Life is Not About Us

As authentic Christians, we now live by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2). Our transformation rests firmly on the rock of the gospel of Christ through His Holy Spirit (Romans 12:2; Psalm 18:2).

 

We live by His faith in love, filled with the fruit of and following the leading of God’s Spirit on a moment-by-moment basis (Galatians 5:1; 5:22-23; Ephesians 5:18).

 

We no longer strive to earn God’s love or to live a holy life. We simply walk in obedience. We live on earth to glorify our Father, not by our own human efforts, but only by the power of Christ within us.

 

Jesus loves us so much, that for our benefit he gave Himself up to the horrific death on Calvary’s cross. Through His sacrifice, we are now acceptable to God in Christ (1 Peter 2:5; Romans 15:7).

 

We have been crucified with Christ. Therefore, it is no longer we who live our life, but Christ, the Messiah, who lives in and through us.

 

The life that we now live in our body on this earth, we live by faith in, devotion to, dependence on and complete confidence in the Son of God (Galatians 2:20, Amplified Bible).

 

Jesus is our only hope of experiencing God’s glory (Colossians 1:27). We could never be good enough in our human effort to earn a place in Heaven (Ephesians 2:8-10).

 

We completely surrender our plans, goals and will to God’s will for our life and we live in perfect union with Christ. Our old sinful nature is crucified with Christ, and sin has no more power over our choices.

 

Prayer:

Father God, You planned, before You ever created the earth, for Jesus to give up His glory in Heaven, to take the form of a man, to humble Himself and to willingly die in our place (Philippians 2:8). You call us to follow in His example and to die to our humanity as well, exchanging our sinful desires for His righteousness.

 

Now, by Your Spirit’s power within us, we can put on the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5). Therefore, because of Your mercy and grace, we will no longer succumb to the negative suggestions of our carnal nature, but we live a life that is free from the destructive consequences of sin (Romans 12:2; Galatians 5:16).

 

Thought for the Day:

We renew our mind by reading God’s Word and walking in continual obedience to His Holy Spirit. – Ephesians 5:26; John 14:15

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Life is No Longer a Struggle

After surrendering our life to Christ, we experience a struggle between our soul and spirit. Our spirit is born again by the Spirit of God at salvation. Our carnal nature is now dead, and our life is hidden with Christ in God. Christ is our whole life (Colossians 3:1-4).

Yet, there are predispositions in our life through habits and addictions, which continually pull us back to the deeds of the flesh (Romans 7:14-24). Thankfully, our redemption through Christ rescued us from serving a slaves to sin (Romans 7:25).

We can trust His Spirit to slowly sanctify us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). The result is that we walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:15-26). We bear holy fruit in our life and share this fruit with those God brings our way (Galatians 5:22-23).

We cannot accumulate enough good works to earn God’s love (Ephesians 2:8-9). While we were still sinners, He already gave us His unconditional and unmerited love as a free gift (Romans 3:23, 5:6-8, 6:23).

He gives us an example of how to love our children, spouse and other family members and friends. Our love for them is not based on their behavior or accomplishments, but as a free gift.

When we believe that our self-worth is based on our performance, we lose respect for our self if we fail. When we base our identity on Christ in us, we always succeed because we follow His Spirit on a daily basis.

This frees us from wearing masks to fit in or lying or living a hypocritical life in order to live up to the image we believe people expect from us. Receiving our worth from Christ in us keeps us humble and totally dependent on God.

We rely on God to point out our inconsistencies, to effect these changes in us and to help us to accomplish the works He pre-ordained for us to do (Psalm 139:23-24; Ephesians 2:10). He is our all in all through every moment of every day (Ephesians 4:6).

Prayer:
Father God, we choose to enter Your rest and to bear fruit through Your Spirit and by no effort of our own (John 15:4). We trust in the saving work of Christ on Calvary’s cross rather than on our good works; and we accept our holiness, righteousness, justification and sanctification as gifts from Your Spirit.

Thank You for rooting and grounding us in the soil of Your love and for caring for us as our Vinedresser throughout our entire lifetime. We pray that as we submit to Your will for our life, we will glorify You by bearing much fruit for Your Kingdom through Your Spirit’s work in our life (John 15:8; Galatians 5:15-25).

Thought for the Day:
God searches our heart and tries us, seeing our fears and anxiety and healing us of every hurtful memory as He leads us in His everlasting way.
– Psalm 139:23-24

Ceasing from Futile Efforts

Much of what we do in this world is busyness. We get overly involved and double-booked in our schedule; yet make no time for play, worship and fellowship with family and friends.

We burn the candle at both ends until we burn out, making our self sick in the process. We have so many irons in the fire that we can barely keep everything straight even with a calendar and sticky notes.

We have so little of our self to put into each endeavor that they are all lacking to some degree or another. We constantly run from one plate to another to keep them all up in the air and spinning.

The rare person who learns the value and secret of entering God’s rest, ceases this striving in the flesh, follows the leading of God’s Spirit each moment of the day, and trusts in God’s overall plan for their life (Hebrews 4:7-10).

They are more interested in accomplishing the works which God preordained for them to do than in fulfilling their own goals and agendas (Ephesians 2:10).

They are not tempted by the world, the flesh or the devil to compete or to get ahead in this world. The trappings of life have lost their glitter and are no longer appealing.

They line up their desires with the purpose of God for their life. They love Him above all else and they hunger and thirst for the manifestation of His presence to fill their body, soul and spirit (Ephesians 3:18-19).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for Your law, which showed us the futility of attempting to reach fulfillment by human means and measures. We are so glad that Your law pointed us to Christ and His finished work on Calvary.

A life in Your presence is ours once we convert from a child of this world to Your child – forever free of the cares of this life and joyously cared for by You (John 3:16-18; Romans 3:19-25; 1 Peter 5:7). Thank You for using us to demonstrate Your righteousness to the world around us and draw us ever closer to Your rivers of living water within us.

Thought for the Day:
What time is there in life for rest, recreation, serenity and fulfillment amidst the turmoil of agitated rushing after useless pursuits in a state of disorder, the tyranny of cares and the mountain of depression rising within our soul?

Our Future with Christ

As you know, Jesus is God; yet, He became a man to pay the penalty for our sins. He endured the cross by keeping His focus on the joy that awaited Him back in Heaven. We too can enjoy this same love and peace, as we keep our mind focused on Him (Isaiah 26:3). Through Christ, everything in the universe was created (Colossians 1:16). His everlasting joy can reside in our heart forever (Psalm 16:11).

God’s gifts for us are free and include our ticket to Heaven through the forgiveness of our sin (Romans 6:23). We do not need to earn our own salvation or pay the penalty of our sins (Galatians 2:16). He completes the work in us, which He began on Calvary (Philippians 1:6). Jesus also perfects our faith, as He sits on His throne with God in Heaven (Hebrews 12:2).

God always gives us His grace to avoid temptation and to accomplish the works He created us to do (Ephesians 2:10; 2 Corinthians 9:8). All the grace we need in any and all circumstances are just a prayer away (2 Corinthians 9:8). He also supplies all of our financial, physical, mental and emotional needs in this earthly existence as we walk in His Spirit and obey His Word (Philippians 4:19).

We will all pass from life through death; however, angels escort authentic Believers to the presence of God (Luke 16:22). Our last breath on earth is followed by our next breath in Heaven. We will never sin or die again (Romans 8:21; 1 Corinthians 15:52-53). In eternity, we look forward to serving Christ and having the fullness of His character and divine nature complete in us (2 Corinthians 5:8; 1 John 3:2).

Prayer:
Father God, regardless of the pains and suffering that we endure on this earth, we are assured that You gave us an advocate in Christ (John 16:33; Hebrews 4:15). Thank You for sending Jesus to free us from our debt of sin and to help us to bear the pain of our current situation (2 Corinthians 4:17). We thank You that Christ is in us and is our hope of eternal glory with You (Colossians 1:27). We look forward with great joy to living as a co-heir with Christ of Your entire Kingdom (Romans 8:17).

Thought for the Day:
We will enjoy the presence of God for eternity and our joy will be exceedingly full. – Psalm 43:4; 1 Peter 3:18

Holiness is What I Long For

Prior to salvation, we had an instinctive intuition that we were faulty in character and lacking in moral fiber. Many people compare themselves to their neighbors or acquaintances, and then decide they are good enough to get into heaven. No one is good enough to enter heaven (Romans 3:10-12, 23). We do not measure up to God’s standard of holiness (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Isaiah 6:1-3).

We futilely attempt to fill the gap in our life by striving to find love, to amass worldly possessions and to rise in our career. Jesus came to fulfill that emptiness within and to pay the penalty for our sins. He gave Himself for us, and sanctified us with His sacrificial offering on Calvary’s cross (Ephesians 5:15 -17). If we humble our self and believe that Jesus died for our sins, then we are welcomed in heaven (Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9).

Holiness is the character of God (Isaiah 30:12). There is a song that I love, in which the words, ” Holiness is What I Long For” ring out loud and clear (song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfiC6rkhOY8 ). God calls us to desire holiness. Jesus purchased our holiness by suffering horrendously outside of the gate of the city (Hebrews 13:12). He calls us to walk in holiness rather than in carnality and sin.

God’s Word is Truth, and as we read and learn His Words, they sanctify us (John 17:17). God is peace, and He makes us completely holy in our body, soul and spirit through Jesus Christ, so that we are blameless when we face Him (1 Thessalonians 5:23). God is our Father, Jesus is our brother and their Spirit is our comforter and guide throughout our life (John 14:26). They are always with us and in us, helping us to be holy.

Prayer:
Father God, You call us to holiness, because You are holy (1 Peter 1:15-16). Help us to pursue holiness, because without it, we will never see You (Hebrews 12:14). Remind us to honor You and Your Son by righteous deeds, directed by Your Holy Spirit (John 5:22-23; Ephesians 2:10). We want to give You Your rightful place on the throne of our life and to totally surrender control over our life to You (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Thought for the Day:
As obedient children, we are not to conform our behavior to the passions and ignorance of our life prior to coming to Christ, but to be holy, even as Christ in us is holy. – 1 Peter 1:14-15

The Law of Life in Christ

When our spirit is Born Again by the Spirit of God in salvation, we are set free from the Law of Sin and Death (Romans 8:2). Jesus won this victory for us on Calvary’s cross. We are a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Jesus died to sin once and for us all. He bore the penalty of our sin and gave us His righteousness in its place (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 6:10). Our spirit is alive to God in Christ and our soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions – is now free from sin (1 Peter 6:11; Romans 6:7).

Our old carnal, human nature is dead and our new, spiritual nature resides in its place (Romans 8:2). We no longer struggle with the sin and depravity that used to plague our life. Paul records his struggle with coming to this conclusion in Romans chapter seven. Then, Paul triumphantly records the culmination of his struggle in the conclusion that the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus sets us free from the Law of Sin and Death (Romans 8:2; John 8:36).

Satan wants us to believe that we have to struggle with our flesh and go through a long, drawn out crucifixion process. Satan wants to keep us occupied with the struggle Paul describes in Romans chapter seven. However, when we realize the completed work, which Paul clarifies for us in Romans 8:2, we are no longer centered on the temporal, earthly aspects of life. We come to realize just how comprehensive Christ’s work on the cross really is (Philippians 2:12-13).

We focus instead on the eternal, Heavenly aspects of everlasting life, which is ours both now in this life and in eternity. We no longer live in selfishness, pride and rebellion, but we completely surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our life. Our carnal nature is totally dead by our faith in Christ, and is replaced by the fruit of God’s Spirit. We no longer reap the negative consequences of a carnal lifestyle, because we enjoy the eternal advantages of a life complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10).

Prayer:
Father God, I see as Paul did that there is no need to pray for more love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, meekness, self-control and faith, because they are all part of Your nature, which resides within us from the moment of our salvation. We really are a totally new creation with all the attributes of Your triune Being living within us (1 Thessalonians 5:23; Colossians 1:19). Our carnality is now dead, and our life is completely hidden with Christ in You (Colossian 3:3).

Thought for the Day:
Jesus Christ really is our whole life. – Colossian 3:4