Christ Richly Dwells in Us

God wants us to abide in Christ, who dwells in us, and is the wisdom of God for us. Jesus, who had no sin, took the shame of our sins upon Himself and nailed them to Calvary’s cross. As we grow in Christ, our former accomplishments become meaningless, and we gain the righteousness of Christ in exchange for our sins (Philippians 3:8-9).

God blesses our union with Christ, which gives us all of the power and authority resident in the Heavenly realm (Ephesians 1:3-4). This merger with Christ begins with regeneration and progresses through our obedience to His predetermined will for our life (Ephesians 2:4-5, 10). We do not boast of our own accomplishments, because we see our self as we really are in God’s eyes.

Our only boasting is actually about His goodness and love for us (1 Corinthians 1:30-31). Our carnal nature slowly dies through sanctification, and Christ lives out His purpose in and through us (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:3-4). We no longer follow our own agenda or dreams for our life, but we focus solely on the will of God for each moment of our day.

Through His love, God draws us to Himself by His Spirit and desires that we share with Him the glorious blessings He arranged for us to enjoy with Him in eternity. No human mind has ever conceived, nor has any eye ever seen, nor has any ear ever heard of the extent of these benefits, which God prepared for us (1 Corinthians 2:9).

By faith, Christ richly dwells in us, and He deepens our roots in Him and establishes us in His love. Out of His glorious riches, God strengthens us with power from His Spirit within us (Ephesians 3:16). God’s Spirit gives His power to all of His Saints, so that we can comprehend the fathomless dimensions of our Father’s love (Romans 8:38-39).

Prayer:
Father God, those of us who persevere in our union with Christ will appear with Him, and rule and reign with Him in Your Kingdom for all of eternity (John 10:27-38; Romans 6:14; Colossians 2:11-12, 3:1-3). Remind us not to rely on human effort, but on Christ’s finished work on Calvary’s cross, and the effects of His sacrifice in our life. Help us to walk in Your Spirit each moment of every day (Galatians 5:15-25). Fill us with the fullest measure of Your complete character and nature (Ephesians 3:17-19).

Thought for the Day:
As we see our self in the wide scheme of God’s eternal plan, we lose all anxiety over the here and now.

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Two Extremes

There are two extremes of human attitudes, which end up as liabilities to the work of Christ, rather than as a blessing. Satan tempts us in our thoughts with the sins of inferiority and superiority. Our misguided beliefs about God, the world and our self shade the thoughts in our mind. This also affects our words and actions.

Some of us are insecure, and shrink from the limelight, rarely volunteering to help in church ministries. We end up disparaging, censuring and condemning our abilities and our feeble attempts to serve. We doubt God’s love for us. We fail to walk in the will of God, because we believe that we cannot accomplish what He is calling us to achieve (Proverbs 23:7).

On the other hand, there are those with prideful thoughts who exalt themselves and brag about their accomplishments (Galatians 6:3: Romans 12:3). We have spiritual pride and remove our self from fellowship with the Body of Christ, because we look down on them and criticize their efforts for the Lord. We think that we are too good to function in God’s true calling for our life (James 1:26).

Jesus pointed out that what is in us, comes out of us, either good or bad (Matthew 12:35). If we listen to Satan’s lies, we will live in defeat or arrogance. God’s Spirit deals both with inadequacy and pride in the authentic Believer (Hebrews 4:12). The balance between these two extremes is to have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).

Christ can heal us and deliver us. We can function through God’s Holy Spirit, who leads us into all truth and directs our every step (Galatians 2:20; John 16:13; Romans 8:14). We no longer struggle to live in this world. God’s Spirit replaces our carnal disposition with the divine nature and mind of Christ (2 Peter 1:4; Romans 12:2).

Prayer:
Father God, after our spirit is Born Again, allow us to surrender to the transforming work, which Your Spirit accomplishes in our soul. This way we will cooperate and exhibit more and more of Your spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22-23). Remind us to place our mind on spiritual and eternal issues, not on earthly aspects (Colossians 3:2). Help our mind to dwell only on what is factual, moral, accurate, divine, positive, admirable and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8).

Thought for the Day:
If we focus on the negative, we reap death; but if we focus on the positive and spiritual, we will enjoy rest and peace. – Romans 8:5-6

Perfect Strength in Weakness

There are times in life when we beg God to help us because of some physical illness, emotional turmoil or trial in our spiritual life. Paul did this too. He had a “thorn in the flesh” and begged God to remove it from him. There is much speculation about what that thorn was, but it does not really matter.

The crux of the issue is that God’s grace was sufficient for Paul to excel in life in spite of it (2 Corinthians 12:8-10). Paul actually learned to brag about his imperfections and infirmities, so that the power of Christ in him would give him rest for his soul. God’s power, strength and ability are perfected in our weaknesses.

All we need to flourish in this life is His grace. Whenever we are weak, Christ in us is our strength (2 Corinthians 12:8-10). The prophet Daniel relied on God’s strength in his times of weakness too (Daniel 10:19). The warrior and national leader of Israel, Joshua, found strength and courage in his times of fear (Joshua 1:9).

If we have personal power, we would not need God; and we could boast in our abilities and accomplishments (2 Corinthians 12:1). However, our life in Christ is not about us at all (Ephesians 2:8-9). That is why God uses the weak and foolish things of the world to confound the mind of those who consider themselves wise (1 Corinthians 1:27).

Our faith does not rest on human abilities but on God’s power within us (1 Corinthians 2:5). A surrendered life is the successful life. Out of God’s glorious riches, He empowers us by His Spirit, which abides within us (Ephesians 3:16). We can excel in the will of God and live a fulfilled Christian life, because He lives in us (Philippians 4:13).

Prayer:
Father God, You remind us not to be anxious about anything, but to come to You in everything, letting You know what we need. We start from a place of gratitude for all You have already done for us, and then we make our requests known to You. This results in a shower of Your peace on our life, which transcends every negative aspect that we are experiencing (Philippians 4:6).

Thought for the Day:
God’s peace guards our mind and heart in Christ Jesus, in spite of what life throws at us. – Philippians 4:7

The Ebbs of Life

The Ebbs of Life

As we mature in Christ, Satan has little victory in tempting us to sin; therefore, He tries oppressing us with a religious demon or he sets us free to work in our human effort until we spiritually, emotionally and physically burnt out. He knows we are set free from the Law of Sin and Death, by the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2). So, He impedes our walk with God by keeping us too busy to walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-25). Submit to God, resist Satan and He will flee (James 4:7).

Our service for God becomes a major detriment to our obedience to God in the ebbs of life. There is no need to over-schedule our day or to pursue anything, which God does not ordain for us to accomplish (Ephesians 2:10). Let God plan your day, so you can walk in His Spirit, doing only those things, which He preordained for you to accomplish (Ephesians 2:10). We can live in God’s rest and enjoy the blessings of His wonderful love every moment of every day (Hebrews 4:10).

Spend time with God, not only on your knees, but in personal communication with Him as you traverse His schedule for your day and night. God desires this intimate relationship with you now and always. He wants to live as your very best friend (Proverbs 18:24), your mate (Isaiah 54:5) and your Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9). Walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-25) has nothing to do with human effort and activities, but only on the leading of God’s Spirit.

Some people envy Adam and Eve for visiting with God in person in the garden. I look forward to living with Him in eternity, but I cannot imagine feeling any closer to Him than I do right now. God lives IN us. He is currently closer to every authentic Born Again Believer than we are to our own self. We have this intimate relationship with the Living Lord of all, and we often fail to take advantage of that. Seek the Lord right now, enter His presence and never leave.

Prayer:
Father God, allow me to walk according to Your Spirit today as You direct me, rather than to sit passively and impassively or to burn out by my own hectic schedule. Show me Your path and teach me Your ways (Proverbs 3:5-6). Once we live in Christ Jesus, by surrendering to the cross, we realize we can no longer earn our way to heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9). You have a holy standard for our life and none of us reach it without the perfect, sinless person of Jesus Christ living in and through us each moment of the day.

Thought for the Day:
Too many people today are trying to get into heaven by their own merits and religious works, and it just cannot be done.
– Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:23

Salt and Light

God made His Saints as salt and light in our world (Matthew 5:13-16). As light, we reveal the hidden wounds in a sinner’s life; and as salt, we create a thirst in their soul. Sinners resent being reminded of their sin, and despise those who keep them accountable. Unbelievers often criticize Christians when we tell them the truth. As ungodliness increases with the growing apostasy in our world (2 Timothy 3:12-13), these people attempt to extinguish our light in order to hide their darkness.

When salt sits in the box, it clumps together and loses its usefulness (Matthew 5:13). It is only as we allow Jesus to pour us out, that we are any good to His Kingdom. Speaking God’s truth will season, cleanse, heal, preserve and prevent decay in the life of those who will listen and believe. Hopefully, those whose thirst we amplify will want to quench it with Living Water (John 7:37-39), which only comes through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ (Mark 1:14-15).

Salt also enhances sweetness, such as bringing out the natural sweetness of melons. Expecting Christians to be sweet as pie, sinners resent the salty truth of God’s word. It is actually those preachers who dilute and sugar-coat the gospel of Christ that steer people in the wrong direction. They falsely imply that life in Christ is all about health, wealth and success. They disguise sin, calling it a weakness or saying it is biologically predestined; therefore, Jesus accepts it.

These lies lead people down the eternal path to destruction, rather than the narrow way of truth. Eternal joy comes from living in the presence of God for eternity. Although Authentic Believers all over the world are persecuted more and more, just like Jesus was during His lifetime (John 15:20), we are not deterred from sharing the truth of God’s Word. We do not merely listen to the Word and deceive our self, but we also obey God’s Word is Spirit and sincerity (James 1:22-24).

Prayer:
Father God, Your Word is truth and shall never pass away (John 17:17). Help us to be lights, which shine into this dark world, illuminating the way for whosoever will to come to salvation in Jesus’ name (Revelation 22:17). Until we walk in and share Your Truth, it simply remains a thought in our mind and does no good for anyone (2 Timothy 3:7). Your Spirit leads us into all truth (John 16:13). Give us the courage to continue to share it.

Thought for the Day:
The power of Christ working in us can accomplish more than we could ever imagine. – Ephesians 3:20