Our True Identity in Christ

 

We find our true identity and self-worth in Jesus Christ. We are a stem on the Vine of Christ (John 15:5), a slave to Jesus, our Master (Romans 6:16-18), a holy place for the Holy Spirit to dwell (1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 5:1).

 

We are dead to self-effort through Christ (Romans 6:4; Ephesians 2:8-9). Jesus perfects us, and He is the author and finisher of our faith as we focus on Him and His will for our life (Hebrews 12:2).

 

God sent His Son in the form of human flesh, in order that the law may be fulfilled in Him (Romans 8:3). As we obey God, we will not walk according to the law or in the sinful passions of our flesh.

 

We will walk instead according to the leading of God’s Spirit moment by moment throughout our day (Romans 8:4). We have no righteousness of our own merit, but we walk in the victory of the cross and in dependence upon our union with Christ.

 

A committed Believer wants to do God’s will above all else. That is our goal in life. Our every waking breath and the desire of our heart is to further the Kingdom of God in the earth.

 

Though we may fall short of God’s glory now and then, we surrender our life to Christ in order for Him to perfect us through sanctification (Philippians 3:12-14).

 

Our thoughts, words and behavior match our desires. We put away sinful pursuits and seek holiness. We live life surrendered to God’s unconditional love, unqualified forgiveness and perfect will for our lives.

 

Through the Spirit of God, we are transformed into the fullness of Christ from one degree of glory to another through the process of sanctification (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

Prayer:

Father God, as a container we show that the all-surpassing power in us is from You and not from us (2 Corinthians 4:7). As we totally surrender our life and plans to You, we find all the riches and wonders we could ever want during both this life and the next.

 

Nothing is impossible with You, and we constantly reap the benefits of Your unconditional love for us (Matthew 19:26). Thank You for allowing us to be a part of Your glorious plan of redemption for the earth.

 

Remind us that once our “self-life” is dead, we no longer live, but Christ lives in us and through us (Colossians 1:27; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Galatians 2:20). Jesus uses our hands, our feet, our words and our actions to further Your Kingdom in the earth.

 

Thought for the Day:

The only way for every child of God to fully live is to completely die to our own desires, ambitions and goals, and to hide our life with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).

 

 

 

 

Divinity Dwelling within Us

God dwells in His children by the new birth we receive from Christ through Salvation (John 1:12). He rejoices as we grow in the knowledge of our salvation (1 John 3:2), but He waits for our realization that we are also the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).

 

Once we begin to submit to the Spirit for sanctification of our flesh, then He teaches us about the divinity of Christ, which dwells within us (Galatians 2:20).

 

We are not separate from Christ, obeying Him in our own power. He permanently dwells in us and expresses Himself through us (Colossians 3:3).

 

We are children of His death, but we are also children of His resurrection (Luke 20:36). We are transformed into Christ’s image in ever-increasing increments of glory, which come from the Lord’s Spirit.

 

Then, as unveiled mirrors, we reflect to the world the glory of the Lord within us (2 Corinthians 3:18). In our daily life, as His Spirit molds us into His image, we experience and express all of the attributes of God because He is within us (Romans 8:29).

 

Jesus gives us the glory that God gave Him, so that we are one with our triune God, just as they are one (John 17:22). If we do not recognize this divine power within us, then we will never live up to our full potential as Christians.

 

Jesus’ sacrifice enables us to share in His divine nature and to escape the corruption in the world caused by evil human desires (2 Peter 1:4).

 

As we mature, we attain to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ who dwells within us (Ephesians 3:16-19). We put on our new self, shaped by the Spirit to be like God, with all of His virtues and holiness within us (Ephesians 4:13,24).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we often limit our understanding of life to what we perceive through our five senses. We also rely heavily only on what our human mind envisions. We ignore the supernatural and the eternal aspects of Christ within us.

 

Therefore, we hinder the expression of Your power in and through us. Remind us that You impart Your Spirit to us in order to allow the glorious nature of Christ in us the freedom of expression through us (Colossians 1:27; 1 Corinthians 12:27).

 

 

Thought for the Day:

With Christ in us, it does not matter where we live, with whom we live or even if we live alone; Christ’s presence within us rises above the limitations of this earthly realm and our circumstances in it.

 

Waiting Continually on God

Prayer is the most important spiritual discipline we can accomplish. Prayer is speaking to God from our heart. Rote prayers and formulas for prayer are unnecessary. God already knows our heart and wants to hear our own words (Luke 16:15).

 

God places His burdens upon our heart for the lost people groups in our world, for those laden by illness, for people devastated by the loss of a loved one through death or divorce, and those suffering from other ill effects of this life.

 

Waiting continually on God all day long, we pray without ceasing, worship the beauty of His holiness, live in His presence and praise His holy name (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Psalm 16:11, 29:2, 138:2).

 

Once we entirely surrender to Christ in us, there is no limit to what God can do in and through us. We bow in humble adoration of our King and walk in perfect submission to His will.

 

He heals our diseases and nurtures our soul, lifting our head from the pillow of illness or a posture of depression; and putting a new song in our heart (Psalm 3:3-4, 40:3).

 

He takes our trials and tribulation personally, because He dwells within each one of us and experiences everything right along with us (Acts 9:4-5).

 

We hope in God alone as He sustains us, comfort us and puts a smile on our face (Psalm 42:11). As we find our delight in Him, He fills our soul and spirit with His glory and places His desires in our heart (Psalm 37:4).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You fill us with Your love in a world that is full of anger and hate. You encourage us when our soul is bowed with the cares of this life. You teach us to forgive when others fail to admit that they have mistreated us. You feel our pain and You carry us through our tribulation.

 

You lift our head from the pit of despondency and make our feet like hinds feet to climb higher still into Your presence (Psalm 18:33). We look forward to dwelling with you throughout eternity, because You are our great God, full of loving kindness and mercy (Psalm 95:3).

 

Thought for the Day:

It has been said, “When we go God’s way, we bump into the devil who is always trying to discourage us and derail our attempts to walk in God’s will.”

 

 

Sharing Christ with Others

God’s invisible attributes, eternal power and divine nature are clearly seen in His Creation (Revelation 4:11). This takes away a person’s excuse for not believing in Him as their Savior.

We instinctively know that there is a God and that we should serve Him with all of our emotions, mind, choices and physical strength (Deuteronomy 6:4-5).

Yet, so many do not honor God or appreciate Him. They pursue futile activities, endless philosophies and fruitless enlightenment and their hearts darken further with each passing day. They think they are wise, but they are actually very foolish (Romans 1:20-22).

Authentic Believers trust in, rely on and believe in Christ even if we end up suffering for the sake of His righteousness. We learn to explain and defend our beliefs to those who ask us about the hope we have in Him.

Yet, we never impose our beliefs on someone who is clearly not interested in them (1 Peter 3:14-16). There is no point if the Holy Spirit is not drawing them to God. We never badger anyone about coming to Christ.

We share Jesus with gentleness, respect for the listener and a good conscience; even if someone slanders our good name or reviles our good behavior in Christ.

We are created for God’s glory and service, and we will spend all of eternity worshiping our worthy Lamb who was slain in our place. For now, we live for His glory while we dwell on this earth and do only those works for which He created us to perform (Ephesians 2:10).

Prayer:
Father God, break the yoke of bondage that our flesh feels to sin and replace our weaknesses with Your strengths. Help us to decrease so that You may increase. We praise You as our living Lord and thank You for giving us Your Spirit to abide within us all the days of our life.

You are the only one worthy of all honor, respect, praise, glory, wisdom, might and blessing. We look forward to joining the myriads of angels already around the throne in singing Your praises (Revelation 5:12). Lead us to share Christ with those whom You are drawing to Yourself.

Thought for the Day:
The abiding Holy Spirit teaches us to follow His lead as we share Christ with friends, relatives, associates and neighbors; so that we do not push too hard, ignore their body language or fail to read the feelings of their soul in their eyes.

Heavenly Throne and Earthly Footstool

In this modern era, we depreciate God in every way. We see Him as the little man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz. We tell Him what to do, berate Him as a child, and show our disdain and anger toward Him.

We forget that He created the entire cosmos. Mankind discovers more and more galaxies with each new powerful telescope and probe, which we send out into space.

We continually discover plant and animal species which we never knew existed. We see the magnitude of His glory in nature; and yet, this does not change our respect and honor for our Creator (Romans 1:20).

Today, God deigns to dwell on earth in the hearts of Believers (2 Chronicles 6:18). We cannot possibly hide from God. He sees our thoughts, words and deeds. He desires our pure and holy worship (Jeremiah 23:24).

People refer to a building where the church meets as the “House of God”, but this is far from the way God sees it (Acts 7:38). Heaven is His throne and He uses the earth as His footstool (Isaiah 66:1). The most elegant cathedral cannot contain Him.

He is our King and the ultimate Ruler of the Universe (1 Timothy 1:17). He stretches out between the vast expanse of time and space and interacts with His creation throughout the ages.

His Lordship and holy Presence should cause us to fall on our face before Him in humility, gratitude and praise; rather than to shout false accusations at Him, demean His character and blame Him for that misfortune which Satan causes on the earth.

God is totally engaged in each individual life and works by His Spirit to bring His truth and revelation to people in each generation since Adam and Eve. There is no reason for us not to love and honor Him with every breath we take.

Prayer:
Father God, what house could we possibly build for You (Jeremiah 7:4)? There is no way to contain Your essence in a building made with human hands (Acts 7:49). The heavens cannot even contain You, because You defy space and matter (1 Kings 8:27). You hold the universe in one hand.

Yet, Your eyes are on each one of us, judging our works and considering our needs, providing for Your children through Your magnanimous love and care (Psalm 11:4; 1 Peter 5:7). We give thanks to You that there is no good thing, which we need that You are not willing to provide for us (Philippians 4:19).

Thought for the Day:
God fills both the heavens and the earth and is not limited by time, space or matter; yet, He also revives the heart of the humble and penitent, and energizes our spirit with His Spirit as a down payment for all He has prepared for us both now and in eternity. – Jeremiah 23:24; Isaiah 57:15

The Name of the Lord – Multi-faceted

As Believers, we are called by the name of the Lord. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture (Isaiah 43:7; Jeremiah 14:9). In His name we are washed, sanctified and justified in the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 6:11).

God chooses individuals to stand and serve in His name; and requires that some cities and houses are dedicated to His name (Acts 9:15; Deuteronomy 18:5, 7; 1 Samuel 17:45; 1 Samuel 7:13; 1 Kings 8:19, 18:24; 2 Kings 21:4, 7; 2 Chronicles 7:16, 12:13; Nehemiah 1:9).

Jesus is the King who came in the name of the Lord (Luke 19:38); His name is also Emmanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23). When we call on His name, we are saved (Acts 2:21).

Those who believe in the name of God’s Son receive eternal life (1 John 5:13). Those who do not believe in His name condemn themselves to eternal judgement (John 3:18).

When we receive Jesus and believe on His name, He gives us the right to become His children, and we receive forgiveness for all of our sins (John 1:12; Acts 10:43).

If we realize our reliance on God, obey His Word and do not deny His name, God opens doors for us, which no one can shut (Revelation 3:8). The power, provision and protection of His name are always near to us (Psalm 75:1).

The Lord appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as God Almighty, but He did not reveal Himself to them as Lord (Exodus 6:3). He set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the Ark, to serve Him and to bless His name (Deuteronomy 10:8; 18:5).

The one hundred and forty-four thousand will have the name of the Lord and the Father written on their foreheads (Revelation 14:1, 4). We also overcome our enemies in the name of the Lord (Psalm 44:5).

When we come in the name of the Lord, we are blessed (Psalm 118:26). The Father keeps and protects us in His name, which He gave to Jesus (John 17:11-12).

Prayer:
Father God, if we are hated, ostracize and insulted for our stand for the name of Christ, we are also blessed, because Your Spirit and glory rest on us (Matthew 10:22, 24:9; Luke 6:22; 1 Peter 4:14). We rejoice when we realize that we are considered worthy to suffer for Your name (Acts 5:41).

Remind us to make disciples from all nations and to baptize them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). Help us to cast out demons and to heal the sick in Your name (Mark 9:38; Acts 3:6); and whatever we ask, for the sake of Your name, we know that You will do it (John 14:13-14).

Thought for the Day:
The Holy Spirit, our Helper, comes from the Father in Jesus’ name to teach us all things and bring them to our remembrance when we need them. – John 14:26

Renewing Our Mind

Paul admonishes us not to conform our thoughts, words and action to this world, but to allow the Holy Spirit to transform us and to renew our mind (Romans 12:2).

We feel remorse for our ungodly thoughts and behavior, repent of them as sin, and submit to God’s Spirit as He renovates us into the fruitful character and divine nature of Christ (Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Peter 1:4).

Satan uses the enticements of the world to distract us from our commitment to God. He lures us away through the lusts of our eyes and flesh, as well as our pride in our accomplishments (1 John 2:16).

When these temptations stop working on us, then the devil uses worthy responsibilities, as well as the expectations of others to sidetrack us to use our time for good things rather than to devote our time to God’s will for us.

If we say “No”, we may disappoint someone else, but we please our Lord and God. When we boldly choose to focus on God’s will, we submit to His Spirit as He renews our mind and directs our steps (Ephesians 4:23, 5:26; Proverbs 3:5-6).

As we regularly ingest God’s Word, we sorrow over our sin to the point of repentance, which helps us to walk in the good, acceptable and perfect will of God (2 Corinthians 7:9; Romans 12:2).

Our former Adamic nature dies and our soul is reprogrammed by Christ and His Spirit in us, as well as the life and light of scripture, which sharply divides our soul and spirit (Colossians 3:3; Galatians 2:20; Hebrews 4:12).

Prayer:
Father God, life gives us choices, on a daily basis, to either walk in Your Spirit or to succumb to the devil and our flesh. Thank You for convicting us when we walk on the path of destruction and for helping us to find our way back to Your true and righteous path for our life.

Help us to live according to Your ways and to cherish Your love throughout our life. We want to serve You with our whole being and to love You with our whole heart by Your Spirit, whom You graciously provided for us. We give You all of the praise and glory for the many benefits, which You shower on us with each moment of our life.

Thought for the Day:
In repentance, we find freedom from sin; and by reading God’s Word and hiding it in our heart, we renew our mind and walk in righteousness, peace and joy, which His Holy Spirit births in our soul and spirit. – Romans 14:17; Psalm 119:11;

To Those who Overcome

All of my Christian life, I heard the verses to the churches in Revelation containing promises to those who overcome. I do not have the moral fiber, mental strength or physical stamina to overcome anything. In other words, I am a wimp!

Whenever I saw or heard those verses, I cringed and shut down mentally and emotionally. As a new Believer, life still frightened me; and yet, I wanted to receive those promises to the overcomer.

Recently, my pastoral husband preached about living as an overcomer and his sermon gave me the key verse that I missed all of these years (1 John 4:4, 5:1-5). We overcome not in our human ability, but through Christ in us (John 16:33; James 1:2-3).

Whoever is born of God automatically overcomes the world, because our faith in Jesus as the Son of God gives us the victory (1 John 5:45). Jesus already overcame the world and He abides in us.

Even in suffering, we glorify God by our example as patient victims (1 Peter 4:12-16; 2 Corinthians 4:17-18). In heaven, we will receive these promises to the overcomer:
• We will eat of the tree of life and hidden manna, and we will receive the white stone of acquittal for our sins along with a new name (Revelation 2:7, 17; 3:12),
• We will rule the nations (Revelation 2:26) and we will be clothed in white, which is the purity of our works (Revelation 19:8).
• We will have our name written in the Lambs’ Book of Life (Revelation 3:5), we will forever serve as a pillar of strength in the temple of our God (Revelation 3:12),
• We will sit with Christ on His throne (Revelation 3:21),
• We will inherit all things as co-heirs with Christ as Children of God (Revelation 21:27),
• We will not experience the second, spiritual death in hell (Revelation 2:11),

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for sending Jesus to do for us what we could never do for our self. Thank Your for taking away the shame and condemnation of our sins, and for making us acceptable in Your beloved family (Ephesians 1:6). Christ in us makes us overcomers, because we are born again of His Spirit and we have faith in His faithfulness (1 John 5:4-5).

If we could live for thousands of years, we would never have enough time to praise You for what You already did and still do for us every day. We look forward to living for eternity in Your Kingdom and to giving You the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Thought for the Day:
Christ in us will overcome anything, which the world, the devil and our flesh throws at us (Galatians 2:20); we are more than conquerors through Christ who lives in us (Romans 8:31-39).

Surrendering to God’s Love

A pure heart is the key to knowing God (Matthew 5:8). His love overwhelms us with its joy and peace. His perfect love slowly, but surely, casts out all of our fears (1 John 4:18). When we trust in Christ and keep God’s Word, we become His dwelling place (John 14:23). He fills us through all of our being with all of His fullness (Ephesians 3:19).

As the Temple of the Holy Spirit, we experience more and more intimacy with the Trinity (1 Corinthians 3:16). The outer court of the temple is our body, the inner court is our soul and the Most Holy place is our spirit, where the presence of God dwells and fills our soul and body. As we present our body to God, as a living sacrifice, we die to our self and the destructive lusts of life (Romans 12:1).

God’s Spirit fills our soul with all of the characteristics of faith, hope and love. These are the greatest traits a person can possess (1 Corinthians 13:13). The more we walk in obedience to the directives of God’s Spirit, the more our faith increases. Our obedience to Biblical standards comes as we grow in love for God (John 14:15). Then, our love and faith increase our hope in God.

God’s love is wider, deeper and higher than any human emotion or any created thing (Ephesians 3:18; Romans 8:31-39). God’s proven love for us, over the years of our relationship with Him, helps us to have more love for one another (John 13:34). Surrendering to God’s love opens doors for us that we can only dream about, and brings fulfillment to our life in this sin-cursed world.

Prayer:
Father God, faith, hope and love are intertwined throughout our entire personality and relationship with You. They affect our lifestyle, and are the foundation of every other fruit of Your Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Teach us to surrender to Your love, and to allow Your light to shine through us, so that men will see our good works and give You the glory (Matthew 5:16). Perfect Your love in us and help us to bring You glory with our life (1 John 2:5).

Thought for the Day:
God is love and love is of God; everyone who loves is born again of the Spirit of God and knows God. – 1 John 1:7-8; Luke 10:27

Our Intimate Father

The Lord searches us and knows us intimately. He sees us when we sit down and wake up. He recognizes our thoughts, even the ones we have not even thought about yet. We will think about them tomorrow or next year, but He already knows what they will be. He already examined the actions, which we will take in the future, and He is personally acquainted with everything about us.

Before we even speak a word, God knows exactly what we are going to say. He enfolds us with His peace and covers our past and our future with His love. This familiarity with each and every one of us is too hard for our finite mind to comprehend. He is absolutely amazing (Psalm 139:1-6). Still, our soul yearns for Him in the night and our spirit attentively seeks Him all day long (Isaiah 26:9).

There is no place on earth that anyone can take us, which will be away from God’s Spirit. His presence is always with us and in us. If we are in a plane, a submarine, a horrible circumstance or the most exhilarating event, His hand is right there to lead and protect us. His thoughts are centered on us. These facts are so precious to us; yet equally as unfathomable (Psalm 139:17-18).

Even in our darkest hour, God’s presence in our life surrounds us with light, because darkness is not dark to the Lord. Darkness and light are the same to Him, and everything works out according to His plan. God formed us in our mother’s womb. He wonderfully knit us together so that we would have the personality, shape and appearance that He wanted us to have. He made us uniquely His own (Romans 8:28; Psalm 139:7-12).

Prayer:
Father God, the soul of each person, even if they deny it, knows without a doubt that You are our creator. You watched as our embryo developed and You continue to watch as Your Spirit conforms us to the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18). You pre-ordained every one of the days that we will live, and You wrote them down in Your book before one of them ever existed (Psalm 139:13-16). We give You all the praise, honor and glory for who we are in You.

Thought for the Day:
The Lord is righteous in all of His ways, and completely gracious in everything He does. – Psalm 145:17