Archive for devotional

Thought for Today: Tuesday, March 10

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on March 10, 2009 by julietsm

17940-bigthumbnail“I am the vine, and you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit.  Apart from Me you can do nothing”

John 15:5

I see people walking around every day that look as though they are alive, but they really aren’t.  The best way I can describe their condition is by comparing them to a branch which has been cut off from a tree.  When you first see the branch, the leaves are still green and it looks to be alive, but since it has been cut off from the source of life it will eventually whither and die.  Come back in a week, and you will see the leaves have turned brown and fallen off, and the branch appears to be dead.  It was dead the moment it was cut off from the tree!  We come into this world, and we are already dead.  The only thing that can give us life is Christ, because there is life in Him and in Him only.  Unless you have become a child of God and have been grafted back onto the vine, you are dead.

People say that “death is just a part of life”.  If that were so, why are we so afraid of it?  Why do we greive and mourn when someone we love dies?  Because death is unnatural, it was never meant to be “a part of life” and  in fact it is an abomination.  That is why we are so instictively horrified by it.  Yet unless one is born again into God’s family, we are dead and nothing and nobody can bring the dead to life except for God, who can do all things.

As you go about your day today, think about what miracle has been wrought in we who believe…we have been given life and that eternal.  And we know that this is purely graciousness on the part of God.  We have been rebels and sinners all, and no matter what we try to do on our own, we can never take away our own uncleanness.  Who can make that which is filthy clean again?  Our Lord Jesus Christ died so that by His blood we can be made clean again!

I encourage you to read John 15 in its entirety today, and to meditate on all that Jesus died to give us.  To be forgiven is one thing, but to be made alive with Christ and his co-heirs no less: that is too good to be true!  And yet true it is, if you are a branch on the vine of Life, the sustainer and creator of all things: the Lord Jesus Christ; you are a co-heir of our Lord, and our inheritance is an eternal one.

Our Father gives not as the world gives, and our wondrous resurrection from the dead can never be taken away from us, because we have been sealed with the Holy Spirit and belong to our Father, who will never let go of us.  Let us live and conduct ourselves in this world as though just passing through…and though it is right and proper that we should do good while we are here to bring glory to God, let us never forget that we are no longer dead, but alive forever, with the Lord and His people.  We are on the way to our true home, where we will no longer be corrupted by the ravages of time and sin and the flesh.

Let us meditate on these things and offer our praises to God, for the wonderful gift of life which we have received.  Let us strive to bring honour to the name of Christ and be grateful for the most precious gift that one can ever receive.

julietsm

Thought for Today Monday, March 9, 2009

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on March 8, 2009 by julietsm

cross-in-heavenly-sky3“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you. that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust.  For if you love those who love you. what reward have you?  Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  And if you greet the brethren only, what do you do more than others?  Do not even the tax collectors do so?  Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”                                                                                                                                                                                     Matthew 5:44-48

How can we possibly love our enemies?  Without the divine life of the Spirit within us, we cannot.   The demand of the new law of the kingdom is higher than the requirement of the old dispensation.  This higher law can be met only by the Father’s divine life, not by the the natural life.  Anyone trying to live the life of the Christian without the Holy Spirit will soon become exhausted and disillusioned.  However, we can do all things through Christ, who strengthens us.

Are you trying to live a life of faith without the Faithful One?  If you are, as I am certain you must surely be realising, it simply cannot be done.  And let us not fool ourselves either, it is not easy even as a Born Again believer.  The flesh is constantly warring against the Spririt, and alas, this is to be our fate until we reach our goal.  So, when do we stop this uphill battle and hit the slide?  Again, I am afraid that this will never happen.

Last night I was watching “The Hiding Place” again, and it really made me examine myself.  Have I ever been called to forgive the horrors that those in the Nazi death camps did?  I don’t believe that any of us have.  And Betsy Ten Boom struggled with this herself, but was an overcomer at last.  She never did make it out of those camps, but her sister Corrie did, and as I remember having read, she once happened upon one of the cruelest guards from the camp at a social affair she was attending later in life.  Do you know that she actually marched right up to that guard and said “I forgive you”?  Yes, she did.  She was so completely submitted to the Spirit that she was able to do this.  Could she have done it in the flesh?  Never!  Let us never forget the source of our strength, and let us not attempt to live by our own anymore.  We are new creations, and what is more, we are no longer our own, but were bought with a price.  We will only be perfect as our Father is perfect because of His divine Spirit which dwells within us, and never fully in this life.  But let us not tire of seeking to do that which pleases the Father, and submitting to His will.  The longer you walk with the Lord, as you look back over your life you will see the great changes that have been wrought in your character.  And yet this does not come without a price.  We must subjugate our will to the Lord’s, which is what He means when he says to “pick up your cross and follow me”.  We have to become less, so that He can become more.  As we do this, we will become ever more at peace, and ever more able to carry out His will.  As for doing any of that, unless you have the Holy Spirit indwelling yours, it will never happen.

Do you have the Holy Spirit?  Church attendance, Bible reading and prayer are all meaningless unless we have the One we worship indwelling our spirit.  How does that happen?  That is the easy part, invite Him in, realising that without Him we are mere empty and dead shells.  I won’t lie to you though.  The Christian life is not easy.  It will take everything you’ve got.  It already cost the Father everything He had, shall we give him any less? 

May it never be!

julietsm