We Live, Yet Christ Lives in Us

The concept of us living at the same time Christ lives through us, is confusing at best (Galatians 2:20). How much of our self is prominent and how do we give Christ preeminence in us?

Prior to coming to Christ, our spirit is dead, and our flesh is very much alive. We live in the flesh, plan for the flesh and we hunger after more of the flesh, the world and sin (1 Timothy 5:6; Romans 8:5-8).

Separated from God, we are blinded by the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). Yet, when we surrender our life to Christ, our penchant for sin wanes.

We have no more desire to reap the destruction, which is sin’s reward (Romans 6:23). Now, our spirit is born again, and our flesh is dead in Christ (John 3:3-4, 6:63; Colossians 3:4).

Knowing that we are in Christ, and that our old nature is already crucified with Christ, gives us the power over sin. We no longer live in slavery to sin and the flesh, but we are slaves to Christ who dwells in us (Romans 6:7, 12, 14; 8:9).

Each day, we submit to God’s Spirit as he crucifies our old carnal nature, and we grow further away from the habits and desires of our old life (Galatians 2:20, 5:15-25).

God sets us free from condemnation and the law of sin and death by His Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1-2). We live victorious lives as we walk in God’s will under the direction of His Holy Spirit each moment of our day (Galatians 5:15-25).

Prayer:
Father God, help us not to allow a distracted life to keep us from experiencing Your fullness for us. Fill us with the fruit of Your Spirit, so that we no longer have ungodly character and negative personality traits (Galatians 5:22-23).

Use us for Your glory as we make Christ preeminent in our life. Help us to decrease, so that You can increase within us (John 3:30).

Thought for the Day:
We walk in the Spirit, which prevents us from living in the flesh. – Galatians 5:15-25

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Healing Spiritual Deprivation

Our world abounds with the masses of humanity in profound spiritual deprivation. They refuse to trust in Jesus for their salvation, because they do not want to submit to an entity, which cannot be proven to their human mind.

For some, their pride and rebellion thwart them from experiencing the wondrous provision of their Heavenly Father, who loved them enough to suffer the horrendous persecution and then death on Calvary’s cross.

Others were disappointed by God or someone in the church, and they hold a grudge against religion. They do not see that spirituality is about Jesus, not people; and that God had something better in store for them instead of what they wanted.

God did not create humanity in order to set us up for failure or to condemn us. Yet, anyone who fails to believe in Jesus as the Son of God, and refuses to repent of their sins and trust Him with their life, has already condemned themselves to an eternity in hell (John 3:18).

God came to earth as a human being to pay the penalty of our sins. Therefore, anyone who repents of their sins, and believes in Him enough to trust Him for salvation, is forgiven of the sin debt we collected throughout our lifetime (John 3:17).

God did this because He immensely loves each person ever born (John 3:16). He actually knows the number of hairs we have on our head at all times, even though they fall out and new ones grow each day (Luke 12:7). He saw us as we developed in our mother’s womb, and has a wonderful plan for our life (Ephesians 2:10; Psalm 139:13, 16; Jeremiah 1:5).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for working out the circumstances in our lives to draw us closer to You. You came to earth to redeem us, because You want to shower us with blessings as Your adopted children. We give You our willing, undivided attention. You replace our carnal nature with the fruit of Your Spirit and You work in us the divine nature of Christ (Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Peter 1:4). Teach us to commit each minute of every day to You and to listen to Your Spirit’s direction as we walk in Your will.

Thought for the Day:
As we bring everything to God is prayer, with thanksgiving in our heart for His provision in His own timing and way, we will live a fulfilled life.
– Philippians 4:6

Our Awesome God

Our awesome God formed the earth with the power of His Words (Genesis 1). He holds the seas in the hollow of His hand, and He measures the sky with the width of His hand. He knows the number of the grains of sand on the seashore as well as the dust of the earth. He even calculated the weight of the mountains and hills (Isaiah 40:12-18; Isaiah 46:5).

No one can compare to our awesome God. All of the nations of the earth added together are a mere drop of water in the ocean, and they always do His bidding. He reduces rulers and cares nothing about the decisions made by judges. No one directs God, because He is in control. We are like insects compared to Him.

His throne is above the circle of the earth, the ozone layer that protect us (Isaiah 40:22-23). No one compares to the Lord or is His equal. He stands above the crowd. He brings out the stars by number and calls each one by name (Isaiah 48:13); and not one of them is missing.

God never grows sleepy or exhausted, and His wisdom is deeper than any human philosopher will ever figure out (Isaiah 40: 25-28). When God acts, no one can reverse it (Isaiah 42:13). All of God’s judgments will be proven holy and righteous, once we understand all things (Isaiah 5:16, 8:13).

God preserves our life as we devote it to Him. He is our God and we trust Him as we serve Him each day (Psalm 86:2). God knows the end from the beginning, because He does not dwell in time. His purposes will stand, and we serve at His pleasure (Isaiah 46:10). There is nothing that our God cannot do.

Prayer:
Father God, You are the first and the last. You are the only true and living God. You created everything and everyone in the universe. You even formed us in our mother’s womb according to Your perfect plan for our life (Ephesians 2:10). You know the number of hairs on our head (Isaiah 44:24; Isaiah 48:12). When we call on You, You respond to us and demonstrate Your vast and almighty deeds on our behalf (Jeremiah 33:3). Apart from You there is no other God. You are the Lord and there is no other (Isaiah 45:5-6).

Thought for the Day:
God already decided what would happen on the earth from creation to eternity. – Isaiah 45:21-22

Consulting the Lord

Joshua took over the leadership of Israel from Moses. He followed in Moses’ footsteps and sought God’s direction for each decision he made and every action he took. He had no confidence in his own ability and He generally relied on God’s counsel. God promised to give Joshua every part of the land where he set his feet. God also declared that no army would stand against him (Joshua 1:3,5).

Therefore, with a few successful battles to his credit, Joshua’s fame traveled throughout Canaan (Joshua 6:27). This caused his heart to swell with pride, and He got overly confident. He started believing the praise awarded to him, rather than giving credit to the Lord. The unconventional warfare God told Joshua to use at Jericho (Joshua 6:20) puffed up his confidence. Therefore, at the next battle, in the tiny town of Ai, Joshua did not bother to consult the Lord.

He relied on his own wisdom instead. He sent up an army of about three thousand men, expecting to hear of their anticipated victory. However, God taught Joshua a lesson through this and allowed the few men of Ai to defeat Joshua’s army (Joshua 7:3-4). God humbled Joshua, and he ended up embarrassed and dejected. It happened again when the Gibeonite ambassadors tricked Joshua by their deceptive words (Joshua 9:14-22).

Joshua foolishly believed he could handle these decisions without the Lord’s direction. We do this too. We forget to pray and to seek God’s counsel when salesmen pressure us, friends and family manipulate us and those in authority over us demand things from us. True success in life only comes when we seek advice from the Lord before making a decision, and follow His advice even if it is not popular or seems not to make sense. Hindsight always proves God right.

Prayer:
Father God, as Your children, we will need to make some important decisions throughout our lifetime. We have the choice of following a humanistic plan of action or of seeking Your divine direction. Remind us to trust in You with all of our heart and not to lean on our own understanding. Help us not to be wise in our own eyes, but to consult You (Proverbs 3:5-7). That way we will not be anxious about anything, but we will pray about everything and present our requests to You (Philippians 4:6). When we lack wisdom, we can ask You, because You give it generously to all without finding fault (James 1:5).

Thought for the Day:
Consult the Lord in whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.
– Proverbs 16:3

Sent Forth by the Spirit

God set the earth in motion and created it for human beings to occupy until He comes (Luke 19:13). He has a plan and purpose for all of this. It is not some random explosion of gas, quirk of fate or a trick by the ethereal cosmos. God is gathering to Himself all those who love Him. When Jesus ascended into Heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to comfort and guide us (John 14:26, 16:13). As we await Christ’s return, His Spirit leads us to the areas of life where we are needed most (Acts 13:4).

God is the Master Architect and He uses us as living stones to build His earthly Temple (1 Peter 2:4-6). He shows us His will for each moment of our day. He may call you to work in a secular job in order to share the Gospel of Christ with those you come in contact with every day; or He may call you to pastor, evangelize, teach, preach or to start churches (1 Corinthians 12:28). He empowers us all to accomplish His purpose for each of our days (Philippians 2:12-13).

Some teach that a parked car cannot be steered; so, we need to be moving for the Spirit to direct us. This is false theology. Christ lives in us by His Spirit (Romans 8:9-11). We wait on God’s direction each morning and walk only by His Spirit throughout the day. We live in the moment without regret over the past or fear of the future. This prevents us from functioning by human effort and producing carnal works for God.

It is easy to hear God each moment of the day, if we are in constant communication with Him (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Only the heart that is empty of ambition, pride and rebellion can accomplish the works of God. Large, famous and wealthy are not necessarily signs of God’s blessings (Revelation 3:17). God is love; and those who walk in His love by the direction of His Spirit, live in His will and receive His true and eternal blessings (1 John 4:8).

Prayer:
Father God, teach us not to live according to the ways of the world, but by the direction of Your Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:12). You save us by the power of the cross, sanctify us by the power of Christ’s blood, and then conform us to the image of Christ by Your Spirit (Romans 8:29). Create a clean heart in us and help us to abide in Christ and to follow Your Spirit’s guidance every moment of every day in which we live on this earth. We look forward to living with You in glory.

Thought for the Day:
If God reveals to you that your self-will, self-centeredness, self-exaltation and self-life are controlling you, do not be afraid to completely surrender to God’s Spirit, because He will conform you to the image of Christ.