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Thought for the
A Thought for the New Year: Living in God’s Perfecting Ways
January 26-30, 2009
God is perfect; He is complete within Himself. He is united with His plans, purposes and desires. There is complete harmony and unity within the Godhead; The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are each united within Themselves, and with each other in a common nature, character, plan and purpose. It is good to be perfect as God is perfect. We are called to be perfect. God has promised to unite us with Himself, so we can be perfect as He is perfect. This week we will look at some of God’s perfecting ways.
Becoming perfect through the life of Jesus living in us.
“…the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Colossians 1:26-28 NKJ).
The Apostle Paul, who wrote these words, calls the Gospel of Jesus Christ a mystery. Many think of the Gospel as simply the story of what Jesus has done for us--that He became a man, did miracles, suffered death by crucifixion, rose again from the dead and came back to life. However there is much more. James 2:19 says that even the demons know the facts about Jesus. The mystery of the Gospel to which Paul is referring is that because of what Jesus has done, He can now live in us. Christ in us, is the hope of our glory. Jesus, who is now our Heavenly High Priest, can manifest His life in us, through the power of the Holy Spirit. The life of Christ, who has conquered sin and death for us, can now work in us so that we too can know, love, live in and impart to others the life of God. The writer of Hebrews says we can be made partakers of the Holiness of God. Peter says we can be made partakers of the Divine Nature of God. We have been brought out of the ways of our old life and placed into the life of Christ, who lives in us. This is the reality of what God has done for those who have received the life of Jesus. This is the perfect plan of God, and He will perfect His plan in us. The reality of Christ living in us will become increasingly real and manifest to us as God continues to perfect His life and plan into and through us.
Father, we rejoice in Your perfect plan for us to become united with You through having the life of Jesus in us. Help us to daily receive life, wisdom, righteousness and His sanctifying and redeeming power for us. Teach us to commune with Your Spirit so that we can be made perfect in Christ. Amen.
Becoming perfect through Jesus making us a temple of God
“…just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love…” (Ephesians 1:4 NKJ).
God created us to know Him, dwell with Him, and become united with Him, wanting what He wants for us, and living under the empowerment and life of His Holy Spirit. He lived among His people in the Old Testament, by having them build a Temple for His dwelling place. This was but a type of what He really wanted, for we could not be made completely one with Him simply by having Him live among us. God is interested in having us live in a unity of spirit with Him, in which His presence is dwelling in us, and our hearts become united with His, so we become united with His will, His desires, and His plans and purposes. This is the way Jesus lived in heaven as the Son of God, and the way He lived on earth when He became weak like us, yet empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Now Jesus reigns in heaven as our Priest, King, and Prophet. He comes to cleanse our temple--our inner being--so we can be a fit dwelling place for God and we can live in complete and perfect harmony with God. The Bible says, “The Lord whom you seek will come suddenly to His temple and purify the sons of Levi” (Malachi 3:1 NKJ). He brings us into God’s peace, by bringing God’s peace into us. He cleanses His temple, which is our bodies, and imparts His ways into us through the Holy Spirit. His life in us enables us to be holy and without blame in love. We will love what He loves, and know the love of God, as He perfects His temple in us and unites us with Himself.
Father, we rejoice in Your ways of perfecting us in Christ, through having Him live in us and uniting us with You. What a privilege we have, being a temple of the Most High God, able to show and impart to others the blessedness of having the holy nature of God in us, and having the life of the Holy Spirit of God flowing into and through us each day. Help us to daily give ourselves to You so You can manifest Yourself into and through us. Amen.
Becoming perfect through the Holy Spirit
“Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:3 NKJ)
God wants to perfect us. He is able to perfect us. He sent His Son to take away our sins, so we could be cleansed and then filled with His life. Christ’s life in us is perfect. God has placed us in Christ, so that the will of Jesus can become united with us, and we can be made one with God. All these things are made possible by the Holy Spirit receiving them, communicating them into us, and then bringing them forth from us.
As we go on into perfection, the Spirit witnesses to us of our need to be totally dependent upon Him. Our perfection is centered on living out the life of Jesus who lives within us, under the empowerment and direction of the Holy Spirit. Our flesh--our old way of doing things--rebels against this process. Our old ways, manifest by our willfulness and our desires for pleasure and self-glory, rise up to try to hinder or stop the Holy Spirit’s work. Often we embark on self-improvement programs or join self-help groups to try to facilitate this task of the Holy Spirit. These self-based ways only diminish our ability to hear and follow the Holy Spirit’s working in us. This is what Paul is talking about in the verse above; we let the old ways of the flesh try to "help" the Holy Spirit. God knows how to be God for us and in us. The Holy Spirit knows how to reproduce Jesus’ life into all of our being. He knows how to unite, cleanse, and fill our whole spirit, soul and body with the nature of Christ. Let us ask God to strengthen us in our spirit so we can be more sensitive to the leading and working of the Holy Spirit so we can truly be made perfect in Christ.
Father, we rejoice in You and in Your Holy Spirit as He leads us into all truth and unites us with Jesus. Help us to let Your Spirit do His work of perfecting and strengthening us so we recognize our flesh when it rises up and once again seeks to direct our lives. Amen.
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