Alive? Is this you in Christ?

Because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, I have been made alive in Christ. The aliveness we have in Christ effects us physically, mentally and spiritually. Paul describes this in Ephesians 2:4-5. “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions- it is by grace you have been saved.” We did nothing to deserve this aliveness or quickening of our mind and body. God brought it to us through our faith in Jesus. God’s love, mercy and grace caused Him to send Jesus so we could be in relation with Him.

What is this aliveness we have in Christ? His spirit within us helps us to stand strong in the face of adversity. Ephesians 6:15 “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Our standing is both physical and mental. 2 Corinthians 10:5 describes this mental duel. “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,”. The aliveness in Christ is also effects us spiritually. Romans 6:10-11 describes this “For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Being alive in Christ gives us the power to stand in Him and with Him. It gives us control over our mind and will to be obedient to Him. He gives us the ability to cast off and turn our backs on sin and walk away with Him!

Claim and proclaim your aliveness in Christ today!

Linda

Suggestion: ask Jesus to show you an area of His aliveness within you today.

5th Sunday of Lent

Today as we go to worship let us think about Solomon’s words to the people of Israel. He knew who God is and what he has done!

“Blessed be the Lord who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised. Not one word has failed of all his good promise, which he spoke by Moses his servant. The Lord our God be with us, as he was with our fathers. May he not leave us or forsake us, that he may incline our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments, his statutes, and his rules, which he commanded our fathers. Let these words of mine, with which I have pleaded before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, and may he maintain the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel, as each day requires, that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other. Let your heart therefore be wholly true to the Lord our God, walking in his statutes and keeping his commandments, as at this day.”

1 Kings 8:56-61

Be bold in living for a God this week knowing you can rely upon Him as He keeps all His promises. Not one of His promises will fail!

Linda

Suggestion: Claim one of God’s promises this week, review it daily and let the hope of a God’s Word work in your life. Here are a couple of suggestions: Lamentations 3:21-23, Philippians 4:19, James 4:7-8a, Deuteronomy 31:6, Psalm 37:5 or John 14:27

Living with Confidence, Thank you Jesus

Because Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, I have a life with a godly plan and purpose. This thought brings me great comfort as it means my existence has meaning and I am here for a reason. It also means God has intentions for my life and knowing that God is good means His intentions are always good for me, my life and my growth. Jeremiah 29:11 is a verse I claim frequently for reassurance when things seem bleak or unsettling in my life. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, ” plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I can rest in knowing Sovereign God has a plan and purpose for me and it is all good!

Knowing God’s plan is good, we can cling to that promise in hard times as well as the promise in Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Many say “life just happens” but this verse assures us that is not true. We can rest assured that God’s purpose and design is greater than anything Satan can throw at us. This verse promises God can use all things for our good. Many times we don’t see how at the moment, but God is faithful and eventually we may see how He uses even the very hard things in our lives to teach and grow us for His good.

One last verse for today: 2 Timothy 1:8b-9a “But join me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy life -not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.” Paul knew that God had a purpose for him, a work that was divinely commissioned just for him and that God would empower him through Christ to do all He had set out for Paul to do. We can know that is true for us as believers, too.

When things are hard- claim any of these three verses in your life. Cling to them and know God is faithful and keeps all His promises.

Linda

Suggestion: Take time to reflect on a hard time or difficult relationship and see how God worked in the circumstances to bring you to a better place or to grow you. Claim one of the above verses over something you are facing and believe God for the results.

I am filled with wonder over His mercy and grace.

Because I believe Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead, I am filled with wonder over His mercy and grace to me.  Lent is a long time to write daily.  It is 6 weeks of planning, rising early, study, inspiration and typing each morning on my computer.  As I depended upon God, He faithfully inspired me each day.  Trusting Him to provide,  I have experienced His grace and mercy.  I never lacked for time, energy or inspiration and was struck by the wonder of His Word.  Through faith we receive so much from Him that our only true response is one of wonder, praise and love for our Savior.  His promise to me in psalm 37 5Psalm 37:5 has been enacted over and over as I committed this Lenten season of blogging to Him.  “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will act.”  

Here is a recap of all the I am statements from this season.  Print it out and use it to encourage yourself and revisit it when you doubt the value of faith in your life.

I am …. loved, a child of God, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, reconciled, justified, forgiven, holy and blameless before God, an ambassador, a temple, tenderly loved by God, salt, light, helped by God, sanctified, God’s Workmanship, not condemned, a citizen of Heaven, the sweet fragrance of Christ to God, a branch on Christ’s vine, a saint, confident of God’s good work in me, a prince/princess in God’s kingdom, a child of light, a friend of God, chosen by God, chosen by God to bear fruit, a joint heir with Christ, holy and I share in God’s heavenly calling, sustained by Christ, united with Jesus in Spirit, sealed by the Holy Spirit, firmly rooted and built up in Christ, one of God’s living stones, born of God and the evil one cannot touch me, a personal witness for Christ, known by God, seated with Christ in the heavenly realm, a member of Christ’s body, a conqueror, overwhelmed with joy, a bride/bridegroom for Christ and SAVED!   

What an amazing list of what God has given to us and made us in and through Christ.  Praise be to Jesus our Lord and Savior!

Blessings,

Linda

I am overwhelmed with joy! Blessed Resurrection Day!

Because I believe Jesus died on the cross and was raised joyfrom the dead,  I am overwhelmed with joy.  I am dressed as a bridegroom or bride, resplendent in my robes of salvation.  With His righteousness upon me, I am like a garden in the spring growing everywhere.   Read Isaiah’s words of prophecy over us in 61:10-11.

I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God!
    For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation
    and draped me in a robe of righteousness.
I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding
    or a bride with her jewels.
11 The Sovereign Lord will show his justice to the nations of the world.
    Everyone will praise him!
His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring,
    with plants springing up everywhere.

Praise Him today for your joy, your salvation and your righteousness.  Through Jesus’ death and resurrection we are victorious and are filled with joy, saved and clothed in His righteousness!  We are in right standing before God because of Him.  Have a glorious Easter celebration because our God is alive, HE LIVES!  HE HAS RISEN, Easter_crossINDEED!   He has conquered the grave and because He lives so can we.

Happy Easter celebrating our risen Lord Jesus,

Linda

I am SAVED!

john 14 6Because I believe Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead, I am SAVED!  The most important statement this Lenten season is that I am saved.  Jesus said that He was the way to salvation and all we need to do is believe in Him to be saved from eternal death into life, John 14:6 ” “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  He also called himself the gateway, John 10:9 “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.  They will come in and go out, and find pasture.”   Acts 4:12 says that Jesus and only Jesus can provide salvation, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is only jesusno other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”  Belief in Jesus saves us from God’s wrath over our sin, Romans 5:9-10 “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!”  

What about you?  As I look at the cross and Christ’s suffering, I realize that He john 3 16suffered and died for me, to take away my sin, so I can live with Him eternally.  He loved me so much!  John 3:16 says it all, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  Belief in Jesus cost me nothing but it cost Him everything.  How grateful am I?  Praise Jesus and thank God for sending Jesus as you prepare to celebrate Resurrection Sunday.  The Love of God has brought us full circle from the beginning of Lent to it’s end- Jesus and His love for us reigns supreme. Jesus conquered it all to save me and you!

Loving Jesus more and more,

Linda

I am a conqueror.

Because I believe that Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead, I am a conqueror.  I love the verse in Romans that refers to me, the believer, as even more than a conqueror.  Paul stated unequivocally that nothing can separate us from God’s love, and we can conquer all through Christ.  Romans 8:35 and 37. “ Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?”   37 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”   In Christ, I am even more than a conqueror!  According to the dictionary a conqueror is one who conquers, vanquishes; is a victor.      1 John 3:4-5 also speaks of thisFor everyone who has been born of God overcome the worldovercomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”   Being a conqueror in Christ means that you can overcome the evil influences in the world that seek to destroy you and your influence for Christ.  Jesus encouraged all believers in John 16:33 when he spoke to His disciples about all they would endure. 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

conquerorSo what about you?  Do you feel like a conqueror for Christ?  If not, why not?  If you are a believer, you are empowered to tell others about Christ, you are empowered to reject sin in your life, you are empowered to live and walk with Christ daily.  Since Lent is a time of prayer and reflection, why not talk with Jesus about these things.  Ask Him to empower you in a greater way so that you can live the life of a conqueror for Him.

Seeking to live the life of a conqueror in Christ,

Linda

I am a member of Christ’s body.

Because I believe Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead, I am a member of Christ’s body.  This biblical truth is spoken of many times in the Bible.  Believers are considered to be part of Christ’s body, which is the church.  Paul explains 1 corinthians 12 27this amazing unity with Christ in 1 Corinthians 12:12 “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.”  verse 27 “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.”   In Romans 12: 4-5 Paul also speaks of this unique blending of believers into a body that functions to support each other in Christ.  For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”  The idea of us working together and supporting one another as a body committed to Christ is also expressed in Ephesians 4:11-12 “ And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,”

The-Body-of-Christ-Open-1So what does this mean for you and me?  Do you consider yourself a member of Christ’s body, the church?  “The Church” is the body of believers throughout the world that believe that Christ is their Lord and Savior.   Together, whether local or within the world, we are to work to spread the good news of Christ and His redeeming work.  Not all of us are preachers or teachers but we all have a special gift and are equipped by God so we can contribute to the body and support each other in faith.  Are you using your gifts to encourage other believers?  Christ suffered and died for each of us and desires that we all work together as members of His body to reach a needy world.

United in Christ we stand,

Linda

I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realm.

Because I believe Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead, I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realm.  The concept of believers being with Christ in heaven and reigning with Him is a privilege of faith and God’s grace to us.   Since we are adopted into God’s family and are heirs with Jesus, we will be in seated in heaven with Him.  Ephesians 2:4-6 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with ephesians-2-vs-6-ewhich he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.   God did this for us, placed us in a place of privilege and honor because of His grace, mercy and love.  He made us alive in Christ when we were dead in our sins.  Believing in Christ changed our position from rejected sinner to one of honor.  2 Timothy 2:11-12a  give a similar picture, “If we have died with him, we will also live with him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him;”  Faith in Christ is the determining factor in whether we live and reign with Him or face eternal death.  God cannot look on sin so we have to find some way to deal with our sin or we are rejected from God’s sight forever.  In His infinite mercy and grace, He sent Jesus to provide a way for us to be restored, cleansed and elevated to a position of honor and purity.  Praises to Jesus for what grace-and-mercyHe did for us at the cross.

What about you?  Are you thanking Jesus for His grace and mercy?  As we gaze on the cross in a few days, think about what He has done for you and what you have because of His sacrifice.

Humbled in His sight,

Linda

I am known by God.

Because I believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, I am known by God.  Paul made this statement several times in his letters:  in 1 Corinthians 8:3 “ But 1-corinthians-8-3if anyone loves God, he is known by God.”  and in  Galatians 4:9 “But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?”   Being known by God changes your life and as a believer you are freed from the sins that enslaved you and opened to have a full relationship with God.  Jesus himself spoke of being known by God in his relationship with those who believed in Him.  John 10:14-15a, 27  “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me just as the Father knows me and I know the Father”  and 27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them , and they follow me.”  Jesus spoke of God knowing us, even to the minutest details, even to the number of hairs on our head and how valuable we are in His eyes.  Luke 12:6-7 “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”  

So what does this mean for you?  God knows you personally and values you.  As a believer you also know God and hear and understand his voice.  Have you ever  been reading scripture and had a revelation about the meaning of a passage? Or have you been praying and feel a sense of peace come over you about what you are to do?  These are examples of how God speaks to us, and how we hear and understand His voice.   I am always amazed that God wants to know me and cares for me.  Here are a few lines from Psalm 91 that speak of God’s care and tenderness towards me- the one He knows personally.  14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
psalm 91 14-1515 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

Being known by God leads to a life of peace and contentment in Him,

Linda