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IN HIM WE LIVE AND MOVE AND HAVE OUR BEING

Acts 17:28a.."for in Him we live and move and have our being..."

There is no life outside of Christ.

1 John 5:12.."He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life."

We only have eternal life through the Son, Jesus Christ indwelling us, living in us, abiding in us, being our very life. If He is not there, we are spiritually dead.

As Christians then, how can we think that we can possibly live the Christan life in our own strength or goodness. No matter how religious or good, if it is not the fruit of abiding in Christ, then it is not good fruit.

What is the very heart of God's desire for us? The Lord knew that the outward observance of the law could never bring life, but only showed us the impossibility of it. But He made a place in us especially for Himself to dwell, that He might be our life. Jesus is the fulfillment of the law. That's how much He loves us! So much that He reserves the most intimate place in our heart for Himself!

John 15:4-6.."Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me."

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in Him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned."

What does the branch do to abide in the vine? It simply allows the life giving sap from the vine to flow into it. It yields to the vine which holds it firmly and drinks of the sap continally. It does not strain or struggle to bear fruit.

In the same way we need to continually yield ourselves to Christ and let the life giving Holy Spirit and His living Word continually flow into us giving us life and causing us to bear fruit for others to be fed by.

The branch can never bear fruit by itself. Can we? Have you fallen into sin? Go back to the life giving vine where forgiveness and deliverance flows.

Are you facing depression and oppression? Abide in your source of joy.

Are you confused and lacking in wisdom? Abide in the only true source of light and wisdom. You can't have wisdom separate from Him. You must have Him who is wisdom!

Are you facing trials too hard to endure? Abide in your source of strength and comfort.

In all these things, we must abide in and not depart from Him. No learning, counsel, human being or religious ritual can be that life. It is only in Christ!

Let us today find our life in the Son, Jesus Christ. What are you abiding in for your life? What is your source? If you don't yet know Jesus Christ as your Saviour you can know Him. He is waiting for you. Go to my salvation page and learn how you can find Him and be set free from your sin and know that you have eternal life.

God bless and keep you!!


HIS INCREDIBLE SALVATION

His salvation is complete! It is lacking in nothing! Jesus Christ was the perfect sacrifice.

1 Peter 1:3-9.."Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of your souls.

Wow! What an incredible promise!

But what about for now? We have this daily battle that we go through. We are struggling through great and painful trials, sickness, and various kinds of sufferings.

Where is God in it all? Does He see? Why is it that I can pray and pray and not seem to see anything change at times?

Though our salvation was a one time act...it is also an ongoing process called sanctification. Everything that happens in our lives is working towards that process of conforming us into the image of Christ once we have been born again.

Rom. 8:28-29..."And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren."

We need never fear the pain and trials in our lives. We can be sure and have His promise that He has gone before us and has already mapped out the way and forseen every part of our lives and programmed it for our good. He is daily working in our lives and our hearts to put to death our flesh, so that Christ might live in and through us. When your pride is hurt....rejoice! He is working in you a true humility. When you have to endure...rejoice! He is working in you godly patience and longsuffering. When you are mistreated....rejoice! He is working in you forgiveness and the ability to love as He did on the cross when He said, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."

But our first reaction to these trials is like anyone who would react to pain.....OUCH! I want to run away from it. As we grow in the Lord, though we need to see that it is beneficial to see everything as an opportunity for God to show His power and strength in us and in the situation. But our part is to yield to Him.

1 Peter 5:6,7.."Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you."

There are also times when the enemy attacks and tries to rob, steal, and kill. In these times also the Lord is at work for our good to teach us to overcome.

1 Peter 5:8-10..."Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you."

God has given us such wonderful promises in His Word to live by. We are never to take our circumstances lightly, or be alarmed by them, as though God had been sleeping and just missed what was going on this time. But ALL things in our lives He is very much at work through, and involved in. We can be sure He will never leave us nor forsake us. And we can be sure that we are HIS workmanship. We can be confident that He will indeed complete that which He has began in us, if we trust and yield all to Him everyday of our lives.

The Lord bless and keep you!


HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS FOR OUR FILTHY RAGS

For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. 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. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain. Gal. 2:19-21

What does it mean...crucified with Christ....no longer I but Christ? I struggled with those verses and others like them for many years of my Christian walk. I would get up in the morning and spend 2 hrs. in earnest prayer and Bible study, crying out to God to change me, then my children would wake up and I'd start screaming at them for every little thing and lose it. Then I'd cry at my failure and wonder if there was any hope at all for me to overcome my flesh.

I had a little "list," that was not written, but in my heart and mind, it was my "Christian law" that I followed every day. When I thought I did good keeping all my "thou shalt nots," then I was a good Christian. When I blew it, I was a bad Christian and felt condemned.

I was living Romans 7. O, wretched woman that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

I thank God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!

One day I left a church service right in the middle of it and went out and sat in my car in despair. I cried out to God..

This verse kept coming to my mind: "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Cor. 5:21

I kept saying, "What does that mean?? I don't see any righteousness in me! If You can't do anything with me and I can never be any better than this You might as well just take my life now! I'm so tired of trying."

Then, in my mind I saw Jesus on the cross, and as He faded out, it became me in His place on the cross. I knew suddenly that all my sin, my sin nature, all that I was was on that cross with Him. Then, I saw myself standing on the ground, and as I faded out, it became Jesus there in all His righteousness. I suddenly understood that all He was, all His righteousness and goodness and love....it was imputed to me! I realized that there was nothing I could do to earn or live, or produce that righteousness; and anything I did myself was only flesh and filthy rags in His sight. I realized that just as my coming to Him for salvation was totally by faith, His righteousness was mine also totally by faith. I only had to appropriate it by faith. There was no other acceptable way. NONE!

I said, "Lord, I put my faith in You alone to be my righteousness and live that in and through me. I don't know how You will do it, but I know You have given it to me and You will do it."

No, I was not living in sinless perfection after that! Ha ha! Wish I was, but, there was definitely a change in my relationship with the Lord and how I lived the Christian life. I knew when I was faced with my flesh, I could turn in faith to my "righteousness," Jesus, and say, "I trust that You have given me the means to live through this situation as You would have me to. I trust You to do it in me." Many things that use to defeat me and that were impossible for me to overcome, I was able to by trusting the Lord, and looking to what He did for me, and believing what He could do in me.

This is what the Bible speaks of in Rom. 8:13..."but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live."

Read all of Romans 8 now in this light. See for yourself the victory God has provided for you. We are not meant to continue to live defeated by sin in our lives. We have been set free from sin! Yes, as long as we are in these bodies we will have this struggle with the flesh. But we have a propitiation for our sin, and God has given us His Spirit in our hearts to give us victory!

Rom. 8:15..."For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, 'Abba, Father,'"

Today...walk in faith of His righteousness in You!

God bless and keep you!


ENCOURAGE YOURSELF IN THE LORD

1 Sam. 30:6..."And David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters. But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God."

David came home from battle with the Philistines to find the city burned and all of the women and children taken captive. What a despairing situation!

Then, to top it all off, his own men wanted to stone him! So what did David do? He encouraged himself in the Lord. What do you do when tragedy strikes?

I will always remember the words of a man who left a lasting impression on me. His name was Walter. Walter was mildly retarded and loved the Lord with all his heart. I was going to Bible college at the time, and Walter was always showing up on campus, just for the fellowship with other Christians. He walked all over the city to get where he needed to go, and we would see him often at Christian events.

One day Walter was on Campus talking to a few of us. He had his little "Promises of God" book in his hand memorizing scripture, and saying it out loud, in between telling us of the grief someone close to him had caused him and how wrongly he was treated, but then always ending by saying, "But you have to encourage yourself in the Lord." Then he'd go on memorizing some more scripture.

One thing I always noticed about Walter...there was a shine on his face and he always glowed with the love of Jesus. Those words he spoke, You have to encourage yourself in the Lord," and Walter's example have stayed with me all these years and speak to me often.

When I was at my worst, emotionally, depressed, and fearful, it was the scriptures that lifted me up and brought healing and encouragement. I recorded myself reading scriptures of God's promise, His victory, His love, His deliverance, and anything that spoke to my heart from His Word, on tape. Then I put my headphones on and listened to that tape throughout my day, letting God's promises build me up in faith, strengthen, and encourage me.

The Lord would not have us to be down and defeated over anything in our lives. He knew it all in advance and already has the answer waiting. I want to challenge you if you are reading this and you are facing difficult days, not to despair, but like David, and Walter, encourage yourself in the Lord.

May the Lord bless and keep you!

MORE DEVOTIONALS:
If Anyone Thirsts, Let Him Come T Me
How To Walk On Water
We Are Complete In Him
Enduring

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