Mark VanOuse

Christ in me the hope of…

26 the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. 27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. — Colossians 1:26-28

Colossians 1:27 says that Christ in you — in me — is the hope of glory!

Some time ago the Lord showed me that the hope of glory means the hope of the glory of the full extent of all that our Creator God means for us to be. Recently, God revealed to me something even deeper that can connect better in my mind and in the minds of others and it is this:

  • Christ in me the hope of righteousness
  • Christ in me the hope of love
  • Christ in me the hope of wisdom
  • Christ in me the hope of purity
  • Christ in me the hope of courage
  • Christ in me the hope of patience
  • Christ in me the hope of joy
  • Christ in me the hope of self-control
  • Christ in me the hope of goodness
  • Christ in me the hope of peace
  • Christ in me the hope of gentleness
  • Christ in me the hope of faithfulness
  • Christ in me the hope of strength
  • Christ in me the hope of healing
  • Christ in me the hope of being a blessing to others

Christ in me, my hope of glory!

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Only God Can Be God of Our Lives (Not us!)

O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself;
It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.
Man is not capable of being God:

Jeremiah 10:23
  • “I know the way of man is not in himself
  • “It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps”

Only God is capable of being God in our life: as our source, our means (even for direction and leading).

Only God is capable of leading our lives. We are not capable of leading our lives because “the way of man is not in himself” and “it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.”

That’s the problem with us: we want to grab the steering wheel of our lives and control things. That’s when stress and disaster happens. If we allow God to control our lives, step by step every day, it leads to peace and sure direction.

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD,
And He delights in his way.

Psalm 37:23

A man’s steps are of the LORD;
How then can a man understand his own way?

Proverbs 20:24

Photo by Artem Sapegin on Unsplash

Blessed With The Blessing of Abraham!

In Genesis 12:1-3, we see God coming to an undeserving, pagan man, Abraham, and unilaterally blessing him:

[12:1] Now the LORD had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
[2] I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
[3] I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

This blessing is staggering. Abraham became incredibly rich in so many ways, and he became a blessing to billions. Abraham’s physical descendants, the Jews, have produced incredible advances in science, technology, the arts, and so much more. Yet God’s heart is not only to bless the Jews but also us. So what is the connection between this astonishing blessing and me and you? Watch God’s rich heart of love for us unfold as we connect the scripture dots from Abraham to us:

Genesis 22:18, all the nations blessed:

“In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”

Genesis 26:4-5, to Isaac:

(4)”And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; (5)”because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.”

Genesis 28:14, to Jacob:

“Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

Galatians 3:8, to the Gentiles

And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.

Galatians 3:9, to you and me:

So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham. For more on what “of faith” means, read Romans chapter 4 in the Bible.

This why, Galatians 3:16

Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ. 

And now the ULTIMATE reason! Galatians 3:10-14

(10) For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”° (11) But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for”the just shall live by faith.”° (12) Yet the law is not of faith, but”the man who does them shall live by them.”° (13) Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”°), (14) that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Dear brother and sister in Christ, it seems too good to be true. God is indeed richly blessing me and you to such a fabulous degree! Why? Because that’s His great heart of love. He does this because He is that good. Not only that, but we are blessed to be a blessing to the nations

2 Corinthians 9:8 expresses this so well:

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

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Abraham’s Faith Was Based on the Ability of God, Not His Own Ability

The Bible speaks greatly of Abraham’s faith:  

  • He inherited the promises by faith
  • He looked for the City of God by faith
  • He became the heir of the world by faith
  • He received the son of promise, Isaac, by faith
  • He became a father of many nations by faith

But what was at the epicenter of Abraham’s faith? At the center of his faith was God’s ability: 

Romans 4:20-25 (faith in God’s ability to perform what He promised): 

[20]  He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, [21] and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. [22] And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”* [23] Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, [24] but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, [25] who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.  

Hebrews 11:17-19 (faith in God’s ability to raise the son of promise from the dead): 

[17] By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, [18] of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,”* [19] concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.   In contrast, Abraham’s inability was so great that he was described as “as good as dead”:  

Hebrews 11:12

[12] Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.   Romans 4:19 (NKJV)[19] And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.   

How much ability does a dead person or body have? Zero. We’re talking total inability.   Here’s the second key of Abraham’s great faith:  he did not consider his total inability but was looking to GOD’s total ability! 

(Photo credit: Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash )

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Blessed #7: The Incredible Steadfast Love of The Lord – Part 2

[Part 7 of the “Blessed Beyond Imagination” series] Have you ever been betrayed by a friend, rejected by someone who used to love you or ever had someone say, “I’m DONE with you!”? At some point, we all experience the pain and loss of broken love. On this edition we learn about the steadfast love of God that NEVER GIVES UP ON YOU:

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Blessed #6: The Incredible Steadfast Love of The Lord

[Psalm 103:8-10, Part 6 of the series, “Blessed Beyond Imagination”]  We live in rapidly changing times. Everywhere we look, dramatic — sometimes traumatic — change is taking place: in our culture, in the world, at the workplace, in our schools and in our families. But there is one, sure, great constant and that is GOD HIMSELF and His Incredible STEADFAST LOVE. In this lesson we learn about:

  • The rich Hebrew word “hesed”, which means “steadfast love” or “unfailing love”. This powerful word, which is closest to the New Covenant concept of grace, occurs many times throughout the Old Testament, particularly in the Book of Psalms.
  • The great dimensions of God’s love: His great mercy.
  • What is really behind the wrath of God, how God’s anger is the result of His justice and righteousness, which have been so severely violated by sinful man.
  • How God’s wrath last only for a moment, yet His mercy is EVERLASTING!
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Blessed #5: The Blessings of Satisfaction, Justice & Personally Knowing God

[Psalm 103:5-7]  Because of God’s incredible GOODNESS, we are blessed beyond imagination. Today, we explore the blessings of real and lasting SATISFACTION, God’s justice for the oppressed and Personally knowing HIM:

  • God and only God can bring real satisfaction. The devil flaunts the pleasures of this world at us. But the child of God finds real satisfaction from God HIMSELF.
  • Millions all across the world suffer oppression. God blesses us with justice and righteousness, even in the face of such hostility.
  • The greatest joy of all is KNOWING GOD, in a real, personal way. Moses had that kind of relationship with God and so can we!
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Blessed #4: Redeemed!

[This is Part 4 of the series, “Blessed Beyond Imagination”] Many Christians acknowledge that God is a blessing God. The extent of His blessings are truly amazing. However, they think to themselves, “Why would God bless me, with all the sin that I have done?” In this encouraging episode, we look at one of the greatest blessings of all: our redemption and what that means when it comes to God making you “blessable”:

  • What “redemption” means in the Bible and why it is so important.
  • God’s redemption is both a ransom from sin, self and Satan AND a purchase where we belong to God.
  • How God takes us from doom and destruction to the heights of His love, where He “crowns us with lovingkindness and tender mercies”!

[Scriptures: Psalm 103:4, various]

 

CC by-nc-nd 2016 Mark D. VanOuseThis recording is under a Creative Commons copyright license.

 

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Blessed #3: Perfect Forgiveness & Healing

[This is Part 3 of the series, “Blessed Beyond Imagination”] We continue with a veritable feast of God’s blessings & benefits, found in Psalm 103. Today, we look at:

  • God’s TOTAL forgiveness – no matter how great the iniquity or sin, God’s love and grace makes possible a perfect and forever forgiveness, based on the perfection of Jesus Christ and His perfect, finished work. This teaching will truly set you free to enjoy your relationship with God!
  • Temporary forgiveness (people misusing 1 John 1:9) vs. the forever forgiveness of ALL our sins, whether past, present or future.
  • God’s healing – He heals ALL of our diseases. Jesus, the image of the Father, “healed all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people”. Jesus did this because that was what The Father was doing. Our Father is still healing through Jesus IN US today.

[Scripture: Psalm 103:3, various]

CC by-nc-nd 2016 Mark D. VanOuseThis recording is under a Creative Commons copyright license.

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Blessed #2: Forget Not His Benefits

[This is Part 2 of the series, “Blessed Beyond Imagination”] It’s amazing how FORGETFUL we can be. One moment we get a deeper, fresher glimpse of the blessing of God…. and the next, we forget that word of blessing, when we open up an unexpected bill in the mail. In this episode we learn:

  • The blessings of God reflect His great heart of love for us.
  • God’s blessing PRECEDES anything truly good that we could ever do for Him.
  • We begin looking at Psalm 103, a psalm rich in telling of the blessings and benefits of God.
  • The blessings of God lead us to wholehearted worship and praise of Him.
  • How that the blessing of God transformed a “nobody” into a great king.

CC by-nc-nd 2016 Mark D. VanOuse
This recording is under a Creative Commons copyright license.

 

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