blog

Growing Up
Devotional Blog

Become New

2 Corinthians 5:13-17 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. 16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.[b] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
 
 
    Some may indeed say that we are out of our minds because we believe in a God who manifested Himself to us in the flesh. Some might say that we are crazy because we believe that God could have come down to earth and become flesh to offer Himself as a sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins.
 
    But though they say we are crazy, we know that we are merely trusting the God who created the heaves and the earth. It is enough for us to take Him at His word even though we didn’t live thousands of years ago. We didn’t see Him walk the earth, perform miracles and heal the ailments of many. Though we who live now, didn’t see Him raise Lazarus from the dead, we believe that He did. Though we who live now, didn’t see Him rise from the grave, we believe that He did.
 
    Many people make many claims about themselves, placing pride where humility should be. Many make the claims that self sufficiency can and will get one through life and absolute bliss can be had through independence. This however, is a much more bold claim than Jesus Christ coming to earth to die for our sins. It is much more elusive a claim because there is no account anywhere in human history of perfection embodied in anyone but Jesus alone. And certainly nobody who could love with a self sacrifice type of love that surpasses understanding. The reason it surpasses understanding is because not many even understand the depths of this type of sacrifice and what it really means.
 
    All other world religions perform acts to get a return. They are works based faiths and philosophies. Jesus performed that act for us so that we would get the return. This selfless act is unique and unparalleled; it is one of a kind. He sacrificed Himself for us so that we could live in Him. This was prefaced by His living and dying for us. He asks that we be like Him. He asks us to shed both this mortal flesh and the desire to be our own.
 
    If we belong to Him, we can stop fighting to belong. If we can depend on Him, then we can stop fighting for our independence. For some reason, we have believed the lie that freedom comes from not belonging to anyone or anything and being independent. But, true freedom comes from a dependent belonging to the family of God. This can only be had in Jesus.
 
    Regarding people from a worldly perspective can exist no longer for the Christian. We must acknowledge that each believer is a new creation in Christ. And in this same vein, if we are new creations, then we can no longer treat others the way that we once did. We used to regard Jesus with a worldly perspective. They thought they were crucifying a man, but they were actually fulfilling the purpose of God. We can learn more about who we actually are if we can tear away the veil and put on our Spiritual eyes.
 
    This Week, regard yourself as a new creation in Christ. When you come to see with your new eyes that which God has for you, only then will you see clearly what you are really able to offer others through the love of Jesus. The is the offering of the self sacrifice type of love that now lives in you. The Old is Gone, Behold the New Has Come!

Read more...

Put On Love

Colossians 3:12-14 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
 
The peace and compassion of the Lord has been with us since the beginning, but it has only been upon our arrival at the foot of the Cross that we have begun to understand it.  Now, we are instructed to clothe ourselves with these blessings. My question is this: “Have we have even considered that we can do this?”
 
As God has shared His compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience with us, He wants for us to share it with one another. He wants us to do this because it glorifies Him, and because it is the highest calling which binds is together. He knows of the growth and acceptance in our hearts as we reach deeper into His well to pull forth the spiritual drink that He freely gives. We love God because He first loved us. Now if we put on these spiritual blessings as our new clothing, then as we bless others with these virtues, we will see the growth that He intends. It is within our capabilities to forge relationships with those who we might have never considered friends. But when all has failed and friendship cannot be sought, we have at the very least given our all, for which we cannot be faulted.
 
Give your all to Christ. Give your all to His people. Experience the loving growth in Christ as a direct result of putting on the spiritual blessings that He freely gives

Read more...

Selflessness

Philippians 2:3-11 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to His own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,[a] 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, [b] being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
 
 
    In selfish ambition is pain. Within the heart of a selfish person, lies a deep problem that drives him/her to succeed by any means possible. The cause for success is not the greater good of humanity or even any reason morally speaking to the positive. Rather, the reasoning and the drive to succeed and be better comes out of the desire to achieve for their own personal gain regardless of the cost.
 
    The problem with selfish ambition is the purpose. If the root is self, then it would be as if there were a point in the day where the man or woman could not wait to get home so as to gloat at the statue in their living room of their own image.
 
    Selfish ambition is morally wrong and unjust. When we can come to a place within our hearts where the reason for ambition is others, or better yet, God, then the ambitious nature within us can truly be fulfilled. There is an itch within our soul that yearns for a good scratching when it comes to doing all things for the glory of God.
 
    We are challenged and urged into good fulfilling relationships with others through our relationship with God. When relationships are sought without God, then the premise of those relationships will be off and grounded in sand. They will never weather the storm, and if they seem to have remained through the storm, they will most certainly be in shambles nonetheless.
 
    If we wonder where to look for guidance in humbling ourselves well enough to forge good and lasting relationships with others, we need look only to Jesus. He did not count equality with God as a thing to be grasped. In other words, He didn’t work for it, didn’t try and achieve it, He simply humbled Himself through a complete emptying. You see, the flesh takes up a lot of space within a man or woman. But what we can take from Him is that the Spirit need occupy the whole person, not just parts. So we need to empty ourselves of our own desires to make room for Him.
 
    He humbled Himself to the point of obedient death on a cross. He took the curse of mankind upon Himself so that He could do for others that which we could not do for ourselves. Through this obedience, true love shone through in the darkness. He was then restored to His former glory and accomplished the work He set out do from the beginning. What is important to note is that His restoration was not granted through obedience as if somehow He were on the fence; as if there could be some chance that He wouldn’t go to the cross. No, He would always be restored because He would always go to the cross.
 
    The very nature of God refutes the very notion of selfishness. The nature of God does not allow for selfishness. Though He does everything for His own glory, His glorification is by nature, in the best interest of His children. Therefore, He is not selfish because His will being done is ambitiously selfless.
 
    Your challenge is to take on the blessing of Jesus Christ and be obedient to the point of the death of your former way of life. Do things in the best interest of others so that your selflessness shines through in all that you do. If life were just like this for all Christians, then we need not be concerned with ourselves, as we will undoubtedly be taken care of by the selflessness of others.

Read more...