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Victory in Christ

“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death” (Phil 3:10). Paul says that his goal in life is to know Christ and the power of His resurrection. 

Think what power (Greek dunamis) was needed to raise Jesus from the dead (Eph 1:19-20). We get our English word dynamite from the Greek word dunamis. That same power dwells in us (Rom 8:11), brings life to our mortal bodies, empowers us to be witnesses for him (Acts 1:8) and in fact, makes us like Jesus (2 Cor 3:17-18). Wow and double Wow. 

Eph 1:19 also indicates that Gods power (Greek kratos) in us is the power of dominion or authority. As born-again believers in Jesus we walk in the authority of Jesus over the devil. Jesus took back all authority from satan through his (Jesus) death and resurrection (Eph 1:21-22). What a victory we have in Jesus. 

But Paul does go on to say, in Phil 3:10, that we must also be willing to fellowship in Christ’s sufferings and death. We have to die to self and live for Christ, no matter how much persecution or difficulty this may bring; are we willing?

Don't Worry, Be Happy!

In 1 Peter 5:7 it is written: "Casting all your care on him; for he careth for you". A very similar verse in the Old Testament is Psalm 55:22: "Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved". 

God does not want us to worry and he invites us to give him all of our cares. I understand that if you are going through very stormy waters this can be very hard to do. We may attempt to cast our cares only to pick them up again later. However, every time we pick them up we need to cast them back on the Lord; we may have to do that many times. 

The reason we can cast our cares on the Lord is because: "he careth for us" and because he cares for us he will: "sustain us". Wow, what an amazing, loving God we serve. Related scriptures: Phil. 4:6 – 8; Matt. 6:25 - 34.

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Don’t compare Yourself to Others!

At the end of Johns Gospel Jesus had told Peter what would happen to him (Peter) later in his life and in turn Peter asked Jesus what would happen to John. Jesus replied: “what is that to thee? follow thou me” (John 21:21-22; KJV).

Jesus basically said don’t worry about the lives of others; keep your focus on me. What good advice; how often we compare ourselves to others. Usually when we do that we compare our weaknesses to the strengths of others. This not how God sees us; we are his children (John 1:12-13), he loves us unconditionally (John 3:16). The word for love used in this verse is God’s unconditional love.

God is no respecter of person (Acts 10:34). This means he does not see one person as better or worse than another; he doesn’t have favorites. He has given us all unique giftings (1 Cor 12:28) but the same word and Holy Spirit to enable us all to be all he wants us to be.

We need to get into the word and let God show us what he has for us. The word says God’s gifts and callings are without repentance; in other words, they will never change (Rom 11:29). We are all valuable and important in his sight; we are his work of art (Eph 2:10). We should never, ever let anyone tell us any different; God does not make junk (Eph 2:10).

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God is with You

Isaiah 43:2 tells us that when we pass through the waters God will be with us and when we walk through the fire we will not be burned. Psalm 23:4 assures us that when we go through the valley of the shadow of death, again, God will be with us. Everyone deals with challenging situations at one time or another, but it's how we deal with those challenges that is important. God is there to help us and 1 Cor.10:13 tells us that he won't allow us to be tried beyond what we can bear and he will always make a way out for us. James 1:3 tells us that that the trying of our faith leads to patience. The Greek word used for patience is hupomone, which is not just the ability to endure things but to overcome them. Verse 4 says that patience makes us perfect which in fact means mature. So, trials cause us to mature and grow spiritually. When we go through trials we need to rely heavily on God trusting that: "many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivereth him out of them all" (Ps 34:19; KJV).

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Our God of the Impossible!

 “So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them” (Ezek 37:7-8; KJV).

God took Ezekiel into a valley full of human bones and told him to prophesy restoration and breathe to them and they rose up a mighty living army.  Nothing is impossible for our mighty God (Luke 1:37). The God that created the earth (Gen1), raised Jesus from the dead (Ro 8:11), defeated armies (Ex 14) and parted rivers to create dry land (Ex14) lives in you, if you are a Christian.

The word says that if we believe, nothing will be impossible for us (Matt 17:20), we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Phil 4:13). In fact, Jesus said that we would do greater things than him. (John 14:12) We are victorious in Christ Jesus (1 Cor 15:57) and more than conquerors (Rom 8;37). Are you getting the picture?

Are you sick? Christ is your healer (1 Pe 2:24). Are you under financial pressure? God will meet all of your need according to his riches and glory in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:19). Are you in turmoil? God leaves his peace with you (John 14:27).

Cast your cares on him (1Pe 5:6-7), stand on his word (Eph 6:14), talk to him, bring your prayers and concerns before him and he will turn things around for you.

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