The Son gave Himself up for us two thousand years ago so that we might receive and live eternal Life: that we might know God so that the love the Father has for the Son may be in us, and that Christ Himself may live in us (see John 17:3, 26). The indwelling Holy Spirit empowers us to live this glorious Life now to the extent that we love Christ and desire to mature in Him more than we love our outer selves and desire to preserve them.
Each Christian is to deny the natural man and let the death of Jesus work in him while trusting God to glorify Himself through our jars of clay (see 2Cor. 4:7-11, 16-18). Just as Jesus could do nothing of Himself but do only as the Father is doing, we are merely the branches, and can do nothing of ourselves apart from Him, the Vine.
We are to desire God and depend on Him, and enjoy eating the fruit of the tree of Life; we are not to be self-absorbed and rely on ourselves, nor eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We must rest in Christ, listen intently to Him, and discern His subtle movement within our inner-most being like Mary of Bethany; we must not presume to “serve” God according to our plans and work of our own strength, thereby missing grace like Martha. We must become “fools for Christ” by letting God demolish our worldly strongholds and renew our minds so that Wisdom Himself may be revealed to and through us. We must become weak in regard to our natural selves and relinquish all control to God in order that Christ’s power and glory emanate from His Body in accordance with His plan for all to behold (see John 5:19; 15:5; Gen. 2:9, 17; Luke 10:38-42; 1Cor. 4:9-10; Ro. 12: 2; 2Cor. 10:3-6; 12:7-10; John 17:22, 24; 2Thess 1:10).
The power that resurrected Jesus from the dead is available for the Church to accomplish the seemingly “impossible” as soon as we consider everything of our natural selves and of this world a loss and apprehend that for which Christ Jesus has apprehended us – as soon as we deny ourselves and call forth that it be done through us in accordance with His will (see Phil. 3:7-14; Matt. 16:19, 24-26).
May God cause us to apprehend His grace to endure the momentary troubles, become like Christ in His death, and know the power of His resurrection. And now, LORD… Do as you have promised, so that it will be established and that your name will be great forever. We are Your servants; may it be done to us as You have said. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished! Amen. (1Chron. 17:23-24a; Luke 1:38; 45).
Fixing my eyes on what is unseen and eternal with you, your sister deanna
Written May 8, 2015