Archive for June, 2010

The Preeminence of Christ/Victory Over the Darkness


"For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.  He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
 
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.  All things were created through Him and for Him.  And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.  And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence." – Colossians 1:9-18
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This is the Day


"This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it." – Psalm 118:24
 
Amidst these turbulent times in our nation and in our lives, God showed me that I need to have the will, or in other words to choose, to rejoice in the fact that God is in control and He is the one who has made this day in which I live.  God always was, is now, and ever more will always be in control!  I make it my will (I choose) to rejoice and be glad in it!  We are to be lighthouses in the dense fog of our day.  Just as millions of gallons of oil and gas are polluting the waters in the gulf, the world of unbelievers are pouring out millions of "gallons" of spiritual pollutants across our Lord’s planet.  Pollutants of sin, corruption, lies and deceit.  Yet for those who are despairing and searching for hope, we are the lighthouses that can be found with the hope of salvation!  We as believers need to remember who we are and trust in The Hope of Glory.  If we let the world system get us down and sulk in despair, our lights go dim and our neighbors will not find hope in us.  Let us live with passion in the hope Christ have given us, realizing our Father has and always will keep His promises!  If we don’t live as if we trust Him, we cannot expect those who are observing us (we are always being observed) to trust in Him for their salvation.  We are the unbeliever’s evidence of hope.  Pray for all of humanity, especially for those in our sphere of influence!  Let us give the lost world their only glimpse of hope!
 
Be Encouraged,
 
Brother Jim 

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Who We Are In Christ, part III-b of III


This evening we will look at the last handful of verses that demonstrate the assurance of who we are in Christ.  To review, we can be assured that we are accepted, secure and significant.*
 
     3. I am significant.
 
    • I am God’s coworker.  "For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building." – 1 Corinthians 3:9
    • I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realm.  "and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus." -Ephesians 2:6
    • I am God’s workmanship.  "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." – Ephesians 2:10
    • I may approach God with freedom and confidence.  "in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him." – Ephesians 3:12
    • "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." – Phillipians 4:13

We would do good to remember these things.  Trust me, Satan will test us in hopes that we forget who we are in Christ.  When we forget, we are easily defeated.  We need to remember to put on the full armor of God, every day for the rest of our lives!

Choosing to Live Victoriously,

Your Brother in Christ,

Jim 

 
*From Victory Over the Darkness by Neil T. Anderson.

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Who We Are In Christ, part III-a of III


This morning I will share with you the first 6 of 11 scriptures that demonstrate the last key assurance we have as believers; to know who we are in Christ.
 
     3.  I am significant.
 
    • I am the salt and light of the earth.  "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?  It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.  You are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden." – Matthew 5:13,14
    • I am a branch of the true vine, a channel of His life.  "I am the true vine and my Father is the vinedresser."  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."
    • I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit.  "You did not chose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you." – John 15:16
    • I am a personal witness of Christ.  "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." – Acts 1:8
    • I am God’s temple.  "Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" -1 Corinthians 3:16
    • I am a minister of reconciliation for God.  "Therfore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; all things have become new.  Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us; we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." – 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

I would like to just comment on a word used in the 6th point mentioned above.  The word reconcile.  I am not an accountant, but I did learn a little bit from one when I was a partner in a small business for about 7 years.  One of the things I learned was that the books, the accounts, had to be reconciled from time to time.  By state and federal laws, all discrepancies in the books needed to be accounted for.  This sometimes took hours to find the mistakes in accounting that caused things to not add up.  The goal in reconciling accounts is to find and correct all mistakes so that all things are made equal and perfectly balanced.

This is what God has done for us!  We are born unreconciled and indebted to God because we are born with a debt ( we are born into original sin) that needs to be reconciled.  By His law, no one with the debt of sin may enter His kingdom and His presence.  We are unable to reconcile our own debt because God requires the debt to be paid by one who has no debts.  God chose His one and only Son, "who knew no sin" (who had no debts) to pay our debt for us!  Our account is paid in full and therefore our account is perfectly balanced on our behalf.  We only had to receive the free gift of debt reconciliation and accept the price Jesus paid on our behalf!  In Christ, we are, and always will be, debt free!  Our account has been reconciled once for all!  Hallelujah, a debt immeasurable has been paid for us!  From hearts overflowing with the gratitude and joy of being set free from all our debt, we undoubtedly can’t wait to tell everyone how they too can be set free from all debt.  This is how and why we become ministers of reconciliation!

Enjoy your free gift of reconciliation and pass on the gift to everyone you meet!

In Christ,

Brother Jim

    

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Who We Are In Christ, part II-b of III


Here are the other seven verses that pertain to the 2nd assurance of Who we are in Christ.  (From Neil T. Anderson’s Victory Over the Darkness.)
 
     2.  I am secure.
 
    • I have been established, anointed and sealed by God.  "Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee." – 2 Corinthians 1:21,22
    • I am confident that the good work God has begun in me will be perfected.  "being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." – Philippians 1:6
    • I am a citizen of heaven.  "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." – Philippians 3:20
    • I am hidden with Christ in God.  "For you died and your life is hidden with Christ in God." – Colossians 3:3
    • I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.  "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." -2 Timothy 1:7
    • I can find grace and mercy in time of need.  "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." – Hebrews 4:16
    • I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.  "We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. – 1 John 5:18 NIV

May you rest secure in the grace of The Almighty,

Brother Jim

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Who We Are In Christ, part II-a of III


This morning I share with you the 2nd assurance of Who We Are In Christ from Dr. Neil T. Anderson’s book Victory Over the Darkness.
 
     2.  I AM SECURE.
 
    • I am free from condemnation.  "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh,but according to the Spirit.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death."  – Romans 8:1,2  
    • I am assured that all things work together for good.  "And we know all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." – Romans 8:28
    • I am free from any condemning charges against me.  "What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare us His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?  Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect?  It is God who justifies.  Who is He who condemns?  It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us."  – Romans 8:31-34
    • I cannot be seperated from the love of God.  "Who shall seperate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written:  ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ (Psalm 44:22)  Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to seperate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." – Romans 8:35-39 

I will return this evening to share with you 7 more verses that most assuredly express our security in Christ.  Let the peace of Christ envelope you heart, soul, and mind today as you go about this glorious day the Lord has set before you.

See you tonight!

Brother Jim

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Who We Are in Christ


     Dr. Neil T. Anderson’s book, Victory Over the Darkness, has become my 2nd most recommended book, 2nd only to the bible.  It contains essential discipleship for the believer, discipleship that most of us never get because the church, quite honestly, isn’t doing a good enough job at discipleship.  Discipleship in today’s Christian culture is therefore not just needed for the new believer, but for every believer.  I received very good discipleship as a new believer 34 years ago as I went through a "manual for student discipleship" that was geared for high school students.  Victory Over the Darkness is an excellent source of discipleship for adults who are either new to the faith or even for those of us who have believed for decades, such as myself, who have forgotten some of the basic reasons why we chose to believe and continue to believe, and for those of us who were never discipled in a way that informed us of who we really are in Christ and what that means for us.
     As shared by Dr. Anderson, we are accepted, secure, and significant in Christ.  Today I would like to share with you the scriptures that demonstrate the first of the three assurances of who we are in Christ.
  1. I AM ACCEPTED:
    • I am God’s child.  "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name."  John 1:12
    • I am Christ’s friend.  "No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things I have heard from My Father I have made known to you." John 15:15  
    • I have been justified.  "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we also have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God." -Romans 5:1  
    • I am a saint.  "To the church of God, which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours." – 1 Corinthians 1:2 
    • I am united with and am one spirit with the Lord.  "But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him."  – 1 Corinthians 6:17  
    • I have been bought with a price and now belong to God.  "For you were bought at a price; therfore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s." – 1 Corinthians 6:20  
    • I am a member of Christ’s body.  "Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually." – 1 Corinthians 12:27 
    • I have been adopted as God’s child.  "having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will," – Ephesians 1:5 
    • I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit.  "For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father." – Ephesians 2:18 
    • I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins.  "in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins." – Colossians 1:14 
    • I am complete in Christ.  "and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power." – Colossians 2:10 

Please come back tomorrow and Friday for the final two assurances and know that you are not only accepted, but also secure, and significant.

In the Unity of Christ,

Brother Jim

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