Tag Archives: New life

Choosing for Change

Psalm 123:1-2 “I lift my eyes to you, O God, enthroned in heaven. We look to the LORD our God for his mercy, just as servants keep their eyes on their master; as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal.”

How do we look to the Lord? As the slave girl looks to her mistress for the slightest signal. Maybe you aren’t sure exactly what your relationship is with God. Maybe you don’t like who you are. By looking to the Lord you will know him better, and you will change for the better.

How we see God depends on him. Unless God looked at us first, we would not be able to know him. We were born slaves to sin and all kinds of righteousness. God the Father sent Jesus his Son to die for us and take away our sin. Through Jesus Christ, we can see God. We can look upon him without looking away!

When we have agreed with God that we have sinned and accept Jesus Christ as the one sent to take away the sin, God gives us his own Holy Spirit to live inside us. The Holy Spirit teaches us to see and hear the Lord clearly. We grow in grace and truth, able to look more and more steadily at perfect God. The Holy Spirit is sent to seal us to God for eternity, and he is also sent to help us. Whatever we need, we reach for him and he is as close as he can get, inside us. Always right here, always ready to help.

Romans 6 tells us that whatever we obey is what we are slaves to. Think about it. Whatever or whomever you follow has your attention, and your full cooperation. We can choose whom to follow, right? Or what to follow. When we belong to Jesus, lover of our souls, who will never let us down, and keeps us unto eternal life, it makes sense to stop following the world and follow him.

John 8:12 “Jesus said to the people, ‘I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t be stumbling through the darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.’ ”

Have you ever tried to walk through a field at night? It is easy to get disoriented by the dark and walk in circles. However, if there is a light at the point of your destination, you can look at the light and find your way. Jesus is a bright, close up light before you and all around you and in you. He puts the darkness right out so you can see clearly.

To obey the Lord, to keep our eyes focused on him, we need to know what his will is; what is right to do. What pleases him. God’s will is not a mystery! He has given us plain instruction, but we have to obey it or it becomes obscure to us.

An example of God’s will made plain to us is Romans 12:1-2. “Dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.”

Another example is Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all you ways, acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.”

Our human bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. We can walk in love and worship, or we can walk like the world. When you are at church, lifting your hands and voices in praise and worship to God, you probably have a better attitude toward God than when you are running to work and someone in the street asks you for money. When your life focus is on the Lord, however, you will be tuned in to the Holy Spirit and have the wisdom to respond appropriately to people, according to God’s will for them and for you.

We can keep looking intently at Christ by studying the scriptures. Jesus is the Word. When you read your Bible, you are looking at him. The longer you look, the better you will be able to see him. In the scriptures, your mind is renewed by God.

When we get focused on Jesus, he becomes the highlight of who we are, and distractions fall away. He is our treasure. We know him, because we see him and follow him. Everyone who comes into contact with us will have his light shed around them, too.

Choose to follow Jesus Christ. Say it out loud now, “I choose to follow Jesus. I will never turn back. The world is not what I want. Jesus is what I want. Now matter what, I am a follower of Jesus Christ.” Now you have verbalized your decision. It’s out there. It’s in the air. The reward of knowing God will last forever, and your life will be surrendered to Christ to have all the fullness you desire. Now follow him.

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Above All Powers

God is above all creation, visible and invisible.

He created us for Himself, and what He is willing to share with us is more than we can think, describe, or even imagine. 

Because we cannot obey or do what God wants by our own volition, which is the perfect way to live, God the Father sent God the Son to pay the penalty for our sin. The result is to be restored to knowing what God wants and receive His blessing and eternal life with Him. To receive this, we need only to confess our desire turn away from the sin we know controls us and accept what Christ, the Son of God, has done to save us.

We cannot know know all the ways and thoughts of God, but He has given us this one Way which opens up the gate to new life.  Everyone wants to know God. So He opened up the Way in Jesus Christ, His Son. Our new life in Him is spiritual, for we receive it by faith, not by sight. However, all of this new life is made known in us by the mighty power of God in us that manifests in our physical life and brings glory to Him.

While we live life in the physical, we may still sin against God, even though we know Him and love Him in our hearts. Our desire may be to obey Him, but until we accept that every minute detail of life must be placed on the altar before God, we will still be confused and do what is against Him. Very often, we accept the wickedness of man ahead of the righteousness of God and go with people instead of the Everlasting One who save us.

How do we do this wrong? Any time we defend what we know is a lie, or not God’s will, we participate in that lie.  An example is something we know that we know from reading God’s Word that God hates, such as pride. Yet there may be someone in this world, or even passed away from this world whom we defend as righteous when that person is not speaking truth and we know it. Then we are cut off from God. Isaiah 59 says He hears us, but there is nothing He can do for us until we repent and put Him above all. First. 

We can never assume that someone’s so-called right motives make it right to defend a certain position. Only God knows what is right and what is wrong. Therefore, He must judge, and not we ourselves. We must seek Him in every thought: what is your justice in this matter, Lord?

In the end, God will prevail. Let us seek Him first and obey Him and never look at another point of view. Let us embrace Him in peace.

In Jesus’ Name.

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New Life is Really New

Romans 5:2  Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

It is an awesome privilege to be brought into friendship with God.  Jesus Christ, the Son of God Most High came as perfect Man to be slain for us in our sinful state, so that we can accept His sacrifice on our behalf and enter into a right relationship with God. Psalm 102:27-28 reminds us that God is forever, and in Him, in this right relationship, we are totally secure forever. When everything else in creation passes away, we are safe. Yes, our own bodies are mortal and pass away, but God exchanges them for us with a new body so that we can be forever with Him.

This is the love of God!

Romans 5:10 confirms that as sinners saved by faith in Christ, we have friendship with God.. He died for us while we were still His enemies so we could know that we know we are okay with Him now. Our faith is real, and it has eternal results.

We are delivered from punishment, the punishment we deserve because of our sin, by the life of Jesus Christ. He lives in us now, believers, to keep our rescue certain and sure. God does not change, and He keeps us in His unchanging power. There is nothing of death and punishment we need to fear.

Some people trust God for salvation, and then continue to hold on to their punishment! They try to make their own new life in Christ as best they can. This is sin; denying that Christ’s sacrifice is sufficient for every piece of baggage you’ve ever loaded up.  A true friend of God acknowledges and relishes, with joy, that God is author and finisher of his faith. It is God who breathes life into us by His Holy Spirit. Apart from God, we can do nothing. We certainly cannot continue to carry or repair our pasts and walk the new life with God at the same time.

Are you holding on to a person,  place or thing, or even a way of thinking, because you assume it is your responsibility to live by that rule? You were there before you trusted God, so you think you have to deal with it, not Him. My friend, you are wrong. It is a wrong that you do not need to carry with you, hindering you and others around you from fulfillment in Christ. Do you want abundant life? Of course you do. And you know you cannot have it as long as you hold on to this obligation to an old way of doing things. Then surrender whatever it is to the Lord your God. His ways are higher than your ways. He will readily forgive you for hanging on to that injustice, and He will make things right for everyone who has been affected by your misery. In fact, seeing you change; the joy in you and firmness in your new step from your strengthening friendship with God will go a long, long way to helping other people be inspired by Him, too.

It is all God, and whatever we do in our own strength is just a false shadow of truth. For the just shall live by faith and not by sight.

Abraham was just some guy living in the area of Iraq. Nothing special about him. One day, God spoke to Abe and told him to pack up and move to Canaan, and God would make him into a mighty nation. Abraham heard this, believed it was God speaking, and did it.  We know he was a normal person because his failures are also outlined in the scriptures. Whatever God did for Abraham for a life of faith, God will do for you. His promise to Abraham was also His promise to us. We are the great nation, the Body of Christ and the Kingdom of God.

We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Without Him, we can’t do anything right.

Unload your baggage to God. He won’t load you up with any of that stuff ever again. His yoke is easy – He walks in tandem with you – and His burden is light.

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Fear Not; Trust God

Question: How does a person overcome fear? Answer: By trusting in Almighty God, of course.

That obvious answer raises another question for most people: How does a person trust God?

There is one very clear answer to this in Romans 12:1,2 –

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

First of all, God wants you to trust him. He wants you to know him so well that you are willing to let him take care of you completely, right down to the smallest detail. He wants you to know that he is perfect, which means anything he plans for you and any direction and help he gives you is perfect. Have you ever wanted to become someone other than who you are? Then let God transform you into that new person by changing the way you think. Ask him for this. Turn yourself over to him.

Instead of being afraid of what people think, and being afraid of every circumstance that arises, the New You will be able to do what God wants you to do. Primarily, that is to love him with all of you; heart, soul, mind, strength. You will stop hating yourself (even secretly) and you will have a sincere love for other people. Romans 12:9,10 says,

9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.

The word “dissimulation” means “for real.” Without pretense. Really loving them, from the love that God gives you. When you see evil in their lives, you can love them completely while also hating the evil and seeking their rescue out of evil from the Lord. You will truly want to honor them above yourself. Then you will stop being afraid of everyone and everything. You will know how God thinks, because you are beginning to think like him, and it is all good. God says in his Word that perfect love casts out fear.

Daily, you will find yourself truly seeking God’s heart and mind in all matters. To begin this great life, present yourself to God today.

Suggested reading: I John chapters 3 & 4.

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Keep It New

Every person is given the choice of how to live. Choosing how to live has nothing to do with circumstances.

Let’s use a very common example from the culture we live in. Millions of young people do not have the security or stability of a home with two parents and Jesus Christ as the real Head of household. Thousands upon thousands of these kids have to flip-flop between two homes. Statistics show that moving is the number two stresser; death being the first. If a child or teen has to move every few days or every other week, or however it works, that child is in a perpetual state of stress. Think about this – if you are an adult reading this, how do you cope with long-term, driving stress? Do you escape? Eat, drink and be merry? Hibernate? Become the dominating person in your situation so you can try to control it? Probably, yes and most likely, you learn to play both sides of your ordeal so that YOU gain the most, either way the mop is flopping at any time. And that is exactly what the young people will do.

However, if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you surrender yourself and your needs to him, and he gives you everything you need to walk safely through your situation and help others to do likewise. He gives you wisdom and holiness and right behavior so that you do not connive and hurt yourself and others. He takes you step by step through treacherous situations, into a safe place. Your actions are rooted and grounded in love and not in getting what you can get. Love is better than stuff or power, and you know it.

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you know that when you leave your mortal body, you will be present with him. How you choose to live now bears evidence of how you will be when you reach that moment of meeting your Savior in Person. If you keep it new, that is, displaying your new life in Christ, created in his likeness, righteous, holy, and true, then you will be satisfied with your life.

How do you keep it new? Here is that word again: surrender. Only the power of God can keep you new.

Today, stop playing the system of the world. Give up your old nature, which is filled with lust and deception, and is rotten through and through. See Ephesians 4:20-32. Give it up by turning yourself completely over to Christ. He will take care of you.

And if you are a person, young or old, with no real stability in your life except what you strive to make for yourself, I plead with you to take it to the Lord in prayer. Tell him you are sorry for the way you live. Ask him to forgive you, because he is the only one with the power to take away your sin. He died on the cross as the only sacrifice for sin that God the Father will accept. Receive Christ for yourself. Then, as Christ was raised from the dead, you too shall be raised from your old life into new. Your guidebook for new life is the Holy Bible, and your mentor is the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of God.

Now you have chosen the new life – and by keeping your eyes on Jesus Christ, you will find that every day is new. Pffft – goodbye, stress; goodbye nasty choices.

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Agree With God

If you will go find your Holy Bible, dust it off, and read the book of Romans in the New Testament section, you will come to a statement that says ALL have sinned and missed God’s glory. That means every person falls short. Only One Person ever lived perfect on earth, and that is Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. He never lied, never had stinkin’ thinkin’ against God, never rationalized anything – that is something to imagine, isn’t it?

Well, Jesus, perfect Man and Son of God made it possible for us to do more than imagine what it is like to be holy and often even go long periods of time without obvious sin. When you have faith that Jesus has done this by dying on a cross as perfect sacrifice for our sin, you can express your faith to him and ask forgiveness. He always forgives the one who comes to him in faith that he will save you.

There is something God wants you to do – agree with him that you are a sinner, that is, that you have done wrong things that God does not want you to do. This agreement is called “confession.” You don’t need a human person living on earth now to confess to. You only need to tell God himself. Tell him that you believe him about your wrongdoing, and that you are turning away from that life now. Turning away from sin is called “repentance.” God will give you a brand new life in Christ Jesus so that you CAN totally turn away.

Think about this – people don’t really like themselves much. Always trying to measure up to something that turns out to be a phantom. Our culture tells us that truth is relative to experience, which isn’t true, and impossible to live with because we need a definite code to live by. Not multiple codes that keep changing. With God, you only have to change your mind once, and that is to ask him to change your heart so you can know what real truth is, and have a new life. Your new life is in Christ, who is the One  Way, the Truth, and the Life. Follow him. He’ll show the right way to go all the time, and it will be good! He loves you, and by soaking in his love, you will come to love yourself, and that will in turn flow out of you to other people. You have friends and family who are as confused as you are. When you know Jesus for real, you can help others find him, too. And that’s the best joy in your new life of all.

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