Christ in You

March 22, 2013

Colossians 1:25-27
I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. 27To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Christ in You

There are many powerful truths that are imparted to us through the Word of God. Perhaps the greatest truth aside from knowing Christ as my personal Savior and being filled with the Holy Spirit is the truth that I am sharing with you today. When we get a revelation of what Paul calls the glorious riches of a hidden mystery then we are empowered, because now we are no longer orphans. We know who our true Daddy is and we now know our true identity. That identity is no longer associated with the weak man of the flesh that I was born of in the natural. It is identified in knowing that I am a son of God. Papa’s DNA is now in me, because Christ is in me. When I really lay hold of that and begin to live my life in the light of that truth I realize I am not my own, I am His. It is as Paul says in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” That former me died back when I ask Christ into my heart and Christ entered into me to give me my new identity in Him.
Oh, how the enemy wants to rob that truth and revelation from us. If he can confuse or hide from you who you really are then he can perpetrate his lies into you about who you really aren’t. If you don’t know your identity he is more than happy to give you his. That is why so many of us live defeated, discouraged, condemned and robbed of our joy, strength and power.
Does anyone reading this ever feel so unworthy, like a failure and separated in their relationship with God. It is because you are allowing your identity to be taken from you. Your identity is not in your feelings and it is not even in your own righteousness, it is in the Righteous One who died for you. He took our sins and imparted into us His righteousness. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Romans 3:21-24 speaks to this, “But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” We have such a hard time releasing our old identity because that is exactly where the enemy wants to keep us living. In that old identity he can put us again under the law of sin and death, instead of the liberty we can find in the law of the Spirit of life that is in Christ Jesus.
Jesus speak to it this way when He is praying to the Father in John 17:20-23, “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” Jesus places us in the same context of relationship with Him as He is in with the Father. That is a powerful insight into how He now sees you and receives you. You are no longer a foreigner, an outsider, but an heir and joint- heir with Him. We are family! Your family doesn’t love you because you’re perfect they love you because you are a part of them. When we realize that we are family, that we are flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone, then we can get a real revelation of the calling that is upon our lives because of who we truly are. Life is no longer about pleasing me, it is about pleasing my father because I have that Christ nature in me.
What did Jesus come to do?
John 14:31 says, “but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.” That is the mandate of a son; to do the will of the Father. We know that we don’t have that within our former self, but we do have it because of who we now are in Christ and because the nature of Christ is being formed in us.
1 John 3:1-3 affirms that identity, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.” 1 John 2:3-6 exhorts us with this, “We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 4The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” Because you have born again in His nature you will live in His truth. If you are struggling with this then look at where you identity is at and get it in alignment with who God says you are and what He has called you to be.
“Christ in you, the hope of glory!”

Blessings,
kent

What’s Under the Surface

January 10, 2013

Ephesians 4:29-32
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

What’s Under the Surface

No matter how long you are around the “Christian” community it never ceases to amaze you what can come out of outwardly godly people. There are a lot of “Christians” that talk the talk, quote scriptures, praise the Lord, preach the gospel, but if you step on their toes or push their buttons they can totally come uncorked on you. That precious godly appearance and demeanor can suddenly turn into something totally unrecognizable and manifest some of the most ungodly words and behavior. Suddenly that person that was so sweet and kind to you can become your worst nightmare. It is amazing how we as “Christians”, who are suppose to be carrying the love and nature of Christ can suddenly become so unChristlike and so easily offended.
The test of a true believer and the character of what is in them is best revealed when they are under pressure and persecution. Their response is a window into the heart of their character. Do they respond with kindness and compassion, forgiving the other as Christ has forgiven them, or do they respond in bitterness, rage, anger, brawling, slander and every form of malice?
One of the first things that we need to realize and get a revelation of when we come into Christ is that we died to the natural man. Many of us have no clue about the death to self, we have only candy coated our exterior to look “Christian”. If we truly grasp “that it is no longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me”, then why are we so easily offended when we don’t get our way, when people don’t meet our expectations or they step on our toes?
It is an interesting dynamic in churches to see how many people come and go. Many come in thinking it is the greatest church in the world until something doesn’t meet their approval and then they are out of there, continuing their quest for the Holy Grail of churches that will meet all of their expectations.
People are human and by nature, many of them will offend or fail you at some point in life. Your response to their offense or failure in your eyes, speaks to the maturity of where you at in Christ. Are your eyes on Jesus or are they on people? Are you covering others in love or are you finding fault and taking up offenses?
What I find even more amusing is that most of those who become so indignant with their offenders, no matter how they, personally may act or what they say, they are totally justified, righteous and feel they have been given the God-given mandate to judge and condemn those they are offended with. They become totally blind to their own conduct and unChristlike nature. We become God’s fruit inspectors while ignoring the fruit of our own actions and words. Nothing reveals a religious spirit more than this.
How do we respond when others purposely or accidentally push our buttons? Is Christ in control or is the flesh unleashed? Many times our own households are the proving ground of what our true character is. We are most unguarded around the ones we love and feel safe with. How do we respond to them in times of irritation and testing?
“Christianity” isn’t a new suit we can take on and off. It is a lifestyle of growing up into the very nature and character of Christ. One of the things that works that nature in us is in practicing His presence in the midst of adverse situations. Responding out of the Spirit and not out of the flesh. Practicing love and forgiveness where we might feel justified to dislike and hate.
Thank God for your enemies, your offenders, those that step on your toes and push your buttons. They can do a work in you that your friends never will. They are the ones that test the metal of what you really carry within you and the character you are living out of. When you don’t see Christ, then it is time to repent and ask the Lord to help you go deeper, abiding in the Spirit and not just looking spiritual. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Blessings,
kent

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