waking moment, we have so much assurance of His love for us that we are able to rejoice regardless of the circumstance surrounding us (Romans 8:28).

Prayer:

Father God, as we walk in Your Spirit, we give thanks for everything that happens to us – the good, the bad and the ugly, because we know this is Your will and You always work out all things for our ultimate good (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17; Romans 8:28).

We rejoice and give You praise and thanksgiving for Your eternal care for everything that concerns us. We could never, ever repay You for Your personal love and care for each one of us. Thank You for taking a personal interest in our life and for providing for all of our needs.

Thought for the Day:

As we gather around the throne of Heaven, there will be a great innumerable multitude from every single nation, tribe, people and language group all standing there with us in worship and thanksgiving before our redeeming Lamb. – Revelation 7:9