“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 NIV
To all who have been called, and trust in the name of Jesus Christ to be saved, you are special. We know that we were made with great love in the image of our creator to fellowship with him. We our precious children of our King. But what else? So much has been said about who we are in Christ. When we come to him his arms are open wide and there is great rejoicing in heaven. It is a big deal. We are no longer a slave to Satan, sin, longing, and striving. God has wiped the slate clean and we are now a new creature. The old person we used to be is gone. At that point God says he anoints us, he wants us to go out and spread his message to the lost in the world. He has also set a seal upon you that tells the enemy that you are his and nothing bad can happen to you without his okay. He works everything, both good and bad for your best. He is perfecting you every day for the rest of your lives. You are a jewel to him, priceless and valuable. He is working at drawing you closer. He wants to know you and for you to know him more and more every day. A close relationship of love, trust and respect. He has made a deposit into your life. Just as Jesus made a promise before he left this earth he has given his Holy Spirit to be with us always. That Spirit comes with great power and the guarantee of the future we will have with our father in his kingdom. To be heirs with Christ to all he has. Upon death we are no longer in this earthly body but given a brand new heavenly body that is perfect and we will live with him forever. While we are on this earth he promises to be with us always helping us and edifying us. Whenever we want anything he wants us to run to him. He does not want us to be anxious or worried. If it is important to us it is important. When we need wisdom and guidance he wants us to ask. He does not expect us to do this on our own. Actually he knows that we can’t do this on our own. He will give us words to speak when we need them. He has made everything just for us. The world is so full of wonderful things to discover and they are ours. Everything we will ever need. Every good gift comes from him. He really is a very good God. There are many gods in the world that people serve and worship but they don’t do anything but tell you how to live your life and none can offer eternal life. Jesus is the only way to eternal life.
Do you want an abundant life with power?
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the father.” John 14:12 NIV
Very truly means most definitely, and you means me. The idea of me doing more and greater things than Jesus always blew my mind. He healed and restored sight and health, and he even raised the dead. This verse has always been just outside of my understanding. Lately I find myself pondering this verse more often. I have been reading the devotional, ‘Letters From God’, by Ivan Tait. It is small words every day that God has said in his word. Promises to us that he has declared over us and to us. It has been a great year. I have enjoyed this devotional. God is growing me in so many ways, but a big one is in the area of prayer. I have been praying for more and more people. It is so easy to tell someone that I will be praying for them. But how many times have we said that and then gotten distracted by our own personal problems and forgotten to pray. I’m guilty too. I have really made it personal now and I’m beginning to see their needs as my needs. When you do that you seem to pray more fervently and then when answers come it also feels personal and I feel the great victory. In this way I am doing great things. It might be a good friend trying to find her forever love. To spend her life with. Sharing in her struggles as she goes through different boy friends. Until that one man comes who shares her love of God. Or a friend at 58 who could not have children of her own and becomes a brand new mom of a brand new baby because a niece was not allowed to keep the child . Then her niece having another baby and giving it to her. Two precious gifts from God. These miracles are mine as I pray for my friends. God is good and he is always up to something big. He has given us so much and he just wants us to use our lives to help enrich the lives of others. We are not on a lone journey. We are all in this life together. The great commandment is to love others better then yourself. What better way than praying for their needs shows that I love them and care about what matters to them. I have committed to praying every Tuesday with our prayer team and they are all around the world and I have prayed for some difficult needs but God has come through with some truly amazing answers to prayer. It’s so exciting to be apart of what God’s doing.
Do you want to do even greater works?
“The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” Matthew 3:10 NIV
Once we have accepted Christ as our savior we are just beginning. We are no longer powerless and weak. The Holy Spirit has taken up residence in our hearts and will be with us always. He is there to help us and to guide us. With his help you can do anything. You should join a good church, start reading the Bible, and pray regularly. These all help us to get to know the God we serve. Hebrews 12:14 says, “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” We are no longer to live as we used to. We have been set free of the disease of sin. We now need to be like our Lord. There is no excuse because he lives in us to help us change. Do you want to go to heaven to see the Lord one day? This is a matter of life and death. You want to grow your relationship, and any relationship takes work. Spending time getting to know Christ and his characteristics. When you get to know him you will want to keep his commands. While you are keeping his commands your character will grow and you will begin to see fruit in your life. Fruit is: Love, Joy, Peace, Forbearance, Goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, and Faithfulness. If we don’t have fruit then we weren’t really changed. We’re still dead sinners. Fruit is the proof that God is working in our lives. If there is no fruit he will chop our life down and throw it in the fire. That is not good. But so many people have 0 fruit and say they are Christians. But Christian means follower of Christ. Christ taught us to love and do good or show fruit. So to be a Christian you need to love and bear fruit in your life. No fruit, no Jesus. It’s that simple. So do all you can to genuinely love others. Helping them in all their needs and encouraging them to be better people. This kind of fruit keeps growing in us and then in others. It never ends. Don’t be like the Pharisees. They knew the law and even made some of their own but did not know Christ personally. They were not followers but wanted to be followed for who they were. They did not keep many of the laws themselves. They certainly did not love the less fortunate like Jesus did. He came to serve and they were too good to serve. A real servant serves not just those they like but those that can’t do anything in return. That’s true service.
Do you want to have fruit in your life?
“In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, do not give the devil a foothold.” Ephesians 4:26-27 NIV
It does not say to not get angry. We all naturally feel anger when someone is cruel, thoughtless or selfish. It says, when you are angry, do not sin. So being angry is not the sin. But what we do with that anger can be. Holding on to anger is like tying an anchor around you neck. It will only get heavier , dragging you down as long as you refuse to let it go. It really seems stupid if you think about it. I watched another movie the other night. I am sure you can see by now that I love to watch uplifting movies before I fall asleep at night. And I have had some really good nights of sleep lately. The people had some bad things happen to them that should have caused great bitterness , but instead they tried to find love and acceptance for the one who hurt them. Oh, it was not easy. One woman was shot by an attacker who became a very close friend. It turned his life around. Then when he was killed in an accident by someone who was mad at him his father had to learn how to forgive the man who killed his son. But in doing that he built a friendship with this man and his young daughter that was so special. Each person had to come to a place where they could see this anger was only hurting them and that it was giving the devil control. They had to make a decision to forgive. To forgive does not mean you forget, but gives you the peace to move forward. To think of someone with anger is the same thing to God as murder. It harms everyone involved. Anger and hate are wrong and they damage everyone. The devil loves it when we are angry because then he is in control. Whatever you do as long as it depends on you, be peaceable with all people. This is something Jesus said while he was alive and it is very good advice. The world we live in has enough hate and anger and we don’t need to add to it, we need to make this ugly world better and love, love freely. The attitude you hold onto does make a difference in yours and others happiness. Be a difference maker.
Do you need to forgive someone ?