Are you overflowing with thankfulness today? If you have been born again in Christ, you will see the kingdom of God (John 3:3). Let’s stop and give thanks that the Lord Jesus gave up His earthly life for us so that we can be free of the chains to our sinful nature. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13) If you haven’t accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, I encourage you to do so now (see this article).
Christ followers are brand-new people on the inside. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Cor. 5:17) The Holy Spirit gives us new life, and we aren’t the same anymore. We are not reformed, rehabilitated, or reeducated–we are re-created (new creations), living in vital union with Christ. At conversion we are not merely turning over a new leaf; we are beginning a new life under a new Master.
Not only are believers changed from within, but a whole new order of creative energy began with Christ. There is a new covenant, a new perspective, a new body, a new church. All of creation is being renewed. This isn’t a superficial change; this is an entirely new order of all creation under Christ’s authority. It requires a new way of looking at all people and all of creation.
As Christ followers, we are to view others and circumstances through God’s eyes. When we see hopelessness, God sees a chance for us to experience His hands at work in our life like never before. Where we see weakness in ourselves, God sees an opportunity to show Himself mightily.
Receiving Christ as Lord of our lives is only the beginning. “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” (Col. 2:6-7) We must continue to follow His leadership by being rooted, built-up and strengthened in our faith. The only way to be rooted in Him (which will build us up and strengthen our faith) is to spend quiet time in His Word and in prayer.
This morning I realized the Lord wanted me to spend time on these Scriptures. I asked the Holy Spirit to show me what He wanted me to learn and apply to my life. And then I was led to the following passage: “This is what the Lord says: ‘Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord. That person will be like a bush in the wastelands, they will not see prosperity when it comes. They will dwell in the parched places of the desert in a salt land where no one lives. But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.'” (Jer. 17:5-8)
I believe a great shaking is coming, and the Lord is calling believers to strengthen themselves in Him–to drink up His Word and hide it in our hearts. We need to be prepared to give others (who have trusted in humans and are spiritually weak) the answer for our hope with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15). Those of us who trust in the Lord and who draw our strength from Him, will be able to share the reason for our abundant strength with others. This great shaking will give us the opportunity to bear fruit for His purpose and His glory. The Lord will show up mightily, and we will experience His work as never before. We need to prepare our hearts and minds IN Christ.