Remember Who You Belong to!

Colossians 2:20-23 finished up this chapter and Paul’s final plea to the Colossian Christians to think about their faith and not to follow along just to get along. “You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, 21 “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? 22 Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. 23 These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.”

Paul starts out – remember who you belong to! Christ has set you free! Galatians 5:1 “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” The power we have in Christ is greater than the power in the world. Jesus told the disciples in John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Christ admonished us to be obedient to Him not the world and its desires. John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” Trust in His Word and look to Him. I love Titus 1:9 “He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” Psalm 119:41-42 “Let your steadfast love come to me, O Lord,  your salvation according to your promise; 42 then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me, for I trust in your word.” Paul’s message was remember who you belong to, trust in the power of Jesus to overcome, be obedient to His commandments and rely upon His Word.

When you are feeling bullied or under attack, look to God’s Word. There you will find strength, comfort, mercy and guidance by our Heavenly Father. Pray, Pray, Pray and ask God to show you what is true and right. Ask and you will receive when you ask for wisdom (James 1:5), ask without doubting (James 1:6), and ask with right motives with purity of heart (James 4:2-3).

Because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, I am affirmed in Christ and can ask for His guidance and wisdom from His Word. I know He will answer. Matthew 7:8 “For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”

Linda

But God…Always has the Best Plan!

This next portion of Colossians 1:24-27 was a bit puzzling as I read it and reread it. So I looked it up in the New Living and found it much more understandable. I hope it helps you to see the truths Paul is trying to convey to us. “I am glad when I suffer for you in my body, for I am participating in the sufferings of Christ that continue for his body, the church. 25 God has given me the responsibility of serving his church by proclaiming his entire message to you. 26 This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God’s people. 27 For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.” Paul is rejoicing over his own suffering as he feels it connects and draws him closer to Jesus because he realizes that suffering both by him and his Savior was for the benefit and growth of the church. Christ desired the church to grow winning both Jews and Gentiles into the kingdom. This revelation that the kingdom of God is for all who believe in Jesus was a deep mystery. The fact that redemption was possible and available was also a mystery only God could have provided. The realization that God wanted all believers to share in His glory and to have Christ’s indwelling Holy Spirit was a new revelation to all mankind. All of these mysteries- indwelling of the Holy Spirit, redemption for all and an open kingdom for every believer in Jesus the Son and His work on the cross were amazing and hard for these new believers to grasp. (Truthfully, it is hard for us today to believe and grab hold of these mysteries revealed by our loving and merciful God.)

The whole of scripture speaks of these mysteries made available by God for the reconciliation of man. When you think about it logically with realism it seems impossible. But God,…. He intended us to be His and have His Spirit within us to mark us as belonging to Him. Romans 8:9 “You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.” But God, … redeemed us through Jesus the Son. Romans 3:24 “and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” But God,…wanted us in His kingdom by the work of Jesus on the cross. Colossians 1:13-14 “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

May you marvel at the mysteries revealed through the Son and praise God Almighty for His wonderful plan for you and me. Because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, I am indwelt by the Holy Spirit, redeemed by His blood and a citizen of His heavenly kingdom through faith in Jesus . Thank you precious Savior for your sacrificial love and the revelation of these deep mysteries provided for me.

Linda

Is God personal to you?

My-Lord-and-My-GodHow do you see the God of the universe?  Is He personal or impersonal in your life? The Bible is filled with proclamations of those to whom God is personal.  I have chosen a few testimonies in today’s blog to whet your appetite for what you can find in The Book!

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob knew God personally.  God guided, delivered and literally wrestled with Jacob.  David depended upon God and tells us in 2 Samuel 22:7 that He call upon God personally, “In my distress I called upon the Lord to my God I called.
From his temple he heard my voice,  and my cry came to his ears.”   In Psalm 31:14 David makes a bold proclamation:  But I trust in you, O LordI say, “You are my God.”   The list of those who called God their God continues with Nehemiah, Isaiah, and all the Old Testament prophets.  Daniel states in Daniel 9:4 about his own experience with God,  I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments,”   Mary proclaims in Luke 1:47, “and Jn20 28my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,”  Thomas declares in John 20:28, “Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” when he touched the hands of the risen Jesus.  and Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:4 states, “I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus.

What is your statement about God?  Is He personal to you?  Can or do you call Him, My God?  Knowing Jesus personally  is what faith involves.  Our relationship with the Almighty God is one on one.  He is there for me, knows my ways.  He even knows the number of hairs on my head as Jesus said in Luke 12:7 “Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.”  He knows me intimately and desires good things for me and desires that I grow in good character as I walk with Him daily.

god-is-personalWill you step out in faith today and call Him, My God?   If you do, He will meet you there and walk beside you each day bringing comfort, joy, growth and well being to your hungry soul.  Invite Him today, just say, Come in Lord Jesus and be with me.  He will answer.

Linda

Double promises today- access and belonging! BE Encouraged!

Because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, I have access to God and belong to His household.  There are 2 powerful verses in Ephesians that define our place with God and our access to Him.  Ephesians 2:18-19  For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.  So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,”  Because of him (Jesus) we have access to God through the indwelling Holy Spirit.  Because of His death and resurrection we are no longer isolated by our sin but belong to God through our faith in Jesus.  God sees us as His sons and daughters and citizens of heaven awaiting a time when we will live eternally with Him.  

We have access to God through Jesus’ work on the cross and indwelling Holy Spirit.   Ephesians 3:12 “in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.”    Hebrews 7:25  “Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost  those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.”    1 John 4:13 “This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us his Spirit.”  What a privileged position we hold.  Christ sent His Holy Spirit to live within us and give us access to Him 24/7.  We can come before Him anytime be it day or night.  We know that He will listen and encourage us as we belong to Him.  

passportWe are fellow citizens in heaven and members of His household.  If we are members of His household, then He is our Father.   “Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba,Father.”  Galatians 4:6                                                   “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,”  Philippians 3:20    Jesus went to prepare our heavenly home.  It is where we belong as citizens of heaven, saints and members of His household!

Since we live in the hear and now, I often forget that I already am a citizen of heaven and that in the future my home will be there with God.  As for now, I can revel in the fact that I can stay in constant communication with Jesus through His indwelling Holy Spirit and that He is interceding for me there in heaven.   Romans 8:26-27 confirms this, In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”    

What dynamic promises- access to our Lord and Savior and belonging to Him.  Thank you Jesus!

Linda

Suggestion:  Spend some time interceding with God on behalf of someone else.  Exercise you privilege of prayer and thank Him that you belong to Him forever!

 

 

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