My Beloved one, I love you with an undying love. A love the grave could not conqueror. A love your sin and rebellion could not conqueror. Relish my love. Let me ravish your heart. I cherish you. My love will never, ever break your heart. I pick up the pieces others have left. I mend every tear, every hurt, every worn and tattered place. The world doesn’t understand such love. But it is real. Come and experience a pure, joyful, unconditional love and acceptance. The Father waits for the prodigal heart to return to Him. I come to draw you into our embrace.
I was reading Ephesians chapter 2, and thinking about the way Jesus created a new man through the cross. Isaac (representing Jews) and Ishmael (representing Gentiles) through the cross are one new man reconciled to God in Christ. Both now have free access to the Father. As I contemplated this, the following equation came to mind which I hope blesses you.
(Isaac + Ishmael) x the cross = (the new man)^Christ
In other words, Isaac plus Ishmael times the cross equal the new man raised to the power of Christ.
So let’s subtract any thoughts from our minds that tell us “we can’t”, and replace them with, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. It is His power operating through us – Christ is in us, and we are in Christ. Now that is some math I like!
A wonderful thing about God is that we pursue and apprehend him continuously. If we only pursued and never apprehended, we would grow weary and discouraged. But because God is infinite, we can continuously pursue and apprehend him for eternity. What is even more awesome is that God pursues us. God pursues us with his love, his grace, his mercy, his loving kindness. So we are in an infinite, but ever changing, loop of pursuing, being pursued, catching, and being caught. I picture it like this – a child and their father running and chasing each other – laughing as they “catch” each other. In the same way, our heavenly Father overtakes us with his love, and we fall into his arms as a child with loving abandon. Can’t you see him laughing with us? How truly magnificent and wonderful our Father is.
Romans 6: 1-11 (ESV)
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
Roman 6 clearly states that we died with Christ. Our former self was crucified with Christ. Basically our former sinful self was killed and buried. Once someone dies, he no longer belongs to his former master. He can no longer be punished for former misdeeds. A dead person no longer transgresses.
So with Christ we were crucified and died. Then a new man was put in our place. The new man is not sold as a slave to sin. The new man has been bought by Jesus Christ. Because the new man belongs to Jesus, the new man is a slave to righteousness.
So here is the question… Are we digging up a corpse?
Lack of victory in our walk with Christ could be a sign that we are carrying a corpse around.
Paul says, “You must see yourselves as being dead to sin but alive for God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11 NJB).
Sometimes we read scripture like Romans 6 and water it down by making it completely symbolic. But it is not just symbolic. We were baptized into Christ’s death and were thus buried with him (our water baptism is a picture of this). The self belonging to sin was destroyed, and we are freed from the slavery of sin. We live a new life in Christ Jesus. This is a kingdom REALITY. We must literally see ourselves this way.
What are we going to choose to be –
– A new creation joined to Christ living by the law of the Spirit free from sin and death, or
– A rotten corpse spreading death and decay, a slave of sin?
Father’s desire for each of us is to choose life. He proved it when he sent his beloved son, Jesus Christ to die for us. But Christ didn’t just die for/as us. Christ arose! Christ lives so that we also can be resurrected and walk in newness of life!
If we truly understood who and what we are in Christ Jesus, would it change the world? I think so. The early followers of Christ lived a supernatural lifestyle, and turned the known world at the time upside down. I believe they knew who they were in Christ and lived from that place instead of trying to achieve something they already had. The following list from the writings of Paul describe who and what we are in Christ now. It isn’t a description of what we are trying to become. Let us strive to grasp the reality of who we are and live from that place of total victory.
Dead to the Law
Alive to God
Crucified with Christ
Christ lives in us
Children of Abraham
Redeemed from the curse of the law
Children of God
Clothed in Christ
Heirs of the promise
Children of Promise
Born through the Spirit
Children of the free woman (Sarah)
Living by the Spirit
Adopted by God
Led by the Spirit
Blessed with all spiritual blessing of heaven in Christ
Stamped with the seal of the Holy Spirit
Raised with Christ and placed with Him in heaven
God’s work of art created in Christ Jesus
Brought to life with Christ
Fellow citizens with the Holy People of God
Part of God’s household
Brought close to God
A new man
Reconciled to God
Holy Temple in the Lord
Dwelling place of God in the Spirit
Body of Christ
God’s dear children
Children of light
Filled with the Spirit
Glorious, with no speck or wrinkle, holy, faultless
Fortified with His glorious strength with all power
Transferred to the kingdom of Christ
Christ in us, the hope of glory
Living in Christ
Rooted in Christ
Built up on Christ
Fulfilled in Christ
In Christ circumcised – the complete stripping of natural self
Buried with Christ
Raised up with Christ
Brought to life with Christ
Hidden with Christ in God
Our life is Christ
Chosen of God
Holy people whom he loves
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Bookworm.”
I read an awesome book by Leif Hetland titled “Baptism of Love”. It has really made me aware of how much we need the Holy Spirit’s help to truly love. Jesus didn’t say that they will know we are his disciples if we refrain from choking each other. Nor did he say to tolerate one another. He said to love one another as he loved us. A very difficult assignment if we are walking carnally.
To truly love others as Jesus did is not something humanely possible. At least for me, it is not possible without supernatural assistance. Leif describes in his book, how he received the baptism of love by the Holy Spirit, and how it radically transformed his life. Loving the “unlovable” requires such a baptism.
My personal prayer is to receive such a baptism of love. I also pray that the Church (every denomination) will be open to believe in and receive more of the fullness of God and the Holy Spirit. A supernatural love, a supernatural life – that is normal Christianity.
These are some thoughts about our beautiful Jesus. I pray that they inspire you to share some images of Jesus, too.
When He “finished” life began, twice (creation and our re-creation).
He was the veil that was torn and the temple that was destroyed. The veil remains torn, open for all to enter. The temple is gloriously restored.
At Passover, He was the Lamb on the table, and the Lamb at the table (courtesy Net Brewer).
He was the Hight Priest, and the Lamb the High Priest offered.
He was the King and Judge of the ruler who judged him.
He is the living God who died, so that the dead can live.
Even though I get frustrated with technology at times, I am very appreciative of the opportunity to listen to and read the thoughts of other followers of Christ from around the world. I’ve learned so much, and I trust that Holy Spirit will continue to guide me to new revelation from studying the word and learning from others. So I would like to share a blog called “In My Father’s House” by Mel Wild. He expresses so clearly the things I have been studying and trying to understand. The following link is for a group of his blogs that blow me away. I’m sure they will bless you, too.
The starting point? I don’t know the starting point. The result? Yes, I am all too familiar with the result. Fear, anxiety, depression, illness, confusion – a long list of dysfunction. Amazingly, despite my journey of self-destruction, my Father continued to sustain, preserve, and guide me to His destiny.
My eyes unveiled, dawn breaks forth, freedom calls me to new territory. New territory in the Kingdom of God – set aside especially for me by my glorious Father. He’s been waiting for my return. He never once stopped looking, scanning the horizon for me. “Father, I’m home!”
This is something a little different and a bit personal. It is journal and conversation with our heavenly Father told from the perspective of a child.
Today I got lost. I couldn’t find my way home. Dark. Cold. Rain. My tears mingled and merged with the rain.
“Papa, where am I? Have you forgotten your little girl?”
“Child, I will never by any means leave you or forsake you. I love you with an everlasting love, and I am the light of your feet. Child, look up! Your deliverance is at hand.”
I got saved today. Lying in the grime all alone, my tears ran out. But someone beautiful picked me up, washed away the grime, wrapped me in warmth, and mended my tatters.
“Papa, how? Why?”
“My little lamb, how could I not search for you and find you and bring you home? I sent my beloved Son, because I love you. I gave him for you – to save you, to heal you, to love and protect you.”
I received a beautiful, glorious robe today. Jesus gave it to me. It’s called the Robe of Righteousness. He gave it to me for free, but it cost him so very much. He bought it for me because he loves me.
“Child, wear the robe always. You honor and glorify my Son when you accept the gifts he gives you. Be consumed in our love.”
I discovered a great treasure today – Me! I am like a treasure chest with marvelous treasures hidden inside waiting to be brought out. Papa, showed me this story about the Kingdom of God. It is like a man who found a great treasure, and sold all that he had to purchase it. Jesus gave up everything to purchase me, because I am of great value.
“It is hard for me to understand, Papa. I don’t feel worthy?”
“My jewel, you are worth the best of heaven coming to earth to save you. No one is “worthy”, because all have sinned and fallen short. But you are of great value and worth it!”