Know Christ

I hear it said that I need to know who I am in Christ. That sounds like wise counsel however, my concern is that the primary emphasis becomes self. The accounts of when Jesus was tempted expose an enemy who exchanges truth for very subtle lies. Is this not a subtle lie of the enemy to take my eyes off of Christ?

The scriptures repeatedly quote Christ telling me to die to self. How do I die to self and search for my new identity? Doesn’t a focus on Christ and Christ alone put everything into perspective?

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Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 1

And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. 2

Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. 3

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 4

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. 5

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Do you know who I am in Christ?

If knowing who I am in Christ is important wouldn’t it be important for other people to know too? Imagine asking someone the question, “Do you know who I am in Christ?” If they don’t know, why would I ask if not to reveal my credentials? If I’m the one who doesn’t know is it not due to my lack of knowledge and understanding of who Christ is and what he has accomplished?

I know who I am in Christ.

Imagine telling someone, “I know who I am in Christ.” Where is the emphasis, why would I make such a statement if not to exalt myself?

Unless I’m a con-artist or liar working for an unscrupulous master, would it matter who I am?

If I worked for an individual and they sent me to purchase something, let’s say an expensive car, would I need to know who I am to succeed? Wouldn’t I need to know who they were? If I knew they were exorbitantly wealthy would that help? What if I had trouble cashing my last pay check, and I wasn’t sure my next check was going to be good, and I overheard they were filling for bankruptcy? What if I knew they already paid for it and all I had to do was pickup the keys and drive it back to the estate?  Doesn’t the authority of the messenger or servant come from the master.  Unless I’m a con-artist or liar working for an unscrupulous master, would it matter who I am?

My identity is hidden in Christ –I need to know Him!

Yes, my identity is in Christ however, I can’t find that identity by seeking it; it is a by product of relationship with God and knowing who He is. When someone tells me I need to know who I am in Christ, am I not being misdirected –pointed back toward self?  My identity is hidden in Christ –I need to know Him! 6

Finally, in what area of my life would I not benefit or my circumstances not be better from knowing more of who God is?

When David faced Goliath did his identity matter; was he trusting in it or God?

Did David’s skill kill Goliath or was God the victor? Wasn’t it God’s battle; didn’t David say that Goliath was defying the armies of the living God? David didn’t even claim the victory over a lion or bear that he fought. 7

How about Jonah, didn’t God prevail in-spite of Jonah’s identity?

Does an apple tree need to know it’s an apple tree before it can produce apples? 8  9

My Prayer:  God, please help me to rest in the work of your hands.10
God, everything good is from you, everything good within me is the work of your hands! 11  Please prevent me from getting caught up in the enemy’s lies.  How can a man take pride in himself without even the smallest claim of ownership?  Thank you for drawing me to your son Jesus. 12 Help me to grow in the knowledge of you and the work Jesus finished on the cross; please unfold the mysteries of the gospel to me.  Amen

Seriously, Who’s your Daddy?

“Vision of Ezekiel” by Rafael Sanzio de Urbino

For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.‭ For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.‭ For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.‭ The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. 13

Consider: Doesn’t the very nature of lying deny the truth?  Jesus is the truth. 2 Jesus said, “If you deny me before men, I will deny you before my Father in heaven”. 3 Since Jesus is the only way and if you deny him, who then is your father? 4

My Prayer: Lord, please set a guard over my lips, 5 stop me before a lie forms on my tongue and teach me to take every thought captive unto the obedience of Christ. 6 Let me become more like your son every day. 7 Amen

Forgiveness, Mercy and Grace – 3

Click here for part 1

Remember, God does not forgive us because we are worthy; he forgives us because of who he is.

God gives us what we need to lighten the load, the enemy gives us things to weigh us down.  Condemnation crushs us under the weight of sin.  Conviction is God simply asking if we want to agree with him so he can shoulder the burden.

My Confession: Because I love my sin, I find myself going down this road over and over, seemingly without change however, in faith, I trust that God is working.

I developed a love of my sin over time, perhaps it may take time to develop a hatred for that same sin.

Hatred for sin comes through continued agreement with God by confessing my sin every time I partake of it.

For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death.  So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.  Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.8

Revelation: That’s it!  The reason I struggle is because the sin in my life is becoming utterly sinful –my love for sin is but to death by agreeing with God.  Yes, I’m a sinner.  No, I don’t deserve mercy.  Yes, I need a savior.

My Prayers: Lord, thank you for dying on the cross in my place.  Please forgive me; please give me a hatred for sin.  Thank you for having mercy on me.  Change my heart, my thoughts, and my ways.2  Transform me into your likeness.3

Lord, I have struggled so long, this seems impossible, please give me the faith to believe again, with my lips I can say, “I do believe”, but my words ring hollow; please help me overcome my unbelief.4

My word for today is that what may be impossible for me is not impossible for you God!5  6  7  Please open my eyes that I can see you at work and be encouraged.8