CLOTHES, FOOD AND HOME

jim-digritz-2454.jpgCol. 3:11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.

If you get down to it our basic needs are food to eat, clothes for our body, and a home to live in. If we have these things in life we can pretty much be content. Or can we? Actually those things alone are just pictures or shadows of what we really need in life. We need Christ to be our food, we need to be clothed with Christ Himself, and the Lord should actually be our dwelling place. Our basic physical needs just mirror our profound spiritual needs, to be totally swallowed up in God Himself. The reason we know this is from our experience; no meal could ever permanently satisfy us, no home is ever quite good enough (it stands in need of renovation), and our clothing wears out. Christ has to become all of this to us, like Paul said, Christ is our all in all. Here is how Jonathan Edwards describes this.

“We want clothing, and Christ does not only give us clothing, but he gives himself to be our clothing, that we might put him on.

We want food, and Christ has given himself to be our food; he has given his own flesh to be our meat, and his blood to be our drink, to nourish our soul. Thus Christ tells us that he is the bread which came down from heaven, and the bread of life. In order to our eating of his flesh, it was necessary that he should be slain, as the sacrifices must be slain before they could be eaten; and such was Christ’s love to us, that he consented to be slain, he went as a sheep to the slaughter, that he might give us his flesh to be food for our poor, famishing souls.

We are in need of a habitation; we by sin we have, as it were, turned ourselves out of house and home. It is promised to God’s people that they should dwell in the temple of God for ever, and should go no more out; and we are told that Christ is the temple of the new Jerusalem.”

So go ahead and feast on Christ, move in to your heavenly dwelling place, and clothe yourself with Christ. Only these eternal provisions could ever complete the longings of our hearts.

Community of Jesus # 2

Continued from yesterday

4. The local church is the place of gifting and impartation.
1Cor. 12:12 ¶ For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
There is a special anointing that the Lord places in each local church. There is an anointing on the house. During the time of David he pitched a tabernacle on Mount Zion. This tabernacle became a type of the New Testament local church. In it there was a special anointing that the Lord had placed on David. Others, like Asaph and the sons of Korah ministered under that anointing of the house. Their songs were like the Psalms of David and carried the anointing of the house. There is something unique in our house. Those that embrace this community begin to experience the anointing that is in this house.

5. The community of Jesus also provides a place of accountability and discipleship.
Matt. 28:19,20 – Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Correction is never fun but it is necessary. The Lord corrects those He loves and changes them. The local church provides the place of safety and love where this discipline can happen.

6. It is the love of God that is the life source of our community
Col. 3:12-15 ¶ Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
The love of God is very real and is what absolutely makes this community different from all others. Jesus Himself said that the world would know we are His disciples by our love for one another.

7. It is in this fellowship that we experience revelation.
Luke 24:30,31- When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight.
Jesus really lives in our midst. One of His promises was that wherever two or three of His followers gather together He would be in their midst. It is in His community that we see Him the most clearly.

“The Eternal Womb of Election”

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS

“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;”

Col 3:12

Sometimes it is good just to let our minds ponder the things of God. There is so much “fake news” out there, it serves us right to let our minds dwell in the word of God. Our moorings can drift away when we fill up our lives with nothingness. You see, God never sleeps nor slumbers and his thoughts toward us never cease! We are graven upon the palms of his hands and we are ever in His thoughts. ‘His delights were with the sons of men and he was the master workmen in our lives’. Proverbs 8;30-31

He has made us the sheep of his pasture and he lets us go out into green pastures being refreshed daily in shadow of love. He sticks closer than a brother and he sets me as a seal upon his heart. Song 8:6. The Spirit is sent into our lives to comfort teach and guide, the three love us with an unfailing love.
“Particularly,” says Dr. Goodwin,“as in the womb, head and members are not conceived apart, but together, as having relation to each other; so were we and Christ (as making up one mystical body to God) formed together in the eternal womb of election.” We have been given his very nature so that we can never fail. Oh the love of our father has that he has bestowed upon us!
It goes onto say; “There is a conjugal union between Christ and the elect that also flows from love and commenced in eternity. By the institution of natural marriage, the persons between whom it is contracted become one flesh, as did Adam and Eve. A nearer union than this cannot well be conceived of. [Their] marriage was a shadow and representation of that between Christ and His Church, whom, having espoused, He nourishes and cherishes as His own flesh. They become one.”

Christ betrothed us in eternity! He asked his Father to wed us as his spouse and bride! He found us and wrapped us up in his love and lovingkindness becoming surety for us. He bought back the redeemed cleansing us and sanctifying us. NOW THAT CAN PREACH! We are the church, his body and he declared openly to all that he is coming back for a pure bride. Have a great Monday!

 “Whats trending ?”

MERRY THURSDAY BY PARRIS-

“Christ is all, and is in all” Colossians 3:11

The message of the Gospel is timeless. People treat it as though it’s backward, old fashioned, not hip and out of date but Christ transcends all trends. He has been “trending” before time began. He is, as it were, the wheel in the middle of the wheel, for from Him all things exist, breathe, operate, and flow. Christ is all and is in all and man just keeps looking down at his own existence and his own understanding. In fact, wherever you go on planet earth Christ can be found for He speaks the language of the lost man. He doesn’t just come to the educated man, he comes to the most remote people group on earth and they can have their spiritual understanding opened to feel and know Christ. He isn’t a CAUCASIAN ENGLISH CHRIST but He became flesh and blood and dwelt among us for all mankind. He isn’t a JEWISH CHRIST but a Christ that transcends to every man, woman, and child from all nations creeds and color. Anyone that is born on this earth was born in the image of God and was created to give Him glory. What’s trending? Christ is trending and He will always be the center of it all. Man can say what they want, blast away at their pompous ways but it doesn’t change what Christ is. He is the great I am. Wherever you go, you can worship Christ because He will be found everywhere one finds the hurting, the lost and the hopeless. Christ is timeless-for He isn’t bound in time. When he says, “Come unto Me all ye that are heavy laden and he will give you rest” He is speaking to the here and now . Anyone that is anywhere if they hear His voice can experience redemption. No-one can say that He doesn’t understand because He does. He is timeless, present, and future.

Jonathan Edwards says, “What is there that you can desire should be in a Savior, that is not in Christ? Or, wherein should you desire a Savior should be otherwise than Christ is? What excellency is there wanting? What is there that is great or good; what is there that is venerable or winning; what is there that is adorable or endearing; or, what can you think of that would be encouraging, which is not to be found in the person of Christ? Would you have your Savior to be great and honorable, because you are not willing to be beholden to a mean person? And, is not Christ a person honorable enough to be worthy that you should be dependent on him? Is he not a person high enough to be appointed to so honorable a work as your salvation?”

Whats trending? Christ always Christ.

CLOTHES, FOOD AND HOME

daiga-ellaby-233067.jpg

Col. 3:11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.

If you get down to it our basic needs are food to eat, clothes for our body, and a home to live in. If we have these things in life we can pretty much be content. Or can we? Actually those things alone are just pictures or shadows of what we really need in life. We need Christ to be our food, we need to be clothed with Christ Himself, and the Lord should actually be our dwelling place. Our basic physical needs just mirror our profound spiritual needs, to be totally swallowed up in God Himself. The reason we know this is from our experience; no meal could ever permanently satisfy us, no home is ever quite good enough (it stands in need of renovation), and our clothing wears out. Christ has to become all of this to us, like Paul said, Christ is our all in all. Here is how Jonathan Edwards describes this.

“We want clothing, and Christ does not only give us clothing, but he gives himself to be our clothing, that we might put him on.

We want food, and Christ has given himself to be our food; he has given his own flesh to be our meat, and his blood to be our drink, to nourish our soul. Thus Christ tells us that he is the bread which came down from heaven, and the bread of life. In order to our eating of his flesh, it was necessary that he should be slain, as the sacrifices must be slain before they could be eaten; and such was Christ’s love to us, that he consented to be slain, he went as a sheep to the slaughter, that he might give us his flesh to be food for our poor, famishing souls.

We are in need of a habitation; we by sin we have, as it were, turned ourselves out of house and home. It is promised to dGod’s people that they should dwell in the temple of God for ever, and should go no more out; and we are told that Christ is the temple of the new Jerusalem.”
So go ahead and feast on Christ, move in to your heavenly dwelling place, and clothe yourself with Christ. Only these eternal provisions could ever complete the longings of our hearts.

THE HEAVENLY LIFE

For you died, and your life is now hidden with
Christ in God … Christ, who is your life.

Col.3:3–4
When I first got saved I had no idea of the depths of what had happened. It went from a new found faith in God focused on His only Son, to a realization that something profound had happened in my life. It was more than my beliefs that changed, I had changed. Paul calls it becoming a new creation. I lost my taste for the sinful pleasures of this world. I not only had the power to resist those old temptations, the desire for those things actually went away. New desires replaced those old desires. What kind of desires? Things like reading my Bible, going to whatever Christian gathering I could find; even my choices of music changed. Christ had become the center of my life.

As we grow in Christ we have to continue that life of change. The way we do that is by continuing to focus our thoughts and affections on Christ. Reading the Bible and worshipping Christ keeps us in that constant flow of transformation. Here are some thoughts from Andrew Murray on staying in a state of renewal.
“Our life is hidden with Christ in God and needs to be renewed daily. It requires time and thought to grasp the truth that the life Christ lives in the Father is the same life He lives in you and me. Christ does not live one life in the Father and another in you. His explicit words are, “Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you”. As Christ is in the Father, so you are in Him and He in you. How poorly we have grasped this! How little trouble we take to experience it. Here is the secret: a necessary daily quiet time with prayerful meditation to become deeply impressed with the truth that the Lord Jesus, whose life is hidden in God, also has His life hidden in us. Only in this way can we truly come to know that our glorious heavenly Christ lives in our hearts to enable us to live as children of the heavenly Father.”
As new Christians we may not know what has really happened to us, we now share the same life that Jesus shares. That is what He purchased for us, that is what we received. Our quiet times now bring us into a greater awareness of the life we have received. It will take eternity to explore and appreciate the depths of this life. After all, that is what eternity is all about, exploring the depths of His love.

CHRIST – MY LIFE

Col. 3:4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

“Christ’s life was more than His teaching, more than His work, more even than His death. It was His life in the presence of God and man that gave value to what He said and did and suffered. And it is this life, glorified in the resurrection, that He imparts to His people and enables them to live out before men.”
What a mouthful from Andrew Murray. The very life that Jesus enjoyed and modeled for us has been given to us. This is the life of Christ on earth that began on the day of Pentecost. This is Christ in us, this is my life. Have you discovered this incredible secret? Not many have. Christianity is often viewed as a belief or a creed not as the very essence of life. It is in Him that we find our purpose and our joy, when Christ is your life then you are living indeed. Andrew Murray continues on this vital verse.
“It was life in the new brotherhood of the Holy Spirit that made both Jews and Greeks feel that there was some superhuman power about Christ’s disciples. His followers gave living proof of the truth of what they said, that God’s love had come down and taken possession of them.

Spiritual leaders agree that the life of Christians is either the greatest asset or the greatest obstacle in the winning of souls for Christ. Too many miss the deepest secret of power and success in their work because they do not live out the Christ life on an entirely different level from where other men live. When Christ sent out His disciples it was with this command: “But stay in the city until you have been clothed with power “from on high” (Luke 24:49).”
So this life isn’t just for me alone, it is to be enjoyed and shared with everyone. Christ our life becomes who we are. This helps us understand the meaning of Paul’s outrageous statement, “I have been crucified with Christ”. Crucifixion is not really appealing until we get what comes next. “The life that I now live I live by faith in Jesus Christ”. Paul is describing here the very crux of our Christian faith. It’s not our life that we are trying to promote or maintain, it is the very life of Jesus Christ in us.

DROPPING THE SELFIE

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS-

“Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”

Col.3:8
WORDSWORTH:—‘Be ye good trees. Now, in the world’s eye, is your winter; to men ye appear like dry sticks. Your life is hid with Christ. Ye are dead in appearance, but not dead in reality; dead as to show of luxuriant leaves, but not dead in your spiritual root. Your root is Christ. His coming will be your summer. Then ye will put forth a glorious foliage. Ye will appear with Him in glory. And the leafy fig-tree of this world will be withered by His coming.’
Paul had it right when he talked about “taking off the old man” and “putting on the new man in Christ Jesus”. It’s amazing how much we are unaware of how much we tend to filter everything through the old man and his way of thinking. ‘You looked at me wrong’, or ‘the text sounded rude’, ‘your ignoring me’ and so on. We need to change our language. Union with Christ by faith is the condition of a real communication of life. “In Him was life,” says John’s Gospel, meaning that “in Him were all things created, and in Him all things consist.” Expositor Bible says, “John says we have to abide in the vine and derive all of our life dependent on union with the Divine, and upheld only by His continual energy, The creature must touch God or perish. Of that energy the Uncreated Word of God is the channel-As the life of the body, so the higher self-conscious life of the thinking, feeling, striving soul, is also fed and kept alight by the perpetual operation of a higher Divine energy, imparted in like manner by the Divine Word.”

Creating an ongoing God-consciousness the rest of our life is challenging. Have we put on the new man and wear him daily or just on Sunday? Do we live in Him, by Him, for Him? So the question comes home to each of us-‘am I living by my union with Christ?’ Christ comes to take over, change our personalities, thought processes and our behavior patterns. The result should bring us a inward joy and peace we never had before.

Expositor Bible goes onto to say, “Paul would insist that all true Christianity operates a death to the old self, to sin, and to the whole present order of things, and endows a man with new tastes, desires, and capacities, like a resurrection to a new being. These heathen converts-picked from the filthy cesspools in which many of them had been living, and set on a pure path, with the astounding light of a Divine love flooding it, and a bright hope painted on the infinite blackness ahead-had surely passed into a new life.”

CHRIST OUR LIFE #2

Col. 3:4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

It seems like I always come back to that fateful day in August of 1994 when the Lord spoke to me while I was lying on the floor of our church. I was basking in His glory, overcome by the power and intimacy of His presence. That’s whenI heard the clear impression in my spirit posed as a question. “Am I enough for you?” I clearly heard the Lord say to me. “If you never have a great church, if you never rise to a greater level of success am I enough?”

I was starting to get it. The Lord was a jealous God. There would be no room for other gods, whatever form they took, in my life. He clearly made a distinction between the work of the ministry and Himself. He wanted my affection, not my performance or accomplishments. God was revealing Himself to me as a lover, not a professional. He wants to be our life itself, not just a part of our lives. Charles Spurgeon understood this and expressed it in his comments about today’s verse.

“Christ is the object of our life. As speeds the ship towards the port, so hastes the believer towards the haven of his Savior’s bosom. As flies the arrow to its goal, so flies the Christian towards the perfecting of his fellowship with Christ Jesus. As the soldier fights for his captain, and is crowned in his captain’s victory, so the believer contends for Christ, and gets his triumph out of the triumphs of his Master. For him to live is Christ. Christ is the exemplar of our life. Where there is the same life within, there will, there must be, to a great extent, the same developments without; and if we live in near fellowship with the Lord Jesus we shall grow like him. We shall set him before us as our Divine copy, and we shall seek to tread in his footsteps, until he shall become the crown of our life in glory. Oh! how safe, how honored, how happy is the Christian, since Christ is our life!”

That day my life changed. I like to call it my second conversion. From that day I have endeavored to be a lover of God and no longer a professional minister. At the end of the day the work belongs to the Lord. All He really wants from me is my heart.

BACK FROM THE DEAD

Col. 3:4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

The one miracle that stands out amongst all the others in the ministry of Jesus to me is raising Lazarus from the dead. Just like most of His other miracles (if not all of them) there is a spiritual lesson just behind the miracle itself. Lazarus represents fallen man. He is a picture of each of us; hopeless, helpless, and unable to help ourselves out of the quagmire of life. Just as Lazarus lay helpless in the tomb, we were dead in our transgressions and sins, there was no human way out of our dilemma. Lazarus was raised from the dead by the command of Jesus, “Lazarus come forth !!!” In the same way the voice of the Lord pierced the darkness of our lives as we were called back from the dead by the call of Christ. We couldn’t help ourselves any more than Lazarus could but Christ raised us from the dead. He became our life. Here are some thoughts from Spurgeon on today’s verse.

“Paul’s marvelously rich expression indicates, that Christ is the source of our life. You hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins. That same voice which brought Lazarus out of the tomb raised us to newness of life. He is now the substance of our spiritual life. It is by his life that we live; he is in us, the hope of glory, the spring of our actions, the central thought which moves every other thought. Christ is the sustenance of our life. What can the Christian feed upon but Jesus’ flesh and blood? This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. O wayworn pilgrims in this wilderness of sin, you never get a morsel to satisfy the hunger of your spirits, except ye find it in him! Christ is the solace of our life. All our true joys come from him; and in times of trouble, his presence is our consolation. There is nothing worth living for but him; and his lovingkindness is better than life!”

Jesus is now our source of life and the spring of our actions. We have a life, we have a purpose. Maybe you feel like your life has no meaning. If that is the case listen carefully for His voice. When you finally come to the conclusion that this world has nothing for you that’s when His voice calls you out of your darkened tomb.