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A Thought for the Week--Our Blessings in Christ

Monday, February 5, 2007

"...being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus," (Romans 3:24 NKJ)

We have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus. The definition of redemption includes "the act of being freed from captivity by paying a ransom,"  "to become extricated from something detrimental," or "to be freed from the consequences of sin."

When man sinned, he gave the devil access to his being. Satan then had the right to rule over man and to try to use man for his own purposes (Ephesians 2:1, 2). When Satan used the people to crucify an innocent man, Jesus, and then tried to hold Him in hell, God intervened. He sent His Spirit and raised Jesus from the place of the dead, which was under Satan’s dominion. Now Jesus rules over all of the kingdoms of the earth. Those who have received His completed work on their behalf no longer have to live under the dominion of Satan.

Since Jesus died for us and with us, Satan no longer has the right to punish us for our sins and hold us under his dominion. Through Christ we have been brought out of the dominion of the kingdom of Satan and brought into the kingdom of Christ. We have been redeemed--purchased by God through Jesus. We now belong to God; we are His children.

When we are redeemed from the dominion of Satan, we are brought into the dominion of God. Many want to be redeemed from Satan, but do not know that the only way for us to experience the blessings of redemption is to receive the life of God so that we want to live for Him. Many want to be free from the dominion of Satan so that they can live for themselves. They are not aware that the only way to be freed from satanic dominion is to live for God and His purposes. The Bible says that Jesus died for all so that those who live would not live for themselves but live for Him who died for them and rose again (2 Corinthians 5:15). Christ died for us so that He could live in us so that we could serve Him as priests in His heavenly kingdom. If we do not want to live for Christ, we are still under the dominion and will of Satan.

Jesus as our High Priest has sprinkled us spiritually with His blood. We are to be priests of God. We are marked by God for His kingdom purposes. God now brings His life and His Spirit into our being, through Christ, so that we can be united with Him and His life. We have been redeemed and can now have access to all the blessings of God, through Christ. We are joint heirs with Christ, called to participate with Jesus and to reign with Him over all of God’s creation. As redeemed ones, we belong to God and are called to live for Him, with Christ.

Father, we rejoice that You have redeemed us through Christ. Help us to live for You, in Him. Amen.

A Thought for the Week--Our Blessings in Christ

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

"Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:11 NKJ)

Jesus lived a holy and righteous life. He lived in the will of God; He and His Father were one. They had the same desires, the same yearnings, the same love for people, the same hatred of evil, the same desire to see sin removed from God’s creation and to see heaven and earth filled with the peace, love and purity of the character of God.

Jesus came to show us the nature of God in a human being. He came to bring the life of God into humanity. He loved the will of His Father and was of the same Spirit as His Father. He was led and empowered by the Holy Spirit of God. He continually testified to the reality that He and His Father were one (John 10:30).

The life of God hates sin and wants it removed from the world and from the people who live in the world. Jesus came and made this possible for us. The life of God loves the will and character of God. The life of God wants the best for all of His creation. Jesus lived in the life of God, and He came to bring that life to us. He came to be and to provide that life for us.

Now Jesus reigns from heaven. He has been restored to having all the power of God in Him. He has been given authority over all the spiritual forces that have rebelled against God. He is now able to impart into us the life which He has; we can now become partakers of the heavenly, holy life and nature of God. God is able to do this for us. We can be taken out of the sinful ways and life we were born with and can come into the life of God. God has provided the way for us: through our being baptized into Christ we can be brought out of the life we were born with and be brought into the life of Christ that God offers us.

Paul knew the reality of the power of God’s transforming work. He knew that many of the people did not understand all God had provided for them in the life of Christ. This is why he is reminding the church at Rome of God’s provision for them. IN CHRIST WE HAVE A LIFE THAT IS DEAD TO SIN BUT ALIVE TO GOD. This is God’s gift to us.

This new life needs to be worked out into all of our spirit, soul and body. This is the sanctifying work that Jesus does for us through His Holy Spirit. We can be all God wants us to be as we learn to walk in the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit just as Jesus did.

Father, we rejoice in Your great plan and provision for us in Christ. Help us to live in Him through the power of Your Holy Spirit. Amen.

A Thought for the Week--Our Blessings in Christ

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23 NKJ)

God loves people; He wants the very best for them. God hates sin; He knows what sin can and will do to people. He knows sin will cause people to lie, to kill and to destroy each other. God created the world to be filled with people who will love and help one another. God knows that sin must be removed from the world in order for the world to be a place filled with love and peace. God must remove sin from the world in order for love to fill it, and He has provided a way for sin to be removed. He has judged sin; He says, "…the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). God has a place where sin will be brought. He has a place where Satan, the author and founder of sin, and his followers will be brought, separated from the world and those who remain in it. God must remove sin from the world in order for the world to be filled with love.

God has a plan. He has provided a way for sin to be removed from people and for love to fill them. The way God has provided is in His Son. God has put the sin of the world on His Son, and has sent Him into death. Jesus, the Son of God, has willingly taken the sin of the world on Himself and entered death for all people. He accomplished the will of God for us. He became sin for us.

Jesus loved. He loved God and wanted His ways brought into the world and into the hearts of people. Like His Father, He wants the world to be filled with love. He became the Way for God to remove sin from the world and for the world to be filled with love.

God did not leave Jesus in death, the place appointed for sin. God knew the heart of Jesus, who wanted the world to be filled with love. God raised Jesus from the dead and made Him the ruler of the heavens and the earth. Jesus has the ability to impart His life, His love--the very love of God--into the hearts of people. Through Him we can receive a hatred of evil, no longer wanting to be a part of evil actions and evil desires. Through Him we can receive a life that loves righteousness and that wants to live in pure love. Through Him we can be united with the ways of God and love others as God loves us. Through Jesus living in us we can participate with God as He shows love to the world, and as He brings truth to people. Through Jesus we can know and love God and receive a life that wants the world to be filled with the love of God.

Father, we rejoice in You and in Your eternal love and plan for the world. Help us to know and be filled with the love of Christ. Help us to live in Christ and to have Him live in us. Let His will and desires fill us so that we live in His will and are filled with His desires. Holy Spirit, work these things in us so that the world might know and be filled with the love of God. Amen.

A Thought for the Week--Receiving Our Blessings in Christ

Thursday, February 8, 2007

"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)

God has blessings for us, and He has chosen a way to make them available to us. Jesus is the way. Through Him we can have access to all the blessings of God (Ephesians 1:3, 11). Through Him we can have the very life of God in us. Through Him we can have access to the wisdom and the love of God. Though Him we can have God’s ability to know what to do in each situation. Though Him we can bring the love and presence of God to others who are in need.

 

Through Him we can be blessed in all of our being. Through Him we can receive the gift of the Holy Spirit of God so that we can be restored to a life in continual spiritual fellowship with our Father. Through Him our minds can be renewed so that we become aware of the limitations of our own intellectual capabilities and we learn to rely and focus on the ability to receive revelation from God. Through Him our desires can be united with God’s desires, and we can be freed from the lustful ways that bring us and the world into fear and guilt. Through Him our wills can be brought into harmony with the will of God. Through Him we can have access to knowing and receiving into our being, the eternal purposes of God for ourselves and for God’s creation, giving us a sense of destiny and of unity with God (Ephesians 1:10).

 

God has placed all of His blessings for us in Christ. Jesus is the God-appointed channel for us to receive all God has for us. We are called to receive Jesus. We are called to focus on Him. We are called to listen to Him as He speaks from heaven to us. We are called to let Him into all areas of our heart, our attitudes, our emotions, our thoughts, our will and our desires (Revelation 2:20). We are called to present ourselves to Him, to serve Him, to share our cares and needs with Him. We are called to meditate on Him, to commune with Him spirit to Spirit. We are called to let Him search our inner being, to heal the brokenness in our hearts, to reveal unclean ways that are in us so they can be forgiven and cleansed from us (Psalm 139: 23-24). We are called to let Him unite us with Himself through the Holy Spirit, so we become one with Him.

As we look upon Jesus, now reigning in glory, we become changed into His likeness and image (2 Corinthians 3:18). As we receive Him into every part of our lives, welcoming Him each day and each moment, we become filled with His ways. As He reveals and we confess sinful actions and sinful desires to Him, He cleanses us and we become filled with more of His life and of His power and love. Let us continually receive Him and experience more of God’s life each day.

Father, we rejoice in You and in Your plan to bless us through Jesus. Help us to continually receive from Him all You have for us so we can serve you and know You. Holy Spirit, awaken us to all we can and should be in Christ. Let us be continually receiving from Him. Amen.

A Thought for the Week--Our Blessings in Christ

Friday, February 9, 2007

"There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." (Romans 8:1 NKJ)

God created man. He created him to be fruitful, to multiply, to fill the earth and to subdue it. He gave man access to the tree of life which was in the midst of the garden. This tree was symbolic of the tree of life that is in heaven. There was another tree—a tree that was symbolic of being independent of the ways and revelation of God. This tree was symbolic of the ways of Satan, who left the destiny God had for him and sought his own. Satan sought to use the wisdom and splendor that God created him with, to exalt himself and to build his own kingdom. His attitude was one of, "Look at who I am and look at what I can do," rather than, "Look at the One who created me and know what He can do for you." Man listened to Satan and sinned, bringing the world under the authority of Satan.

Jesus came. He did not do what He Himself thought was best. Rather He listened to the voice of His Father, doing what He sensed in His spirit the Father was doing (John 5:30). He studied the revealed plan of God in the Word of God. He knew what God had spoken concerning the work of His Messiah who would save the world (Hebrews 10:7). Isaiah the prophet, through the Holy Spirit, had written about the coming Messiah. He wrote, "The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. His delight is in the fear of the LORD, and He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears;" (Isaiah 11:2-3 NKJ)

Jesus brought a new way of living into humanity. He lived by continually fellowshipping with His Father. He grew in spiritual wisdom and relied on God’s grace to empower and guide Him (Luke 2:40), thereby showing us how to live. He can now impart this life into us so that we too can live by the grace of God and be empowered by the Spirit of God. We too can learn to grow in spiritual wisdom and revelation. We too are called to be led by the Spirit of God rather than by our own intellect or our own desires.

When we read Bible passages such as Galatians 5:16 that say, "Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh…" we think this is an impossibility in this life. We feel condemned when we are unable to subdue the ways of our sinful nature. IN CHRIST we can have victory! IN CHRIST there is no condemnation. IN CHRIST is the ability to walk in the Spirit. This is the way Jesus lived. This is the life He lived for us. This is the life He can now live in us and through us. God is bringing about new levels of life through Christ in us. We are called to be, and can be, holy as He is holy. IN CHRIST we can know, experience and live in these things.

Father, we rejoice in Your faith in Your plan of salvation. We rejoice that You have brought us into Christ. Holy Spirit, awaken us to all we can be IN CHRIST so He will be glorified. Amen.

A Thought for the Week--Our Blessings in Christ

Monday, February 12, 2007

"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:2 NKJ)

There are laws that govern the way things operate.  There are manmade laws that are put in place in our society to try to regulate man’s actions.  If I break the speed limit I am subject to certain consequences.   Similarly there are laws that God has put into motion.  There are natural laws: if I drop my pen into the air, it will fall downward until another object stops its fall.  There are also spiritual laws that God has put into operation.  If I continue in sin, unpleasant things will happen to me.  God says that the wages of sin is death.  If I continue in sin, death will reign in me.

There are also laws that bring life.  God sends His Spirit into the world to bring life into the world.  The Spirit of God is sent into the world to convict people of sin so they receive the life of God.  People who do not live in Christ have often been told that they can get away with sin.  The spiritual powers who rule in this world seek to reward those who follow them, and they seek to blind men to the righteous ways of God.  People are then deceived into thinking that they can be blessed by following the standards of the world, and they do not seek the revealed ways of God.  Therefore God sends His Spirit into the world to convince men of God’s standards of right and wrong, and of our need to receive from God the desire and the ability to do what is right.

The Spirit of God also works in the people of God who are IN Christ.  The “Spirit of Life” from God will show us the love of God.  He will lead us into learning to hear God’s voice and to live by the power and righteousness that comes from God.  The Spirit of God will cause us to love what is right, by imparting the life and love of Christ to us.  We will know, as Christ knows, the blessedness and peace in living righteously.  We will love being in the will of God.  This is the way things are in heaven.  From that place of living in the “heavenly kingdom” we will see and know the glories of Christ.  We will want to be free from sin because of the joy of doing what is right. We will want to see sin exposed in our lives so that we can replace the sinful ways with the holy and righteous ways of God.  We will be driven by love for God and by the love of God, rather than by looking for sin.  The life of Christ in us will cause us to live for His glory, letting Him cleanse us so we can live for Him, bring glory to Him, and love others.

The love of God for the ways of God will be in us.  We then will love His ways and want all that is in opposition to His love removed from us and from the world.  We will, as God does, be willing to suffer for others so that they too might know and receive the love of God for God.

Father, we rejoice that You want to fill the world with Your love.  We rejoice in You, O Spirit of life from God.  Strengthen us in our spirit so that we can know and love with the love of God.  Amen.

A Thought for the Week--Our Blessings in Christ

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  (Romans 6:23 NKJ)

God has a gift for us.  He has a gift of life for us--a new life.  The life we were born with does not live in fellowship with God and does not want to abide in God’s will.  The life we are born with wants to do what we want to do, not knowing that there is a God whose ways are vastly superior to the ways of man.  We do not want to live in the will of God, doing only what He wants us to do, yearning to see Him glorified and His ways exalted.

In the heaven above where God lives, all beings who are there honor and follow His ways.  The angels who are closest to the throne of God cry out to God day and night, “Holy, Holy, Holy are You O God” (Isaiah 6:1-3; Revelation 4:8).  Seeing the very Being of God, they cry out, “You are Holy!”  They watch what God is doing and cry out, “You are Holy!”  The angels know the vastly superior Being, nature, wisdom and ways of God. We on earth do not know this by ourselves.

Jesus came from heaven to earth.  He came to do the will of God.  He lived in continual fellowship with His Father.  He spoke of the kingdom of heaven.  He described the life and the kingdom of heaven.  He revealed how the kingdom of heaven was to affect the earth.  He came to teach His followers how to bring the kingdom of heaven to earth.  He came to pay for our sins so that we need not undergo the righteous wrath and judgment of God.  God had decreed that the wages of sin was death.  Satan knew this.  He knows his eternal place is hell.

Jesus lived in the will of God.  He now reigns in heaven, able to impart the life He has into us.  He is the God-ordained Being through whom the life and nature of God can be imparted into us, and we can become united with God in our spirit, soul and body.  We too, like Jesus, can have the life of God in us so that we live united with the superior ways of God.

God, from eternity, has always wanted us to live in Him, and He has wanted to live in us.  This is the way He lived in Jesus, when He was on earth.  Living in God means I live in His will and in His desires, His plans and His purposes.  God living in me means that He fills me with His will, His plans and His purposes.  Through His Spirit, God reveals Himself to me.  The Holy Spirit shows my spirit how beautiful God is and how desirous His ways are.  The Holy Spirit continually woos me by showing me more and more of the nature and desires of Jesus, causing me to want to be more like Him.  The Holy Spirit reveals the eternal ways of God and brings them into me.  The great gift of God is life--His life, plans and purposes.  Receive Him daily.

Father, we worship You.  We confess Your nature, Your plans, Your purposes for us are far superior to our own, no matter how educated or good we are.  You are God.  We rejoice in You! Amen.

A Thought for the Week--Our Blessings in Christ

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  (Romans 6:23 NKJ)

God has a gift for us.  He has a gift of life for us--a new life.  The life we were born with does not live in fellowship with God and does not want to abide in God’s will.  The life we are born with wants to do what we want to do, not knowing that there is a God whose ways are vastly superior to the ways of man.  We do not want to live in the will of God, doing only what He wants us to do, yearning to see Him glorified and His ways exalted.

In the heaven above where God lives, all beings who are there honor and follow His ways.  The angels who are closest to the throne of God cry out to God day and night, “Holy, Holy, Holy are You O God” (Isaiah 6:1-3; Revelation 4:8).  Seeing the very Being of God, they cry out, “You are Holy!”  They watch what God is doing and cry out, “You are Holy!”  The angels know the vastly superior Being, nature, wisdom and ways of God. We on earth do not know this by ourselves.

Jesus came from heaven to earth.  He came to do the will of God.  He lived in continual fellowship with His Father.  He spoke of the kingdom of heaven.  He described the life and the kingdom of heaven.  He revealed how the kingdom of heaven was to affect the earth.  He came to teach His followers how to bring the kingdom of heaven to earth.  He came to pay for our sins so that we need not undergo the righteous wrath and judgment of God.  God had decreed that the wages of sin was death.  Satan knew this.  He knows his eternal place is hell.

Jesus lived in the will of God.  He now reigns in heaven, able to impart the life He has into us.  He is the God-ordained Being through whom the life and nature of God can be imparted into us, and we can become united with God in our spirit, soul and body.  We too, like Jesus, can have the life of God in us so that we live united with the superior ways of God.

God, from eternity, has always wanted us to live in Him, and He has wanted to live in us.  This is the way He lived in Jesus, when He was on earth.  Living in God means I live in His will and in His desires, His plans and His purposes.  God living in me means that He fills me with His will, His plans and His purposes.  Through His Spirit, God reveals Himself to me.  The Holy Spirit shows my spirit how beautiful God is and how desirous His ways are.  The Holy Spirit continually woos me by showing me more and more of the nature and desires of Jesus, causing me to want to be more like Him.  The Holy Spirit reveals the eternal ways of God and brings them into me.  The great gift of God is life--His life, plans and purposes.  Receive Him daily.

Father, we worship You.  We confess Your nature, Your plans, Your purposes for us are far superior to our own, no matter how educated or good we are.  You are God.  We rejoice in You! 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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