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).

 

 

 

 

The Divine Life

The divine nature of Christ was not changed when the Word became flesh (John 1:14). He was fully human and still fully divine.

 

All the fullness of the triune God resides within Christ, and Christ dwells within the spirit of every Born Again Believer (Colossians 2:9). We are the temple of God’s Holy Spirit, which resides within each of us (1 Corinthians 3:16).

 

Therefore, all the fullness of the triune God dwells within each authentic Christian. We often struggle with our human and spiritual natures, which war against one another.

 

However, we learn obedience through the things that we suffer, just as Jesus did (Hebrews 5:8). Even though we dwell in a mortal body, we are buried with Christ in baptism and raised to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4).

 

We are transformed by God’s Holy Spirit who renews our mind until we have the mind of Christ, and who enables us to absorb the truth of the Word of God (Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 2:5, 4:8).

 

Through regeneration we come to identify, understand and seek after the things of God. We live a fulfilled life of faith, love and complete holiness, absorbed in the presence of God.

 

We have the divine nature of Christ within us (Colossians 3:3). As our life decreases, His divine nature in us increases (John 3:30; Acts 17:28). This makes a huge difference in how we face life and what we accomplish in it.

 

We have more faith, because of God’s faithfulness to us. We have more power because we cease living in our own efforts. We enjoy God’s divine presence within us, because we know that without Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5).

 

Prayer:

Father God, never let us feel superior or prideful because You dwell within us. Humble us in Christ’s humility and remind us that it is only through Christ that we can accomplish anything good (Romans 7:18). You are the Vine and we are the branches, and You cut off any branch that does not bear the fruit of Your Spirit (John 15:2-5).

 

We cling to You with our whole being, knowing that this world holds nothing for us without You. You are our motivation, our success and our whole life (Colossians 3:4). We meditate on Your Word day and night, and we find our only source of life within the verses on each page.

 

Thought for the Day:

As Believers we grow to enjoy the divine nature of Christ, free from the passion of sin and loving only what He loves. – Romans 6:6; 1 John 4:4; Galatians 5:22

 

 

True Christian Life

A life lived in total surrender to the will of God brings healing in body, soul and spirit. God’s Spirit renews our mind and transforms our spirit into the likeness of Christ (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18).

Satan will attempt to keep us under His bondage to sin, and to prevent us from functioning with effectiveness in the Kingdom of God. He will lure us with a promise of worldly gain.

However, as we seek more intimacy with God, who abides within us, our desire for more of this world fades. We find our true identity, restful peace and complete joy in the presence of Christ in us (Colossians 1:27; Galatians 2:20).

Christ abides in our heart by faith and we are rooted and grounded in God’s love (Ephesians 3:17; Colossians 2:7). Our goal is to reach perfection through the knowledge of God’s Son and by growing into the fullest measure of the richness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13).

We live in contentment, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). We have boldness and access to the very presence of God, because of Christ’s completed work on Calvary’s cross (Ephesians 3:12).

Christ’s faith within us helps to quench the fiery darts of Satan’s lies and temptations (Ephesians 6:16; 1 Corinthians 10:13). By God’s Spirit we work in faith, labor in love and have patience through our hope in the Lord in the sight of God, our Father (1 Thessalonians 1:3).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for counting us worthy of our calling, for helping us to fulfill Your will through Your goodness, for the work of Christ’s faith and power within us, and for delivering us from unreasonable and wicked people in our life (2 Thessalonians 1:11, 3:2)

Thank You for freeing us from believing fables and trusting in endless genealogies, which only stir up more questions rather than edify You or build our faith (1 Timothy 1:4). We enjoy Your abundant grace through the faith and love, which we find in Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 1:14). You are all we need.

Thought for the Day:
As Christians, we let our thoughts, words and deed reflect the glory of Christ within us, so that we do not shame our Father God in any way. – Philippians 1:27

A Worm or a Butterfly?

As human beings, we live in a body, make choices and think and feel with our soul, and live eternally through our spirit in either heaven or hell (John 3:16-18).

The carnal nature does not understand or accept the truths of the Spirit of God. These people considers them foolishness, because they cannot comprehend them, since their spirit is dead in sin (1 Corinthians 2:14).

They function in life only through their soul and body, judging right and wrong according to how it makes them think and feel (Psalm 139:13-14).

God sees the spirit of everyone ever born (Numbers 16:22), and calls us to live with a good conscience before God (Acts 23:1). He wants us to allow His Word to convict and to divide between our soul – our thoughts, choices and feelings – and our spirit (Hebrews 4:12).

God is not belittling the soul, nor recommending that we discount our soul; but simply that we do now allow our human understanding to control our life (Proverbs 3:5-6).

He desires that all men everywhere come to the saving truth of His Son, so their spirit is Born Again (Acts 17:30; John 3:1-21). Then, He abides within our spirit forever (1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 John 4:13).

Prayer:
Father God, as Your children we can never cease praising You for saving us from a life of wallowing in the mire of this world. You transformed us into a butterfly from the meager existence of a worm. Thank You that Your Spirit pursues us until we accept Christ’s sacrifice, so our spirit is Born Again.

Now we ask You to teach us to live, move and have our total being in You (Acts 17:28). Use Your Word to separate for us our soul and spirit, so that we can walk in Your Spirit every moment of every day, accomplishing only those works, which You created us to do (Ephesians 2:10).

Thought for the Day:
We daily give thanks to our wondrous God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who because of His mercies, which are new every single morning, caused us to be Born Again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

– 1 Peter 1:3; Lamentations 3:22-23

I do not Feel God’s Presence – The Main Reason

There is a big difference between Conviction and Conversion in a person’s life. I want to explain the difference to you in case you may have been convicted, but never converted.

If we say that we are saved, but our life is not transformed, and we do not feel His Spirit within us or see a difference in our thoughts and behavior, we were convicted, but not converted.

Believing in our mind is not enough, because even Satan believes and trembles” (James 2:19).

There are many examples in the Bible of good people who thought they were saved, but they never had a personal relationship with Jesus. (Matthew 7:21, 25:11; Luke 6:46, 13:25).

Satanic strongholds in our life may keep us struggling with our walk with the Lord. Maybe God told you to stop doing something that grieves His Spirit, but you are still doing it. Then, you will not feel God’s presence (Psalm 32:3-5).

Possibly, you are more interested in what God can do for you, rather than what you can do for God. Your motive in believing may be to change your circumstances, but God calls us to first change our heart and obey Him (John 14:15, 23).

We cannot save our self, we need God to save us through Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary’s cross. God is not our servant, but we are His servants.

He is not the granter of our wishes or requests, we serve Him whether He gives us what we ask for or not, because He is God and He is worthy.

Prayer:
Sincerely pray, giving ALL of your life to God and holding nothing back for yourself:
“Lord Jesus, I do not want to live my life as a slave to myself, sin or Satan. I ask You for Your forgiveness and that You save me completely. I relinquish my sinful nature to You.

“I dedicate my life to You. I submit my life to Your Holy Spirit to live within me, to change me from the inside out and to direct me through each moment of my day. Please keep me away from anything, which might take Your place in my heart. In Jesus’ name and for Your glory. Amen.”

Though for the Day:
If we are double-minded in our prayer for salvation, and not sincere, nothing will change; we are still lost in sin for eternity. – John 3:18, 5:24; Hebrews 3:19

Godly Intimacy

Through Salvation, we are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, regenerated by His Spirit, sanctified in our soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions – and transformed to walk in a new way of life (1 Peter 1:19; Titus 3:5; 2 Corinthians 5:17).

God gradually draws us to the ultimate realm of intimacy with Him. He enables us to step out of our humanity and to walk in the divine life of the Spirit of God within us (2 Peter 1:4; Galatians 5:15-25).

God’s Spirit perfects us from one level of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:18). He abides in our spirit, once He justifies our spirit, and then He gradually sanctifies our soul (Romans 6:6; 1 Corinthians 6:11).

As we decrease, Christ in us increases (John 3:30). The world has no more power over us, because we are no longer attracted by it (Galatians 6:14).

We do not live to fulfill our passions and goals, but we enjoy our intimacy with God and submit to Christ as He accomplishes His purposes through our life (Galatians 2:20).

We do not even work for God, because we simply allow Christ to live in and through us instead. His truth inspires us and we are compelled by His love (2 Corinthians 5:14, 11:10).

We make Jesus the Lord of our life and follow His Spirit’s direction each moment of our life (1 Peter 3:14-15). In our union with the Lord, we are one with Him in Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17).

We live, move and have our being in the power of Christ in us, so that we glorify Him with our every thought, word and deed (Acts 17:28; Philippians 1:19-21).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You so much for teaching us to walk in love, just as Jesus walked in love and sacrificed His life for us. May we reject the temptations of this life and live as a fragrant offering to You instead (Ephesians 5:2).

Remind us that our whole purpose on this earth is Christ, who is our life, and that to leave this world and to enter the next is truly for our advantage (Philippians 1:21; Colossians 3:3-4). We surrender our goals, aspirations and plans to You, and we ask You to guide us in Your will for our life.

Thought for the Day:
From the foundation of the world, Christ gave Himself on the cross according to the will of God, in order to indwell Believers and rescue us from slavery to sin in this evil age.  – Galatians 1:4

Abundant Grace

Forgiveness is one of the hardest spiritual disciplines God calls us to do, but the result is worth it when we find His freedom in our soul. Forgiveness does not let the perpetrator off the hook, but it puts them in God’s capable hands and He will exact His revenge from them (Ezekiel 25:17). Nothing we could do, not even holding a grudge, will be that effective.

As we surrender to God’s will and have faith in His faithfulness, He guards our hearts and minds through Christ in the most miraculous of ways (Philippians 4:4-7). If we refuse to forgive, this bitterness is likely to cause us to suffer from health issues (Proverbs 14:30). We can find joy, even in the most trying difficulty when we pray with gratitude in our heart.

When life spirals out of our control, we never need to fear, because it is never out of God’s control. His abundant grace is sufficient for us (2 Corinthians 12:9). If we do not have what we want, we can be assured that God does not want us to have it at this time. When He is ready to supply it, we will receive even more than we ever thought possible.

Although we are human and weak, God makes us strong, and His grace is always sufficient to meet any needs, which arise in our life (2 Corinthians 12:9; 2 Timothy 2:1). He works out everything, which we entrust into His care (2 Timothy 1:12). When we hope in the Lord, He keeps us from becoming weary; He renews our strength and we soar like eagles (Isaiah 40:31).

Christ is in us every moment of every day. The fact that He is our God vanquishes any depressive or hopeless thoughts. As we walk in God’s Spirit and obey His commandments, we prove our love for Him (1 John 2:3, 5:3). We know that He will always encourage, support, defend and care for us (Isaiah 41:10).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for replacing the negative characteristics of our soul with the fruit of Your Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Your sanctifying process gives us the mind of Christ and transforms us into His likeness (1 Corinthians 2:16; 2 Corinthians 3:18). Now, whenever we feel anxiety, we can ask You to reveal the reason behind it, and we can confess it as an idol of unbelief in our life. Remind us not to get out of bed without listening to Your Spirit’s direction for each moment of our day. Thank you so much for Your abundant grace in our life.

Thought for the Day:
As God’s grace reaches more and more people, we shout with great thanksgiving and give God more and more glory. – 2 Corinthians 4:15

Following Jesus’ Example

Jesus lived every moment of His life in dependence on our Father. He did not make His own decisions or live His own life, but consulted the Father throughout His day (Psalm 62:5-12). Our Savior and Brother gave us His perfect example of how God wants each and every Born Again Believer to live his/her life (Romans 8:17); totally surrendered to God and completely expended for Him without any reservations.

 

Christ’s death atoned for the debt of our sin. He died in our place and took our punishment upon His own body (2 Corinthians 12:9). He redeemed us by shedding His own blood (Matthew 26:28). Now He sits on His throne on high and intercedes for us (Hebrews 7:25). He is our advocate with our Father (1 John 2:1). At the same time, He dwells within us by His Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16), empowering us to live a transformed life (2 Corinthians 3:18).

 

Jesus is the head of His Body, comprised of His Born Again Saints (1 Corinthians 12:27). The only way for us to truly experience the power of Christ’s resurrection is to conform to His death and become like Him (Philippians 3:10). As we die to our flesh Christ manifests His life in and through us (Romans 6:5). He impliments and perfects His life in us.  As we share in His sufferings, our comfort abounds (2 Corinthians 1:5).

 

Are we ready to die to the world and to our goals, aspirations, desires and wants for God? Does anything in our life mean more to us than God? Jesus did not come to do His will, but our Fathers (John 4:34). Do we have a separate agenda of our own that we prefer to follow instead of God’s will for our life? Living in the center of God’s will is the happiest place on earth.

 

Prayer:

Father God, knowing You in an intimate relationship is the reality of eternal life (John 17:3). We do not need to wait until heaven for this to occur. We can know You now. Bring us into spiritual maturity so that we can obtain the complete fullness of Christ in our body, soul and spirit (Ephesans 4:13). Remind us that as we conform to Jesus’ death, we live victoriously in His life. In eternity, we will also share in His glory (1 Peter 4:13).

 

Thought for the Day:

Only as we die to self will the life of Christ manifest in our life.

Let the Weak Say, “I am Strong.”

Most of us feel totally inadequate to face the issues in our life. We pull our self up by our bootstraps every morning, put one foot in front of the other and move forward through the day, doing the best we can. Living in this stress-filled life with no spiritual basis for coping with its issues or making positive choices are more than most people can bear.

 

We struggle with inadequacy, shame, doubt, uncertainty, weakness and anxiety, which end up putting our body in the state of physical and psychosomatic illness. For many people, they have no support system. This is a travesty and drives them to use addictions of all kinds in order to cope with their feelings about life’s pressures (Galatians 5:19-21).

 

There are many paradoxes in the Bible and the one, which applies here, is that in order to be strong, we must first realize that we are weak. God uses the broken and foolish things in the world to confound the wise (1 Corinthians 1:27). Our flaws give us compassion for other people. We never stand in judgment, because we are just as defective as the next person. However, God is our only judge (James 4:12). 

 

 

God loves it when we come to the end of our self and look up into His waiting, loving face. The weaker and less competent we are, the more God can use us for His glory. Peace of mind and spiritual assurance of God’s presence in our life affects our body, soul and spirit positively and gives us a new life and an eternal hope, which ignites our passion for God (Romans 8:11).  

 

The Creator of the Universe transforms us from the inside out by dwelling within us (2 Corinthians 5:17). He removes our wounded heart of stone and gives us a compassionate heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). God uses our unique idiosyncrasies, formed in us by a lifetime of nature and nurture, for His glory (2 Corinthians 12:9). His Spirit gives us the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). The weak can now say, “I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

 

Prayer:

Father God, as a natural, carnal person, we attempt to live independently of You and Your plan for our life (Jeremiah 29:11; Ephesians 2:10). We live out of harmony with You and reap a wind storm of consequences. Remind us not to depend on our human understanding, but to consult You in every moment of our day. Thank You for Your redemption in our life and for caring about every aspect of it that we face.

 

Thought for the Day:

God changes our life by giving us His new birth and eternal life in Jesus Christ. He takes us from our lowly state and exalts us as co-heirs with Christ of His entire Kingdom.

– Romans 8:17; 2 Corinthians 4:7

Our Calling in Christ

The Jews and Romans put Jesus’ body to death, but God brought Him to life again by His Spirit. Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, once and for all generations. The perfect and righteous One died for the unrighteous. Jesus makes us acceptable, so that we can approach God with confidence (Hebrews 4:16). In Christ our humanity is dead and hidden with Christ in God.

Jesus is now in heaven and is at the right hand of our Father. The angels, authorities and powers both in heaven and on earth are all subject to Him both now and in eternity (1 Peter 3:18, 22). Christ is our only life, and when He appears, we will appear with Him in His Glory (Colossians 3:1-4). We are raised in new life with Christ, so that we can seek eternal and infinite pursuits.

God wants us to relinquish any aspirations to be conformed to the pattern of this world. He invites us to be transformed into Christ, by the renewing of our mind, so that we can prove the good, acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2). We set our mind on timeless aspects rather than on the finite issues of life on this earth. We live our life to share the gospel with everyone who will listen.

God enlightens the eyes of our heart, for us to comprehend the hope of His calling, the riches of His glorious inheritance for His Saints and the incomparable greatness of His power toward all of us who believe in Him (Ephesians 1:17-19). The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, will give us His spirit of wisdom. He also gives us the revelation of and the full knowledge of Himself.

Now we can share this discovery with the world around us. God calls us to walk in the Spirit on the narrow road of salvation, and to influence for Him the generations, which walk on the wide road leading to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14). He calls us to use our influence to point people to Jesus and away from sin’s harm. Let us dedicate our life to His service until our dying breath.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, we take our refuge in You. You keep us from shame and You deliver and rescue us from our oppressors. You turn You ear to our cries and You save us. You are our rock of refuge to which we can always go in our time of need. Your commandments save us from reaping destruction in this life. You are our Rock and Fortress forever (Psalm 71:1-3). We will arise to serve You, both now and throughout eternity.

Thought for the Day:
We are forever redeemed from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light in Christ Jesus. – 1 Peter 1: 18-19