Live in Him

Live

 

Reading

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him.”

– Colossians 2:6

In his book The Discipline of Grace, Jerry Bridges tells about a Cold War-era Russian pilot who flew his fighter plane to a U.S. base in Japan and asked for asylum. He was flown to the United States and given a new identity. Bridges points out that although this pilot had the same physical characteristics and personality traits after his experience, his new identity allowed him to live a new life. He was delivered from a totalitarian regime, and able to enjoy all the benefits of living in a free society.

That’s a good illustration of what happened to us when we received the lord Jesus Christ by faith. We went from guilt to forgiveness, from slavery to freedom, from weakness to strength, and from spiritual poverty to an eternal inheritance.

Isn’t that an encouraging place to be? If we fully understand our position in Christ, we won’t worry too much about what might happen tomorrow or next week- we are forgiven, strengthened, and free and we have eternal life.

Instead of worrying or being fearful, our emphasis should be on thanking God for all these gifts. Besides expressing our thanks with words, we can show God our gratitude by the way we live for him and grow in our faith. This was the prayer Paul had for the Colossian Christians.

The apostle wanted these believers to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will by gaining spiritual understanding through the scriptures.

The result of this will be seen in our lives. Jesus said his Father was glorified when we bear fruit, pleasing God involves spiritual fruit-bearing, reproducing the character of Christ in ourselves and in others.

 

M Campbell 2020

Saved

“he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit” – Titus 3:5

Many years ago, I heard of how a father took a son out to explain this passage to him. And he had the boy pound nails into a piece of wood. He pounded all these nails into the wood. And the boy kept asking, ‘why do you want me to do that?’ ‘Just do what I tell you.’ So he pounded all these nails. Then he said, ‘Now, pull them all out.’ ‘Well, what for? Why should I?’ ‘Just pull them all out.’ So he pulled all the nails out. He said, ‘Now what is left?’ He said, ‘The holes.’

In this life we are going to experience scars, some pain because this is a broken world and we are flawed people. There are some of us who still suffer as a result of decisions that we made as young people. When God says that he has removed it, he has removed it from a positional standpoint, though the scars remain for now. My dear friends, the hope of the gospel is that when Jesus Christ comes again, we are going to get a brand new body and that means all will be healed. There will be no more evidence whatsoever. The holes will be gone and we will be made brand new outwardly as we are made brand new inwardly when we come to Christ.”

It is only by God’s great mercy are we saved through Jesus Christ. Today in prayer, give thanks to the Lord for His mercy.

“Moral indignation never led anyone to Christ, but mercy has.” – William Dever

 

 

M Campbell 2020

Goodness

Everything

“Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives.” – Titus 3:14

In 1990, Dave Cooke, the father of four children from Wrexham, North Wales, saw the horror of abandoned children in Romanian orphanages on TV news. He asked friends to help fill a truck with toys and drive it to Romania.

There was an overwhelming response from local people and they raised £60,000. David established Operation Christmas Child as a charity.

On the 12th December 1990, a convoy of vehicles donated by local companies, left for Romania with 17 local volunteers. Among the aid on the convoy were the first gift-filled shoeboxes. On their return the volunteers vowed to continue the work.

In 1995, Operation Christmas Child merged with Samaritan’s Purse. Since its humble beginnings, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 135 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 150 countries.

In all that you do, do good. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for his goodness and seek to follow the Lord and do what is good.

“Goodness is something so simple: Always live for others, never to seek one’s own advantage.” – Dag hammarskjoeld (U.N.)

“This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.” – Titus 3:8

 

M Campbell 2020

Encourage

abandon

“These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.” – Titus 2:15

As a young boy Enrico worked in a factory in Naples, Italy, but had an intense desire to be a singer. When he turned ten years old, he took his first voice lesson that procured a less than encouraging remark from his teacher, “You can’t sing. You haven’t any voice at all. Your voice sounds like a wind in the shutters.”

His mother, however, believed that he could learn to sing. She was very poor, but she hugged him and said, “My boy, I’m going to make every sacrifice to pay for your voice lessons.”

Her encouragement and sacrifice for her son proved to be invaluable. He became known as one of the world’s greatest singers. His name is Enrico Caruso. Caruso made approximately 260 commercially released recordings from 1902 to 1920, which made him an international popular entertainment star.

We all need encouragement in this life and to follow Jesus. Today in prayer, praise the Lord for those who have encouraged you during your life and remember to encourage others. Call someone or send a card.

“We have a Christian duty to encourage one another. Many times a word of praise or thanks or a cheer has kept a person on their feet. Blessed is the man who speaks such a word.” – William Barclay

 

M Campbell 2020

Pray Always

remember

“I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers” – Philemon 1:4

In May 2001 journalist Gyles Brandreth interviewed South African Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu. It was a powerful experience for Brandreth, for Desmond Tutu was suffering from prostate cancer and there was a real chance this might be the last interview he would ever give. What might Tutu want to talk about? Perhaps the amazing transformation in the politics of his country, and of which he himself had a leading role. No. Here’s what he told Brandreth: “If this is going to be my last interview, I am glad we are not going to talk about politics. Let us talk about prayer and adoration, about faith, hope and forgiveness.” For Tutu these are the things that are the stuff of life.

One of the greatest things you can do is to pray for others. Today in prayer, thank the Lord for your friends and pray for them that Christ would be glorified in your life and your friends’ lives.

“Intercessory prayer might be defined as loving our neighbours on our knees.” – Charles H. Brent

 

M Campbell 2020

 

Grateful

grateful

 

Bible Reading

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” – Psalm 100:4

 

In 2008 a young Australian woman, Hailey Bartholomew, found that she wasn’t enjoying life. She described herself as feeling lost and stuck on a treadmill. It was almost inexplicable. She was married to a man she loved and had beautiful children who held her heart. So why was she feeling so down about her life? Hailey sought the counsel of a nun, who advised her to spend time each day reflecting on something for which she was grateful. Hailey began a project called “365grateful”. Every day she took a photograph of something for which she was grateful.

It changed her life, for it allowed her to see things she had never noticed. Hailey had always thought of her husband as unromantic. One day she took a picture of him serving up dinner, the thing that she was grateful for that day. She noticed for the first time that the largest portion of pie was placed on her plate. She realized that the largest portion was always placed on her plate and that this was one small but profound way her husband showed his care for her. Hailey had found mothering a “boring job”, but as she took photos of her children holding out their hands to her, playing and exploring, she discovered how much joy and wonder there was in her world. Through the art of gratitude Hailey found herself lifted out of her rut and celebrating life.

 

When you are thankful, you grow into the person God desires you to be. Today in prayer, give thanks throughout the day and you will grow in joy.

 

“Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.” – Henry Ward Beecher

 

365grateful.com

M Campbell 2020

Psalm 126

Man says

“Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.” Psalm 126:5-6 ESV.

Psalm 126 is a song of hope for those held captive by present sorrows and dire affliction. It encourages those who walk with weighted steps to wait expectantly for their God. There is a special promise for those who shed tears in desperate places—the sorrow will not endure forever. God will restore us once more, and our joy will be made all the greater for having endured the difficulties by faith. When rock bottom feels like the end of us, we can trust that Christ will hold us fast—for “with him is plentiful redemption” (Psalm 130:7).

 

M Campbell 2020

How Great Thou Art, Carl Gustav Boberg (1885)

How Great

It’s a prayer, a plea, and a declaration of God’s infinite greatness. This song was written by Carl Gustav Boberg, a 26-year old pastor in Sweden. As the story goes, Boberg was caught in a thunderstorm one Sunday afternoon after church. From his perch in the mountains, Boberg watched as the storm swept in with a bolt of lightning and massive clap of thunder. The storm hurtled through the meadows and grain fields, reverberating across the countryside with the sound of its astounding power. After the storm, pastor Boberg looked out his windows overlooking Mönsterås Bay. A rainbow spread across the sky, the birds were singing, the church bells were softy tolling, and Carl was overwhelmed by God’s power and majesty. The result was an outpouring of adoration and worship in the writing of the song, O Store Gud. The song made a circuit of translations, German, Russian, and English, and picked up a stanza from an English missionary Stuart K. Hine in 1949. Now, the song is sung by millions of Christians in dozens of languages, all praying the same heartfelt prayer of “humble adoration, “My God, how great Thou art!”