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

Words Matter – Part 2

Education and breeding allow us to learn self-discipline and to measure our words carefully, regardless of how we think and feel. We speak cultured words, which do not offend, unless we lose our temper.

However, the Spirit of God is our continual restraint in our thoughts, feelings and actions. He helps us not to blurt out whatever comes to our mind, which is usually crafted by Satan to cause trouble (Proverbs 17:27).

Yet, no human is always able to restrain our tongue, because it is intolerant, immoral and full of lethal venom (James 3:8). Only the work of Jesus, living within the Believer, gives us the power over our tongue.

Once we accept Christ as our Savior, the negative aspects of life control us only if we allow them to do so. When we belong to Jesus, His life-giving Spirit frees us from the power of sin, which leads to death (Romans 8:2).

Salvation also frees us from living in conformity to this world, because we are transformed by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:2). Jesus actually renews the spirit of our mind (Ephesians 4:23).

He always gives us a choice, along with wise counsel about which choice to make. If we guard our words and keep our tongue, we avoid calamity (Proverbs 21:23).

The Bible encourages us to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1:19). Wise words win good things for us; and if we guard our lips, we guard our life (Proverbs 13:2).

When our thoughts are excellent and worthy of praise then this affects what we say and do, as well as how we feel emotionally and physically (Philippians 4:8).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that it is better not to be quick to speak or hasty in our heart to think anything negative. When we walk in the Spirit, the fruit of our lips fill us with good things, as surely as the good work of our hands rewards us (Proverbs 12:13-14).

We give You the praise and glory for the transforming power of Your Spirit within us. We can never thank You enough for drawing us to Your heart and including us in Your family for eternity (John 6:44; Ephesians 2:19).

Thought for the Day:
God watches us from heaven as we are on earth, so let us be wise and let our words be few. – Ecclesiastes 5:2

Transforming Our Soul

Unbelievers are spiritually dead and do not understand the issues of God, because these truths are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14). There is hostility between them and God, due to this spiritual divide (Romans 8:7).

Unbelievers tend to live either legalistic or hedonistic lives. They attempt to find fulfillment without God. When we share Christ with them, many reject Him and close their heart to His Truth.

Believers are alive with Christ, and forgiven of every sin we ever committed (Ephesians 2:5; Colossians 2:13-14). Through His death, we receive victory over every principality and power, including demonic strongholds (Colossians 2:15).

Anyone can accept Christ, live as a Believer and reap the rewards of Christ’s righteousness, rather than the consequences of unbelief and a sinful lifestyle (Galatians 6:9; John 3:16-18).

Christianity includes more than one hour of worship on Sunday morning. It involves a complete change in thinking and acting, from living a self-centered life to a Christ-centered existence.

Christ is our whole life (Colossians 3:4). He changes us from the inside out…our soul’s transformation affects our outward behavior and appearance. Even our physical countenance improves due to His presence in our life.

We do not attempt to perfect our self before we come to Christ. Neither is there any deed, which we ever committed that is not already covered under His blood. His mercy and grace are complete.

However, this does not imply that our behavior is not important. Christ perfects us through sanctifying our soul – our thoughts, choices and feelings, and gives us a way to escape every temptation the devil uses to cause our mortal flesh to sin (1 Corinthians 10:13).

Prayer:
Father God, we feel so privileged to live by Your Spirit and to belong to Your family as we further Your Kingdom on this earth. Thank You for saving us through the blood of Jesus and giving us Your Spirit to perfect us from the inside out and to conform us to the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).

Remind us to walk away from any temptation to sin, so that we do not grieve Your Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). Help us to live an exemplary life so that others will see our good works and glorify You (Matthew 5:16). We love You with all of our heart, mind and strength, and we look forward to serving You for eternity (Luke 10:27).

Thought for the Day:
If we live in a lifestyle of any type of behavior, which the Bible calls sin, then we are not Born Again; because a Believer cannot live in sin, since the Holy Spirit within us is grieved by sin. – Romans 8:9; Ephesians 4:30; 1 John 3:9

Healing Relationships – Part 3

Any time that we give power over our self-worth to another person, rather than to God alone, we are making that person an idol in our life.

As we discover our healthy self-worth in Christ, based on knowing His Word and how He feels about us, then we can follow the Holy Spirit’s direction in forming safe relationships.

We will still experience negative feelings, such as hurt, fear, anger, loneliness, etc. These feelings are an integral part of life, and they come with the human experience.

It is impossible to love without opening our self up to be hurt. When we choose to love someone, we are giving him/her the power to love us and to look to us to be loved.

However, we can love without also giving them the power to hurt us or to allow their words and actions to cause us to feel insecure, angry or frightened.

When someone’s words or behavior trigger a negative reaction in us, this is a sign that something is very wrong. We can take that negative emotion to God and ask Him to reveal the origin of this sensitivity in us.

There may be an unresolved conflict from our past, which is still very much alive in our subconscious mind; or it may rise from some current situation that is causing this negative feeling. ( http://www.theophostic.com )

Once we submit to God’s healing, these slights and rejection no longer have the power to devastate us like they used to, because we have a spiritual perspective now.

God helps us to resolve our negative feelings, and we have peace within once again. At the same time, we can keep communication open between our self and others.

We can even mention, in a non-accusatory manner, that their behavior or words triggered a fearful or hurtful reaction in us. However, we do not have to attack them or cause a negative reaction in them, just because we are hurt.

Prayer:
Father God, it is so difficult to heal emotionally once we are in a caustic relationship. Our mate expects us to act as we always do. They feel threatened and confused as we start to change.

Remind us to share with them what we are learning and how we are changing, so they will not be surprised by any sudden transformation in our behavior. Create in both of us a clean heart that lives only to serve You in this life.

Thought for the Day:
The best motivation for mutual change in a relationship is to realize that change gives us a better connection.

For more information on our identity in Christ read:
http://fulfilledchristianlife.blogspot.com/2015/02/normal-0-our-identity-in-christ-alone.html

Changing Our Thought Patterns

From childhood, we are taught to take care of our self: dress, feed, play and make wise choices for our self. Therefore, learning to trust the Lord and His faithfulness takes a bit of getting used to (Ephesians 6:10). The process is called “renewing our mind.” This is a continual progression of transformation, through which God’s Spirit gives us the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; Romans 12:2).

By faith in Christ, we receive a new heart through the rebirthing of our spirit, which was formerly dead, due to the sin of the first Adam with Eve. The second Adam, Jesus Christ, became Emmanuel in order to guarantee salvation to whomever chooses to believe (John 3:16-18). God’s Spirit teaches us to follow Jesus’ example and to live as a new creation with sanctified priorities and goals in life (Philippians 2:5).

Jesus’ emptied Himself of His heavenly glory and lived a life as a bondservant to our Father (Luke 23:34; Matthew 20:28). He was even obedient to the point of suffering the horrendous torture and death at the hands of the Roman army (Matthew 26:39; John 5:30). God wants us to live in the power of His Spirit in order to do the works, which He created us to accomplish (Ephesians 2:10; Psalm 139:13).

God’s Holy Spirit purges us of pride, selfishness, unforgiveness and all of the deeds and attitudes of the flesh, so that we can live by His direction and divine character (Galatians 5:16-25; 2 Peter 1:4-5). We aid in this process by renewing our mind with the Word of God. We begin focusing on eternal matters, ignoring the distractions provided by Satan and his minions and valuing eternal aspects rather than worldly gain (Ephesians 6:16).

Prayer:
Father God, we all experience the temptation to compromise our walk and to live a life of indulgence in the flesh. However, You gave us Jesus as our example. You also give us a way to avoid temptation and live a pure and holy life before You (1 Corinthians 10:13). Thank You for sending Jesus to pay the debt we owed for our sins, and for giving us Your Spirit to renew our mind with the mind of Christ, so that our thought patterns change from carnal ones to spiritual.

Thought for the Day:
Our Father God already gave us all the tools necessary to live a victorious life in Christ.
– Romans 8:37; 1 Corinthians 15:57; Ephesians 6:13

A Life of Change

A relationship with Christ changes our whole life. Our nature, desires, friends, spirituality and lifestyle will all change. Sometimes, it even changes our address, family dynamics, church attendance, values, goals and dreams. The biggest change comes in the form of who we are. We are brethren, related to other Believers; and children of the Light, adopted into God’s family.

Satan attempts to convince us that we are still sinners. We even call our self “sinners, saved by grace.” This cripples our walk with God and keeps us tied to the earthly realm. Our focus is negative, which does not allow us to live in victory over sin. We subconsciously think that we have no recourse but to sin. Satan cripples our walk with this lie (John 10:10).

The devil wants us to believe that we have not changed, that God is not real and that the Christian walk is ridiculous or impossible. However, God is the author of sweeping transformation. He changes us at our very core, and His power has a positive effect on our daily walk, as well as our eternal destination. We can certainly resist sin, because it no longer appeals to us.

God turns us into Saints who walk away from sin and toward Christ. We leave a world that is dark in disobedience and deprivation and walk toward the light of the Lord (Ephesians 5:8). Our spirit, once dead in sin, is now Born Again (Colossians 2:13). We no longer struggle with our identity, because we see our self as a child of God (1 John 3:2). We have value in our relationship with Him.

Prayer:
Father God, when Christ moves into our life, He radically changes our motivation and behavior. Your Spirit gives us the desire and the power to walk in holiness (Philippians 2:12-13). Our character takes on Your divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). The fruit of Your Spirit replaces the negative characteristics of our personality (Galatians 5:22-23). We live and move and have our being in Christ (Acts 17:28).

Thought for the Day:
We build on salvation with sanctified living and we reach for the prize of the high calling of Christ. – Philippians 3:14

Inner Transformation

God promises never to leave us nor to forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). When He seems distant, it is because we have drifted away from Him, not that He left us. Mental knowledge about God cannot compare with knowledge of God in a personal, spiritual relationship (John 17:3). This intimacy transforms us from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18).

God’s presence in our life changes us from the inside out. We are still rough around the edges outwardly; but inwardly, we have more peace and joy than ever before. The fruit of God’s Spirit replaces our carnality (Galatians 5:22-23). We fall more in love with Jesus every day. Our fears, deep-seated anger and insecurities diminish as God heals the pain of our past.

Our faith in God’s faithfulness grows with each trial, which He works out for our good, as well as through each weakness He enables us to overcome (Romans 8:28). We come to Him and willingly lay our goals and desires at His feet, embracing His will for our life. Our prayer time grows from a few moments each morning to continual communication throughout the day (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

We feast on God’s Word and allow it to dictate our thoughts and behavior. When we, who know God intimately, share with others what Christ does in our life, many of them will desire to know the Lord too. I do wish our passion for God was catching, so that everyone would come to know His love intimately. However, everyone does have a chance, because He calls “whosoever will” (Revelation 22:17).

Prayer:
Father God, our unity with You is our greatest joy. All of our other relationships and activities are influenced for the better, because of Your presence in our life. We love that we can be Your friend (John 15:13-15). King David gives us such insight into our relationship with You. The possibilities are endless (Psalm 63:1-8). Thank You for making us joint heirs with Jesus Christ of the glory of Your Kingdom (Romans 8:17; Philippians 3:10).

Thought for the Day:
When we fully love God and keep His Words, the Trinity makes their abode in us. – John 14:23

The Tyranny of Self-Effort

Our human effort can never produce spirituality. No amount of carnal exertion, ceremonies, rituals or precepts can govern the spiritual world. Repentance is the first step to true spirituality. This humbles us and allows God into our life. The more we worship our Creator and King, the more spirituality we encourage in our life. This creates a new attitude and mind-set in us.

God gives us gifts to use to minister to the lost and dying world around us (1 Corinthians 12:4). We testify to others about what God does in our life. Many will turn a deaf ear, because their life is ruled by the tyranny of self-effort. However, some who are tired of servitude to the dictates of the flesh will be ready to surrender their life to God and to enjoy His love and blessings like we do.

The steady habitation of our spirit by the Spirit of God gives us peace and joy, which transcends what the world and its religions can offer to us. Our connection to God becomes our foremost priority. We deepen our relationship through prayer, Bible study, fellowship with other Believers and Christian service in our community. We encounter God’s hand in our life through many significant ways.

God cares about us. He even lived in human form and suffered in every area in which we do (1 Peter 2:21-22; Hebrews 4:15). God cannot fellowship with sin, so we must not grieve His Spirit with our carnality and self-effort (Habakkuk 1:13; Ephesians 4:30). God’s Spirit continually transforms us with the mind of Christ. If we give our constant attention to His will and ways in our life, we will sense God’s powerful presence.

Prayer:

Father God, we relinquish every area of our life, which serves as a distraction to us from following You with our whole heart. We confess every sin, which stands between Your heart and ours. We trust in Your faithfulness and surrender our anxieties and stress to You for Your miraculous healing and provision. Remind us not to allow the cares of this world to choke out our focus on You (Mark 4:19).

Thought for the Day:

A personal encounter with God on a daily basis will free us from the tyranny of self-effort.

The Holy Spirit Within

God gives us His Spirit when we admit our sinful state and cry out to Him for forgiveness and salvation. God gives us pardon for our past sins and His guarantees for our future. This provides deep peace, which never fades as long as we keep our mind on Him (Isaiah 26:3). He wants complete control of every part of our life. We hold nothing back.

As we live in total surrender to His direction and guidance, He orchestrates our body, soul and spirit. In exchange, we live in the joy of the Lord, which defies human description (1 Peter 1:7-9). It is never ending joy, which resides deep within our spirit and influences our body and soul. This is the same joy, which God gave Jesus when he faced the cross of Calvary (Hebrews 12:1-3).

When God’s Spirit moves in, He brings holiness, contentment and triumph with Him, which transcends every circumstance we ever encounter in life (Romans 14:17). These are not fleeting emotions, nor do they depend on any aspect in our life. They are resident within us by God’s Spirit no matter how devastating our life becomes. The Holy Spirit is an ever-present help in times of trouble. 

Continually dwelling within us, God’s Spirit transforms our carnal nature with His fruit and Christ’s divine nature (2 Peter 1:4; Galatians 5: 22-23). He provides the unity and love we receive from our relationship with the Lord of glory (Isaiah 60:1). God is our provider, protector, sufficiency, inspiration, peace and joy. We place our secular life under God’s Spirit’s direction and He leads us to succeed in every area of life.

The Holy Spirit is also the sanctifier who rules in our spirit and soul and gives us grace and mercy in our time of need. His joy is our strength (Psalm 28:7) as we face trials and tribulation. Through His Spirit, Jesus cherishes us with all of the benevolence, patience and love that a bride groom has for His bride (2 Corinthians 11:2; Mark 2:19; Revelation 19:7; Ephesians 5:22-33).

Prayer:

Father God, as Your Spirit transforms us with the mind of Christ, we have a Christ-like attitude at home, work and play, which makes a positive difference in the world around us. Your Spirit forms Christ in us to the extent that we live, move and have our entire existence in Him (Acts 17:28). He conquers sin within us, and casts out any idol, which we still cling to, as long as we willingly surrender it to Him. Help us to give every negative experience to Your safe keeping and remind us to respond in Your Spirit to everyone who comes against us.

Thought for the Day:

We give Jesus our whole heart and He gives our life back to us with more fulfillment and peace of mind than anything we could ever imagine.

The Anchor for our Soul

Eternal life is God’s promise (1 John 2:25), which enables us to know God intimately (John 17:3). This takes place both now and in eternity. It requires no self-effort, just total rest in His presence (Hebrews 4:10). God’s promises also provide pardon for sin, support in trials, the glorious resurrection, and eventually, immortality. God’s promises encourage us to cleanse our self of every evil desire (2 Corinthians 7:1).

When we choose not to live in God’s Will during each moment of our day, we lose the power of Christ in us. It is only through total surrender to His will that we accomplish all that He prepared for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). God shrouds us with His divine nature, which is the fruit of His Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, meekness, self-control and faith (Galatians 5:22-23).

As we mature, we increase in the measure of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13). God disciplines us to enable us to share in His holiness (Hebrews 12:10). This empowers us to put on our new self, which is created to be like God in both righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:24). Our humanity is dead and we are hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). As we walk in God’s promises, we receive His divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).

Confidently, we cling to God’s promises in tribulation. They are the anchor of our soul and the foundation for our hope. God keeps all of His promises (2 Corinthians 1:20). The nation of Israel wandered from God; yet, God is faithful and is keeping His promises to them (Zechariah 13:8-9; Romans 11:25-26). God guarantees His Body freedom from the law, sin and death. He freely provides us with eternal life in Jesus Christ (John 3:16).

We partake in the divine nature of God through Christ who dwells in our spirit. When we indulge in fleshly pursuits, the divine nature of God is grieved. However, as authentic Born Again Believers, we cannot continue to live in sin (1 John 3:9). God’s Spirit gradually makes all things new (2 Corinthians 5:17), and we bear His image through continual transformation (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Prayer:
Father God, Your Holy Spirit teaches us to deny unholy conduct and lust, at the same time He encourages us to live serious, blameless and holy lives (Titus 2:12). As we do, we inwardly partake of Your divine nature; which causes us to refrain from outwardly partaking in sin and degradation. Our body houses Your (1 Corinthians 6:15). We are members of Christ’s body, flesh and bones (Ephesians 5:30; John 14: 16-17, 17:20-23). You make Your home in those who love and obey You (John 14:23).

Thought for the Day:
We are now the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be, but when we see Him return in the clouds, we will be exactly like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. – 1 John 3:2