I received Jesus as my Savior January 15, 1978… . It is – without question – “my favorite birthday”! How come?….
Cause I was born again…into a family…. I became a son/a daughter of the Living God. (Scripture tells me that the instant I received Jesus – a miracle happened in me….. I was “born of the spirit” – by the Spirit of Almighty God (John 3:1-8)…. Who transferred me out of the kingdom of darkness over into the kingdom of His own dear Son (Colossians 1:12-14)… Who redeemed us with the price of His own blood….
I was born again into a family — And in this family I have a standing – with our Father God….. the standing that Jesus bought for me…. (A standing that belongs not just to me – but to everyone who has believed and the sacrifice of Jesus received.)….. A standing that belongs to every son and daughter! I am “a child of God.” .. That is why January 15 is not only my favorite birthday, but a very very special day of the year to me -in every sense of the word…
I am a child of God – and in that place as His child, He positioned me to receive – ALL His benefits and blessings – (Psalm 103:2-4)…..That is the standing that Jesus bought for me… But it requires that we love Him and learn to “walk in the truth” (III John 1:2-4)….. A journey that is both very exciting – and very challenging!… .
But now … Seeing His heart – I CAN believe!.. all the love and the other good things Jesus bought for me…. And in every dark hour – the sweetness of His voice quiets all the noise of doubts and fear… and when I hear Him say “Peace be still” it calms my storm as my heart it does fill…. For His peace (John 14:27) is part of my heritage – in the standing with My Father – that Jesus bought for me.
Jesus, our Savior, is in Heaven…. He rose from the dead and ascended to the Father – after the work of the cross at Calvary was completed….
Jesus is in Heaven – at the right hand of God the Father – while you and I as born again believers and members of His Church – are on the earth…. as sons and daughters of the Living God – and ambassadors for His Kingdom. We have the authority here – “The earth hath He given/assigned to the children of men” (Psalm 115:16; Psalm 8:4-6) … .Has God given man authority on/and over the earth? These (and other scriptures) tell us that He has!…
For the believer, it is “man’s authority directed by God.”….. Because God is still the creator and owner of the earth, but you and I as born again believers are accountable to Him as “stewards” – having dominion on the earth – (Genesis 1:26-28 & Hebrews 2:6,7…verse 7 saying that He “gave dominion over the works of His hands to man”)……WHY would God the great Creator assign so much responsibility into the hands of man??
When you and I received Jesus as Savior, we were instantly born of the Spirit of God into His Kingdom (John 3:3-8).…. and He calls us “sons and daughters.” That makes us His family – His family on the earth…..and ambassadors for God’s Kingdom and it’s increase on the earth (II Corinthians 5:17-20) ….. Indeed, as born again believers we are laborers together with Him to see the Kingdom of God increase on the earth!
….. To do this, we are called to walk in the authority that God the Father purposed for us – which is – man’s authority directed by God……How does it work? This God given authority prospers as we walk in fellowship with God in the “spirit to Spirit” relationship that was birthed in our spirit when we were born again. As we grow in our relationship and personal fellowship with Him, we learn to hear and recognize His voice – and follow His leading – which will ultimately result in His will being done in our life and on the earth…..Thus, the authority that God gave to us as believers – IS- man’s authority on earth directed by God
“Behold I will do a new thing …. Isaiah 42:9 & 43:18,19…. Before it springs forth, I will tell you…. Therefore – remember not the former things.. neither consider the things of old. I WILL do a new thing; now it shall spring forth! …Shall you not know it?”…..
When God is getting ready to bring some new things into our life – or to transition us out of a place or position that is familiar and “comfortable” to us – He will oftentimes share something to change our outlook and the direction of our thinking… It’s kind of like when you and I are getting ready to take a trip to some place that we’ve never been…. We may get out a map or do a search online to try to familiarize ourselves and connect in some way with this new place that we will soon be going to….
One of the “neatest” things that I have had the Lord share with me to prepare me for one of these new things in my life – is that He will put “a new song” in my heart…. and before I know it, I am singing and humming this new song as I go about my day….. and as I continue to let that song fill my heart and mouth, I find a peace and a real anticipation.. filling every part of me…..
The Lord gives us this “new song” – and our part is to let it “deposit” what He has purposed – into the very heart and soul of our being….. Thus He is readying you and me for this new thing that He has purposed to bring into our lives….. even a new song for a new day.. and a new thing for you and me.
The spirit of a born again individual….. is READY, is WILLING, and even “predisposed” to follow after and worship God… That simply means that it is inherent – in the new nature of your born again spirit – to cry out to God….. and to seek to know Him. God designed it that way…. and He birthed it so in your spirit the moment you received Jesus as your personal Savior… In the time it takes to “blink an eye” you were transferred out of darkness into the Kingdom of God/light when you received Jesus Christ into your life (Colossians 1:13,14).
You entered into “newness of life”… still flesh and blood – a human being – but you’ve had a “new dimension” added to your life… even life in the spirit….
“If any man be in Christ he is a new creature/creation…. Old things are passed away, behold all things are become new” (II Corinthians 5:17,18) … It is right here at this “starting point” that it is good and very helpful for you to understand that this monumental change took place in your spirit – NOT in your mind or emotions nor in your physical being.. (all three of which the bible refers to as “the flesh”).
If you read John 3:1-8, you will see that there is the natural birth that brings every man into this world…. AND…. there is the “regeneration” (Webster’s defines this as a spiritual rebirth) – which immediately ushers the brand new believer in Christ into the Kingdom of God…. You’ve just been “born again” (the spiritual rebirth into God’s Kingdom)
….But if you expect to immediately see great change in your life – and nothing remaining of your old self/the old man of the flesh – you will likely suffer some bewilderment and disappointment….(Because)… You do have a new life in Christ… but you still have a choice…. the choice to walk after the demands of the old flesh man who is still very much alive …OR… you can choose to follow after the cry of your born again spirit which has the capacity to begin to understand the things of the Kingdom of God – and to follow after Him…. The choice is yours – and mine – to make! God designed it this way…. because He desires fellowship and kinship with you and me – not robotic relationship!
So…. He gave us the choice – to walk after the old flesh man – or to pursue after the pull in our born again spirit to follow after Him…. and learn of Him, be taught and led by His Spirit. It is first a choice .. and then a pursuit….
He was conceived in the womb of a virgin – who dared to believe God – that it could be done even as He had told her…… “Be it unto me according to Your Word,” she had said…… (Luke 1:38)
So this “Life” was sent from Heaven – God’s person to reveal…He came out of the bosom of the Father (John 1:1-18) – this “outlet” of divine mercy and grace……. sent to reconcile and heal – all the broken places “in man apart from God.”
He came to “seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10)… And although God the Father gave this gift to man at great personal cost….. He so loved the world that He took upon Himself the loss – of His only begotten Son – that you and I might – through the Spirit – also become one….. even a son of the Living God!
This is truly not so hard to believe – if you really stop to ponder – the miracle of the world itself – how incredible it all is…… With everything all put together to reproduce themselves….. from the fruit trees and herbs to the animals that roam the earth…… And then man himself…. so loved by God that He desires our fellowship… We worship Him because He IS God….. He is God alone – and truly no man (or “accident” of nature?) – could do the things that He does!…..
So we worship You – God the Father and God the Son – our Lord Jesus Christ. We worship You because – through You and Your life – we’ve been reconciled to God!…
“As the deer panteth after the water brooks.. so my soul longeth after You, oh God” (Psalm 42:1)…..
It is fellowship with each one of us that God desires … And He has planted that same desire for fellowship with Him in our hearts as well……As the heart of God the Father longs for this fellowship, so you and I have need of it….. For it is this very fellowship that helps us keep growing and becoming strong – and sensitive to the things of the spirit…..
Our growing in fellowship with God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ – is indeed comparable to that in the natural of an adoring mother or father as they see their child growing into the place where it can have greater fellowship with them….. In the beginning, the relationship was pretty well one-sided – with the babe (and with you and I in our relationship with God) -needing all this personal attention…. And even though there was delight in giving us that needed attention – how much deeper the bond and the satisfaction between us as we grow to the place where there are things that can now be shared that were once beyond our understanding…… And the great delight then – to our Father – when we come to Him just because we want the fellowship that binds us in that “forever relationship.”
So, just as it is necessary to grow up in the natural in order to have more understanding and deeper relationships….. Even so, God the Father desires to see us grow up in the things of the Spirit… For that IS the “forever relationship”
To the world, God the Father says “Come”….. I loved you so much that I gave Jesus Christ, My Son – that whoever believeth on Him should not die in their sin, but have everlasting life….. So, come! You can know My forgiveness and love….. Be reconciled to Me through the One – who gave Himself as a sacrifice for all who would come…..
…… And for the believer, this supply of forgiveness continues into every day of the rest of our lives…. for as He tells us in I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins – and – to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Glory be to God….. He IS incredibly good!
I believe I John 1:9 means that the supply of God’s forgiveness is so complete that you and I don’t ever have to wonder – if He will forgive me “this time“- because the promise is clear….. And if you’ve ever tasted that forgiveness when you’ve really “missed it” and you know it… there’s just nothing that can compare – to that feeling of release from the weight of all guilt – and the peace that comes with that release.
God’s supply of forgiveness is “free for the asking”….. So, ask and receive all that you need of it….. because that is the “door” back into fellowship with Him when you and I have “missed it.”
Now you and I as believers are ambassadors for Christ (II Corinthians 5:18-20). We are His representatives/His agents – urging all men – to be reconciled to God.
We are ambassadors for Christ – and the things which we have seen and heard of Him – we share with you that you also may have that same fellowship with Him ….. And truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ…. which brings great joy to our lives…
As ambassadors, we make known these things to others that their joy also may be full by knowing Jesus Christ and tasting His presence in their lives…… Thus we urge all in Christ’s stead…… Receive Jesus as Savior today – receive Him and thereby be reconciled to God!…….
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son – that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish – but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
I’ll finish this little post with the part we seldom quote – the very next verse –“For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:17)….. This part is “the rest of the story/good news” – which all of us truly need to hear….. and as ambassadors we certainly should more often share!
This new section of very brief devotional writings or “nuggets” of wisdom from God’s Word will be listed as “Daily Bread”…. with a subtitle following which serves to define the content of that particular writing. It’s purpose is to share some good things that can be read in just a couple of minutes – for those days when you just don’t have time to take in one of my longer posts. So look for the title “Daily Bread” under Recent Posts (on the right side of blog posts – OR on the Menu above the picture of the sunrise) …. The first one is posted below.
Daily Bread….. Taking the Sword of the Spirit
Take the Sword of the Spirit – which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17) and cut off those things that the enemy has planted…. to bring harm to you in some way – or to separate you from the promises of God.
As a believer, you can do this…… You can do this because the Word of God effectually (actively and powerfully) works in those who believe -(Thessalonians 2:13). You believe – and therefore you speak according to what you believe….. That is how you “take the sword of the spirit” to bring about what God has said.
You can do this because God’s Word changes things where nothing else can!….. the reason being that it can go places and reach people or things where nothing else can! So take heart when you find yourself in a situation that looks impossible…. for you bring God into a situation when you take His Word as the weapon you fight with!