VIDEO Complete and Effective Divinity

If we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection… —Romans 6:5

Co-Resurrection. The proof that I have experienced crucifixion with Jesus is that I have a definite likeness to Him. The Spirit of Jesus entering me rearranges my personal life before God. The resurrection of Jesus has given Him the authority to give the life of God to me, and the experiences of my life must now be built on the foundation of His life. I can have the resurrection life of Jesus here and now, and it will exhibit itself through holiness.

The idea all through the apostle Paul’s writings is that after the decision to be identified with Jesus in His death has been made, the resurrection life of Jesus penetrates every bit of my human nature. It takes the omnipotence of God— His complete and effective divinity— to live the life of the Son of God in human flesh. The Holy Spirit cannot be accepted as a guest in merely one room of the house— He invades all of it. And once I decide that my “old man” (that is, my heredity of sin) should be identified with the death of Jesus, the Holy Spirit invades me. He takes charge of everything. My part is to walk in the light and to obey all that He reveals to me. Once I have made that important decision about sin, it is easy to “reckon” that I am actually “dead indeed to sin,” because I find the life of Jesus in me all the time (Romans 6:11). Just as there is only one kind of humanity, there is only one kind of holiness— the holiness of Jesus. And it is His holiness that has been given to me. God puts the holiness of His Son into me, and I belong to a new spiritual order.

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

The Christian Church should not be a secret society of specialists, but a public manifestation of believers in Jesus.  Facing Reality, 34 R


Romans 6-7 – Skip Heitzig

Imperfect Plans

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21

I was exploring a library on the bottom floor of a new community center when an overhead crash suddenly shook the room. A few minutes later it happened again, and then again. An agitated librarian finally explained that a weight-lifting area was positioned directly above the library, and the noise occurred every time someone dropped a weight. Architects and designers had carefully planned many aspects of this state-of-the-art facility, yet someone had forgotten to locate the library away from all the action.

In life as well, our plans are often flawed. We overlook important considerations. Our plans don’t always account for accidents or surprises. Although planning helps us avoid financial shortfalls, time crunches, and health issues, even the most thorough strategies can’t eliminate all problems from our lives. We live in a post-Eden world.

With God’s help, we can find the balance between prudently considering the future (Proverbs 6:6–8) and responding to difficulties. God often has a purpose for the trouble He allows into our lives. He may use it to develop patience in us, to increase our faith, or simply to bring us closer to Him. The Bible reminds us, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21). As we submit our goals and hopes for the future to Jesus, He’ll show us what He wants to accomplish in us and through us.

By:  Jennifer Benson Schuldt

Reflect & Pray

How do you respond when your plans don’t work out or when your expectations are unmet? What might God want you to learn through those experiences?

God, I believe You’re in control of everything. Help me to live wisely in this world, committing all my plans to You.

Sunday Reflection: The Temptation to Sin

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

When the ancient Israelites camped by Mount Sinai in Exodus 32, Moses went up the mountain to meet with God. Days turned into weeks, and the people grew restless. So they asked Aaron—the man in charge while Moses was gone—to create a new deity for them to worship. Aaron gave instructions to collect the jewelry they had brought out of Egypt, and once it had been melted and formed into a golden calf, he built an altar where the people could worship it.

It was a brash move, given the miracles God had already performed for the people. Yet how many times have we similarly lost patience when waiting on God? We might not build an actual idol or a physical altar, but there are many times when we choose to turn elsewhere for comfort and answers. These modern idols can take many forms, and some that are even neutral or positive become harmful when put on a pedestal.

Think about it
• Can you remember a time when you had a need but sought its fulfillment from something or someone other than God? How did that turn out?

• What are some ways you can be better prepared next time the temptation comes up?

Remember His Benefits

“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” (Psalm 103:2)

The benefits of the Lord are, indeed, great and marvelous, and it would be an act of ingratitude not to remember and appreciate them. Note the following partial list in this psalm:

  1. Forgiveness. “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities” (v. 3). God forgives all! He “cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
  2. Healing. “Who healeth all thy diseases” (v. 3). The greatest and ultimate disease is that of aging and death, but one day “there shall be no more death” (Revelation 21:4).
  3. Redemption. “Who redeemeth thy life from destruction” (v. 4; see also 1 Peter 1:18-19).
  4. Glorification. “Who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies” (v. 4).
  5. Provision. “Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things” (v. 5; see also James 1:17).
  6. Strength. “Thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (v. 5).
  7. Protection. “The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed” (v. 6).

The greatest benefit of all, of course, is the gift of salvation, by the mercy of God. Note the testimonies of God’s mercy: “Who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies” (v. 4). “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy” (v. 8). “For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him” (v. 11). “But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him” (v. 17).

Infinite as the universe, enduring as eternity—these are the dimensions of God’s mercy! “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us” (v. 12). No wonder this great psalm both begins and ends with the inspiring exhortation: “Bless the LORD, O my soul!” HMM

Oh!

Then said, I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. —Jeremiah 1:6

To be articulate at certain times we are compelled to fall back upon “Oh!” or “O!”—a primitive exclamatory sound that is hardly a word at all and that scarcely admits of a definition….

In theology there is no “Oh!” and this is a significant if not an ominous thing. Theology seeks to reduce what may be known of God to intellectual terms, and as long as the intellect can comprehend, it can find words to express itself When God Himself appears before the mind, awesome, vast and incomprehensible, then the mind sinks into silence and the heart cries out “O Lord God!” There is the difference between theological knowledge and spiritual experience, the difference between knowing God by hearsay and knowing Him by acquaintance. And the difference is not verbal merely; it is real and serious and vital.

We Christians should watch lest we lose the “Oh!” from our hearts…. When we become too glib in prayer we are most surely talking to ourselves. When the calm listing of requests and the courteous giving of proper thanks take the place of the burdened prayer that finds utterance difficult we should beware the next step, for our direction is surely down whether we know it or not.   BAM085-087

Lord, don’t ever let me lose the “Oh!” Amen.

Tozer on Christian Leadership

Admire Him!

Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. —Psalm 37:4

Admiration…is appreciation of the excellency of God. Man is better qualified to appreciate God than any other creature because he was made in His image and is the only creature who was. This admiration for God grows and grows until it fills the heart with wonder and delight.

“In our astonished reverence we confess Thine uncreated loveliness,” said the hymn writer. “In our astonished reverence.”

The God of the modern evangelical rarely astonishes anybody. He manages to stay pretty much within the constitution. Never breaks over our bylaws. He’s a very well-behaved God and very denominational and very much one of us, and we ask Him to help us when we’re in trouble and look to Him to watch over us when we’re asleep. The God of the modern evangelical isn’t a God I could have much respect for. But when the Holy Ghost shows us God as He is we admire Him to the point of wonder and delight. WMJ022-023

O Lord, You’re beautiful,

Your face is all I seek,

And when Your eyes are on this child,

Your grace abounds to me.

© Copyright 1980 Birdwing Music/Cherry Lane Music Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved. International Copyright Secured. Used by Permission.


Tozer on the Holy Spirit.

“Peace Be With You”

John 20:21

To describe life as bleak and gloomy would have been an understatement. For the followers of Jesus the future seemed completely hopeless. Their Master had been put to death.

Then the Bible states: “On the evening of the first day of the week Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you'” (John 20:19). What the disciples needed more than anything was reassurance and peace of mind and heart.

To that greeting Jesus added a significant gesture: He showed them His hands and side, the hands that had been wounded by the nails at His crucifixion, the side that had been pierced by the spear of the Roman soldier. The gesture was a sign of identification, but it also carries another message. It speaks about the basis, the foundation upon which the peace of Jesus is built, the peace which He offers to His followers. It speaks of the price at which that peace was bought.

We are promised the peace of Jesus, founded on His perfect work, His life, death and resurrection. What a foundation! Nothing can shake it!

When a Christian lives daily in the atmosphere of constant trust and obedience, he will experience the blessing of our Lord’s peace. The Apostle Paul wrote:

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace” (Col. 3:15). The word translated “rule” could also be rendered “to be a referee.” So when a Christian is in difficulty or a dilemma, it is his privilege to call on the peace of Christ to be the referee of his troubled heart.

“Peace be with you,” was the greeting Jesus gave His fearful disciples. In fact, He uttered those words twice. When He repeated the greeting, He added a commission: “As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you” (John 20:21).

The peace He offered His followers was not given for their selfish enjoyment. A great task awaited them. They were to be His witnesses to the world. Most of them would be martyred for His sake. In order to be strong and faithful they needed a stabilizing force in their lives. They needed His own peace, the peace that filled His own heart, in life’s varied testings.

The peace of Christ, won through a fierce battle, is promised to His followers for the battle against evil, the battle for the kingdom of God. Let us open our hearts and lives and receive the gift of His peace, and then fearlessly go forth with the good news: Jesus lives and saves!

Jarl Wahlström, The War Cry