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    A Thought from CMI

    Appropriate--for God Will Be Great in 2008

    Wednesday, January 16, 2008

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28 NKJ)

During times of meditation and prayer about the new year, this thought has come to me: "Stand Tall, Walk Straight, Appropriate and Celebrate--for God will be great in 2008." Previously I have shared on the call to "Stand Tall," and then to "Walk Straight." Now some thoughts on "Appropriate, for God will be Great in 2008."

According to the dictionary, the word "appropriate" means "to set apart for," or "assign to a particular use, in exclusion of all other uses;" as, a spot of ground is appropriated for a garden. We should appropriate the blessings God has given us. We should set them apart for the particular purpose for which they were given. This involves the act of consecration--of dedicating to the Lord, for His use--what He has given us. Our whole being has been purchased by the blood of Jesus. We have been bought by God with the blood of Jesus. We belong to Him, and He wants to use us for the purposes He had in mind when He created us. The Bible says we are His workmanship, created in Christ unto good works (Ephesians 2:10). If I use something I have received from God for the wrong purpose, difficulties and problems often develop.

When I was under the influence of living for the high of alcohol, I was using many of my God-given gifts and talents for my own purposes. I was abusing alcohol, by using it excessively. I was abusing the days God had given me, by letting the desire for the effects of excessive alcohol dominate my life. I was using the financial blessings God provided me, to keep up my alcohol-focused lifestyle. The sinful use of Godís provision caused me to go through difficult times, because of my self-centeredness and desires for self-gratification. But God in His mercy redeemed me. He brought me back into His eternal plans and purposes for me. He used the self-inflicted difficulties to cause me to cry out to Him. Through His life in me, He has caused me to want to use appropriately all that He has given me.

God has a plan and purpose for all He has given to us. Paul says we should present ourselves a living sacrifice unto God. Our members, our time, talents, and treasures should be consecrated unto Him for His purposes. We are priests unto God, called to serve Him and to live for Him. We are to appropriate all we have and are for His service. Life becomes disjointed and difficult when we live for ourselves. The Bible says He died for all so that those who live should not live for themselves but for Him who died for them and rose again (2 Corinthians 5:15).

Jesus lived this way. When He came into the world He said, "A body You have prepared for Me, ÖBehold, I have come--in the volume of the book it is written of Me--to do Your will, O God" (Hebrews 10:5,7 NKJ). When He was being given the grace to be our Heavenly High Priest, He said, "And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth" (John 17:19 NKJ).

God has a plan. He has given us a life, talents, gifts, desires, time, relationships, etc., to be used by us for His purposes. He is willing to live in us so that He can empower these things and cleanse them from the misuses we have made of our members, and from the sinful ways we have lived. Let us appropriate, rededicate, and consecrate ourselves unto Him and watch Him be Great in 2008!

Father, we rejoice in You and in all You have for us and all You have given us. Help us to live for You and to allow You to live through us, through Christ in us. Amen.

    A Thought from CMI

    Appropriate--for God Will Be Great in 2008

    Thursday, January 17, 2008

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28 NKJ)

"Stand Tall, Walk Straight, Appropriate and Celebrate--for God will be great in 2008" is the thought that has come as I have meditated and prayed concerning this new year. Previously I have shared on the call to "Stand Tall," and then to "Walk Straight." Following are some additional thoughts on "Appropriate, for God will be Great in 2008."

According to the dictionary, the word "appropriate" means "to set apart for, or assign to a particular use, in exclusion of all other uses;" as, a spot of ground is appropriated for a garden. Yesterday I shared on appropriating the many blessings God has given us, so that we use them for His purposes and do not let Satan lead us to misuse them for his purposes. This involves consecrating all that we are and have to God so that He can use what we have given to Him--ourselves, our time, our possessions and desires.

The above passage reminds us that God will use ALL things that come into our lives for His purposes. God allows us to experience difficulties in this life. Some of these are caused by our own foolish or sinful actions. When I was living for my own pleasures and glory, my own ways led me to do many sinful and personally damaging things. I tried to blame these things on others, or on the devil, or just on the way I was born. This seemed to bring temporary relief from my own guilt and shame. Yes, others did me wrong. Yes, I was born with a sinful condition. Yes, Satan tempted me and tried to use me for his purposes. BUT GOD showed me I could have victory over my sinful nature by receiving the life of Christ into my being and living for Him. He showed me that when others wronged me I could rise above their actions, by forgiving them and praying that God would change them so they too would know the blessedness of living for God and living in His will. He showed me that Jesus had been punished for my sins and that I could live for Him, freeing me from guilt and shame.

What God taught me was that He is able to use ALL things for His Divine purpose, which is for me to become infused with His life through Jesus and to be a vessel of His as He brings all things under the dominion of Christ. He showed me my desperate need to be made a partaker of His Holy Nature and to know His eternal and Divine purposes for me and for all of His creation. After letting Him show me how to embrace all that happened to me, and all that I did, He then could use these things for His Divine purposes. He taught me to APPROPRIATE, letting Him show me how He can and will use all things for His eternal plan for me and for all of His creation. What He has done and is doing for me has enabled me to declare from my heart experience, "APPROPRIATE, AND KNOW GOD WILL BE GREAT IN 2008."

Father, we rejoice in You and in Your great plan and purposes for all of Your creation. Help us to release every moment of our life and all of our experiences to You so that Your Divine plan and purposes for us can come about. We rejoice in Your plan to bring all things under the dominion of Your Son. Amen.

    A Thought from CMI

    Appropriate--for God Will Be Great in 2008

    Thursday, January 24, 2008

"---in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (1Thessalonians 5:18 NKJ)

Difficulties will come in this life. There is evil in the world; many people in the world are energized by evil and therefore they will do evil. They will do evil towards Christians. We too are born with an evil nature. Our sinful flesh wars against the new life we have received through Christ, so we too will do evil. We can see evil increasing in the world and in the church. Yet we are called to give thanks in everything.

We are not called to give thanks for everything. I thank God that He is able and willing to remove the ways of evil that are within my flesh. I thank God that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. I thank God that He has promised that the kingdom and power of Christ living in me is increasing as I look upon Him. I thank God that I am being changed from glory to glory. Because of who God is, and what He has promised to do in and with me, I can give thanks in all situations. I can give thanks even after I sin, because He reveals my sin. He also reveals the sinful roots of my behavior, and He forgives me, cleanses me, brings His new life into that area of my heart, and empowers me with His Holy Spirit so that I can walk in the newness of life He is imparting to me. I can give thanks, even when I fail, because He uses my failures to remind me of His mercy and His provision for me to be a partaker of His holiness.

I can also thank God when others mistreat me. I can thank God even when others bring personal harm, try to defame me, or seek to take away prized possessions, including loved ones, friends, and material things. Even when we suffer loss of these things, we still have the love of God in us to empower us. We still have the everlasting plan of God to meditate on, reminding us that God will act on our behalf and will bring about His plan to remove evil from the world. We can remember that God calls us to live before Him in His heavenly place, and that He is in the process of bringing His ways into the earth. When I consider His eternal destiny for the earth--to make all things new in creating a new heaven and earth through the presence and power of Christ--things come into proper perspective. As I remember His eternal plan, live for Him and become part of His eternal ways for this earth, I can give thanks in all things.

Jesus lived this way. He gave thanks even when He went to the cross. He first had to take the time in Gethsemane to become fully united with Godís plan and filled with His power to carry it out. Hebrews 13:2 tells us that He then was able to endure the cross because of the joy that was set before Him. We too can only give thanks in all things as we look to Him for the wisdom and grace to do so. When we do this by faith, He will empower us to see things from their eternal and heavenly perspective. We will be able to live in His joy, giving thanks in all things IN CHRIST. Let us appropriate His life so that we can do this!

Father, we would give you thanks in all things. Help us to live in Christ and to know You will use all things to bring us closer to You, to live for You, and to help others to live this way. Amen.

    A Thought from CMI

    Appropriate--for God Will Be Great in 2008

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

"Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10 NKJ)

Jesus came to do His Fatherís will. His very act of coming to earth was because it was the will of His Father. He loved His Fatherís will before He came to earth. He loved the will of His Father while on earth. He continues to love and to do His Fatherís will as our Heavenly High Priest. He is praying for us because it is the will of His Father for Him to do so. He sends forth the Holy Spirit of God into our heart, because it is His Fatherís will for Him to do so.

He went to the cross, taking our sins upon Himself and taking them into hell for us because it was the will of His Father for Him to do so. The Bible says, "He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself" (Hebrews 9:26 NKJ). He is able to be our heavenly High Priest because He first became our Scapegoat, taking our sins into hell for us. The Bible describes the actions of the High Priest: "Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land" (Leviticus 16:21-22 NKJ). On the cross, Jesus did this. He cried out, "Why have You forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:46 NKJ). He accomplished His complete work, declaring again, "It is finished" (John 19:30 NKJ).

He knew His assignment and knew it was the will of God for Him to do this. The Bible says of Jesus, "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: ĎSacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Meí" (Hebrews 10:4-5 NKJ). We know that Jesus had to cry out earnestly in Gethsemane for the strength to embrace all that He had to do in going to the cross. God met Him and sent an angel to strengthen Him. God will do the same for us today.

We too can come to Him for the willingness and the power to do all God would have us do. We can know that He sometimes asks us to go through unpleasant circumstances to enable Him to do a deeper work in us or to use us to be a blessing to others. Sometimes He leads us into places where all we can say is, "Father, forgive them." We can receive His love of righteousness and His power to do what is right in all places He allows us to go. He is able to bring spiritual, emotional and physical healing to us in the process. The Bible says of Jesus, .... who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness--by whose stripes you were healed" (1 Peter 2:24 NKJ). Let us by faith receive all God has for us and live in Him. LET US APPROPRIATE, FOR GOD WILL BE GREAT IN 2008.

Father, we rejoice all You have provided for us in Christ. Help us to receive all He will bring into us and do for us, through Your Holy Spirit. Help us to meditate and appropriate in 2008. Amen.

    A Thought from CMI

    Appropriate--for God Will Be Great in 2008

    Saturday, February 2, 2008

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ," (Ephesians 1:3 NKJ)

God wants to bless us. He desires to bless us with material blessings. He knows, however, that He must first train us how to use such blessings, so we use them for His purposes and donít abuse them. Many are addicted to substance abuse, sexual abuse, overspending and the like. He tells us to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; then we can be blessed with proper use of material blessings.

Even more than material blessings He loves to give us spiritual blessings. He wants to bless our spirits. He desires to heal the wounds in our spirits and to give us spiritual wisdom and an understanding of the spirit realm. He wants to impart His Spirit into us so that we can become united with Him--wanting what He wants, desiring to know and do His will, and seeing things from His heavenly and eternal perspective. Jesus taught us to pray for Godís kingdom to come and for Godís will to be done on earth, like it is being done in His heaven.

Jesus, reigning in heaven, has life and wisdom for us. We can come boldly to the throne of grace and ask for and receive the spiritual wisdom, strength and understanding we need for the tasks of each day. The spirits of this world do not think it is good to live in Godís will. That is why they rebelled along with Satan and now lie to and deceive people by imparting Satanís rebellious nature into them and encouraging them to live apart from the will and life of God.

Jesus knew this. He came to do the will of God, and He did it. Now He can impart to us the life that He lived. He had faith that doing Godís will was the best thing, even when it meant personal difficulty. He had faith in God while on the earth, and now He can give us the faith we need in order to want to do Godís will in all situations. This means denying our own will and letting the will of God reign supreme in us. Paul understood this. He said, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20 KJV).

We need faith. We can receive and live by the faith of Jesus. We can live by His faith in believing Godís will to be the best. We can live by believing He will impart His faith into us as we ask Him. He has faith that He can lead us so that we will ask Him for faith to believe Godís will is best. Knowing this we then can ask Him for the power to do Godís will in all situations. He will send the Holy Spirit to us to give us the power to do Godís will as He did. We must receive and appropriate these things that Jesus did for us and now makes available to us. The Bible says, "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name" (John 1:12 NKJ) LET US APPROPRIATE HIS HEAVENLY LIFE AND POWER; GOD WILL BE GREAT IN 2008!

Father, we rejoice in Your plan to bring all things under Christ. We rejoice in Your moral and pure character. Help us to receive Your ways into our spirit, through Christ who reigns above. Amen.

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Serving God as He Unites Heaven and Earth in Christ

     
Rich and Kay Fick, Directors, Cyrus Ministries International

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