Friday, April 24, 2015

The Power of Grace

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. 1 Timothy 2:1-6 NIV
   One of the most humbling aspects of the Lord's love is His desire for everyone to know Him personally. The same God who created the universe - and who interacted with Abraham, Moses, and Paul - wants us to know Him intimately.
   How tragic it is that so many ignore Him or look the other way, distracted by friends, family, celebrities, sports,c careers, and the endless details of day-to-day life. But the good news is, no matter how distant we may have been until now, the door is open to a relationship with the Father.
   First Timothy 2:4 says that the Lord "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." Notice the writer doesn't say God wants "some" or a certain number to know Him. Rather, He wants everyone on earth to be saved. It's not His desire that any perish; rather, He longs for all mankind to know Him (2 Peter 3:9). And that includes you.
   Unbelievers sometimes look at their sins and assume there's no way God could grant them forgiveness. But the moment a person is willing to acknowledge his wrongdoing, the Lord is there to accept the sinner as His child. Regardless of what you've done, whom you've hurt, or where you've been in life, God is ready and willing to forgive you.
   Even for those of us who have been Christians a long time, it's humbling to reflect on God's goodness. The same grace that saved us is available on every step of our faith journey. Each day, we can move forward, safe in the knowledge that no mistake can ever put us beyond the reach of God's love for His children.
Stanley, Charles F. "The Power of Grace." In Touch: A Publication of In Touch Ministries. Atlanta, Georgia. March 2015. page 51.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

God is LOVE

God Is Love

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His [c]only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us,we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:7-12 NASB


   Many people simply can't believe that the Lord loves them. Others believe that He loves them, but only when they are pleasing him in some way. Why is it so hard for us to accept His unconditional love?
   One reason is that we have a hard time loving others without condition. We might say the words "I love you" to our spouse, children, friends, or fellow believers but all too often are calculating in our mind whether or not they've lived up to our standard. We sometimes excuse ourselves from loving certain people because their behavior upsets or annoys us. The fact that we place restrictions on extending favor causes us to wrongly assume that the Lord does likewise.
   Another reason is a poor self-image. Considering ourselves unworthy, we refuse to accept God's love. you know what? None of us are worthy of the heavenly Father' goodness and mercy - so you can let go of that excuse once and for all. We're not coming to Him based on our worth. Rather, we're coming to Him based on his grace, and our position is secure in Christ. To put yourself down as "beneath His grace" is to trample on His loving, generous gift. God arranged an awesome way for us to be reconciled to Him, and His greatest desire is for relationship with each of us.
   If you feel unloved or struggle to accept yourself, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth of our heavenly Father's love for you - and to sink it deep into your heart. Receive the truth He reveals. You'll find it's a refreshingly different story about your value as an individual.
Stanley, Charles F. "Accepting God's Gift of  Love." In Touch: A Publication of In Touch Ministries. Atlanta, Georgia. February 2015. page 52.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Grounded in Truth

"Shew me thy way, O Lord; teach me thy paths.... All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies." Psalm 25: 4 -10
   If we'll let the truths of Scripture fill our minds, guard our emotions, and influence our conduct, God will richly reward us. By reading and meditating on His Word, you'll learn to understand His ways. This isn't something we can figure out on our own, because His ways are unlike ours - they're higher, bigger, and eternal.
   Following God on His terms will lead to a deepening relationship with Him. That's because He chooses to reveal Himself to those who seek Him and obey His instructions And when you see that God always keeps His promises, your confidence in His faithfulness will soar. Whatever the situation may be, you' know you can trust him. Then He will transform your worries into joyful anticipation about what He's going to do next in your life. Even if hard times await, you'll be convinced that the Lord will work them out for good.
   A life grounded in truth is powerful. Those who live by the Word develop spiritual discernment, which guides their choices and guards against deception. Because they demonstrate wisdom and godliness, the Lord enables them to impact others greatly. Since He knows they can be trusted, He also gives them greater responsibilities and opportunities for service in His kingdom.
  With all these benefits available to us, it seems obvious what the wisest course of action is: Invest time and energy in building the truth of God's Word into your life. Other activities that clamor for attention may seem important or pleasurable, but none of them can offer us the spiritual riches of a life grounded in truth.
Stanley, Charles F. "Grounded in Truth/" In Touch: A Publication of In Touch Ministries. Atlanta, Georgia. February 2015. page 50

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Exchanged Life

   Introducing the Exchanged Life by Pastor Stoney W. Shaw, M. Div. and The Exchanged Life-an Historical Perspective by Charles R. Solomon, Ed. D. are just two of the articles in the June 2002 quarterly titled Journal of In-Glo Ministries.

   The following are a few random quotes from these two articles.

“In the fifth century, St. Patrick (390-461) penned a poem:
Not I but Christ be honored, loved, exalted;
Not I but Christ be seen, be known, be heard;
No I but Christ in every look or action
Not I but Christ in every thought and word.

   The Exchanged Life teaching is founded solidly in the New Testament Scriptures. For instance:

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.
29 To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.’ Col. 1:26-29

1  ‘If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.’ Col. 3:1-4

‘I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.’  Gal. 2:20

   More can be found in 2 Cor. 4:7-12; 5:14-15, 17, but most clearly in Romans 6, 7, and 8.

   The following authors and articles are a good collection of contemporary leaders and teachers of the Exchanged Life and all that it means to true believers in Christ.
   Writers such as Andrew Murray, Hudson Taylor, Ruth Paxon [Paxson] [see EL News Oct 27 to Nov 24 for Called Unto Holiness], Miles Stanford, Hannah Whitehall Smith, Jesse Penn-Lewis, L.E. Maxwell, Watchman Nee, F.B. Meyer, D.L. Moody, Amy Carmichael, A.T. Pierson, C.A. Coates, T. Austin-Sparks, Charles Trumbull, N.B. Harrison, Evan Hopkins, F.J. Huegel, J.E. Conant and C.I. Scofield, would be only a start from the past.
   More contemporary writers are Dr. Charles Solomon, John Woodward, Lee LeFebre, Mike Wells, Dr. Neil T. Anderson, Bob George, David Needham, Jack Taylor, Bill Gillham, Ken Boa, and Steve McVey would be only a beginning for today.”


How would you purchase books by these authors or out of print books? Several web sites are www.alibris.com/, http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/bakerbookshttps://www.biblegateway.com/kregel, and www.booksearch.com/index.html.  If anyone is taking a vacation to the central states, Baker Book House and Kregel Books are in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

"Called Unto Holiness" by Ruth Paxson, part 4

Called Unto Holiness by Ruth Paxson
Fullness of Christ, part 2
Why do I not have the fullness of the Spirit? There are two objective causes in the realm of truth. One is ignorance. In Christ we possess the fullness of the Godhead, and in the Spirit we have the One who makes this fullness our personal possession. But, because of ignorance of the Word of God, we lack this knowledge. Consequently we lack the experience of fullness. The other cause is unbelief. We know the truth but only intellectually and doctrinally. It has not become heart experience. Or we know it but we are afraid to act up our knowledge and to appropriate this blessing by faith. Heb. 3:19
   Then there are two subjective causes in the realm of experience. One is unconfused sin. The Holy spirit is holy and the place He indwells must be made and kept holy. This infilling demands cleansing from all known sin. It is impossible to be filled with the Holy spirit while knowingly, deliberately, retaining sin in the life… 2 Chron. 29:5, 16, 17… 1 Cor. 3:16, 17;
2 Cor 7:11; 1 John 1:9; Prov. 28:13 It is utterly foolish and futile for any one of us to pray for the fullness of the Holy Spirit if we hold even so much as a tiny spark of known resentment, or hurt, or unlove, or any un-Christ-like feeling toward another… Are you willing to have all uncleanness, both of the flesh and of the spirit, carried out of your life?
   The cleansing is not the infilling but it rids us of what prevents the fullness and makes us ready for it.
   The second subjective cause for the lack of fullness is an unyielded life, which means an uncrucified and uncontrolled self. Infilling demands the yielding of ourselves in toto to the Lordship of Christ.  It permits of no reservations; it allows no locked doors. We must part with everything of which Christ is not the source and we must place everything under Christ’s control. There must be the utter dethronement of self and the voluntary enthronement of Christ… 2 Chron. 29:31…
   After the filthiness was carried out the offerings were brought in… Rom. 12:1; 2 Cor. 5:15 Yielding to Christ means opening every part of the life to Christ, that He may fill it with Himself…
   Yielding is not infilling, but it prepares for it. Emptying makes ready for infilling. Only the yielded life can be filled with the Holy Spirit…
   How may the fullness be obtained?.. John 4:14, 7:37
   ‘Any man’-there are no favorites with God.
   ‘Thirst’-an intense desire for holiness for Christ’s sake that must be satisfied. It is an insatiable longing for God Himself. Ps. 42:1, 2…
   ‘Come’-‘Come unto Me’-the only One who can bestow this gift: the Giver of this living water in all its fullness.
   ‘Drink’-this is an act. Thirst is desire-I want water. To drink is an act-I take water. Just here is where many earnest, seeking souls fall short of this glorious experience. They thirst but they do not drink…
‘Be not drunk with wine
But be filled with the Spirit.’
   How does one get drunk? By drinking. How does he stay drunk? By continuing to drink. How is one filled with the Holy Spirit? Our Lord says by drinking of that living water. How does one stay filled? By continuing to drink day by day. Is that not simple for each one of us..?

   May we bow in silence to face a few questions in the presence of the Lord, and answer by a definite ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’
  •  Have you ever been filled with the Holy Spirit?
  •  Are you filled with the Spirit now?
  •  Will you be filled today?
  • Do you purpose to live the Spirit-filled life from now on?


   If you thirst and will drink just now, will you offer to God this simple prayer: ‘Lord, I thirst; Lord, I come and drink; Lord, I take the gift Thou offerest, the fullness of the Holy Spirit, and thank Thee for it.’”

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

"Called Unto Holiness" by Ruth Paxson, part 3

Called Unto Holiness by Ruth Paxson
Fullness of Christ
Ruth Paxson spoke during the Keswick Convention in 1936. The addresses are printed as delivered at the three meetings for ladies only and at the closing fellowship gathering. This is the third meeting titled FULLNESS OF CHRIST from the book
  
   “The church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.” Eph. 1:22, 23

   “Think of it! ‘The church, the fullness of Christ’! The Christian, the fullness of Christ! Is that your conception of what it is for you to be a Christian. You, living in your home; you, walking up and down the streets of your town or city, the fullness of Christ! That is what the Word says. ‘The fullness of him who filleth all in all.’ Here we are told how it is possible. He fills us with His own fullness. John 14:16, 17; Acts 2:4

   Has such fullness been provided for me? Oneness in Christ made it ours. Col. 2:9, 10 ‘And ye are made full in him.’ Our position in Christ makes us potential partakers of the fullness of Christ. We ‘are made full’ it says, not we will be. The moment we become a part of the body of Christ, the fountain of fullness in Him is opened to us. The fullness has been provided for every Christian.

   Is such fullness possible for me? Can the fullness provided be made personal? John 4:14 ‘Water’ in Scripture is the type of the Spirit as Christ Himself interprets it in John 7:38, 39. Christ is never called the water of life, but He gives this water to those who thirst and drink. Christ gives the Holy Spirit to the Christian. He is promising here the gift of the Holy Spirit.
   ‘In him a well’-is the Holy Spirit indwelling which Christ promised the disciples.
   ‘A well of water springing up’-leaping up in an exhaustless, irrepressible way; springing up and overflowing. Is not this fullness?
   ‘Whosoever’-Did you get that word?..
   ‘Shall never thirst.’ Do you believe it?.. Perfect inward heart satisfaction. Do you have it?..

   ‘Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst’ but shall have perfect inward satisfaction and sufficiency. No matter what the circumstances or the environment or the spiritual and temporal need, Christ is enough and equal to it all. Christ only satisfies; Christ only suffices because the indwelling Holy Spirit fills the life and makes Christ a living reality within. Is He doing that for you?..

   ‘If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, from within him shall flow rivers of living water’ John 7:37, 38
   ‘Rivers of living water-not a rivulet, or stream, or even a river, but ‘rivers,’ the Amazon, the Mississippi, the Yangtze, the Thames, all put together into one.
   ‘Shall flow’-not a Dead Sea that received and retains the blessings of Keswick, but the river Jordan that refreshes and renews every life it touches…
   ‘From within him’-an inflow demands an outflow and an overflow. Christ is enough  and to spare…
   ‘He that believeth on me’-not only for some great preacher or Bible teacher, not even alone for some one employed in Christian service, but for him who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ. Do you believe?..


  Is such fullness optional? May I choose whether I will be filled with the Holy Spirit or not? ‘Be ye filled with the Spirit’ Eph. 5:18. It is a command…

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

"Called Unto Holiness" by Ruth Paxson, part 2

Called Unto Holiness by Ruth Paxson
Likeness to Christ
   “The essential thing for holiness of life is to have a standard, and then to live without deviation by that standard. The Lord Jesus Christ has set that standard for us…
   Where we are determines what we are… What are you now that you are in Christ?..
   John 15… Oneness in Christ demands likeness to Christ; the branch that is in the vine must bear fruit. The branch that bears no fruit is worthless and is taken away. John 15:2 What a solemn thought that is for every one of us who is a branch.
   The second thought is that no branch can bear fruit of itself. There is absolutely nothing in the branch itself that is productive of fruit, nothing that the branch is, nothing that the branch can do, can make it produce fruit; only the sap of the vine produces fruit. So the branch has nothing to do but to abide in the vine. John 15:4
  Third, fruit-bearing is progressive…. John 15:2, 8
   There is nothing static in spiritual experience; every real Christian is a growing Christian. The purpose of fruit-bearing is to glorify Christ. The branch does not bear fruit to glorify itself, it bears fruit to glorify the vine…
   Now what is fruit? It is Christ in His outward manifestation. John 15:4… The whole of Christian living is in these three words, ‘I in you.’ ‘I in you’-you nothing but a house of which the Lord Jesus Christ has taken possession, control and use.
   Christ Himself is our Sanctification. 1 Cor. 1:30
   Christ Himself is our life Col. 3:4
   The Christian life is not merely a converted life, it is not merely a consecrated life, it is not a Christian life at all unless it is a Christ-life…
   A Christian has only one value in this world-to reveal Jesus Christ, to manifest Jesus Christ in this dark, sinful world where men do not know Him and do not read the Bible to find Him there. A Christian is an absolutely worthless Christian unless he is revealing Jesus Christ. What enables him to reveal Christ? Anything in himself? Nothing but the One that lives within him, the Lord Jesus Christ-‘I in you.’ It is all that He asks of you and me, to let Him do the living and revealing…
   Christ now has the right to possess us fully, to control us completely and to use us exclusively. In order that He may do so, He must become Lord. But sin, that stubborn old ruler, will contest His claim every step of the way. But did God make provision for the dethronement of that old master sin? See Rom. 6:6… You and I are called to make a choice…the choice between the continued sovereignty of that old master, Sin, and that of our new master, Christ. Rom. 6:12…Have you made this choice? Has it been a deliberate, final choice of Christ as the sole Sovereign over your life?..
   Having chosen Christ as our Master, then He commands us to yield to Him as Lord. Rom. 6:13 ‘Yield yourselves,’ spirit, soul and body. Yield your whole human personality in toto to Christ. Have you done it? Or have you parceled out a little bit and told Him what He could have, and what you intended to reserve for yourself?
   ‘Yield your members.’ In order that there may be no loophole, He goes on to say we are to yield every member of the body-the eyes, the ears, the feet, the hands, the lips, the tongue. Have you done it?.. Then we must yield everything that has any relationship whatsoever to our life, all our habits, all our practices, all our appetites, our pleasures, our companionship's, our home, our possessions, our children, our money…Here is our Lord’s command, have we obeyed it?.. Will you yield yourself, your members, all that you are and have, to the Lord now?
   This work of sanctification can be carried on only through the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier, that second great gift bestowed at the time of conversion. The moment you were brought into union with Christ, the wonderful Holy Spirit came to indwell you, and He is there for one purpose, to glorify Christ in you…
   The Spirit of truth gives us a progressive revelation of Christ and of our riches in Him so, that once having seen Him we will want Him and Him only. Eph. 1:17-19…
   The Spirit of power works for a progressive realization of Christ within us as our Life and our Lord. Eph. 3:16, 17, 19…
   The Spirit of holiness works progressively to separate us from earthly things and from the love of the world and to strip us of everything of which Christ is not the source, the center and the goal. 2 Cor. 6:14, 17; James 4:4…
   The Spirit of life works progressively to counteract the flesh by taking control and by crowning Christ Lord of all in life and work. Rom. 8:2; Gal. 5:17…
   As the Spirit of glory He conforms us to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Cor. 3:18…
   We become the Christian who bears the much fruit. Gal. 5:22, 23   A wonderful cluster of fruit that cannot be broken.

   What memories do I leave behind me? Have we drawn attention to ourselves, or have we fixed the thought of others upon our glorified Lord?”

Monday, April 6, 2015

"Called Unto Holiness" by Ruth Paxson, part 1

Called Unto Holiness by Ruth Paxson
  God’s call to holiness is unmistakable: every believer must be holy, even as He is holy. His instructions are clear and plain. Christ demands a separated life-one set apart for Him alone. The Lord’s last conversation with His disciples reveals God’s threefold standard for the Christian life. There must be oneness with Christ through positional sanctification, likeness to Christ through progressive sanctification, and fullness of Christ through personal sanctification.
   “The twin word for holiness in Scripture is that precious word sanctification…
   ‘For this is the will of God, even your sanctification’ 1 Thess. 4:3
   ‘For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness’ 1 Thess. 4:7
   Christ prayed for our sanctification in John 17:17, 19.
   God has made this a gift of the Holy Spirit as our Sanctifier in 2 Thess. 2:13, before there was ever a world or anyone in it. Read Eph. 1:4.
   What is the scriptural meaning of the word? The primary meaning is, someone or something wholly set apart unto God… There is the secondary meaning: that which belongs to God must be like God. We must be holy for He is holy. God, the Holy Father; God, the Holy Son; and God, the Holy Spirit indwell the Christian. Is not that reason enough why we should be sanctified? Wholly set apart unto God? Made holy even as God Himself is holy?”
   When writing about our oneness with Christ through positional sanctification, Miss Paxson chose as her text John 15:5. “That little word ‘in’ is the biggest little word in all the Bible. Usually our first concern in our Christian experience is what we are. But where we are is of paramount importance, because where we are determines what we are. ‘Ye in me’ precedes ‘I in you.’ The branch must be in the vine before it can bear fruit. Then, where are you today, my friend?”
   “The Bible shows us just two positions in which any human being can be-one is the position of the sinner, the other is that of the saint. To become a Christian we have to pass out of one position into the other. These two positions are radically different… You are in one or the other for there is no other place to be. There is no middle ground between these two positions. You are either in the trinity of which Satan is the head, of which the world is the embodiment, and the flesh is the expression; or you are in the trinity of which Christ is the Head, of which the church is the manifestation, and the Holy Spirit is the power. Where are you this moment? It is the most important question any human person ever faces in all his life… One thing, and only one thing, determines where you are. It is your relation to the crucified, risen, ascended, exalted Saviour and Lord. The salvation and the sanctification of the believing sinner required two outpourings-the outpouring of the blood of the Saviour on Calvary and the outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord at Pentecost…
   The blood of the Saviour is that which both saves and sanctifies. (Rev. 1:5 & Heb. 13:12) It is the blood alone that saves… There is but one thing that saves and that is the blood of Jesus outpoured on Calvary’s Cross.
   It is the blood that sanctifies. It separated us from the kingdom of Satan. It crucified us unto the world and the world unto us. And it delivered us out of the sphere of the flesh.
   The crucifixion of Jesus Christ put an end to the old creation and separated us completely from everything that pertains to it. It put aside everything but Christ. It placed Christ as Saviour at the very center of the Christian’s life, making him Christ-centered.
   Following Calvary came Pentecost. The believers in that upper room were baptized with the Holy Spirit, and the church, the body of Christ, was formed… From that day on down through the centuries every person who has put faith in the blood of the Saviour has been baptized by the Holy Spirit into that one body. He has been made one with Christ and the fullness of Christ’s life has been made his potentially…
   The Cross of Christ is the Great Divide. It makes a clean-cut cleavage between the sphere of darkness and death and the sphere of light and life. It is the boundary line between the kingdom of Satan and the kingdom of God. It calls subjects out of the one kingdom into the other and compels the sinner to make a choice.
   Have you responded to that call? Have you crossed that Great Divide? Have you put faith in the blood of your Saviour? The answer to this question determines not only with which trinity you choose to company in time, but with which you will spend eternity… As a Christian are you wholly set apart unto Christ? Are you wholly in His possession, under His control and for His use? Will you frankly face this question today?
   ‘Neither give place to the devil’ (Eph. 4:27)
   ‘Be not conformed to this world’ (Rom. 12:2)
   Is your life at any point or in any phase conformed to this world? If you find any such conformity will you acknowledge it and come right out in complete separation at any cost?
   ‘Put off the old man-Put on the new man’ (Eph 4:22, 24)
   Is Christ the source of everything in your life as far as you know? Is everything from Him? Is He the center of your life? Is everything in Him? Is He the goal of your life? Is everything for Him? Christ is something to you, but is He everything?”


Part One ONENESS WITH CHIRST

Friday, April 3, 2015

Grace

   Dr. Steve McVey has written several books. The following article will give glimpses into two of them.

   Nothing you have ever done, nothing you could ever do, will match the incomparable joy of letting Jesus live His life through you. It is what makes the fire of passion burn so brightly in new believers. And it is what causes the light of contentment to dance in the eyes of mature believers who have learned the secret of the
GRACE WALK
   In this book, Steve tells about his life, his struggles, and his tears.
   “And I had done my best. God, what more do You want from me…There must be more than this!…If at first you don’t succeed…You know the rules…Why can’t I be successful?…Thanks, but I can do it myself.”
   All of this is too familiar, we can identify with what he is writing. Next, Dr. McVey writes about our being dead to sin and the old life is taken away. We can now choose to live each moment allowing Christ to live His life through us.
   We are now free from the law. Many Christians focus on the laws of God. Their concept of victorious Christian living is to avoid wrong actions and do right ones. They believe that if they can only do the right things, they will grow spiritually and enjoy a victorious Christian walk… God’s concern with you isn't about rules but relationship… Intimacy develops between those who share themselves with each other.


   Are you “living by the rules,” or are you letting God’s grace rule you? Wouldn't you like to rest in God’s grace, and let Him live through you?
GRACE RULES
   “Opening his eyes, Jesus could see the early morning light beginning to filter in through the window of the small guest bedroom where He had spent the night. He could hear His friend already in the kitchen preparing breakfast. No doubt about it-the mother of all buffets was being prepared. Martha always put out a great spread of food. He loved being in the home of these two sisters and their brother. For a moment He wished He could take the day off and spend some time with them. It would be nice, He thought, but the devil never takes a day off. And besides, My Father is counting on me.
   Arising from the comfort of the bed, Jesus began to mentally organize His day. What shall I do for My Father today? He pondered. I know that I’ll preach a sermon this afternoon. That’s one thing that would cause Father to really be happy with Me. As He washed His face with a wet cloth, He continued, There are many sick people in the area. I’ll heal some of them. My Father would certainly be pleased with that. Maybe I’ll even cast out some demons today. That’s always a big ministry event. When He finished dressing, He thought, Maybe if all goes will, I can even find a funeral service and raise somebody from the dead. Yes, That’s what I’ll do. Father will be thrilled when He sees Me take on that ministry project. Those things should pretty much fill My day. Slipping on His sandals just before walking out of the bedroom to face the new day, He prayed, ‘Help Me, Father, as I live for You today. Use what I do for You to bring glory to Yourself.’”
   Reality Check! What are your thoughts on that scenario describing how Jesus might have begun a new day?.. Nobody would imagine Jesus living His life in such a way. Jesus trying to score brownie points with His Father? There’s no way. Then how come I start my day this way? God does not need us to serve Him. Acts 17:25
   Jesus chose at every moment to live in total dependence on His heavenly Father… We are to abide in Christ, allowing Him to express His life through us. Abiding in Christ simply means living each moment totally depending on His life within us to cause us to be all that He has called us to be and to do all that He purposes for us to do.
   How about the joy of reading and understanding material in chapters titled:
  • Say Goodbye to Mr. Law
  •  Sin’s Secret Weapon
  • A Smiling God
  • Let’s Party!
  • Grace Rules!


   This is just the beginning! Have a blessed time reading and learning to abide in Jesus Christ.