Thursday, July 29, 2010

I am Thankful

I am so incredibly thankful.  I can't even fully express it.  God is so good.  I am overwhelmed by His beauty, his graciousness in my life, His wonder as He shows me so many cool things.  I am so thankful that He would walk with me and work through my life for His glory.  What an amazing God He is. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What is reality?

I have been meditating on reality.  The real REALITY.  Not the reality we see with our eyes.  But the real REALITY of the unseen. What is really real for a believer in Jesus Christ?

If we are in Christ, we are new creations.  The old is gone.  The REALITYof the new creation means that I am no longer what I was. What I was no longer defines my present REALITY.   What God says about me in His word, now defines REALITY. All that I was has been replaced with all that I now am in Christ.  I was dead and now I am alive.  I am completely new.  Not a stain or blemish exists.  I am sealed in Him.

We walk in this REALITY by faith and not by sight.  The catch of experiencing the power of this new life is  belief.  I must agree with God that I am who He says I am.  I must agree that God did what He promised to do.  I must believe that He who promised is faithful.   If  I believe that I am not actually changed by God, I will live as an unchanged being.  If I believe I have been transformed and made new, then that REALITY will work itself out in my existence.

I choose to believe the Truth.  God defines REALITY for me now.  God's REALITY is dynamic, powerful and freeing.

What is REALITY?

I, along with all believers in Jesus Christ, am Righteous in Christ.  Totally accepted by my God, because of what He did; not because of anything I would ever do. I am His workmanship.  His creation.  Created in Christ Jesus for good works.  He is delighted in me (in us); the perfection of His amazing workmanship.  God is the perfect designer.

I am a child of God, His heir.  All He has is mine and all I have is His.  As His heir, He has filled me with His love, His Joy, His peace and all that He is through His Spirit. This is the true REALITY of my existence as His child. 

I am a kingdom being now, a spiritual person whose reality is now defined by the One who created me.  By the Father who gave me spiritual birth.  I am no longer a citizen of this earth, but a heavenly being housed in a body that is designed for this planet, but it temporary and passing away.  I am eternal, existing in eternity now.

The True REALITY is that all the things of the earth no longer define us.  Our reality is defined for us in the living Word of God.

I am so awed... floored, really... by the mystery of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The beauty and grace of God is overwhelming. I am so incredibly grateful for what God has done.

I believe Him.  I love believing Him.  In believing the Truth, the REALITY of that Truth, reveals itself more and more in and through me.  He has done for me, for us, what we could never have even thought up for ourselves.   We hunger for His word.   Not just to memorize it and know where the verses are.  But to live in in the Word and experience the reality of His presence now.  The reality of eternity here and now as we live by faith in the God who created us and made us His.  It's His doing, not ours.  It's His work and He is a master craftsman.  He does not create dysfunctional beings.  We are not broken.  He creates beautiful, free, clean beings who adore Him and delight to do His will, for His pleasure.

What an amazing God we have.  What amazing love.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

In Christ

This week I have extra time to journal.  I've been feeling unwell physically, but it's given me the opportunity to focus on God and to read. So it's been a blessing in disguise!

Have you meditated on what it means to be IN CHRIST?   What an amazingly beautiful reality. I'm letting these truths sink in; meditating on the reality of being In Christ and Him in me.  It's real and true and we exist in it now.  All thanks to God for His provision of grace through Jesus Christ our Lord! To God be the Glory!  These are just some of the verses that stand out to me.  As you read them rest on them.  If you are in Christ these truths are true of you... NOW.   I hope you'll let the beautiful reality of who you in Christ sink in deeply, believing it, resting in it.  May the joy of the Lord will rise up in you with shouts of praise to God, with hearts overflowing with thankfulness.

  • We were dead, now we are alive to God in Christ.
  • We were doomed to die, but now, by the grace of God through faith, we have eternal life in Christ!
  • We live forever in Christ, starting the moment we first believed.
  • We are no longer under condemnation because we are in Christ Jesus.
  • We are free from the law of sin and death thanks to the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.
  • Nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.
  • We are one body in Christ, connected with all believers by the one Spirit.
  • We are united in Christ, there is no division.
  • We are sanctified in Christ, made holy and called to be saints.
  • We glory only in the Lord, for Christ has become for us wisdom from God and righteousness, sanctification and redemption.
  • We are established and anointed in Christ .
  • God always leads us in triumph in Christ.
  • The veil is taken away from our eyes in Christ and we can behold the glory of God as He transforms us into His image.
  • We are completely new in Christ.
  • We are the righteousness of God in Christ.
  • We have complete liberty in Christ.
  • We exist in the blessing of Abraham.
  • We're sons of God through faith in Christ.
  • There is neither male nor female, nor any nationality in Christ.  We are all on in Christ Jesus.
  • We are blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.
  • We were created in Christ for good works which God prepared before hand that we should walk in them.
  • We have been completely forgiven in Christ.

Rom. 3:24; Rom.  6:11; Rom. 6:23; Rom. 8:1; Rom. 8:39; Rom. 12:5; 1 Cor. 1:2; 1 Cor. 1:30; 2 Cor. 1:21; 2 Cor. 2:14;2 Cor. 3:14; 2 Cor. 5:17; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 2:4; Gal. 3:14;Gal. 3:26;Gal. 3:28; Eph. 1:3; Eph. 2:10; Eph. 4:32;

Living the Life

I have been searching for believers, from centuries ago and modern day, who know who they are in Christ and who live in the power and victory of His resurrection now.  My spirit leaps in confirmation as I read their words and I rise to believe who I really am in Christ, believing in the amazing power of Christ in me for the glory of God.  That's the way I have felt reading Andrew Murray's work, New Life.

I think we often live far less than what we really are in Christ.  We've been deceived somehow, perhaps by our own feelings of inadequacy, by things we have been taught, slogans we learn like being sinners saved by grace, by music that cries out to make us holy.  We have a hard time grasping the reality that God has truly transformed us.  We fail to see. We miss the amazing reality of who we really are in Christ and live on as if He did nothing within us.  We may get discouraged and begin to try to attain joy and peace. Praying for it.  Reading the Bible more to get it.  Going to church meetings, conferences, reading books to understand what we are missing.  Have you ever been there?  Searching with desperation to find what you somehow lost somewhere along the way?

What we are missing is the reality that Christ in us and we are in Him.  Connected, abiding in His presence forever. Christ alone is our life. We must believe this.  It is.  Already.  It's finished.  And we experience it by faith. 

The Christian life is an impossible life.  We cannot try to live it.  It flows out of who we are, connected and abiding in and through our creator.  His life living through us. His power, His joy, His love flowing through us enabling us to live and truly love.  It is not the life of this world or the life of our will.  In Christ, we have died to our will.  We have been crucified with Christ and we no longer live.  It's Christ who now lives in us.  

The truth of the new creation is God's mystery.  It's a spiritual mystery of the gospel of Jesus Christ. God creating for Himself a holy nation, a people belonging to Him, a people who are free to be slaves of righteousness. Isn't it amazing that we are His workmanship, His creation.  He birthed us and caused us to be born again as a heavenly being.  We are spirit beings who live in an earthly vessel, our body.  We are citizens of heaven and no longer fit into the world system of sight.  God now moves us out as His ambassadors to declare the mystery of His gospel, the power of God for salvation for whoever believe. 

As we declare His truth, He transforms people around us, calling the dead to life and setting the captives free.  It's Christ in us, the hope of glory.  And it's us in Him.  I am so overwhelmed by the gospel;  it's so profound and so deep.  I meditate within it.  It's hard to grasp.  It's spirit and truth, but as we sit with Him, listening, meditating on His word, asking Him to enlighten the eyes of our hearts so we begin to comprehend.  We begin to see the beauty of God and the astounding mystery of the riches we have in Christ.  Oh that we might know Him and the amazing power of His resurrection life in our lives right now.  That we would truly believe Him and understand what He has done.  He is so worthy, so beautiful, so astoundingly gracious to us.

Andrew Murray's work, New Life, from what I have read so far, resounds with an understanding of the true reality of being in Christ.   I was encouraged when I read this chapter of Andrew Murray's work.  I hope you will be too.

 The New Life by Andrew Murray

---For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotton Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life" John 3:16.
"For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. Christ is our life" Colossians 3:3,4.
---We declare unto you the life, eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested unto us. God hath given us eternal life; and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life" 1 John 1:2; 5:11,12.

A glorious blessing is given to all who believe in the Lord Jesus. Along with a change in his disposition and manner of living, he also receives an entirely new life from God. He is born anew. Born of God. He has passed from death into life.
This new life is nothing less than eternal life. 2 This does not mean, as many suppose, that our life will no longer die, enduring into eternity. No, eternal life is nothing else than the very life of God. It is the life that He has had in Himself from eternity and that has been visibly revealed in Christ. This life is now the inheritance of every child of God. 3
This life is a life of inconceivable power. Whenever God gives life to a young plant or animal, that life has within itself the power to grow. The plant or animal as of itself becomes large. Life is power. In a new life--in your heart--there is the power of eternity. 4 More certain than the healthful growth of any tree or animal is the growth and increase of the child of God who surrenders himself to the working of the new life.
Two things hinder this power and the reception of the new spiritual life. The one is ignorance of its nature--its laws and workings. Man, even the Christian, cannot conceive of the new life which comes from God. It surpasses all of his thoughts. His own distorted thoughts of the way to serve and to please God--namely, by what he does and is--are deeply rooted in him. Although he believes that he understands and receives God's Word, he still thinks humanly and carnally on divine things. 5 God must give salvation and life. He must also give the Spirit to make us understand what He gives. He must point out the way to the land of Canaan. We must also, like the blind, be led by Him every day.
The young Christian must try to cherish a deep conviction of his ignorance concerning the new life, and of his inability to form correct thoughts about it. This will bring him to the meekness and to the childlike spirit of humility, to which the Lord will make His secret known. 6
There is a second hindrance in the way of faith. In the life of every plant and every animal and every child of God, there lies sufficient power by which it can become big. In the new life, God has made the most glorious provision of a sufficient power. With this power His child can grow and become all that he must be. Christ Himself is his life and his power of life.8 Yet, because this mighty life is not visible or cannot be felt, the young Christian often becomes doubtful. He then fails to believe that he will grow with divine power and certainty. He does not understand that the believing life is a life of faith. He must depend on the life that is in Christ for him, although he neither sees, feels, nor experiences anything. 9
Let everyone then that has received this new life cultivate these great convictions. It is eternal life that works in me. It works with divine power. I can and will become what God will have me be. Christ Himself is my life. I have to receive Him every day as my life, given to me by God, and He will be my life in full power.
Father, You have given me Your Son so that I may have life in Him. I thank You for the glorious new life that is now in me. I pray that You will teach me to properly know this new life. I will acknowledge my ignorance and the distorted thoughts which are in me concerning Your service. I will believe in the heavenly power of the new life that is in me. I will believe that my Lord Jesus, who Himself is my life, will, by His Spirit, teach me to know how I can walk in that life. Amen.

1) John 1:12,13; 3:5,7; 5:24; 1 John 3:14; 5:1
2) John 3:15,16,36; 6:40,51; 11:25,26; Rom. 6:11,23;8:2; 1 John 5:12,13
3) 1 John 1:3; 3:1; 5:11
4) John 10:10,28; Heb. 7:16,28; 11:25,26; 2 Cor. 12:9; 13:4; Col. 3:3,4; Phil. 4:13
5) Josh. 3:4; Isa. 4:5,6; Matt. 16:23
6) Ps. 25:5,8,9; 143:8; Isa. 42:16; 64:4; Matt. 11:25; 1 Cor. 1:18,19; 2:7,10,12; Heb. 11:8
7) Ps. 18:2; 27:1; 36:8,9; John 14:19; Gal. 2:20; Col. 3:3,4
8) Hab. 2:4; Matt. 6:27; Rom. 1: 17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10: 38
Try to understand and plant the following lessons in your heart:
1. It is eternal life, the very life of God, that you have now received through faith.
2. This new life is in Christ, and the Holy Spirit is in you to convey to you all that is in Christ. Christ lives in you through the Holy Spirit.
3. This life is a life of wonderful power. However weak you may feel, you must believe in the divine power of the life that is in you.
4. This life needs time to grow in you and to take possession of you. Give it time, it will surely increase.
5. Do not forget that all the laws and rules of this new life are in conflict with all human thoughts of the way to please God. Be very much in dread of your own thoughts. Let Christ, who is your life and also your wisdom, teach you all things.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

Isaiah 61 proclaims the amazing reality of God as purposed in Christ. He came to set the captives free. He came to bind up the broken hearted; to proclaim release for the prisoners who are bound; to comfort all who mourn. What an amazing promise. When Christ entered the synagogue at the start of his ministry, he opened the scroll containing this passage, read it in the presence of all and declared that these verses were now fulfilled in Him.

In Christ, our hearts are healed. We are set free from the power of sin and death. We are released from captivity to the evil one. We are comforted and brought into His marvelous joy and peace. God restores us completely in Christ.

I experienced this peace when I was saved. I walked with God in such freedom and joy. I had never before experienced joy like this. I was free and I knew it. I loved God and I enjoyed His presence. As time went on, however, I began to struggle. Peace seemed to be barely within my grasp and I thought my relationship with God was being slowly taken away somehow. I knew I was saved, but the experience that salvation was becoming fleeting.

I could not seem to figure out how to get back to this place of peace. Did I need to do something different? Pray differently? Read my bible more? I went to conferences, read books, listened to sermons, trying to figure out what went wrong. I prayed that God would forgive me. That He would restore me. That he would clean my heart and make me free again. I felt like I was hitting walls and I began to despair.

Gal. 3:1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? 2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

What I did not realize was that I was beginning to try to live the Christian Life. I was moving into the realm of trying to work things out. I began to think that I somehow needed to do something to experience the peace of God.

As Paul speaks to the Galatian believers, saying, "Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth?" What is the truth that Paul is exhorting the believers to obey? He's saying is Christ not enough? Do you think that you received the Spirit of God by doing something? Or did you receive Him by faith -- just believing in Him? It's by faith, I realized. Simply by faith. The truth is that the work has been done. All the promises of God as Yes in Christ. Fulfilled. Accomplished. And we live in them by faith alone.

It is for liberty that Christ has set us free. Do not return to a yoke of bondage, Paul admonishes us in Galatians 5. It's simple faith. It's not about trying to do things to earn God's favor or to become more Christ-like. I was slowly becoming religious, trying to do Christian things, but was losing the love-base, the reality that God did for me what I could never do for myself. Paul tells the Ephesian church, "It's by grace that we've been saved, through faith. It's a gift from God. Not of yourselves, that no one can boast."

It's all God. His transformation within us. His work. His Life. And it's complete. Finished. So we rest and believe that what He said He would do, He has actually accomplished in us, Now.


Learning to believe who we are in Christ

I have been on a journey of knowing God. I love God. He has transformed my life. When I surrendered my life to Jesus, years ago, I was dramatically changed. I hungered for God. Over time though, I began to lose the sense of peace and joy that I had at the beginning. People would tell me that it was normal. My heart cried within me, saying, "I know there is something more that I am not comprehending." I cried out to God to make my heart clean, because I didn't feel clean. I cried for Him to restore my relationship with Him to what it was. He never seemed to answer me.

Eventually I gave up hope. The verses in the Bible that promised abundance and joy seemed to apply only to some, but not to me. I couldn't figure out how to get that joy again. I was despairing.

I don't know if anyone else has ever felt that way. I'm writing to say that God has revealed the answer to me. I have joy and peace today, overflowing through me; an assurance of His presence and pleasure. I'm writing to give praise to God and to process this journey I am on to know Him. Perhaps God might use these words as an encouragement to someone also....