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Tag Archives: in Christ

Three Lessons of Weakness

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Three Lessons of Weakness
  • Weakness exposes our self-reliance. Before we experience an obvious weakness, a part of us thinks we are doing well because we are good; we’re strong. After we’ve had the wind knocked out of our lungs we begin to realize how weak we are apart from Christ.

 

  • Weakness draws us closer to God. Look at Peter’s before and after the cross experience. Before the cross Jesus said, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

 

  • Weakness makes us more authentic. Before we know just how weak we are apart from Christ, we live like pretenders. After the experience of weakness we know who we are. We are more authentic, more human.

I too have come to realize weakness is a gift from God!

 

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(IM)Perfect – Already, But Not Yet

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(IM)Perfect – Already, But Not Yet

The theme of this blog series is really a play on words. You could read the title as IMPERFECT or you could read it as (I’M)PERFECT.

Because the truth is in Christ, I am perfect but the reality is I am also imperfect. That can be confusing.

  • If I’m perfect in Christ then why do I still struggle?
  • Why don’t I see victory in every area of my life?
  • Why is my mind not always clear?
  • Why is my body weak at time?
  • Why does my marriage struggle?

Is something wrong with me?

You have to understand that in Christ, I am positionally perfect but in this life, I am functionally imperfect.

Through the death, burial, and resurrection, of Christ He provided all that I will ever need to live a holy, victorious, overcoming life.

You and I live in the land of already … but not yet.

Hebrews 2:8 says, “You put everything under his control.”[1] When God put everything under his Son’s control, nothing was left out. However, at the present time we still don’t see everything under his Son’s control. Christ has already won the battle. He has already defeated Satan. Jesus has already dealt with sin, sickness, shame, sorrow, death and despair.

But in this present time we DO NOT YET see the fullness of it all.

Our theme text for this series is Hebrews 10:14: “For by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”[2]

So which is it? Are we already MADE perfect or are we being made perfect? It’s both.

It is already….but not yet.

There’s a tension between the age that is and the age to come.

In this age we fight sin. We resist the devil. We contend against sickness. And in the already … but not yet age, Satan

[1] GW

[2] NIV

Your Answers are In Christ

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Your Answers are In Christ

The solution to every personal problem is found in Christ. For example, it’s a good thing to lose a little weight especially in our culture of obesity. We have a problem and the weight loss industry is getting rich off of our desire to lose weight.

But as a follow of Jesus Christ I have to always ask myself the bigger question—WHY? Why do I want to lose weight?

Is it to look better to others? (Which is not necessarily bad, unless it controls us.)

Is it to feel better about myself? (This too is not necessarily bad.)

There’s a tremendous amount of pressure on women with this issue. Did you see the big controversy about the time the new Star Wars movie came out. The Internet was blowing with comments on body shaming saying Carrie Fisher (Princess Leah) was too fat to play her part in the movie.

It’s possible to become thinner on the outside and still feel the same way on the inside because our sense of worth doesn’t come just from our body shape, it comes from understanding who we are in Christ.

It’s a life-changing revelation when we finally come to the place where we give up and daily lean into the power and provision of Christ. Then we will overcome, and we will do it without a lot of promises to be “all better.”

The solution to every personal challenge is found completely IN CHRIST!

Therefore, put to death whatever is worldly in you: your sexual sin, perversion, passion, lust, and greed (which is the same thing as worshiping wealth). It is because of these sins that God’s anger comes on those who refuse to obey him. You used to live that kind of sinful life. Also get rid of your anger, hot tempers, hatred, cursing, obscene language, and all similar sins. Don’t lie to each other. You’ve gotten rid of the person you used to be and the life you used to live, and you’ve become a new person. This new person is continually renewed in knowledge to be like its Creator.[1]

Listen to the podcast this blog is taken from, Here’s the Problem – More or Less.

 

[1] Colossians 3:5-10 GW

 

Die to Self and Live in Christ

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Die to Self and Live in Christ

We have to die to self in order to live in Christ. What does that mean? It means I HAVE TO GIVE UP all my futile attempts to produce lasting change on my own. It doesn’t work. I must understand that mankind is broken. I need a Savior. I cannot save myself, only Jesus can do that.

So I have to die to the idea of self-reliance. How do I do it?

I start thinking and acting like a person belonging to the Kingdom of God and stop living as someone only of this earth. Colossians 3:1-2 says, Since you were brought back to life with Christ, focus on the things that are above—where Christ holds the highest position. Keep your mind on things above, not on worldly things.[1]

And therein lies the problem. Every day we are saturated with messages that run counter to Christ’s culture. Our sense of worth, our sense of purpose is found in a system that is decaying and going away. So what is the answer to victory?

Arm ourselves with a death mentality!

Paul made it very clear. You have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.[2]

That actually takes an enormous amount of pressure off of us! When we finally come to the realization that we don’t have what it takes, and we cannot do it by ourselves, only then do we discover the secret to success in the Kingdom of God; it’s JESUS!

This awareness is not easy! We slip back into self-dependence so quickly. And that is precisely why Paul wrote so often about it.

To the church in Galatia he wrote, I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.[3]

We have to die to self in order to live IN Christ! And someday when Jesus returns we will be very happy that we learned this valuable lesson—die to self, and live in Christ.

Listen to the podcast this blog is taken from, Here’s the Problem – More or Less.

[1] GW

[2] Colossians 3:3 GW

[3] Galatians 2:19-20 NKJV

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