VIDEO Identified or Simply Interested?

Identified or Simply Interested?

I have been crucified with Christ… —Galatians 2:20

The inescapable spiritual need each of us has is the need to sign the death certificate of our sin nature. I must take my emotional opinions and intellectual beliefs and be willing to turn them into a moral verdict against the nature of sin; that is, against any claim I have to my right to myself. Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ….” He did not say, “I have made a determination to imitate Jesus Christ,” or, “I will really make an effort to follow Him” —but— “I have been identified with Him in His death.” Once I reach this moral decision and act on it, all that Christ accomplished for me on the Cross is accomplished in me. My unrestrained commitment of myself to God gives the Holy Spirit the opportunity to grant to me the holiness of Jesus Christ.

“…it is no longer I who live….” My individuality remains, but my primary motivation for living and the nature that rules me are radically changed. I have the same human body, but the old satanic right to myself has been destroyed.

“…and the life which I now live in the flesh,” not the life which I long to live or even pray that I live, but the life I now live in my mortal flesh— the life which others can see, “I live by faith in the Son of God….” This faith was not Paul’s own faith in Jesus Christ, but the faith the Son of God had given to him (see Ephesians 2:8). It is no longer a faith in faith, but a faith that transcends all imaginable limits— a faith that comes only from the Son of God.


It is perilously possible to make our conceptions of God like molten lead poured into a specially designed mould, and when it is cold and hard we fling it at the heads of the religious people who don’t agree with us.
Disciples Indeed

The Life I Now Live Galatians 2:20

Wide Open: Opening Up About My Trauma

I hear my therapist ask me “what was it that brought these memories back up?”

I think about it for a minute. These repressed memories of sexual abuse were bound to pop up at some point now that I’m being open about my trauma. I knew the answer within a minute or so. “I was making a timeline of the emotional and verbal abuse he put me through, and then all of these repressed memories I’d tucked deep down kind of popped up as I was writing.

In my lifetime, I have been sexually assaulted, as well as emotionally,verbally, and sexually abused in a relationship. I hadn’t found the courage to talk about it until about August of 2017. It started with me in the car with one of my best friends. We were talking about my ex boyfriend and the words came flying out of my mouth, the words I hadn’t been brave enough to utter before then. “He was emotionally abusive towards me.” Back then, although I didn’t admit the other abuses, I still felt so free. I felt like I could start talking. My friend hugged me and said, “I’m glad you told me. It takes courage.”

My openness took a break in November of 2017, though, when I got a new therapist. She was extremely rude and had a serious lack of knowledge in trauma and abusive relationships. She asked the question therapists should know the answer to; “why didn’t you just leave?” I already had doubts about her, but this is why I stopped seeing her. If she couldn’t understand that concept, she wouldn’t understand anything about me.

I was hospitalized in January of 2018, and had to address a lot of the trauma I had endured. I had to work through challenges, including flashbacks and panic attacks, and I made it. I got out and am starting to thrive. I have two jobs, and am learning the most important two words I need to know and practice the most: self care.

Self care is the most important thing I do for myself. I write about my struggle. I talk to friends and others in my support network when I feel low. And, I’m learning that I have to stop blaming myself for what has been done to me. I am not the deeds that have been done to me. No, I am much kinder. I am a giving person, and I need to work more on realizing I am not at fault.

If you are, or have been, a victim of abuse, please realize you are not defined by your trauma. You are not to blame for what happened to you. There are people out there who understand. There are people who can and will support you through this. You are so strong, and I am so proud of you for how far you’ve come.

If anyone you love is, or has been, a victim of abuse, please realize there are some things you shouldn’t say. Pay attention to triggers. Ask them what is not acceptable to say, and what their specific triggers are. And most importantly, please respect their boundaries. If they tell you they are uncomfortable doing something or are uncomfortable with what you are doing or saying, respect it. It is extremely important.

Our young adult blogger chooses to remain anonymous. They like to sing and advocate for change.

by Lisa Lambert

Sunday Reflection: A Godly Detachment

To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the Scripture referenced throughout.

When you think of being detached, what comes to mind? For some, the idea is inherently selfish, as it suggests standing off at a great distance or perhaps building walls—ignoring everyone else’s thoughts, feelings, and tangible needs. But this isn’t the detachment the Lord calls us to practice. He wants us to be free of sinful passions—to live in the world without becoming like it.

That is, God wants us to be a part of the world that He made and loves immensely (Acts 17:24; John 3:16; John 17:15-16). But we should take care not to find our purpose and identity in the systems by which the world operates (Rom. 12:2). We can do this only by being detached in a godly way—not indifferent but free from the control of worldly thinking. And not removed from the lives of others but growing in love.

Think about it
• Is there something in your life that takes priority over loving God with your whole heart? Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any unhealthy attachments in your life. Remember, “The Lord is gracious and compassionate; slow to anger and great in mercy” (Psalm 145:8). Approach Him without fear, asking for help in letting go of whatever holds you back.

The Good Part

“But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:42)

The sisters Mary and Martha both loved the Lord Jesus and wanted to please Him. Jesus also loved them (John 11:5) and apparently was an occasional guest at their home in Bethany. Martha evidently felt that activity and service were pleasing to the Lord (and these, indeed, are good and important), whereas Mary simply “sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word” (Luke 10:39). To Martha’s surprise and chagrin, Jesus said that Mary had chosen the “good part”—a part more important even than service and food.

Long, long before, the patriarch Job, whom God had said was “a perfect and an upright man” with “none like him in the earth” (Job 1:8), had also chosen that good part. “I have esteemed the words of his mouth,” Job said, “more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12).

We today can sit at Jesus’ feet and hear His Word only by reading and meditating on the Scriptures. Important as our daily responsibilities may be to meet our material needs and those of our families, we should make priority time available for this “good part.” The same surely applies especially to Christian leaders. They may have many important tasks to perform in the service of God, but it is still more important for them to take time to “hear His word” in the Scriptures.

The unknown psalmist who wrote the grand 119th Psalm had learned this truth: “O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day….How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through thy precepts I get understanding” (Psalm 119:97, 103-104).

We today have a higher privilege than Job, or the psalmist, or even Mary, for we have all the Scriptures! If we truly desire “that good part,” the Lord will surely provide the time, as He did for Mary. HMM

A New Type of Preacher

But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. —Acts 20:24

If Christianity is to receive a rejuvenation, it must be by other means than any now being used. If the Church in the second half of this century is to recover from the injuries she suffered in the first half, there must appear a new type of preacher….

Another kind of religious leader must arise among us. He must be of the old prophet type, a man who has seen visions of God and has heard a voice from the Throne. When he comes (and I pray God there will be not one but many), he will stand in flat contradiction to everything our smirking, smooth civilization holds dear. He will contradict, denounce and protest in the name of God and will earn the hatred and opposition of a large segment of Christendom. Such a man is likely to be lean, rugged, blunt-spoken and a little bit angry with the world. He will love Christ and the souls of men to the point of willingness to die for the glory of the One and the salvation of the other. But he will fear nothing that breathes with mortal breath.   SIZ128-129

Send to Your church today many who have “seen visions of God and… heard a voice from the Throne.” Amen.


No Contest

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. —James 4:7

Truth is a glorious but hard mistress. She never consults, bargains or compromises. She cries from the top of the high places, “Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold” (Proverbs 8:10). After that, every man is on his own. He may accept or refuse….

Were this an unfallen world the path of truth would be a smooth and easy one. Had the nature of man not suffered a huge moral dislocation there would be no discord between the way of God and the way of man.

I assume that in heaven the angels live through a thousand serene millenniums without feeling the slightest discord between their desires and the will of God. But not so among men on earth. Here…the flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary one to the other.

In that contest there can be only one outcome. We must surrender and God must have His way. OCN008-009

[T]here is a moment in every life when we meet God, and by a supreme surrender enter into His sovereign will and His perfect peace. CTBC, Vol. 6/102

Consider Him

Hebrews 12:2-4

We often look back along our own little thorn-set pathway and say, “If I had known it all beforehand, I could not have walked this road, but God mercifully hid it from me. He led me step by step, gave me hourly grace, held fast my hand all the way, and so I have come.”

But Jesus, as His feet drew near Calvary, knew beforehand its unspeakable terrors. He knew that He would go out from that quiet garden to hours of hatred and scorning, which should only end on the awful cross. He knew each pang for His body, each crushing reproach for His heart, the weight of human depravity to be poured out upon His innocent soul, knew the utter loneliness, the sting of desertion, the failure of human love, and yet He went forth. “Jesus, therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth” (John 18:4 KJV).

The writer of Hebrews entreats: “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross… Consider Him” (12:2-3). But what joy could be seen across the immense stretch of horror and desolation between Him and the far side of the cross? The joy of having His human will entirely lost in the Divine will. The joy of the salvation for others. These lasting joys He saw by faith, still working out salvation for God’s Church, still bearing great fruit of joy in two worlds.

This is the joy of which Jesus spoke to His disciples, “These thing have I spoken unto you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full”

(John 15:11 KJV). Full-brimming, satisfying, heaven-like joy—the very joy of God! He bring us to and keeps us in His presence, where, as David tells us, “is fullness of joy” (Ps. 16:11 NRS).

Perhaps you know already where your hill of Calvary rises, and you see the somber cross awaiting you. But you lack power to go forth—your flesh and your heart fail you. Then “consider Him,” until you can believe His love, trust His providence. You have long dwelt on your own sorrows—the hardness of your lot. Now, “Consider Jesus.”

You do not know what is before you. God does. God calls you to His presence, to union with Him, to radiant light, to a joy that can endure the cross.

Jesus went forth for you, went forth to bear all that flesh cannot endure, to take once for all, every bitter drop from the cup of life, and leave there only the living water.

Elizabeth Swift Brengle, Half Hours with My Guide