God’s Ultimate Sacrifice

We know that God loved us before we ever loved Him, even while we are still sinners (Romans 5:8-10). We do not have to make our self holy before we come to Christ. This is impossible to do.

God demonstrated His love for us when He sent His Son to atone for our sins (1 John 4:10; Romans 5:8-10). It is not by our works, or we could boast about our accomplishments (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Jesus was delivered to death by the Jews and Romans, for the purpose of paying the debt of our sin, and He was raised back to life for our justification (Romans 4:25).

Nothing, not even death, or our worry over a life full of trials, or angels or demons, nor the power of hell or any created thing can separate us from God’s love, which He reveals to us in Jesus Christ, our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).

When we come to Christ, our old carnal, fleshly nature dies. Satan still uses it to tempt us; but it is dead in Christ (Colossians 3:3). Therefore, we have no excuse for living a sinful life.

We are crucified with Christ. Although we now live in our body, we live by the faith of God’s Son who abides within us, because He loves us and died for us (Galatians 2:20).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for the covenant You made with us and for putting Your laws in our heart and mind. Your love remembers our sins no more; and we have no need for further sacrifice, because we are forgiven once and for all (Hebrews 10:16-18).

We now draw near to You with a genuine heart full of assurance, which comes from our faith in Your faithfulness. You cleared our conscience from guilt and shame. We hold unshakably to our hope in You. We know that You will give us all things through Your grace (Romans 8:32).

Remind us not to forsake the practice of meeting with other Saints for the purpose of fellowship and encouraging one another, especially as the day of Christ’s return approaches.

Thought for the Day:
God loves us so much that He gave us the power of His Spirit, so that we can tell everyone we know about what He does in our life. – Acts 1:8

The Blessings of Relationship

The world in which we live has values, which they hold dear. People in our world judge each person according to their worldly standards. However, if we live in order to be accepted and esteemed in this worldly system, we end up as an abomination to God (Luke 16:14-15). If we follow Biblical admonitions, we cannot earn the world’s respect and admiration, although we will earn God’s pleasure (Ephesians 1:6).

There are a few people, like Mother Teresa, who honor God and also manage to earn the world’s respect. She gave up her life for the indigent and abused, making their life better in any way she could. God gave her a gift, and she responded to His call for her life. God has a special purpose for each of us too. It is up to us whether or not we fulfill His desire for our life (Ephesians 2:10). We may not reach world fame, but God will say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Our self-righteous attempts to please God with our natural efforts and accomplishments are worthless. They give off the terrible stench of human nature as we offer it to the Lord (Isaiah 64:6). It is not pleasing to Him, because He only accepts the sacrifices of those who rely only on the righteousness of Christ for their salvation (Romans 3:22). In God’s eyes, our good deeds are nothing more than dirty rags (Isaiah 64:6).

We cannot earn salvation or justification by our works (Titus 3:5-7). However, Jesus gives us His holiness as a free gift in exchange for our humanity. He took our sin and nailed it to the cross, triumphing over both sin and death (Colossians 2:14; 1 Corinthians 15:57). We trust in Christ alone and possess His righteousness as our own (2 Corinthians 5:21). Then, we radiate the love and light of Christ to the world around us.

Prayer:
Father God, we live in Your joy and take pleasure in each moment of our relationship with You. Christ is our only life (Colossians 3:4). Remind us to allow You to use us to bring reconciliation to the world around us (2 Corinthians 5:11-21). Many people will reject our message and may even reject us. However, You will delight in our ways. Remind us to use all of the resources You have given us, not for our own advancement in life, but to further Your Kingdom in the earth (Luke 16:1-18).

Thought for the Day:
If I think I am somebody, then God is not everything to me; but when I realize that I am nothing, God becomes my all in all. That is when He fully reveals Himself to me.

His Exact Replica

After Salvation, we often focus our attention outwardly. We see God on His throne in Heaven, but we see our self as struggling alone in life and in need of His divine help. Some people say we are nothing but puppets, forced to serve as our Divine Manipulator dictates. However, we are more like a glove. Christ exactly fills us and we are perfectly molded to His character and nature (2 Peter 1:4).

Our union with Christ involves our spirit, soul and body. He unites them in vision and purpose with Christ. Through this union, God expresses His heart through us in sympathy for the hardships of others, in patience in tribulation, and in devotion in Bible study, prayer and fellowship with other Saints of God. Consequently, God fulfills through us His purpose for us in the earth (Ephesians 2:10).

In this manner, the union between the Creator and the created, the divine and the human, the eternal and the temporal is complete (Colossians 2:10). The Spirit directs us, and we move as His exact replica on the earth. Jesus also walks beside us, as well as living within us. He completely surrounds us, finishing His work of sanctification in our soul. We live, move and exist in Him (Acts 17:28).

Christ redeemed us from sin by the cross, and He works out His intentions in us and through us (Ephesians 2:10; Colossians 2:9-10). Jesus is our all in all (Colossians 1:17). He justifies our spirit; sanctifies, inspires and directs our soul; and will eventually glorify our body. Jesus is the expression of God’s glory and the exact image of God’s being (Hebrews 1:3). He speaks the oracles of God through our voice (1 Peter 4:11).

Also, Jesus heals a sick body through the laying on of our hands (Mark 1:41; 6:5; 5:3; 7:32, 33; 8:23, 25; 16:18; James 5:15). He sees a need and meets it through the resources He provides for us (1 John 3:17). He will even raise the dead, cleanse the leper and cast out demons in and through us (Matthew 10:8). As we walk in union with Christ, by the direction of His Spirit, we walk as shining stars, shedding His light in the dark, lost world around us (Colossians 1:27; Philippians 2:15).

Prayer:
Father God, Your will flows from a combination of Your divine love and wisdom. Harmony in our relationship with You increases as we live in union with Christ. This guarantees that more accord abides between our will and Yours. We soon find that our purpose is to do nothing more in life than to allow Christ to work through us. Fill us with the spiritual gifts and fruit of Your Spirit, and help us to lay down our plans and expectations, so You can use us for Your purposes each moment of our day.

Thought for the Day:
If we only focus on Christ on the cross, we may forget the fact that the risen Lord dwells within our spirit.