United with Christ

God originally created mankind in the image of the Trinity (Genesis 1:6). Adam and Eve lived in an existence of body, soul and spirit in close fellowship with the Father (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

They enjoyed the same immortality, which Christ exhibited after His resurrection. Yet, when they believed Satan’s lies, they chose to ignore their spirit and to give in to the temptation of their human nature.

As a result, their spirit died, and we all reap the consequences of their choice. Knowing this before He created the world, God planned to become man as Emmanuel (Genesis 1:1; Matthew 1:23).

He paid the ransom for the sin debt of anyone who chooses to submit to His will rather than to our human desires or the devil’s temptations (Romans 4:25, 5:6; John 3:16-18).

The reason that God’s Spirit regenerates our spirit and sanctifies our soul is so that we will live in the divine life of Christ in us, rather than through our human life with its earthly thoughts and desires (2 Peter 1:4; John 1:1, 12-14).

This is possible once our spirit is Born Again. It is no longer we who live, but Christ who lives in us (Romans 12:2, 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Colossians 3:3-4). We live, move and have our existence in Christ alone (Acts 17:28).

We are united with Christ in our spirit, in the same way that Jesus’ humanity was united with His Godly nature, while He lived on this earth.

The life, which we live in this body, is lived through the faith of God’s holy Son (Galatians 2:20). We continue the work of Christ on this earth, and we do greater works as we function as His Body (John 3:3-6, 14:12).

We think, feel, speak and act in the will of God as we follow the leading of His Spirit through every decision we make, every word we speak and every action we take.

This affects our words and behavior in our vocation, marriage, extended family, neighborhood and church Body. We live as a city on a hill, and we never hide the light of Christ within us (Matthew 5:14-16).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for sending Christ to redeem us from sin and its destruction. Thank You also for helping us to renew our mind through the washing of the water of Your Word (Ephesians 5:26). Since Christ set us free from sin, then help us to stay free from its demoralizing clutches (Galatians 5:1).

Teach us how to walk in the divine nature of Christ in us. Help us to live and move and have our being only in Him, so that we can walk in Your will, exhibit Your character and do the works of Christ all the days of our life.

Thought for the Day:
Since Christ abides in us by His Spirit, then even though our body will die because of the sin, which cursed this world, God’s Spirit gives us His life in our spirit, soul and body, because of His holiness. – Romans 8:10

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Our True Reality in Christ

There is no need for us to frequent the “self-help” shelf at the library or bookstore, because the Holy Spirit is changing us through His sanctifying process, until we come to the fullness of Christ in us (2 Corinthians 3:18).

When we come to the end of our self, God’s Holy Spirit, who dwells in us, becomes our comforter, guide, wisdom, encourager and the voice of Christ, who also dwells in us by His Spirit, as our way, truth and life (Colossians 3:4; John 14:6).

Christ in us is not a separate entity from who we are. He is as much of an integral part of us as He is to our Father God (John 17:21). Living in the center of God’s will is the happiest place on earth.

We surrender the control of our life over to God, because to think that we actually have any control over our life is ludicrous! Life happens and is always out of our control.

Just as Jesus did nothing of Himself, we follow His example. We die to our self and trust only in God. We live in union as one person with Christ in us. He is our whole life (Colossians 3:4).

The sooner we come to this place of total surrender to the will of God, content in the circumstance which He provides (Philippians 4:11), the freer and more joyfully we experience each day, captivated by His Spirit and His will.

As we decrease in our desires and control over our life, He will increase His control and put His desires in our heart (John 3:30; Psalm 37:4). Christ in us is our only true reality now and in eternity.

We are dead, and He now lives in and through us (Colossians 4:3-4). There are no formulas to follow, no effort on our part, no striving or quoting Bible verse, which can make this happen.

We simply surrender all to Him by letting go of our anxiety, negative emotions and idols, which imprison us, and letting God have His way in our life.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for revealing to us that this life in not about us; it is totally and abundantly about You in us (Colossians 1:27). You free us from bondage to the devil, the world and the flesh; and You allow us to walk intimately with Your Trinity abiding within us (Galatians 5:15-25).

Surrendering to Your rest is the only step we need to take to enter into this union life with You (Hebrews 4:10-11). We stop our stress, strain and list-making and follow Your Spirit during each moment of our day. When we walk in the center of Your will we find true peace, joy and rest in Your Spirit (Romans 14:17).

Thought for the Day:
It is no longer I, but Christ who lives in me, because we are unified as one being; He is the head and I am the body, which He uses for His glory. – Colossians 3:3-4

Take No Thought

How often do we worry our self sick over some issue in our life? We fret and plot and plan, trying to come up with a way to prevent some imagined or real impending doom.

Jesus advises that we take no thought for tomorrow (Luke 12:22). He tells us to ask, seek and knock, and He will provide our needs (Matthew 7:6-9).

He reminds us to pray in the Spirit as we make our requests to Him (Ephesians 6:28). Effectual prayers are persevering and bathed in gratitude for all that God already did for us (Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18).

We are confident that He not only started His work in our life, but He will also finish it (Philippians 1:6). We live a surrendered life for the praise of His glory, and He sanctifies us in stages (Ephesians 1:12; 2 Corinthians 3:18).

We are not occupied with this world and the desires of our flesh. Instead, we dwell in the Temple of our God and enter His presence through the outer court of Salvation, and minister to Him in the Holy Place (Psalm 135:2; Revelation 3:12).

However, there is one step further in our intimacy with God. We encounter the glorious presence of God in the Holy of Holies (Hebrews 9:3). Everything pertaining to life in this world is absent from this cherished place of abiding.

We dwell in this holy chamber, within our spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19). We never leave God’s presence as we walk in the Spirit and do only those works, which God calls us to perform (Ephesians 2:10).

Prayer:
Father God, although we have lost yesterday, never to get it back again, You have not lost it, because You are not limited by time as we are. We look forward to all of our tomorrows as we walk in Your Spirit and put aside the lusts of the flesh (Galatians 5:15-25). We trust in Your faithfulness to work out all things for our good (Romans 8:28).

Our most meaningful and intimate times of worship will not be the dark days of trial and tribulation; but our times of loving fellowship with You alone, in the Holy of Holies within us. Once we surrender our life to You, You keep our heart from breaking and we never feel lonely or abandoned again, regardless of whatever experiences we encounter in this temporal life.

Thought for the Day:
We want nothing more from life than to dwell in the shelter of the Most High, and to rest under the shadow of the Almighty. – Psalm 91:1

Do Not Be Deceived

Do Not Be Deceived

The Bible warns us in several passages to be aware of deception (2 Corinthians 11:3). Evil people and impostors will increase, especially in the last days, both being deceived themselves and deceiving others (2 Timothy 3:13). Satan’s mission is to deceive millions through his lies, such as humanism and liberalism to mention a few (Revelations 12:9).

Cults prey on people who know very little about Biblical truth. These unwitting people rarely read the Bible, have a private devotion or compare what people say with Biblical Truth (Acts 17:11). Without discernment from God’s Spirit, they are easy targets. They accept many a false teacher at face value and are deceived (Matthew 24:4-12).

Satan also uses comedians, commentators, newscasters, bar tenders and the man on the street to cheat people out of a relationship with God. The ungodly fill innocent minds full of human philosophy, empty deceit, vain traditions and the principles of the world, which are the antithesis of Christ’s teachings (Colossians 2:8).

However, God made creation as a silent preacher. Nature declares God’s eternal power and the invisible attributes of His glory. No one has a real excuse for not believing in God. It is their foolish heart, which darkens their understanding and causes them to think they know the truth, when they actually believe and live a lie (Romans 1: 18-22; Obadiah 1:3; Proverbs 28:26, Jeremiah 17:9).

Prayer:
Father God, You never tempt us to sin. We are drawn away by our own deceptive thoughts and desires. Help us to make the choice to walk away from Satan’s fraud, to focus on Jesus and to accept Your eternal gift of Salvation (James 1:12-17; John 3:16-18). Remind us that walking in Your Spirit helps us to live in Your eternal plans for our life (Galatians 5:15-25; Ephesians 2:10).

Thought for the Day:
If we practice a lifestyle of sin, we will not inherit the Kingdom of God as co-heirs with Christ, because only those who are washed by the blood of the Lamb, justified in our spirit and sanctified in our soul by God’s Spirit will have a place in God’s eternal Kingdom.
– 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Revelation 21:8; Matthew 7:21-23

Powerless to Control Life

We usually start life under the assumption that we can achieve the American dream, but life often careens out of our control. We eventually admit that we are ultimately powerless to overcome the negative aspects of our life, and we realize that we need a Savior outside of our self (Romans 7:18).

First, we attempt to trust in a person to bail us out. We get into codependent relationships that seem to stifle us in the end. In order to reinstate our sanity, we eventually realize that we must come to believe in a power, which is greater than anything this world has to offer (Philippians 2:13).

Some people try Eastern religions, positive thinking or something that epitomizes wholeness to them. This lasts for a little while, but often fizzles out. Everyone ever born has an innate knowledge of God within his or her soul, yearning for their spirit to be reborn (Romans 1:19-23). We all have a body and soul – our mind, will and emotions, but our spirit is dead until we come to Christ (John 3:1-21).

Once we come to Christ, He helps us to clear our conscience of dead works. Feelings of unforgiveness, anger, resentment, bitterness and more melt away at His presence in our life. He also helps us to think of people to whom we need to ask forgiveness, and He helps us to make amends for the harm we perpetrated on their life (Lamentations 3:40; Luke 6:31; Matthew 5:23-24).

It is wise to obtain Christian counseling and discipleship, and to share with someone who will continually hold us accountable as we walk in God’s Truth (James 5:16; 1 Corinthians 10:12). As we humble our self before the Lord, He replaces our moral deficiencies with the fruit of His Spirit (James 4:10; Galatians 5:22-23). He loves us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that no one is perfect. We can forgive those who harm us and ask forgiveness from those whom we hurt. As we pray and read Your Word, draw us closer to You, tell us Your Will for our life each moment and give us the power to carry it out (Philippians 2:12-13; Ephesians 2:10; Colossians 3:16). Thank You for totally forgiving us for our transgressions of Your ways. Sanctify us daily as we walk toward Your perfection (1 John 1:9; Matthew 5:48).

Thought for the Day:
Nothing but living in service to Jesus Christ can fill the void that continually haunts our life. – Romans 12:1

Our Faith Overcomes the World

Gold is a precious metal that will perish, even though it is refined by fire. Our faith has much more value than all the gold, silver or platinum in this world. Because God promised us before the beginning of time, we have the faith and hope to know that God has given us eternal life (Titus 1:2).

 

One component of our faith is to have faith without doubting (Matthew 21:21). Most people do not realize this, and not doubting is almost impossible to comply with. In frustration, Jesus reprimanded people, like Peter, for his doubt as He pulled him up out of the sea (Matthew 14:31). He also commended people for having faith without doubting (Matthew 15:28). God will always help our unbelief (Mark 9:23-25).

 

As we live one moment at a time, our faith grows. We place our faith in the fact that Jesus rose from the dead; because if He is still dead, then our preaching is useless. We are also false witnesses about God, since we testify that He raised Jesus from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:14-15). Jesus’ resurrection builds up our faith to know that He also forgives our sins and raises us from the dead as well (1 Corinthians 15:16-17).

 

Our faith enables us to build up the Kingdom of God. Prompted by our love for Him, we do the works, which He called us to do (Ephesians 2:10). Our hope in Him inspires our endurance in this sin-cursed world (1 Thessalonians 1:3). Everyone born again by the Spirit of God will overcome this world by our absolute faith in Christ in us (1 John 5:4).

 

God opens our eyes to see the spiritual realm of life. He turns us from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to His Kingdom of power. We flee from temptation and practice holiness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness (1 Timothy 6:11). When our faith in Christ is proven genuine, it results in our praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed (1 Peter 1:7).

 

Prayer:

Father God, we receive from You the forgiveness of all of our sins. You place us in the ranks of those who are sanctified by faith in Christ alone (Acts 26:18). You give us faith in tribulation and persecution and help us to encourage others in their distress (1 Thessalonians 3:7). Help us also to stand firm in our faith and to work with one another with joy (2 Corinthians 1:24).

 

Thought for the Day:

Our faith does not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. – 1 Corinthians 2:5

Our Five Senses Impact Our Life

Our five physical senses impact our body, soul and spirit in both negative and positive ways. They influence who we are and how we mature in Christ (Romans 8:5-8). Seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling and tasting are powerful persuaders on our thoughts, beliefs and actions. Pursuing our fleshly impulses diminishes our spiritual’s maturity and our impact for Christ on society. A carnal mind is hostile toward God, because it does not surrender to God’s will (Romans 8:7).

It is incongruous to think that carnality will bear any fruit toward righteousness. When we dwell in the fleshly realm, there is no way that we can please God. The eye is the lamp of the body. If our eye is healthy and views only wholesome objects and scenarios, our whole body, soul and spirit will live in better health (Matthew 6:22; Proverbs 15:30; Psalm 100:3; Job 31:1). It is important to walk in the Spirit and to reject the temptations of the flesh (Romans 5:15,25).

What we hear also influences our thoughts and formulates what and who we are. Music causes our brain to produce serotonin with feelings of joy and well-being; or it produces pessimistic, sad or angry emotions, which affects our mood negatively (1 Samuel 16:23). What we smell influences how we eat, think and act. What we feel with our senses may lead to godly or ungodly behavior. The five senses are very strong persuaders of our thoughts and behaviors.

Authentic Believers are blood-bought children of the Most High God. We are co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17) and conduits for the Spirit of God to impact us, as well as the world around us. Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). As we examine what we see, hear, smell, taste and feel, we use the Spirit’s discretion for what to walk away from in our life. Living in the Spirit gives us life and peace (Romans 8:6). Our loving and pure life impacts the world for Christ.

Prayer:
Father God, we do not want to tarnish our reputation or Yours by living in sin. We want to bring You pleasure with all five of our senses. Your purpose for us is our main focus in life. We want to glorify You in our body, spirit and soul – our mind, choices and emotions. Please align us with Your will and create a clean heart in us (Psalm 51:10). Allow us to live for your purpose today and always.

Thought for the Day:
Our spirit is dead in sin, until the Holy Spirit regenerates us and continually sanctifies our responses to our five senses.