HE LIVES IN YOU

Scripture
“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself to me”. Galatians 2:20 (NLT).

Message
The virgin birth is more, much more, than a Christmas story; it is a picture of how close Christ will come to you. The first stop on His itinerary was a womb. Where will God go to touch the world? Look deep within Mary for an answer.

Better still, look deep within yourself. What He did with Mary, He offers to us! – He issues a Mary-level invitation to all His children. “If you’ll let Me, I’ll move in!”

Proliferating throughout the scriptures is a preposition that leaves no doubt- the preposition in. Jesus lives in His children. John was clear, “Those who obey His commands live in Him, and He in them” – I John 3:24 (NIV)

Christ grew in Mary until He had to come out. Christ will grow in you until the same occurs. He will come out in your speech, in your actions, in your decisions. Every place you live will be a Bethlehem, and every day you live will be a Christmas. You, like Mary, will deliver Christ into the world.

God in us! Have we sounded the depth of this promise?
God was with Adam and Eve. God was with Abraham. God was with Moses and the children of Israel. God was with the apostles.
But He is in you. You are a modern-day Mary. Even more so. He was a fetus in her, but He is a force in you. He will do what you cannot.

Can’t stop drinking? Christ can. And he lives within you

Can’t stop worrying? Christ can. And he lives within you.

Can’t forgive that person, forget the past, or forsake your bad habits? Christ can! And He lives within you.

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from crosswalk.com.

FULLY COMMITTED

‘I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.’
Philippians 3:8 NKJV

Nowhere in the Bible does God say He’s going to send us to safe places to do easy things. But He never leaves us to do challenging things on our own. He says He’ll always be with us (have a read of Hebrews 13:5). But in order to do life with God, and to walk in His ways, we need to be fully committed. Faced with the cross, Jesus prayed the ultimate prayer of commitment: ‘Yet not my will, but yours be done’ (Luke 22:42 NIV).

God’s wanting us to be totally committed to Him. Jesus said: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it’ (Matthew 16:24-25 NIV). This may seem pretty extreme, but God’s looking for ‘all-in’ faith. He’s looking for followers who are willing to stick with Him, no matter what it costs. He’s looking for people who’ll put Him above everything else in their lives.

Paul was one of those kind of followers. In his letter to the Philippians, he wrote: ‘Those things were important to me, but now I think they are worth nothing because of Christ. Not only those things, but I think that all things are worth nothing compared with the greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…I want to know Christ and the power that raised him from the dead. I want to share in his sufferings and become like him in his death’ (3:7-10 NCV). He even went as far as to say ‘to live is Christ and to die is gain’ (1:21 NIV).
Are you prepared to say the same?

STAY BLESSED
SOURCE: Culled from Word for You

God’s Gift of Forgiveness

Inline images 1Colossians 3:12-14

Motivated by love, God provided a way for our sins to be forgiven: He sent Jesus to be our Savior. When we trust in the Lord’s substitutionary sacrifice on our behalf, we receive the gift of forgiveness.

Before placing faith in Christ, we were dead in our sins and objects of divine wrath (Ephesians 2:1-3). But our merciful heavenly Father sent His Son Jesus to redeem us. At the cross, the Savior took our sins upon Himself and experienced God’s fury for our sake. His death secured a pardon for us; there was nothing we ourselves could do to acquire God’s acceptance. We are saved by grace—through faith in Christ and what He accomplished (Ephesians 2:8-9). Our salvation is a free gift from the Father.

God’s will is that we, as forgiven people, show mercy to those who wrong us—to the same degree that He forgave us in Christ. But the human tendency is to attach conditions when extending mercy. We think, I will forgive you only if you apologize. Or, You must fix the problem, and then I’ll stop being angry. Or even, You must make restitution before I will let this go. That’s not what our Savior did. Romans 5:8 expresses it this way: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Depending on how much hurt we’ve experienced, we may require time and healing before we can truly forgive. But we are to remember that showing mercy is God’s will. We’re called to pardon those who have caused us pain. Through reliance on God’s Spirit, we can become Christlike and forgive.
Bible in One Year: Jeremiah 51-52

The Source of Light

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” – Matthew 5:14 (NIV)
Every light derives its source from somewhere. This source could be a hydro dam, wind or electrical or thermal generator or the sun. What is the source of the light that Christ declared us to be?
From Scripture, we know that the source of a Christian’s light is Christ Himself. Witnesses testified of this, and He said so Himself. Here are the accounts:
“There was a man sent from God whose name was John.  He came as a witness to testify concerning that Light, so that through Him all might believe.  He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the Light.  The true Light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.  He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him.” – John 1:6-10 (NIV)
When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, “I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12 (NIV)

While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.” – John 9:5 (NIV)
“I have come into the world as a Light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” – John 12:46 (NIV)
History bears record that Jesus, the Sun of righteousness – Malachi 4:2 is a reliable Source of light. His power is not affected by the weather or hindered by a lack of electricity supply. He powers our light unfailingly and unendingly. Getting connected to Him is far more reliable and renewing than all that the inverters, batteries, circuits, and other power sources of the world combined together can provide. Hence, if we want to shine brightly, Christ is the Source that we can safely trust to make it so.

Source: SALM’s article in the Spectator newspaper.
STAY BLESSED