What is Jesus Doing in Your Life?

(Let me tell you!)

This is but a synopsis (though not a short post) of what I know of His presence and power in others and my own life. It is worth meditation on God’s Word to confirm our faith in what the Lord is doing in our lives.
(With this post, I will be concluding in the next two weeks the last chapters of Beyond a Mere Christianity as our next book to publish, Lord willing. I am still working on Filled with Grace and Wrapped in Glory.)

Things we will speak of here:

How Did Jesus Get into Your Life?
What is He Doing in Your Life Now?
Why is He in Your Life ~ to what end?
<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>
How Did Jesus Get into Your Life?


We sometimes make the mistake of thinking that we have chosen Jesus to be our Savior. When we read Jesus’ words, we understand more than what others say about inviting Jesus into our hearts. Follow through with me to find the assurance that He gives.

As I am speaking of the supernatural presence of Jesus in the human body, soul, and spirit, I must say that Jesus did not come into my life by asking Him.

God, our Father revealed Jesus to me by His Holy Spirit through the knowledge of His Word. I knew of Him before I knew Him. In His timing, I understood the meaning of Ezekiel 36:26.

A new heart also will I give you,
and a new spirit will I put within you:
and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh,
and I will give you a heart of flesh.

There were those of His own people who believed Jesus when they saw His miracles and spoke the good news of the kingdom of God, but they left after He told them more of what the kingdom was. So, we see that they did not believe in Christ ~ they did not believe all that He said. There were things He specifically instructed those who heard His message.

“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are my disciples indeed.”John 8:31

This quote begins with a condition and ends with an effect. We do not naturally gravitate to His Word in our natural state. The presence and power of the Holy Spirit draw us to His Word according to the will of the Father (John 6:44-45, 65-66; Galations 1:4). The Holy Spirit that inspired the Word interprets the truths of Jesus Christ so as to bring us to repentance and faith in Him (Romans 2:4; Luke 5:32).

Even as He draws, abiding in His Word is the work of His Spirit. We abide as He continues to lead us to read, that we may seek by the power of the Holy Spirit what He wills for us as His disciples.

The Holy Spirit reveals the Living Word (the logos, John 1) Jesus Christ, who was in the beginning: The Word was with God and was God. He was made flesh to dwell among us (John 1:14) and bring us to Him through the sacrifice of Himself ~ through His death, resurrection, and ascension.

Through God’s Word, the Holy Spirit convicts of sin~ our rebellion against God; of righteousness~ the righteousness of Christ given to us; and judgment ~ the judgment that is upon the world and for eternity for those who do not believe and follow Him. (John 16:8-11)

Jesus told His disciples He had many things to say to them but that they could not bear them while Jesus was with them.

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. John 16:12-14

It is the Holy Spirit that does the supernatural work of bringing us by faith into the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We did not birth ourselves naturally into this world nor do we birth ourselves spiritually into the kingdom of heaven. Any interest in Jesus Christ and the things of God begin with the new birth (John 3:3-8).

The new birth is not by our free will but by the will of God as we spoke earlier of the new heart and spirit.

“Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:13

To fully understand everything God wants for us, we must continually read His Word as the Spirit reveals more and more of Jesus, the Living Word that dwells within us.

“Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive,
because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him:
but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you,
and shall be in you.” John 14:17

He has made us in Christ to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: Colossians 1:12-13
Though we were alienated from God and enemies, yet now hath he reconciled. Colossians 1:21
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Ephesians 1:7-8

What is He Doing in Your Life Now?

For it is God which worketh in you
both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Philippians 2:13

 Jesus’ disciples were sorrowful at the news that He would be returning to the Father and sending His Holy Spirit in His stead (John 16:4-7). They were a privileged few whom Jesus personally lived among and taught ~ those who afterward recorded what He taught and spread the knowledge of Jesus, the Living Word.

The more we know of Jesus, the more we know what He is doing in us.

Continuing (abiding) in His Word convinces us that He is abiding in us, transforming our minds, and conforming us to His image.

 “I am come that they might have life,
and that they might have it more abundantly.”
John 10:10

I have often thought of the difference in Jesus and Superman. Superman, an imaginary character of a man’s creation, changes from a mild-mannered reporter to a super-hero. He flies down into the dire circumstances, scoops up the person in danger, returns them to their original state, and goes back to his newsroom, undetected. He has no personal relationship with those he saves.

Jesus, however, not only knows our need for salvation but reveals Himself as the Savior. He knows each of us by name. He saves us, lives with us by His Spirit and Word  ~ to love, care, and share His kingdom with us forever.

He is preparing us for eternity with Him. As we wait, we grow in grace and knowledge of Him (2 Peter 3:12-18).

Continuing through His Word, we read how He enables us to live in the world, separate and sanctified for His use and to be a light to others of His saving grace.

God the Father has given us His Word through His Son.
The following is only part of Jesus’ high-priestly prayer for His people which we do well to know and meditate on what He purposes to do for us and in us.
He speaks of those who have believed that the Father sent Him (vs. 8) for them~ not for the world (vs. 9).
Believers belong to Him and the Father; Jesus is glorified in them (vs. 10).
His joy would be fulfilled in them (vs.13), He gave them the Father’s word and the world hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
We are kept from the evil, sanctified through His Word; His Word is truth(vs.15-17)
I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. (15)
Jesus sanctified Himself that they also might be sanctified through the truth. John 17:19
Jesus did not pray for them alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; (vs.20).
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me (vs. 21).
And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them (26).

Paul described the work of Jesus on our behalf.

Who gave himself for our sins,
that he might deliver us from this present evil world,
according to the will of God and our Father:
Galatians 1:4

To be Filled and Fruitful
Paul spoke to the Philippians of being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:11

“Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:” Colossians 1:6

Paul prayed for the Colossian church that they might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Colossians 1:9-11

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:32

 To Be Strengthened and Rooted and Grounded in Love

That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Ephesians 3:16-19

To Be Transformed and Conformed to His Image

We are being transformed from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 12:1-2) and conformed to His image (Romans 8:28-29)

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:32

 Why is He in Your Life ~ to What End?

“That he might sanctify and cleanse it (the church ~ His people) with the washing of water by the word,
That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:26-27

To present us holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: Colossians 1:22

 He is working in us what is well-pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 13:29-21).

“to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,” Jude 24

“That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:” Ephesians 1:10

“Being confident of this very thing,
that he which hath begun a good work in you
will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” 
Philippians 1:6

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly
above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that worketh in us,”
Ephesians 3:20

We can never in one chapter of a book present a full answer to the questions we have asked. As we pray and continue in His Word, He will reveal more, bringing us closer to Him, beyond anything we have known (Jeremiah 33:3).

Gracious Father in heaven, we do not deserve the life you have given us in Christ. We thank you and praise you for your Word and for sending your Holy Spirit to draw us to Christ. Fill us with your fullness that we may bear the fruit of righteousness for your kingdom and your glory. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Pixabay

 

 

Free to Love

(Introduction The Danger of Freedom and Bound by Grace brings us to this last post on the matter of freedom.)

When God sent Moses to Egypt, He had a single purpose for delivering the Israelites from their bondage. Like Adam and Eve, acting in rebellion against Him, they had been taken into captivity. For seventy years they had been in slavery (the same number of years they had rebelled against God’s Word in profaning the Sabbath).

It was an act of God’s grace, through Moses, that they were led out of Egypt to serve Him, to worship Him, to be brought into a land of promise – a new land where they would know the freedom God wanted for them.

Shortly after given this freedom from their hard labor, they rebelled against Moses’ leadership, even asking to go back to Egypt. They did not trust God to provide for them. Neither did they worship Him according to His will.
At Mt. Sinai, the multitude influenced Aaron to make a golden image and sinned in their idol-worship. They never experienced the reality of freedom. It was only the second generation that survived and entered the land of Canaan under Joshua’s leadership.

The Law presented at Mt. Sinai, was not written in stone for their freedom. It was God’s means of showing them and future generations His kingdom of love. Through His law, He planned to bring to Himself a helpless and hopeless people who knew they could not live in full obedience to His Law. Even as He proved Adam and Eve helpless without His continual presence and leading, so He proved man cannot live in obedience to His will except by His continual power spiritually working in them. In Ezekiel 36:26, He promised He would displace the stony heart of man with a new heart and spirit.

A New Covenant
The writer of Hebrews quoted to the Hebrew Christians the promise of a new covenant in Jeremiah 31:33 to the house of Israel. The Law through Moses was the old covenant – the Old Testament revelation of God’s kingdom. The new covenant would be written in their hearts.

For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. Hebrews 8:8-10, 13

This new covenant — the New Testament revelation — is a covenant of redemption through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. His death was counted as the punishment for our sins – a propitiation (1 John 4:10).

His sacrifice was planned to appease the wrath of God and set us free from condemnation under the law and from the power of sin.

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:1-4

The Covenant of Grace
This new covenant is the Covenant of Grace, by which He binds us to Himself and through which, we are delivered from our bondage to serve Him. It is the power of the Holy Spirit that fills His people with the desire and the freedom to obey His written Law. It is the new heart and a new spirit that loves as God loves – a heart that loves His law (Psalm 1) and a spirit that rejoices to live in obedience to Him.

As we are bound to Him through His covenant, we are free to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and our neighbor as ourselves. Every hindrance has been removed that would keep us from loving Him and others.

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

  But if you are led of the Spirit, you are not under the law. Galatians 5:1, 13-18

Those led by the Spirit of truth (John 16:13) understand that the law is written in our hearts; as we meditate on His Law – His Word, we hide it in our hearts so that we will not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11). We are not under the law but we live freely under the power of His Spirit to love Him and others; we establish the law (Romans 3:31) by faith in His salvation from the bondage of sin.

Dear heavenly Father, you bought us by the blood of your Son.  You sought us as your lost sheep, brought us to yourself, bound us by your Covenant of Grace, and taught us the law of your kingdom so that we live freely in love and obedience within a corrupt society. Guide us each day by your Holy Spirit. Let us love as you love – for your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name, we thank you and praise you. Amen.
Fran
O Wretched Creature That I Am

Images: Google

Followers of Christ Have CGCD

We live in an abbreviated society with many associations. We are described and labeled by our distinctions and dialect, our degrees, doctrines, diseases and disorders.

The description of the life of a follower of Christ is a wonderful thing, definitely not a disease or disorder, but a distinction. Let me explain according to the initials CGCD, the abbreviation for Conviction, Guidance, Commitment and Discipline.

Conviction
One becomes a follower of Christ by the Holy Spirit’s conviction. Jesus taught His disciples that when He left them to return to His Father He would send the Holy Spirit ~ the Spirit of truth. He would supernaturally birth them into His kingdom (John 3:3-8; 1 Peter 1:3-4).

Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 
And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:  concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.” John 16:7-11

A follower of Christ is convicted. As the Spirit woos and wins us, we receive the guidance of the Spirit of Christ for new and eternal life.

Guidance
Jesus, who is “the way, the truth, and the life” (john 14:6), promised that the Spirit of truth would guide them into all the truth. This is how He becomes our Shepherd.

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” John 16:12-13

Commitment
The Spirit of truth is the “Spirit of the Lord”
(2 Corinthians 3:17-18).
He leads us by His hand of mercy to follow Christ, to offer ourselves as “living sacrifices” to serve Him (Romans 12:1-2).
He leads us to full commitment and obedience to Him, to the truth, and to actively seek His kingdom and righteousness.

“But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed,” Romans 6:17

“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.” Psalm 37:5

“Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.” Proverbs 16:3

Discipline
With commitment comes discipline as He establishes us as His own. We learn to discipline ourselves as we live under the discipline of the Holy Spirit and His Word.

“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.”
Proverbs 12:1

“Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.” Revelation 3:19

“For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”
It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.”
Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?
For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.” Hebrews 12:6-9
“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11The apostle Paul in his letter to Titus encourages him to be “hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined (Titus 1:8).

He says of his own life, “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:27

“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.” 1 John 3:1-3

As followers of Christ we are His special people who gladly accept the description and label as He, by His Grace and His Word, makes us peculiar to the world. No others but those of His family have the life of Christ in them. What a joy it is for people to ask what makes us different, so that we can share Christ with them.

Gracious Father, you have made us precious in your sight. Let us wear the label for your glory. Make your Spirit within us contagious with joy and an excitement that overflows, to your glory and praise. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran, DDC (Devoted Disciple of Christ)

images: Google