Thursday, January 19, 2017

Two Journeys – Part 2 – To Become Like Jesus

Michael continues: Staying secure in the fellowship with the Lord is to live free without a guilty conscience; to live with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory God to change from the image of the flesh to the image of the spirit of God in Christ in us. The image of the Lord is the glory of the Lord reflected in us as we are transformed by God's Spirit according to our “new nature”. When we set our affection on things above instead of the things of this world, we become transformed. Our challenge is to turn our eyes upon Jesus and to reflect His nature in our relationships with others. We progressively become more like the man or woman that He designed us to be. Sanctification is to be “set apart”, separated for the purpose intended by the Designer. We are progressively sanctified as we grow up into the purpose, the calling for which He designed us. For we are his workmanship, His masterpiece created in Christ Jesus unto good works which he has foreordained that we should walk in it.

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

The key to turning from sin is to turn to Him. Repentance starts with a broken and a contrite heart. The devil will tempt us to look at the things of the flesh instead of the things of the Spirit. He is the “deceiver” and the “accuser”. His ploy is to distract our attention away from the things of the Spirit of God in Christ in us. When we fall, God by His grace allows us to repent and return to fellowship with Him. For if we confess our sin, he is faithful and just to forgive our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. God expects us to be "fully lit" for Him ... Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven.

Upon the journey of life, walking and stumbling are part of the trip. God understands that we are weak in the flesh, so that our strength can be in His power alone. When troubles come our way, consider it an opportunity of great joy, for when trials arise, we can face those tests in the Spirit of Christ ... the spirit of faith and boldness in His strength as men and women of God. Adversity proves the power of God, who infuses His strength into us so that we can overcome. For it is God who worketh in us to will and to do of his good pleasure.  The victory is not in our power but in His ... we must decrease so that he may increase.

The adversary (the devil) will attempt to divide the body of Christ. He does this with a critical spirit of judgment, criticism, and condemnation. For where there is strife and contention there is confusion and every evil work – James 3:16. The devil rejoices when brothers and sisters in Christ criticize and condemn each other. However, Jesus Christ came to reconcile us back to fellowship with Him. We must meet each other at the foot of the cross. Then we can respond to His calling to "let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying that it may minister grace unto the hearers." This is the way to defeat the critical spirit of judgment and condemnation. God has called us to be “salt and light” in a world of darkness. Therefore, do all things without murmurings and disputing so that you may be blameless and harmless, the sons and daughters of God in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation among whom you shine as lights in a world of darkness; holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain – Philippians 2:14-16

May God richly bless you!

Your brother in Christ, Michael

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