7/10 Like Him

2 Cor 3:18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

You are being transformed. Continue to think about him and your prize. Apply yourself to the work.

He is transforming you. It happens through obedience, failure, difficulty, prayer and meditation.

It is slow but there is an end in mind…you will be like him.

 

 

Physically Fit with a Box of Doughnuts

body modelBeing fit is hard work. It requires discipline in exercise, sleep, and diet. If you have ventured any distance into the realm of fitness this is what you will discover. Six days a week in the gym, a balanced diet with lots of protein and good sleep habits. The body you are looking for is on the other side. It is for anyone who wants it.

However, because we all want a short cut to a great body, businesses are grown and money. They know we would all like to be fit and amazing looking without the gym and of course lots of goodies! We do not want to diet but only want a pill. If you look into magazine from “Men’s Health” to “Body and Fitness” you will find beautiful people posing by a supplement bottle or a weight loss concoction. This is to sell you fitness in a bottle.

Ones see a beautiful person next to a miracle formula, guaranteed to burn fat and give you a six pack. What you do not know is that the body model in the add works hard in the gym and does all that I previously mentioned. Right before the photo-shoot they cut weight. This is why they look so great. Who knows whether they took the supplement or medicine? Through this they can sell you a miracle elixir; fitness in a bottle. They know what you want and make a lot of money.

It is bought even though it sounds too good to be true. You can’t take a pill, eat a dozen doughnuts, watch Duck Dynasty endlessly and have a lean, cut physique.

Being a Christian is the same. We want spirituality without the corresponding discipline required to get it. We want to be like Apostle Paul but we do not want to do what he did. Through asking Jesus into our heart, baptism, convenient theologies, church service, and other mixtures we hope that we will be that spiritual man or women we read about in biographies.

It doesn’t come. It won’t; it can’t! What will come, are disappointment and lethargy; spiritually fat and flabby. You may just conclude that God doesn’t have some great task for you or that he doesn’t want to use you in a spiritual way for his Kingdom. This causes you to do less. One simply leans back and expects nothing, doing only some minor exterior Christian religious acts…or go to another conference!

One wants to be like these spiritual greats, like Jesus, as cheaply as one can. This is a problem and a danger. It is a problem because this isn’t how it works. One can get a lot of knowledge in the process of being a “Christian” and feel they are mature in the faith. This is a well-supported delusion. However it is only pride in a disguise.

One can be part of a church and even be elevated to higher position and responsibility, but still be spiritually dwarfed. Others of lower rank in the Church look to that person as a spiritual giant and emulate them. The result is reproduction in kind: spiritually immature, biblically knowledgeable people with tenure.

There is a danger also. The threat is that one may find themselves, just close enough to the spiritual realm, that when Satan discovers a right time, he will destroy them. Even with all the assets just mentioned, one cannot stand against the enemy. These will be vanquished. One may respond “But, isn’t Jesus protecting me?” “I’ve read that somewhere in the Bible.” The answer is “Yes!” he is, however he protects one through a spiritual connection which once initiated is maintained.

There is only one way to get to spiritual fitness and continuous growth. This comes in a co-laboring process with the Holy Spirit. It is outlined in the scripture and it goes like this. Faith is initiated. One reads the Word, gets counsel from the more mature, and takes each thought captive to Christ. This is a good start. They use meditation and prayer to remain in a state of spiritual awareness. This is “Walking in the Spirit.” One must meet with other believers regularly to encourage each other in the faith. While meeting one must provoke and be guided to love and good deeds. Finally, one must carry out the will of God generated from love.

One must be aware that there is an Adversary and he works in the mind to destroy trust in Jesus. This must be kept in mind always. The spiritual in Christ must put themselves in a place to walk with the Spirit as I previously described. This is how he protects and guides the Christian.

In this process there are many spiritual trials that Christ uses to harden faith and develop higher levels of protection. The result is greater faith and intimacy with Jesus. From here spiritual maturity is gained. Acts of spiritual valor in Jesus name are displayed and spiritual power is exhibited.

There is no pill. No elixir will do it. The special conference won’t change you. Only the diligent application of the spiritual tools he has provided will cut the spiritual fat and give that nice cut look of the beautiful Spirit of Jesus. Through away the pills. Just say no to the box of doughnuts and sweat a little.

5/22 Wrath

Rom 5:9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!

Wrath is a heavy word. Let’s look at this first. It means a retributory punishment for an offense or a crime. Think about this, that he was going to punish you severely. Could you handle his wrath? Could you live with knowing that the moment you died, you would be in his hands for punishment?

Dwell on this. Really think about this. Put yourself in that place. On your death bed knowing when you blink out, you will receive harm and punishment. Can you bear this?

This is of first importance to see. This is that you may appreciate what he has given you in Jesus. Because of what Jesus did, for the love of the father, you are reprieved. You put trust in him and gave him your life as a servant and slave. As a result he calls you son or daughter.

You are free of guilt and the corresponding punishment.

Thank him and embrace your forgiveness. Accept the title of son or daughter. Live in this, that he purchased you with the blood of his son. And this for you to be in his service. Go to work!

5/21 For You

Rom 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

This should give you great confidence. He died for you when you were his enemy. You were an enemy to the Kingdom, the Kingdom way, and the King. Yet, all this being true he loved you. Jesus loves you now.

You see, as an enemy we deserved death but he offered life with a reprieve. But know having accepted his offer you are his and loved as a son or daughter. Have no fear, if as an enemy he lavished so much love, how much more that you are his child.

No one loves a child like a parent. So dwell on this. Think about it long and hard, like a child he loves you. You get everything. He cuts you slack. He works with you and encourages. He over looks mistakes to make you better. What won’t he do for you?

Thank him and walk in the security of a loved, protected and nurtured child. Man you are blessed!

5/20 Hope Not Put to Shame

Rom 5:5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

You will not be misled or made a fool of for your hope in the resurrection. This is a sure hope you have put in Jesus. He is faithful.

The Holy Spirit bears witness to this by the love he has bestowed on you. We see it powerfully exhibited in you. It flows to an undeserving world through you. This love is the confidence you have to continue to bear the fruit of the Spirit even through trial.

Hope has many times left you in despair. It has not always delivered and you have been dismayed. You even wanted to give up hoping. But this is different. This is the hope in God. It is hope in God through Jesus.

Push on! Your prize is coming and while you have not yet received your reward, you are certain that it is soon. This love bears witness.

 

5/18 Justified

Rom 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Simply, a little faith! You are not guilty of sin but considered righteous by God by a little faith. Faith, not simply believing in God but believing and trusting Him. You are considered righteous by him who judges all. There is no higher court and no other judge.

He decided if you trust his Son. You will be free of guilt independent of your past. Simple trust in Jesus daily. It is your life to live in this acknowledgment daily. Love is exhibited by you due to this mercy. You extend it freely. Heaven is your promise and you are free from guilt and shame of your past. You live new in a life of faith in the Savior.

5/17 Immortality

Rom 2:7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.

Persistence is simply working hard and not quitting. You persist in doing good. This is no small undertaking given the adversity that surrounds you with life: Family, work, church and your neighborhood. These all give great opportunity to exercise doing good.

Interesting that this is your pursuit. This is not ordinary but supernatural. You are after the very best. Not the best of this world but the best ultimately. That extreme best is by God. What could be better than that which he has in store for you? You seek honor, glory, and immortality. Eternal life!

You desire to be recognized by God. You want his esteem and nothing else is high enough. All other worldly honor and glory pales to you.

You pursue eternal life, an immortal body and eternal pleasures. Only this will satiate you. Nothing less is good enough for you and your high tastes.

You are promised eternal life. He will give you what you pursue because he has called you to this in your Christ like nature. This is your true exhibition of faith.