Articles

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

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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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Law Thinking Drives Us Deeper Into Ourselves and Away From God

Law thinking drives us deeper into ourselves, relying on fleshly resources rather than the kind and infinite resources of our Heavenly Father.

For example, it is commonly taught in the church that God requires a tithe — meaning a tenth of all. Then people get into all sorts of debates about what God requires: do we tithe off gross pay or net? What if I’m unemployed? What it I can’t pay my bills?

Meanwhile, statisticians tell us that less than 10% of church-going people actually do tithe. Some recent reports put it at well below 5%* …

The Real Reason Behind Trials: The Testing of Our Faith

The subject of suffering frequently comes up in Christian teachings. Many times the speaker will quote a passage like Romans 5:3-4
3 And not only [that], but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Then they go on and on about “the value of suffering”: God is using suffering, hardship, difficulty to improve our character, refine us, make us stronger, make us “more Christ-like”.
They have it completely wrong.

Redemption: From a Slave to a Son

Redemption means that God purchases us with the blood of His own Son from the slave market of sin, self and Satan. But instead of making us His slaves, in love, He makes us His sons.

The idea here is someone loving a person in bondage and slavery so much that they say, “I’ll pay the price to purchase him, no matter the cost.” And so the redeemer becomes the rightful owner of the slave. But instead of making the slave his own slave, he makes him his son. He adopts the slave into his own family, loves him as a son and gives him the full rights of sonship.

This is redemption of the Bible sort.

Relating to God as a Son, Not a Sinner

I was listening to a Bible teacher and he said, “God wants you to know that God, the creator of the heavens and the earth, that God, Who is the Creator is your Father and it’s important that you maintain a son-Father relationship, a Father-son relationship. When you come to God, you must come to God in the posture, even the emotions, of a son*, not that of a sinner.

It was that last part that really touched me, even awakened something in me: “When you come to God, you must come to God in the posture, even the emotions, of a son, not that of a sinner.” I know what the Bible says about us having the full rights as sons (Gal 3:26-29, 4:5-6, Rom 8:14-17) and the privileges of a son. Yet these words awakened an even deeper awareness: even in my sin, even in my need of overcoming sin, my place is not that of a sinner, but as a favored one, as a son who comes to his Father. …

Happy All Saints Day, All Saints!

To all the saints (those in Christ, made holy by the grace of God) everywhere: HAPPY ALL SAINTS DAY!

Then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we HAVE BEEN sanctified [made holy saints] through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Heb 10:9-10) …

Total Forgiveness, Now and Forever

“I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and lawless deeds I will remember no more” (The New Covenant, Hebrews 8:12) Ask the average Christian, “What do you have to do for God to forgive you?” and most will cite 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Their viewpoint of forgiveness is:

  • You are completely forgiven UNTIL you sin.
  • You have to confess every single one of your sins in order to be forgiven and cleansed.

I call this “transient” or “temporary” forgiveness, as it is only good enough until your next sin. That’s the first clue that something is amiss. Another clue is that despite the fact that there is a huge class of scriptures clearly speaking of God’s total and forever forgiveness, they still insist on pointing to only one verse, 1 John 1:9, to back up their “temporary forgiveness” theology. Poor and misleading is the theology that is built on only one verse. …