November 9: Til Christ Be Formed In You
The Formation of Christ in our lives is a journey that everyone who accepts the salvation that Christ has to offer immediately finds themselves on.
For some that is good news; they’re up for a challenge. For many though, that journey has challenges and barriers that they believe they have to overcome before they can continue on that journey.
Another way of looking at it is to suggest that they think that they have to change things in their life, in their own strength, before they can join the journey of making changes with God and through God’s own ability in us.
Consider it this way: Let’s say you’ve spent the whole day working in the garden,you’re sweaty, dirty and you think a little smelly. I am driving by your place on my way to the river, for a swim and a cool down. I ask you if you’ve finished your work (which you have) and ask you if you’d like to come down to the river with me and cool off.
Sound like a good idea to you?
However, instead of saying Yes! I’ll be with you in an instant. You say: “Nah! I need to go and take a bath before I could do that.”
Does there appear to be something wrong with this picture?
Well, if the truth be told, this is the way many Christians view their relationship and how they perceive themselves positionally with God.
They have the belief that after asking Jesus to be their Lord they need to spend THEIR energy and time, for the rest of their lives trying to EARN what they have been given FREELY, BY GRACE, as a FREE GIFT.
The problem is that the belief that you could ever do enough to earn the Grace of God is beyond reason. Even going to the extent of giving your life for someone else’s, as noble as that sounds, it would not be enough to pay for the Grace of God and for the FREE GIFT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS that is given to ALL who call upon his name.
You see the biggest confusion lies in the concept of what Righteousness actually is. Many, in the church, have taught that it is a method of behaviour. It is the conduct by which you order your life. However, it isn’t that at all. Righteousness is a STATE OF BEING. It refers to your position, with God, as a member of His Family.
I’m by no means suggesting that Christians should stop trying to do the right thing; stop being the express image of God in this world. However, if you get this concept settled deep down on the inside of you, If you can, through the renewing of your mind, by the Word of God, grab ahold of the standing that Christ has given you.
You will be empowered to do those things in God’s own strength and ability, in a way that will bless the recipients to an even greater degree because you are finally doing those things in the same way that Jesus himself did them: With an understanding of who he WAS and IS as The Son of God and YOU as a CHILD OF GOD.
I Like the way Brother Kenneth Copeland says it in his message; “The Force of Righteousness.”
“Righteousness is not Conduct. It’s not the goody goody way in which you act. It will produce Conduct. But, Righteousness is your Right-Standing with God.
You know that you not only have a Right to Pray, you have a Right to be heard when you do pray!”
Now for some ‘religious’ folk that may be a little difficult for them to swallow. But, the truth of the matter is that by accepting Jesus’ sacrifice and by making him Lord over your life, you have become a part of him and have inherited ALL of the benefits that he is entitled to; simply by virtue of the fact that you are in his body.
However, God, being the sensible and Wise Father that he is, doesn’t just hand a toddler the massive toolbox and send you on your way. He doesn’t give you access to all of that power to weild, by yourself, without being there to lead and guide you, by his Holy Spirit. In fact, as you grow, by faith, more and more into the image of God in you, you find he trusts you with more and more, as well as trusting you with more and more responsibility.
We are called to Grow Up In Christ. We are called to come to MATURITY IN HIM. Physical Age is irrelevant as far as God is concerned and just because someone who has been a member of a church congregation for 40 years, it doesn’t make them an Elder in the church. I’ve seen young people come to maturity, in Christ over an 18 month period way ahead of some who’ve been around churches all their lives.
Knowing your position in Christ; once you wake up to the truth that you have been given a whole BRAND NEW set of Spiritual clothes and are a whole new person (1Cor 5:17). Once you wake up to the truth that you are who God says you are. Then you will find that your behaviour will modify to meet that image; the you you want to be, IN HIM.
You will never see the image of Christ in your life, on the outside. Until first of all you get the image of Christ living and Alive in you on the Inside and that is the work of renewing the mind, by the washing of the water of the Word of God that Paul speaks of in Romans 12:2 and then in Ephesians 5:26.
This message is one of my favourite messages to teach. Because, of a truth, it is one of the most transforming messages that any believer can hear. As I grew up I believed that as a Christian I was a failure. That I was worthless and even though I believed in and truly loved God I couldn’t understand why God would want to know me.
I pray, that as you listen to today’s teaching, you open your heart up to receive everything that the Spirit of God has to say to you about just how precious you are to him. This one took me way off of the notes that I had prepared. But, it is truly a message from the very heart of God himself.
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I Pray: That God bless you and your family as he continues to provide for all of your needs through His riches, In Christ Jesus. Amen!
Praise the Lord!