Thursday, April 30, 2015

Our Union Life with Christ


John explains our union life with Christ as a branch on a vine. We cannot live a fruitful life without our intimate connection with Him. God is the vine dresser and He prunes us to make us even more fruitful (John 15:1-8).

Jesus prayed for our union with Him through His Body. He wanted those who believe on Him to live in unity with one another and with Him, just as He is in God, and God is in Him (John 17:20-24).

We enjoy the glorious union with Christ; and He calls us to live in unity with one another (John 17:25-26). This will only occur as we lay down our life for one another. This union life is a witness to the dying world around us that there is reality in our faith and practice.

God already crucified us with Christ, so that we no longer need to live by struggling in this life. We live a fulfilled life in Christ. We live by the faith of Christ, God’s Son, who loved us enough to give His own life in ransom for us (Galatians 2:20).

God calls us to walk in the Spirit and do the works He ordained for us to perform before we were ever born (Ephesians 2:10; Galatians 5:15-17). This takes all the guesswork out of life. We simply wait on God to reveal to us His divine purpose for each moment of our day.

Father God, You gave us Your Holy Spirit to dwell in our body, which is His Temple. Therefore, it is only right that we glorify You with our body and soul – our thoughts, choices and emotions (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Remind us to obey Your Spirit’s direction through each moment of our day. Give us a true revelation of our union with Christ.

Thought for the Day:
Our union with Christ is a great mystery, but a reality nonetheless.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

New Creation - Final Part 3

There are just a few more negative traits, which God is changing to make me a new creation. I dislike the limelight, but God is not concerned with this. I lack the confidence, anointing and ability to function in leadership, but I make a good foot soldier, because I follow instructions.

The last two strongholds, moodiness and grouchiness, only bother me now when I am tired, but God’s Spirit helps me to overcome even then by reminding me to keep my focus on Him rather than on myself. 

Over the years, God retained a few of my positive personality characteristics; such as my organizational abilities, calendar planning, economical tendencies, neat homemaking, attention to detail and a determination to finish what I start.

Another character trait, which He preserved, was my ability to find creative solutions to solve problems. Unfortunately, I always felt the need for others to do things my way, so God did purged me of that side of the coin.

God also had to break me of the penchant to ease the burdens of everyone around me; because I ended up burned out, and I thwarted God's plan in the lives of those I enabled.

I am sure that you can see from my testimony over the last three posts that God cares about every area of our life. He wants to transform and conform us to be like Christ and to manifest His love and divine nature to the world around us. People will see the difference He makes in our life and will want His transforming power for their life too.

Father God, thank You for making me into a new creation and for enabling me to overcome human tendencies by filling me with the divine nature of Christ and guiding me with Your Spirit (2 Peter 1:4; 2 Corinthians 5:17). Thank You for forgiving my inadequacies when I fall short of Your image of who I am in Christ, who is my true identity (Colossians 2:9-10). I rejoice in the fact that my life is now hidden in You with Christ, who is my whole life (Colossians 3:3-4). 

Thought for the Day:
Allow God to work in your life to exchange your negative personality traits with His fruit, to use your positive characteristics for His glory and to make you a new creation in Him. - 2 Corinthians 5:17

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

New Creation - Part 2

God started a good work in me and continues to make me a new creation (Philippians 1:6). Introspection was an affliction, which contributed to my low self-esteem and introverted tendencies. God's Holy Spirit healed this burden by ending my negative self-talk and filling me with His fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).

I tended to be one-track minded and had no skill for multi-tasking, until my children were born - what mother does not learn to multi-task?

Fighting depressive thoughts and looking at the glass as half-empty were two other melancholic traits, from which God delivered me. He taught me to focus on the eternal rather than the earthly; eventually worldly cares and concerns stopped bothering me so much.

Feeling like a victim or a savior were two other traits, which God freed me from by reminding me that I am more than a conqueror and Jesus is the only Savior the world needs (Romans 8:37; 1 John 4:14).

Holding grudges caused me problems until God taught me about forgiveness - not only about forgiving others, but about forgiving myself as well (Matthew 6:14-15). Mercy and grace became my guide stones.

Worry is another weakness, which plagued my life until God taught me to have faith in His faithfulness and that He would eventually work out everything, even the most negative situation, for my good (Romans 8:28).

Father God, these negative natural tendencies crippled my life and gave me a pessimistic outlook. I could not see the joy You created all around me. As you transform me to have the mind of Christ, all of nature, each person I encounter and every detail of my day become an adventure and a blessing in my life. I look forward to each new day in Your presence. Thank You for making me a new creation.

Thought for the Day:
Transformation is a voyage of discovery of who we are in Christ. – 2 Corinthians 5:17

Monday, April 27, 2015

​A New Creation – Part 1

As a child, I felt insecure and fearful about tomorrow. I desperately attempted to control my life in order to feel as safe as is humanly possible. I did not want to leave anything to chance, because it usually turned out badly. I focused inwardly and took care of my own business.

Introverted and analytical, I lived a very cautious life with intense self-discipline and attention to details, so I would not cause anyone to get upset with me. I disliked change of any kind and I reacted in anger when my security was threatened in any way.

My favorite activity was to sit in our giant China-berry tree in our back yard, engrossed in a book until sunset. I also enjoyed crafts of all kinds. My mom and grandmother taught me to do needlework, and I learned to do many other crafts from the instructions in library books.

Throughout childhood, I was way too sensitive, felt too deeply and cared too much. I had no real friends except my cousins and my Girl Scout troop. I had no dreams or aspirations, except making it through the day in relative peace and calm. These traits followed me all through high school.

In adulthood, my loyalty to God, friends and family served me well as a Born Again Believer. I do not need many friends, but I am merciful, caring and loyal to all of my acquaintances. I am still easily embarrassed and shy. I feel overwhelmed in a group and I prefer talking to people one-on-one.

However, God impressed on me the importance of stepping out of my shy persona and allowing His Spirit to minister to people through me. Ironically, He called me to serve Him as a greeter in social gatherings, and as a Pastor’s wife, living in the limelight under microscopic scrutiny.

Father God, thank You for using these years of my life to transform me with the mind of Christ. My penchant for perfectionism made me, and everyone around me, tense and uptight, until You mercifully delivered me from that demonic plague. You taught me that doing my best was all that anyone could ever expect from me. Then, You took it one step further and encouraged me to walk in Your Spirit as You transform my life into a new creation.

Thought for the Day:
In Christ, our old personality is dead and we no longer live for our self, because the Spirit of God abides within us and we are buried in Christ and raised to walk in a new life. – 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:4