Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
This is one of the most power pieces of Scripture in the Bible. The victories we experience in life our products of our obedience to the principles found in this verse. This verse teaches us the source of a Christian living out the Life of Christ. We see that there is an importance in being dependent up on the Savior. The verse teaches us of how we are identified with Christ. We are crucified with Him, but live by Him. We identify with His death, but at the same time we can also identify with His resurrection. The ability to experience victory over sin is not controlling situations yourself, but it is learning to allow Christ to live out His purpose through you. We also see that we are indwelt by Christ. Christ lives in us! Christ also lives through us! The Christ-life is essentially a complete life of faith. Most of the time we refuse to allow Christ to live through us. We compartmentalize Him and refuse to die to our self. We must understand that in order to completely surrender to Christ we must operate on the basis of faith.
Today’s Challenge: Remember that God can do more with you on accident that you can do with you on purpose. Let Him live through you!
Galatians 1:6 “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:”
I, like Paul, find it amazing how Christians have been swayed by the message of other gospels. It is important that we realize that if we can get a lot of things wrong and still be okay. However; if we get the Gospel of Jesus Christ wrong it ruins everything. The Gospel is the most important message in the entire Bible. If we preach the wrong gospel then, according to verse nine we are preaching a curse upon ourselves. We must be very mindful of how we preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I want to look for a moment at some of the gospels that we normally encounter. That way when we hear them we can mark them and then avoid them.
- There is the Wrong Gospel: Any message that avoids the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the wrong message. Anyone that teaches that there is another way to Heaven outside of Jesus Christ is teaching the wrong gospel. An example would be if you hear someone that says “It does not matter what you believe, as long as you are sincere.” Danger! Sincere people will end up in the Lake of Fire.
- There is the Water Downed Gospel: It is the message that accepts Jesus Christ, but does not stress it. The watered down gospel is the idea of easy believism that is being preached from many American pulpits. It is a message that avoids teaching on changed lives, repentance, and other controversial events that are suppose to take place at the moment a person is saved. It avoids the controversial issues involved in salvation and never reveals a person’s sinful condition.
- There is the Works-based Gospel: This gospel emphasizes works over faith. It believes that as long as you are performing your religious duties such as attending church, tithing, and serving then you are automatically destined for Heaven. Nothing could farther from the truth. Works never produce faith, but faith will always produce a work.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches a person places their faith and trust into the Lord Jesus Christ by Repenting of their Sins, and turning their lives over to the Lord. Salvation involves repentance, and faith. Without either of these, we are living by the wrong message.
Today’s Challenge: Examine the message that you are preaching and the message that you have received. Have you been removed from the real Gospel message?
2 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves, Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
The Bible is clear that we are to examine ourselves. Typically, we are more out to judge or examine others before we are to examine ourselves. The Lord gives us to simple instructions:
- Examine Yourselves
- Prove Yourselves
There are some principles that would be good to highlight in order to learn to do a self examination.
- Make Jesus Christ Your Mark: We have a habit of comparing ourselves to others, when we are to make Jesus Christ our standard. Remember, if you don’t look like Jesus then you don’t have any business judging others.
- Make The Bible Your Mirror: The Bible is not just a composition of stories and fairy tales, but it is a mirror that reveals to us all our impurities. Reading the Bible requires us to align and adjust to it, rather than making it adjust to us. Allow the Bible to be the device that shows us our imperfections.
- Make The Holy Spirit Your Mentor: There is no greater accountability partner than the Holy Spirit. Allow Him to work in your life by giving Him complete access to your heart. Trust me; the Holy Spirit will definitely be a truthful physician in the examination process.
Today’s Challenge: Do a Self Examination using these tools and see what happens.
2 Corinthians 12:10 “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
This, to me, is one of those verses that confirm the fact that man was truly inspired by God when writing Scriptures. The natural man would not ever write such things. I have often wondered what caused the Lord to instill such qualities into those that follow Him. I am at the same reminded that God placed us here on earth to give Him glory. The greatest display of God’s strength is discovered in our greatest moments of weakness. The reason we can take pleasure in such difficult circumstances is because it gives God the opportunity to display His greatness. God wants to take us to the place of “I can’t” to the place of “He can”. It is at the moment where we say “I can’t” that God says “He can”. This verse teaches a great principle that when we are at weakest, God is at His strongest. The reason we can call are times of weakness our greatest moments of strength is because those are the moments that God gets to display His sovereign power. When we make statements like…
“I don’t know what else to do.”
“I have done everything I know to do.”
It is during the times of making these statements that we must realize that God has got us in the exact place He desires us to be. We must learn to quit operating in our own strength and start relying on God’s strength.
Today’s Challenge: Realize that your greatest moments of weakness, gives God His greatest opportunity to display His power and strength through you.
2 Corinthians 11:3 “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
We have many tendencies to complicate things that God meant to be real simple. We call things hard, that were intended to be real easy and we get confused about things that are supposed to be real easy to understand. We are reminded that Satan’s intentions are to keep us from obeying the Lord. The Lord makes His directions real clear, but Satan is the one that tries to confuse us. When we give place to the Devil we are allowing ourselves to be pulled away from Christ. The intentions of Satan is basically to corrupt our minds from the simplicity of Christ. When give ear to Satan we are allowing corruption to enter our minds.
Satan will corrupt the mind in order to confuse the mind.
God did not intend for the Christ-life to be difficult or confusing. Sure there are difficulties and hard times, but God offers relief, rest, and revival for those that bring those difficulties to Him. Man has tried to complicate the Bible while God intended for it to be quite simple. We must remember the simplicity that is in Christ.
- Christ had a Simple Message – Believe on Christ and you will be Saved
- Christ had a Simple Command – Follow Me
If you think about it, everything about Christ and the Christ-life is real simple. Just do what He says and it will not get complicated. However; we question, we doubt, and we rebel against the very simplest of lifestyles.
Today’s Challenge: Quit complicated things through unbelief and start believing in the simplicity that is in Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:17 “But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”
Bragging and boasting is a dangerous thing. God desires that if any glory is to be given then it needs to be given to the Lord. Many times we forget to give credit, where credit is due. My heart breaks over the amount of times I have failed to glorify God when He deserved all the credit. Many times we give ourselves credit when things go well, and give God all the credit when things go wrong. Even when we brag on others, it is usually with selfish intentions. We must come to the place in our lives where God deserves to get all the Glory. If we look inside the intentions of our heart we find selfishness at each corner. We forget that God can promote us just as much as we can promote ourselves. We must move the intentions of our hearts away from our selfish boastings. The Lord is the only one that needs to get the credit. We need to learn to brag on the Lord. Give God the Glory, He deserves it!
Today’s Challenge: Practice bragging on the Lord today!