Have you ever pondered this life-changing question: What are you in union with? Whom does your heart and soul cling to? What have you joined your heart to? What do you grasp unto to give your life meaning and purpose? We are all in union with something. This union determines the vitality, the direction and the course of our lives. Ephesians 2 describes our union before we met our Savior.
Ephesians 2:1-3 (ESV): And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
We were spiritually dead in trespasses and sin; in union with sin and the flesh and were in union with the prince of the power of the air. We were slaves to the lusts, passions and cravings of our sin nature inherited from Adam. This union produces death. It is only a matter of time before sin delivers death-to dreams, health, relationships, security, goals, ambitions and life itself. This union produces the dramatic need for a Savior, a Redeemer and a Liberator for every man, woman and child on the face of the earth.
Ephesians 2:5: And when we were dead in sins, He brought us to life in union and fellowship with Christ; it is through grace you are saved.
We were created for God but our union with sin has disfigured and marred our beautiful purpose to be in full union with God in everything in our lives. We must mortify our hearts desire to be in union with sin and its rival gods and abandon our desires, our passions and our pursuits to the most beautiful fellowship, intimacy and bond of a complete and loving union with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. God brought us to life, saved us and revealed the fullness of His grace in our union with Christ.
Tirabassi: NO, I’LL NEVER BE THE SAME. I’ll never see or love or talk the same way I did before I met Jesus. Oswald Chambers says, “Once you have seen Him, you can never be the same.”
Something miraculously happens when you become a Christian and that is you become in union with Christ. The “Great Exchange” is a phrase that describes the exchange that occurs in people’s lives when they become Christian. Before our New Birth we were sinners in the eyes of God, without holy spirit, and without hope. However, in the instantaneous occurrence of the New Birth, the sinner undergoes a change, in fact, an exchange. Jesus takes the sinner’s sin, while the sinner gets Jesus’ righteousness. Also, Jesus takes on himself the penalty for the sinner’s sin, which is death (something that he already experienced), while the sinner gets the reward for a sinless life, which is everlasting life. My life for His life. His life for my life. This is the Great Exchange.
Galatians 2:20 (ESV): I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
John 17:20-23 (NASB):
20 “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.22 The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.
Christian experience is more than an imitation of the life and teaching of Jesus. It is the present experience of the risen Christ indwelling the believer’s heart by the gift of holy spirit, an intimate communion with God through Christ.
Paul expresses the personal appropriation of the work of Christ by the term “in Christ.” It is the apostle’s favorite term to describe the personal and dynamic relation of the believer to Christ, and appears in a variety of contexts. The phrase is found eight times in Galatians, thirty-four times in Ephesians, and eighteen times in Colossians. The New Testament uses two interchangeable expressions to describe union with Christ:
1. We are in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17; John 15:4, 5, 7; 1 Cor. 15:22; 2 Cor. 12:2; Gal. 3:28; Eph. 1:4, 2:10; Phil. 3:9; 1 Thess. 4:16; 1 John 4:13).
2. Christ is in us (Gal. 2:20; Col. 1:27; Rom. 8:10; 2 Cor. 13:5; Eph. 3:17).
In Christ defines every saint’s eternal, permanent, spiritual location, the spiritual “address” and the “spiritual atmosphere” as it were in which we now live and breathe and have our being.
Theodore Epp adds that every believer’s…
New life is life “in Christ.” The word “in” does not in this connection speak of location, such as “in an automobile,” but carries the idea of union. On the resurrection side of this experience we have His life. He has come to live in us. It is this that marks the real difference between the old life prior to our salvation and the new life now that we are saved. It is necessary before the believer can enjoy victory in Christ for the power of the old life to be broken. This is accomplished through union with Christ in His crucifixion. This is not an experience that we must struggle to enter into now. It was accomplished for us in the past. The King James Version is not clear on this point. The American Standard Version of 1901 will help us here. The expression “I am crucified with Christ” is translated in the ASV: “I have been crucified with Christ.” God got rid of the old self-life by crucifying it. We were separated from the old self-life when we died with Christ.
In the Great Exchange, the sinner also receives the gift from God, holy spirit, so that God and Christ can work in him both to desire to do, and to perform, God’s good purposes (Phil. 2:13). Via the gift of holy spirit, Christians can give up their own desires and plans, and allow God’s purposes to be accomplished through them. They can also give up their fleshly weakness and allow the power of God to do mighty works through them. Thus, like the Apostle Paul, we can be “striving with His strength that works powerfully in [us]” (Col. 1:29 HCSB) Some parts of the “exchanged life” are automatic with salvation: being righteous in God’s eyes, getting the guarantee of everlasting life, and receiving holy spirit. Therefore, the difficult part of the exchanged life is letting go of our lives to fully embrace the life God wants for us. The life God desires for us to live is always a sacrificial life in which we become like Christ, living for others. Even though this is the path to fulfillment and power, often we cannot seem to grasp that fact, and then we cling to our own plans and desires. Sometimes we epitomize the poem, “Broken Toys.”
Broken Toys: As children bring their broken toys, with tears, for me to mend I brought my broken dreams to God because He was my friend. But then, instead of leaving Him in peace to work alone I hung around and tried to help…with ways that were my own. .At last I snatched them back and cried, “How can You be so slow?” “My child,” He said, “What could I do? You never did let go.
Christ is in the believer. He indwells the heart by faith, as the sun indwells the lowliest flowers that unfurl their petals and bare their hearts to its beams. Not because we are good. Not because we are trying to be wholehearted in our consecration. Not because we keep Him by the tenacity of our love. But because we believe, and in believing, have thrown open all the doors and windows of our nature. And He has come in. “Know ye not as to your own selves, that Jesus Christ is in you, unless ye be reprobate?” (II Corinthians 13:5.) Yes; the heavens, even the heavens of heavens, with all their light and glory, alone seem worthy of Him. But even there He is not more at home than He is with the humble and contrite spirit that simply trust in Him. In His earthly life, He said that the Father dwelt in Him so really that the words He spake and the works He did were not His own, but His Father’s. And He desires to be in us as His Father was in Him, so that the outgoings of our life may be channels through which He, hidden within, may pour Himself forth upon men. It is comparatively seldom that we go into these deeper departments of our being. We are content to live the superficial life of sense. We eat, we drink, we sleep. We give ourselves to enjoy the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. We fulfill the desires of the flesh and of the mind. Or we abandon ourselves to the pursuit of knowledge and culture, of science and art. We make short incursions into the realm of morals, that sense of right and wrong which is part of the make-up of men. But we have too slight an acquaintance with the deeper chambers of the heart. Now this is why the majority of believers are so insensible of their Divine and wonderful Resident, who makes the regenerated spirit His abode.
John 15:4,5 (Amplified): Dwell (Abide) in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me.5 I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.
Is abiding in Him the experience of your life? Do you experience a deep communion and intimate fellowship with Christ? We are to LIVE in Him. We cannot do anything that bears spiritual fruit apart from a continual vital living union with Christ. We will either continue to dwell in Adam and frustrate our life and calling before God or we will dwell in Christ and grow up into Him.
We are in union with Christ
Our identity with Christ, and our union with him, often gets expressed by the phrase, “in Christ” or “into Christ.” The problem with those phrases is that we can read them without being at all sure what they mean. Consider the following verses: Romans 6:3; Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Galatians 3:27: for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Ephesians 4:15 (NIV 1984): Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. What does it mean to be baptized, “into Christ,” and what does it mean to grow up, “into him?” The book of Romans makes it clear that when a person is baptized, there is a union between the believer and Christ, an identity with Christ that is established. That is why several versions, including the REV (Revised English Version), put the word “union” into the text. Romans 6:3 (Williams): Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into union with Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Each Christian has been crucified with Christ (Rom. 6:6; Gal. 2:20), died with Christ (Rom. 6:8), buried with Christ (Rom. 6:4), and raised with Christ (Eph. 2:6). Thus, although there certainly is a “connection” with Christ, the word “union” seems much more appropriate and clear. Romans 6:5 continues the close-knit relationship between us and Jesus Christ.Romans 6:5 (NIV 1984): If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.
The NIV above, and many other versions that use the word “united,” do so as a translation of the Greek word sumphutos Have become united with (sumphutos from sun/syn = together speaks of intimate union + phúo = grow up, spring up, of men, to beget = engender or generate, to produce, to bring forth, to put forth shoots) means growing up or spring up together. It was a word commonly used for the joining of two things that proceed to grow together as a unity, as in the fusing together of a broken bone or in the grafting of a branch into a tree. Sumphutos literally means “planted together,” and was used when two things grew together and became intertwined. Thus English versions translate it as “united with him” (ESV, NASB, NIV) “joined with him” (HCSB); “identified with him” (Darby); “incorporate with him” (NEB); and “become one with him” (Cassirer). Kenneth Wuest describes the meaning of the word sumphutos: It speaks of a living, vital union of two individuals growing up together. The word could be used of the Siamese twins whose bodies were connected at one point, and whose blood stream flowed through the two physical bodies as it does normally through one. Wuest’s example shows how closely the Bible portrays our lives being intertwined with Jesus’ life. Also part of the Greek text of the verse is the word homoioma , which many versions translate as “likeness” or “like his.” Robert Thayer (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon), referencing this very verse, says, that homoioma, “amounts almost to equality of identity.” So we see that buried in the grammar and vocabulary of Romans 6:5 is our identity with Christ. No wonder so much of what we have as Christians we have “in him” (“in union with him”), not alone or “on our own.” Due to our union with him we have “every spiritual blessing” (Eph. 1:3), “glorious grace” (Eph. 1:6), “redemption” (Eph. 1:7), our being sealed with holy spirit (Eph. 1:13), our being raised to life and our promise of being seated in heaven (Eph. 2:6), God’s kindness (Eph. 2:7), and being part of the living temple of God (Eph. 2:21).
2 Corinthians 5:20
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
The Greek word translated “ambassadors” is presbeu and it was used in the Greek language in to refer to three different kinds of people: an “elder,” an “ambassador,” and a “legate.” Whenever we come across a Hebrew or Greek word that has more than one meaning, we must decide which of them is the correct or appropriate meaning in the verse. In this case, we can do that by “trying out” the meanings of presbeu, Reading “elder” in this context does not make good sense, and thus “elder” is not the meaning here. Reading “ambassador” in this context makes sense, because we have the ministry and message of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18 and 19). As ambassadors whose citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20), we are in a foreign country here on earth, spreading good will and trying to win support for our king and country. But what about “legate?” We will see that makes sense also. Communication in the Roman Empire was slow. In our modern times, we often become impatient when someone does not e-mail us back the same day. In the Roman world, if a war broke out the Emperor may not even hear about it for weeks, and then not be able to decide what to do simply because no matter what information he had and how many daily messengers arrived, their “news” was always old. Worse, when the Emperor’s orders actually arrived at the trouble spot, well, the situation was likely totally different or the trouble even over. One way the Greco-Roman rulers dealt with the problem was through the office of the legate, a person with the authority to represent the ruler; a person delegated and empowered to act as the king himself in any given situation. About presbeu Barnett writes: “Such delegates—Jewish or Greco-Roman—came with the authority of the sender, in his place, to secure his interests,” and they were referred to as legates. Kittel’s Theological Dictionary adds, “In the Roman period presbeut is the Greek equivalent of [the Latin] legatus…It is commonly used for the imperial legates.” Spicq adds, “…a legate is a noteworthy personage, at the top of the military hierarchy, and presbeuon and presbeutes are technical terms for imperial legates in the Greek Orient.”
“Legate” is an important point being made in 2 Corinthians 5:20. While it is true that we are ambassadors for Christ, we are also his legates—his personal presence on earth. As we walk by the spirit, in a very real sense we are Christ in the situation. We see this played out over and over again in the New Testament, especially in the book of Acts. One notable example in Acts occurred when Peter was traveling around Israel teaching, and a woman named Tabitha who lived in Joppa, the old seaport city of Israel, died. The disciples found out that Peter was in a nearby city and called for him. Notice how Peter acts in the place of Christ when raising the dead. He assessed the situation, and then acted. Acts 9:40: Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. First, Peter prayed about what to do. But once he received revelation guidance from God or Jesus about what to do concerning Tabitha, it is important to note what he did not do: he did not pray for God to raise Tabitha. He did not say anything such as: “Dear God, here lies Tabitha. Please raise her from the dead. Please put life back into her.” No, Peter did not pray like that. Rather, he acted like Jesus acted. When Jesus was in the presence of a dead girl, he did not ask God to raise the girl, he said, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!” (Mark 5:41). In fact, if we study Jesus Christ’s healings and miracles, there is not one single time Jesus asked God to do the healing. It was God’s power that did the work, certainly, but Jesus knew he was God’s representative on earth, so he healed a leper, saying, “Be clean” (Matt. 8:3). He healed a cripple, saying, “Stretch out your hand” (Matt. 12:13). He did look up into heaven before he fed the five thousand, but it was to give thanks (Luke 9:16), not to ask God to do the miracle, he broke the loaves and did the miracle as God’s representative. He cast demons out of people by commanding them to leave, as we see in Luke: “Come out of him” (Luke 4:35). Peter knew that he was the legate of Christ, the personal presence of Christ, and he healed as Jesus did. A very real part of the exchanged life is that Christians are legates of Christ—the personal presence of Christ on earth. However, we have a decision to make. Just as a Roman legate could go to the hippodrome and sit and eat olives and watch the horse races all day long instead of going out and representing the Emperor, so Christians can act in ways that hang on to the flesh and not walk in the power of Christ. Walking in the fullness of the Exchanged Life does not just happen, it is a purposeful decision. We must realize the power we have, and then go into the world and walk it out in faith.
Colossians 1:27 (REV)
God wanted to make known to them what is the riches of the glory of this sacred secret among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
The phrase “Christ in us” expresses the union we have with him, and also the power that we have as Christians. Christ is in us, so now all we have to do is let the Christ in us live in what we do. Before we leave the phrase, “Christ in you, the hope of glory,” it is important to give proper credit to the “glory.” God could have rightly said, “Christ in you, the power of God,” or “Christ in you, the intimate relationship with God,” but He did not. The reality is that no matter how hard we try to be like Christ and live like Christ did, the world will still be worldly. Like Christ, we can do a lot of good, but also like Christ, we will suffer and die. Therefore, one thing we must always keep our eyes on in order to keep our energy up is the hope of glory, and our union with Christ guarantees us that glory. One day we will have a body like his and live in his glorious kingdom. Christians have power and glory in a way that was not available before the Church started on the Day of Pentecost. Christians are not just “followers of Christ.” We are in union with Christ, we have an identity with him. We exchanged our sinfulness and weakness for his strength and power. Now, as individual members of his Body, as people with Christ in us, as his legates, let us renew our efforts to bring Christ into the world through us. The world desperately needs Christ, and he can come to it as we let his love and power move in us. It is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me. The risen Jesus has come to reinvade my humanity so that He can serve with my hands, walk with my feet, speak with my lips, see with my eyes hear with my ears, think with my mind and love with my heart. It is my privilege as a forgiven sinner to place my humanity at His disposal so that others looking at me will see Him behaving, just as those who looked at Jesus saw His Father behaving.
Ian Major Thomas: The Lord Jesus reveals to us that our Christian life, if it is genuine, cannot be explained apart from Him. Jesus has been waiting for you to be available so He can live His Life through you. Every step you take, every word you speak, everything you do, everything you are, may be an expression of the Son of God living in you. God credits only One person with the right to live in you, and He is Jesus Christ, so reckon yourself to be dead to all that you are apart from all that Christ is and alive only unto God in all that you are.
WE MUST COME ALIVE TO His presence within us. Literally Christ is in us and He fills every part of us. We are the dwelling place of God, His Holy of Holies and we must not ignore or extinguish the flame of God within us. The day by day experience of God’s presence within us is totally foreign to many Christians. How few people really enjoy the fullness of their salvation? We must awaken our hearts to the glory of His presence, His power, His love, His joy, His compassion, His confidence, His peace that lives within us. The world around us is in conflict with the Word within us. Only in Jesus Christ, can the tyranny of the world be broken. The trappings of the world are a cheap substitute for the real experience with God as He lives within us. The elements of the world dull our sense of God’s presence within us.
Look at some of these wonderful verses in the Church Epistles about our union with Christ.
Colossians 3:1-3 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Ephesians 1:22’ And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. The absolute fullness of Christ fills every Christian believer. The word “fullness” in the Greek means to be filled completely to the brim; and to be permeated through and through in total absorption.
Ephesians 2:22: In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
Dwelling place in Greek is katoiketerion from kata = intensifies meaning and also implies permanency + oikeo = dwell, reside in a house) is a place of dwelling or a place of settling down and conveys the idea of a permanent home. In Old Testament times, God dwelt with His people in the Tabernacle and later the Temple. Under the New Covenant, God dwells in His people.
Ephesians 3:17-20: That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,
Ephesians 4:15: Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
Philippians 3:10a: For my determined purpose is that I may know Him that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly, and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection.
Colossians 2:10a: In Him you have been made complete. At every point Christ and the believer are identified. When our Lord was circumcised, we were circumcised with Him; when our Lord died, we died in Him; when He was buried, we were buried; when He rose, we were raised; and when He was quickened, we were quickened. To these great truths we may add that when He ascended, we ascended; and, as in one of the parallel passages in Ephesians 2 (Ephesians 2:4; 2:5; 2:6), now that He is at God’s right hand we are seated with Him in heavenly places where all things including all the principalities and powers of the devil’s kingdom our under our feet (Ephesians 1:22) How magnificent is our union with Christ.
Someone once asked the German Christian George Mueller, the secret of his victorious Christian life. He replied: There came a day when George Mueller died, utterly died! No longer did his own desires, preferences, and tastes come first. He knew that from then on Christ must be all in all.
Dr H Edwin Young asked one student if he knew the secret of Christian victory. He said, “You have to die to yourself every day. You have to put 220 volts to yourself every day—Galatians 2:20. ‘I am crucified with Christ.’“ The Exchanged Life: I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me…. It was Hudson Taylor who first called this the Exchanged Life. The idea is this: None of us can ever live the Christian life in our own strength and power. None of us can resist temptation by our own will-power and determination. None of us can live as we should just by our own efforts. Only Jesus Christ can successfully live the genuine victorious Christian life—it is, after all, His life—but when we come to Him in full surrender, He invades us by His Holy Spirit and He begins living His life through us.The great teaching of the Exchanged Life—of Galatians 2:20—is that we die to ourselves every day and Christ lives through us every day, and his very personality is being reproduced in our lives by the indwelling of his Spirit, which is called in Romans 8:9, “The Spirit of Christ.” But one night in November of that year, Ian Thomas, about midnight, got down on his knees in his room and wept in sheer despair. “Oh, God,” he said, “I know that I am saved. I love Jesus Christ. I am perfectly convinced that I am converted. With all my heart I have wanted to serve Thee. I have tried to my uttermost and I am a hopeless failure!” Suddenly a phrase from a Bible verse flashed into Thomas’ mind: Christ, who is your life! It hit him with terrific force and it seemed God was saying this to him: “For seven years with utmost sincerity, you have been trying to live for Me, on My behalf, the life that I have been waiting for seven years to live through you. Now supposing I am your life… I am your strength… I am your victory in every area of life.” And Ian Thomas relinquished his own role in his own life, saying to the Lord: “If this is true, then I am going to thank Thee for it in sheer cold-blooded faith, with no evidence to support it, and nothing but a history of failure behind me. I am going to thank Thee that if Thou art my life, and this is true, then Thou art my strength, Thou art my power, Thou art my future. Thou art the One Who is going to go out now, clothed with me, to do all that I so hopelessly have been trying to do in the past seven years.”
Martin Luther described this union writing…
thou art so entirely joined unto Christ, that He and thou art made as it were one person: so that thou mayest boldly say, I am now one with Christ, that is to say, Christ’s righteousness, victory, and life are mine
II Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Christians are to be in union with Christ. Brethren, can you begin to see why it is so important to study God’s word, to meditate on it, to spend time trying to understand it, to communicate with one another with this word and with the Father? What are you doing as you take His word into you? That’s part of His mind. It’s the way He thinks. It is part of His character. It is part of His personality. We cannot be in union with somebody that we don’t know. We cannot be in union with somebody that we have no relationship with. We cannot be in union with somebody that we never think about. The more we think about Him, the more we carry His word in our mind. The more experiences that we have with Him, the deeper, stronger, sharper, clearer, and more real becomes the union. It all swirls around, or pivots around what?—the word of God. And Jesus said what?—”The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life” (John 6:63).They are an invisible force and power, because if you believe those words they begin to work in your life because you use them. Your life puts them to work, and they begin to produce what God intends that they produce. As we begin to use them, we become more one with Him, because we are becoming like Him, because our lives are being operated by His mind expressed in His word. And the more we use them, the more we become like Him.
When Christ says: You are in me is to be in Christ. It is to believe, to receive Jesus Christ. It is to be joined in a union with Him that results in new birth. It is to act upon His invitation to come into your life. When you do, you are in Christ. You are in me—that is the first union. But what frees us from sin’s reign is the second relationship: I am in you, in which we experience by an attitude of faith Christ in us, as He makes His home in our hearts. We allow Him to live through us. We expect Him to do so in every moment of our experience. It is this that is called abiding, and it is this that results in freeing us from the bondage and power of sin so that we can live godly lives. Thank You, Lord, that this is the continuing experience of those who come into relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, who offers Himself to me for this very purpose. Make me a living example of this revolutionary exchange: you in me and I in you. How many Christians really harbor within their own heart the daily expectation of God’s presence? How many really expect a personal encounter with God? You must become cognizant daily of your union with Christ, that God is Christ abides within you; it is your spiritual DNA and cultivate a daily expectation of God’s presence. Each day presents a new opportunity to experience God and fellowship with the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. My encounter with God today may be of such a nature as to alter the entire course of my life.
I Corinthians 1:4-9:Every time I think of you—and I think of you often!—I thank God for your lives of free and open access to God, given by Jesus. There’s no end to what has happened in you—it’s beyond speech, beyond knowledge. The evidence of Christ has been clearly verified in your lives.7-9 Just think—you don’t need a thing, you’ve got it all! All God’s gifts are right in front of you as you wait expectantly for our Master Jesus to arrive on the scene for the Finale. And not only that, but God himself is right alongside to keep you steady and on track until things are all wrapped up by Jesus. God, who got you started in this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of his Son and our Master Jesus. He will never give up on you. Never forget that.
Consecrate yourself to God in the morning; make this your very first work. Let your prayer be, “Take me, O Lord, as wholly thine. I lay all my plans at thy feet. Use me to-day in thy service. Abide with me, and let all my work be wrought in thee.” This is a daily matter. Each morning consecrate yourself to God for that day. Surrender all your plans to him, to be carried out or given up as his providence shall indicate. Thus day by day you may be giving your life into the hands of God, and thus your life will be molded more and more after the life of Christ. A life in Christ is a life of restfulness. There should be an abiding, peaceful trust. Your hope is not in yourself; it is in Christ. Your weakness is united to his strength, your ignorance to his wisdom, your frailty to his enduring might. So you are not to look to yourself, not to let the mind dwell on self, but look to Christ. When the mind dwells upon self, it is turned away from Christ, the source of strength and life. Hence it is Satan’s constant effort to keep the attention diverted from the Saviour, and thus prevent the union and communion of the soul with Christ. The pleasures of the world, life’s cares and perplexities and sorrows, the faults of others, or your own faults and imperfections,–to any or all of these he will seek to divert the mind. Do not be misled by his devices. Commit the keeping of your soul to God, and trust in him. Talk and think of Jesus. Let self be lost in him. Put away all doubt; dismiss your fears. Say with the apostle Paul, “I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.
Goodness of God Ministries
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