Christ lives in me

I have been struggling lately. Struggling with all the “I can’ts” I can’t stop over eating. I can’t stop losing faith and being disappointed. I can’t stop being angry. I cant stop worrying about what is going to happen. I read a bible study yesterday that really focuses on seeing Jesus at the cross when battling sin. It was one little sentence that stuck out. It wasn’t the focus of the study but the Spirit sure made it a focus for me.

Christ lives in me.

Christ lives in me then temptation stops at the door. He is right here in me at all times. I am never left alone. Everything the bible directs us to do or be is impossible for our flesh, but not for Christ who lives in me. Living as the fruit of the Spirit is impossible for the flesh, but Christ bears good fruit and He lives in me. This hit me hard. Look how many times this fact is stated in the bible. I listed some of the verses below. If you have truly accepted Christ as your savior and started walking this life desiring a better relationship with Him then guess what…Christ lives within you, too! We must realize the power that provides and use it! No longer fear temptation. No longer fear anything. Christ isn’t way off somewhere watching from a distance. His Spirit resides IN you! He is right THERE!! This has been a life changing concept the Spirit has revealed to me and I pray it does the same for anyone else struggling with knowing what they should do but doing what they hate instead. Read through these verses with this truth in mind: It is the Christ who lives in me that makes all things possible.

Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

John 15:5
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing

Colossians 1:27
To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

2 Corinthians 13:5
Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

Romans 8:9
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.

John 14:19-20
Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.

John 14:17
Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

Romans 8:10
But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

1 John 4:15
Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

Joy and peace is mine

One of the biggest things that has held me back from receiving the joy and peace offered to me through salvation in Christ is how I hurt people in my past. How can I receive joy and peace when people I had a hand in damaging are still hurting? That’s not fair. I should hurt with them. And I do hurt with them. It is just now my pain feels different. It feels shared. Like Jesus is right there with me. He suffered through pain He didn’t deserve so He could be there to take pain I do deserve. I look forward with joy and peace because I see what God saved me from. I know He will do the same for those I hurt, damaged, or directed down a wrong path. I do my part in saying I am sorry. He does His part by working in their hearts to give forgiveness and no longer use their pain as a reason to keep sinning. Exactly what He did for me is what He will do for them. God knew exactly what I would do and He put these people in my life anyway. He has a plan. He wants them, too. I will accept that joy and peace because I trust Him. I will accept it because me walking around in a defeated, sorrowful way will not lead one soul to my Father that heals. I want you to see the work God has done in me. I want you to see the Christ that saved me. I want you to see the Spirit that moves in me daily. That joy and peace is mine. I don’t deserve it but I inherited it the moment I submitted my life to the salvation offered by Christ. It is my inheritance and I fully accept it! You can inherit it as well. Pray for the power of God that redeems, resurrects, and relieves! There is more to life than this punishment you are doling out to yourself. You don’t have to live like this anymore. Let today be the day.

Ezekiel 36:33

“Thus says the Lord God: On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be rebuilt.

Lord, I pray over every soul that reads this. If they don’t know you, I pray that soul becomes so restless without You they have no choice but to give in. I pray if this soul does know you but still living in their punishment that they accept the inheritance You have offered. For the souls that have reached this level of joy and peace I pray You shine on them so others can find them and be led to You. In Christ name, Amen

The generation breaker

Picture this: you grew up your whole life abused, ridiculed, loved with conditions and hated for the same. Life was never just peaceful. Always on edge. Without even realizing it, you treat other people this way. Maybe you have kids and you treated them that way. You start to see it. You see how you treat your kids or others you love and it breaks your own heart even more. You stuff the pain away. Maybe you have been told “it’s not that bad” or “it could be worse”. But it feels pretty bad to you. It hurts. It doesn’t stop until you shove it down with drinks, drugs, sex, or food. One day you hit your knees and finally cry out to God. He pulls you up, grabs a hold of your heart and tells you “this stops with you.”

The Spirit brings on understanding. You see your past and you understand why you behave the way you do. You see how others actions were not normal and how they affected you. It makes you angry.

The Spirit pulls you deeper. You see how those people were treated by others in their life. You see how it affected them and how they behave. You feel compassion.

The Spirit pulls you to the future. You see where you leaned to God’s power to forgive. You see yourself reading the bible to learn more of this power. You see how this forgiveness and love took away the drinking, drugs, sex and food. You see how you treat others differently. You see how you treat your kids differently. They notice the change in you and it rubs off on them. They treat their kids differently. Their kids are raised up different and it attracts healthy, Godly people to their life. On down the line this Godly, healthy behavior is all they know. Generations to come have changed because one day God grabbed your heart and said “it stops with you.”

God knows your heart

“What is wrong with you? I thought you accepted Jesus, why are you still acting like this?” Does that sound like you? Yeah, it did me, too. What you are trying to do is reason with the flesh. And there is no reasoning with the flesh. Even the great disciple Paul struggled with this in Romans saying that what he doesnt want to do, he does and what he does want to do, he don’t. What he figured out is God knows our hearts, He knows our intention. Whether it is you saying it to yourself or maybe someone else is also throwing expectations at you…please know this: When you are truly saved a change does happen and it is automatic but not always visible. Your desire shifts. You start to see what needs to be corrected and you DESIRE for it to be corrected instead of just accepting it as a part of you. You won’t get it right, right off the bat. And you will never perform perfectly. But when you let Jesus in your heart then He knows your heart. He knows your desire to do better because He put it there. Pray for that desire to grow so big that it overshadows the action you are trying to correct. Then you can tell the voice in your head or in your ear…yes, I have accepted Jesus and He knows me a lot better than you do. You just let me and Jesus worry about that change!

From an empty cup

“You can’t pour from an empty cup.” Those are popular words from many self care books. Those are true words. “You must look within, see what needs healed, and love yourself before you can give out to others” are things worldly self care will teach you. You can spend a lifetime trying to fill your cup that way and it never reach overflow. The world will take and you will say “Wait! My cup isn’t full yet! I’m still thirsty! I need that for me right now! Stop taking from me!!” Me, me, me!! Do you see the problem here?

Ok, so, if we can’t pour from an empty cup then how do we fill it to overflow?

You pour God’s word into your heart. You learn His truth, love, light, and promises. You read about His love for you that is so great it makes you able to love others.

“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
1John 4:10-11

The more you study the more you understand. The more you understand the more love you feel. The more love you feel the more your cup overflows.

“But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
John 4:14

Then you know your source is true. Your source becomes your treasure. What you give out comes from your overflow of God’s love.

“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
Luke 6:45

Your healing and self love come from the source that made you. Your value no longer comes from the world or how the world treats you. The temporary suffering in this world no longer restricts your gratitude or your ability to give.

“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
Romans 5:3-5

You learn through scripture, praise, and worship that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are ever with you. Fighting your battles. Nothing you endure is ever in vain and God will always see you through.

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”
Psalm 23:5

Self Obsession

I just heard something that really got me: self destruction is a result of self obsession. What a way to put it in the most simple terms. Obsession with your mistakes, obsession with your problems, obsession with self criticism. We have all either done it or know someone that is doing it. Sometimes our problems feel like they are all our own. That is why my response is usually “you are not alone in that.” Because God speaking that to me time and time again is what brings me out of self destructing. Sometimes we allow ourselves to be singled out. We make ourselves a victim of the world. Sometimes we feel like we are one of those that dont deserve better. And we punish ourselves. God shows me more everyday to stop doing that. To love myself the way He does. He made me. He made you. We are not mistakes and we do not need to focus so much on ourselves that we dont notice a whole world that needs us. We dont need to be so intent on punishing ourselves that we never move into accepting the characteristics of Christ. We dont need to accept a victim role that holds us back from healing when He has proclaimed us victorious over all evil. Because we are His children. Because He made us for purpose. Step out of yourself and see where you are needed. Step into the bible and see where your thoughts need to be transformed. That truth is your weapon. Study it, train with it, and find your endurance in it.

1 John 3:1 – See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!

Isaiah 61:1 & 3 – He has sent me to…bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

Matthew 20:28
Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Psalm 9:9
The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

John 16:33
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Permissible and Beneficial

So many dont follow Jesus or the bible because it tells them they cant do all these things that they really want to do. He never says you cant do them. He says He doesnt want you to. Jesus died for our sins, and as the bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:23: “You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’—but not everything is good for you. You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’—but not everything is beneficial.” He doesnt want you to do them because they will harm you. He isnt a God of “because I said so”. He is a protector. He wants you to behave in a way that benefits you and He knows the way. He doesnt want us to be obedient to fulfill some pride filled “I have rule over you” type mentality. Jesus is humble and kind. The law isnt there to provide a way to prove your salvation or to earn your salvation. The law is there to protect you from harm and an unhealthy life. We live for Him and His way because we learn we can love and trust Him. Like when a trainer tells you how to work out and eat to lose weight. You can trust that what they tell you will give you the promised results if you are obedient to it. Yes, you can fully believe Christ is your saviour, yet never live for Him. When you do that you are truly missing out on the power afforded to you by putting full trust in Him and knowing His way is right. God made the law. Jesus provided a way for us to be forgiven for falling short of obeying the law, but He did not take the law away. It is there to help, guide, and be beneficial to us all. Be willing to let go of what is holding you back. Ask Jesus to transform your rebellious spirit into an obedient heart. Before long you will see the changes. You will appreciate the changes and wonder why you held on to the other stuff for so long. Jesus doesnt want to order you around. He wants you to come to the Father willingly. He wants you to see how you can trust Him with all your heart. On the solid rock you stand. All other ground is sinking sand. May Christ be with you all, Amen

A prayer for Maundy Thursday

Jesus, thank you that altough Your spirit was in agony over what was about to come, You did it anyway. You could have called angels to be at Your side at anytime, but You stayed the course not just for the people of that day, not just for your disciples, but for ME…for all of us. I thank You Jesus not only for Your sacrifice and torture You went thru for us, but for this night when You could have changed Your mind…when You were filled with such dread of what was on its way….when even your disciples couldnt stay awake in prayer with You and You was on Your own. Jesus, THANK YOU!! This is why I want every waking moment to be Yours. Lord I thank You for this life You have given me. Thank You that when I fall short, Your grace covers me because You stayed the course this very night. In Christ name, Amen