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Put on Christ

In writing the epistle to the Colossians 3:12-13 (KJV) Paul basically exhorted them to put on the character of Christ. To put on means to become. “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye”.  

Paul reminds us all as Christians that we are holy, beloved of God and the elect of God. We are only Holy because Christ made us so and to be elect means to be chosen; God chose each one of us and Christ died for us so we could be born again and made Holy.

Paul exhorts us to put on bowels of mercies (this is the greatest compassion we can muster), kindness (this is not just having good thoughts toward someone but goodness in action), humbleness of mind (simply put, this is not having any arrogance about us), meekness (I love this one; this isn’t being a mouse but knowing who you are in Christ and yet being perfectly humble about it), longsuffering (this is patience, especially in the face of adversity). In verse 13 we are told to bear with each other and commanded to forgive.

Wow, tall orders, but in Christ we can do all things (Phil 4:13); he enables as we walk by faith.

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Let God Convict You Today

I love the Psalms; reading one a day is a good plan. David really shows his love, fear of and heart for God in his poetry. In Psalm 139 verses 23 and 24 David humbles himself before his God and cries out that his heavenly Father would search his heart for any wickedness and show him how to walk in godliness.

As with David, we cannot do this and walk the walk on our own; o how we need God in our lives. In Romans chapter 2 and verse 15 we learn that our born-again spirits, hearts or consciences will show us if we are right or wrong, if we allow the Holy Spirit to illuminate and strengthen our spirits with the word of God. “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26; KJV).

Get in the word, ask God to make the word come alive to you (what we call revelation) by the Holy Spirit as you read and meditate. Allow the spotlight of God’s word to show you where you need to change so you can draw ever closer to God. Remember it is not in our own strength but it is God who shows us the way and empowers us to change and be more like him (Phil 1:6). “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:6). Lord, flood us with your presence, your Holy Spirit today and have your way in our lives. Be blessed today.

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Grow Up, Press In

I encourage you to read Ephesians chapter 4 and verses 11 through 16 today. In this section of the Bible Paul describes the ministry gifts that Jesus gave to the Church: “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers” (v11). These giftings were provided to equip us all for ministry and to help us grow and mature in our Christian walk. Notice we are all to be ministers of the gospel; have you ministered God’s love and light to anyone today? Verses 12, 13 and 16 emphasize growing in unity and building up the Body of Christ, the Church. We are the Body of Christ and in verse 16 we note that we are to be properly joined together, in unity, all doing our part so that the Church grows and is effective. Unity in the early Church brought thousands of converts and great power for signs wonders and miracles (Acts 4:32-33). In our passage in Ephesians, God directs us to grow up (v14 and 15), so we don’t stay as spiritual, children tossed about by the things people say and do that are not of God.

Please do notice that Paul tells us to speak the truth in love (v15). Love permeates the Bible so it must be important. Finally, verse 13 always blows me away. Paul tells us we can grow to be perfect and to have all the fullness of Christ in us. Don’t be discouraged, I don’t know about you, but I am not there yet and Paul did not claim to be either (Phil 3:12). However, let’s keep allowing the word and the Holy Spirit to enable us to grow. Just think what God has for us, how he wants to use you. Press in today, be built up, seek unity.

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You Can Be Perfect

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16; KJV).

We associate this scripture with Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, paying the penalty for our sins. But it is also important to remember that Jesus came to this earth born of a woman under the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35). He is not a distant deity that cannot identify with our earthly, fleshly, struggles. He surrendered his deity to become a man on earth with flesh and blood just like us (Heb 2:14). The word says he had to made like us so that he could minister to us in our earthly state (Heb 2:17). He was tempted in every way but without sin (Heb 2:18; Heb 4:15). To minister on this earth, he had to be filled with Holy Spirit, just like us (Luke 3:22).

Isn’t it encouraging that Jesus knows what we go though in our lives; He knows our struggles, God is quick to forgive (1 John 1:9) and is always there to help. He calls us to be holy, godly and perfect as God is perfect (1 Peter 1:16; 1 Tim 6:11; Matt 5:48). This may seem a tall order to keep. However, he gave us his word to guide and enable us and the power of the Holy Spirit to reveal his word to us and to achieve that perfection (John 14:26). He never left us alone, he is always with us and in us and nothing will ever separate us from his love (Rom 8:39). Remember, not even Paul the apostle claimed perfection (Phil 3:12); it is a process of growth that we will still be involved in to the day we depart this earth. Be encouraged today, we can do all things though Christ who strengthens us (Phil 4:13).

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What Are You Sowing Today?

Living in Saskatchewan we are all familiar with sowing and reaping. But did you realize that this principle is throughout the bible and affects every aspect of our lives? Isaac sowed in the land and reaped a hundred-fold return, God blessed him (Gen 26:12).

“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal, it shall be measured to you again" (Luke 6:38; KJV).

It’s Interesting that how we give affects how we receive.

In Galatians 6:7 we are told that God is not deceived, we reap what we sow. Sowing and reaping affects every aspect of our lives not just farming and financial or material giving. Job lamented that: “they that plough iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same (Job 4:8). Hosea observed that those who have: “sown the wind”; “reap the whirlwind” (Hos 8:7). In Proverbs chapter 18 and verse 24 we read that to have a friend we must be a friend. Again, in Proverbs chapter 18 and verse 21 we are taught that; “death and life are in the power of the tongue”. Our words reap a harvest good or evil.

Have you noticed that everything reproduces after its own kind? I think a pig would be surprised if it produced chickens. Let’s meditate on our giving and receiving; sowing and reaping today. Let’s do a checkup today; we need to be reminded that how we give in every aspect of our life determines what we will receive, good or evil.

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