HIS FULLNESS

December 18th, 2010 by steve

Day 277

“And you have been given fullness in Christ,
who is the head over every power and authority”
Colossians 2:10

As a child of God, just as Jesus was fully God, you are fully complete in Him. Think about that. You are completely saved. Nothing lacks in salvation.

This is a very powerful statement. There is nothing lacking in your salvation. Everything you need has been given to you. You are fully equipped for your life. Peter bears this out when he says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). Everything.

He is the head over every power and authority. There is nothing you will encounter in life that Christ does not have supremacy over. You need not rely on the world system. You need not be concerned about tomorrow. Christ is in control. You are His.

“And to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God”   Ephesians 3:19

HIS COVERING

December 17th, 2010 by steve

Day 276

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation
for those who are in Christ Jesus”
Romans 8:1

Sin started in the heavens when Satan, an angelic being, exercised his will to do evil. Because of this, Satan and his angels were cast out of heaven. Then Adam sinned bringing sin to mankind. Sin is devastating and has terrible effects on us. It attacks and afflicts us, and follows us throughout life. We tend to think of sin as something we do, an act, but it is far more than that. It is a state of our heart and a disposition of our nature.

Jesus exposed the nature of sin when He said, “when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites . . .” [Matthew 6:5-6]. Sin follows us even into God’s presence. The great wickedness of sin is the ultimate root of it – self-adulation and self-worship. How many ‘rights’ do we exercise in the midst of others? How much do we make happen by shear will power and determination? How much do we impose our agenda? Yes, we can take sin into the presence of God even as we worship Him!

It is an extraordinary thing that Christ accomplished for us. We are born into sin and are so easily inclined to sin. Yet, in spite of this, Christ died for us so we may be reconciled to our Father. He became our righteousness so we may know and have fellowship in freedom with Him. Because of Christ there is no condemnation for us who are in Him.

“For because of our faith, he has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to actually becoming all that God has had in mind for us to be.”
Romans 5:2

GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY OVER OUR LIFE

December 16th, 2010 by steve

Day 275

“The Lord has established His throne in the heavens;
And His sovereignty rules over all”
Psalm 103:19

David had many peaks and valleys in his life. His life was a mixture of good and evil, and some of the evil was of great extent. David was a great man of God, but wrestled with trials, temptations, sin, and persecution. One thing was clear; he was God’s chosen one and David came to understand His sovereignty through his many dark valleys. He came to the knowledge that we need to grasp – that God is the source and controls all things, and nothing comes to be except through God.

The sovereignty of God is a paradox to our minds. Everything that has occurred in your life; the joys and sorrows, your good health and sicknesses, your financial success and poverty, your good and bad relationships, your achievements and failures, are under His sovereignty.

No matter what happens in our life, He will turn it to His purposes and good will come out of it. But, if we just see God as a way out of our trials, tribulations or unable to help us because we sinned and failed, we will live in fear, anxiety and restlessness. We will believe we are not secure in Him and lose hope.

Knowing His sovereignty comes by faith and relationship; it brings peace, rest and a confidence to our lives. God’s sovereignty causes us to rejoice in Him, for He will bring victory out of our valleys. That is why David proclaimed,

“Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me,
bless His holy name!” Psalm 103:1

OUR FATHER

December 15th, 2010 by steve

Day 274

“This is how you should pray: ‘Our Father . . .'”
Matthew 6:5-15

You are very privileged to address God as “Our Father.” Christ instructed us to pray using this introduction, as we are His children. Pray is the highest call of our walk with the Lord. To pray is to have communion with our Father. It is the time when we set ourselves apart from all else and come face to face with God.

There are many who pray, but cannot call God “Our Father.” Believing in a universal Fatherhood, they mistakenly confuse God the Creator of humanity for God the Father who has chosen us as His. Jesus specifically cited this in His high priestly prayer when He said, “I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those You have given Me, for they are Yours” (John 17:9).

God’s Fatherhood is a precious relationship. He covers us under His wings. We live in His grace, mercy and compassion. There is a total security in Him giving us a surety of eternal life. Earthly fatherhood pales in comparison to the depth of our Father’s. His love for us is so immense it is difficult to verbalize. It magnifies His glory that He took a people like us and made us His to be a praise of Him.

“God did this so that . . . we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged”
Hebrews 6:18

GOD KNOWS YOU

December 14th, 2010 by steve

Day 273

“He observes the sons of men; His eyes examine them”
Psalm 11:4

Did you know that God knew you before you were conceived? He knew who we would be. Our birth, planned or not planned, does not change that God knew us. He chose you to be His child and He knew all your days ahead; the good and bad, days of darkness, sin, failures and days filled with happiness and joy.

Consider this: He created Adam and Eve. He knew they would sin.

He chose Jacob, foreknowing he would be a deceiver, reach great heights, only to sink again.

He chose David. God knew he would commit adultery followed by planning and carrying out a murder to cover his sin.

He chose Peter, foreknowing the day he would deny Christ three times.

He chose all these men and you to be His child. He knows all the trials and temptations that you will undergo. He fully knows your infirmities, failures and sins today, tomorrow and in the remaining days of your life. He knows all your ways.

Here is the glory of the Lord: He knows our infirmities and He intercedes for us. He has experienced all temptation and endured the cross for the joy set before Him. He will complete the good work He began in us and will purify us. He has given us the Holy Spirit as a seal of our inheritance and we are eternally His. Saint, do not let sin and failures cause you to lose sight of your eternal Father.

Rise up, and drive the enemies of your soul out.

“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive your out enemy
before you, saying, ‘Destroy him!'”
Deuteronomy 33:27

THE CHARACTER OF CHRIST

December 13th, 2010 by steve

Day 272

“Then I said, ‘Here I am'”
Hebrews 10:5-10

What is the most outstanding characteristic of our Lord Jesus Christ? It is the reason why He subjected Himself to become man, suffer, and die for us.

Christ stated His purpose when He said, “Here I am . . . I have come to do your will, O God.” His whole purpose and supreme object in all that He did was to please His Father. He lived for God His Father. It is a great revelation of the holy relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

That love and relationship is extended to us. He came to do what we did not do – obey the Father perfectly. He demonstrated how to live solely for God. Because of that obedience, He saved sinners. By living for God, doing His will, the Father’s purposes are accomplished.

Christ’s life shows us how to live. He said He only spoke what the Father told Him and the works He carried out were the ones the Father had given Him to do. He lived to serve others. He was despised and rejected; He suffered and never thought of Himself. He did nothing for Himself. He lived only for the glory of God.

Now that He has made a way for us, we are to walk in the same spirit.

“I desire to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart”
Psalm 40:8

THE GOD OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

December 12th, 2010 by steve

Day 271

“Blessed are those who hunger
and thirst for righteousness”
Matthew 5:6

If there is one theme that occurs often in the New Testament, it is righteousness. Reflecting the very character and nature of our Father, Christ now lays before us how we are to live as Christians. He is a righteous and a holy God. He died to enable us to be righteous in Him; ” Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people” (Titus 2:14). This is the beginning.

All of us are to be like this – hungering and thirsting after righteousness. We are to be imitators of Him, living and walking in righteousness. Christ emphasizes this; “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” [Matthew 6:33]. We are to set our mind, thoughts and actions on the kingdom. We are to pursue Him. It is to be our life’s work, for out of this will come blessedness and all things.

True hunger is deep and continues until it is satisfied. The prodigal son finally experienced this hunger when he came to the end of himself. Then, and only then, did he turn to his father. Many of us do not have this hunger. We are busy with programs, activities and work followed by ease and entertainment. Many have not a clue about persecution as approximately 171,000 brethren are martyred yearly. Not to mention the continue rise of persecution in other forms such as removing God from every part of our society and culture. We are comfortable; the worse circumstance possible for us.

Oh, Father, that we may truly hunger and thirst after righteousness.

“Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear”
Matthew 13:43

THE GOD OF MEEKNESS

December 10th, 2010 by steve

Day 270

“Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth”
Matthew 5:5

It is not the nature of man to be meek. Our nature is the opposite. We are aggressive, assertive, claim our rights, and make demands for our privileges and position. Being meek is in direct contrast to the mindset of the western culture.

“Blessed are the meek” lies in not trusting our own strength, abilities, and power to organize and defeat sin. Christ demonstrated meekness through His life on earth and when He gave us the Beatitudes, He reflected the very nature and character of God. We are to imitate His character: “It should be … the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight” (1 Peter 3:4).

Meekness is not spinelessness, mildness, and being docile or timid. The Spirit of God produces true meekness. Meekness is related to all the Beatitudes. The first, poor in spirit recognizes our own weaknesses and inability while the second, mourning is realizing our own sinfulness. Being meek brings the summation of these two parts to our consciousness so we may walk in it that knowledge. It is radical and directly opposed to the world of self-esteem, self-worth and self-promotion. It is the true gospel and the way we are called to walk before God.

“For I am gentle and humble in heart”
Matthew 11:29

THE LORD IS OUR SHIELD

December 9th, 2010 by steve

Day 269

“But You, O Lord, are a shield for me,
My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
I cried to the Lord with my voice,
And He heard me from His holy hill”
Psalm 3:3

It was a bitter moment.

The rebellion and wickedness by one of David’s son, Absalom, had now turned against his father. He seized the throne and drove him out, proceeding to pursue him with the intent of killing him.

The burden was great.

David “continued up the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went.” His own son turned against him. Absalom was his closest counselor. Yet, he became a traitor leading David to losing a kingdom, and now possibly his life. Adding insult to injury, David was cursed by a man who pelted him with stones. David even believed the Lord may have caused him to do so and would not permit his troops to kill or stop him. This had to be one of the lowest points of David’s life.

The Lord is greater.

David could not rely not on his own strength or position. He declared the Lord was his shield and protection. God will save him by taking him through these troubled waters. David was a king, but his glory was not in the office, but in God Himself. Even though he was in despair and recognized his own past sins may have set the stage for these events, he also knew that the Lord would turn it to good. He knew God would lift his head up in joy for sorrow, glory for the despised and blessedness for the humble. What mercies our God gives us.

“I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me”
Psalm 3:5

THE LORD’S RETURN

December 8th, 2010 by steve

Day 268

“For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven”
1 Thessalonians 4:16

Have you ever thought about the coming of the Lord? It will be a great day for us, especially if we are alive. He will give a mighty shout and the archangel will sound the great trumpet with a soul-stirring cry, and believers, who have died, will be the first to rise and meet the Lord. Next, we, the living, will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord. The coming of the Lord will be a glorious and magnificent day.

It will also be a day of honor for those that have served. Yes, a day for His faithful servants to be honored by the King of Kings! Read what Luke says: “It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes.” Why? Because, “He will dress Himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them.”

Yes, saint, just as Jesus girded Himself to wash the feet of His disciples, on the day of His greatest coming, He will again humble Himself to honor and serve you! God the Son, King of Kings, slain Lamb from the foundation of the world, exalted and seated at the right hand of God His Father, will rise up to come for you and bring you honor. Once again, He will demonstrate the power of His love, grace and mercy to all by lifting up the lowly in honor and glory, that being you.

“When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory”
Colossians 3:4