Monday, August 29, 2011

Galatians 2:20

I have been crucified with Christ,

This is your first response to the enemy, to the flesh, to temptation. You have been crucified WITH Christ. An interesting word, “with”. To have been crucified with Christ is to have put to death your flesh, your will, to have placed on the cross your desires, your agenda, your ideas, your past, your sins, your failures, everything that has to do with you has been placed on the cross and crucified, it was left there, nailed, drained of life, it was placed on Christ who “became sin” so now why do you toil with it as if it were still living, if you indeed crucified it. It is dead and just as Christ declared on the cross so declare every morning before battle, “it is finished”

It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me,

It is important to remember now who it is that loves you and reigns supreme. Remember that no heart is so scarred, so meddled with, so hard that Christ can not enter into it and revive it. There is no person so dirty on the inside who Christ can’t live in. Don’t ever cast yourself so short of grace as if you are the exception to the rule that Christ died for sinners. If Christ died for sinners, then you being a sinner have someone in your place. Stand up and “stand your ground” It is yours after all isn’t it? It already belongs to you! Away with you Satan, accuser, deceiver, liar, for you do not wage war against a son of man but against THE Son of Man. You were defeated before you even breathed your first breath of pride. Away with you! Your place is not in my heart, nor in my mind, but under my foot!

And the life which I live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God

All decisions, all things done, all works are by faith. We “live by faith not sight” and as a result we can be assured that those things which Christ has told us are “Yes and Amen” Therefore, “be strong and courageous” always remembering that “The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing…” Remember that “whom the Son sets free, is free indeed” You don’t need to continue worrying or wondering if God is with you, He is with You and whatever promise He has made you, rest assured, while your heart may fail you, while your thoughts may cripple you, while your circumstance may say otherwise, know that He has already done it. “Do not think it strange” when people put you down, call you a fool or tell you your course of action, your way of being, your ideas are faulty and at best shallow. Remember the previous sentence, they are not yours, but His.

Who loved me and gave Himself for me.

The point at which we so often fail is remembering the place from which we receive our pardon, our victory, our faith, our stance. In my opinion this point should come first and it interesting that Paul mentions this, after all, he writing to the church at Galatia which at this point was losing sight of the grace of the gospel and being caught up in some other gospel based on the law and works. How often we base our stance with God on how we feel or how we are doing. Notice the verbs used, in the greek, these verbs are in a tense that imply an individed event, a one step process. Notice also no verb is used to apply to anything on our end. We are mentioned merely as the one on the receiving end of that which is being performed. It was God who loved, it was God who gave. The enemy comes and gives us some definition of what a Christian should look like, shows us how we don’t measure up and then proceeds to destroy us. You forget, just like me, that when God looks at us, He sees His Son. So take heart, the enemy is right, you do fall short and you are not the “perfect Christian” he says you should be, however, Christ lived the perfect life, and as far as God is concerned, we have “become His righteousness”

Because you say that I am a sinner, I will be righteous and saved... I fly to Christ who has given himself for my sins. Therefore, Satan, you will not prevail against me when you try to terrify me by telling me how great my sins are, on the contrary, when you say I am a sinner, you give me armor and a weapon against yourself...for Christ died for sinners... You do not terrify me but comfort me immeasurably. - Martin Luther

The article of justification must be sounded in our ears incessantly because the frailty of our flesh will not permit us to take hold of it perfectly - Martin Luther

Friday, August 19, 2011

Look Up, Not In...

2 Chron 14:11 And Asa cried out to the LORD his God, and said, “LORD, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O LORD our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude. O LORD, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You!”

You ever felt like everything was against you. As though right when you go and do the right thing, or live out your Christianity the right way that some how, the attacks get worse, the discouragement becomes heavier, your lack becomes more apparent, name it and it comes just when you think all is well.

The same thing happened to King Asa in 2 Chron 14. He had just finished removing all the idols from Judah, destroyed all the garbage Judah was involved in and as the bible puts it “did what was good in the sight of the Lord”. In verse 7 we read that Asa goes and builds fortified cities because He sought after the Lord. It goes on to say that whatever he built prospered BECAUSE he followed after the Lord and sought His face and His face alone.

Interestingly enough, not a few verses later, He is attacked. How often this is true for us. Just when we start getting things together, just when we begin changing our attitude, just when our hearts shift, just when we begin to love, just when…..we get attacked. But I love Asa’s mindset and I think it is something we should be cognizant of in the midst of all our battles. We don’t struggle as the world struggles, because our battle is fought from a different place. We fight from victory, not for it and as Eph 6:14 says it (NLT) “Stand YOUR ground,” which is to say, the ground belongs to you and like Asa, we can declare “You are God, do not let man prevail against YOU!” Did you see it? He says, “prevail against You” as in, God, this battle is more than my petty issues, God this fight is more than about my own personal victories, this battle is about You, because what good are my victories if they don’t come from You?

How often we get so discouraged by our attitude, our hearts, our circumstances, our lack, our sin, our past, our our our….we forget who it is we belong to and that our lives are in fact, “not our own”. We were “bought at a price”.

So before you go to lift up the white flag of defeat, why not lift up the red flag of victory, the victory you have in and by His blood. Don’t get so caught up in your self that you lose sight of Him.

“Self-awareness is not sin, and it can be produced by nervous emotions or by suddenly being dropped into a totally new set of circumstances. Yet it is never God’s will that we should be anything less than absolutely complete in Him…If we will come to Him, asking Him to produce Christ-awareness in us, He will always do it, until we fully learn to abide in Him.” – Chambers

For every one look we look at ourselves, we should look ten times at Jesus – R. McCheyne

Monday, August 8, 2011


Psalm 130:4 But there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared.

I think of all the verses I have ever read on the fear of the Lord, this is by far the most interesting one and should, at minimum, make you really reconsider what most people believe the fear of the Lord to be. Reading verse 3 brings even more light on this and really makes you think about what is actually meant by the word fear.

Cleary the fear in this case is not the horror film fear we first think of, nor is it the decision making fear others may be thinking. No, this fear brings with it wisdom (Prov 1:7) because after all, it is the kindness of God which should lead us to repentance, lead us to loving Him more and should cause us to press on in this journey we call life.

I won’t say much else, except that I really want you to sit and ponder verse 3 and 4 in light of what you might think of the “fear of the Lord” and see if your definition matches to what is being conveyed in this is beautiful really...